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PASY 06-24-2017 07:25 AM

"l'Escargot", my econoline van mod project!
l'Escargot / the Snail

I'm from Québec, I usually speak french, so you know....I'll do my best to be understandable.
I'm a musician, I have to move a lot of gear for my gigs plus, we do a lot of family road trip. So we bought a Ford econoline e250 (2004). It has 68300 miles on it. I think it's a great van because there's a lot of parts available in scrap yards. I think it's a nice way to be "green", to repair things.
I made some repair on the van: add a window on the side, change a door, repair rust, change spark plugs, filters, change alternator, wiper motor.
While surfing on the web to gain some knowledge about this van and mechanics, I found this great forum. I'm a "green" guy, I always enjoy to recycle materials and to modify things to make it more efficient or to reuse it. Ecomodding fits my insterests.
I bought an OBDII bluetooth adapter and an app (I use Torque). It gives me a LOT of live infos about the car: speed, position, temp, check engine problems... You can configure it the way you want. I use it in fuel economy mode.
I found out that when I bought the van I was doing between 12.3 to 14MPG, I now have an average MPG of 19.5!! Just by using some hypermiling techniques. THANKS GUYS!!!
I want to make it 20MPG (then 21... you know.... :)
Now I want to make some mod on the van!!! I already covered the headlight with plexiglas and the front bumper hole with a sheet of metal. I want to cover most of the holes in the front (radiator). I used an old piece of fiberglass from a shower to make it. By the way, do you think I left enough space for air to come in (I suspect weird english here :)? Since I live in Québec, I was thinking about living it there all seasons... What do you think?
I have many other project for this van. I hope you can help me! I want to add to solar panels, a roofrack (I know, bad idea for MPG but I'll figure it out...) ...

PS: ... can't post my pics yet, I'll keep in touch!
Thanks for thinking out of the box!!!
Sorry for my english... did my best...
Bonne St-Jean-Baptiste!!! :)

MetroMPG 06-24-2017 12:25 PM

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Salut, Pierre-Alexandre! Bienvenue a Ecomodder!

When I read l'Escargot in the title, at first I thought of this:

Pas exactement la meme chose!

Congratulations on already going from 12.x to 19 mpg - that's a huge savings, as you already know. (Are you talking in US mpg or UK mpg?)


By the way, do you think I left enough space for air to come in (I suspect weird english here :)?
Perfectly clear. (Mieux que mon francais!) Because of living "up north", the amount you can block changes a lot from season to season. On my little car, I can nearly fully block my front in the winter, but not in the summer. If you are going to do this mod, you just have to monitor your coolant temperature. (And set an alarm on your app, if it has that option.) Also, make it very easy to remove some sections if it's getting too hot. Don't heat stress your engine!

And before you make a roof rack, consider other options. (Trailer hitch mounted platform?) Carrying on the roof is the worst option for efficiency.

Also consider: aerodynamic mods you make to the rear of a van will have a big payoff. Folding aero panels, like on transport truck trailers, or a boat tail will help.

I updated your post count so you can add images now, si tu veux.

Happy St-Jean-Baptiste!


ECO-AKJ 06-24-2017 12:56 PM

As a Ford enthusiast for over 20 years, make sure that you don't EOC, your transmission will thank you.

Which engine do you have?

What tire pressure are you running?

What size of tire are you running?

Solar panels are a great idea, just have to build a clear encasement that is aero friendly, smooth wheel covers will help, belly pan, tall (low to ground ) front air dam

Just a few options that have shown improvements in mileage.

PASY 06-24-2017 03:10 PM

Hey Darin and FordMan!
Thanks for your messages!
Funny van the Esgcargot where does it come from?

My econoline is a e-250, 2004, 4.6L
My tires are 245 75 r16 at 70psi. My mechanic inflate them at 55psi...

About the roof rack, I don't really have the choice... I want to use the van to do outdoor shows with video projection. I'll build a screen that will be held (?) by the van... and I want to be able to play on the roof.
I'll figure out a way to make it more aerodynamic...

Here are some pics of my work so far!
Thanks for your comments and ideas!

PASY 06-24-2017 03:17 PM

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PASY 06-24-2017 03:23 PM

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MetroMPG 06-24-2017 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by PASY (Post 543840)
Funny van the Esgcargot where does it come from?

En fait, c'est "S Cargo", je pense.

It's a Nissan:

PASY 06-24-2017 04:27 PM

Vaguabon aerodynamic camper trailer-boat
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Here's another project I built 4 years ago.
It's a teardrop camper but it can also goes over a 20' catamaran I built. The catamaran is foldable and fits inside the cabine :)
We went to 1000 Islands ON with it :)

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 06-25-2017 07:54 AM


Originally Posted by FordMan (Post 543818)
make sure that you don't EOC, your transmission will thank you

EOCing in any automatic is not something that could be recommendable at all. I did it once in a Corolla and even though it didn't damage the transmission it was quite unsafe. You know, slushboxes are not so well-renowned for a good engine-braking effect...

PASY 06-25-2017 08:24 AM

... just find out what EOC means...

I tried it with my manual SX4. It feels weird at first but so satisfying! I use it for about a week now.
I won't try it with the van. I read bad things about it combined with automatic transmission.
Though, I'm still looking for ways to improve my driving efficency.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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