grey ghost E350 diesel

charlie brown

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2022
here is my overlander/travel/tow vehicle.
bought it off of ebay in 2021. it was own by a paraplegic person that could not drive it. his wife did all of the driving. had about 120k miles on the stock 6.0. since i have owned it i have been bulletproofing the motor. everything is do e but the head studs. i was told to not put a tune on it and just keep an eye on the radiator overflow for blow out.
my faughter and i went on a 7k road trip 3 months after i bought it. i only had time to gut the wheel chair lift, make a bed, some screens for the windows. i bought a snap on toilet seat for a 5 gallon bucket and some kitty litter. haha.


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i was not looking for a van. i was looking for a crew cab 4x4 that i can put a camper on to travel in and tow my truck. that way on the overnight local trips i am sleeping more comfort... at over 60, i guess once in a while its good. haha. but the price and quality available was not there. found this van on ebay fo 17k. was loca so we went to look at it. because of the wheel chair lift, it was built different. 1st off the obvious is the higher top. i think it is 15". but the way they installed the floor. they 1st installed a 2" body lift. then the ground effects to make it look better. then they cut the floor out from about the rear suspension is the the back of the front seats. the did this to lower the floorabout 5" to the frame. so with the higher top and the lowered floor, i can stand in it. so i bought it.


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so after the 3 months of doing a smash build. which consisted of a bed, mattress, the bucket toilet, a jackery power, a couple usb fans, swivel front seats, and a table. though some camp gear in and we were off.
the main points to stop were roswell nm. new orleans, Memphis, Yellowstone, mt Rushmore, bad lands. and what ever els we saw a long the way. i think the space aliens got us in roswell. the van did not want to run. luckily we were in downtown and the local ford dealer was a few blocks away. got it there and left it. they said it was a fuel pump along the frame. took a day to get the part so we stayed in a hotel. next main stop was new Orleans. fun place but kinda a shit hole also. we were advised not to stay in the van because of crime so we stayed in a hotel there also.


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So how was it with the minimal set up? What else did you find that you wanted or needed to add to the van?
a house battery to run lights and stuff, a diesel heater, a roof vent/fan, a small water system would all be nice.

before our 2nd big trip, i striped the inside down before our 2nd big trip. i was over buying ice every 2 days so i got a iceco 12v cooler.
remade the bed system with metal instead of wood. sanded the floor and sprayed everything from the windows down with lizard skin ceramic coating. then put a layer of kills mat over that. then on the side walls i put some havelock wool.
after new Orleans, we cruised along Alabama golf coast then head north to Elvis house. from there we went on to Yellowstone for a night, bad lands for a few days, mt Rushmore. it was all driven on as many side back roads as posible. county dirt roads were the best. got trap on a dirt road in Alabama when a tree feel across the road. i started to get stuff out to try and clear a path. then a guy from the other direction was better equipped to move it. it was one of the better bonding yrips with my daughter.
along the golf coast we came across a truck show with every truck had the 22"+ wheels and a Caroline lean.


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so as the build continues, after the kills mat, i boght some thin 1/4" plywood for the floor and around where the floor was lowered. i sprayed them with the lizard skin on both side. painted them with colors my daughter and gf picked out. installed a drawer system for the iceco to keep it under the bed.


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did i mention the previous onwer love music...load music. the van had 3 alpine amps, one for the sub, and 12 alpine speakers . it was a super pain in the ass doing all that work around all the wiring and amps.

now i am at the point of installing the lithium house battery (gotta be honest i am a bit concern) and a china brand diesel heater.
had to cut out some of the stock panel that also had some air ducks for the rear heater/ac system. but i need my heat in the winter....

after that i already boght some led lights for the ceiling with a dimmer. a max air roof fan. and ready to pull the trigger on a domitic sink/stove combo kit.


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Looks like you have a solid set up now!!!

I bought a $600 200ah Lithium battery off Amazon for our RV. I've really only used it once but so far it has been a solid investment over the standard Go Cart 6v battery set up. The battery has enough power/charge (along with a nice inventer) to run a microwave or coffee maker just off of the inventer. The old battery system would also blow a breaker.

Hopefully it last more then a few years but at the $600 price point it's worth it to me.
The main issue to look out for with a lithiam battery on a set up like yours is charging it off of your alternator. You'll want to be a DC to DC charger so that it doesn't burn out your alternator.

Basically the Lithium batteries take all the amps you'll give it until it's 99% charged. This typically overworks your alternator and burns them out quickly. Cheaper to just invest in a DC to DC charger which are like $150

I bought this one but have not installed it yet on my RV.

i went to a van life overland expo at big bear a few months back. it was good to see so many venders in person. and see the products in person so i can ask my stupid questions

. 1671768411580.png

i have seen those and the redarc ones but did not understand why other then just spend more $$$.
but i learned a lot there about the reason and how i can also plug in some solar panels into it also. but that wont be for a year or 2

i did get a 100amphr battery . and a 2k inverter. will see how it works..
Now it just needs 35s, a D50 TTB up front and a rear locker. :)
The Silver one is solid axle but his other is TTB along with PJs brown extended.
I wish I wasn't so far into my Ram. The VanLife calling is real.
this thing is cool! Are you planning on having it tow your truck?

And @Endless Trails you gotta get these savages on the forum.

Taking van life to another level!
thats my plan. rented a trailer a few times to see if all things are good. having the van out with my truck makes things a bit more nicer. not sure if i would ever tow my truck to baja. it would either be a van trip or baja truck trip.

i did buy a trailer around augest 2022. new from a dealer in corona. decent trailer but to this day the fucking guy wont go to the dmv and get my plates. it has turned into a big crap show. so it sits in my backyard as a view point.
Now it just needs 35s, a D50 TTB up front and a rear locker. :)
The Silver one is solid axle but his other is TTB along with PJs brown extended.
I wish I wasn't so far into my Ram. The VanLife calling is real.
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those are bad a$$$. i would love to do the dana 50 4x4 conversion. the only place that did them was glens shop in SD. the sprinter vans take all his time and sprinter van owners have so much money that glen shelved the e350 dana 50. i have talked to them a few times trying to get them to do onw more. he told me he would sell the jigs but he is making too much money with the sprinters.
he told once at a trade show he parked one next to another 4x4 conversion company. he said the dana 50 sat lower, had bigger tires, and had 6" more travel.
i want
Chris's green van is a Agile conversion. He is currently doing a LS swap. Should be fairly scary as I couldn't keep up with him with a 5.8.
The brown van is a garage job and works real well. Another friend has did his own conversion as well with coil overs, but had access to a bunch of nice tools. I haven't seen it perform as he is up in Montana now.
maybe this thread should be moved to the van build threads?m
anyways, got some time in over the holidays to hook up the lithium battery, install a bigger blue sea fuse block. i used the redarc DC to DC charger. it has a connection for solar panels when i am ready.
also finished the diesel heater. need to get a "van" rv type carbon monoxide detector. just dont want one that will blast 100db in the middle of the night while sleeping. the heater has a thermostat and programmable with connection to my phone.


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