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View attachment 173857 View attachment 173858
I do a bit of "wheeling" from pulling race cars out of silt beds to Moab and Death Valley.
Nice! I don't have any pics of the van going through, but I've done this many times with my VC lifted van and 265/75/16 AT's:
Plant Natural landscape Asphalt Road surface People in nature

I can't begin to tell you how many people get stuck here, even in 4x4 lifted trucks. More about it in this write-up. There are huge buried rocks (lots of oil pain drain-outs). I've busted a CV boot going through this even with the lift and big tires. It's just a difficult stretch to do repeatedly. I think I've driven through it 20-30 times, but the last time got the CV boot which made a huge mess under the van by the time I noticed it.

I tried upgrading to silicone, but was about to post in the thread I made about that issue that the new fancy expensive silicone boot has already ruptured. This time deep sand and high center-berm roads out in Texas heading to the beach (you can drive on Texas beaches). It appears the passenger side CV boot is just too exposed and is vulnerable. About $500 to just replace the front axle half-shaft according to my local dealer when I called today. They said they'd try to look at it and see if they can do it under warranty, but last time they told me the lift and large tires will invalidate future claims (thankfully the did a full rack and pinion warranty replacement that finally got rid of that dang wheel shake I had from the factory; it ultimately led to a total loss of power steering and some faults around year 1.5; no similar issues whatsoever since that time).

The vans are very much capable, but they are also very much going to break if you drive them as often as I do through rough places. I figure that's just part of life, since I'm going down those roads no matter what. Just something to be aware of.

Cheers.
 

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On my Quadvan the front CV's are not hard to swap out, I have done it a couple of times now. Not sure on the AWD but at 80k miles I am way out of warranty and while I don't ENJOY working on my rig (would rather play) I do find most of the work isn't too hard in a driveway.
It's the dang ball joint. Even with puller tools my local guy had a heck of a time getting the control arm off. And if you want to replace just the boot you need an expansion tool, or a some people fight with a greased plastic cone and get it on that way.

For the joint itself, on the AWD you have to buy the entire $280 half shaft. You can save $230 in labor if you install it yourself, but you need a torque wrench with a really high setting (I want to say it's 150 or maybe 300) and a long handle (can use pipe to extend) plus the puller tool. Even with a puller my mechanic still needed a heat gun and a sledge hammer to get the ball joint off. And there's risk of damaging the joint although they only cost about $100.

All told it's not something I'd recommend to the masses unless they really want to save the labor cost. It's doable but only with the right tools and a lot of work.

Cheers.
 

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Well since folks like pics of Transits in the wild I will keep posting them.. View attachment 174052

And sometimes my van gets to flip race trucks :)
View attachment 174053
Nice! I almost drove through some 2-3' salt water the other day down in southern Texas near the ocean, but even the 1' section I edged through the day before splattered mud all over my tanks and plumbing, covered my rims, brakes, etc. They all seemed fine and I sprayed them off with fresh water afterwards. But I don't like getting the heat trace, heat pads, plumbing ball valves, etc wet and muddy. I guess that's an advantage of inside tanks/plumbing.

But it's good to see the Transit can do that. I wasn't sure how badly it might contribute to rust if the rear diff and drive shaft were submerged, especially in salt/brackish water.

Cheers.
 
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