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Old 01-21-2014, 04:24 PM   #1
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My 1983 Ford Econoline





I was told that this forum had more people who had more shortie conversions, so here I am Last weekend, my car started giving me fits so I wanted to trade my 2006 Kawasaki sport bike for something my family could use. I was thinking of a large conversion van that I could drive to work, and use as a camper. Well, craigslist brought this 1983 18 passenger bus to me, and I couldn't resist. It would make the perfect camper (though not a very good commuter). It needs some work. Power steering leaks, and the brake booster and master cylinder need replaced. Other than that, it's pretty decent. Was pretty much gutted for RV conversion when I got it, so that made it pretty easy. Needs some body work which will probably be first on my list, to keep the rust away as much as possible. Not trying to go for pretty here. Probably won't even paint over the bondo/fiberglass work to make it look nice. Just enough to get it sealed up. Anyway, I'm here, saying hi, and am looking forward to going through more posts to see other people's conversions!
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Welcome 83! --- looks like a pretty decent find to me. Nice size and appears to still have most of the important parts. What engine does she have...gas?...diesel? And you are probably right, there are a bunch of Shorties here including a number of glass-bodied units. And don't hesitate to ask questions. If the folks here don't know the answer...they will at least make up something entertaining! Welcome!
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Welcome! Another shortie here.
If this is your 1st vehicle this size, be ready for a bit of sticker shock. Take the price you have in mind for what it cost you to do the brakes on your car--and double it. Same goes for most of the hard parts. But if you are planning on keep it for a while, consider it an investment.
Also look for hidden rust around your rear wheelwells. Look at both the inside + underneath.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Welcome aboard
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Welcome! I must be getting old because that doesn't look like an '83---couldn't be that old. Just have fun building it out and as Bansil would say "we don't know shait about what we are talking about but somehow we do get our projects " finished!?!
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #6
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Cool, another shortie!

Doing your body repairs first is a good plan. While you're at it check the windows and roof penetrations for leaks. I was calling mine Leaky Lucy for a while there; everything needed to be resealed including the windshield and the upper body seams.

I replaced the steering pump on my 2000 E-450 and it wasn't too bad. Working on van engines is never fun but it's do-able.

Welcome and have fun.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:25 AM   #7
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Thanks for all the replies and the warm welcome. It is my first large vehicle, but I figure it should be about the equivalent of buying parts on a nice import, but with more head room I don't think this has any hidden rust. My rust isn't scared of me, it's all right there in the open.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:36 AM   #8
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Quote:
Originally Posted by 83EconoBus
My rust isn't scared of me, it's all right there in the open.
Thank you for the nasal cleaning this beautiful -2* morning
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Quote:
Originally Posted by 83EconoBus
My rust isn't scared of me, it's all right there in the open.
Thank you for the nasal cleaning this beautiful -2* morning
Welcome

We had such nice weather here this weekend, but unfortunately I wasn't able to make it down to where my bus is stored to do any work on it So I went to gamestop and bought Saints Row 2 and drove around the prison short bus and dreamed about the day mine would be done.....
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: My 1983 Ford Econoline

Ok, so it's been awhile since I updated this. But a couple of weeks ago, I tore out all the carpet and duct work for the upper sides. Also got rid of the headliner and foam as it was pretty bad. The plywood floor is in mostly good shape, though there are some areas where it rotted that will need replacing. Will check into if it's possible to just replace those sections, or if the whole floor will need replaced. Garden Ridge had a huge sale on wht was left of their stick on vinyl tiles, so I bought all of them. 6 boxes should be more than enough to replace the carpet on the floors and sides. It won't be the prettiest job, but it'll do for me. Function over fashion is my motto.
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