I bought an Oz petrol Transit van 1998 VG LWB extra high roof... owned now for 5 years with only 1 minor issue being the spark leads... although now there are leaks from thermostat housing, steering box and engine... not bad in 5 years...
I have had a Transit VG 2.0 L petrol for ten years, and never had a problem. It has regular servicing, but in its whole life (I know the previous owner), it has not had one repair.
We use it as a delivery vehicle for our business. Great capacity in the back, and we take out the passenger seat for long/big loads. The accountant has given up trying to convince us to get a new van - reliability is really important to us.
There are three types of vehicles: average ones that have average servicing and repair needs; "lemons" - the ones that always have problems; and "anti-lemons" - the ones that never have problems. Ours is an anti-lemon.
Luck of the draw.
Clutch fork is wearing out; it gets to the stage of where you go to put the clutch pedal down, and it just stays there as the fork snaps, and then you have no pedal and the van is locked in gear.
Well I have a 2.5 diesel Smiley Transit (1999 built). I bought it for £500. It was an ex-NHS maintenance van.
I have had to weld the inside sills from end to end on both sides, and I welded the back door bottoms. I welded most of the floor from end to end. So it's now body wise in good shape.
With the engine, I fitted the cam belt kit and new fan belts. I have redone the injectors and adjusted the fuel pump. The engine runs as sound as a pound, very reliable. It's good on diesel, after cleaning all the intake manifolds. They were full of black grease.
The exhaust parted coming back from Birmingham NEC Classic Bike Show. I hit a very large split in the road coming off a slip road. I did not bother to look at it; just kept going, with a loud exhaust noise. A police car passed me going in the opposite way, but he did not turn round, and I got home OK. The next morning I jacked the van up, and found the exhaust pipe had broken in half just before the middle box, so it was out with my trusty MIG welder, and fitted a short pipe inside and welded it all up. Now it's very silent, no noise, and runs like a good'en.
Have changed the front wheel bearings. Fitted new track rod ends and new bottom ball joints. Oil changes every 12 months, new oil filter, new fuel filter, new 15/40w oil, and 75/80 gearbox oil and back diff. So after 4 years now and 19,000 miles, this van has done some real work. It's a good van for its age, and is still going strong.
Would I buy another Smiley Van like this one? YES.
I loved your comments! So refreshing to see someone actually use the intelligence to recondition this van properly! This is exactly what I intend to do, buy an old Smiley Transit and make it bulletproof!
Most problems are caused by folks not doing the required maintenance.
I have a 1999 Transit van diesel. Have had some repairs, but so far so good. Does not burn oil, so no top ups between services, and no coolant leak since having the water pump renewed. As I said, so far so good. Just hope my luck does not run out soon.
Hi, thanks for all the comments. Thought about getting a 1999 Transit, but staying clear of it now.
I happen to be looking at that exact year/model now... Anything specific you could add would be much appreciated :)