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4x4 van conversion

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  #1  
Old 10-02-2017, 05:27 PM
Mike Mike
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I just bought a 2000 dodge b3500 ram van 5.2. 127 inch wheel base uni body. I would like to convert it to 4x4. Can this be done and if so what would be the best donor truck to use the parts Year,make,model. Would like to add that the van only has 11000 original miles on it with no rust. Mike
 

Last edited by Mike Mike; 10-02-2017 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Like to add that the van only has 11000 miles with no rust
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:17 PM
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2017, 07:56 PM
Mike Mike
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Thanks for the info. I have access to a good shop with all the tools necessary to complete a project like this. My biggest concern at this point is the best donor truck to purchases. I know it would have to be between the years of 1994 and 01. And at least a 2500. But what year would be best and dodge ram or Dakota. Also not crazy about the idea of the van after conversion being jacked up to high. Would like to achieve a more standard height no much taller then a standard 4x4 truck. If this is not possible I will probably scrap the idea. The cost of the van was only 8 grand so I'm willing to though about 15 grand more at it if it can be done right.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:49 AM
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Dakota won't work, as they are all half-ton, and IFS.

Get a 2000-02 3/4 ton. D60 front end, with the dual piston calipers. Will have the same bolt pattern your rear axle has as well.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:36 PM
Mike Mike
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Thanks hey you. When I bought the van I thought it had a frame. It looks like it has a frame. Not until after I bought it I found out it was a uni body and not recommended for 4x4 conversion. I was really disappointed when I found out about the uni body because it's my dream van down to the exact color I wanted. I started researching the idea of the donor truck idea in hopes that this dream still might have a chance. Still concerned about it being to tall after conversion. Any and all ideas and information on how to do this correctly is greatly appreciated. This van was an ex government surveillance van and has some really cool stuff in it that I can utilize for the camper conversion part if I can get the 4x4 part to fly.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
............This van was an ex government surveillance van and has some really cool stuff in it that I can utilize for the camper conversion part if I can get the 4x4 part to fly.
Did you purchase your van at a government auction? I have purchased several, some having a red/orange and white checker board pattern on the roof to improve visibility. It's high visibility notified military pilots firing weapons to not fire on that van!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you purchase your van at what was called the DRMO at military bases during the 1990s??????
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:01 PM
Mike Mike
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I bought it from a dealer who bought it at a government auction. My van is forest green with tan cloth interior. Power everything with inside conversion that was insulated for sound.still has some equipment ln it like a intelliscope that's mounted in the back roof where a roof vent would go. Has all kinds of gauges and switches where there is a 2000 watt inverter. All kinds of plug outlets where they had computers and survalance stuff that was mounted on a desk. There is even these little cameras mounted in the back and side windows. Craziest thing I ever saw. I think that's why it's in such good shape. It would have had to be stored indoors. Still has original tires like new. First time on a site like this. Would post pictures if I knew how. Just hope I can turn this van into a sportsmobile expedition type vehicle.will be a one of a kind if I can pull it off.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mike View Post
I bought it from a dealer who bought it at a government auction. .....
May I inquire as to how many $$$$$$'s??????????????
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:07 PM
Mike Mike
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Pocked it up from new jersey last week. Flu there from mi. And drove it back the same day. Like driving a brand new van. 7900 out the door. 11,600 miles. B3500 short box 127 wb. Barn doors side and back. Rare find.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:31 PM
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Making some progress... Finally sitting the way I want it on leaf spring solid axle front suspension... Not for the faint of heart though... ;-) Note that just about nothing bolts right on from the trucks and the front frame is wider than the trucks and goes down instead of up where the axle needs to be... Gas tank is one of the big early problems - you'll have to move it (I didn't think realistic) or shorten it 9 inches or so in order to make room for a transfer case...

 

Last edited by wca_tim; 10-03-2017 at 10:35 PM.
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