Anyone convert a Passenger Wagon? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 11:31:AM Thread Starter
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Anyone convert a Passenger Wagon?

Really been trying to stay away from the sprinter vans as it sounds like the transit is the way to go for simplicity, maintenance cost and availability of service, but sprinter also has the configuration I desire.

Being, I'm a family of four I really need a second row and would actually prefer to have the 3rd row as well, to seat up to 6-8 passengers if kids friends would like to come along for the adventure. Since the new transit isn't coming in a crew version it looks like I will probably have to take a passenger van and convert it. Wondering if anyone has had experience with building out a passenger van under the new platform, and especially pictures?
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 12:06:PM
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Consider the 10 seat option - you get the driver & passenger up front, 2 2-seat units, 1 1-seat unit and in the rear a 3-seat unit. I removed the 3-seat and one of the 2-seat units. This lets you have lots of options - and have a walk through all the way. Only the rear seat comes with release handles, however all of the seats can easily be removed - you just have to fashion something to catch the release catch - I used a nylon cable tie.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:32:PM
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I converted an older (E-Series) window van and recommend you think through all the implications associated with starting out with a wagon. There are a lot of differences to consider.

I used a wagon to make it feel more open (visually) and it caused a lot of problems, plus it limits what you can build. I often regret not using a cargo van. And with newer Transit differences are even greater.

I'm not suggesting you don't use a wagon, just that you think about all the differences in advance. It's not just about extra seats.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:52:PM
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I converted an older (E-Series) window van and recommend you think through all the implications associated with starting out with a wagon. There are a lot of differences to consider.

I used a wagon to make it feel more open (visually) and it caused a lot of problems, plus it limits what you can build. I often regret not using a cargo van. And with newer Transit differences are even greater.

I'm not suggesting you don't use a wagon, just that you think about all the differences in advance. It's not just about extra seats.
When I had been flirting with the idea of getting an E-Series or Express for conversion, one thing I noticed was that it was easier to find a nice looking used passenger van, than to find a nice looking used cargo van, and, possibly less expensive. Of course, trades vans tend to get beat up. Passenger vans get sold off by corporate motor pools, gubmint agencies, churches, etc.

Back to Transit... the key differences would include LESS headroom, and LESS payload and towing capacity,

Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 12:04:AM
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Originally Posted by EddieZ View Post
...cut....

Back to Transit... the key differences would include LESS headroom, and LESS payload and towing capacity,
As it relates to building a camper-type conversion, I would personally worry more about other differences. All that glass on wagons is nice to look through, but it comes with a lot of disadvantages too.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 12:16:AM
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A lot depends on if you use the 130" or the 148" Wheelbase. On the 130", you get the 8 passenger seating standard and the 10 passenger optional. With the 148", you get the 12 passenger seating standard and 15 passenger optional.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 12:42:AM
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As it relates to building a camper-type conversion, I would personally worry more about other differences. All that glass on wagons is nice to look through, but it comes with a lot of disadvantages too.
Since you had already alluded to that, I was noting problem areas that are easily overlooked.

Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 09:06:AM
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I am doing a pass van. Has good and bad points- the largest to overcome is planning a
Layout around the the good stuff the pass has installed as Oem.
Good: full interior plastics, flooring, headliners, underfloor heating, rear AC, and full length airbags, and the seat rails provide additional mounting options for cabinetry.
Bad: the airbags prevent full overhead cabinetry, had to devise system to mount stuff from ceilings w/o screwing up the h/l.

After a good weeks work, of fully insulating, installing roof fan, and such, I have come to realize the pass option will really work well for us, over what I would have with a cargo.

I removed all the H/l except for the front section, that I just removed the o/h bin side mount screws . That gives one enough room to install the acoustic and heat/cool insulation. After the insulation, I added many 1/4 20 threaded rivit nuts for ceiling/roof attachment points. Put it all back together and did similar on the side walls, but will not be reinstalling the black plastic lower side panels. This area will be open ,, behind the cabinets.

For the floor, I will put a 1/4 inch plywood covered with some sort of matching vinyl, over the Oem floor, with appropriate cutouts for the floor vent grills.
During the disassembled phase I pulled the Oem floor up enough to plan my few floor penetrations, and locate a path for a wire way and a 1/2 inch water "pipe".

I'm now in the bed and associated cabinet building phase. I build the frames with 1" square metal tube, all welded and fitted as I like them. I always try to plan for future flexibility and simplicity of set up.

After doing a Sprinter , and later remodeling the same, I have a good idea of what works for us.

I must give Orton some credit - as he has done a good deal oh the legwork on fittings and such, and the WWW, for ease of finding the stuff you need.

I will be adding additional batteries and also use propane for cooking. Not decided how exotic I'll do the elec. Stove will be a portable, that way I can use it in multiple locations, and use counterspace as needed.

One suggestion,, I was going to go with SO cord for elec branch circuit, but after pricing, I found econo extension cords 16 gauge for 1/3 cost, just cut the plug ends off and go...so what if it's orange. I'll do same wth 14 gage here needed.

And so much more.

XLT Wagon 350, Long, Hi Roof , 3.5, 3.31 Limited slip, with everything I wanted.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 09:33:AM
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My build is here - I was lucky to find a cargo with full windows.

Meet Yellow Bird

As others have said there are advantages and disadvantages to both. For me the main benefits of the cargo were no airbags to deal with and no a/c unit in the back. I also get max space to use, no trim anywhere.

I do have to build up the whole thing though!
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 10:59:AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice guys!

brimflop: Do you have any pictures you could post of your work? Regarding the side airbags are they along the entire side of the van?
I'm considering passenger van mainly for passenger safety.

I currently have a 2001 e250 EB cargo that I have converted, and added two seats but as my children grow and get heavier I'm concerned about the saftey in the seats I mounted.

Last edited by coachtone; 02-27-2016 at 11:05:AM.
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