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 blown up van and Dajibans 
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:05 pm
Posts: 6784
Location: Novato, California
My '97 Ford E150 work van blew a head gasket to the severity that it hydrolocked from a cylinder being filled with coolant when I tried to start it in the morning sometime last fall.

I continued to use it for a week or two by disconnecting the fuel injector for the grossly affected cylinder, removing the spark plug and starting the engine to blow the water out and then putting the plug back in (the noise without the spark plug was much worse than an exhaust leak, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sounded great in comparison.)

It actually ran okay on 7 cylinders but way too hillbilly for me to be wrenching on my van before I could drive away from a job in a white cloud of "burning" coolant plus concerns about toxicity of the vaporized coolant has turned the van into shed on wheels until I can fix it or replace it.

At this point, it's either an engine swap or a newer van and you can imagine how enthusiastic I am about pulling an engine out of a vehicle whose engine can't fully be accessed from the front, back, top nor bottom.

The current full size Nissan vans have the engine completely in front so as far as serviceability, they'd be my choice but in California we get raped by the DMV registration fees whether new or used so I want something older and less valuable with lower taxes. The GM vans are OHV which makes for a more compact engine and probably better access to it and I'm thinking that their LS engines are better than the SOHC Fords but for every GM van there are 10 Fords it seems.

I remembered that some old vans had engines that were more accessible by being all or mostly behind the front axle with a doghouse between the seats which led to me discovering Japanese Dodge vans that are setup for the track - Dajibans:

The Dodge 318 V8 engine is supposed to be very durable and reliable and sits farther back than the engines in more recent vans but the rest of the van is crap, 3-speed transmission, 25% more fuel consumption than my E150, interior straight outta 1970 unless you get a '97 (IIRC) or newer but then you lose the superior engine access.


Tom Lory
2014 AES Champion
2015 GTC-1 Pro Champion
2015 SCCS GT1 Pro Champion
2015 AES Champion
2016 AES Champion
2017 AES Champion
2018 GTC-4 Pro Champion
2018 Simca Abarth 1150 Corsa Cup Pro Champion

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:41 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:05 pm
Posts: 3427
Location: Minnesota, USA
I came across this a year or two ago, great stuff. :D You need to get a Dodge van now Tom. :lol:

I also became a fan of this guys channel, he posts some fun living in Japan car cultural video's. His primary interest is Drifting but lots of other car things too. Most of his drift driving is at Eibsu, that's where he keeps his car the "Beer Can Skyline" an R32. He is an Aussi and actually moved from there years ago to Japan just to go drifting at that track.


Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:44 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Quebec, Canada
That old 318 is unkillable. My father did 200000mi with a 318 5th avenue!


Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:03 pm
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