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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy Ford fans, I'm going to look at an 88 E150 to buy to use for some cross country travels this winter.
Supposedly it has 95K, but I kind of suspect with the 5 digit odo, it may be 195k.
Owner states it runs rough but has sat for 6 years and is fuel injected.
It's about an hour away, and I'd have to drive it back.
I couldn't find much specific to this gen van, but any thoughts on causes of rough running?
Of course, he says when parked it ran fine.
Provided I buy it and get it home, I'd change all fluids, complete tune up, and maybe new injectors w/cleaning intake and/or throttle body.
Aside from that, anything I should look for while inspecting it?

Currently I have an 04 Honda Odyssey with 200k I was going to do the trip in, but came across the van in question. It's priced right, spacier, less miles, and would be easier for me to work on roadside if the need arose.

Thanks!
 

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if it sat for 6 years and the fuel tank wasnt drained and the fuel system flushed i bet it has bent valves from the varnish seizing the guides. take a compression tester
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Roger that, he did say in the ad it fires right up and he had driven it 6 miles to it's current location.
I was thinking something to do with old fuel though.

My dad had an old Dodge motor home when I was a kid that had sat for 20 plus years. In the 90s some friends of mine took it off my dads hands and drove it two hours on 20 year old gas.
 

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Welcome to the FFO!

I would not replace the injectors unless you have a specific reason to do so.

In the tune up you will replace the cap and rotor, assuming this is a V8 (you didn't state engine) this may be an issue for vehicles that have sat for a long time.

With that kind of mileage replace the O2 sensors (i think there is only 2, may only be one) as they are not doing much to report accurate fuel burn.

It will have EEC IV let us know if the check engine light is on.

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Discussion Starter #5
Welcome to the FFO!

I would not replace the injectors unless you have a specific reason to do so.

In the tune up you will replace the cap and rotor, assuming this is a V8 (you didn't state engine) this may be an issue for vehicles that have sat for a long time.

With that kind of mileage replace the O2 sensors (i think there is only 2, may only be one) as they are not doing much to report accurate fuel burn.

It will have EEC IV let us know if the check engine light is on.

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It's a 351/5.8. I'll post up as I know more.
Thanks for the replies!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So after back and forthing with the guy a bit, I'm not hopeful of looking at it. He said something issue and 2 weeks vacation. Older guy I think and not very good communications lol.
I'm looking at another van now, a 94 E150 with 96K on the odo.
5.8 and I'm guessing E4OD, 4 speed OD trans
No CEL on.
Says once you drive off, speedo shoots up to 85 and speed sensor has been replaced
Issues stated are:
Speedometer isn’t functioning properly. Transmission shifts rough into 2nd gear.
I search as well but not always very conclusive.
Any insight would be appreciated!
 

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You are looking at 30 year old vans.
Not sure of what your goal and 30 year old anything the choices are not exactly cream puff.

Speedo issue may not be expensive and could be frustrating
The transmission can get expensive. You might ask seller how long since the transmission was serviced? A low fluid level can do things like that.

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, I hear ya. But due to budget constraints and driving record infractions, that's about what I'm looking at.
Unfortunately, the only vans I'm finding that meet my criteria are pretty much all over 100+ miles away. Too far to just pop over and take a gander.
Yes, no cream puffs to be found for me, but hopefully can come close with a little work.
The speedo I'm not too worried about, I have a GPS that tells me speed.
For the trans, it seems to be fairly common and issues with sensors/control of it.
 

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Well the speedo controls some other functions
Speed control which is an option I find very useful
And electronic engine control data. Like the lock up torque convertor will not operate with out that signal.

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BTW I am fond of the full sized Ford van. I have had several of the first 3 generations. None from the fourth gen which were built from model year 1992 and later. My most recent one was a daily driver until 2016. Now I drive a full sized SUV.

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Searching turned up issues being tied together in some cases the shifting with the speedo. So not so much i wasn't worried about it, but hopefully resolving shifting would also straighten out the speedo. Or vice versa.
Yeah, I like the pre 92 models, great style, love the grill. Hard to come across in decent shape and not rusted to heck though.
I've found a couple Chevy G20's and a Dodge somewhat local to go look at, but first choice is a Ford, followed by Chevy, then Dodge. Not to keen on the Dodge look, but if it's a good deal...

Edit: Now that you mention it, I'd looked at early-mid 90s Fod vans a few years ago and came across steering box issues involving frame cracks where it's mounted and shearing mounting bolts. Looking again I found this article which I'd found previously:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the help guys, unfortunately I went to the darkside. A very local Chevy Astro conversion van popped up for sale I jumped on with 62k miles.
 
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