Mixsonian

Ford Econoline Van


Ford Econoline Van (not mine but what mine looked like)

In 1973 (74?) my roommate, Bill, got an old Ford Econoline van. The van was pretty beat up with rusted out spots on the lower body panels and the engine was just about shot but I really wanted it. I told Bill I would buy it from him but he would have to rebuild the engine first so I helped him pull out the engine, tear it down and rebuild it. We did this in the living room with engine parts all over the floor for a few weeks. Bill did a super job on the engine and it looked like new all painted Ford blue when we reinstalled it. I don't remember how much I paid Bill for it but I thought at the time it was a good deal and after selling my Camaro I had some money left over. After I bought it I begin to customize it. I paneled and then carpeted the entire interior, made custom seats and cut a two by three foot whole in the roof which I installed a window for a sun roof. I didn't do much to the exterior, I did patch the rusted out holes and painted them with primer. The van was originally a two tone with the top half white and the bottom half green. After I finished patching the rust spots it became a three tone, white, green and primer gray. At that time Florida had state car inspections and I took it to the inspection station to be inspected. When my turn came up I pulled forward and went to put on the brake and the brake pedal went to the floor. I got out and looked under the van and found a puddle of brake fluid, one of the brake lines had rusted though and sprung a leak. I skipped the inspection and drove it home with out any brakes and the next week I spent replacing most all the brake lines, rebuilding the master cylinder and rebuilding the brakes. With the engine and brakes rebuilt it was a fairly reliable vehicle. The biggest remaining problem was the steering and front end which wasn't in very good shape. The steering wheel had about two inches of play in it which made driving rather interesting. I checked into getting the steering fixed but it was way more than I could afford. In 1976 I got tired of the old thing and bought a new 1976 Chevy van.