Jump to content
   
Sign in to follow this  
winmag4582001

New to TC. Need your opinions

Recommended Posts

Hello all

Background, I've done many E350 builds. They are tough as hell and last forever with minimal maintenance.

Looking at buying a older TC and fabricating a subframe lift and adding larger tires ect.

Before I start, I'm curious as to the longevity of the TC vs the E350/Transit platform. Nobody on Sportmobile/Expedition Forum have any info on the TC. I'm assuming that the TC is running a form of Mazda motor/trans? Anyone getting a reliable 200k+ miles out of these little vans? Pricing a used TC vs the same year full size van, the TC seems expensive. IMO 

Any info is appreciated. 

I have searched the threads but am not coming across any direct answers as to common problems and/or highlights.

IMG_0390.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

First off, its a unibody car frame.  So lifting is going to be really expensive.  If you just wanting to turn it into a mini-camper, there is a lot of info here.  The gen 1 (prior to 2013) has more headroom and a leaf spring rear suspension but they are getting up there in mileage.  Most folks are going for the gen 2.  Its weakest link is the transmission.  You can read about that here as well.  Some folks are getting over 200,000 miles, but Ford only designed it for 150,000.  They have a high resale value because for their size (and price), they can do a lot. 

 

After looking at your pics, I don't think a Connect will work for you.  You might be better off with the full size Transit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be doing the fabrication myself. Done quite a few subarus in the past and the new Transit is unibody and a lift is fairly straight forward and cheaper than the older I-Beam style Econolines. I located a 2010 TC with 175k at a reasonable price. I was looking at a 2018 TC and the rear suspension is a much simpler design than the older leaf and bar design. Like all FWD systems, my limitation will be the front CV's, but even those can be modified, at a significant cost....

My biggest concern will be modifying the stearing shaft. If I can get a good setup done on an older one then I'll upgrade to a newer base and lift it.

If I get into this project and it proves to be a waste, I didn't want to be stuck with a TC sitting in the shop that's basically crusher material. I wouldn't hesitate a single second at buying a 2010 E350 with 175k, they'll easily go to 300k, but never really being around the TC, I'm kinda wondering if 175k is at the end of its lifespan...

Thanks for your reply

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So others may think differently, but IMHO @175k it is not worth the effort to radically mod it.  I get the 200k with "body on frame" vehicles and the incremental cost to keep them running.  But TC's are throw away at end of life.  Just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With enough mechanical knowledge, and an unlimited budget, you can do anything that you want.  

 

Mechanically, the entire front end & drivetrain will not be strong enough once you start lifting, using larger wheels & tires, and weight is added.    The front end will be a challenge.  You should be able to fabricate mounting and use larger coilover struts.  Lining up your steering will be a challenge, which you may be able to engineer with good CAD software.  I just don't see the OEM engine & transmission package being able to effectively operate with what you want to do.  

 

Lifting the rear, with leaf springs, you can probably add-a-leaf, or have a custom leaf pack made, and add lift blocks with longer u-bolts.  Then it's fairly simply to spec larger and longer shocks.  

 

Fenders will be cut.  New wheel well liners will be fabricated.  You won't have much to work with when you start sliding the rear doors.  You may consider eliminating those sliding rear doors altogether, so that they don't slide open right into the modified larger rear wheels & tires.  

 

With the wheelbase, and added height, your stability will be like a Suzuki Samurai. 

 

This fantasy build can become a reality, if the right team of people find work-arounds.  Very few Transit Connect builds out there.  A few have been built to be faster.  But nobody has built a front-wheel-drive, lifted, rugged terrain vehicle.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Providing I can find a way around the little obstacles, It will be more for looks than off road capability. 

If I succeed, it will be a cool looking little van. If I fail, no one will know. 

Thank you for the info on the longevity of the TC. Subaru's, E350, Astro and Express's can be hacked on, welded, beat on and still run forever. 

If I can find a template cheap enough I'll go for it. I'll keep this forum posted on the progress. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on how far your imagination will take you.  You are only limited by your budget.  My budget would not allow me to go all out, Chip Foose style.  I don't have a work space.  i don't have the tools.  I don't have enough training & experience to do it all myself.  I don't have the money to pay someone else to bring my vision to life.  

 

A small box, ladder frame could be your platform.  Maybe something from a 1/4 ton truck like a Ranger or Tacoma.  Shorten or lengthen the frame to fit, so that you can ultimately lower the Transit Connect body on top.  Pug in electric battery pack.  Independent electric motor powering each wheel for full time All Wheel Drive.  With all new technology, the entire vehicle will be drive-by-wire computer controlled for acceleration, braking, and steering.  You won't have to worry about lining up the steering, or weak transaxles.  No fussing over power plant and powertrain.  Just build the electric car onto the box ladder frame, mount the van body on top, connect the sensors to the vehicle controls........

 

After you've gone through about $125,000,000 in research & development; 3 members on this forum might order a car from you.  Then you go public with your stock, and cash out.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, winmag4582001 said:

 If I succeed, it will be a cool looking little van.  I'll keep this forum posted on the progress. 

 

It certainly will be cool!  Please do let us know.  We love pics!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With significantly larger wheels and tires and not changing the front axle gear ratio to compensate, I think you''d end up with a cool looking vehicle barely able to get out of it's own way!  The transmission is programmed for the gear ratio & tire size the factory installed  -  Venturing very far from stock will surely give you shiting problems

 

The Gen 1 vans were famous for short lived front wheel bearings and I can only imagine what a problem they would be for you with the axles at steep angles caused by raising the front end.  I think starting with a 175K van, you'd end up with an expensive pile of junk before you ever got to the 'cool' stage . . . . let alone to the point where you could drive it as reliable transportation

 

I would advise starting with a Transit  -  V6 or V8, rear wheel drive, much easier to lift it up to the 'look' you're going for without encountering many, many problems

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The TC is a Ford Focus derivative and as such things that work on the cars are somewhat applicable to the TC.  I really like the 2.0 turbo with the 6 speed.  If you know how to deal with the electronics - ie swap over the computer, then it would be possible to have a descent amount of power.  No idea how to go about a lift though.  If you have a really big budget find a wrecked Focus RS and put the drivetrain under the TC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, PhotoAl said:

If you have a really big budget find a wrecked Focus RS and put the drivetrain under the TC.

 

 

If you really have a big budget, you would not waste your time with a wrecked car's used drivetrain, with who know how many hard driven miles.  If you have a big budget, you could simply order all new parts.  Crate motor, transmission, et cetera.  

 

1 hour ago, Beta Don said:

I would advise starting with a Transit  -  V6 or V8, rear wheel drive, much easier to lift it up to the 'look' you're going for without encountering many, many problems

 

The 2020 Transit with All Wheel Drive would be an ideal build platform.  

 

I believe that winmag4582001 wants to build a Transit Connect.  Or at least, he is challenged by the thought of building a Transit Connect.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah , an all wheel drive model sounds fantastic , i don't like the looks of the standard transit series vans, somethings a little bit off about them to me ,  i am looking forward to when they do a complete makeover .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An easier to tackle build would be to use an All Wheel Drive Escape/Kuga platform, and trying to adapt the Transit Connect van body.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×