4x4 E350 7.3 Diesel - The Long Wool Adventure Van

obselesc

New member
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So I guess it is time for my first build thread. Long time reader, first time poster (except for selling my beloved Defender to start this van project, so let me know if you're in the market ;) )

My partner and I have been hoping to build out a rig for us and our two dogs to travel the states in for a few months. After a bunch of back and forth on what to get and when to get it, we decided to pull the trigger on a 2002 Ford E350 EB, w/ a 7.3 Powerstroke and a Quigley 4x4 package. The mileage is a little on the high side, but otherwise it is pretty dreamy.

The key build features we wanted in our vehicle were 4x4, a pass through for camper access, space for a full time bed (no fold away stuff), and standing height for me (6'1"). So the powerstroke diesel was a bonus, and the standing height will become a reality with a high top addition that should be installing in about a month.

The van actually came with a decent camper build in the back, but with adding the hi-top it didn't make much sense to keep the low bed platform and countertop. Upon dismantling it, we found that the camper build was mostly hardwood (so pretty heavy) and insulated with fiberglass (no thanks). Attached are pictures of how it sits now: wall panelling removed, fiberglass gone, and beginning ceiling panel removal. We will likely be keeping the cabinetry built on the cargo door and reusing/repurposing some of the pieces from the previous build. Next step will be some foam-board insulation. And diagnosing a couple of issues we have with the van: it will not cold start without using the block heater, I'm thinking it is the glow plug module at this point, but not sure; plus the back up camera installed by the PO is not working, and after driving a short wheel base defender for the past 3+ years, I desperately want it to be working:ROFLMAO:.
 

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gmtech

Observer
powerstrokes need two good batteries to start. in cold . when I first bought my ambo it also would not start below 30 without block heater, found out battery under hood was to small and one on right frame rail wasn't hooked up!. so I had been trying to start it and sometimes having luck with one battery!. ive also heard glow plug relay could cause your problem.
 

KYC

Adventurer
Quigleys come with the shifter on the floor right? Is it inconvenient? Do you plan to swivel the driver seat?
 

obselesc

New member
powerstrokes need two good batteries to start. in cold . when I first bought my ambo it also would not start below 30 without block heater, found out battery under hood was to small and one on right frame rail wasn't hooked up!. so I had been trying to start it and sometimes having luck with one battery!. ive also heard glow plug relay could cause your problem.
Thanks for the tip. I just found out about the second battery the other day, lol. But both batteries seem decent voltage wise, I may look into swapping the front one because it was measuring a little lower than the rear one. Also have to check the glow plug control module, my van is CA spec, so no easy to test relay:rolleyes:.

Quigleys come with the shifter on the floor right? Is it inconvenient? Do you plan to swivel the driver seat?
It is on the floor, I've read that you can't do captains chair swivel for the drivers side, but not sure how true that is since the shifter is a little offset from the chair. Either way I planned to only do one for the passenger seat, not the driver. I actually found some older universal swivel mounts at a junkyard, going to see if I can get a friend to fab a couple brackets for it so I can avoid paying the high price of the typical captain's chair swivel mount.
 
Reactions: KYC

Smoker

Observer
Thanks for the tip. I just found out about the second battery the other day, lol. But both batteries seem decent voltage wise, I may look into swapping the front one because it was measuring a little lower than the rear one. Also have to check the glow plug control module, my van is CA spec, so no easy to test relay:rolleyes:.



It is on the floor, I've read that you can't do captains chair swivel for the drivers side, but not sure how true that is since the shifter is a little offset from the chair. Either way I planned to only do one for the passenger seat, not the driver. I actually found some older universal swivel mounts at a junkyard, going to see if I can get a friend to fab a couple brackets for it so I can avoid paying the high price of the typical captain's chair swivel mount.

Mine is a Ujoint conversion, not a Quigley, and the shifter is on the floor. I installed driver and passenger swivels from 1der on this forum. The driver seat just clears the shifter. The swivels are awesome and I highly recommend them.
 

gmtech

Observer
it is advisable to replace both batteries at the same time. a weak one will drag down a good one. and you have two marginal batteries again. powerstrokehelp.com youtube videos are great. guy is like a powerstroke god.
some of his old videos are kind of crude quality but he gets the point across.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Mine didn’t like to start without the heater in the cold. I replaced the Glow plug relay with a ‘monster’ relay from DieselOrings.com. The original relay was cracked in half and nonfunctional. With good batteries it would still start, but it’d take a while for the large cloud of white smoke to clear.

I’d start with cleaning battery terminals & connections and replacing the batteries. For a diesel it is recommended to use 1000 CCA batteries... mine are only 850, but I can connect 2 extra 850 CCA batteries with the push of a button if they start to struggle... if 3400 CCA of batteries won’t start it, nothing will

If it still doesn’t start or smokes a lot then glow plug relay. Followed by glow plugs if it still isn’t happy.

I list glow plugs last because they are a PITA to change... and won’t work well if the other things aren’t up to snuff. So far my new glow plugs are a spare set in the drawer... changing them might make a small difference 3 days a year... so they’re not high on the list of ways to use a weeks worth of energy :(
 
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obselesc

New member
So good news, bad news.

After trying brand new batteries (which helped but definitely did not solve the problem) I ended up taking the van to a mechanic for a diagnosis...they're pretty sure it is the injectors, which is definitely what my wallet didn't want to hear. Exploring options to see about doing them myself in order to save some money. Anyone have experience on changing the 7.3PSD injectors in a van?
 

5spd97

Member
I'd make sure that it isnt the glow plug relay or glow plug module (CA vehicles) first. The relay is a common problem on the 7.3. I recently had the same problem with cold starts and a new relay solved the problem. If you have a CA 7.3 which can be determined by your vin it will have a module which is more expensive.
 

obselesc

New member
Hoping to sort the injectors out this weekend, in the meantime here is the floor plan I threw together. Still a work in progress but I think this should be pretty close to what I end up with.
 

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r27d

Member
Any codes for the start issue?

I have a '98 E350 CA spec 7.3 that was hard to start last fall. It puffed a little smoke each start and after a couple weeks the glow plug monitor threw a P1395 code with the check engine light. Then while long cranking to start it without the failed glow plugs a few times I did a number on my original starter and weak batteries. So in the end I got new glow plugs, glow plug relay, and under valve harnesses for the glow plug issue. The starter was replaced with an Ultima Select gear reduction with two new Costco batteries.
 

obselesc

New member
Any codes for the start issue?

I have a '98 E350 CA spec 7.3 that was hard to start last fall. It puffed a little smoke each start and after a couple weeks the glow plug monitor threw a P1395 code with the check engine light. Then while long cranking to start it without the failed glow plugs a few times I did a number on my original starter and weak batteries. So in the end I got new glow plugs, glow plug relay, and under valve harnesses for the glow plug issue. The starter was replaced with an Ultima Select gear reduction with two new Costco batteries.
No codes, my mechanic seemed to have done a pretty thorough testing on the glow plug system and it seemed to check out through all parts. Either way, I will probably go ahead and change the glow plugs and under valve harness when I do the injectors.I'm going to hold off on doing the glow plug module (my van is CA spec) mostly because I don't have one laying around, but that will be easy to swap if nothing else does the trick.
 
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