Ford E-Series 4x4 Conversion Vans

The Important bits

Conversion years serviced: 1975-Current

Cost: $16k-$27k options dependent. (Most vans $17k-ish)

Lift considerations:

  • Option A) 4" Coil Spring Lift - Lowest possible solid-axle option, tendency to ride on the bump stops. 

  • Option B) 5" Coil Spring Lift - Most common design, war tested, rear lift blocks, 33" tires recommended, 35" mostly fit

  • Option C) 6" Coil-Over Lift - More $$, high steering, rear leaf pack, outstanding drivability, 35" tires 

  • Option D) 8" Coil-Over Lift - More $$, high steering, rear leaf pack, totally daily-drivable, 37" tires

  • Option E) 12" Coil-Over Lift - All the $$, lots of custom bits, 80mph on the freeway, 42" tires (photos coming)

 

Limitations:

  • Vehicle length capped at 23 feet

  • We offer conversions for all engine and transmission options

  • Nice vans only, no rust, no mileage caps, but it needs to be a nice van. 

details

Pricing: $15,650+upgrades/mods base price

  • Front Gearing Options

  • 3.55, 3.73 No charge

  • 4.10 Add $125

  • 4.30 Requires 2013-2016 Axle(s), see below

  • 4.56+ Requires custom build, see below 

  • Rear Gearing Options

  • We offer re-gearing services for rear differentials and install various locking or limited-slip differentials in both front and rear axles. Pricing quoted on a per-van basis and is subject to change until booking completed. 

  • Typical re-gearing adds $1150-$1350, also a good time to add LSD or Locker. 

  • Sterling swaps are available, though not needed for most people. These are quoted on a per-build basis. 

  • 2013+ Axle(s)

  • Timberline offers 2013-2016 year axles as part of the conversion process. These axles have larger brake calipers and rotors, price-conscious solutions for Sterling swaps with factory E-lockers, and varied gear ratios. These axles are offered on a per-build basis. If it's just the front axle we're matching up with an existing van, a typical added cost to the build is $1200 for this upgrade. 

Tire Sizes

  • 5" Lift (Or most common) Recommended tire sizes 285 70 17 // 285 75 17 // 275 70 18, and 275 75 18. 

  • 6" Lift Recommend tire sizes 315 70 17 // 35x12.50x17 // 35x12.50x18

Wheels: OEM van wheels do not work after conversion, 16" wheels do not clear Superduty axle calipers. We have options for you to keep your 8x6.5" wheel pattern if it's absolutely necessary. Recommended wheel size 17" or 18", wheel pattern 8x170. Best-looking offsets range from +6 to -6. -6 to -18 offsets require fender flares for practical usage. Zero offset wheels can often be done without flares

Timeframe

  • Approx 2-3 week turn around (for conversion alone)

  • Scheduling varies, call for details

Additional Price Modifiers

  • Cost modifiers

  • -6.0 Liter diesel vans require oil filter re-articulation kit +$595

  • -Older 4R100/E40D Gas + 7,3 Liter vans require electronic ratio adapter +$315 installed

  • -4R100/E40D vans (common on 7.3 and older vans) +$1,500 transmission cost (Gas V10/ V8),  $1,700 7.3

  • -4R75 vans (common on 5.4 and 4.6 vans) +$1,500 transmission rebuild cost, $800 for adapters only syle.

  • -2011+ gasoline-powered vans require additional fuel tank location modifications +$600

  • -Sliding door vans require custom hinge +$600 

  • -Dual rear wheel vehicles may require additional wheel adapters, the typical cost for a 4-piece setup $650

  • -Cutaway units with tail-shaft-mounted parking brakes require significant additional expense. 

  • Gen 3 Vans

  • We have limited experience with the 3rd gen builds, but we've manufactured specific components that are required for the differences including a machined flange mount for a double Kardan driveshaft that harmonizes with the C6 trans and BW1356 t-case, custom speedo cable, brake line mods, and a varied track bar bracket for the frame. There's probably a little more work to be done on a custom transmission cross-member and better sway bar options, but that's pretty easy stuff. We estimate that the additional cost to convert a standard Gen 3 van with the C6 transmission will be $1500 more than our standard conversion. If you have one, let's chat. 

  • Upgrades - We have just (2) upgrade options for standard vans

  • -Hellwig 7718 sway bar, is a heavy-duty sway bar that keeps vans more stable in the wind, quick disconnect sway bar links are available if you plan to spend a lot of time off-road. Upgrade cost is $330

  • -Warn hub lockouts. Your van will come with factory lockouts, the Warn hub lockout is a smoother operating nicer looking brand new option. Upgrade cost is $375

  •  Coilover Vans - We have built several Coilover conversion vans using the same D-60 Superduty axles we've used for years. This process has been a lot like starting a totally new conversion, but the results are fantastic. The ride quality is vastly improved both on and off-road, steering is responsive, in short, you sort of just forget you're driving a 4x4 van.

  • Recently, we have partnered with Elka Suspension from Quebec who is a forerunner in the high-end suspension market and very well known for their Toyota Application components. We have been working closely with their engineering department designing coil-over components specifically for van usage, both for the styles of driving most commonly exhibited by our 4x4 van customers as well as the weight distribution and placement on the vehicle as it pertains to 4x4 E-series vans. 

  • Moving forward, we hope our Coilover conversions will move front and center, as with our coil spring suspensions we have been known for meticulously dialing the designs into OEM grade or better. 

  • We are poised to provide the finest riding/driving solid axle conversion vans on the market and are currently offering Coilover conversions on E-series vans as well as custom-designed rear Elka shocks for the same vans. 

  • The nature of the conversion requires substantially more work, higher dollar components including the shocks themselves, as well as many other modifications to our original conversion design. Due to these modifications and components, the conversions are more expensive. There are additional options with each of these that are customer-specific, so as a ballpark, these conversions run about $25,000 without wheels/tires. 

Additional Work

  •    Upfitting and reconditioning available, we currently handle everything but pop-tops. 

  •    Shop rate $95/hr Fab Rate $115/hr

For more information on how the conversion process works, visit the CONVERT MY VAN page. 

build (Ford)

drop-off

About our conversion:

We started building Ford E-series 4x4 vans about 8 years ago. To date, we have produced approximately 150 Econoline conversions and there are roughly another 50 DIY built Timberline vans out there. We are highly competent and experienced as should be obvious with the detailed transparency of our process both on this site and our Supply site. We're human and make mistakes like anyone, but the service and support you will receive from us is not something you'll find through any of our competitors. 

Timberline vans are great. They drive well, are easy to work on, the modifications are literally designed with service, ease of repair, replacement, and longevity in mind. We don't try to build a bunch of proprietary service items to keep you coming back down the road. We just build the best van we can and take care of you when the sh*t hits the fan. 

There's a pretty good foray into the difference between coil springs and leaf springs on our Supply site, and the Van Goals page, if you'd like to know why we do what we do, visit there. 

What we work on

Van Condition: We work on nice vans without rust. It's not a prerequisite that the van has low mileage, or is a certain year, but it needs to be nice. We do not work on anything with rust or extensive body damage, or significant mechanical issues that will not be addressed as part of the conversion, etc. It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on a dilapidated vehicle. We realize all vans are used and have personality, but please buy and bring nice rigs for us to work on. 

Additional Upfit / Labor / Payment

Additional labor rates

  • Shop Rate + Mechanical Work: $95/hour

  • Specialty Diag / Custom Labor + Fab: $115+/hour 

Payment: On a conventional conversion, we require $9,000 down at the time of van being dropped off. The balance is due on delivery. If you have additional upfit requirements, an additional down will be required. Non-Colorado residents must pay the balance with certified funds, cash, or credit/debit. We accept all major credit cards, however, there is a 2% charge for anything more than $4,000. Colorado residents must pay tax on applicable parts.

Important stuff - Standard Conversion

  • Service: Vehicle can be easily serviced at any Ford dealer or conventional mechanic

  • Parts List: Parts list of serviceable items provided on every vehicle, so you know what you have in the future

  • Front End: Coil spring solid axle Dana 60 (2005-2012) Superduty (F-250/F-350) conversion with custom 4-link front

  • Transfer Case: Manual shift NP271 (NV271) from Superduty truck

  • Transmission: Remanufactured with warranty, unless equipped with 5R110 where that's an option (read more below)

  • Stability: Rigid track bar with integrated cradle support arm (engine cradle trimmed during conversion)

  • ABS, TCS, RSC, ETC: Factory ABS and stability systems maintain functionality across all sub-models

  • Emissions/Smog: All factory emissions equipment across all sub-models remains functional

  • Parts: Serviceable components are all off the shelf parts available OEM or aftermarket equivalent

  • Lift: Estimated overall vehicle lift of 5 inches plus tire size

  • Tires: 275 70R18 recommended tire size, 245 70R 17 for lower ride height

  • Fitment: 8 Lug E-150 (2008-2014), E-250 (1995-2014), E-350/450 (1995-Current). All standard engines and sub-models***These are the models covered under the standard conversion assessment, as noted above, we can build just about any E-series 1976-current as long as it's less than 23 feet long and it's clean***

What's included - Standard Conversion

New parts: 

  • 4-link front end, track bar brackets, 1.5" solid steel track bar with 7/8" Chromoly Heim joints with misalignment material, 5" of rear vehicle lift via lift block, new u-bolts, new front brake lines, abs sensors, new sway bar (OEM or Hellwig), spring perches, Bilstein over-the-counter shocks, Monroe stabilizer, new stabilizer brackets, a re-manufactured transfer case with new Range sensor and harness, 4x4 indicator lamp and wiring, custom driveshafts, new Moog tie-rods (4), custom machined upper adjustment sleeve, sway bar links, Motorcraft ball joints. All hardware for conversion is grade 10 and grade 8 certified with zinc coating where available. Axle receives new brake rotors, calipers, pads, and hardware.

  • All parts are powder coated and welded in-components are painted with chassis paint during installation to mitigate rust from road salt. The front and other frame areas serviced in the conversion receive clean-up and fresh paint. We typically clear coat the entire under-front of the vehicle after conversion, again, to protect and keep new components looking fresh. 

  • Front Axle: New Motorcraft radius arm bushings, axle shaft dust shields, new axle shaft U-joints, and new Motorcraft ball joints. We now install new Timken or Moog hub assemblies on all our Superduty axles, again, new everything else listed above, full brakes, tie-rods, nearly everything but the ring and pinion as standard procedure. Everything is cleaned surface treated, painted and clear coated. 

Reconditioned parts: Dana 60 front axle, cleaned and inspected, painted, good ring, pinion, bearings, front axle-shaft u-joints. Rear differential receives drain, clean, new gasket material, fill, LSD additive if needed. Transmission cross-member remains original, but is modified to correct driveshaft angle. Fuel tank is shortened approximately 2 gallons, professionally handled and tested in a fabrication shop, and red-kote lined for longevity. (Rear tank models go unmodified)

Transmission: Transmissions are built by a local builder who is meticulous about her work. She's been at it for decades and we're not sure what we'd do without her. The work is outstanding. Timberline offers a parts warranty on all Transmissions as part of rebuilt-units required per conversion. The details on that will be listed in your estimate. 

Warranty: Our conversions come with a 12 month 12,000-mile parts warranty. Labor is included for Colorado customers only. Parts warranty is limited to manufacturer or installation defect. Vans less than 3 years old and with less than 5k miles will receive a 3 year 36k Mile parts warranty. 

drive

When your van is finished, you can schedule a pickup which only takes about 20 minutes. If you are out of state and want your van delivered we can help with that. We also offer free airport pickup if you'd like to fly in and drive your van home. If you need some time to get here, we can store the van for you for up to 30 days. Additional storage of vehicle may incur fees as we are limited on space.

You will receive a build sheet with the details of your conversion components for future service and we will spend whatever time you need to explain your new setup. We generally take folks on a quick 5-10 minute test drive to go over the 4x4. Balance due by cash, certified funds or debit card for balance. Credit card payment fee schedule same as at drop-off.

Colorado Residents:

Timberline will collect applicable sales tax on parts used in the conversion process. A good deal of the components used already have taxes paid on materials. 

We offer a free 1000 mile checkup on your van, just to bring it in and shake it down, check for any details needing attention. If you are in metro Denver, we offer free pickup and delivery service of your van.