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Lifted 1990 Ford E150 Van – Classic Look with a Modern Twist

Lifted 1990 Ford E150 Van – Classic Look with a Modern Twist

Lifted 1990 Ford E150 Overland Van project - Hitch mount bike rack
F250 Front End with Borg Warner 1356 T-Case
Lifted 1990 Ford E150 Overland Van project - Hitch mount bike rack
1990 Ford E150 Van with 4wd Conversion from Red Bluff 4×4
1990 Ford E150 3 inch lift and BFG KO 33×12.5 Off-road tires +8
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F250 Front End with Borg Warner 1356 T-Case

The Ford E-Series is the best-selling full-size van in the United States, and it remains in production since 1960, which makes it the second-longest production run in history after Ford’s own F-Series. The third-generation version has been introduced to the market in 1974. It was based on an all-new full-length frame.

Even though the exterior styling has been revised several times over the years, the Ford VN platform remained virtually unchanged until 2014. With hundreds of thousands of these versatile and capable vans sold each year in the 1980s and 1990s, many of which still in use today, it’s no surprise that they still thrive on- and off-the-road. This means you can easily blend into the city traffic without standing out much if you want to.

Lifted 1990 Ford E150 Van – Classic Look with a Modern Twist

The 1990 Ford E-150 van turned out to be the perfect rig for Kirill from Folsom, California who loves camping, hiking, and biking. The vehicle is designed for long-distance trips with a spacious interior and two fuel tanks allowing for getting off the grid for extended periods of time. There is no need to bring a tent, sleeping bags, or mattresses with you to spend a night in comfort. The van has a large bed in the back. And if you don’t want to clutter up the interior, all the gear and equipment can go on the custom-made roof rack. Read the full story if you want to know how the rig was put together and what Kirill is planning to do with it in the future.

Ford E150 Off-road lights

How did you become interested in off-roading?

– Growing up I was really into imports. Until one of my best friends got out of the military, and started traveling out west in his Toyota Tundra and 4 Wheel Camper. Seeing the pictures of his exploration really ignited our fire to live simpler, get out and explore this planet. We modified our (at the time) Chevy Silverado in Virginia, used it to camp across country on our military move to California. That was one of the most unforgettable trips we took. Since then we got the bug, we live a stones throw away from the Sierra’s. So we have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the rig, camping, biking, hiking, and being out of the water in remote areas away from people.

“There is no need to bring a tent, sleeping bags, or mattresses with you to spend a night in comfort”

Ford E150 Van with Overland roof rack, ledder, and bike carrier

Why did you choose this particular model for your project?

– My wife and I had a few different rigs as we traveled across country. We started out with a 2011 Silverado with a topper and Topper Ez-Lift and traveled across country in it. When we got to California we purchased a Tacoma and built a Home Built Go Fast Camper. Which was an awesome project. We really settled on the van for a few reasons. Camping in developed campgrounds in California is expensive. The van gives us the ability to park and rack out. It also keeps us out of the elements, and it’s one stop shop. No set up, no canvas, park and enjoy camp. When we want to go off-road, just throw it in 4WD, lock the front hubs and away you go. In cities, it just looks like a work truck.

What inspired you to choose this styling?

– So if we are being honest. We barely modified this van, it pretty much came the way it is. But we did choose the van for one big reason, and that was the 4wd modification. Most vans with 4wd, such as Sportsmobile get expensive very fast. We wanted something ready to go, and we can enjoy immediately. Something that was reliable and able to get us off the grid without breaking the bank.

What challenges did you face while putting it together?

– The one big challenge with this vehicle is it’s age. Being 30 years old, its no sprinter. It’s slow, squeaky, and kind of drives like a tank. But its a classic and it’s not something you see everyday. Since we purchased it in October of 2019. We’ve replaced the entire fuel tank, most of the fuel system. Steering components, electrical components.

What do you love about your vehicle?

– Its old, and it’s not your everyday van build. Surprisingly enough for its age, it barely has any rust on it. That helps keep the maintenance costs down.

Is it your daily or a weekend ride?

– Its partially a DD. We recently sold our 3rd vehicle, and keeping this as a daily driver for my wife. She works from home, but when she needs to get around. She uses the van.

Do you take it off road? If so, where and how often?

– Absolutely, Tahoe National Forest, East Sierra’s, Mojave and Moab in October, PNW in December.

1990 Ford E150 3 inch lift and BFG KO 33×12.5 Off-road tires

Engine

– Crate EFI 351 Windsor with Jasper E40D
– 4wd Conversion from Red Bluff 4×4
– F250 Front End with Borg Warner 1356 T-Case
– Dana 44, and Ford 8.8 with 4.56 gears front and rear
– Ceramic Coated Headers
– Borla Exhaust

Lift & suspension

– I don’t know too much about the lift, as it was done by the previous owner. But from what I was told. It is a rancho 3″ lift. Leaf springs front and rear.

Wheel specs

See Also

Tacoma Long travel Ki by DirtKing fabrication

– Nothing special on the wheels. They are BFG KO’s 33×12.5 wrapped around some aluminum 15×8 wheel that I painted black.

Exterior

– We removed the old school visor off the van (pictures included) and did some DIY modifications. Mainly painting a lot of the chrome to give it a modern look. The biggest upgrade was the Days On Tracks roof rack. It is a great, lightweight roof rack system, that’s completely DIY. We partnered up with DOT and got some parts from them, then purchased Black 15 Series Extrusion from Grainger, which gave us all the structural portions of the rack. Topped it off with some period-correct PIAA Baja style lights, and voila! We also were gifted an awning from our friends/rep for Hi-Vis overland.

Interior

– The van was built out by the previous owner. It has a bed inside, and a manual roof vent, and a lot of blue. Very minimalistic. But it works for us.

What are your future plans about this vehicle?

– The most important question of them all. lol. I’ll keep the list short, but here are the highlights.
We plan on doing a Cummins 6BT swap on the van, along with that will come all the goodies. The Dodge axles, drivetrain, transmission, some of the electrical, and just about everything we can integrate into the van. Why? Well, it’s slow, and we like to drive past 35 mph uphill. The interior will be completely gutted and revamped with what you would see out of a more common “van build”. Sound deadening the entire interior (because diesel). Revamp the cockpit, new seats, leather stitched dash (get rid of the ugly blue). Update the dash with Dakota Digital Gauges. Suspension will be updated to potentially a 3 link upfront, King Coils. Winch Bumper and Dual Swing out built by American Backroad Company out of Reno. 33″-34″ tires wrapped in some Black Rhino Arsenals. Complete repaint, and frame revamp. The plan is reliable but classic, for the long run.

Anything else you would like to share about your vehicle or about the off-roading in general?

– The plan for the van is long term travel. I am in the military and my wife and I plan on taking this thing around the world. As soon as I retire, we are going to hit the Pan American. Thanks for reaching out and hope you follow along on our journey!

Ford E150 Rancho 3 inch lift, 33 Inch tires and Overland roof rack with Awning

Watch the progress and find out more about this Ford E-150 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @kirill.evdok!

Stay tuned for more project reviews on Offroadium.com – Follow us on social media, and share this write up if you enjoyed reading it!

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Ford E150 Camper van for overland adventures
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