Re: Salem Kroger 4X4 conv.
I know a thing-er two... I can give you a quick general run-down, otherwise ask any specific questions.
I ALMOST went there but, just as with everything else I've planned for my van in the last two years, things changed along the way. Basically, I went thru a Ford dealer with a family connection, and the Fleet mgr deals with Quigley and was able to give me a price break. Quigley is also a ship-thru to a Ford dealer, Salem is strictly ship-to, so it ended up being more convenient.
Salem is a much smaller operation than Quigley, but pretty much a custom shop. They'll fabricate anything you want (for a price) -- and that means anything (there's a new van around here that came from there, I hear they made nerf bars that double as air tanks, for refilling its tires off-road -- that's just SOME of what they did, the bill came to $30,000 JUST AT SALEM, but this is heavily customized). They'll also work on Dodge vans (not that WE care) and any 1/2 ton van chassis -- Quigley won't do any of that.
You have to take your van to Salem (ship-to). And since they're small they tend to take a LONG time (my cousin has one), whereas Quigley only takes a couple of weeks. Salem uses a leaf spring suspension on Fords that tends to be VERY stiff normally (whereas Quigley uses the factory coils), but I've never ridden in one. Salem also claims that they'll make the suspension any way you want, and I've heard that same van that "rides like a Cadillac". Because the leaves have more travel, the front end tends to sit up higher than a Quigley. I think Salem uses all Ford parts whereas Quigley uses third party brands. Salem claimed (to me) that they would even install the ESOF transfer case if I wanted it (for an extra $1000).
Many trade-offs, depends what you want. I'm pretty satisfied with my Quigley but I'm really curious about the "Cadillac ride". I intend to actually "see" this $70,000 custom rig when it goes to my interior shop sometime soon (for another $15,000 worth of work).
2001 E350 PSD, Deep Emerald Green, 3.55 LS, Premium package, dual alts, rear A/C. Quigley 4x4, Transfer Flow rear tank (27+26), handicap mods, custom interior, Reunel tire carrier w/ Hi-Lift, Sportsmobile nerf bars (black), Amsoil lubes and Dual-Gard bypass oil filter, Amsoil air filters, Eclipse/JL Audio sound system w/ Sirius & 120GB Neo Car Jukebox (MP3 player), J&J stainless grill, Reunel Stainless bumper, 12000# Warn winch, PIAA lights, Bilstein shocks, Ultra Magnum wheels, Michelin tires (265/75-16), Correctrack rear wheel spacers, Bushwhacker flares (painted), Velvet-Ride spring shackles, p/s filter, external tranny and coolant filters, Autometer gauges(5), Optima Yellow Tops, Airdog.