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I bought a van!

It’s a hi-top LDV Convoy

 

ldv-convoy-hitop-lwb

 

I saw this on Ebay. Its the newer Convoy (2003) with the 2.4L Ford Duratorq engine. It was a bit over the average price since the common problems had been sorted out such as new starter motor, problematic DMF changed to fixed, new clutch, brake lines, shoes, kingpins, tyres etc. The dual mass flywheel is a known problem on these engines (and many other modern diesels) and when it completely fails it will jam the starter motor stopping the engine from starting at all.

This has been converted to a single mass flywheel (taken from the ‘banana engine’ found in the older Convoys). Apparently this has few disadvantages such as gear changes not being so smooth and engine noise being louder but I’d trade that in for reliability any day.

ldv-convoy-duratorque
The duratorque. Engine bay looks fairly tidy but there is an oil leak somewhere

 

The good bits

I love the look of these things. No modern van comes close to the look of these things – big bus with sharp corners.

  • these are meant to be reliable runners
  • solid engine and chassis
  • comes with a great solid galvanised roof rack
  • had the common faults sorted out as above

The bad bits

This thing is an LDV Convoy. This means it rusts like mad, leaks and rattles your bones.

  • There is a fair bit of rust. The arches, steps and sils have a considerable amount of rust
  • I noticed when I got it home, drops of oil can be seen on the floor when parked up
  • It can take a few seconds to start if left standing for a while
  • roof leaks as well as the cab
  • bodge up on bodge up on bodge. Whoever had it before me has really hacked it up

 

The most reliable van?

Apparently LDVs suffer the smallest amount of breakdowns, while Vauxhall vehicles come last. More than 2000 vans were surveyed, It was found that 22% of LDVs suffer a fault each year. Vauxhalls came out the least reliable with more than 50% breaking down every year. This sounds like a crazy amount to me!

The most frequent faults documented on LDVS are suspension destruction, often due to speed humps in addition to potholes, accounting for nearly one tenth of mechanic visits. Also, problems with the fuel system and electronics are apparently most common.

Position

Manufacturer

Annual Incidence Rate

1

LDV

22.01%

2

Mercedes-Benz

23.15%

3

Mitsubishi

30.63%

4

Fiat

34.23%

5

Renault

36.98%

6

Ford

38.52%

7

Volkswagen

39.30%

8

Citroen

41.43%

9

Nissan

45.46%

10

Peugeot

52.60%

 

Starting from scratch

Ripped everything out and started with a blank panel van. This marks the beginning of the build!

empty-ldv-hitop

I’ll be posting about the full conversion process so stay tuned

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