My "newsed" carpet cleaning set-up progression (pics)

rob allen

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Recently I purchased a new used van and truck mount carpet cleaning set up. I always keep my eyes open for White Magic 1900 slide in's. They predated the electronic versions that led to their demise. Also I have all the same models in most every truck now. Nice thing is parts interchange and I don't have to look all over the place for parts. I just go to the same Ford engine company.

There are a few drawbacks. One is they have a complicated plumbing system. Took us a while to get it mastered but now we have it. Two,parts are no longer in production so some components are not available. Heat exchangers and misc parts. Fortunately I have a great relationship with a machine shop who can easily fabricate anything I need. Lastly,anytime you buy something used you are going to inherit the last owners van and equipment problems. They may be minor but nonetheless there will be a few.

Now we are making a video on how to buy a used carpet cleaning van and machine. But we figured chronicling a used set up in a thread would be helpful. This way one could weigh the pros and cons of new vs used. Make no mistake,new machines sometimes have issues. The advantage is you will probably have a warranty and local place to get it repaired. So do your homework. I did for this latest set-up.

Here is what I bought and how I went about it. Most all of us saw the fiasco that Will reed went through. It worked out to some degree but mostly due to Will's drive and determination. He appears to have that golden touch or ability to turn coal into a diamond. Good for him. Like I said earlier we waited patiently knowing we would need another truck this Spring. Finally one popped up in Florida. One owner van and machine. It is an older van and machine but appeared to be well taken care of. Since it was out of state I asked a member who I trusted to go by and look at it. David Reed,whom In met at Connections and I could tell right away he was a stand up guy. (Thanks David and I still owe
you)

Ok let's cut to the chase. David went by and looked at it and said even though it was old it was in immaculate condition. I then called the owner back and negotiated a fair deal. We Paypaled a large deposit and then I flew a tech down to drive it back. The tech said it was super clean and the people were very nice. So we gave them a cashiers check and he drove it back. When he got back I went and looked at and it was extremely clean. But I know looks can be deceiving and time would tell how good of a purchase it was.

Since it was going to be a back up to our other trucks till Summer I decided to drive it and do the make over. I've had it for about 4 weeks now. The van is a 1999 with 101,000 miles but if you drove it you would think it is only a few years old. The former owned was 72 years old and took pride in keeping his possessions up. The van is very tight and everything works except the overhead lights. Van was a perfect purchase imo.

Now to the truck mount. Most of know how finicky a truck mount can be. So this would be the real test. I took the covers off and you could literally eat off the engine it was so clean. But for all I know he could have cleaned it up before selling it. Then I started the machine. Sounded good all the way up to 3000 rpms. I cut it off and told one of the techs to take it into the field.

About an hour later I got a call. He said it keeps over heating and won't keep running. Odd because the former owner said it ran perfect in his video. I figured maybe it was an operator error so I drove out. When I got there I quickly figured out the water temp system light was on and the 280 degree temp sensor was shutting it down. I told him to drive it to the shop and switch out trucks.

I then began to test and evaluate it. At first I went down the wrong road. I replaced the engine thermostat and added radiator fluid. Then started it again and it did the same thing after about 30 minutes. Strange I thought. Trying to think of anything I may be doing differently I remembered when it came up here it was on low heat setting. First thing I did was crank it to high. So I lowered it back to low heat and it ran longer but still overheated. Baffled I scaled the rpm's back to 2400 rpms and ran it at low and it finally ran fine. But I wanted to get at the heart of the problem.

I then ran it for awhile with the covers off. I noticed that the exhaust heat exchanger diverter seemed to be staying in the heated position throughout the whole running period. So I unhooked the vacuum tube and problem temporarily solved. Now we could run at max rpms for max vac but lower heat. I prefer vacuum over heat. Running solely off the coolant heat exchanger I average 190 degree temps. So just for now I wired the exhaust heat exchanger 1/4 open and average 210 degrees.

Been running fine since. When I get some time I will figure out why the exhaust heat exchanger diverter valve is staying open when vacuum tube connected. I suspect the actual machine thermostat is not working properly,maybe needs replacing or calibrating. Not sure how but I can learn. So far I have about 1 day,8 hours of repair time into it. Not bad for a 1999 van and machine with almost 4k hours. This includes changing the belts because they were a little worn. The only other thing it needs is the belt tensioner bearings. They are a little noisy which is normal for a machine with this many hours. Other than that everything hums a precision tune.

Ok with that out of the way time to do a make over. I started with a wrap. Makes the truck look new and gives us a "franchise" look. As I progress I will update with pictures of before and after along with my reasoning behind changes. You can decide also if buying used vs new is for you or not. Here is the breakdown numbers and pictures of wrap. I will update this OP as the progression ensues;

Bought used; (paid cash so lower insurance,titling,no loan interest & taxes)

11,000 - Van,machine,install & accessories
100 - Repair parts (figure 8 hours labor at repair shop if your not mechanically inclined)
3,000 - wrap

14,100 - Sub total so far

If bought new; (higher insurance,titling & taxes)

30,000 - extended 1 ton van
1,000 - Line-X floor liner
24,000 - 59 hp liquid cooled 5.9 blower,5 cp truckmount
1,500 - 110 gallon fresh water tank
2,000 - 150 gallon dirty water tank w/plumbing
1,500 - 300 ft electric hose reel
400 - 300' vacuum hose
200 - 200' solution hose
1,000 light accessories (wands,cuffs etc)
1,000 Install
3,000 wrap

65,600 sub total


PS:please remember good deals like these don't come around often. If your not mechanically inclined you could have a nightmare. Also depending on financial circumstances,goals,multi-truck operation and personal situations buying new or leasing may be your best option. This is for demonstration purposes only as I have bought new and used.

Newdodgeb4wrap_zps45b47305.jpg


Newdodgewrap_zps1ccef541.jpg


Newdodgewrap2_zps215c8777.jpg
 

ronman

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Awesome!

I love new, but have to shop everything out carefully to get the best deal on used.

Love the wrap!

Is that solid over the windows, or the kind you can see through?
 

rob allen

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Very cool, l like seeing people's projects evolve.

BTW you are way light on the cost of a new 1 ton van.

Really? Guess its been awhile and even when I buy a new machine I usually buy 2-5 year old van with low miles. Enlighten me and I will adjust the math. :)
 

dlshetler

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Really? Guess its been awhile and even when I buy a new machine I usually buy 2-5 year old van with low miles. Enlighten me and I will adjust the math. :)

Bought a new 3/4 ton standard length this year with employee discount for about $24,000. For an extended 1 ton without employee discount you are right around $30,000 both Ford and Chevy.

I was surprised too. $20k just won't buy you a motor and box on wheels anymore.
 

rob allen

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Awesome!

I love new, but have to shop everything out carefully to get the best deal on used.

Love the wrap!

Is that solid over the windows, or the kind you can see through?

Thanks Ron. I did solid wrap over 2 out of the 3 side windows to make it more vivid. I used the perforated on the windows directly behind the driver and passenger door & rear door for increased visibility.
 
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RoboShark

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Sounds like it will be a nice back up or light duty van. I really like the wrap and think I will use the blue sky look if If I ever get a wrap.

Glad the business is growing and congradulations.
 
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Mojo Rising

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Rob you have a cool wrap but you should also do the roof of the van.. looking down at it I bet it looks kinda silly and its a great place to put some marketing or at least your name.. A local guy does it here and its really eye catching, probably the best wrapped van here.

How much did the wrap cost you? I am getting a ford wrapped, but not the extended version.
 

astrikingimage

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Nice wrap. New 1 ton extended van ford should be under $30 k as of 1 year ago. Looking forward to your updates. Possible problems with heat on White magic: 1. the actuator if is has one could be bad. 2. new vacuum lines to acuators. 3. Actual part that closes and opens for heat exhaust could have rust inside of it so it does not open and close very easily.
Don't have 1900's but have white magic commander HOs.
 
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bob519

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Those vans are not in production anymore right?
Drive slow . I am pretty sure there is a high accident rate with these vans.

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