Time to find a new luton. Any suggestions?

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  • I just got my live-in transit luton MOTd for what i think is probably the last time. Very reliable and good engine, but the chassis looks like you'd expect a 21 year old transit chassis to look, and i'd like to get something faster and more efficient.
    I bought this van 3 or 4 years ago not really knowing if i would like van-life, but now i cant imagine living any other way. I also am very much in favour of Lutons, despite the drawbacks.
    Im wondering what sort of luton to go for next. I hate that sick feeling i get when i drive onto somebody's field/track, not knowing if i will ever be able to get out again, and tilting and clunking all the way, eeeek, so i was wondering if there are any 4x4 options?
    To be honest i am mostly on tarmac so its probably overkill, i just want something more sprightly and powerful than my current poor old hoss.


    Also wondering how much i'd get for a very ragged looking and rather rusty luton, which is none-the-less a beautiful home inside with everything you'd need (spare a toilet/shower). Low mileage and a veritable cottage on wheels.


    Anyway, any suggestions folks?

  • Is it really not that tricky? when the body has been welding itself to the chassis for 21 years? Have you tried this yourself?
    Im guessing its only 'jobs a goodun' if the box fits the chassis perfectly, i.e. is the same chassis as the old one. I dont want another old chassis, i want a new(ish) one. which wouldnt fit the box and im guessing some serious modification would be needed...
    Sounds scary. I have visions of my box being dropped, or crushed like a cardboard box.

  • Is that on a M plate? Do you have the 2 1/4 diesel none turbo banana engine in it or its predecessor? is it twin wheel back axel?



    I have a 4 x 4 LWB single wheel back axel. Year 2000 2.5 Turbo banana Ford Transit Minibus conversion. So they do make transits with 4 wheel drive.



    Would you consider fitting your old Luton box onto a 1983ford transit extended chassis 4 x 4 twin wheeler, with free wheeling hubs on front axel and with basic 4 speed gear box with factory fitted overdrive? I would guess £1000 for running chassis. You would need to transport it to your luton and pay to have some brackets welded to fix luton. I estimate £500 for welder and labour at friends rate. Not from me. Just throwing you a possible option.

  • Body is held on by bolts and maybe getting them undone will be the hardest part . if you put it on an identical chassis it would be very easy , different chassis, bit more of a faff but not that impossible.
    Yes I have swopped loads of bodys over on transits and freight rovers :)

  • Its 1993 - K plate.
    2.5 engine twin wheel., LWB.


    I would be wary of buying an even older transit chassis to be honest!
    But i would consider lifting the box onto a new chassis i suppose. Though i would relish starting afresh with a new box it is a lot of time i dont have.

  • Looks like your in the market for a newer chassis cab, though I think they change to smiley front in 1994/5 with slight changes to chassis, no big deal though. There's going to be some well looked after (rust free :damn: ???) low mileage 1994's upto 2000 flatbeds out there. I take it you have no power steering? It may pay to buy a more modern, even converted/semi converted Luton and start a new. Do remember the LEZ rules if your going near the Capital. Good luck.

  • your luton box will be mounted onto its own subframe which is bolted onto the ford chassis, unbolt it, and lift the whole assy of the ford chassis, then run your new chassis under the box and bolt up whee mounting points line up withe the subframe, or lift it off and repair your old chassis, easy when there nothing in the way

  • I'd put her onto a Mercedes 308 chassis, purely on the basis that you can still get tidy ones from the late nineties which have incredibly decent engines (especially when it comes to running on recycled vegoil). You can find a not very rusty one for under 1500 if you are patient usually). Swapping a box really isn't difficult (even if you have to weld brackets onto the new chassis), but get somebody who knows what they are doing to help.
    Having a 4x4 doesn't really help with the bounce, that has to do with strapping usually to heavy tall Luton boxes onto narrow 3.5 chassis with 3.5ton suspension. You need a heavier vehicle with harder suspension to remove bounce. County Transits are getting an absolute rarity these days with prices for spares skyrocketing somewhat chronic. 4x4 van chassiscabs are particularly rare and expensive and unless you need the 4wheel drive for working I'd recommend not to buy one. After all there is always a 4x4 or a tractor or a telehandler that can pull you out of that muddy field. I'd rather pay a farmer the odd £10 to pull me out than spend lot of money on a rare van and then some more when I need to fix it.

  • This post haz got me thinkin that Ma knows to much for a young lady. You don't think the great mans back usein Ma's name . He could have come back, done away with Ma and is usein her name cause the com is loged on as Ma. And he's forgot his pass word. So Mr Paul can you PM ma Mr B pass word it will be great to havee him bac.k.

  • The idea of transferring the box does appeal because it would save me a lot of time/work/money making a new home. I was sort of looking forward to getting a new box though because mine is as boxy as they come! Its huge, and i could definitely live with less room.
    I guess if i lifted the box off that would be a good opportunity to address any issues with the box like damp or bulges. And maybe make it more beautiful with a lick of paint etc...

  • Seems like a serious project for somebody who's got little mechanic experience and a tight budget. I still think 4x4 vans, especially transits are overrated as live ins that move a lot. We used to have a transit county tipper with our company, felt we spent more time under it than driving it. Drivetrain parts just cost to much (try finding front axle parts for a county with Chevy axle :)) and they are getting old now as well.

  • We used to have a transit county tipper with our company, felt we spent more time under it than driving it. Drivetrain parts just cost to much (try finding front axle parts for a county with Chevy axle :)) and they are getting old now as well.

    Its only as hard as we make it finding parts. Yes the parts can be expensive, but so can genuine Ford parts. There are lots of cross over parts available. Probably far more than you think. http://fordtransit.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=80962

  • Your link seems broken. You might be able to get some parts cheap, it's still a hell of a lot more hassle than having something that the maker still supports, especially if you are not doing the work yourself and don't want to be driving round scrapyards for that magic, long lost front diff.

  • Your link seems broken. You might be able to get some parts cheap, it's still a hell of a lot more hassle than having something that the maker still supports, especially if you are not doing the work yourself and don't want to be driving round scrapyards for that magic, long lost front diff.

    True, scrap yards help so many of us travelers out of the shit. My mate spend 3 weeks at the side of the road, in a tiny village in France. He was waiting for parts for his VW splitty campervan. This was before the take off of the internet. Some British scrapyards now stock plenty of USA used vehicle parts, axles/gearbox/transfer box, from Ford Rangers, Jeep etc. The above link works for me. Its a Ford transit forum with a large following of county/transit owners/enthusiasts. I've been a Ford tranny owner for more years than I care to remember. Recently I'm taken by the Mercedes range & would probable defect next time round. Comfort and speed is a winner.

  • Hi Large Yellow Harddwch


    Can I ask you, whatever you decide to do, to take some pictures please?
    I'm sad that your cottage is causing you distress, and for others in the same predicament it may be invaluably helpful to see how you get round it, especially if you remove the cottage and put it on another Transit.
    Also we don't see enough lutons and it would be great to see how yours is fitted out. I'm assuming it's big and yellow, but would love to fill in the rest!
    Thank you and all the good luck in the world arriving at a solution. Pob lwc Melyn Mawr!

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Is freight rover the posh word for Sherpa van :D? They are so much easier to work on and nobody has to spend hours underneath them welding. Form the money my mate have spent on welding transits I could have bought several LDV vans. The Peugeot 4pot was a lovely engine as well.
    Luton's are kind of cool but I quite like my box lorry. I never took to beds over the cab, I hate not being able to sit up in bed :.