Possible to transplant van body to different chassis?

ford
e350

#1

I have massive rust on the undercarriage of my conversion van. Need to replace entire systems (brake, fuel, possibly much of suspension and steering, on and on). Body and interior of vehicle are in great condition. Can anything be done, or is it time to terminate life support? Vehicle is pretty unique, 4x4 conversion camper with pop-up roof. See Sportsmobile.com for examples. Worth about $30K, might be able to justify $10K for repairs.


#2

I’m having trouble believing that you have massive undercarriage rust without ANY body rust. Are you sure there isn’t rust on the body coming from the back side where you can’t see it yet?


#3

I’m in agreement. It’s hard to see one being rusted this badly without the body suffering.
Is the rust really that bad or is this normal surface rust that is being misinterpreted as worse than what it really is?


#4

There is a spot of rust about the size of a half dollar on the rear quarter panel area. I’ve been told that is coming through from the inside, though it’s not obvious from the underside. What is visible is the flaking undercoating that’s peeling away from the rusted components. (Seems the original owner saw rust taking over and responded by doing the Ziebart thing. Doesn’t this just make it worse once the rust has started?) Anyway I finally got a look at it on a lift, and yes it IS that bad. I think you could poke a hole in the gas tank with a pencil eraser. The brake caliper units, the differentials (it’s an aftermarket 4WD), transfer case and much more are covered with a thick crust. The drive shafts and exhaust system are peeling rust. I lost a fuel pump and a brake line to the cancer. The power steering unit might be next to go. On and on. It is that bad, for real.

I may be too generous about the condition of the body, but it does look fine.


#5

Junk it.

The amount of money you’ll have to spend to bring it back to safe and useable condition would probably almost pay for a new one.


#6

I’m still in agreement. It may be time to wave goodbye to this one and my feeling is that if this project were attempted it would open up a real can of worms. Things are likely not going to come apart without hammers, air chisels, and a torch.