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See how to contact a Ford Credit Business Development. In its layout, the Ford Econoline adapted several elements of the Volkswagen Type 2, while making major departures with other design features, with many elements of its design derived from its mid-engine layout.
In line with Volkswagen, the Econoline positioned the front seats above the front axle, making it a cabover -style configuration, similar to the Jeep Forward Control.
Other elements of its design were borrowed loosely from the Ford Thames E produced by Ford of Britain the predecessor of the Ford Transit , including its grille configuration. The use of a mid-engine layout enlarged the cargo area, as the engine compartment was relocated forward of the load floor which was flattened. Through its production, the first-generation Ford Econoline was offered in several variants, with four versions of the cargo van.
Along with the 6-door windowless cargo van, Ford introduced an 8-door cargo van in , adding two doors to the driver side. In , a panel van variant was introduced, deleting the side loading doors. Cargo vans with the exception of the panel van were offered with or without windows in several configurations. In , Ford introduced a "Super Van" variant of the Econoline, extending the body 18 inches behind the rear axle. Alongside the Ford Falcon, the Ford Econoline was expanded into a product line including several vehicles.
In Canada, the Econoline was marketed through both the sales networks of both Ford and Lincoln-Mercury as a Mercury , to increase its presence outside of urban areas. Introduced alongside the cargo van in , Ford introduced two passenger variants of the Econoline branded as part of the Falcon range Alongside the Station Bus branded as both a Falcon and Econoline , Ford marketed the Club Wagon. Introduced as part of the Econoline model line for , the Ford Econoline pickup truck was based upon the cargo van.
Sharing the forward-control configuration of the Chevrolet Corvair pickup , through its mid-engine chassis, the Econoline pickup truck saw no engine intrusion into the cargo bed.
Although, in with the offering of the larger cubic-inch engine there was a slight intrusion into the cargo bed providing clearance for the larger transmission bellhousing. The Econoline pickup was offered in two window configurations 3 windows and 5 windows with windows in the rear cab corners to provide better visibility.
Early in the pickup was offered as a Spring Special with a special trim package. While far shorter than an F, the pickup was configured with a seven-foot long cargo bed. The Econoline pickup was only produced during the first generation of production, ending production after the model year. Alongside the M-series truck line, the Mercury Econoline allowed for Ford of Canada to maximize its presence in rural areas served by either a Ford or a Lincoln-Mercury dealer network, but not both.
Largely identical to its Ford counterpart with only minor exceptions of badging, the Mercury Econoline product line was sold as a pickup, cargo van, and passenger van. In , the pickup truck commenced production at Oakville Assembly in Canada; later that year, Mercury Econoline pickup production shifted to the Lorain, Ohio assembly plant.
Production numbers of Mercury Econolines were low; for example, a total of 1, Mercury Econoline pickup trucks were built in During , Mercury ended its sale of light trucks, discontinuing the M series. Subsequently, the next van sold by Mercury was the Mercury Villager minivan. As the result of a lengthy United Auto Workers strike in , the launch of the second-generation Econoline van was delayed almost four months until January Instead of calling it a or Shedding its Falcon roots, the second-generation Econoline became a heavier-duty vehicle, sharing many of its underpinnings with the F-series full-size pickups.
While the unibody construction of the previous-generation van was carried over, a major change was made in the overall layout in the body and chassis of the Econoline. To build a heavier-duty chassis, the mid-engine forward-control layout was abandoned in favor of a front-engine layout with the axle placed forward; this also allowed the use of the " Twin I-Beam " front suspension used in the F-series trucks.
The redesign in the configuration resulted in major growth; the Econoline grew 15 inches in wheelbase; an inch longer long-wheelbase model became the largest full-size van offered in North America at the time.
With the change of chassis and axle configurations, the Econoline gained a conventional hood for engine access though most engine access remained from the interior.
To aid in engine compartment ventilation, the model was given a conventional grille, styled similar to the F series. For , the grille was redesigned to match the updated F series. For , a sliding rear door became an option; introduced on a cutaway van chassis was the Hi-Cube van, a cab-chassis version of the Econoline with a box-van body.
The introduction of the cab-chassis variant would become popular in the recreational-vehicle industry a Class C RV , a segment still dominated by the E series in the s. Inside of the Econoline, the shift of the engine location moved the engine housing from between the seats to in front of the driver and front passenger, under the windshield. While the Econoline cargo van remained, it was joined by an Econoline passenger van replacing the Falcon van.
Based on an all-new chassis , Ford became the first American manufacturer to adapt body-on-frame construction to a full-size van. The new-generation Econoline would become common not only in its own right, but as the basis for other vehicles. With a full frame, the Econoline became popular as a cutaway van chassis ; the design served as a basis for many ambulances, and various types of trucks and buses.
The shared drivetrain with the F series marked the beginning of aftermarket four-wheel drive conversions. During the s, the Econoline became popular as a basis for van conversions.
Using the sparsely-equipped Econoline cargo van as a basis, a luxurious interior was fitted, along with extensive customization of the exterior. A stillborn variant of the Econoline, the Ford Carousel , nearly reached production as the first American minivan. While a running prototype was produced and planned for a potential introduction, lack of funding led to the discontinuation of the project.
To increase the versatility of the full-size van line, the Econoline was developed using body-on-frame construction for the first time.
In addition to increasing the strength of the chassis, the configuration allowed more commonality with the F-series trucks. As before, the Twin I-Beam front suspension was used. In its new configuration, the engine was moved further forward and lowered, relative to the body. In a massive growth spurt, the short-wheelbase configuration was 0.
In , the inch wheelbase was discontinued, leaving the inch wheelbase as standard. In , to increase the fuel economy of the Econoline without a major loss in engine output, Ford introduced the option of a 6.
The diesel V8 engines were available only in Econoline s or Club Wagons sold on the same chassis. Due to the popularity of automatic transmissions in full-size vans, Ford discontinued the 3-speed manual and 4-speed manual transmissions after the model year.
Unlike its predecessors, Ford designed the Econoline with a true "two-box" layout. Similar to the Ford Transit of the time, the configuration moved the engine as far forward as possible and lower in the chassis than in its predecessor; although the hood was nearly twice as long, the hoodline was much lower. A higher degree of parts commonality with the F series made itself known in the bodystyling: In , a minor facelift updated the grille design; round headlights were replaced by rectangular units.
Although the Ford Aerostar minivan would introduce styling far different from the Econoline, the basic styling of the full-size van would heavily influence the Ford Ranger and its SUV offspring, the Ford Bronco II. Inside, the redesign of the chassis expanded interior room, though the rear of the engine still remained between the front seats; an engine cover still provided access for servicing. Sharing many controls with the F series, the new design also improved interior ergonomics.
In three body sizes, the Econoline was produced in a cargo van and passenger van, with the latter produced in three trim levels; base, Custom and Chateau. In addition, the Club Wagon was produced solely as a passenger van. For the first time since , the Ford Econoline was given a major redesign for the model year. For retail markets, the Club Wagon XLT made its return, joined by the luxury-oriented Chateau trim reviving a trim used in the late s.
For , the Club Wagon name was discontinued, with all Econoline passenger vans sold as Wagons. For , in the United States, the Econoline name was dropped it was dropped in Canada in , with the Econoline nomenclature being shortened to E, E, E, similar to the F-series nomenclature. A Special 50th Anniversary version the E series was made in the model year.
After , the passenger van and cargo van variants of the E series were discontinued in North America in favor of the newly introduced Ford Transit , with production of these variants ending in June However, cutaway cab and stripped-chassis variants remained in production for and will be built "until the end of the decade", according to Ford.
Sharing many components with the F-series trucks, the E series maintained the "twin I-beam" front suspension common to nearly all rear-wheel drive Ford trucks in North America. The rear suspension consisted of a live rear axle with rear leaf springs. In , the powertrain line was largely carried over; the E series was equipped with the CID 4. For , nearly the entire engine line was replaced, with only the 7. During the model year, the 7.
In contrast to the 7. For , the 4. Output of the 6. The E also received standard 4-wheel disk brakes. As part of the update of the E series, the chassis underwent several updates. Although the Twin I-Beam front suspension was carried over becoming one of two Ford vehicle to use the system, other is superduty chassis , other upgrades to the braking, suspension and steering systems improved ride and handling, braking performance and load carrying capability. In , Ford began offering E-series models capable of using E85 ; it was available with the 4.
Following the introduction of the 6. According to Ford the primary reason is due to space limitations.
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Cargo vans with the exception of the panel van were offered with or without windows in several configurations.