Sportsmobile VS Quigley 4X4

Andrew Walcker

Mod Emeritus
I have been drooling over a 2007 Ford Van w/ Diesel at my local dealer. It has the Quigley 4X4 system on it for a cool dealer mark-up of 10K. Since I am way too chicken to actually ask a salesperson (don't want to have a weak moment and sign something I'd regret:) what that includes. It appears from looking on the Quigley website that they install the solid axle, new steering etc to a Ford van. Is that about it for the 10K?

Also, what are the main differences b/t the Sprotsmobile and the Quigleys?


Good Source for Sportsmobile Information

Hello Andrew:

Another good source of information about Sportsmobile vans (many of which have the Quigley conversion) is a Yahoo discussion group:

The url for archived messages is:

You may need to register for Yahoo groups to gain access.

On that list I have heard that the Sportsmobile conversion may provide a smaller turning radius and could include upgraded suspension and wheel spacers as part of the conversion package.

Howard L. Snell

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
yes Howard is right. The Sportsmobile 4WD is an in-house conversion that it's supposed to use beefier components. It's also $5K more expensive.

There's also something about using a different transfer case or something, allowing a bigger fuel tank. Don't remember exactly, but everything is on the Yahoo!Group.


Andrew Walcker

Mod Emeritus
Thanks for the quick replies! I have applied for membership on the yahoo site, let's see if they'll let me join:smiley_drive: Anyone else with words of wisdom?

mike h

My understanding is the SMB is a more capable off-road rig, with a long travel suspension and some other goodies, while the Quigleys are basically very close to stock vans w/ a 4wd front end off the manufacturers 'sister' truck. For instance, take an E350 van and swap in an F350 front axle, plus some mods as needed. But given the end product, it is the rare driver who is experienced enough, and confident enough, to really split hairs concerning the true off-road limits.

SMB offers the killer penthouse top, aka fullsize westy, which is electric, and it can be 'popped' with gear on it. In my mind, the expandable roof is key, moreso than the off-road prowess.

They also are skewed nationally, with Quigleys far more common on the east coast and SMBs on the west. The SMB market is almost only RV related, while Quigley market is 4wd cargo vans. I see them all the time in Maine for TV broadcast vans, FedEX and newspaper delivery. The Outer Banks in NC has Quigley's driving all over them, often just the basic people-hauler window van, 4-bench seat family truckster, but sitting tall on 35s with 4wd - I think they are great utilitarian vans.

I drove a used Quigley E350 cargo van and it was pretty fun - you sit so high you look down on almost every other truck, yet you can still park in a regular space. You can find used Quigley cargo vans pretty easily, if you want to build your own camper conversion inside. We decided it was too much effort, but if it had an interior; headliners, door panels, carpet kit, windows and bench seats we would have been more interested. The SMBs are hard to find without a full camper conversion.

I don't mean to downplay the off-road capability, but I just don't see myself, personally, finding anywhere near the limits of technical trails in a fullsize van. It just doesn't sound that much fun. But I'd love one as an all-purpose RV, and tow a jeep or couple of bikes behind it for playtime.



Well I have a Quigley so I'll give you my thoughts. I think Quigley leaves lots of room for improvement.

The front axle
- can't disconnect the sway bar without completely removing it.
- reuses factory shocks which look as if they will really limit suspension droop if the swaybar was removed.
- horrible turning radius - looks as if the front trackbar mount on the frame side needs to be moved up a little to gain more clearance with the pitman arm.

Rear axle
- reuses factory shocks (they actually weld on an attachment to the factory shock mounts) this i'm sure will limit the rear articulation. Not to mention I have to cut off the crap they welded on when I replace these with longer shocks.

Everything else
- quigley uses a transfer case from a ford superduty, should be plenty strong.
- they use a long custom adaptor to connect the transmission and transfercase, i think it would have been better to swap out the 2wd output shaft for a factory 4wd one, not sure what sportsmobile does.
- the gas tank is shortend (mine is now a 29 gallon tank)

The sportsmobiles from what i have read have a much better turning radius, the atlas transfer case which allows for a lower low range, better articulation since they have swaybar disconnects and aftermarket shocks. I'm not sure if they all come with it or not but the 46 gallon transfer flow gas tank is at least an option, it might be included in the normal conversion. Sportsmobiles also come with spacers for the rear wheels so the front and rear track match which is nice, supposed to make for better handling.

Needless to say i'm glad I purchased my quigley but if i was buying new and had the extra $$ I'd go with the Sportsmobile conversion without a doubt. I'd kill for the better turning radius!

There's also some other conversion companies out there that are supposed to do nice work. is the only one i can think of off the top of my head though.


Supporting Sponsor
There are several things that are different between the two, most points have been covered. I feel that Quigley's conversions have improved over the years, and it's a hell of a deal @ 10K. The SMB is better suited for offroad use, with the Atlas tcase & Dynatrac axle. Those are the best features of the SMB, the bracketry could be a little nicer. They also convert some of the rear Dana 60 semi floaters to full float, which is a good upgrade. I chose to do my own conversion, and now manufacture the spring hangers for the do-it-yourself guys. You can see them on my website under the van buildup page. The brackets are setup for using a 99-04 Super Duty axle (38" spring pad width) If anyone has any questions about them, send me an email---Chris


Hi Andrew,

I cannot speak for the Quigley, but do have the Sportsmobile 4x4 conversion on our van and have some details on my website of what has worked, what hasn't, what has broken, what hasn't, etc...(

Overall I'm fairly happy with the 4wd conversion that SMB offers. It has taken us into some place I would never have expected to see a delivery van a few years ago, and back out again.

Benefits over the Quigley that led us to choose:
-Significantly tighter turning radius
-Lower ratio 4-Low (which is nice when you are carying your household with you)
-I liked the construction of the gear driven Atlas T-Case better than the chain driven T-Case I saw on a Quigley (no clue if its the same one they use now).
-Detachable anti-sway bar (though we just leave ours detached almost all the time now).
-I believe the SMB conversion moves the front axle about 1" further forward, allowing larger tires before fender trimming hits the doors (we are running 37" with only cosmetic trimming, nothing structural, and preserved turning radius).

We have had a few issues with parts in the front suspension breaking (U-Bolt plates, track-bar), but SMB has been very responsive in getting us replacements, and the U-Bolt plates have been somewhat altered to address one of the issues we had.

The spacers on the rear wheels were included, which match the front track-width, but I don't know how much I like them. They presumably make the van more stable, and are nice for the aestetics, however they lead to more sidewall scrubbing on tight trails. I have not tried removing them yet. The full-float rear axle conversion option is a few $k more, and is wider, eliminating the spacers (and also the option to narrow rear track-width if you so wish).

Rear lift is acomplished by some fairly large lift-blocks, which is not on my list of happiest things, but I understand why they go that route, and it hasn't caused us any noticable problems.

We did get 1 add-a-leaf per side for the rear springs as they were sagging a fair bit under the load we carry.

Hope this helps somewhat,


bringing this thread back to life .....

anyone knows the reason why a SMB turning radius is better then the Quigley`s ?

they both seems to use leaf springs in front