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Anyone familiar with 15 passengers vans?

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I was looking at 15 passenger vans for sale and it would be nice to have one for a few activities we do a year.

 

I've driven a ton of rented ones but otherwise dont' know much about them.

 

Anyone know much about working on them, how reliable they are, what to look for, etc?

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I've been involved with a few passenger vans in my wild and crazy youth as a touring musician. Actually I didn't do much of the touring in these vans, but all my friends were touring musicians and I was the only one the knew much about autos.

 

One buddy had a (I think) '90 or '91 Ford E250. It was set up as an ambulance for a nursing home so it had major suspension to accommodate the wheel chair lift in back. We called that one the Jambulance. Lost the trans in Nevada someplace once which they had a shop replace.

 

Also had a dodge 2500 also an early 90's model (I think). This one was Nirvana's tour van for a bit. Driven from DC to Seattle by Dave Grohl then sold at some point to my wife's band and driven by them for years, then later by our band. They had a tranny or two go out also if I recall.

 

And last but not least, an '85 chevy starcraft conversion van complete with captain's chairs and a queen sized bed!

 

I did basic tune-up stuff on them and space is a pain in the rear. I think if I were about to get into one again, I would pull the motor out and do a full reseal and tuneup to try and minimize the chance of having to be in there.

 

I also seem to remember that the plastic and rubber parts are short lived on these vans because of the heat and lack of good airflow.

 

Well, it's not much info, but this forum doesn't seem to get much traffic so you'll have to take what you can get!

 

Good Luck!

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We use a mid 90 dodge ram van 3500 for our parts runner. It has not let us down, and it is near the 200,000 mile mark. The only issue noted now is a lack of transmission line pressure when cold/first start. Otherwise, the seats are gone and it routinely hauls about 1.5 tons of parts (at once) twice a week or so, without complaining. My wife is partial to the Chevy work vans over the Ford for ergonomic reasons, can't figure out why though. But she beats the hell out of them, going only where 4x4s should go.

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Vans are cool, but they suck. I hate working on them. I did an engine swap on a late 80s E150 with an EFI 302, and it was probably the worst engine swap I have ever done, including front wheel drive. I flat out won't work on them for side jobs, they just are not worth the headache.

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