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update on my quadvan 4x4 gen 2.0 setup---i have a second set of rims/tires mounted now--17X8 Ultra Toils with the 245/70R17 Nitto Grappler G2s. I had to grind down some of the lower pinch weld on the rear of the front wheel arch. When I get around to it, I'll do some grinding on the rear wheel well (no issues now, but if I ever need to put on link style tire chains I'll need extra rear clearance) although my plan is to run the smaller 16" BFG's in the winter anyway.

in all kinds of driving situations i always seemed to average 22 mpg out of a full tank, hand calculated. Now I've put on around 800 miles w/ the new, bigger tires (30.55 inch diam vs the 29.5 inch diam BFGs I had on for 2 yrs), I can report that actual mpg is still 22 mpg. The larger diameter means the engine is typically revving around 1900-1950 rpm at fastish hiway speeds (66-70 mph is my normal target), but the new tires are pretty **** heavy (46 lbs i think) and that offsets the slight gearing advantage. as expected, teh 3.55 diff ratio works perfectly w/ this size tire -- the transmission stays in 6th gear in most hiway situations.

since I have a 130" WB, the spare tire now is far to large for the opening (i.e. rear diff housing is in the way) so I had to run that red strap thru to pull the wheel back as I tightened the spare wheel mount cable. works fine and hasn't moved around, but long-term plan is to fabricate a rear door mount. I'm not thrilled w/ the current options commercially available but let's see what evolves.

Note: i've added a pic showing how John at Quadvan hacked off 2.5 inches from the rear shock hangers and rewelded and painted them. This was a modification I've wanted to do for a while -- REALLY helps off road clearance back there. With the 2" rear lift, John said there's actually around 4 inches of extra travel in the stock shocks so I could have asked him to hack off more than 2.5", but as you can see from the pic there's not much point to go higher.

I'm on the build list for an Aluminess front bumper in the next run (June). I'm leaning toward clear coated aluminum rather than black powdercoat.

I have used the 4WD a lot in the past few months. Snow, mud, sand. Recently was on a USFS road that had running water and muddy ruts everywhere....the kind of back road that is fine in, say, a stock 4WD Tacoma but can be a problem for some SUVs that are FWD-based AWD. The van had no problem at all. Huge thumbs up.


I have the Gen 1 quadvan 4x4 and my front driveshaft caved on me after 1year. The cv boot on one end of the shaft lost the grease boot, shed grease and failed Quickly while driving on the highway. By failure I mean loud humming drivetrain noise coming from the front end and got worse and worse really fast. Pulled over, got a tow to a ford dealer who didn’t want to do anything so I told them to pull the shaft so I take the van away. Quadvan shipped me a new shaft really fast and it is re-installed and everything is good again. If I have a front shaft problem again I’m going to have to go gen 2. I got lots of use in 4x4 this past winter. With my Toyo 10 ply winter tires this van is a tank in the snow! Just put on my BFG all terrains today and fox rear shocks. Might tackle winch install this weekend.

Love this van .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I got my Quadvan 4x4 last month and immediately headed for the snow covered mountains. It rocked in snow. I headed up Gifford Pinchot Forest up Mt Adams up some steep muddy rutted snow covered forest service roads and the van rocked it. It only stopped when the wheels sunk into too deep snow...time to back out. Only the snow machines went any further. I have 4 vanco winter snow tires which really grip snow and ice. They only slid on solid ice on a steep hill while parking. Deep snow was a limitation in 2wd with the front tires sinking in. 4wd will really help in deeper over one foot of snow. Deeper than that will probably high center the van.

The only thing that stopped me was a tree had fallen across the road in the night blocking my way out.

Very happy with it. There is a bit of a clunk going into hi range 4wd. The Auto locking hubs seem to keep mileage the same. The added 2" lift is not very noticeable. I think it will really shine in gravel and sand this summer up in BC where I'm headed to fish. The snow tires provided great traction, but when the surface is loose and deep, the front wheels stop the van, so 4wd is the only cure.
 

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U-Joint Lube

How often are you injecting grease into the 3 u-joints on your QuadVan? Talked to John at QuadVan and he recommend doing it with every oil change and any time the axle get's submerged.

I just finished doing mine with Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive Grease. Each joint took at least 4 squeezes of the gun before I heard or saw any grease coming out.

At about 20,000 miles I probably waited too long to grease them myself. Maybe Ford did it for me during one of the "premium" services they did.
 

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Steamboater,

As a single data point, I contacted them at the end of February, and I'm on the schedule for September. At least, that was the timeline when I talked to John in February. I'll know for sure soon, hopefully. I'll be dropping off the van with some mileage on it, as I bought used. They seemed to have no issue with that at all.
 

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For those of you looking for details on the QV components and install, this guy walks through it pretty well:

Talked to John - and regarding his website, he says "My waiting list is already too long. I have no interest in improving my website to bring in more customers. Instead, I'd like to bring in more mechanics!"

We're planning on some travel south of the border, and I had concerns about parts and repairs. John explained that almost all parts in his conversion are Ford parts, very little would need to come custom from Quadvan.
 

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I want to add some info and compliments to Northwest Quadvan. Like many other members of this forum I wanted to do something about the long rear shock mounts. on the first of November I e-mailed Quadvan asking if they might be able to find some time in the next few months to shorten them for me saying I wished I had done it at the time of the 4WD conversion. I know there many complaints about how hard it is to contact them but that afternoon I got a reply that they would have a rack open on Monday if I could make to Portland. Replied yes and we left Seattle at 4:30 AM and were at Qiuadvan at 8:30. John had about 1/2 hour of paper work, we wanted some breakfast, he recommended a nearby cafe and we were back and the van was on the rack by 9:15.

That was good service but that was not the best of the day. We did a 5400 mile road trip in May to the midwest, on our return we had a squeak from the from right wheel area , on the Saturday before Memorial Day passing through Yellowstone we got a ABS light warning. It went out after a couple of hours, with no hope of getting anything checked for several days we drove back to Seattle. In early June we took it to the local Ford dealer to be checked out. The diagnosis was that the front right brakes were toast, pads were shot and the rotor was damaged. That problem was fixed but on their test drive they heard some unusual noise, back in the shop they determined the right front wheel bearing was shot (it was definitely bad). That is a warranty repair until they realized it was 4WD, it was not a Ford warranty and they did not have the replacement hub required. We contacted Quadvan, John and his wife were in Europe but he had his phone, through e-mail we were able to set up a time when the dealer could call him and they arranged to have at the replacement hub sent from Portland. The work was all completed and ready to be picked up on the third of July but there was a question of who was going to pay, particularly for the brake work caused by the hub failure, not Ford and John was still in Europe. I did not want to wait any longer so I paid, a bit over $700, and said I would talk to Quadvan later. I forwarded a copy of the invoice to Quadvan but then forgot about any follow up.

Back to Monday in Portland, John explained the hubs are Ford parts but not USA Ford because the F150 hubs are 6 lug, not 5 like the Transit. There is a European front wheel drive Transit that can work with the F150 parts. It seems though that the hubs use a made in Germany bearing that has a small failure rate so my hub was not the first failure. If I had time he said he would pull both hubs and check them. They found that the IWE, the vacuum hub engage actuator on the right side was also damaged, probably by not being correctly assembled when the new hub was installed. They replaced both IWE’s, possibly both hubs, I am not sure, and a small bracket that was a new design. After a test drive we went back to the shop where my wife was waiting and John’s wife was working. After some talk it was time to take care of the check. When I reached for my check book John said not you, we are writing the check. After the deduction for shorting the rear shock mounts, everything I paid the local dealer was covered. The local dealers mechanics said the John was a pleasure to work with and I would certainly second that.

Northwest Quadvan's warranty is good and they stand by it and are proud of it.
 

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Wanted to update the central Quadvan thread with my info. I had quadvan install 4wd, BFG KO2's, Van Compass hitch receiver and skid plate, front wheel well liners, Quadvan transfer case and tranny skid plates, Smittybilt 15.5k winch with Masterpull Synthetic line, Van Compass rear diff skid plate, Eaton Truetracs front/rear, and shortened shock mounts. Had a great time cruising around in eastern washington last week.

Full details on the Quadvan stuff here, including pricing, parts, warranty here: https://sunlightandtrees.com/blog/quadvan-4wd-conversion

And I did a review/operations video here:
. Note that you CAN shift on the fly, contrary to other info I've seen here on the forums - you just have to lock the hubs ahead of time.

Other than the occasional challenge of hearing back from them, it's been a great experience.

I've never seen any details on the work they do, so here they are:

Starting at the front of the vehicle, Quadvan:

1. Modified the k frame to fit the various 4wd components.

2. Replaced the steering knuckle with their proprietary knuckle, shifting the knuckle position from behind the hub centerpoint to in front of the hub centerpoint. The knuckle integrates a 2” lift as part of the casting.

3. The stock transit hub is modified with a drive spline through the center. They are functionally identical to a standard Ford Europe AWD Transit hub, but easier and cheaper to build than import.

4. Replaced the Transit steering tie rods and shafts with F150 parts

5. Installed F150 driveshafts, including the CV joints and IWE’s. The IWE’s are vacuum actuated hubs. If the vacuum fails, the hubs are locked. The front driveshaft tubes are cut to fit the Transit.

6. Installed the F150 front differential housing, with an optional Eaton Trutrac limited slip differential. Eaton trutracs are an upgrade from the base price, but the performance of this LSD is superior to Ford factory LSD’s.

7. Installed the F150 manual transfer case. Ford no longer uses manual transfer cases, but new OEM cases are readily available from them for this older model year.

8. Installed a Jeep manual transfer shifter to the right of the e-brake lever.

9. Installed a “4wd ON” indicator light and a “Lock hubs” lighted switch on the dashboard.

10. Retooled the Ford Transit 3 piece driveline into a 2 piece driveline with greasable zirc fittings. The transfer case is further back, so the middle segment of the driveline is removed, and new tubes placed into the front and rear segments. A new carrier bracket holds the u-joint in the middle.

11. Replaced the rear 3.31 gears with 3.73 gears. I intentionally ordered the van with the 3.31 ratio, knowing I would be putting bigger tires on. Switching the gearing to 3.73 along with the bigger tires means the transmission shift points and the overall van handling is unchanged.

12. Installed an Eaton Trutrac LSD in the rear diff.

13. Added a 2” inch lift above each side of the rear axle, with a horn for the bump stop.

14. Cut off 2.5” of the rear lower shock mounts and installed an adaptor to improve rear shock clearance. Sway bars are still supported, and the bolt on adapters can be moved to a new axle should that ever be necessary.

15. Installed their own brand of skid plates from behind the intercooler to the gas tank.They also have a gas tank skid plate but I had to draw the line somewhere.
 

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Looks great Dave and appreciate you sharing.

Is this what Dave from Quadvan told you explicitly? "Quadvan will not convert an already overweight van, but some conversion companies leave so little capacity for passengers and gear that going overweight is impossible to avoid."?


I ask because he knows I am sending mine to Van Specialities before he gets to wrench on it...

thanks-B
 

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Looks great Dave and appreciate you sharing.

Is this what Dave from Quadvan told you explicitly? "Quadvan will not convert an already overweight van, but some conversion companies leave so little capacity for passengers and gear that going overweight is impossible to avoid."?


I ask because he knows I am sending mine to Van Specialities before he gets to wrench on it...

thanks-B
Yes, that is what he told me. But I wouldn’t worry about van specialties, they don’t build bloated vans. Sports Mobile, and some of the class B manufacturers are more of a problem.
 

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@WN1A had these comments on my build thread, moving over to here:

I wanted to make a quick comment about your Quadvan list of work done. Number 3, the modified stock Transit hub is not quite the same as the European AWD hub, functionally identical but with different bearings. The European AWD hub bearings seem to have a low failure rate, John says about 2%. That happened on our transit on a long road trip, the problem was noticeable as a brake squeal which we thought could be a rock picked up on some dirt roads in South Dakota. We were passing through Yellowstone on Memorial Day weekend so there was no stopping for repairs. When we returned to Seattle and had it checked the diagnosis was the right front brakes were toast, rotor and pads. That was repaired but a road test determined there was still a squeal sound. That was when the hub bearing was determined to be shot, The dealer couldn't do the repair because there was no stock Transit 4WD drive hub, John was in Europe at the time but with a series of emails and phone calls Quadvan shipped a hub to the dealer and they did the repair. Because I was anxious to have the van I paid the bill rather than going through more phone calls and emails. I did send Quadvan a copy of the invoice.


A few months later I was at Quadvan having the shock mount shortened. They went through the front drive system and found the IWE was also bad, maybe not assembled right by the dealer when the hub was replaced. They replaced both IWE's, new hubs, and road tested everything. When it was time to leave my wife was going to write a check for the shock mount job. She asked how much and John said we are writing you a check. Quadvan paid the entire bill for the dealer repair work minus the charges for the shock mount work. I can only say that Quadvan stands by there work much more than I expected. Our local Ford dealer service manager who talked with them said they were good to work with.


John spent several thousand dollars to have a broach made to cut the splines in the stock Transit front hub. I did not understand the complete reason why but the bearings in the stock Transit hub are a better match for a 4WD system.
 

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John - sounds like you still have the european hubs, and John had to replace the entire hub, not just the bearing? Do you know if the US hub can have the bearings replaced by a ford dealer without replacing the hub?
 

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Dave - It was definitely the European hub that had the bearing failure, I think the hub that they shipped to the dealer and that they replaced was also the European hub. That was mid June last year and I think they were just starting to modify the stock US hub. When I was at Quadvan last November and they checked everything they updated some brackets, new IWE's, and may have changed the hubs to the US version. So much was going on that I missed some of what they did.


I don't know if a dealer can change the bearing without replacing the hub but it seems that they could. That is a question for Quadvan. They do drill out a cover before broaching the splines but it seems that the bearing replacement should be the same as the unmodified hub. I think the problem with the bearings in the European AWD has to do with less of a shoulder on the outer race and the the AWD has less of an axial load on the bearings. The US front bearings are designed for a greater axial load (2WD) so they perform better in the 4WD modification. That was my take away from John's explanation and looking at the two different hubs.
 

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I bought a 2017 Ford Transit converted by Quadvan in Hawaii at an auction. It has some front end damage and needs the front wheel assembly. Called Quadvan and they told me $30K for the parts. Does anyone have any information on what types of parts were used for the conversion of the front end? My mechanic says that they are not Ford parts and we are struggling to figure this out. Cant figure out why a conversion is under $15K and yet to buy the parts for the passenger side front tire assembly is $30K. Think he is being a little unreasonable.

Mahalo,

Everell (808) 371-8304
 

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I have heard of other people having their vans repaired with parts from QuadVan for far less money, reasonable rates, I'm not sure why you're experiencing this. Are you talking directly to John? Is the title now a salvage title?

Regarding more details on what was done in the conversion, check out my blog post here: https://sunlightandtrees.com/blog/quadvan-4wd-conversion
 

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I agree with DaveInSeattle, I have found QuadVan to be very reasonable with parts. And I have a 2016, and was able to get parts shipped to my local dealer pretty cheap. I needed a new driveline to the transfer case and some boots, and QuadVan was on it.
 

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I agree with all of the positive comments about John and his team at QuadVan. I have a few thousand on the system and, here in the Tetons, use 4x4 all the time. It is a powerful and very well designed system. In snow, I use the eletronic hub switch all the time. A awd system would have worked for us most of the time, but we spend a few weeks in the desert biking/climbing, and access almost always requires a true 4x4. Love it and I appriciate the thought John put into the design. Really good work.

My only frustration is the location of the DEF tank on my diesel. Not an issue on gas versions. In order for John to preserve the very important Ford diesel fuel extended warranty, he has to use the same DEF and relocate it from the new transfer case location. The new location is right at the break-over point on the drivers side rail, and it hangs down quite a bit. Apparently, Quigley has a custom tank that voids the 120k fuel system warranty. Apparently, they are in a legal dispute about it. I'm going to try to work on another solution at some point and would welcome any suggestion. Currently thinking about extending the tank to over the rear axle, but the heat, electrical and sending unit components are not simple to extend. There may be a path to use other Ford diesel DEF tanks and sending units - F250 DEF tanks are much thinner and may fit near the floor of the van - but it sounds quite complicated and includes reprogramming. Thoughts?????"
 

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