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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got a 72 4x4 stepvan conversion with a 79 351M on F350 in Monroe NC, and overheated and crapped within 100 miles. Van is now in Guntersville AL and we need to desperatly get this beast running. Any suggestions on who can assist or take over the project and get her on the road? What kind of info is needed here? btw, I am in california, so I am reduced to email and phone, never having seen the vehicle (my girlfriend bought it) am trying to fix the situation. Please help
 

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What is the final destination? Monroe NC is a lot more than 100 miles to Guntersville AL. That's like 412 miles. Might consider hauling on a trailer or towing to your end location and then decide on repair options. Why did it overheat? Bad water pump, broken hose,? Nearest major city would be Huntsville which is only 37 miles. Do you have AAA? If it's locked up then you might be looking for a new engine. We have some members in AL. Maybe one of them will jump in.
 

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Yes indeed, Guntersville is a long ways from Monroe. What I did not included was the fact that Mary and her father were also in a F350 dually, and as luck would have it, burnt out the transmission trying to haul it to AL, and thus got stuck with a double vehicle weekend tow charge of $3500. There is a bit more to this mess, but the van is in Guntersville. I got a hold of the original owner as the scum who sold it to us never had the van changed to his name. The original told me that the old 351M was always overheating, simply was not capable of moving the beast. We are looking at exchnaging that 351M PoS for an engine that is worth while, be it a 4bt, or whatever would be suitable, I realize there is a lot more to this, but I need the help of someone that is trustworthy and who knows what they are doing.
 

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Ouch. In other words, that vehicle was up for an engine change anyway. The F350 must have had issues too. Should have been able to tow that van. $3500 tow charge. Double ouch. Never heard of such a tow bill. You could have loaded both vehicles on a flat bed trailer and shipped them across the country for that kind of money. If you're looking for someone to do a diesel conversion, Tennessee Diesel Conversions comes to mind. Member CrewCab59 is in Knoxville TN and has a good reputation. Didn't say he was cheap, just does good quality work. That's about 200 miles from where the vehicle is now. I assume this is not a low budget thing. The swap could involve not only the engine, but transmission, transfer case, and possibly differential gears. Don't know what's in the van now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We were repeatedly told by the scum, that sold us the van, that it was in excellevnt mechanical working condition, and that there is/wasno hesitation in driving it across the country. Well, we now know differently. ANd yes, there is the F350, remember, Mary's father picked her up at the airport in Huntsville, and drove to Monroe. WHen the van broke down (less than 100 miles way from Monroe), Mary and her father drove all the way back to Guntersville to pick up a trailer. They then drove back to the van, loaded the van onto the trailer, and proceeded to drive back to Guntersville when they encountered transmission problems with the F350. (Im shaking my head regarding the unfolding situation). It took them literally hours upon hours to locate the tow for both vehicles, being a Friday going into a weekend. The tow ended in Guntersville at approximately 4am Saturday morning. And to add to the circus act, they had their two pet dogs and a step-mother in her 70s with Alzheimers along for the ride.

So again, yes, this is not a low budget thing. It was not planned to be a budget thing to begin with. The scum commited fraud. How do you unveil a lying SOB? and as soon as the drama began to unfold, I called him back, several times, and he would not answer his phone. According to the previous owner, this SOB knew there was an issue with the 351M, that it overheated, repeated overheated, and that it need to be replaced..... but he still sold it to us as "in perfectly working mechanical condition"... and now he hides behind an AS-IS clause in a Bill of Sale without his name on it. FRAUD. BTW, this SOB owns a hotrod biusiness in Monroe.

Anyway, Im fuming. But I also have a huge interest in making this work. The stepvan is a unique vehicle, and will be paret of Mary and my seasonal business (Ultralight Hiking Gear). Mary and her father are custom rebuilding the interior. I need to find what ever it takes to get this van back on the road as originally intended. I am texting the original owner as to the Transmission, Transfer case, Differential gears, and what ever else is needed. We want to keep the chassis, as it determines the smog requirements here in California. Unless we could transfer the cab onto a suitable frame without spending a fortune and having to deal with another issue, the California DMV.
 

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Yes, when dealing with CA DMV you want to be sure what issues are there. May not be any problems since the vehicle is 46 years old. We have a number of members out there and one of those can give you good advice. Might PM member W.R.Buchanan. He's been building a Jeep with a 4bt for 9 years now and cam probably tell you what you'd need to know. Logically, the cheapest would probably be just replacing the 351M with a rebuilt engine. Still don't know what caused the overheating issue. Could possibly be a radiator that's too small, bad water pump, blown head gasket. Wouldn't want the same issue all over again. When dealing with used vehicles, the main thing is having everything written on paper and signed by both the seller and buyer. Word or mouth isn't worth too much unless you have a recorder. Does the truck have a manual or auto transmission? If it's a Ford manual, you can adapt a Cummins to that. Auto Ford transmission can be done depending on which one. Need to know what differential gear ratio you have and what size tires. The Cummins likes to operate in the 1700-2000 RPM range for best fuel economy. Peak torque hits around 1800 RPM. You can run higher speed but it really eats into the fuel mileage. i'm no legal expert, but if there was a known engine issue with that vehicle and the seller did not disclose that then you may some options there. Might contact the City of Monroe to see if they have any bad reports on the guy or his company.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The decision has been made, mainly because of time, to replace the 351M with a refurbished 351M and new clutch, rediator and thermostat. We have garnered the help of two local shop conversion pros to do the work. As for the person in Monroe, I contacted the District Attorney's Office, and was advised that under North Carolina Law, that this is a civil matter, and I should seek an attorney. Hmmm, well the way I see it, criminal behavour, non-disclosure and acts of fraud, are protected until which time victims can AFFORD to seek Justice. Too bad that scum bag got away with this.
 

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The legal guys are probably right in that being a civil matter. Now, if he had shipped the vehicle across state lines it may become federal. I do remember a little of my business law. You'd have to get into a legal case and prove knowledge of the problem for it to become criminal. Non disclosure of a known issue can become criminal. It would still be of interest to see if the Better Business Bureau in that city has any unfavorable records on that guy or his company.
 

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When I did the DMV thing in CA. in 2011-12 as long as the diesel engine had the EPA tag stating it met on road standards for installation in a "light heavy-duty truck" and your truck is also at least in that class AND the engine is the same year or newer you "should" be OK.
One thing I found is that CA. is very understanding where honest/legit automotive hobbiest/enthusiast are concerned, my daughter was a CA. DMV service tech and at her office she tended to handle most of those cases as she was raised as a motor-head. She told me that most offices had at least one person that was well versed in the rules for such things,the key is to be honest and upfront with what you need/want and just jump through the necessary hoops.
For me with my '68 it took less that a half-hour and cost around $35.00 to have the title changed to diesel fuel,and when I moved ti AZ. they also titled it as diesel because CA. had done it.............
 
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