2000 Ford Econoline 250 5.4 Triton V8 from North America
The van is composed of quality drivetrain components, surrounded by utter rubbish components
Coil packs consistently need changing.
Some sensor went out on it very early (I think TPS) and was covered by warranty.
Shifter froze in park early on and the linkage had to be overhauled.
Steering linkage replaced after 165,000 miles.
Ball joints replaced after 170,000 miles (that's pretty good!).
Alternator finally replaced after 125,000 miles after years of junkyard voltage regulator installs.
Cargo door cables and rear door cables replaced.
Weatherstripping on rear doors replaced.
Blower control switch replaced.
I got this van new for $23,000. The van has been great as far as running and carrying all my carpentry tools, lumber, loads, etc. It has only left me stranded once, when the shifter was frozen in park. However, there are some key issues with this van that are less than desirable. First, the coil packs. They all have been replaced at least twice, and the number 7 coil pack at least 5 times.
The weatherstripping on the back doors got terribly shredded very early on and tore from the cheap plastic clips used to hold it in place. I got an aftermarket set for about $80 once they became available, after riding around with leaks for several years.
The cargo mat got severely thrashed pretty early on, and tore and ripped in several places. I tore it all out, glued in some padding and screwed down some cheap exterior grade carpet, and it's been the single best upgrade that I have done to this vehicle.
The driver seat is completely cracked, thrashed and missing chunks of padding.
The A/C switch burned up and melted - despite being on a circuit with 2 fuses... that's really bad and dangerous. And while I'm on the subject of A/C, a confounding problem has been the vacuum canister that controls the vent flues - it has either broken, become disconnected or dry rotted so that the blower always defaults to the defroster position no matter what setting. The canister is in such a location that it is a total PIA to access it.
But, the #1 problem I have had with this vehicle is the cables that connect the door handles to the latches. For some reason, the front doors have been fine all these years and have not needed any attention. The sliding cargo door and especially the rear doors have been the problem. These little cables have a plastic-y sheathing with built up ends and a groove that fits into a metal holder, so that the plastic part stays stationary and the cable operates the latch via a ball at each end of the cable fitted into a socket on the latch and door handle. The first time this happened was only after about 6 years of ownership. I had just finished remodeling a house, and I went to the back door to open it so I could load up all of my tools, and no dice. Being angered by this, I stomped inside and opened it using the interior handle. Then, placing my hands on the upper part of the door frame I swung out, ape-like in all my rage and frustration, only to land on a giant crack in the driveway with about 3" vertical displacement. There was a sickening pop, then a tumble onto the concrete, followed by an immense pain, followed by the blooming of what appeared to be a baseball under the skin of my right ankle. It was horribly sprained and I couldn't work for about a month and a half. So much for anger...
Anyway back to the van. Every cable eventually failed. At the time the only alternative for a new one (besides the junkyard) was through Ford. The prices for all the various cables from a local dealership ranged from like $40-$95 per cable. I just drilled a hole in the plastic license plate/door handle holder and attached a string with a loop on the end to the cable. This was a far better design than the original and I wondered why more autos didn't have a string pull instead of a door handle. Eventually the side door cable broke for the outside handle and I had to open the passenger door and open the sliding door by reaching inside. Not terrible, but not ideal also. Eventually, the cables became available on Rockauto for far less than the dealership wanted, so I purchased all new cables. These all failed, with the exception of the sliding door cable. Now I have resorted back to the string and loop for the rear door, and I had to tie a string to both cables, for the top and bottom latch, to operate the left side rear door.
C'mon Ford, you can do better than that. Access to the cargo area of a work van is very, very, very important! This was such a poorly designed and weakly manufactured component that will see use repeatedly every day in a real-world working environment.
The engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, cooling system (I've been nursing a cracked radiator for years and it never gets anywhere close to overheating) have all far exceeded my expectations. Even though the A/C always defaults to defrost, it blows ice-cold air. Now, if they could only put that quality into the surrounding components...
When it finally gives up the ghost, and if I'm still schlepping tools for a living, I see a used Isuzu NPR in my future (I have owned a couple of Isuzu Troopers and they were quality surrounded by quality).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 1st December, 2015