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2004 Astro V6
320 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well..after 8 months they finally found my stolen van that I had planned for a camper van.2001 Ford Econoline with only 135K miles in very good condition..
I drove a contractor friend up to Bickford Ford to pick it up in 2001..He used it around town to carry tools and small items for various construction jobs with the other driving to go to Eglon to his parent's retirement home on some weekends(by Point No Point/Kingston( and few family trips to Oklahoma during the summer.I bought it from him in 2007 with 77K and drove him back to Bickford to get his new 2008 same thing,except for some different placements of Ford emblems,small change in license plate placement,and they went to crappy blown plastic cabinets inside..He bought chrome bumpers for the new one and gave me the new painted ones.The front bumper is a 2008 one ..I kept the rear one because it is a step one with the hitch ball.
In the time I had it(up to 135K)..I changed the plugs,fluilds,(100K tuneup) brakes,front rotors,and that was about it except I had a weird misfire code and ended up changing 4 of the 8 injectors and coils on the left side,all the vacuum hoses and all lot of the filters,map sensor spray.etc because the code wouldn't leave.Finally after the code cam on again near Port Angeles,I stopped at OReilly's there and bought a new plug..but they didn't habe to same one..only a slightly hotter one.After installing that in #3(the hardest one of course)..The code probelm totally disappeared..never had another code after that.
The catalytic Converter was stolen from the van in my yard at 3pm..December 23,and the van scheduled for towing by SF(Insurance company) to SK(Their authorized service company close by) because it was loud and the tow was free to me with the deductable to replace the CC..Towing was scheduled the follow Monday,but the tow company dispatcher called the morning of the 24 and said the van was to be towed in a half hour so it needed to be emptied fast.I yanked the 8 drawers of tools(upper back corner cabinet and threw anything of value into boxes tho toss into the garage.I carried all sorts of remodel hand and power tools in there..
The wife was on the phone verifying the tow with SF..and Yes..the van was going to be placed in the fenced yard and Yes..the key was going to the drop box in the office door across the street.
The tow truck driver parked it outside the fence and left the key on the back tire(fender is up about 6-7" higher than the tire when the van is empty.
We got a call from SK after 5 days to "bring a key,we didn't get one!". We had the worst snowstorm in years and about 10-12" of snow over the last few days but we bought another key at Lowes,put the pathfinder in 4wd and drove over there..only to get "We found it in the snow(not on the tire"..So we headed back home.
I had looked under the van to see the damge and the CC was sawn out BELOW the 3 bolt flange(change out three bolts and add the new gasket..with the CC kit..and about 3" below the O2 sensor,,meaning..remove the O2 Sensor, bolt the thing back in with a sleeve and weld it twice around the sleeve/pipe,put the newer O2 sensor(I had changed them both out with that code)..finished! I would have done it myself but it would have cost me $500-600 verses the $250 deductible ..
SK it appears was closed all week..the snow too deep for them to move the van into the fenced area,steep driveway and about 25' from the street with no parking there..)..and it was stolen they think new year's Eve during the fireworks..denting that back bumper corner in the process trying to move it in a hurry around a car next to it and their worthless fence for the yard.
We got a call about Jan 4-5? from SK..saying they were going to take it to an "authorized exhaust specialist" and discovered the van was gone "from the lot".The caller asked me if "I had taken the van,damaging a section of the fence when I did." He couldn't answer my question of "why the ehll would I do that getting a new CC for $250?" He reported it stolen to the local police..2nd police report besides mine.
Anyway..a couple weeks van was found..I think within a mile of my house by the description from the PD records department lady.
The thief pretty much made a physical mess inside but no damage other than the ignition switch has been punched and needs replacement and the small dent in the rear bumper.(There is one small other dent under the slider door about 4" long and 1/4" deep iin the middle where i had kicked up a pice of wood a friend's wife had for garden edging..that's all!)The van had $50 of new gas put into it so the odometer(trip) should be low and accurate...The gascap is a locking one so It had a maximum of 400 miles I calculated IF the cap is still locked.How did they get in without damaging a window?..unless they grabbed the key off the tire walked a 1/4 mile to Lowes and had one made,then put the key back in the snow by the tire(the snow was too deep to move the van right away..but drivable NYE...He may not have wanted to break glass because that week got down to about 17 degrees...and he was probably sleeping in it.(The lady in the office at SK was telling me how notorious that area was for homeless you guys left it for about 10 days by the street with 17 degree days?)..!
Anyway..I have ALL the rest fo the cabinets,drawers,dividers for shelves(never used) and the cage and door for that van.I removed the passenger bank so I could get a riding mower for the other house in there.They are all in dry storage.
My driving of the van was small construction jobs around me.some driving around town, and driving up to the Olympic Peninsula about once a month during summers/fall to mow and hike the ONP.Longer trips were in the wife's Pathfinder.
If anybody is interested in a larger van to "vanlife" it("Stealth"..what I had intended to do with it because I KNOW how well it ran and that nothing major was really wrong with it..before the thief got it for his homeless shelter and pizza eating ...Her' is the link for the van that will come up for auction soon.I know nothing about the auction company or how it works and I DON'T have room for another van.They only recently added the "value" of $ the listing.I'm assuming it might get auctioned off this week or next..The insurance company DOES have the keys,same one for all the doors ,but it needs a new ignition that'll probably be a different key.The repair job will be that and a new cat(super easy to put in..3 bolts and 15 minutes welding or exhaust ,sleeve,straps.The old flange is more than likely still hanging on the pipe...The engine/trans..?? what can he do with a loud car and 100 miles? More than likely he parked it and burned up the gas running the heater.
Oh..the driver's seat needs to be reupholstered(had cracks)..the passengers should be okay but they have been under sheepskins for 50K or so..Tires should be good for 20K? Any other questions?

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