Expedition Portal Classifieds: 7.3L Diesel Sportsmobile $44k

The vanlife movement has led to a lot of great things, but it certainly hasn’t made it easy to find a good deal on Sportsmobiles. Most of the ones cropping up for sale these days are either fetching absurd price tags or have an even more absurd amount of miles—often both. It’s little wonder then why this van caught my eye. With just 89,000 original miles, a 7.3L turbo-diesel motor, a Sportsmobile pop-top, and a Quigley 4×4 conversion, it is a prime base on which to begin a build.

The basics

  • 2003 Ford E350 XLT short body (named Ahhnold)
  • Quigley 4×4 conversion
  • 7.3L powerstroke diesel
  • 89,700 miles
  • Asking $44,000

The Details

The first thing you need to know about this van is the interior has yet to be converted. As of now, Ahhnold features four captains chairs and a rear bench which can be laid flat. Don’t let that fool you though, because this van is ready for adventure. It can sleep two up in the rooftop bed, and two down below, giving you plenty of space for you and your friends. A house battery and charge isolator were added, which powers two reading lights, two interior lights, and a 12V/USB charging panel.

Both of the front seats come with swivels, but the seller notes the driver’s swivel has yet to be installed. Overall, these seats look to be in pretty good shape for their age, but the look is certainly dated. The top canvas and vinyl windows are in “like new” shape according to the seller, which is good news as no one wants a leaky truck for $44,000. They also mention that the sale will include curtains for the lower windows and that the pop-top has shades. The XLT package gives this van power windows and locks, but manual seats. The A/C runs cold, the heater is hot, and all of the rear climate controls still work perfectly.

Parts of the body have been repainted, and the seller states it shows about an 8/10. The interior features plenty of Dynamat, which keeps the cabin quiet enough to actually speak to one another. The front axle was recently rebuilt with new U-joints, bearings, seals, and ball joints, and new pads and rotors were installed shortly after. The engine and transmission are “tip-top” with loads of recent maintenance including a new water pump, pulleys, a belt, oil pan, and sensors.

Upgrades and accessories include a custom three-point mount front hitch carrier for the spare tire which was powder coated black. There are custom rock sliders to protect the van’s long wheelbase from trail damage, which the owner states were welded to the frame and included grip tape on the top to prevent slipping when using them as a step. A 4-inch exhaust with FTE resonator and Magnaflow 4-inch muffler improves power with a nearly factory noise level, so you won’t get that endless drone on the highway.

The suspension has been upgraded with an Agile Off-road RIP kit including Fox 2.0 shocks, new front springs, a Fox steering stabilizer, and sway bar spacers. This gives the van a smooth and comfortable ride that won’t fade on long corrugated tracks. The engine has been tuned with a Hydra programmer, and the seller states they generally run it on “optimized stock” getting about 17 mpg on the highway. With the tuner, they wisely decided to run some monitors as well from Ultra Gauge. These keep track of everything you can read through the OBD port, but we did note that the ad doesn’t mention an EGT probe, which you’ll certainly want to add for this engine. Finally, the headlights have been replaced with HIDs for additional visibility, and the factory wheels have been swapped for 16 x 8 Racelines wrapped in 285/75/r16 load range E Goodyear Duratracs, each with about 7,000 miles.

This van is located in Golden, Colorado, and currently listed for $44,000 USD. To learn more, visit the original advertisement here. 

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Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.