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
#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.
Sep 12, 2003 (7:26 pm)
Nice summary and it's great to have the originator around still contributing. Thanks!
#347 of 655 Satisfied Owner
Sep 27, 2003 (6:47 am)
Like mrh3108, I am quite satisfied with the
Savana SLE 1500 year 2000, now at 70K miles.
Only minor problems, not important to dwell into.
But my next vehicle will be a smaller one if only
to reduce the fuel consumption and have better
braking performance. Fortunately I do not really
need all the space the Savana provided.
#348 of 655 Locking Differential
Sep 29, 2003 (5:33 pm)
I just watched a Eaton Corporation Video at Braeger Chevy in Milwaukee. It showed how the Eaton G 80 Diff. is a locking diff. Once there is a difference of 100 RPM the non-rotating wheel recieves 50% of the torque. Great video.
#349 of 655 The answers to your transmission problems
Oct 01, 2003 (6:49 pm)
I just traded in my '97 Chevy Express Van on a new '03 Express. I also own a '97 GMC Sierra. Both '97 trucks had the same powertrains. Both had the transmission failures described throughout this board. Both caused me lots of frustration trying to figure out why these problems were occurring.
It turned out to be two problems: One is in the valve body, the other is a stamped metal part referred to as the "sun shell" that carries torque in 4th, 2nd, and reverse.
In 1993, the 4L60 transmission was introduced as the 4L60E (E=electronic controlled) with a new aluminum valve body. Previous versions of the transmissions used cast iron valve bodys that were absolutely bullet-proof. I don't know all the reasons for the change, but have to think it was to save weight. In any event, the Torque Converter Clutch Valve (TCC) had a tendency in the 96-98 transmissions to wear the bore it slides back and forth in. The round hole would become slightly oblong, allowing trans fluid to leak past the valve resulting in loss of pressure to the Torque Converter lock-up circuit. What happens next is that the PCM, sensing slippage commands maximum line pressure, which results in the hard shift many here complain of.
Interestingly, the hard shift is actually a good thing. It helps prevent the clutches from slipping as they engage by applying the extra fluid pressure so that they engage quicker with less slip. However, if not corrected, the slippage will lead to burning up the torque converter.
The fix is to resleeve the TCC bore and install a new TCC valve. Sonnax makes a kit and sells a special reamer to do this. The kit costs $40-65, and the reamer around $75. The whole job can be done in a few hours. Sonnax has a web site, and are good about providing information on their kits. There are also some good technical papers available at the site as well.
The other problem happened to my pick-up truck at around 68K miles, and to my Van at 72k miles. What happens is you lose 2nd, 4th and Reverse gears, probably experience a big "Clunk" sound. The problem is a basket shaped sheet metal stamping that carries load in 4th, 2nd, and Reverse. There's a splined flange that is spin welded onto the bottom of the basket that transfers torque from the sun shell into the output shaft. After 60000 miles or so, the flange fatigues and the spin-weld fails.
The sun shell has been a marginal part of the 4L60E, as well as it's predecessor models, the 4L60 and the 700R transmissions for a long time. It just became a chronic problem when the company started mating the 4L60E to the higher output Vortec engines beginning in 1996.
Hope this helps.
Oct 01, 2003 (6:52 pm)
If you experience the sun shell failure as described above, have your trans rebuilt with a beefier aftermarket part. One that is available is called the "Beast". I've seen them sold at Transmission parts dealers. They're much heavier-duty than the OEM ones.
#351 of 655 thanks mrh3108-Some Questions
Oct 13, 2003 (8:55 pm)
I just bt 99 Savana Hi-top after 4 yrs leased (58K miles)-Agree with gd reliability (replacement tires-Dunlops had 4/4 failures! tread sep-only major problem) Are you still on OE battery? What mileage on front(repl 30k)/rear brakes? About to do major maintenance (2 yr) -any particular suggestions from your experience?? Thanks BOBPUT in Tampa