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Thread: 5.4L EFI FFV V8 worth converting to 4x4 "sportsmobile"?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    United States
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    98

    Default 5.4L EFI FFV V8 worth converting to 4x4 "sportsmobile"?

    I've been looking and lurking for a while now. I am swayed in the direction of converting an E-350.

    The low mileage diesels seem so hard to find I'm wondering if the 5.4L EFI FFV V8 model would be worth while converting.... 4x4, poptop at a minimum, probably more interior work as well (sink, microwave, fridge, additional couch/bed, storage etc)

    I've been looking at the (gas) extended E-350 XLT's. Passenger vans in this model with the V-8 gas motor are plentiful... Diesels are almost non-existent.

    Not planning on any big amount of towing, but I don't want to be totally under powered when I'm loaded up either. I also hear that the mileage on the diesels are better in comparison to gas, especially as you start to add a load. Looks like diesels hold their value a lot better too?

    Anybody out there with a full blown GAS sportsmobile?.. or have had both and can give a comparison?

    Thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks all - excellent forum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    United States
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    98
    Wow... 100+ views (interested in the answers too?) but no replies?.... Hummmm

    Somebody has got to have an opinion??! :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Nor Cal
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    634
    I'm not sure why you haven't gotten any responses. It could be that the other Van sub forum sees way more people. Maybe post it in there and you will get more answers.
    98 E350 EB
    03 F150 supercrew
    2012 YZ250

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Salida, CO
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    252
    I have a 5.4 SMB that I converted with an MG/Ujoint coil spring kit, but it is an RB. The power is more than adequate, even at the 7000-10,000 feet that I operate mine at. I originally wanted a 6.0 diesel, but yeah - they cost a lot more up front and then you need to do $5-10k of bulletproofing to make them reliable. You get more power for sure, but they are loud. The gas V8s and V10s are quiet and that is worth a lot to me. It takes a metric **** ton of miles to make up the 2-3mpg advantage of a 6.0 diesel over a 5.4 given the cost of making a 6.0 reliable, IMHO.

    Having said that, one would definitely not call driving an 8300lb 4x4 SMB with a 5.4 "spirited." But it does the job with no drama.
    90 Syncro Westy EJ25 (locked)
    96 FZJ80 (locked)
    06 SMB RB-31 4x4 (MG/UJOR 4x4) Velcro Sneakers Build (gone, but not forgotten)
    17 Ford Transit Quigley HR 4x4 (Ecoboost rocket.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranchero View Post
    I have a 5.4 SMB that I converted with an MG/Ujoint coil spring kit, but it is an RB. The power is more than adequate, even at the 7000-10,000 feet that I operate mine at. I originally wanted a 6.0 diesel, but yeah - they cost a lot more up front and then you need to do $5-10k of bulletproofing to make them reliable. You get more power for sure, but they are loud. The gas V8s and V10s are quiet and that is worth a lot to me. It takes a metric **** ton of miles to make up the 2-3mpg advantage of a 6.0 diesel over a 5.4 given the cost of making a 6.0 reliable, IMHO.

    Having said that, one would definitely not call driving an 8300lb 4x4 SMB with a 5.4 "spirited." But it does the job with no drama.
    Thank you for the input Rancho... given the rarity of what I'm looking for I may end up with a gas eater... thanks :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    49
    We have been building a RB 5.4L with Quad van system. Over 12k miles this year strictly on trips & its not the fastest but it works. Loaded with the family through the hills the RPMS get up here and there but its not an issue. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    West kootenays...for now.
    Posts
    99
    ............there are supercharger systems out there for the 5.4. 6Lbs of "spirit" would suffice lol



    EDIT:I made this post as a (pretty lame) tongue in cheek joke. quick look on youtube, and its a thing....and now I want one lol
    Last edited by LumpyCanuck; 04-29-2017 at 02:29 AM.
    Member NorthAm Overland
    2007 Tacoma, ACLB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    141
    Van.JPGI've noticed many 2wd vans that were later converted to 4wd did little to nothing in the area of coating the frame to avoid rust. I don't think it's a good idea to convert to 4wd without also pulling the body of the van off the frame and coating the frame and underbody because you will end up spending just as much as you would have on a 4x4 van, but won't be worth as much as a original built Quigley van with the rust protection done at factory. The only pros of converting 2wd van to 4wd vs buying a 4wd van outright is that you can potentially make it more custom in the build, but that's not going to save you any money either. If your patient you will find the van you want with the engine you want.

    Diesel is a personal preference, personally I can't stand Ford diesel vans as they are loud and smell terrible. It makes me nauseated just standing next to one or driving behind one and the stock Ford transmissions I've noticed seem to require "bulletproofing." When I was looking the V10's were at the top of my list and couldn't find a 4x4 ford in my budget so I shoped for a V10 3/4 or 1 ton 2wd conversion van. I ended up finding a Chevy Quigley with 350 I've been very happy with. Wish I had extra power for towing and a little more lift, but the 350 does everything I need it to do and the 3/4 ton chevy drive train is already pretty "bulletproff" stock (knock on wood). It's got the Independent Front Suspension 4x4 so it rides much better than the straight axles, which keeps the wife happy. Not going to take it hardcore offroading, but will do fine in snow and sand. It just needs to take my family camping on the beach and maybe up to the ski slopes once a year. If I want to do serious offroading I'll buy or rent a jeep or ATV and trailer to tow behind the van.
    Last edited by TexomaPowerboater; 05-18-2017 at 04:15 PM.
    Work hard play hard.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    290
    the 5.4 is a great engine, I have seen the with nearly 400,000 miles

    I prefer the 7.3 diesel. I think the 7.3 diesel is the only way to somewhat protect the money that you put into converting it to 4x4. Anytime I find a cheap Quigley it has the 5.4.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    boise idaho
    Posts
    244
    I have a 03 7.3 and have test driven a few passenger vans. I was pleasantly surprised with the umph when flogging. Granted it was pretty much empty, but it still had some good get up and go. I can't speak for a loaded one or how it is towing and it could have been gearing that gave it a launch feel off the line.

    And I totally agree with the draw of a quiet rig. We planned on doing a lot of towing, but since we got the van and started camping every weekend we've pretty stopped racing. One day we will get back in it and will be happy we have the 7.3, but in the meantime the 7.3 seems hypocritical when we're out to find peace and quiet rolling around with damn near the loudest option available.

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