Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:05 AM
You are in the Chevy Express & GMC Savana
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Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express Cargo, Chevrolet Sportvan, Chevrolet Chevy Van, Chevrolet Chevy Van Classic, Van
#336 of 655 Dual Fuel (CNG) experience in 3500 Express?
Jul 28, 2003 (8:29 pm)
I am looking for a full-size passenger van (12-15 pp). Comparing late model Chevys and Fords. Leaning toward G-3500s instead of Ford. Ran across a 2002 Express w/5.7L that is dual fueled (i.e., gasoline and compressed natural gas or CNG). There is a switch on the dash to go back and forth. A couple of questions about the CNG:
1. Has anyone encountered it? Good or bad experience to report? Wondering about mileage, winter starting, fuel cost benefits, maintenance headaches, etc.
2. The CNG tank is mounted underneath the floor, just in front of the rear bumper. Yes, it sounds like a rear-end collision bomb waiting to happen, but I have to believe that has been thought through and designed accordingly. But the spare tire has been done away with. And there's a sticker underneath the van saying "don't install a tow hitch on this vehicle" Any way to get around these short of removing the CNG system?
3. The van seems well priced and has only 2500 miles. Well-equipped, almost to point where price seems fishy. Dealer (Mercury) says they picked it up at a ford auction in MI. Says it was bought by Ford corporate, as they frequently buy competitors' products and study (i.e. spy on) them. Carfax checks out to report sole owner as a corporate vehicle first registered in Dearborn. I suspect Ford was interested in the CNG package.
4. The sticker under the hood that talks about emission performance on CNG (Quantum Technologies or Impco Technologies) references a "CNG manual supplement for the G-Vans". This is missing (susepct it's still in the desk drawer of some Ford engineer). If anyone has the CNG system, would you be willing to photocopy it for a fee?
Otherwise, the van is clean as a whistle; hardly a speck of dirt in the wheel wells or under the hood. Like it sat in the garage at Ford (probably being dissasembled and re-assembled) the whole time.
#337 of 655 MPG for 6.0L vs 4.8L
Aug 04, 2003 (1:11 pm)
I am going to purchase a 2500 express van. I would like to know what the acctual mpg is for the 4.8L and 6.0L, with a 3.73 axle. I drive mostly in the city
What has your mpg experiance been?
#338 of 655 starting problems
Aug 07, 2003 (12:17 pm)
My 99 express conversion van sometimes does not start a few hours after a rainstorm and it is hot. If I wait between a few hours up to a day it will start.
It has happened 10 times know and has been in the shop 4 times.
It started 4 months after I bought it new and has happened every summer since.
The dealer says that if they can't re-create the problem they can't help me.
Does anybody have any suggestions?
Aug 08, 2003 (8:48 am)
Does your van not start after you've DRIVEN it in a rainstorm, or will it not start if it just sits there unused during the 100% humidity event? And does "not start" mean it won't even crank over, or does it crank normally and try to start, but just will not fire up?
#340 of 655 Thanks, you've talked me out of a Chevy
Aug 10, 2003 (8:24 am)
Wow, I'm starting a business and need a cargo van and after reading about all of the problems with the Chevy/GMC vans, transmissions, rear ends, etc, I think I'm going to spend the money on the Freightliner Sprinter. I figure it costs $5000 more but from the look of it, I'll save that in the first 50k miles in fuel and warranty costs. Fed Ex and UPS just ordered 12000 of these vans and now I see why. Many thanks to everyone for their honest assessments and help, I think you've saved me a lot of time, money and aggravation.
#341 of 655 '98 3/4 ton van transmission problems
Aug 11, 2003 (8:51 am)
I'm having my third transmission installed at about 80,000 miles. No towing of anything. Love the engine, the ride (custom van), and the shift, but this sudden loss of a transmission with no warning has me very upset. Does anyone have an answer as to what might be causing the problem?
#342 of 655 Dual Fuel (CNG) Experience
Aug 11, 2003 (9:09 am)
Responding to ehoefs posting. We just bought a Dual Fuel (CNG) Chevy Express 3500 Van last week. We too found no Owner's Manual Supplement regarding the Compressed Natural Gas system and how to use it. I've talked to Chevy, to Helm Publications (they say they are out of stock of the $10 item - although I'm still wondering if there even is such a thing) and to three supposed AFV (Alternative Fuel Vehicle) dealers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. None of them seemed to have any experience with AFVs even though their names were given to me by Chevy. No one can come up with any directions on how to use the CNG system. I bought the van with 2400 miles on it and it too was registered to Ford out of Michigan as a test vehicle. We didn't want CNG but got a great price on the van. We're taking it in this week to get an estimate on removing the CNG so we can put in a towing hitch. We're also adding the jack back in and will carry a spare inside the van (hitch, tire, and jack are available on the 2003 CNG vans but not on the 2002s). I'd love to get information from anyone that knows anything about this this CNG Bi-Fuel Express Van. Direct Email can go to xsue1111yahoo.com. Thanks!
#343 of 655 Starting problems
Aug 13, 2003 (11:53 am)
The Van Cranks over fine and it does not have to be driven in the rain just be out in the rain.
I am leaving for Florida tomorrow I will let you know if it happenens again.
#344 of 655 Wheels for my 04 GMC Savanna
Sep 09, 2003 (7:48 pm)
I pick up my 2004 2500 Savanna on Sunday. Would like to add custom wheels (preferable 18" or larger), anyone have any recomendations?
#345 of 655 Thanks for keeping this discussion going
Sep 12, 2003 (6:17 pm)
I started this topic back in Nov'99. I have a 99 Chevy Express and needed to know what to expect in terms of future repairs.
What I've learned is that this is a very reliablel vehicle. You can search for my posts to see what repairs I've made to the vehicle since any time I did have a problem not related to build quality I posted it. I believe my issues were a bad alternator replaced under warranty (I'm at 88K now and the replacement has been going strong) and perhaps I may have commented about lingering issues with the tailights/dashboard lights that would go out occassionally when driving down the road. Also, I had trouble with the driver side window which every 6-12 months decides not to work on a consistent basis but somehow gets better. Other than that our expenses have been oil, tires, and things the kids broke.
As far as transmission troubles that permeatted this board in the early days-- nothing. My brother did replace the tranny in his '97-98 and I believe a defect does exist, at least in those years, but these are actually very reliable vehicles.
What I'm trying to say is that this discussion topic is going to have more people complaining as than praising. I was worried about the tranny going out by 35K or even 60K at the latest, as well as other issues. In the end I have an alternator, a window, and a chronic dimmer/headlight switch issue that I have learned to deal with.
This vehicle has truly exceeded my expectations and has been the most utilitarean vehicle I have ever owned. This is actually a conversion van but I remove the seats to convert it into a cargo van when needed. I've hauled 1 ton of cypress mulch in it, a pallet of sod, plywood, sheetrock, and anything else you can thing of to finish a basement including toilets, cabinets, trim, doors, etc. Really, Really, a dependable and great vehicle.
I saw a post back one or two pages ago that said that they wouldn't purchase a GM van based on the comments on this page. I think that's a mistake-- at least at this moment in time based on my 54 month of owning the vehicle.
For those whose experience has not been as good, please keep posting as it is helpful for all of us.