Pre '92 Ford 4x4 conversion kit

#1
I found one company that sells a kit for 4x4 swap on the front of pre '92 Ford Econoline vans, but for the life of me can't remember the name of the guy or find the website? What is it, please?
 
#3
Gordon @ Pathfinder vans? I don't think anyone has heard from him in a while though.
No, that's not it. This outfit has (had?) a website selling his front end parts for leaf spring and various add-on bits for early Fords, plus selling parts and conversions for newer Fords.

So frustrating to not be able to find it. It was just a few weeks ago I looked at it...
 
#6
....Huge demand. Huge Demand.

I just don't get it.. stupid.
In the last 4 years I've had one question about 3rd gen 4x4 systems. I'd make a kit if I saw the market for it. Haven't seen the demand yet. Bring me a van and 10 others ready to put down deposits and we'll make a go of it.
 
#7
In the last 4 years I've had one question about 3rd gen 4x4 systems. I'd make a kit if I saw the market for it. Haven't seen the demand yet. Bring me a van and 10 others ready to put down deposits and we'll make a go of it.
I said kit. DIY kit. Basic front end conversion bracket set and whatever. Cheap to make, cheap to ship.

There are lots of older Class B vans for sale. Not everyone can afford $60k-$100k 'expedition' vans, but anyone can buy a $5k-$8k fully self contained Class B RV and either DIY or spend the $12K on a conversion.

Yes no one sells a DIY kit or is willing to do them, unless I put in an order for 11 of them?

And no one will touch a Chev or Dodge van either.
 
#8
I just don't see a big market. MOST people who buy 91 and older vans probably don't want to put that much money into a vehicle. If you really want it done, i'm sure a competent off road fab shop should be able to do it.
 
#9
My comment was really aimed at those companies that still make conversion kits and do conversion on Gen 4 vans, and used to sell conversion kits or do conversions on Gen 3 vans. They would have no R&D costs, all they have to do is make the same parts they used to sell and make them available. How much could that possibly cost? What is the downside to stocking a few kits?

And I don't believe what you say about the older vans. There are lots of $5k-$7k Class B vans out there. Say 1987-1991. Fully self contained with nice interiors, low miles and they already have extended roofs. All they need is a $15k (full retail price) conversion and for about $20k would have a fully fitted 'expedition' vehicle.

Alternately people are buying 4x4 cargo vans with high miles for $15k+ and then spending $10k for a raised roof plus about that much again to outfit the interior? Or buying an ambulance and converting to 4x4 and then the interior? Makes much more sense to me to start with the Class B. A mattress and a cooler don't make a 'camper' van.

Maybe this forum is full of rich people that aren't interested in that? But there are alot of other people that are that can't afford $100k-$200k converted sprinter vans.
 
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#10
Let me start with, I own one of the models you're referring to. While I would love a DIY bolt up kit like the coil spring stuff MG did for the 4th gen models to be available, I doubt I would opt to get one. The 3rd gen just isn't worth it to me, and likely to most others. The down sides include power/mpg options that aren't as good, dual fuel tanks are kinda a PITA, very limited after market support due to it's age and lack of safety features.

I will say that at lower altitude the power was sufficient if not great, but now that I live in Colorado not so much. I can't see adding weight via a 4x4 conversion will help this at all. It just will be less trouble to find a 4th gen to work with long term. I'd like a ecoboost Transit with an MG designed 4x4 on it, but have other priorities for now.
 
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#11
Let me start with, I own one of the models you're referring to. While I would love a DIY bolt up kit like the coil spring stuff MG did for the 4th gen models to be available, I doubt I would opt to get one. The 3rd gen just isn't worth it to me, and likely to most others. The down sides include power/mpg options that aren't as good
The power options are the same. 351 or 460 pretty much. Very rarely anything different. I'm looking at 88 to 94 vans. That's the price window, with the 4th gen models usually $10k more. And for what? Virtually nothing, just the option of a 4x4 conversion. The layouts are the same.

This is leaf spring conversion. Spending big bucks for different power is not an option. If I wanted to spend big money it would be Subaru engine and transmission conversion in a syncro westy. At least all the conversion parts are available, could do that for 25 grand...
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
#12
Seeing what most use 4x4 for, I'd go with a 2WD, Weldtech lift, bigger tires, a winch (or two), and Selectable lockers. You'd likely save 10G, have the same look, and be able to do 99% of the stuff a well equipped 4x4 RV could do.

I've only got 2WD and a limited slip. With 6k lbs over the rear wheels it'll easily keep up so I feel no need for more driven wheels.
 
#13
Seeing what most use 4x4 for, I'd go with a 2WD, Weldtech lift, bigger tires, a winch (or two), and Selectable lockers. You'd likely save 10G, have the same look, and be able to do 99% of the stuff a well equipped 4x4 RV could do.

I've only got 2WD and a limited slip. With 6k lbs over the rear wheels it'll easily keep up so I feel no need for more driven wheels.

I understand what you are saying. I have considered that. But I am anticipating driving on loose sand in remote locations, alone. Not comfortable doing that without 4x4. Or even leaving the hard packed without it.
 
#14
If you just want someone to sell you a weld on leaf spring hanger, some shackles and some steering bits a rockcrawling shop like Sky's should be able to sell you most of what you need for not a fortune. A coil spring kit might be a bit more difficult.

This kit might not be far off from what you need.
https://www.skysoffroaddesign.com/collections/ford/products/ford-sas-bf150

They used to make custom front spring hangers with whatever offset and spring pad width you needed for not much more than off the shelf, but it's been years since I was into that stuff. Give them or another shop like that (maybe Ruff Stuff) a call. Should be able to get your steering parts from the same place.

This is essentially a solid axle swap plus a transmission job, it's a big job but not rocket science.
 
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#15
image.jpeg

I don't know my van eras perfectly, but is this the type of conversion you're looking for?

This was pulled from the agile off-road site a while back.
 
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