I want to turn this into a mountian biking touring machine...is this possible?

Asked by Jan 30, 2013 at 11:12 PM about the 1996 Ford E-350

Question type: Car Customization

I live in South America and own a downhill mountain biking tour company. www.colombianbikejunkies.com
My question is can this 1996 Ford E-350 4.9 Lt V6 climb off road with 3500 lbs on and in it? I have a land rover 110 defender 1994 with a 3.5 Lt V8 that has a mountain biking rack that holds 12 35lb mountain bikes and 10 people. All that weight adds up to about 2300lbs. I climb in the mountain in Colombia to our starting point and then the riders descend back down. I'm wanting to use this ford E-350 van to do the same thing just with more passengers and more bikes with a total weight of around 3500 lbs. I was going to beef up the suspension and add bigger knobbier tires as well for climbing off road. These roads are all rough 2 track dirt and rock. Is this even possible? The problem here is vehicles are twice the price of the US so even this model of van in good shape is 10K USD.
Lastly I have attached a picture of the set I have on the Land Rover to give you an example of what I want to do with this ford van. Any help or alternative ideas would be great! Thanks! This is a link to pics of the van I'm talking about.  

http://articulo.tucarro.com.co/MCO-23411672-ford-econoline-e-350-1996-_JM

This is the 3.5 V8 Land Rover 110 Defender with bike rack for an example of what I want to do to the van.

http://kathiby.picturepush.com/album/243922/p-December-13th-2012-Suarez-Canyon-downhill-through-Barichara-and-Galan.html

5 Answers

6,295

I like your Land Rover! Do you often find yourself using the 4x4 in your land rover and does your van have 4x4? I know that people in Maine customize vans similar to that and take them for 2 week long trips on the Maine logging roads which are very rough, rocky, muddy and steep. I would get larger tires, better suspension and maybe even a small lift on the van. Make sure you have a good cooling system for your transmission, engine (Especially the transmission) and good brakes. I think you should go for it! Good luck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks joef! I don't really use the 4x4 much on the tours. And this Van only has rear wheel drive. I think it could work, but 3500 lbs seems like a lot to climb with. This land rover has a carborator issue and isn't working at quite full torque capacity. It hauls up some pretty steep bits with about 2300lbs on it. It is an all wheel drive full time, but I rarely have to put it into low to get anywhere unless I'm screwing around without clients and a ton of weight.

6,295

The van will be considerably heavier. If you give it taller, wider tires then it will be able to get even more traction. The only concern with the van is that it is very top heavy (Especially with all those bikes on the roof) and may be a hazard but that is a risk you should asses. I do not know what the road looks like.

Best Answer

Weights: gross vehicle weight (lbs): 9,500, published curb weight (lbs): 5,404, gross trailer weight braked (lbs): 7,300 and payload allowance (lbs): 4,096 You will be fine.

Best Answer
565

THE E-350 CAN BE BOUGHT WITH 4 WHEEL DRIVE,PERHAPS NOT NEW, CAN'T REMEMBER LAST YEAR OF PRODUCTION ,YOU MAY BE ABLE TO FIND A LOW MIEAGE USED VEHICLE,THAT WOULD ACCOMADATE ALL YOUR TRAVEL AND BUSSINESS ISSUES,CHECK HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS,FORGET THE TOYOTA OR LANDROVER,TO EXPENSIVE TO UPGRAGE......GOOD LUCK AAACAR P.S MUST BE V-8(351CI)

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