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    Toyota vans vs. Chrysler?

    I?ve been driving Ford Econoline vans with lowered floor since I became disabled.
    i drive out of my wheelchair and sit 55 3/4? from floor to top of head. I sit pretty tall.
    my current ford van is a 2007 ,8 cyl.,with only 129,000 mi on it.
    They no longer make these vans,2015 was last year.
    Im looking to go to a Toyota Sienna or Chrysler Pacifica.
    im thinking I?d rather go Braun conversion vs.vmi.
    what do others think bout these 2 vans?
    thanks.
    dp

    #2
    Big change from an older Econoline which are big and boxy.

    Both Toyota and Pacificia are very $$$.

    They both ride nice but not worth the cost. You should rent one and see who you like them.

    We have a great dealer in Phoenix that save is about $20,000 on a used low miles van in perfect shape and added extended warranty for cheap.

    https://www.azmobilitycenter.com/used-cars-phoenix-az

    Comment


      #3
      I don't know where you are in New York, with some dealers don't even offer you the choice of VMI versus Braun. I don't know what your disability is and how much equipment you require (low effort braking/steering), but I (quad driver) was priced at 66k for the Pacifica and 64k for the sienna, and that was after 13k for a trade in.

      You may fit in a Honda Odyssey, though the new ones have very poor headroom.

      You will not be able to test drive one from the wheelchair, I don't know a dealer that will let you given all the specifics required for proper fitting. You will be able to be driven as a passenger in your desired vehicle to test.

      One thing I would recommend is that if you are in a manual chair and having upper extremity issues that you plan ahead for the possibility of driving in a power chair which will require more headroom. Thus, don't choose the one that is okay for now, but is a little snug, but offers no flexibility for the future.

      Interesting website where you can see what new and used modified vehicles are going for. It may be an option if your budget is limited.

      http://www.blvd.com/wheelchair-vans-for-sale/honda

      Comment


        #4
        dumb question if it run good work great why buy new

        Comment


          #5
          I just bought a Pacifica touring L with S package. Unfortunately, the dealer ordered the Braun fold out ramp XT !4" drop rather than the regular Braun fold out Ramp (10") drop I ordered. Am going thru the process of getting satisfaction for an exchange of vehicles. mine was a 2018 with 600 miles on it, the one I'm getting is a 2019 along with myself and Braun contributing the difference the dealer agreed to. Braun stepped up to help solve the challenge. One of the more frustrating experiences I've faced considering the money, time and frustration involved.

          Re the Pacifica van itself. I drove it home, about 100 miles, before realizing it was wrong. Once this gets all sorted out, I have little doubt I made the right choice going with the combination. More room in the back than Honda and Toyota.I think head height is higher too, or perhaps it's Toyotas height is higher. One our guys here on a thread re Pacifica said he rode as a passenger and found it easy to maneuver into place while with his Honda, it took a 4 point turn.

          Pacifica is also the most updated of the three. Some of the things I liked was the side warning light on the mirrors when a car was near me. The ease of the electronic parking brake and knob for a gearshift and easy to reach controls the accessories. I feel it would be very quad friendly. On the way home, I drove up a road that usually made my 2000 Chr. Limited VMI sound like a rattle trap. With the Pacifica, it was quiet, almost surreal.

          Honda, Toyota and Pacifica all have a superior points over each other. I think the Honda had the best interior, Toyota the ride and Pacifica space. Look up reviews asking which of the three to choose from.

          Best advice I can give anyone here is to MAKE sure with any conversion you're buying, the floor drop depth is stated on the order form. Not just the model but actual floor depth in inches. My billing and my insurances billing stated Braun Fold out conversion. Someone in the dealership added XT, which is the 14" drop floor, to the order form to Braun without changing or inquiring the change to me on the order. It would have saved a whole lot of frustration, still going on, and expense to eventually get the drop floor depth I need. If I had seen XT on any form or billing, I would have contacted them immediately.

          Re trim packages. I bought a Touring L(S Package) for the leather seats. am settling for a Touring Plus with S package. The dealer is having the seats reupholstered in Leather for an upcharge. The differences in the two trim packages are about the same except the Touring L has leather, a roof rack and a few other incentives I don't need such as a dvd player in the back.

          Just got a call from the dealer. It's going to take two days, to swap the equipment between the two vans so will have to make two trips to the big city, 100 miles each way (400 miles) He'll loan us a wheelchair van to take home so we don't have to take an extra car down and back. Finally feeling much better about this. I'm sure it was frustrating on both sides. Dang all it would have taken was checking with me or changing the billing sent to myself and my insurance. I'm treating this like it was an honest mistake but know without Brauns assistance there was a likely chance the outcome would have been different. I urge anyone looking at conversions to contact the actual conversion companies and get assigned a representative who'll give input and is a contact person if needed. I hadn't contacted my rep, he contacted me seeing how I liked the Braun conversion? I let him know; he started a case file and pushed it up to those with influence. I appreciate all Braun has done and the dealer for coming to an agreement and bringing this to fruition. Not looking forward to the two trips to the big city but it could be worse.

          Kersey has bought out Braun and VMI so will be offering both versions at their dealerships. I use a ZX-1 power assist now so if there is a difference in ramp angle, no big deal. If I have to eventually drive from my chair, with the ZX-1 I won't have to change to a powerchair. If I do, I'll sell this one and buy one that fits. A question was asked why buy a new one if the old one runs fine. Easy answer is cause it's going on 20 years old and I can afford it. I'll sell or give my old one away to a local who isn't as fortunate as I am blessed to be.
          Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 2 Jul 2019, 8:10 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            I've heard people say both are better than a Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. But that's not saying much. The Econoline isn't a looker. But it's a good candidate for an inexpensive restoration. Have you priced how much it would cost to restore your econoline? On my Econoline, I am restoring the entire interior, entire exterior (paint and Line-X), rebuilding the transmission, suspension, exhaust, and AC, audio, plus major tune up of electric, fuel, and brake systems. The van will be pretty much new except for the body and motor (only 65K miles so leaving the motor as is). I could do all this plus much more (like a new motor) 2 to 3 times over for the cost of a Pacifica. Are they that good? Not in my opinion.

            The only drawbacks are limited parking choices, gas mileage, and old style. But the old style can work in your favor. A retro van customized and restored into mint shape is way cooler than a stock Sienna or Pacifica IMO.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by August West View Post
              I've heard people say both are better than a Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan. But that's not saying much. The Econoline isn't a looker. But it's a good candidate for an inexpensive restoration. Have you priced how much it would cost to restore your econoline? On my Econoline, I am restoring the entire interior, entire exterior (paint and Line-X), rebuilding the transmission, suspension, exhaust, and AC, audio, plus major tune up of electric, fuel, and brake systems. The van will be pretty much new except for the body and motor (only 65K miles so leaving the motor as is). I could do all this plus much more (like a new motor) 2 to 3 times over for the cost of a Pacifica. Are they that good? Not in my opinion.

              The only drawbacks are limited parking choices, gas mileage, and old style. But the old style can work in your favor. A retro van customized and restored into mint shape is way cooler than a stock Sienna or Pacifica IMO.
              The only bad thing if you get in a wreck the ins. well only pay you what the van is worth. Which if its 5 years old they well junk it and pay you the actual cash value of your van most of the time.
              Art

              Comment


                #8
                I had thought of doing that with my T&C VMI but the dang thing sits so low I can't even drive over the rack of a Jiffy lube. I think it's like 2.5" off the ground. I am going to miss it for sure. Not a fan of all the computers etc. on the new ones that runs it. My favorite van was my '85 Chevy Astro. Had 2 inch foam and carpet on the floor with wood paneling on the ceiling and sides. We used to get in by transferring at the side slidding door, pull the chair in over my head, get between the seats and transfer up into the drivers seat. No lifts, ramps or anything; just hand controls. After all the bs I've gone thru with this one, I sure hope it turns out okay.

                I heard VMI had some major electrical problems with their infloor after it was sold to the capitalist investment group. Prices went up and quality went down but seems to have improved.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Art454 View Post
                  The only bad thing if you get in a wreck the ins. well only pay you what the van is worth. Which if its 5 years old they well junk it and pay you the actual cash value of your van most of the time.
                  Do you not have agreed value policies over your way Art?

                  I like your style August as that is the way I would go too.
                  It is what I immediately thought of when reading dpatrick's opener.

                  I like the Econoline. As I recall, they were a popular custom van at one time; weren't they?
                  Modern vehicles have too much doo-dads and electrics for my liking, too much to go wrong- and it does according to our local AA man.

                  Good luck with yours Patrick.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by slow_runner View Post
                    Do you not have agreed value policies over your way Art?
                    I think if you told the insurance company that you want to insure it for more they will be glad to provide the service (take more of your money).

                    Originally posted by slow_runner View Post
                    I like the Econoline. As I recall, they were a popular custom van at one time; weren't they?
                    Modern vehicles have too much doo-dads and electrics for my liking, too much to go wrong- and it does according to our local AA man.
                    Seems like the older they are the more desirable they are. Best thing is that your local mechanic can fix just about anything. No one except the dealers can fix some problems on the newer vans. Of the 10 vintage vans at this Las Vegas auction 4 are Econolines or custom Fords.

                    https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...ans-to-auction
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by August West; 3 Jul 2019, 3:13 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by slow_runner View Post
                      Do you not have agreed value policies over your way Art?

                      I like your style August as that is the way I would go too.
                      It is what I immediately thought of when reading dpatrick's opener.

                      I liked the Econoline. As I recall, they were a popular custom van at one time; weren't they?
                      Modern vehicles have too much doo-dads and electrics for my liking, too much to go wrong- and it does according to our local AA man.

                      Good luck with yours Patrick.
                      Thanks SR. It was the wife, I swear, who talked me into a new van. It was too low slung for her liking; scraped over every speed bump and steeper driveways. . Was thinking about checking out if there was a way to raise it a couple inches. Would make all the difference. Still may check it out.

                      Yep the old Econolines were perfect for custom vans.Other than my '39 Willies Ford Panel truck, it was about the only Ford I liked. I had a '74 Econoline with a mural of a sailing ship on each side, tuck and roll ceiling and sides, shag carpet and bed in the back with electric lanterns for lights in the back. Also had a quadraphonic stereo playing The Doors and Eagles lol. And a CB radio and antennas on the mirrors.

                      I went into an underground parking garage in Vancouver, Canada and forgot about height and CB antennas. Looked in the mirror and saw it was all dark behind me with popping noises going on. It was the antennas breaking every neon light I passed. Left right away with the attendant looking quizedly out his booth at the darkness behind me. As I turned the corner loads and loads of broken light flew off the top into the street. I hate to think what it cost them to replace it all. Was perfect going to various wheelchair tournaments etc.. Rather than sleep in the dorms, I'd sleep in the van. Being single at the time, perfect den for getting laid. A true shaggin' wagon without a doubt. . Ah the good old times with simpler vehicles. The new Pacificas and others have 81 computers plus any running the conversion part. Kind of makes me cringe thinking about it. Thanks guys, you have me double thinking the decision on a new one lol. I figure if anything. When I pass the wife will make a few bucks off it as the insurance paid 43 G's for the conversion.

                      Good looking van August.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by August West View Post
                        I think if you told the insurance company that you want to insure it for more they will be glad to provide the service (take more of your money).
                        Seems like the older they are the more desirable they are. Best thing is that your local mechanic can fix just about anything. No one except the dealers can fix some problems on the newer vans. Of the 10 vintage vans at this Las Vegas auction 4 are Econolines or custom Fords.
                        https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...ans-to-auction
                        If it is agreed value then that is fair enough. Right off = agreed value pay out.
                        I had an older Ford Transit, the uglier MK1 not the later square faced unit, that I slotted a Falcon 200 motor into. There used to be a nose extension that allowed a straight drop-in but that caused too much weight out front.
                        Standard 4 speed Transit box and a MK3Zephyr diff head in the rear.
                        I built mounts, modified the sump that allowed the engine to sit back over the cross member. It steered beauty; no power assist needed. Between the driver and passenger seat sat a 'customised' wash-room laundry tub that covered the engine intrusion & box.
                        Cheviot Turbo mags too.
                        I recall removing the tyres so I could get that van through the garage doors.
                        We took the children to a few places in that old van....
                        If there had been an Econoline available down here, that would have been my preferred choice.
                        Last edited by slow_runner; 3 Jul 2019, 3:53 AM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Do your best with convincing your good wife of the sense in retaining what suits you best Patrick.
                          Say it with flowers????
                          Raising a vehicle a couple of inches doesn't appear to be an involved process. New wheels and tyres would be a easy, simple start.

                          Your old '74 sounds ideal. Great memories eh?

                          P.S
                          43 G's for the conversion.
                          Only $64500 NZ? That's nothing mate
                          Last edited by slow_runner; 3 Jul 2019, 4:07 AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Lol, no convincing SR. She lays out her valid points and mine to her. Flowers; she has two acres of flowers. Yep, did the largest tires available years ago. Just the way the van conversions were back then. This forum brings back many good memories of youth gone old. God Bless the wives and husbands!
                            I don't want to hijack this thread from dPatrick. It's a big decision for him. I figure I don't have a lot of years left so took the offer from my insurance to update the vehicle conversion.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have had a 2019 Braun Foldout Sienna since Dec and I like it a lot. I have Featherlite hand controls and a B&D transfer seat, I use a manual chair. A couple thoughts, Sienna?s only come in one drop from Braun and have the lowest ramp angle of 7.6 degrees for a foldout. The Pacifica has the most room between the front and rear seats but the Sienna has the most cargo space behind the rear seats. I can still spin my chair (MC Apex) with the footrest for rear seat down. I really don?t think it would work with Smartdrive hanging off the back. Braun moved the rear seat back 6 in. about 2017.
                              The Sienna has blind spot, cross traffic monitoring and lane departure assist standard, great A/C, and does ride/drive nice. Mine is an SE trim so 19 inch tires and upgrade suspension/ steering rack. 2018 and up can have Apple CarPlay.
                              Patrick is correct in that the electric e brake is easier to use than old school pedal, I use a collapsed walking stick to press mine, works fine but I would rather hit a switch. I?m not sure about the shifter but I have no issues with it.
                              i think there?s some confusion about ownership of these Companies, Permobil owns Braun and an investment firm Nautic Partners still owns VMI.

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