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Old 05-22-2017, 02:27 AM   #1
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Default Xplorer, restore or not ?

Hello, I am new here and I hope this is the correct place for this, My dad passed away in 2014 he left me his 1989 Dodge 228 Xplorer camper van, he was in a resting home for 3 years so it sat for a long time, that same year I went to his house in Eagle Alaska (still trying to sell that property) and drove it to my house near Anchorage, I noticed a bit of an exhaust leak, the ball joints are flat, unfortunately he left eggs i the fridge all that time so you could only imagine the smell , the roof has a small leak in the bedroom, it has an overall musty smell, the tires are all cracked, all the plumbing seems to work and the engine sounds good and strong, it has 2 Apollo awnings on both sides that sorta work, so my question is do you guys think I should do a full restore on it (something I have never done before) or just fix and patch what I can and use it now, I have no idea what the value of one of these might be, since I got it for free I suppose either way would be ok.

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File Type: jpg Rear_Passenger (Medium).jpg (230.9 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg Table_Kitchen (Medium).JPG (114.4 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Cab_Mileage (Medium).JPG (105.9 KB, 46 views)
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:56 AM   #2
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Here's the NADA page - 1989 Xplorer M-228 Prices and Used Values | NADAguides

I put about $4,500 in to repairing/restoring a 1999 American Cruiser and am enjoying the heck out of it. My priority was to get the chassis safe while preventing any more damage to the house and then making the house usable.

If you think you will enjoy it or you want to keep it because it was your Dad's then go for it!
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:03 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. That is a good looking B your Dad passed on to you. The musky smell is just from setting up...air it out, maybe remove the cushions outside when the weather is right. Tires and battery replaced, check the hoses & belts and change out all the fluids, to include the tranny. Mostly like the exhaust will need work or replacing. It looks good, runs good, and your Dad gave to you....fix it up - he would be proud! If your into DIYing it, a good challenge, or do you have a favorite mechanic. You can do this in stages to converse large outlays of cash.

There are some highly talented folks on this Forum who are always willing and ready to assist in answering your questions as you get it ready to do your own camping or traveling. Ron
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:25 AM   #4
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You might want to check out Xplorer Steve's videos on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC07...oYYmJuDTqFzWFQ

He purchased and carefully restored a 1999 Xplorer 230 XLWT Class B Van. This will give you a reference to compare and figure out if you think it will need a lot of work and if you're up to it.
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:41 AM   #5
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yea, the more I think about it I might just repair what I can and have fun with it now, any suggestions on what to use to remove the Birch tree sap on the sides and top?
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:22 AM   #6
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I usually do my own work, that's one thing my dad gave me was lots of tools I bet new tires for that will be spendy! I've done ball joints before.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:26 AM   #7
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Try WD40, or Goo Gone. Soak it and then work. Probably no worse than heavy road tar we pick on the wheel whelks and along the sides.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:10 PM   #8
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Meguiars also makes a sap removal product. Works well but lots of elbow grease is required.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:31 AM   #9
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I found this video about sap removal....



he said rubbing alcohol works best, i gotta tell ya.....wow, it worked GREAT ! I just tried a small section on my van, buffing with a rag with a dip of rubbing alcohol on it and it devoured it very fast! I might use my air tool with the buffer pad on it to make this go faster, probably a spray bottle with the rubbing alcohol in it.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:16 PM   #10
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I use Turtle Wax bug & Tar remover combined with a razor blade and being super careful (plastic blades would probably help):


I say start by giving it a really good wash. That'll make you go through everything and find out the extent of what needs repairing and if you like it or not.

If you think you're in over your head, sell it as is or with barely any repairs.

If you think it's manageable and will enjoy it, go for it! Since it's worth about 4,000$ you could probably invest up to that much into it and not lose any money selling it if ever you change your mind.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Dopefish, these are coveted and valuable coaches. Put some dough into this thing and you will have a nice camper.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:50 PM   #12
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Yes, I'm already shopping for parts for it, I will put some work into her this weekend, clean and air out the inside, and remove the sap, I have definitely noticed they don't make them like this any more and if they do they are very expensive, my dad gave it to me in about the best way, about 15 years ago he had me sign the title as "or" so it was 100% mine when he passed away, no ties or confusion like that Miss you DAD !
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopefish View Post
Yes, I'm already shopping for parts for it, I will put some work into her this weekend, clean and air out the inside, and remove the sap, I have definitely noticed they don't make them like this any more and if they do they are very expensive, my dad gave it to me in about the best way, about 15 years ago he had me sign the title as "or" so it was 100% mine when he passed away, no ties or confusion like that Miss you DAD !
Yipee! My Mom died in August and I miss her every day. Glad you are restoring the van!
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:24 PM   #14
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If you decide not to restore and want to sell some parts, I need the small crank out window. I have been looking everywhere for a replacement for my xplorer and can't find any.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:14 AM   #15
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I'm glad that you decided to keep and restore it. It's a great way to honor your father's memory. We just finished the interior restoration of our 1990 Xplorer. Ours was in really bad shape. I don't think there is an inch that we didn't fix, paint, replace or restore in some way, and I mean that literally. Your interior still looks like it's in good shape. With a little TLC, you will have a very nice camper with some great history as well.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:33 AM   #16
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yea, I'm glad I kept it, only has 64k miles on it, I bought brand new tires for it and I got rid of all the sap on the top and side, looks like a new van now!
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopefish View Post
yea, I'm glad I kept it, only has 64k miles on it, I bought brand new tires for it and I got rid of all the sap on the top and side, looks like a new van now!
+1


Looking good. At that mileage, it is a keeper for sure.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:54 AM   #18
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Be cautious on the spend on this project. The only Xplorers that seem to have value are either the very early models from the 60's and the later models with the dual wheels. The in between are not especially valuable or have compelling features.

You can still have a lot of fun with it, I'm just saying to do all the work yourself if possible and keep the spend low. All the appliances are pretty cheap to fix or replace. I would try to save the paint if you can, as repainting can be quite expensive if a quality job.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:24 PM   #19
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Indeed, I got this van back in 2014 from my dads estate after he passed away and I'm still getting some money from the estate so I still haven't spent any of my money on it, it purrs like a kitten, the tires were $800.00, I need to get a battery for it, probably like $150.00 or so, the thing I'm having trouble getting is a refrigerator, shipping costs to Alaska are ridiculous, maybe I will just take a trip to the states and buy it and install it there
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:31 AM   #20
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What product(s) were the most successful for your sap removal?
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