Project BigB... a 1977 Dodge Van 6x4!

How do you feel about my Van?

  • Love it?

    Votes: 134 71.7%
  • Hate it?

    Votes: 14 7.5%
  • Can't quite get ya head around it...

    Votes: 42 22.5%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


I have posted a pic or two before to get a read on what people thought.
Just finalized the details with the PO, so now its time for...

The Official...."Project BigB" thread!
If anyone has a better name, shout up!

I will pick it up soon and begin to mod/refurbish/fix it to suit my needs...

I was happy with my old Truck Camper..

But I am a guy, and can handle roughing it, my GF requested a Toilet, Shower, 110v and a few more comforts for 2 adults, 2 big dogs and maybe a couple of guests for weekends at the beach, and some planned longers trips.
The Truck just didnt have the space/comfort to do what we wanted.

So here are the pics....

It looks good I think!
I will post more pics, interior, etc, in a bit.
Its gonna be a lot of work, like me... it has issues.... :)
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Thats how I feel!

As I drove up the drive of the PO's place to see it upclose and personal...
I saw it...
I had "GOOSE BUMPS", so I grabbed my camera and snapped this shot...


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More Stuff... I am gonna have to write a whole book on this one....
Lets start with some more pics, then later I will post some details of its history as I know it.

Some of the things are a little odd until the Wheel Chair lift makes it all make sense... I am not disabled, so I will probably take it out.

Key and switches behind the door control the lift until you are on it..

Hand controls...

4000w Gas Generator is in the very back under the floor, and has 350 hours showing.....

Lift up the flap...

Interior shot from the Rear Doors..

From front..


good gravy!!

you could put hardwood floors in and use it as a bowling alley!!

keep the'll be suprized how much nicer it makes lifting heavy stuff in!!

ya gonna gut it and redo the inside?


Motor is a 360 V8...
Odo shows 18,000 miles.... 118 or 218? Who knows!

Front and mid rear axle driven via a full time NP203 Transfer case..
A Pathfinder Conversion..
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Yes, to gutting the interior.
Yes, to bamboo or light wood flooring!
Plan to move the galley to the drivers side, move the fridge, and add a bathroom with a shower, but only have 5' headroom, so shower tray with Toilet built in and shower sitting on the Toilet will be fine!
The Lift will have to go...
I want to put a forward facing bench seat behind the driver for traveling with people and to convert into a bed...

Anyone suggest a Good CAD program to draw this up... We sketched it out to scale , but CAD would be better.
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Known issues....

Roof Rust..

Drivers side A pilar to roof is worst

Pass side similar

Rust visible all around the Cap and drip rails..



What else....
Grey water tank split.

All tires are aged and sun cracked... Plus they are 16.5" so expensive and not common anymore..
This one is worst..

Middle gas tank was high centered and damaged.

Engine, trans, transfer case, and all 3 axles weeping oil...

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ok...for the driving the rear axles...

get a "divorced" transfer case...flip it backwards so instead of the one rear output it has 2 rear outputs...

the ONLY problem with this will can only run it in HIGH...because what used to be the drive input is now one of the rear putting it in lowrange will drive one in low and the other in high...which is BAD!!!

but you will be able to drive it as such...
2wd middle( or rear depending on how you run out of the divorced case)
4wd (both back)
4wd (front and one back)
6wd (all)
2wd FRONT ONLY by putting the rear case in neutral (not a good idea...alot of stress on it!! but it would get ya home..and make it turn MUCH sharper in bad situations!)

as far as driveshafts..ya aint got alot of a support bearing above the rear axle off to one side and a u-joint'd shaft to allow it to flex back to the rear drive axle...

the top...hinge it like the dicovery land rovers (kinda neat actually!..and easier to do)...or either a front lift or entire top lift...a few build threads on here will have pix..

if yer gonna keep the least change the seals and getter clean...same with the axles...just cleanem up and runner!!


Bigassgas Explorer
Now there is something you don’t see every day! Reminds me of what the Griswald’s camper van would look like if they ever had one. I love it!