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We are thinking about buying a 1996 2.5 petrol ACU engine automatic caravelle van with 167,000 miles and just looking for some advice about what we should be looking out for. We are looking to convert it into a camper.
It’s MOT’d until April and had a few advisories at the last test
  • Nearside Vehicle structure is corroded but structural rigidity is not significantly reduced (6.1.1 (c) (i))
  • Steering column top bearing slightly worn (2.2.2 (b))
  • Nearside Front Shock absorbers has a slightly worn bush (5.3.2 (c))
  • Offside Front Shock absorbers has a slightly worn bush (5.3.2 (c))
  • Steering rack has slight free play detected at steering wheel (2.3 (a) (i))
Should I be concerned about any of this (esp the corrosion) or is it normal for a van of this age? Any advice/ questions I should be asking would be greatly appreciated thanks!

I can post a link but as this is my first post so won’t let me at the moment.
 

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Hi Caamro, your looking at a 24 year old van. like most vehicles of this age there is going to be some rust. To work out if its worth investing in you really need to either get under it and have a good look or pay someone else to do this.
Welding repairs are not that difficult but they are time consuming, and a lot of people do a quick job rather than a good job.
If your going to invest more money into a camper conversion try to ensure the base vehicle is worth the investment.
The front shocks are about £50 each and not that difficult to change, the bushes can also be changed, but to pay someone the labour to change them would probably be better spent on new shocks.
Rack play could be a track rod end again not expensive or an inner joint £50 labour about an hour.
The rust could be the biggest issue, I think the early T4`s seem to last better than the latter versions but that may just be my experience, but you really need to get someone to have a good look around the front chassis outriggers, under the battery, the sills, wheel arches, rear arches and rear chassis legs all these areas can be prone to rust.
 

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Great advice about the rust.
We got caught out last year and bough a van which looked great but underneath it was like it has been in a swamp for many years.
If your not sure what to look for take someone with you that has a good knowledge of vehicles like we did this time round.
Good luck!
 
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