I figured I’ll do a quick write up on my van’s journey.

This is the day I brought her home (parked next to our 95 SW):

It was in great shape other than needing a coat of paint (yay paint peel) and valve cover gaskets.

So I started in:

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Started sanding her out, smoked out the lights, and had my friend airbrush a set of Spirit wheels I had painted to match:

I kept on with body work, getting everything prepped, then built the push bar and laid on the black:

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With the black laid on, I finished prepping and pulled her in to finish the paint work:

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Believe it or not, the paint was originally Ford Shadow Gray and Jet Black. We added Blue pearl to the clear coat, which completely changed both colors.

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Then got my bar back on, cut down the roof rack cross bars, and painted it to match:

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Then I (the wife actually) decided it needed a snorkel to complete the look. Not being one to have anything that isn’t functional, I set to building my Snorkel:

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Made a “mold” out of hardware cloth, then wrapped it in parchment paper, and coated it with fiberglass (I will use fiberglass mesh instead of filler next time):

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Snorkel was sorted outside, so I got it mounted:

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I don’t have a good pic of the intake, but it was routed like this, minus the cone filter:

The engine got redone shortly after buying the van, when it needed HGs replaced at 167k.

I drove it like that for over a year, daily to work, out on weekends, beating on trails, etc when the transmission finally started acting up at 195k. I was going to have it built, but then I stumbled across this (107k original):

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So I tore the driveline out, freshened it up with some newer top end parts (more power), mild porting, all new gaskets, and a new look:

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With the drivetrain ready, I set to work tearing mine apart for the transplant:

Which also required swapping the complete engine bay harness (which we did not save from the donor):

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Got the harness swapped and set to work installing the new drivetrain:

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I completed the whole drivetrain swap in a day. I drove it to work Monday, took Tuesday off, drove it to work Wednesday!

Since then we’ve been enjoying driving it. It’s an absolute riot with it’s newfound power, while still being a perfectly reliable daily. I’ve been adding things here and there ever since, most recently adding lights:

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I still have to rebuild my snorkel, as my old setup won’t work with the new drivetrain, but I already have a plan for that.

I finally have some rust poking up after this winter, so I will be fixing that this summer after I get the car done and truck painted to sell.

Otherwise, I just plan on enjoying the hell out of her as I always have and keeping her on the road as long as possible.