This is kind of a whimsical idea. Still thinking about a used cube van...what about putting the engine in the middle of the van, maybe behind two rows of seats? Then the transmission and a 3 ft drive shaft to the rear axle. I have already thought through the issue of having an engine in the back of the van - ways to actually put its presence to good use. The result: would have an engine that is much easier to work on - exhaust could easily be directed up the back to the top of the vehicle; intake could also be from the top of the vehicle; 4 wheel drive could be relatively "easy" to install (if the engine were not in the front to get in the way). I could easily think of 500 pounds of stuff that I would like to keep in the van that could be stored in the new trunk up front, that would help balance the weight. The mechanical aspect would be a challenge...but the space created and utility provided would be ideal. The front end on the van would probably last longer if it were lightened by 500 pounds. I think that prompted this idea is that a lot of medium weight vans and trucks I see overseas are rear engine driven. Almost all utility vehicles here have the snub nose type because of the narrow streets and difficulty finding long spaces to part the longer nosed trucks and vans. There are some snub nosed school busses that are rear engine...that might be the cheapest way to do this, but would probably be 4' or so longer than I would want....of course, there is the.... VW Van, but the 1996-98 VW van was front engine, and I would like something from around 1998, because they started putting front air bags at that time.