Hey I’m Shaun and I just purchased a 1993 Ford Econoline 150 with allllll of the windows. It doesn’t have a high top at all. I was looking at pictures today and kind of figuring out how I was going to frame out the walls and ceiling so I started looking for pictures of this model gutted so that I could find out where the metal frame parts are in the body to secure the wood to without going through the actual van walls. Couldn’t find any gutted pictures of the same model. So now I’m worried about ripping out the really nice interior because I don’t know what I’ll find and if it’s a van that will actually fit my build. If it isn’t going to work I’d rather sell it… Even though I just purchased it today… Kind of a disaster. Any ideas where I can find a diagram or schematic or something that Ford used to make the vans. Or does anyone here have pictures of their van gutted that’s the same year and model as mine? Help!
I googled “Ford van interior photos” before cutting holes for my vents and a few other things in my passenger van. Cargo/work vans from the same lineup/year range should be pretty much identical to your conversion van. There may be other clues as well, such as points where the interior is attached, etc., and you may be able to tell by knocking or pushing on the interior walls or maybe even the outside to find those ribs. Don’t give up too easily.
This is helpful. I go pick it up on Friday so I’ll poke around. The main thing is I wanna know there are support beams between the windows and how big those beams are. I saw a 94 photo that had tiny little beams which might not work as well. That’s good advice tho I’ll take a look. I just wanna know what I’ll find structurally.
Gutting a van is usually just about the worst advice you can get. You want to keep the floor, walls, and ceiling. You build everything above and below the windows, keeping the windows for the many benefits they provide. This will also save you a ton of money and hassles. One of the reasons there’s so many cargo van campers for sale is because once people use them, they discover how much they miss windows, so they sell them and upgrade either to a factory camper or to a window van. VW campers are so popular because of all the windows, and because of their interior, not because they are great vehicles. Windows make everything better.
Mount everything from the floor up, secure it to the floor via the seat brackets, then secure it at the window bottom to prevent it from tipping, or what I do is build a plywood L that attaches to the floor only, then the back of the L goes up the wall, and I secure to it alone so I don’t put a single hole in the van. Overhead cabinets are supported by the lower cabinets, or have supports that go clear to the floor. The upper wall corners are such that you can slip clips into them to keep the upper cabinets from tipping without damaging either the walls or ceiling.
Since you’ll have opening windows, no leaky roof vents are needed, and a $20 fan will give you far better air circulation than even two $250+ roof vents can. Curtains can be used for privacy purposes.
Neither was true." ~ Disgusted in Dallas