My (soon to be 4x4) Red Cross ERV Build and Adventures

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Picked up tires yesterday :D. All 6 will be 255/80 R17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers. I had some 2.5" lift (I think) F350 coils laying around so I threw those in as a starting point to figure out what will work. I think the height looks pretty good but if I want to use them I'll need to modify the upper springs perch because the truck and van coils have different ends. Using CC880s van springs with spacers at the bottom seems like the way a lot of people go but I'm not sure I like the spacer idea. If anyone has any suggestions let me know.


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Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Did your ERV come with 17" wheels? Mine came with 16s but there are more tire options in 255/80 R17 vs 255/85 R16
No, stock on the van is 16" but 17" are the stock size on the F350 and are needed to clear the bigger brakes. The bolt pattern is different too so I'll need to used adapters in the rear..... hoping the tires don't stick out too far.
 
You’ve sparked my interest, and now I’m on the hunt for 17s with an 8x6.5 bolt pattern to replace my 16s and not use any spacers or adapters. Looks like Dodge Ram 3500 wheels from 03-18 should work. Thanks for the inspiration
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
You’ve sparked my interest, and now I’m on the hunt for 17s with an 8x6.5 bolt pattern to replace my 16s and not use any spacers or adapters. Looks like Dodge Ram 3500 wheels from 03-18 should work. Thanks for the inspiration
Make sure to check if the Dodge wheel center is 125mm so it'll fit on the Ford hub. Even if the lug pattern is the same, these are hub centric so the wheel center has to be the same too.
 
I believe the dodge wheels have a center bore of 121mm so I’ll need to throw them on the lathe to match the Ford hubs. I’ll buy one first and see if it works out and if so I’ll do all 6. I have yet to see anyone do this so it’ll be a bit of an experiment
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
First little test drive out of the way. Worked as well as can be expected without having shocks... pretty bouncy. I had to turn it around in my driveway to start working on the back end so I figured I'd take it around the block. People looked at me weird for some reason 😲. The plan for the rear is a Sky Offroad shackle flip and maybe blocks if needed to level it out. I may look into custom springs but that'll happen later.

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Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Here it is with with no lift in the rear. It's about 4" low in but I might leave it and put some miles on it to see if the front settles and/or to see if I like the front coils and readdress it a little later. I'm picking up a transfer case tomorrow so now I have to decide if I want to tackle that job myself.

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Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
You'll like Sky offroad's brackets. I used their kit that updates to 2016 F-series leaf springs on my build. Great quality parts and great people to deal with.
Love the Sky Offroad brackets. Worst job ever with removing the fuel tank and removing the stock brackets but the Sky Brackets bolted right on the the van frame and worked perfectly. I think I might need 1-2" lift blocks to match the front end but we'll see after I drive it a bit and things settle. Shocks are on order so once I get those I can put on some miles to see how things work. I picked up a transfer case yesterday so that's next on the list....


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cabnetguy

Member
Truck looks good! Yep getting those rivets out just plain sucks. I ended up using a angle grinder to cut a cross in the rivet head then a air chisel to knock them out. Don't really want to do that again!
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
While I have the fuel tank out I figured I'd make a few mods so I never have to deal with clogged (in-tank) filters again and redirect the return line so it shoots the diesel outside the baffled pickup area. The theory with shooting the return fuel outside the baffle is that it will reduce the amount of aerated fuel being picked up and run back to the engine. I'm not sure it's really necessary but I did it anyway because it can't hurt. The biggest thing is getting rid of these filters.....

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And adding a much bigger filter/water separator on the frame rail before the lift pump....

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Here are the mods I made to the pickup. Bonus is there's an existing unused pickup tube that I can use for my diesel heater. That's it in the middle. I just had to extend it a little with rubber hose.

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Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Tank is back in, new sway bar and Fox shocks installed and I've put a little over 100 miles on it so far. I really love how it drives. Still need to pull the trans and install the t-case but I wanted to get some test miles on it before it gets too cold up here and take the winter to finish things up.

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Might be a little overkill.....

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Picked up some newer mirrors....

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Much better...

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If all goes as planned I'll be moving into a new shop next month. It's not an ideal space for the ERV with only 1" of clearance through the 10' door but it fits and that's all that matters.... More on this later.

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