|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Assembly||Lorain, Ohio, United States (until plant closure)
Avon Lake, Ohio, United States
|Successor||Ford Transit (United States & Canada)|
The Ford E-Series, formerly known as the Ford Econoline and Ford Club Wagon, is a line of full-size vans (both cargo and passenger) and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company. The line was introduced in 1961 as a compact van and its descendants are still produced today. Although based on its own platform, since 1968, the E-Series has used many components from the F-Series line of pickup trucks. The Econoline is manufactured solely at Ford's Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio—after the closure of the Lorain, Ohio plant in December 2005 and the consolidation of all production at Avon Lake. As of the 2012 model year, the E-Series and the Transit Connect compact MPV (which debuted for the 2010 model year) are the only vans in the Ford lineup in North America.
The Ford E-Series currently holds 79.6% of the full-size van market in the United States with 168,722 sales in the United States in 2007. Since 1980, it has been the best selling American full-sized van.
The E-series is a tow vehicle, due to the available GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of up to 20,000 lb (9076 kg), and its relatively low curb weight.
Ninety-five percent of van sales are to commercial or fleet-end users, about half are cargo vans. The E-Series cargo area features a double-wall design which leaves the exterior sheet metal less vulnerable to damage from shifting cargo.
In early 2007, the E-Series was listed by Autodata as one of the top 20 best-selling vehicles in the United States, most likely due to fleet sales. The competing models from GM have only been lightly updated since their 1995 redesign. Chrysler abandoned its Dodge Ram Van, a body style essentially unchanged from the 1970s, in favor of the Sprinter, a narrow European Mercedes-Benz van with a 150 hp (112 kW) turbodiesel engine, which has found favor primarily in commercial delivery with its high roof, and high-end, high-mileage Class C RV.
1961–1967 Compact Van 
1961–1967 Ford Econoline (customized)
|Also called||Ford Falcon Club Wagon
Mercury Econoline (Canada)
|Body style||3-door van
2-door pickup truck
|Engine||144 cid Falcon Six I6
170 cid Thriftpower Six I6
240 cid I6
|Wheelbase||90.0 in (2,286.0 mm)|
|Width||75.0 in (1,905.0 mm)|
|Height||76.9 in (1,953.3 mm)|
Based on the compact Ford Falcon, the first Ford Econoline was introduced for the 1961 model year. Sized roughly to compete with the Chevrolet Corvair 95 (Greenbrier Sportswagon) and Volkswagen Type 2, which was 172.3 in (4,376 mm) long. It was originally offered as a cargo van, an eight-passenger van with three rows of seats (which carried the Ford Falcon name) and as a pickup truck. A 165 lb (75 kg) counterweight was fitted over the rear wheels to balance the front-heavy vehicle; this was sometimes removed by later owners. The implementation of situating the driver on top of the front axle with the engine near the front wheels is called, in the US, a "cab over" short for cab over engine configuration. In Europe it is called a "forward control" vehicle. The body styling borrowed heavily from the, smaller, UK produced, Thames 400E which had been in production since 1957
Instead of the rear-mounted engine used by Volkswagen and Chevrolet, the first E-Series had a flat nose with the engine between and behind the front seats. Early models had a 144 CID 6-cylinder engine with a three-speed manual transmission. Later models had a 170 CID or 240 CID engines with a three-speed manual or automatic transmission. It was an immediate success with utilities like the Bell Telephone System.
In its first year, 29,932 standard vans, 6,571 custom Econoline buses, 11,893 standard pickups and 3,000 custom pickups were made. The success of the Econoline led to its layout adopted in 1964 by the Chevrolet Van/GMC Handi-Van and Dodge A100; it would also be revived in the first American-market minivans sold by Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota.
Mercury Econoline 
In rural Canada, where automobile dealers were scarce, the Econoline was sold as a Mercury alongside the M-Series truck lineup. Only the first generation of Econolines were sold as Mercurys; the next van sold by the division would be the 1993 Villager minivan.
Due to a strike by the United Auto Workers, introduction of 2nd generation vans were delayed until late spring 1968, causing the vehicles to be marketed as 1969 models rather than as 1968 or 1968-1/2 models.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2011)|
1972–1974 Ford Club Wagon
|Body style||3-door van|
|Engine||240 CID (3.9 L) I6
300 CID (4.9 L) I6
302 CID (4.9 L) Windsor V8
|Wheelbase||SWB: 105.5 in (2,679.7 mm)
LWB: 123.5 in (3,136.9 mm)
The Second Generation Ford E-Series revolutionized US van design by moving the engine all the way to the front under a short hood, as they had done with the European market 1965 Ford Transit. These would be the first vans used as the basis for the now popular Class C van cab motorhomes, a class still dominated by Ford. This E-Series also used Ford's "Twin I-Beam" front suspension design, and was now available with a V8 engine. Over the next six years, the Big Three would all redesign their vans, with hoods gradually evolving to a short conventional truck-like hood, and evolving from being based on compact cars to using components from full-sized pickup trucks. The top trim package Club Chateau was introduced with this generation, consisting of houndstooth fabric on all seats, air conditioning, AM-FM stereo, and the ability to accommodate nine passengers.
The grille was redesigned in 1971, and a year later E-Series offered a new feature, and a new model. Sliding rear doors were an option for 1972, as well as the Hi-Cube van, the first van with a stripped chassis used for something other than recreational vehicles.
1983–1991 Ford Club Wagon
|Also called||Ford Club Wagon|
|Body style||3-door van|
|Platform||Ford VN platform|
|Engine||300 CID I6
302 CID Windsor V8
351 CID Windsor V8
460 CID 385 V8
6.9 L Navistar diesel V8
7.3 L Navistar diesel V8
For the 1975 model year, the Econoline was given a ground-up redesign using an all-new platform. Dearbourne once again borrowed from a UK design. The design they, themselves, had supplied for the 1965 Ford Transit. Unlike the Transit, the nose now had a proper hood, very close to the length used today. In 1978 this hood design crossed the Atlantic to appear on the Transit Mk. 2. Similar exterior styling indicated its close mechanical relationship to the F-Series; the vent windows and taillights were common between the two. Inside, the drivers' compartment was redesigned with more ergonomic controls; many shared with F-Series. The Econoline was available in two wheelbases and three body lengths. Passenger vans could seat between two and 15 passengers (beginning with 1978 models), depending on the number of seats installed; standard-length wagons typically held two bench seats behind the driver.
With a full frame, its chassis could now be used for cutaway vans, the basis of buses, trucks, and ambulances. This was also the beginning of aftermarket four wheel drive conversions for the van.
For sixteen years, this generation of the Econoline would continue nearly unchanged over its entire production run. In 1979, a minor facelift added a new front grille; square headlights replaced the round units. In 1983, Ford's "Blue Oval" logo was integrated into the front grille. Van conversions became a popular alternative to sparse factory passenger accommodations. In the mid-1980s,[when?] the short-wheelbase (124-inch) bodystyle was discontinued, leaving the 138-inch wheelbase as standard.
Although the 1986 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).
|1975-1991 Ford E-Series Dimensions|
|124" WB||138" WB (Standard Van)||138" WB (Super Van)|
|Length||186.8 in (4,745 mm)||206.8 in (5,253 mm)||226.8 in (5,761 mm)|
|Wheelbase||124 in (3,149.6 mm)||138 in (3,505.2 mm)|
|Height||79.1–79.9 in (2,009.1–2,029.5 mm)||79.2–84.4 in (2,011.7–2,143.8 mm)||80.9–84.8 in (2,054.9–2,153.9 mm)|
|Width||79.9 in (2,029 mm)|
Fourth generation 1992–2013 
1992–1994 Ford Club Wagon (15-passenger)
|Also called||Ford Econoline (until 2002; name still used in Mexico according to Ford Mexico's website)
Ford Club Wagon (until 1998)
Ford Econoline Wagon (1999–2002)
|Body style||3/4-door van|
|Platform||Ford VN platform|
|Engine||256 CID 4.2 L Essex V6
300 CID 4.9 L inline-6
302 CID 5.0 L Windsor V8
351 CID 5.8 L Windsor V8
281 CID 4.6 L Triton V8
330 CID 5.4 L Triton V8
413 CID 6.8 L Triton V10
444 CID 7.3 L Power Stroke V8
365 CID 6.0 L Power stroke V8
5-speed TorqShift automatic
|Wheelbase||138 in (3,505 mm)|
Regular: 212 in (5,385 mm)
Extended: 232 in (5,893 mm)
Regular: 216.7 in (5,504 mm)
Extended: 236.7 in (6,012 mm)
|Width||79.3 in (2,014 mm)–79.9 in (2,029 mm)|
|Height||80.7 in (2,050 mm)–84.1 in (2,136 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,773 lb (2,165 kg)|
For the first time in 17 years, the E-Series underwent an exterior redesign for the 1992 model year. A far more aerodynamic exterior was used over the same platform architecture. As before, the powertrain consisted of a 4.9 L inline six, 5.0, 5.8, and 7.5 liter V8 engines, or a 7.3 L diesel V8. Inside, an all-new drivers' compartment allowed for more room for drivers and improved ergonomics. On all models except the Econoline 350, the steering wheel was now equipped with an airbag; this was a first for a full-size van. The consumer-oriented Chateau Club Wagon version was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1992. While all 1992–1993 model year Econoline vans equipped with air-conditioning used R-12 Freon, Ford began using CFC-free R134a refrigerant in 1994 models beginning in late summer or early fall of 1993. The Econoline received a CFC-free air-conditioning system in September 1993, or earlier. The same is true for all 1994 Ford trucks and SUVs, including the Bronco, F-series, Ranger, and Explorer.
The only visible exterior change for 1995 was the deletion of the amber turn signals in the tail lights, used from 1992 to 1994. In Canada, the Econoline name was dropped in favor of E-Series (this remained in the United States until 2002).
A major change of the engine lineup was made in 1997; only the 7.3 L diesel remained from the year before. A 4.2 L Essex V6 replaced the 300 inline-6 and the 7.5 L/460 V8 was replaced by a 6.8 L Triton V10. The 5.0L/302 and 5.8L/351 Windsor V8s were replaced by 4.6 L and 5.4 L Triton V8s, respectively. The Econoline received an updated front end with a new grille that featured an oval cutout and new lower front bumper trim. Inside, an ergonomic dashboard layout containing dual airbags was introduced.
For the 1999 model year the Club Wagon full-size passenger van was renamed the Econoline Wagon. The cargo van iteration remained being called Econoline.
2001 E-Series 
Along with a minor update, 2001 brought a major change to the Ford full-size van lineup; the Econoline and Econoline Wagon names were discontinued. For the first time on all models, the "E-Series" name replaced Econoline, and was sold as such in the literature on commercial vans and ambulance packages, another category dominated by Ford. Heavy-duty cutaway van models, most often used in large box vans and Class C recreational vehicles, also featured "E-350" or "E-450" badging on the front fenders.
To replace the Club/Econoline Wagon (and the previous Chateau models), Ford introduced E-150 Traveler model targeted at families. The Traveler would be a short-lived model, however, as minivans and SUVs were by this point far more popular for passenger use. But as full-size vans had the towing and payload (and optional diesel power) of full-sized pickups and room for eight to 15 passengers plus their baggage, a certain segment of customers continued to buy the E-Series (and, to a lesser extent, its competitors from GM and Chrysler).
2003 facelift 
For 2003, Ford updated the E-Series by enlarging the grille; the Ford logo also shifted from the hood to the grille. A new engine cover, cup holder, and glove box was also added.
The year 2004 saw the replacement of the 7.3 L Power Stroke diesel and the introduction of the new 6.0 L Power Stroke with more power than the 7.3, but still detuned from the same engine in the F-Series due to a lack of airflow in the engine compartment. The 6.0 Powerstroke is intercooled, however, the 7.3 L lacked an intercooler.
Inside, a new gauge cluster was also added; it included a tachometer along with a digital odometer.
2008 & 2009 facelift 
Ford introduced the new E-Series at the New York Auto Show in March 2007. The van received completely redesigned front end sheet metal similar to that of the 2008 Ford Super Duty trucks. It has been overhauled with better handling and more payload.
Updates to the front end of the van include larger headlights, a larger grille, and a longer hood than previously used on E-Series and Econoline vans. The 6.0 L turbo diesel is retained on the E-Series, while Super Duty received the new 6.4 L twin turbo diesel. Gasoline engines carried over. A series of upgrades to the braking, suspension and steering systems have resulted in improvements in ride and handling, braking performance and load carrying capability, although the Twin-I-Beam front suspension remains. Four-wheel drive is available through Ford Fleet Truck using current model year Super Duty parts.
The chassis and suspension improvements have also resulted in an increase in the maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) from 14,050 lb (6373 kg) to a class-leading 14,500 lb (6577 kg). Additionally, the maximum front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is increased by about 10 percent, from 4,600 lb (2087 kg) to a class-leading 5,000 lb (2268 kg).
In 2009 the E-Series received a new dashboard, complete with Ford's new Sync system, available in-dash navigation and upfitter switches as used in the F-Series Super Duty trucks. Also included is a passenger-side glove compartment, a first for the E-Series; previously, the glove compartment was integrated in the engine cover. Another new 2009 option was the rear-view backup camera, which is becoming widely available throughout the industry on smaller vehicles; it is another first for Ford in the full-size van field. Ford is the first automotive manufacturer to offer a full-size van that is capable of using E85; this option is most commonly available on Ford's F-150 with the 5.4 L engine. It was available on the 2009 4.6 L and 5.4 L engines.
The 6.0 diesel was discontinued at the end of the 2010 model year. There was no diesel replacement for the 6.0 and the 6.8L V10 takes its place in the engine line up. Ford did not offer the new 6.7 diesel found in Super Duty trucks due to space limitations. It is unconfirmed whether this means it physically does not fit or there is not enough space to cool properly.
To celebrate its half-century mark, the E-Series featured a Special 50th Anniversary version for the 2011 model year. GCWR of the E450 has been raised to 22,000 lb (9979 kg), up from 20,000 lb (9072 kg).
A circa 1992–1994 Ford Club Wagon passenger van, from Maryland. This particular version can seat up to fifteen passengers.
A circa 1997–2000 Ford Econoline cargo van, from Maryland.
A 2002 E-350 Box Truck outfitted as a disaster restoration vehicle from Bennington, New Hampshire
A circa 2003–2005 Ford E-350 cutaway box truck van, from Quebec, Canada.
A circa 2008 Ford E-Series passenger wagon, photographed in College Park, Maryland.
After 21 years of production in its current generation and 38 on the same platform, the Econoline/E-Series will be discontinued as a van at the end of the 2013 model year. From then on, the E-Series will only be available as a chassis for school buses, shuttle buses, motorhomes, parcel trucks, box trucks, etc. Taking its place in the full-size van market will be an all-new version of the Ford Transit. Originally developed by Ford of Europe, the Transit has been the equivalent of the E-Series/Econoline in markets outside of North America since 1965; chief among its competitors is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, also sold in North America.
In 2011, the United Auto Workers confirmed the existence of a North American version of the Transit as the future product plans for the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant were revealed. In late September 2011, Ford registered trademarks for Ford T-250, T-350, T-450, and T-550; the T-Series name will likely be used both as a continuation of the E-Series and to avoid similarity with the smaller Transit Connect.
The 2014 Ford Transit for the North American market will be released with a 6-speed automatic transmission paired to three engines, a 3.7L V6, 3.5L EcoBoost V6, and a 3.2L inline-5 turbodiesel (reviving the PowerStroke diesel branding). The North American Transit is available in multiple configurations, with two wheelbases and three different roof heights as well as three body lengths. Along with the cargo van and passenger van (with seating for up to 15), the Transit will be sold in chassis-cab and cutaway-cab models.
The decision to discontinue the E-Series Vans also came with Ford's decision to manufacture one vehicle for all markets, as it has done with the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford C-Max, Ford Fusion/Ford Mondeo, the Ford Escape/Ford Kuga, and the Ford Transit Connect. Ford also planned to use European-inspired styling on all of its global platform vehicles.
See also 
- "Plant Information: Oakville Assembly Complex". Media.ford.com. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "Crossovers, Lincoln highlight Ford's 2007 sales performance; further growth expected in 2008". Media.Ford.com. January 3, 2009.
- "Ford RV and owing Guide". 2011.
- "Ford Introduces The New 2008 E-Series Van". BlueOvalNews. March 7, 2007.
- McCausland, Evan (July 13, 2007). "Ford Hydrogen V10". Autoweek.com.
- "Ford Rolls Out Super Duty-Inspired 2008 E-Series Vans". Edmunds Inside Line. March 9, 2007.
- "Ford Power Stroke engine". 18 December 2011.
- "Ford’s E-Series Vans Celebrate 50 Years of Success; 2011 lineup features special anniversary edition". Media.ford.com. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Ford 2011 What's New
- Berkowitz, Justin (October 4, 2011). "Full-Size Ford Transit Van Confirmed for U.S., May Be Called T-250, T-450, and T-550". Car and Driver. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ford E-Series|
- Ford E-Series official websites: U.S.A. | Canada
- Ford E-Series Ambulance Packages official websites (U.S.A.): Van | Cutaway Chassis
- Everything Econoline 61–67 Ford Econoline Site
- Vintage Truck Magazine 1962 Ford Econoline Van detailed article
- Ford Vans E series
- Mark's Econoline Page (Mainly about the 1961–1967 Econoline Pickups)
- Debut: 2008 Ford E-Series Vans (TheMustangNews.com – March 2007)
- 1968–74 Ford Van Site
- Ford Econoline in television and film
- camperize.com: info about converting the E-series into a campervan
- ThorMotorCoach.com: Major converter of E-Series chassis into motorhomes
|Ford Motor Company light truck timeline, North American market, 1948–1979 — next »|
|Van||Econoline||Econoline||Econoline / Club Wagon|
|« previous - Ford Motor Company light truck timeline, North America, 1980s–present|
|Full-size crossover||Freestyle||Taurus X||Flex|
|Compact SUV||Bronco II||Bronco II|
|Mid-size pickup||Explorer Sport Trac||Explorer Sport Trac|
|Super Duty||Super Duty||Super Duty|
|Compact MPV||Transit Connect|
|Vehicle is only available in Mexico|