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A few questions about what to look for when buying a dolphin


MattrickSwayzee
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I was planning on meeting the owner of a 1983 dolphin motorhome to take a look and probably purchase the thing, its been garaged most of it life, no current leaks, all original appliances work, and the interior looks like its brand new, but 80's style of course. It has 61000 original miles, and no rust underneath. The folks want $5900 for it and it looks great. Is there anything I should check for that would make the idea of the purchase a definite no? Oh yeah, there is one real weird thing about it, its on a ford ranger cab and chassis, it has a for 2.8l v6, and automatic transmission. I couldn't find anything anywhere on the internet about it, just Toyota info.  I know both that motor and transmission have their flaws, but the rangers have a big market for 302 swaps. Should I go for it? The pictures are on my phone, give me an hour or two and ill put them up. 

Thanks for any replies,

Matt  

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6 minutes ago, linda s said:

The axle again. It has fake dually tires and there was never a fix for the Ford's.  In fact some of the fake dually wheels put on the Toyota's were actually from Ford rangers.  

Linda S

Do you know any good resources for the Ford version of this dolphin? I know if its an actual Ranger frame that you can use the dana 35, or 44 from other fords without much modification. 

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I do not know about axle upgrades for Rangers. You would need to go to single rear wheels so a few inches wider would be good. If you need a new axle and wheels and you won't be doing the work yourself you could be looking at a huge bill. Price is way too high

Linda S

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No warning and as I remember the Ford wheels break more often. The wheels came from a company that made fake dually upgrades to lots of different vehicles. You could buy the fender flares and all you needed to make it look like you had a real dually truck. They were for looks only. Not to hold the weight of a motorhome. Of course there never were any real Ranger duallies. There is a Ranger group online, maybe they would have some axle switch ideas. A Ranger Dolphin is just so rare we have no experience with them

Linda S

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1 hour ago, linda s said:

I do not know about axle upgrades for Rangers. You would need to go to single rear wheels so a few inches wider would be good. If you need a new axle and wheels and you won't be doing the work yourself you could be looking at a huge bill. Price is way too high

Linda S

I sent a couple texts to the current owners, and they said that the rear axle has been replaced by one taken from a ford f-250 pickup so that shouldn't need replaced. What is a reasonable price for a dolphin in this condition, does it being a ford make it worth less? I have found quite a few toyotas in quite a bit worse condition for around the same price. Sorry for all the questions I'm just trying to learn as much as I can before the moneys spent and there's no going back.

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So it has single wheels in the back. It would have to or they would be sticking out the sides. Yes 5900 for a dolphin with an F250 axle and single wheels is a good price

Linda S

I do love Fords. Been driving Fords as my daily driver for 20 years. Like the V6 Ranger too

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1 minute ago, RVdaytrader said:

The inside does look nice, but the cabover and ceiling by the door has water damage. Check how bad it is and check under the mattress.

I saw some to the left of the a/c by the rear door too, as far as the water damage goes, do most people just cut out and replace damaged interior parts, and use that rv roof sealant on the outside of the roof, also should i check for where the water may have gotten into the walls and warped them as well? 

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