"No More Projects!", says I. And then...1972 Superior 2200. Couldn't pass it up.


Tail-End Charlie
Canister purge valve hanging open will create a vacuum leak and cause lean codes.
Good to know, but it's a non-issue now. After cleaning the MAF and putting some miles on it, the lean codes went away. Took it for a spin this morning, and the evap code cleared itself as well. Ran it straight over to my smog guy and he said it should pass. So I said go for it, and it passed. He's also a DMV agent, so he took care of the reg and request new title and gave me the new tag. As soon as the new pink shows up, this sucker goes on Craigslist.

He also clued me up on the retirement program for the old van. Has to fail smog (no problemo, he does the test/inspection :) ) to qualify and pays a grand. He did the application for me - says it takes a month to hear back on approval. He said for a 1976, it's pretty much sure to be approved.

Also took a look at yet another van this morning.


Expedition Leader
I had a 413 in a 71 Travco. Hope this is not your situation, but it was mine. It sat for a couple of years when we didn't use it. When I tried to start it, nada. After messing with it for a while I pulled the valve covers and all the intake (or exhaust valves I can't remember which) were stuck. I figured it was caused by old gas. Maybe not. In any case it was a bear to get them freed up. Some of the pushrods were bent from the valves not moving. It took a piece of 2x4 and a heavy sledgehammer, beating on each valve in turn for a long time before I got them freed up. Lots of penetrant. Once I did that and installed new pushrods, it ran fine. Don't know if the problem is typical of 413's or not. Really liked that motorhome. Sold it to a guy from Atlanta who flew out to Denver to pick it up. He hadn't ever been to SD before so drove up to the Black Hills before heading home. Looking west at the sunset as he drove, he went off the side of the road and rolled it. Sad story. It was pristine.
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Expedition Leader
By the way, The Travco had a recirculating toilet too. Loved it. Nothing irks me more than using fresh water on every flush with a non-recirculating toilet. Railway engines used (use?) recirculating toilets, typically with a manual pump. Often right behind the big headlight.


Tail-End Charlie
So...progress! Of a sort. I suppose.

Anyway, when I bought the Superior, I took the auction paperwork, bill of sale and proof of insurance to the DMV and paid the fees and got a temporary operating permit so I could move it.

But, because it had been off the books so long it was no longer in their database, and it had no plates, they told me I'd have to bring it to the DMV or CHP to get the VIN verified. Soon as I did that, they'd give me new plates and send a new title.

Which of course didn't get done since it wasn't running.

Then a few weeks ago I was at my company's downtown HQ chatting with one of the bosses, who had piles of registration paperwork for hundreds of new trucks (I work as a driver for Penske Truck Rental and Leasing) filling up his desk. I noticed a pile of VIN verification forms and asked if the CHP comes out to do those, or what?

He said hell no, the company sent a guy to get certified and pays for it, so he does it. Just so happens this guy works out of my office. So I told the boss about my RV needing a VIN verification and he said ask the guy. He wouldn't order him to do it, but if he wanted to do it on his own time - no objections.

So I asked the guy and he said no problem. Dropped by on his lunch break and did it. Told me to ask the DMV to make sure he did it right, since he'd never done one that old. Thev VIN is 4 digits shorter than a new one, and the 10th digit doesn't show the year.

Finally got over to the DMV and they said no problem, gave me new plates and tag and said the new pink will be on it's way.

So now the thing is all nice and legal. Still doesn't run, but "real soon now" I'll be getting around to that. :D


Tail-End Charlie

So okay, I've been looking for a cargo van for like 6 months. I have a search all setup in Craigslist and bookmarked. Couple weeks ago I was taking my lunch break in a Denny's around 10:30 pm and opened up that search. Lo and behold...the first ad in the list is a 1999 Ford E-250 RB Triton 5.4 V8 for $600. And the ad was posted like an hour ago.

246k miles, runs good, won't pass smog and the guy is working 7 days a week and has no time to mess with it - come and get it. Pics look pretty good.

So I immediately send a text that I'll take it, but I'm at work till at least midnite, but after that, whatever is convenient for him and I didn't call because I didn't know if it was too late. Next morning I get up at 7am and send another text, an email and left a phone message.

I heard nothing back from him by noon, so I figured someone beat me to it. Around 1pm as I'm getting ready for work he calls and says he just hadn't had time to get back to me, but I was the first responder so if I want it come get it.

Called in sick to work and headed over there. It was a "Quick Rooter" van in a past life and is damned near a creampuff. Couple of dents here and there, but you can tell by looking at the floor it was never worked hard.

Hooked up my bluetooth OBDII reader and all was well except for the same running lean codes that the Tbird had - and the two rear O2 sensors are dead. Took it for a drive and the engine and trans were strong but the rearend whined like it had straight-cut gears.

Has a steel divider behind the cockpit and those work van hasps that accept hockey puck style locks.

Perfect. So I bought it.

Ended up having to replace one O2 sensor, the mass airflow sensor and the giant torpedo looking catalytic converter (original w/246k miles), but got it to pass smog, legit. So now I've got $1400 in it, and have an appointment to drop it at Ramjet Rearend this week for a total rearend overhaul including new gears for a quote of $750.

Has a few leaks - oil, tranny cooler, power steering - but that's expected. The heater core has been bypassed. The a/c works, but will only blow out the defrost vents. Little nit-picky crap.

Up on the rack at the muffler shop, noticed the tranny was cleaner than everything else underneath, and the nuts were missing from the two big bolts from the tranny mount that go down through the crossmember. I suspect the trans might have been rebuilt and the nuts not sufficiently torqued.

Any way, only have a couple pics for now...

IMG_20180420_185950723_HDR.jpg IMG_20180420_185946498.jpg IMG_20180420_185943676_HDR.jpg IMG_20180426_105228130_HDR.jpg


Tail-End Charlie
Have a bit more time to post so lemme see, what did I leave out...

The van. Suspension rides good. Brakes work great. Steering is tight, but likely needs alignment...pulls ever so slightly to the right. Could be tires, haven't even checked the pressure in them. According to the OBD app it averages 23-25 mpg on the highway. That drops to like 11-12 uphill with my foot in it. Engine pulls hard and strong. Serpentine belt flaps around a lot - pretty sloppy.

Cooling system stays nailed at 185 once warmed up and no leaks.

The glass in the back doors (not popouts) was pulled and pieces of galvanized steel were added and then the windows put back. The rear and passenger side doors have the hockey puck lock brackets, but not the driver's door. The one on the passenger side does both sliding door and passenger door. I already ordered and received another bracket and a three pack of the locks, keyed alike.

The door in the divider behind the seats is off, and I haven't even looked closely at it. No matter, I'm planning to just bolt it in place so it won't be a door anymore. I'll also bolt plywood over the vents in the divider (no need to air condition the whole van). Between that, the hockey puck locks on all the doors and the sheet metal under the back windows - I'll have exactly the "toolbox on wheels" that I was shooting for.

I'm also going to have security film installed on the front door glass. Plus an alarm with hidden kill switch and it'll be an impregnable (more or less), unstealable (more or less) toolbox on wheels.

Other stuff... no power locks, windows or mirrors. Fine with me.

No tilt wheel either. That irritates me. The top of the wheel is exactly where it needs to be to prevent me being able to see the speedo and half the guages. Got a quote from a steering column rebuilder in Orange County - $500 rebuilt tilt column with a replacement good condition steering wheel, installed while I wait. I'm undecided, but I'll most likely end up getting it done.

Has what I think is a Class V receiver hitch with (IIRC) a 6-pin wiring connector.

Planning to put down a sheet of plywood to protect the floor, maybe some on the walls as well. Maybe a bit of dynamat here and there.

It had a roofrack for ladders. You can see where the raingutter brackets were. I'll try to pickup one used and probably add a 100w solar panel and a deep cycle battery and inverter just to have a way to keep battery tools charged.

Probably add some kind of shelving/toolboxes. Whatever I run across used and cheap.

Meh...yet another freakin' project. As a support vehicle for the first freakin' project no less.

Ah well...being (more or less) retired is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
I've been following along and laughing (along with you, not at you!). And then, you snag another project! Well, all I can say, is this will be fun to follow as well. You're like Ozrockrat is with MD ambulances... and a trolley!


Tail-End Charlie
Picked the cargo van up at Ramjet Rearend this morning. No more whining. New gears, shims, bearings, seals as well as axle bearings and seals. $750+tax so $800 out the door. Good for another quarter million miles.

DMV wouldn't reg it in my name because the other guy applied for a new title less than a month ago. Told me I'd have to wait a month or get the new title from the other guy.
He called me yesterday, new title showed up in the mail. Picked that up this morning and my smog guy regged it for me. All in with commercial reg (sucks) title and transfer and some mystery penalty fee $350.

So now I'm into this thing for $2600. I could flip it tomorrow for $3500, so I'm not complaining.

Eddie over at Ramjet says the rear brakes look great with at least 60% remaining on the shoes. That tallies with what I saw on the front.

I know... pics or it didn't happen. So here...

Woo. Shiny!

Made in the shade.



Yup, 6-pin.


Busted winch cable. Gonna need a new spare tire winch. I wonder if this qualifies as a "rear winch"?


THE dent. Pretty much the only one.


Tail-End Charlie
I am curious as to why you didn't look for a used rear on craigslist or the junkyards
A) Don't care.
B) Don't feel like it.
C) Who knows how many miles on a used one.
D) This was easy - done in one day without me even getting my hands dirty.
E) Now it's good for another 1/4 million miles.

Pretty sure the tranny's been rebuilt. After I have the trans serviced, I'll eventually take the van over to Wenco to have the driveshaft trued and balanced and new ujoints.

Then, except for the engine, I won't even have to think about the drivetrain for at least a decade.


Tail-End Charlie
This was "van parts weekend". Found a guy on Craigslist that was parting out an identical van. And I mean identical '99 E-250 Triton 5.4 V8. Even had exactly the same metal partition behind the front seats from the same manufacturer.

Picked up a plastic piece to replace one in my air cleaner box that was broken. Got the spare tire winch -AND- the spare wheel and tire. The tire is age cracked but holds air. No matter, the van'll need new tires eventually so I'll have a leftover to use as a spare.

Also got a cabinet that goes behind the wall behind the driver's seat. It's a match for the steel partition and has pre-drilled holes to bolt to the partition. It's like 4' tall with a door and shelves. Perfect for cans of liquid wrench, spray paint, quarts of oil and whatnot.

But the big score was the sliding door. Remember, "THE dent"?


Well...not any more...


Yay! He said if I'd leave my dented door, he'd help me install the new one, so I said fine and we swapped the doors.

$240 all in.

That was Saturday. Today I picked up an original rubber cargo mat for the rear from a guy who bought a 2002 w/50k miles and did a stealth camper conversion on it. Also got a set of 4 gutter mount roof racks. Haven't taken any pics, but they look pretty much like these:

$80 more.

So now I'm into the van for around $3200, but I have just about everything it needs. Now for the cleaning and putting together.

Oh, also the van now has its nickname. The guy parting out the van has a younger brother. After checking out the hockey puck locks, the solid wall partition, the sheet metal under the back windows and the security film on the door glass, he started calling it...

"The Armored Car".
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