1995 E-150 Econoline, conversion by d'Elegant, 300 I-6, E4OD, 3.55:1, aftermarket interior and exterior, 7000# GVWR, aftermarket rear heat and a/c,
Background...I have owned and driven Ford vans since I was 16 years old. I started out with a 1970 E-200 with 240 cid I-6. I have owned Ford vans with almost every engine available in them. I have used Ford vans for solo commuting, recreation, hauling band members and band equipment, hauling merchandise for distribution, hauling freight in the "Just In Time" expedited freight business, hauling students, and now pulling my 25' travel trailer.
Currently...I own a '94 E-350 Clubwagon Chateau, 460 V-8, E4OD, 4.09:1 differential.
Formerly...(the topic of this review) I owned a '95 E-150 Econoline conversion van, conversion by d'Elegant.
The front suspension on this van was bad from the day I bought it with 43,000 miles. It was back at the selling Ford dealer about 5 times within the first month, and then other Ford dealers and alignment shops thereafter. The last alignment that I had done was at a reputable truck spring shop. They told me that the front coil springs were almost worn out. Because of the aged springs, they had to change the bushings on the ball joints to the maximum angle to align the van. They stated the condition of the springs and bushings on their invoice and stated that the next time it is aligned, it will need to have the front coil springs replaced before they will align it. I know that this shop is reliable and trustworthy, but what about the selling Ford dealer? I had the salesman write in the sales agreement that the van would be properly aligned BEFORE I took possession of it. Well, I found out that it was never on an alignment rack before I took possession of it. After the sale, the service department at McCandless Ford in Mercer PA gave me nothing but lip-service about aligning it. They even sent me out on the road with the technician so that I could approve the work. Well it felt good on the 2-lane road that we drove it on, but it pulled when I drove it home on the interstate. That is when I made the appointment at the spring shop to take a look at it. I think that Ford had a problem with the E-150 chassis in '95 and nobody told me about it.
The 300 I-6 engine was very economical. I normally got 18-20 mpg hwy, but it dropped drastically to 10 mpg pulling the trailer. A quiet engine, good torque, but no power to pull our 25' travel trailer up hills and keep up our speed. There was no room for acceleration when pulling the trailer.
The E4OD transmission didn't do to much hunting. However, I stopped the hunting by locking out OD when it would downshift the first time. I would then ride out the hill in 3rd or 2nd.
The 3.55:1 differential gave me no problems.
The conversion company is d'Elegant. The short comings that I found with the d'Elegant conversion is the bay windows by Creation, seating by Dygert (sub of Flexsteel now), and the aftermarket rear heat and A/C. I experienced the wind whistling in one of my bay windows. I found the rear chairs to have seats as hard as rocks, and I found the after market air to be really weak as far as the blower and the freon. There is more to a vehicle than a pretty looking interior and exterior paint job.
This E-150 had a tow rating of 5000# and I bought a travel trailer with a 4900 GVWR. The 300 I-6 in stock condition would pull the trailer well if my speed was under highway speed. However on the highway, I could not ever maintain the speed limit if I were pulling any degree of upward grade. In fact, I was often locked out of OD to pull grades and even sometimes in 2nd gear to pull big hills. While the E-150 was good for economy, it was not a good camper toter.
I would recommend the drive train to anyone wanting a dependable truck engine, who is going to use it at lower speeds. I would not recommend it to anybody who is doing alot of highway travelling. I would not recommend any conversion van to anybody because the parts that the converters use.
I replaced this '95 E-150 with a '94 E-350. In the deal I got OEM quad seats, 6-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, OEM rear heat and air, OEM windows, heavier front coil springs, heavier tires, heavier rear suspension. I am very pleased with my trade.