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Thread: Full-size van advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Full-size van advice

    Those of you with experience, if you were ordering an e350 for wheelchair conversion tomorrow would you spec it with barn doors or a slider? Why?

    How do the power door set-ups tend to compare in terms of reliability and operating speed?


  2. #2
    2013 last year for the ford van.
    I had the swing out type on my 2003 ford van...on my chevy I have the slider.
    The slider is a lot slower than the swing out.
    Never had a problem with either of them.
    I have ricon lifts on both of them.
    On a ford I have never seen the slider on them.
    Bad thing about the full size van is the 13 or 14 miles to the gallon.
    If you do not drive much not to bad.....but gas gona go up to over 5 dollars a gallon before long.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Thanks Art, very helpful.

    Luckily I don't drive that much because "fool-size" is my only option for several reasons.

  4. #4
    Been driving a full size for 39 years, all types, sizes, models. Go with the double doors. A lot less trouble not to mention sliding doors are not produced very often these days. You're going with the 350 so you shouldn't have a problem but I always beefed up the rear springs on my E150s.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Senior Member IsMaisin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Just outside Fort Bragg, NC USA
    Like Deadeye said, barn doors are a lot simpler and maintenance free. Since the main advantage of a slider is saving space, using a ramp or lift will negate any space saving.

    The Ford Transit Connect Van gets 21/27 mpg compared to the e350's 12/16
    Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

  6. #6
    Barn doors.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  7. #7
    Barn doors! If you have any dirt roads or snow and ice you'll constantly be cleaning out the tracks on the slider

  8. #8

    Regarding "... barn doors or a slider ..." - the barn door type presents the minor benefit of partially blocking cold winter winds and a portion of the sideways component of rain while you use the lift.

  9. #9
    Dual doors are by far the more popular option, possibly as not all lifts will work with a sliding door. In all my vans I have only had one with a slider and the issue I had was with the motor/gear system being sufficient to open the door. (I never had any issues in thw winter with snow or ice.)

    I wonder why you would want a 350 and even question DeadEye why he felt the need to stiffen the rear springs? A half ton truck can easily haul more weight than what these lifts weigh. Somewhere in the mid 00's Ford upted the rear spring rate in the e150. These vans don't ride great in the first place, going with a 350 would be a rough ride IMO. My 150 came with E rated tires and it it one rough ride.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    That's just how I roll Brian

    No love for the slider around here! Thanks everyone for taking the time to post.

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