These are some of the most common questions I get about my 4x4 van conversion kit. Feel free to email me for more details.
Q. The question I get asked most is "how much will the entire conversion cost me?"
A. There is no solid answer to this. Several of the main components vary in price. You may find a front axle for $250, $500, or $1500. Same with the transfer case, prices vary. If you do all the work yourself, you will save substantial amounts of $$. If you do some of the labor yourself, and sublet a few things that take more skill (transmission mods, fuel tank) you will still be in good shape. Some of my customers have taken their time to find good deals on parts, and some want the van converted asap. This is the beauty of my kit, you can do it at your pace. One thing that needs to be stressed is that the 4wd conversion is an investment!! It will hold it's value!!
Q. What vehicles will the kit fit?
A. My kit fits 92 to current Ford E150, E250, & E350 Vans.
Q. Will I get instructions?
A. Yes, a detailed step by step instruction sheet is included, and I have 2 installation videos to help.
Q. Does the conversion require any special tools?
A. Nothing specific. A 90 degree drill or plasma cutter will make the shackle sleeve install much easier.
Q. What axles can I use for the conversion?
A. My kit is designed to use 99-04 Ford F250/350 & Excursion front axles. These came as Dana 50's as well as Dana 60's. These axles have a 38" spring pad width, ball joints & unit bearings. You can retain ABS with these axles (if you choose). The super duty axle is a bolt in unit for this kit, no modification to the axle is needed. When searching for an axle, make sure it's complete with u-bolt plates & a sway bar. Try to avoid "early" 99 axles (production date before 3/99)
Q. What is done about the bolt pattern difference?
A. The donor axle will have the 8 on 170mm bolt pattern, and the vans are 8 on 6.5". There are a few options to make the change. Option 1: Install rear wheel spacers that change the bolt pattern as well as increase the trac width to match the front. Option 2: Swap the rear axle assembly to a Sterling 10.5" (disc brake). Option 3: Upgrade the axle with the RSC kit. (more info on the axle page)
Q. What's the lowest lift with the conversion?
A. The minimum lift is 4". This lift height will fit up to a 33" tire. The lift sizes go in 2" increments. 6" lift for 35's, 8" lift for 37's, and we can go up from there! Lower lifts aren't possible due to differential clearance to the engine cross member.
Q. Does my engine crossmember need trimming?
A. It depends on lift height. All kits using lower than 8" require trimming. The x-member will need to be trimmed for differential clearance.
Q. Does my exhaust need to be modified?
A. On gas models, yes. The drivers side exhaust will need to be re routed in order to make room for the front driveshaft. Diesel models don't require any exhaust mods.
Q. What steering parts do I need?
A. I have steering kits available for every lift height. All wearable parts are available at any local parts store, and the factory F250/F350 tie rod is utilized.
Q. Does my fuel tank need to be modified?
A. Yes, the fuel tank will have to be shortened to make room for the transfer case. I have fuel tank shortening kits available.
Q. What do I do about a transfer case?
A. I recommend to have your transmission removed to have the output shaft replaced with a 4x4 unit. Once this is done by a professional, a factory 4wd adapter can be installed to mate the transfer case. To determine the model transfer case you need, the transmission needs to be identified. I always recommend a manual shift t-case. The BW1356 with flanges is a good t-case, as well as the NV271 from the superduty. (recommended for all V10 & diesel models) I have one output shaft/t-case adapter kit available (5R110 to NV271)
Q. What do I do for shocks?
A. I have several shock & mounting styles available.
Q. Will extended brake lines be needed?
A. Yes, I offer custom steel braided brake lines for every lift height.
Q. What do I do about driveshafts?
A. This depends on what transfer case is used. I can give you options once this is determined. If you install the NV271 t-case, a donor shaft from a 99-04 F250/350 truck can be used up front.
Q. How much time does the conversion take?
A. It all depends on skill level and the tools available. I recommend to install the front spring hangers while the van is still 2wd. All you need to do is remove the front bumper, remove the sway bar, and start drilling. Then the van can continue to be driven in stock 2wd form. With a lift and proper tools, the axle can be installed in a full day. The other major components will depend on the suppliers time frame.
Email me if you have any questions!
PLEASE SEE THE "KIT INFO" PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS
Alabama Hills CA
Ford 6.0 diesel
These are my thought on the common 6.0 vs 7.3 questions. All of this is my opinion based on what I've seen, and only about Ford VANS. Not trucks. Will some disagree with me? Sure. Do I know everything there is to know about either engine? Nope. Am I a 6.0 hater? No!!
There's no question that the 7.3 is a superior engine. But as we know, they're getting harder & harder to find in good condition and we cannot rule out the 6.0. I have one of each, and I'm very familiar with both. The main purpose of this writing is to identify the problems with the 6.0 and come up with real world solutions. When the 6.0 debuted it was way ahead of its time. There were early production issues, and the fact that it was rushed to market without proper training for the techs that would be servicing them didn't help. Just when everyone was getting ultra comfy with the 7.3…… they replaced it! I can imagine how frustrating this must have been and I understand why so many diesel techs placed it in the "this is a POS" folder. Especially in the vans. I know that most techs HATE working on vans, and I've dealt with this many times over the years. They start with a negative attitude before the 1st wrench is turned & I don't want these guys under my hood. It really boils down to laziness.
The biggest problem with the 6.0? Incorrect diagnosis and not repairing it properly!
Lets talk about 6.0 failures. It's always due to heat. The EGR system is the main culprit. On early 6.0's, the leftover sand from the casting process would clog the EGR cooler and cause it to rupture and introduce coolant to the intake & exhaust. Or steam into the intake, which will blow a head gasket really quick. There have been EGR cooler upgrades, but I feel the best solution is to delete it or replace with an aftermarket unit.
Another way to fail? Improper maintenance or blatant abuse. The oil & fuel needs to be clean! Fuel filters every 10K, oil & filter every 5K. I like a coolant flush every 50K too. Aggressive aftermarket tuners? Stay away. I don't like adding anything more than 60-80hp to a 6.0. Ignorance is always a problem, pushing the motor when something is going wrong will fry it quick. "I have a big bad ass diesel, it should be able to pull this grade under load no problem, pedal to the metal!!!!" Once again, you'll burn it up. I wish the factory had installed an EGT gauge, because this is the ultimate warning light. If your EGT's go too high, you have problems. I also use a Scangauge to monitor the vitals. Coolant temp, engine oil temp, boost & tranny temp. These are all just as important.
Now lets talk about the turbo. With a functioning EGR cooler, the turbo should be removed & cleaned every 30-40K. This sounds crazy, but it needs to be done! The 6.0 turbo is a variable vane unit, and the vanes can be hung up by carbon & rust. When they get stuck, the turbo doesn't build boost, EGT's go up, and we already discussed what happens then.
I often get asked about head studs. If you take the proper steps to avoid head gasket failure, you don't need them. If the failure has already happened and the heads have to come off, then absolutely install the studs. With my formula, I don't believe the head studs are needed.
UJOR is now offering what we feel to be the best setup for long 6.0 diesel life. Our full 6.0 kit includes the EGR cooler delete, Custom tuner (80 HP) AutoMeter Phantom EGT gauge, Ford Turbo outlet hose, turbo install kit & Intake gaskets, Scangauge monitor, coolant flush, fuel filters and a full inspection while we're in there (belts, hoses, etc) Please email me if you have any questions! Thanks