2003 Ford e350 - what should I know?

furbucket

Observer
Hi All,

Not new to expo, but very new to Sportsmobile land. My wife and I are toying with the idea of building a 4x4 camper van do get us to remote/dispersed camping areas instead of our current Grand Cherokee with RTT combo.
I may have found a nicely priced 2003 e350 with the 7.3 powerstroke and 250k miles. I really don’t know much about these vans- Wondering if anyone can share some wisdom on what to look for when buying a 16 year old diesel e350??
Thanks in advance for any insights. Cheers!


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marret

Active member
Someone on the Van Forum asked about what to look for when buying a 7.3 here: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/ford-7-3-diesel-what-to-look-for.210250/

This forum doesn't get a lot of activity. You might try the Van Forum and Sportsmobile Forum

On an older Ford van, definitely check the roof rain gutters and around the windshield for leaks. Each SMB is different, but you should check the RV operating systems to see what works and doesn't. If you have specific questions, suggest the Sportsmobile Forum.

Is it a 4x4? If so, who did the conversion?
 
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furbucket

Observer
Thanks for the info and links! Right now it’s just a plain old, not converted yet and no RV/camper systems to speak of. The buildout is part of the fun for us (hopefully)...


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ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
With that kind of mileage you'll want service records. It's past due for injectors, ck it for rust/etc. Delamination in the fuel system too, get it checked by someone familiar with those engines.
 

fawndog

New member
I did what you are planning. Except mine was at 100k and need less attention. However my previous 7.3 needed some work.
7.3 fueling is something to look at;
Fuel bowl mods
fuel rail crossover mod
At your milage Injectors, HPOP also.

Passenger rail hard line can start leaking, it gets rub though from its own bracket.
FPR maybe problematic as it gets older.
Glowplugs
Turbo
Waterpump

ABS module may need attention

At 250k You might want to consider if it's worth living with or if it should be freshened up. By building I assumed you meant doing the 4x4 conversion.
Bodys can be swapped. The frame mods for a 4x4 and running gear are made simple by U-Joint Offroad. I had all the big pieces (F-axle, R-axle, t-case) and it still cost ~$10-12k.
It also took me a winter to complete, Axles, Tranny, T-case, Lockers, Bumpers and shorter fuel tank. But it is exactly how I want it.

As far as RV build out is concerned, I did none of that. It's just a passenger RB.
 

furbucket

Observer
Thanks for more info! After some more research it seems like I need to check it cold- crank the starter and listen for tell tale sound of changes in compression. Smell the coolant for diesel. Check the dipstick for diesel. And flip the oil filler cap over for a blow by test. Hopefully there’s no rust. Also actually drive it and see how bad the transmission is. And then plan on replacing the injector cups anyway if I do buy...


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