Build your own 4x4 van conversion
What we offer
Timberline currently offers both à la carte components used in our Ford Econoline conversion process as well as comprehensive kits to convert your own van. Our kits are designed for Econolines 1995 to 2014 and up. The conversion is based on a 4-link coil-sprung front and the solid axle Dana 60 you would find in a 2005 to 2012 Ford Superduty (F-250/F-350). Please tap the Learn More button or scroll down for details and then check out our web-store for pricing. We are winding down working on production to release an IFS conversion kit for the Chevy Express/GMC Savana 2500/3500 series van. This product design is in final stages and will be released before the end of 2019 for 4.8/5.3/6.0 gas engine vans years 2011+ (non cab+chassis models only)
Can I do this?
The Timberline Master Kit is intended to be installed by qualified individuals with general automotive knowledge, access to good pneumatic and hand tools, and ideally some welding experience. If you don't know how to weld, there are just two sections of work in the construction that require welding and neither is time consuming, so having a professional come by won't be expensive.
Our kit can be installed without an automotive lift, however it will increase difficulty. Below is a general list of tools that it will take to complete the install.
We have provided you with a general list of tools we use to complete our own conversions. This list should be a good barometer for your ability to complete the task. If you have near every tool on the list, chances are you are more than capable of completing a build. If you find you are missing many of these items or don't know what they are, chances are you may need some help to complete your own build.
Variables, budget, timeframe
It's never a bad idea to build a budget and plan your timeframe for your conversion. There is a lot of information and misinformation on the internet about what goes into a 4x4 conversion, both in time and money. Completing a proper conversion will take both. We've provided you with a general list below of the additional components needed to finish your vehicle. Visit our van planning page for a downloadable budget template.
What else should I consider and what parts do I need besides the master kit?
Axle: Used or New Dana 60 front axle from 2005 to 2012 Superduty with factory or aftermarket OEM style steering components which we recommend replacing during build, including ball joints.
Transfer case: NP271 used or remanufactured which we can supply if needed. There are 2 input shaft options for the Ford style NP271.
-You need a 4x4 extension housing and output shaft to bolt up the T-Case
-Only the 5R110 transmission does not require removal and professional disassembly to do so
-2008+ 4R70/4R75 transmissions most easily mate with the NP271 by recasing
-This may be a good opportunity to buy a reman trans, we can help with this
-4R100 transmission vans require Dakota Digital SGI-5E or Abbott ERA Ratio Adapter for transmission and speedometer to function.
Fuel tank: Your tank will likely need shortening
-Midship tank van (most) fuel tanks are too long to fit after transfer case is installed. We will be offering new fuel tanks shortly but do not. Additionally, if your van is 2010 or newer, you have a composite fuel tank that can't be modified, so you'll need to run down a tank. If you're in the Colorado area we can build you a tank, just no shipping currently. Aerotanks makes a fuel tank that should fit our setup, but in gasoline engine vans you may need to set bulkhead fittings for the evap lines, best bet to call them for more info. (On a side note, by replacing the transmission extension housing rather than a tunnel adapter like we've seen on some other manufacturers' vans, it keeps the t-case farther forward for more fuel tank room.)
-2008+ gasoline vans require Vapor Canister Box Relocate Kit (T8018)
Driveshafts: You will need driveshafts built to a few various length options. Repurposed Superduty or Excursion shafts can be retubed professionally to save money, or you can have new shafts built. We are offering driveshafts on a limited basis by phone or email only.
Shocks: Our vans are designed to use a standard F-250/F-350 4x4 shock. There are many options for you to choose from depending on what you'll be doing with your van.
ABS sensors: As best we know, there are (3) options for the ABS sensors in Econoline vans. (You will retain all factory ABS, stability control, traction control, etc.)
Exhaust: Gas engine vans require professional exhaust routing, but all can maintain factory emissions equipment. Diesel vans do not require exhaust routing.
-6.0 diesel vans require Oil Filter Housing Re-Articulation Kit ( T8016)
-Sliding door vans require Hinge Extension Kit (T8017)
Wheels and tires: Your new van is getting bigger brakes and the mounting pattern changes to a truck-style (8x170mm), so pick out some new shoes. You will need 17" wheels minimum. Our choice is an 18" wheel with 275 70 18 tires. (33.2"x10.8") A matching-size spare will fit under the rear of the van with a quick trim of the cradle ears.
Timeframe: After building vans time and time again, the most crucial ingredient in determining how long this will take you is your parts availability. If you start this project with every last thing we've mentioned and have a well organized/ stocked shop with all the tools you need the conversion can be done pretty quickly. The bulk of the work can be completed less than a workweek by one person who knows what they're doing and an occasional spotter, but chances are you'll need to hone a few skills in the process and you may need to work on some other stuff while the van is apart; for instance, having the transmission out on a diesel van leaves quite a bit of room to access stuff that is normally hard to get to. Building a 4x4 van is a lot of work and your 1st conversion will not likely get done over a weekend on jack stands with a cherry picker. Be patient with your construction and you'll be rewarded.
We understand you will have questions. There aren't a ton of differences over the models and years, however, there are notable ones and we have worked on them all, so please contact us with questions and include your sub-model information, and we'll go over anything you need help with.