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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey All!
I am new to the forum, so if this is in the wrong place or has been asked, please let me know. I looked around for a bit but I couldn't find anything similar.
My wife and I are going to buy a Extended High Roof Transit Cargo. We are going to buy used. They are very expensive where we live, and we have been talking to a couple dealerships out east. I am a little hesitant to buy a van I have never seen before, so is there any common problems I should look out for, is there anything I should ask the dealer to show me before I fly out, etc. Any tips would be appreciated!
Thank you!
btanner
 

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Be sure to get a CarFax and a AutoCheck printout so you know some history on the vehicle. Mileage is important as well as what engine is on the vehicle. There have been a few problems with the 3.2L Diesel engines but most of that has been with not driving the vehicle enough to get the recirculating of the exhaust system working properly and idling it for long periods of time.

Like any used vehicle, you take it 'as is' so finding out as much as you can about it is important especially if you can get a history of the maintenance on it. You might check out some of the Transits that are for sale on the Transit forum site as you should get a lot better conditioned vehicle from a forum member owned vehicle rather than from a auto dealer who just takes what comes up for sale through various auctions or trade-in vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I am looking at the 3.7 gas, and I have checked those out, but they are quite a bit more expensive than what I am looking at, especially for the mileage (16000 miles). I am just looking for common problems they may have, so I can know what to look for.
 

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I've bought a couple over the internet and had them delivered. I asked for as many pics as they would send, then asked for more specific things their pics didn't show. I also had the salesman do a video chat (Facetime, Skype, etc) and take a virtual tour to make sure everything still looked right and everything worked (windows, locks, radio, HVAC, etc).

At delivery, before you sign or pay, do another walk around and test everything. Get a ladder and check the roof for damage (can't stress that enough). If they don't have a ladder, tell them to find you one before you sign anything. Roof damage is very difficult and expensive to repair on these vans.

Everything else is like buying any other vehicle. If you're getting something with that low of mileage, cosmetics are about all you need to be concerned with since anything else can be taken care of under warranty at your local dealer.
 

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Not really a problem but when you are turning in a parking lot the rear can swing out and hit someone. So if you're turning right, the rear left might scrape against a wall or car.
 

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The rear doors. Especially on the cargo vans because they get slammed shut so often in past lives. If you look where the two doors come together in the center, you can find a crack/tear in the sheetmetal (I've noticed usually on the driver side rear door). The doors are so long, and the metal so thin, the extra flex causes that failure point when closed so often. Happened to my van (from a tire carrier adding extra weight I'm assuming because I have a low roof), happened to several friends vans, and my buddy bought one used that was already torn.
 

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I have a fleet of these. You can expect the coolant reservoir to fail around 50,000, throttle body to go around 100,000. I've had two output speed sensors fail which require removal of the valve body of the transmission to replace. These came with a rubber disc between the trans and drive shaft. There have been several recalls about this. Lucky persons got a real drive shaft instead of the disc. Unlucky persons got the "improved" disc which goes 40,000 instead of 30,000 before disintegrating. Ford is working on giving us all real drive shafts again instead of the discs I believe. Otherwise engine and trans hold up OK. Good luck.
 

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Ditto on the roof leaks. I test drove a used high roof which they let me keep overnight, and during the night it rained which revealed a pretty significant leak in the rear right corner. I didn't try to troubleshoot it, just brought it back. Even the medium roof that I ended up buying used has a rather mysterious minor leak that comes and goes in the rear right corner area. It takes a bit of extra effort to troubleshoot such things on a medium or high roof van.

I live in Northern Virginia, and day to day there are not that many places where I have to be concerned with low hanging trees, but I just spent 3 weeks in Atlanta with the medium roof medium length van and it seemed that almost anywhere I went to park it in a suburban neighborhood had low hanging tree branches. Not the type of thing that is necessarily going to show up on a Carfax report, but they can get pretty banged on the roof even if you are paying attention and trying to avoid it. If you need to parallel park in that type of environment, you first have to find a space that is long enough, then you have to find a space that doesn't have low hanging branches. I was pretty surprised how frustrating it was to find a suitable place to park the thing in certain neighborhoods. Sometimes you compromise a little bit.

I've got the medium roof medium height van, if you're talking extended length high roof, those situations will be even more frustrating. Those situations don't apply to everybody's use profile, but it was all an eye-opener to me.
 
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