4x4 Diesel Moto / Overland Van.

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CaptainBuilt

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2,515
Asheville, NC, USA
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14664

Hey guys.

New to the forum. And figured I would show what I'm working on.

A 2000 Ford E-350 7.3L van. The ultimate goal is to camp anywhere we want. Mostly off grid. And to haul my bike to track days.

This is what I started with about a year and a half ago:

Literally 5 mins of ownership.



Then I picked up a junkyard hi top:



Installed:



Since my van is getting converted to 4WD, putting a motorcycle in it will suck. So I got a $20 wheelchair lift that I'm currently modifying to fit my bike on:





And 4WD goodies:

Front axle:





Drilling spring hangars:



Some interior pics:





I've skipped over a lot, but you get the gist of it. A lot is also being re-designed. So, not missing too much. I hope to have a bed and kitchen in by March, because Mardi Gras.

I'm originally from New Orleans, and I'm a real deal Mississippi River boat pilot.

I'm at work another 2 weeks then, I'll finish up the 4wd conversion.
 

CaptainBuilt

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Member

Contributor III

2,515
Asheville, NC, USA
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14664

Wheels showed up today. After a lot of thinking and researching, I'm going with BFG KO2's 285x70R17 (33x11.50).

17x9" Vision 85 Soft 8 -12 offset, 4.5" backspacing.



 
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CaptainBuilt

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Asheville, NC, USA
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I like this alot. And a 7.3 too.
Thanks, 7.3L is the engine I wanted. Since mine is a high mileage van (360k miles), I've had some issues, but nothing major. The only problems I've had is a frozen brake caliper, broken belt tensioner, and now I think the fan clutch is going bad, so I'll be replacing that when I get in.

Here are a few more random pics:

I switched out the stock seats for Toyota Sienna seats, but they're not that comfortable, so I picked up a set of RV Class C seats that are going in.



Quickfist for ax and shovel. Doesn't work with the new lift in. Gonna have to find a new spot for them:



High roof conversion:











And done:





MaxxAir Fan:



Insulation:



I put up wood strips, but didn't work out as planned, same wood, same satin, didn't turn out the same color. Not sure what happened. I have full length strips now, but since I'm installing solar panels, I'm gonna do that first.



 

CaptainBuilt

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Contributor III

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Asheville, NC, USA
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14664

Dude, dig it! I wanna get a van soon for hauling bikes. I’m after a Chevy express though. Keep it up mate!
Thanks!

Once it's up in the air, I still have to put new gears / ARB locker / axles in the rear axle, and add the transfer case and 4wd tail housing to the transmission. Eventually the front axle will get a TrueTrac.

I'll also be building front and rear bumpers and it's getting a 08+ front end to accommodate a intercooler (stock 7.3 vans have no intercooler).

The interior will have a 12v fridge, removable bed, and a small sink / storage area. I'm very efficient with woodworking, so the interior should't take long.

My goal by next winter is 500+ hp. Which can easily be done with a stock bottom end.

This is what the axle looked like when I first started:



My best friend through the teardown process. A Milwaukee mid torque 1/2" impact. This little guy is a pure beast:



Also, the 13 gallon water tank for showers and sink. It will sit there with a box around it.



Painted calipers / rotor hats:





And me bike, a Aprillia Tuono 1100 V4.



Overlook at Deals Gap (2 hours away):



Bridal Veil Falls, near Highlands, NC.

 
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CaptainBuilt

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Contributor III

2,515
Asheville, NC, USA
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All I can say is.... HELL YEAH
Thanks, it's getting there.

Since I work on a boat, I'd thought I'd show you guys this little fella. Any dude will enjoy this.

These "harbor tugs" are small. They're usually around 55-56' long. But have a very deep draft, around 17-19'. The "tractor tugs" of this variety, have wheels that can turn 360 degrees Z-Drives. And the wheels on these boats are HUGE. Usually 10' tall.

Also, these style boats are anywhere from 4,000 all the way up to 8,000 hp. Which is totally insane for their size.





This is the type of boat I work on:



 

CaptainBuilt

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Contributor III

2,515
Asheville, NC, USA
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14664

I thought that the radius arm brackets unbolted from the inside. I was wrong. I cut one head off a bolt and still needed to get it out. My solution, weld another bolt to it.





The carnage:





Not sure what's going on, haven't used my plasma since I've moved here. But I don't think we have enough power to push it. So, I had to use a grinder to cut the cross member.


I need a hole saw, and hopefully HD or Lowe's has a right angle drill. Shock mounts are welded in. All that's left is to drill the rear holes (no pun there...), and mount everything up!


 
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