93 E250 Sportsmobile 4x4 conversion?


Well-known member
Okay this is going to sound dumb, but bear with me. I am in no hurry to race around the globe, I want to go steady and reliable.

I have a 93 E250 Sportsmobile, with the 4.9L EFI I6. The engine and trans were replaced about 30K ago.

I am thinking about a possible 4x4 conversion. Nothing radical, but something that would be reliable, and get me through safely driving the beaches in Texas, to visiting my elderly parents in the winter in Oregon.

I picked this particular van as I REALLY liked the layout, and honestly, like the inline six, yeah call me wierd. I also Love the straight sixes in old land cruisers and jeeps... I know the 4.9L can be warmed up a bit with cam, and exhaust and deliver HP and torque numbers rivaling the 2v 5.4L which is more than enough to scoot the brick down the highway reliably and keep up with traffic.

I have read folks crying about the added weight of the 4wd on an already heavy Sportsmobile conversion, but I KNOW Sportsmobile factory converted 3/4 ton vans themselves for years. The frame on the E250 and E350 allegedly are the same, except spring hangers and other parts that would be swapped out in a 4wd conversion to 1 ton pieces anyway...

Other than cost, is there a good reason I should not convert this van to 4 wheel drive? I am not concerned about resale value. I am not a young guy, and am honestly planning on doing this project with the best build I can so I can run it until I am no longer able to run me...


Well-known member
5.4L motor spec's is not enough IMHO. I have a 2wd '03 E250 5.4 and want more torque.
Which begs the question, what's your driving style? People seem to forget the era of 300+HP 450+ft/lb engines benig common place on light trucks is actually a fairly recent phenomonon. I have zero intention to take a camper van through Moab, or rock crawling in any way, shape or form. I am looking or the ability to hanle sandy beaches, muddy logging roads, and snow covered forest service roads / trails. Nothing too difficult. Rock crawling is a totally different animal.
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Well-known member
I should clarify, I KNOW the 4.9 isn't a powerhouse, BUT.... It is reliable, and was used in a VERY wide variety of applications. I would expect with proper gearing, and a proper mild build, cam, slight bore, that sort of thing, I should be able to go down the highway, and over the mountain passes just fine at normal camper van traffic speeds. I am not 100% adverse to a swap, but if I engine swap this thing, it is going to be a diesel. Preferrably a Cummins 6BT P pump backed up by an Allison tranny. That runs into money. Trying to figure out how to not drop 40K+ into a 10K van...
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