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4X4 Van / New Conversion
#1
Hey, Its been awhile...



And I hope this video link works



<embed id=VideoPlayback src=http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=5284417640380998704&hl=en&fs=true style=width:400px;height:326px allowFullScreen=true allowScriptAccess=always type=application/x-shockwave-flash> </embed>



If the video failed here is the cut and paste link

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=...0380998704#



Here is the retrofit company’s name that I found

http://www.quigley4x4.com/





I remember seeing the phone company having 4wd vans as a kid and liking the idea of having my own. I saw that Ron had one on his magazine cover recently, so I did some checking around. It states in here some place that if you want to take a refrigerator and a couch to your cabin and keep them out of the weather – this is the vehicle for you.

For me it’s the idea of a lot of rain and the short bed of an access cab Toyota for limited sleeping room that has me looking at this kind of a vehicle. I like Jeep Wrangler / Tacoma access cabs but maybe the weight of a van can be displaced enough with a v8 and Dayan axles on functional larger tires.



Has anyone ever driven a 4x4 van and can give some insight form their experience?



Merdock
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#2
Merdock,



I can't help but respond, one of my extreme passions is four wheel drives. I have been trying to build a perfect off road vehical since I got my first car. I have driven a 4x4 van on the road only, it was not mine but a customers, it drove like any other van, but I sat up higher. It seemed very stable, I did not notice any feeling of having a high center of gravity, it had about three to four inch lift, with standard truck tires. I could tell it would be a great vehcial to travel in. That would be the extent of my personel driving experience. I have been out on a off road journey (The Mojave Trail) with someone who just bought a ford 4x4 conversion, he had everthing from a fridge, to a sink. The van preformed flawlessly, it handled the terrain very well. Now the Mohave trail is not extreme, but I have seen it shread a brand new jeep cherokee. In my eyes the 4x4 van is very capable. However I did not persoal experience the ride off road, the owner of the van did say he was very happy with it.



When ever I build a 4x4, I always consider first what I am going to require of it. I'm not sure whether you are going to build or buy, but the approach would be the same. Everthing from terrain that will be traveled, to the durability, mpg, wieght, and my over all use. I would start with the pro and cons.



Pro,s for a 4x4 van



1. Size, plenty of internal room, perfect for camping, surviving, etc.

2. Long wheel base would handle well on the road

3. Durablity (Ford yes, the Quigley conv. Chevy with ifs no, I would use a dana 60 front axle instead) the ford 1 ton chasis is tough

4. Plenty of horse power avaliable, whether gas, or diesel, eng.

5. Would handle medium trails

6. Mpg, can go either way, Quigley claims 15-17, which is great, but once loaded down, proabley 10-15.

7. The ability to mount after market gear, from bumpers, to awnings, propane, or water tanks, the imganation is the limit

8. Stealthy, can park and sleep most anywhere

9. The cool factor, something about a well build one lights up the Y chromosome. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/yes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':yes:' />





Con's



1. Over all sized would make it limited to certain terrain, it is not a jeep.

2. Mpg is an issue would like to see 20-plus mpg

3. Expense, as they are rare, althought if self built could be reasonable

4. Hard to work on, eng compartment is tight, 1 ton chasis are much heavier, repair cost go up.

5. It's hard to not look cool in one. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' />



This is my reasoning, the terrain limatation was a big concern for me, for most this would not be a concern, your prioities may differ.



Great BOV, the Quigley Ford van is sweet. Rons van looks like the ultimate.



SJ
The not so well intended, have long since known the behavior of Good Men. It is understood that with the use of emotions such as patriotism, with the injection of the emotion of fear, Good Men could be persuaded into enslaving themselves when otherwise it would not be possible.
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#3
Another 4wd conversion. [url="http://www.sportsmobile.com/4_4x4sports.html"]Sportsmobile[/url] Quadratrec was another. Not sure if they are still around.



I've had experience with Quigley Fords in both the the LE and EMS. They served well. But a van, when loaded the way a van does (with camper equipment, medical equipment, or prisoners) is heavy. It's more of a bad road (snow or mud) proposition than a trail rig.



I've heard rumors with the 1500 GM AWD vans that one can swap in the transfer case and switches from a Suburban and have true 4wd. Don't know if it's true or not.
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#4
4x4 vans make great BOV or Expedition vehicles. It`s a cryin shame they aren`t more popular. I was at a 4x4 event that had a huge (3 story high) boulder (many bigger than a 55gal. drum) pile for folks to climb with their rigs. Most of them had 37" or larger tires, lockers etc. Then this guy drives up with a brand new (looking at least) Quigley 4x4 van. It was a Chevy but if I recall it had a straight axle in front so it may have been customized. It was on 33"s with a mild lift and everyone in the crowd chuckled when his turn came at the rock pile. He drove up and over it with no effort at all, turned around and drove over it again the other way! He was a heck of a driver, picked his lines perfectly but the van did some serious work that day. I was really impressed! Then he tried it a third time, got high centered on the transfer case and bent the rear bumper. He got off without help though. He should have quit while he was ahead but it was still really cool. I`ve seen a few builds on Pirate4x4 where guys bought diesel Ford Ambulances at auction for a really low price then added a Dana 60 up front from an F350 and converted the rear into a camper. Neat idea! Marcus
http://www.OffRoadPrepared.com

Off road, BOV and Overland Outfitters

Parts, gear, tech articles, forums and more

As seen in Survival Quarterly Wink
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#5
Thanks for the replies. I figure that I’ll always have a tent and back pack gear, but I still have this need to be able to sleep in the thing that I intend on taking to the bush. I had started getting scared when Toyota started with those 4 door type where the bed size was cut in half. After doing some research, those lil’ Tacomas look appealing with the 110v power out in the bed and all. It’s just that the shell still is fiberglass. I figure that if everything goes to hell and the roads are blocked off, religious leaders are leading at the school gyms and churches and it’s just a stay at your house or sleep in your car sort of thing a van may be what I need. Maybe for that ‘what if I end up in the bush broken down for a week and there’s an angry pack of rinos around’. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wallbash.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':wallbash:' />



Do you think the cargo style would add some security to the rig? That’s one of the best things about a little 4 cylinder car in my opinion- the trunk/ stealth.



Just thoughts <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />





Mer.
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#6
I've had 6 4x4 vans. and an H1 Hummer. I'll take a 4x4 van any day.



My current one is a 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. I get about 18mpg on the road and about 14mpg in 4x4. It's a Quigley conversion. The best I've had was converted by Advanced 4x4 [url="http://www.advanced4x4vans.com/"]http://www.advanced4x4vans.com/[/url]



They have the tightest turning radius and IMHO strongest suspension out there.



My current one has a removable "full" bed in the back with under bed storage, Two rear captains chairs a removable table and porta potty. I can spend the night in comfort, make coffee, take a shit and be on my way in a few minutes.



I've had my vans in places I wouldn't consider taking the Hummer... it was too wide and too heavy. The van has more weight over the rear wheels than a pickup so it has great traction. With a locking differential these things go about anyplace.




.jpg   P1000986.JPG (Size: 234.7 KB / Downloads: 141)




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Ron
Hind sight is an exact science until historians or politicians get involved.



Nothing is so simple that it can't be misunderstood.



I have regular bowel movements, I just wish they were voluntary...



My dad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 91, and we don't know where he is.



Understand?
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#7
Ron, Awesome, It is the ultimate BOV. SJ
The not so well intended, have long since known the behavior of Good Men. It is understood that with the use of emotions such as patriotism, with the injection of the emotion of fear, Good Men could be persuaded into enslaving themselves when otherwise it would not be possible.
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#8
Thanks!



Some folks question the reason for a lift. On the long WB like mine high centering is much more likely as one wheel will be in front of the log or whatever and the other behind. By lifting it I can clear big objects. Around here the "Forest Service" has, on occasion, taken to making roads inaccessible with the use of high berms even though it is perfectly legal to drive on them. regular 4x4 vehicles like suburbans etc can't get over the berms, I can. If I do get stuck I have a 12KLB Warn winch up front with dual batteries and an ambulance charge controller inside. That raises the engine speed when the batteries show a decrease in power. A 225 amp alternator takes care of the recharge.



Some have said the lift raises the center of gravity too much and will make the vehicle tippy. Not so. The van is no more than a pickup with a covered bed. The heavy items like the engine, transfer case and transmission are low and just above the wheel. It's very stable. In one of the SQ mags I related how this vehicle went into a 4 wheel spin when I hit black ice. Sure it was a butt clincher but beyond that no biggie. I never felt like it was leaning even though I did hit dry pavement with a wheel a couple of times.



If someone wanted they can armor the doors with little problem. clearly this would be small arms armor not RPG level but it would stop the average gangster. Drop down and screw in Kevlar is the common choice.



A van like this comes with a 36 gallon tank giving me a roughly 600 mile range. By moving the rear underslung spare you can add a 50 gallon steel with bladder tank and add 900 miles or so (under ideal conditions). The huge under side is almost devoid of parts so there are standard drop in storage and security boxes. You can also add battery boxes, water bladders, generators and a whole list of other underbody accessories. That's what Sportsmobile does.



A vehicle like this is a work in progress... a hobby. I just bought a locomotive horn for "Mariah" (Tom Waits song "Big Black Mariah":"Here come the big black mariah, here come that big black Ford") and will install it as soon as it arrives. At almost 160DB it should get cars out of my way. Since it is a diesel there are a number of retrofits I've added including a "dial-able chip" which lets me set the computer for different performance levels from economy to hyper performance by increasing or decreasing the injector pressure. It also has a setting for "Smog" which tosses out the nastiest black smoke you've ever seen. It literally buries a following car in blackness.



The bumper on this is designed for deer and Elk. If I hit one they go under the vehicle, not into the windshield. If I hit another car i.e. some ass gets drunk and crosses the line, it should lift me over the turd and drop me on the roof. If it's a big car, I will still win.



At Rabbitstick Cody Lundin came by to chat about getting one. After the event he called Ford and ordered a new van and is having it converted. This is a very practical vehicle for every day driving. it is smooth on the highway and comfortable on the street. Progressive gas shocks take care of the bumps. I've done 10's of thousands of miles in this van and more in the others.



Ron
Hind sight is an exact science until historians or politicians get involved.



Nothing is so simple that it can't be misunderstood.



I have regular bowel movements, I just wish they were voluntary...



My dad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 91, and we don't know where he is.



Understand?
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#9
Ron, still using a stock drivetrain? I thought I remembered you once talking about an underdrive/overdrive arrangement.



I love 4x4 vans.



Wish I could justify spending the money, but the darn salt up here in the great white north will rust the thing away in 5 years.
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#10
Quote:I thought I remembered you once talking about an underdrive/overdrive arrangement.



Great memory! Yep, the white van in the vehicle survival video had the US Gear OD.. it would idle along the hiway at 65 taching maybe 1500 rpm.



The current drivetrain is stock. The suspension is highly modded. I don't plan to do anything to the drivetrain. It works!



Ron
Hind sight is an exact science until historians or politicians get involved.



Nothing is so simple that it can't be misunderstood.



I have regular bowel movements, I just wish they were voluntary...



My dad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 91, and we don't know where he is.



Understand?
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#11
Thank you for sharing so much information Ron. I’m into or used to be into aircraft and I became a ASE (((American Standard Equipment))USA Fractional size hardware) hardware fanatic, and I thought I’d show you our AC 43.13-1B - [Large AC. This includes Change 1.] Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair . Manual section on BOLTS. This type of hardware is the real thing, Some used on landing gear and such. I was just thinking - if you ever have that Leaf-over bolt out and cant bare to put back in a ‘Stepped’(worn) metric type bolt and are wondering how to replace with American quality.



AN hardware(Army National)



Torque (Inch Pounds divided by 12 = Foot Pounds)



AC 43.13-1B (Advisory Circular)



Chapter 7, Section 3. BOLTS

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/...r/43.13-1B



Here is a handy tool for gauging what size you may need.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/to/g...nbolt.html

Then a place to buy the hardware

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/ha/index.html

ooH, and here is a bonus Kicker. Rolls of Kevlar and carbon fiber.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/cm/kevlar.html



Just thought I’d give some back,



Merdock



PS, Aircraft Spruse and Sporty’s pilot shop may be a good place to carry some of your survival gear. Aircraft Spruse caters to a lot of the home built aircraft people and Sporty’s is more of a pilot supply shop. Pilots carry survival gear with them constantly in case there plane goes down, and I have seen most to only buy allot of survival gear and sometimes don’t have any training for it.
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#12
I just bought a locomotive horn for "Mariah" (Tom Waits song "Big Black Mariah":"Here come the big black mariah, here come that big black Ford")





You drive a cool van,AND you like Tom Waits.Your all right
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#13
Quote:My current one has a removable "full" bed in the back with under bed storage, Two rear captains chairs a removable table and porta potty. I can spend the night in comfort, make coffee, take a shit and be on my way in a few minutes.



Ron,

would you care to share the dimensions of the "cargo" part of your van? It looks VERY long.

Also the bed ... what size is it and in which direction do you sleep?



Thank you in advance. Your van is an inspiration!
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#14
[quote name='realp3' date='09 October 2010 - 03:01 PM' timestamp='1286654479' post='490503']

Quote:My current one has a removable "full" bed in the back with under bed storage, Two rear captains chairs a removable table and porta potty. I can spend the night in comfort, make coffee, take a shit and be on my way in a few minutes.



Ron,

would you care to share the dimensions of the "cargo" part of your van? It looks VERY long.

Also the bed ... what size is it and in which direction do you sleep?



Thank you in advance. Your van is an inspiration!

[/quote]



If you check out the Sportsmobile page, they have build your own plans which include measurements of the vans (and of common interior components). Here's the link: [url="http://sportsmobile.com/1_dyo.html"]linky dinky[/url]
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#15
You Americans are so lucky with all those huge rigs available. Makes designing a campervan so much fun. We are just getting there with the new Fiat and Citroen vans which sport about 2 meters of width.



Thanks for the link, nemoaz, I´ll be drooling over the floor plans for some more time.
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