muscle van 460
Altair Club Cars Muscle Van 460

Muscle Van 460

Ford’s Third-Gen Econoline Vans were the first built to accept big block V8 engines and pull major loads. In this video Steve explores a burly 1978 E250 with the rare Trailer Special heavy duty trailer towing option.

Hey stephen young here doing the junkyard crawl at burniston auto wrecking in bernardston massachusetts now we all know and love the ford econoline van first seen in 1961 uh through 67 six cylinder only you know half toners kind of a heavy half well the second gen 68 and a half through 74. well it kind of grew from strength to strength finally get a v8 in it but

This is a third generation this is a 1978 but let’s call this one a muscle van why well to do that we look here on the rear door the word trailer special and this is a very unusual van this one is equipped to haul as much as nine tons gvw van and trailer combined so this is a heavy duty e250 series van and again we look at this logo right here it’s kind of cool

Trailer special and this indicates heavy suspension bigger brakes up size electrical system but notice how the contour of the united states right there in other words this thing’s ready to go coast to coast pulling whatever you want and we’ll dig in more on this thing here but in the back let’s take a look and see miscellaneous stuff yeah this one has uh it’s

Commodious inside this might have had seats in it you could get the trailer special with or without the passenger interior and it’s interesting look at this little irony those red doors those are from a first generation econoline van again 1961 through 67 strictly six cylinders strictly half ton again it was a heavy half but nothing like the second and third gen

Now these third gens are unique in many ways and oh well we have a little friend here look at this it’s mickey mickey mouse right here you never know what you’re going to find in a in a junkyard situation rest in peace little friend but one thing is cool by the way about these is that the rear doors swing out but if you need even more swing there’s a pin right in

Here that you can remove now this ordinarily this little strap here keeps the door from going too far but if you want to go further pull this out and the doors can go way deeper way farther now that tree is kind of in the way but these little pins that a lot of people don’t realize now a lot of these trailer special vans do come with special wiring harnesses that

Are ready to feed the brake lights on a trailer and these even have heavy duty flashers and brake light switches to accommodate the electrical load of the van and the trailer behind it and that trailer could well be a mobile home or a car trailer you name it but up to nine tons total weight on these things now this one is a long wheelbase fan the super van which

Actually had a little caboose added to the back would come a couple years later this is 78 again first year 1975 for this third gen but the thing that makes these so suitable to trailering is that the third generation ford econ lines went to a body on frame construction the gen 2 is like this one here these are unit construction with that said the bones under these

Things could only be made so strong whereas the third gen’s truly an f-250 pickup truck with a body added to it so these things have a mass acid frame now here we see the f250s dana 60 rear axle with full floating hubs right here eight lug wheels 16 and a half inch tires and rims these are way bigger than the five lug nine inch rear axle seen on the e150 half ton

Van but this is kind of the big dog now speaking of muscle these fans up till about 1981 can’t be identified by model year according to the vin there’s no specific character instead you go to a stack of the serial number which will tell you what year but this one we know it’s a 78 with that said the engine is identified now here’s the sticker the vin sticker right

Here now i say sticker because after 1970 these darn stickers arrived which we can see they delaminate they peel 69 and before this was metal but here we see the magical a in the fourth spot that a 460 big block muscle look right here to your left and there it is the 460 same engine you could get in a lincoln continental or a big ford ltd country squire wagon was

Part of this e250 now it’s kind of cool inside details we see on this one the twin tanks this has a 41 gallon capacity here’s the main and auxiliary fuel tank toggle switch right here to go from one or the other right there and again 41 gallon capacity at 460 at 11 miles to the gallon man at least you could go a couple hundred miles instead of only 100 100 you know

Anyway this one does have the 80 mile an hour speedometer for the first time in 1978 the metric secondary character is 130 kilometers 120 those things were added in 78 scene here for the first time this does have as part of the trailer special mechanical gauges for oil pressure and temperature and charging that’s all stuff that would be an idiot light on the basic

Non-trailer special van this does have cruise control see right here so you can hit cruise and head down you know i-40 all the way out through texas at 75 80 miles per hour just don’t get caught because again the national speed limit was 55 at this point in time but this does have the captain’s chairs and kind of cool you never know what’s going to find in the

Junkyard a 340 mopar air cleaner lid right here i don’t know what this came off of that’s not a reproduction kind of cool little treasure inside but getting back to this particular van this is motor trend magazine here november of 77 and here it is right here motor trans truck of the year nominees and we see inside of this and again this is the first time that motor

Train ever did truck of the year before this was car of the year but we can see right here on the left vans there’s the econoline right there little spoiler it won 1978 van of the year motor trend awarded this very vehicle that we’re standing next to over the dodge and the chevy and the gmc and all those other vehicles the econoline van was motor trends truck of

The year for 1978 started right here but again the beauty of this thing is really under the hood as we make a way here’s those massive front disc brakes front sway bar part of the trailer special package and um and again the thing that made the third generation for advance really unique was this out front design literally this whole proboscis here which is about

Half the length of an of f-series pickup truck hood uh was it was doubled up if you look over here this is a second genocon line and again this is 68 and a half through 74 and this opening hood right here was an industry first 1968 and a half ford econoline introduced the opening hood before this chevy ford gmc and dodge bands didn’t have hoods in fact there were

Flush nose vehicles but for 75 the third gen ford took it all away with this massive proboscis but the point of that was to get the engine cover and engine out of the way truly they shoved it way forward and you could walk right to the back without going around that dog house it would be a problem on a gen twos and especially on the gen ones but again this one here

Being a trailer special under the hood let’s take a peek and there’s that big 460 and i think in 78 this would have had something like 215 or 220 or something like that net power but again loads of torque and this would have of course had a four barrel carburetor and in the trailer special 110 amp alternator the big monster down there and again that alternator had

To make electricity not just for the van but also for the brakes and the lights on the trailer at night so this is basically heavy heavy duty of the trailer special now this one does have round headlights we can see them right here and those round headlights were part of the picture from 75 through 78 and 79 ford went to uh rectangular headlights on the fronts

Of their e-series vans but again one of the problems again with these things is there’s no vin code for the actual model year until 1981 on this family of ford van but again you can check it in the service manual by the vin stack this real number but again this is 78 we know that for a variety of small reasons but the twin tanks on this who you haven’t for 41

Gallons and the nice thing about this is that ford kindly put both fillers on the driver’s side here’s the primary tank and the secondary in the back right there and unlike certain gm vehicles where one tank filler was on the passenger side one was on the driver the problem with that is that when you pull up the gas pump you had to actually pick up move around turn

The truck around to fill the other side which when you were on your way somebody pop in your spot in a fight but with this no problem at all so here we have it man a 460 powered dana rear axle c6 heavy duty cooler engine cooler heavy duty muscle van and yeah they made them now the crazy thing on this one is that nobody apparently ever utilized it for pulling a

Trailer because i don’t see the class 4 hitch at the back which you’d think would be you know standard equipment there should be a big old square right there receiver but i don’t see it it’s possible somebody said i want to have a 460 van and here’s how to get it so a muscle van trailer special kind of a rare package right here only at burniston auto wrecking now

If you like ford econolines well that series 2 econoline right there that’s a super van what’s that we’ll come back tomorrow we’ll tell you all about it until then be sure to subscribe to the steve mags youtube channel and we’ll be back tomorrow with more junkyard crawler bring some auto wrecking foreign

Transcribed from video
Muscle Van 460 By Steve Magnante

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