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Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express Cargo, Chevrolet Sportvan, Chevrolet Chevy Van, Chevrolet Chevy Van Classic, Van
#319 of 655 Dimensions in rear of short wheelbase '03 2500 Express passenger van
May 13, 2003 (9:24 pm)
I have just purchased a 2003 Express 12 Passenger van 2500 short wheelbase. I bought the van on ebay at a great price. I have owned Chevy's all my life and have never had any serious problems..so I'm hoping for the best again. I happen to be handicapped and use a mobility device which I carry around in the van. My question is this, and hopefully someone will know off hand, or be kind enough to check. I would like to know the depth in inches from the inside of the closed rear cargo doors to the back of the 2nd row bench. I will be removing the third row bench to accomodate my scooter and lift. No one seems to have the answer. I do not yet have the van in my posession. The seller has not been willing to measure the space for me. Could I impose upon someones knowledge or kindness? Thanks in advance!
#320 of 655 Reply to # 316: rear end noise
Jun 01, 2003 (7:12 pm)
The problem you are describing is almost exactly the same thing that happened to my 95 SE V6 Nissan 4X4 pickup, which I bought new. Right around 3000 mile mark, I started hearing irritating whining noise starting around 45 MPH and disappearing around 55 MPH, but only under load, i.e. with my foot on the accelerator. As soon as I took my foot off the gas pedal, the noise diappeared. Nissan agreed to replace the rear end differential under warranty and they did.
The new differential was quiet for about 500 miles, and then I started hearing the familiar whining noise again, not as loud as before and ONLY when coasting this time, in the same speed ranges. My differential is a limited slip type.
It is my understanding that the whining noise is caused by somewhat excessive backlash (play between the gears) in the differential. Whatever the cause, it does not seem to affect the differential peformance and hearing the thing whine only when I take my foot off the gas pedal between 45 and 55 MPH is not that bad. So I live with it. However, I must admit that with the original differential the constant whine under load when cruising was rather irritating.
Feel free to use my post as a proof that other companies (e.g. Nissan) take care of their customer problems, as they did in my case. They should replace your differential under warranty. In your case, the vehicle cabin probably amplifies the noise even more than was the case with my truck. I would also talk to a differential expert and see if they could at least alleviate the problem by altering the gear backlash by shimming. GM should at least attempt that much.
#321 of 655 reply to #316 - rear end problem
Jun 03, 2003 (3:48 pm)
I have a 2002 chev express 1500 with a 5700, auto, and 3.73 limited slip. At 7000 miles the rear end started making lots of noise-bearings went out. At 9000 miles it started making noise again. Dealer replaced all bearings again, plus ring and pinion gears. At about 11000 miles horrible noise from rear end. Dealer replaced bearings, ring and pinion gears, axles, clutch pack, and rear end housing. At about 14000 miles more loud noise. Dealer replaced all bearings again. I'm currently looking into a lemon law buyback. You need to go to your dealer and demand that they do something about that noise. Hopefully they can fix yours properly. I give up on mine.
#322 of 655 wtaylor
Jun 05, 2003 (1:28 pm)
This is truly hard to believe. If you went to a junk yard and bought a used axle asembly from a 10 year old van and bolted it onto your vehicle, chances are really good that you would never have a problem with it. Rear axles generally outlive the rest of the vehicle and survive for years in good serviceable condition. When PROPERLY assembled initially, they last many hundreds of thousands of miles without any adverse symptoms. I had a number of full size American vehicles in the 70's and 80's with all kinds of problems, but never any rear rear differential/axle issues.
But seriously, if you were to loose a lot of money on this vehicle just to get rid of it, I would pursue a used rear axle approach because it cannot be that expensive, and axles like yours are easy to find because they also fit many pickup trucks.
At first I thought that you had an improperly machined differential housing, which would explain repeated bearing failures, but you mention that they replaced the axle housing as well? Did they order a whole axle assembly and bolt in on the vehicle? If I were you I would demand that as the last fix before going to arbitration. Sounds to me like these people do not know how to properly adjust the differential after replacing the parts. Proper differential assembly requires shimming and adjusting the gear contact pattern and backlash correctly. If these parameters are grossly out of adjustment, the differential will fail quickly. Also, the bearings must be pressed in properly to avoid damaging them. This is why you would be better off with a complete factory assembled rear axle.
I have a boat with a 1996 Volvo Penta SX drive. After about 20 hours, there was a loud knocking noise coming out of the drive with the engine running. Turned out that one of the upper gearcase bearings was pressed in crooked and failed. The bearing was replaced, but the drive was noisy and rattled like a bucket of bolts. They replaced all of the bearings in the upper gear case, to no avail. The noise would still be there. They finally replaced the whole drive under warranty and that solved the problem. Either the old gearcase bore was improperly machined, or they reassembled the parts incorrectly. There appears to be an analogy here because both the boat SX drive and your rear axle contain carefully shimmed gears and a number of bearings. I use this example to illustrate that the best fix in your case is replacement of your rear axle with a new complete factory assembled rear axle.
#323 of 655 2002 Express LT rear end trouble
Jun 10, 2003 (4:33 pm)
I bought a new Express LT July 27 of 02. 5 days later I noticed a few drips of oil under the differential . I crawled up under and found a small hole in the differential housing that was seeping oil. I completely wiped it clean and put newspaper under it while it was in the garage. About every 2 days I had an oil spot the size of a silver dollar. I made an app't at my dealer and took it in when I had it about 12 days. They said yes there is a leak ( as if I didn't know that !) and it is coming from a hole in the differential which was there at the time of manufacture but was supposed to be welded shut. They said to KEEP DRIVING IT AND IT MIGHT STOP LEAKING ON IT'S OWN.
I took it home and watched it like a hawk. I took notes , consulted our fleet mechanic at work, called 2 other Chevy dealers and the consensus was...it won't just stop leaking on it's own.
I took it back and said , I am leaving for Florida towing my 26 ft trailer on Sept 10th. I want to make sure it was fixed. They said they would have to replace the differential housing and would have to order the part. They also said that such a housing is hard to find. They will first have to put a request out to all dealerships asking if anybody has one BEFORE they are allowed to order a new one. I said ,fine , just do it.
Time went by and I kept in contact and was told that we will have your van fixed before you leave. Bottom line, they didn't find one and had to order it. They said it wouldn't be in til about a week after I left. They applied an epoxy cement over the leak saying this will hold til you get back.
We left Sept 10th and about 150 miles into the trip I started smelling a slight burning odor. I crawled under and looked to see the epoxy was getting to a dark brown if not black from the heat. We got to Florida OK and were there about 2 1/2 weeks when I started to hear a faint whining noise. After a couple of days it got louder. I called around Orlando and found ONE Chevy dealer 22 miles away ( Holiday Chevrolet in Kissimmee) that said " bring it right over" Everybody else said next week. On my way to the dealer , it got louder and LOUDER. It was embarrasing to drive ! I made it to the dealer , spoke to them and a service tech took it out for a SHORT drive. He said " you are not driving this van anywhere". All of the fluid has leaked out and the gears are about to seize up.
He made some quick mental calulations and said that the entire rear end , gears , bearings and the housing were all going to have to be replaced . He said that the only part hard to get will be the housing. I had them call my dealer at home and .....they had the new housing on hand. Arrangements were made to ship it to Florida from Pennsylvania and than it was fixed. It took a week ( free rental car) but it was fixed and with another 4,000 miles on it works 100%.
I informed my now FORMER Chevy dealer that I will not be returning to them for any reason ever.
I made another Florida trip with no problems.
I also saw that GM says that the Express does not need a transmission cooler as it has the through the radiator kind. All of the truck tow packages have them but not the van. Anyway, I bought a nice sized cooler and had my own mechanic plumb it in so that it looks stock. Just driving 10 miles it gets so hot you can't put your hand on it.
Towing my 26 ft trailer which weighs about 5400 lbs loaded with the 5.7 and the 3.73 I get a solid 10 mpg. I run about 62 mph.
#324 of 655 rear end trouble
Jun 10, 2003 (6:24 pm)
The people who told you that the oil may stop leaking on its own probably do not understand that as oil gets hot, its viscosity decreases and the leak wiill become more intense. There are cases where leaking seals for example swell up and stop the leak, but in this case there was no seal. They could have fixed your problem permanently by draining the differential oil, drilling a clean hole through the differential housing, tapping the hole and screwing in a properly fitting hex bolt coated with sealer and also with a copper washer under the head, and refilling the differential wtih fresh gear oil You would never know the extra bolt is there, it would not be seen. Many differential housings have both a fill and drain plug holes already drilled and tapped.
#325 of 655 02 Express LT rear end
Jun 17, 2003 (4:34 pm)
They never offered to repair ( weld etc) anything although I wouldn't have refused such a repair knowing it would likely last the life of the van. They just said they would replace the housing and would have it done BEFORE I left on my long trip. BELIEVING that they would be able to do this ( in a months time) I certainly didn't want to turn down a brand new replacement part on my 12 day old van.
I spoke to the GM at the dealer and also filed a complaint with General Motors but they said they have NO control over dealers regarding repairs.
This dealer has a billboard nearby their place. ________ Chevrolet. Great Deals, Great Service , Great People. We'll be there for you !
I told the GM that the only thing they lived up to was the good deal. The service was bad, the service people were terrible and they were NOT there for me.
We still love our LT and wish we had the newer V8 but I can't complain about the wonderful longevity and reliability of the 350.
#326 of 655 Baby Needs (2) New Pair(s) of Shoes...
Jun 24, 2003 (11:01 am)
Wow, nice to see this board is still active... I used to frequent this place starting about 4.5 years ago when we first ordered/purchased our '99 Savana 2500 12-pass.
Anyway, after 60K+ miles, the time has come to replace all four of our Savana's original Michelin LTX A/S LT225/75R16E tires.
These tires have served us very well. While we're inclined to stick to the old tried'n'true and look for the identical tires for replacements, does anyone suggest that we consider buying a different tire this time around for any reason? We do happen to live in the wintery Northeast.
BTW, Michelin is offering a $50 rebate on the purchase of 4 tires during the month of July: http://michelinman.com/promo/2003rebate.html