Last post on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:24 AM
You are in the Chevy Express & GMC Savana
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, GMC Savana Cargo, Van
#13 of 42 Re: New Owner [newsie23]
Aug 05, 2008 (10:46 pm)
is your o3 express a g1500 with AWD and do you know if you have IFS or a straight front axle on leaf springs on your particular model of vehicle?
#14 of 42 Re: New Owner [jgarnaas]
Aug 06, 2008 (6:17 am)
My 03 is a H1500 - with torson bar suspension and AWD. The G1500 uses A -arm suspension and 2 wheel drive - similar to GM pickups, and ??likely the Quigley setup. Don't know, - but the front axle is more likely American Axle, not Dana (more often a Ford, not GM supplier). My MT treaded tires are Wrangler SA, (Silent Armor) - see on Tire Rack how these are better liked, than regular, old Wrangler tires! I have used MT tires for their winter tread pattern, that can be used in the summer (without excessive wear) and not having alternate tires on rims. Also, I have been trying to confirm if 01 - 02, LT model, mid row bucket seats would fit the 03 and later, seat brackets. I would like to carry drywall, plywood, etc., on edge, between the seats. The 'park' non folding, bench seats are a $%^&pain! I have installed tracks and Seat Belts (ala 'short 12 passenger versions) so that I can carry plywood on the seat backs in rows 2 and 4 ($%^&*the shoulder belt hump). The folding seats in my (old) Aerostar, worked better, for my needs.
#15 of 42 Re: New Owner [newsie23]
Aug 06, 2008 (10:07 am)
I can look in my factory service manuals to see if the seats your looking for would fit your vehicle.give me some time to look into it..From 96 on when the new chevy chassis was introduced there has been little change in many aspects of the vehicle.In 2004 the stabilitrac was introduced into the vehicle.Glad i just happened to buy a used o4.Im still learning the variouse vehicle model codes such as h and g versions and name differences such as express/savanna etc.I know the frame and engine setup of the 04 express is the same as the 2500 silverado pick up.been very happy with my express van with no problems so far.Also like being in a 6000 pound tank in case im ever hit!
#16 of 42 Re: New Owner [jgarnaas]
Aug 06, 2008 (7:03 pm)
The only thing i see in the 04 manual regarding rear bench seats on 12 and 15 passenger vans is about the seat track replacement and floor rails.These mount to underside of vehicle with bolts and nuts and the vehicle has to be jacked up and heat sheilds removed to access bolts in order to remove or replace the floor rails that the seat "risers"mount to.The risers are the metal brackets that the bench seats themselves mount to.Whether you can change the position of the floor rails to accomomdate different seats from a different van i dont really know but anything is possible as long as safety is kept in mind.Customizers change seats all the time with the mounting rails and risers.
#17 of 42 Re: New Owner [newsie23]
Aug 07, 2008 (1:44 am)
Came across some posts that discussed adding seats to the express cargo and they said they had no problem adding seats and belts.one person bolted his all the way through the frame with long bolts.not sure if that is required.Track placement could be made anywhere even if you had to beef it up with 1/2 inch steel plates on the underside of the floor and use grade 8 bolts.a person would be "ejected" out of the vehicle if the seat belt broke before that beefed up seat would ever come loose.I might consider adding a captains chair to the back of my express when i get done with the finishing of the rear cargo area.Im going to line the interior with tongue and groove cedar on the walls and ceiling.I have no windows in the rear.The floor is carpeted with commercial hotel carpet with a low pile so its easy to keep clean.I have a second optima battey back there wired off a battery isolator from the alternator and a 2500 watt inverter as well as a thermoelectric wine refridgerator,blue led lighting and want to place a 26 inch lcd tv running off the in dash multimedia system.Outside ive installed a surco stainless steel ladder and roofrack with 7 inch offroad lights.Next is a roofmount low profile ac unit and solar panel to keep engine battery topped off.Have i gone too far yet?
#18 of 42 express/savana aftermatket products
Aug 07, 2008 (3:05 pm)
If your going to put a class 3 hitch on your van i would reccomend buying one from u-haul thats a 1-piece welded tubular frame rather than using an aftermarket bolt together hitch because some of them look cheesey.I installed the u-haul hitch in 45 minutes with the wiring and saved 167 dollars in labor.also surco manufacturing makes a stainless steel ladder that hangs off the back door that is made for the slope of the top of door so the only holes needed are on the bottom flanges of the ladder and it is solid.Surco also makes a roof rack that clamps to the vehicle gutters without any holes drilled and optional brackets for offroad lights and a floor for the rack is available.I also installed a valor reversing distance sensor for backing up as i have no windows in my cargo van wich creates blind spots.I installed a back up camera that displays whats behind the vehicle on the multimedia player in the dash.A company in michigan offers stainless steel fender trim that fits the 1500/2500/3500 vans as the stock vehicles have no trim and jc whitney offers stainless steel wide tape that can be used as base trim near the rocker panels for ding protection from road trash.
Nov 04, 2008 (11:02 pm)
I just got a 2003 gmc savana awd 1500. Im a hotrodder, and build cars for a living. I searched for a awd van specifically, in part becasue a friend has one too, and bacause of the drivetrain, I build gm ls gen 3 engines, which is what the 5.3 is. So for my job I do computer tuning on these engines for primarely camaros, ta's, vettes, trucks etc, but my software also works on the vans. I also liked the awd, and the conversion van luxuries for the family. Anyways, my friends awd express is getting a custom turbo kit that I build, and then we will do mine.
My 03 has both side 60/40 doors, 3.73 gears, a reese hitch which I hate because its too low, a conversion with no topper, 20 inch wheels/ 275/45/20 tires.
To answer a couple questions, that I saw above me, the front suspension is the same as the torsion bar 4x4 gm trucks. The van uses the 8.2 diff in the front that is indepedant. They use the same a arms, upper and lower as the 4x4 trucks, its the same diff as the ss truck. Same sealed unit bearing as the trucks as well.
The engine in the awd's is a 5.3, 325 inch ls gen 3 engine, which is interchangable with the 4.8, 5.7, 6.0(364 inch) and now the 6.2. All exterior of these engines is identical. You can put a 6.0 in the same place as your 5.3. The difference is the bore in this case. You can also use stroker cranks to make engines well into the 400-430 inch area. The 5.3 is very durable, and responds well to the usual modifications that result in better mileage and more power.
#20 of 42 Re: [1320jon]
Nov 06, 2008 (8:53 am)
Sorry, I wrote 8.2 for the front diff, and i dont know how to edit it. The van uses a small 7.2 I think, which is the same as the s10. I think the astro might be the same, but somewhere gm made a 7.6 also.
#21 of 42 Re: [1320jon]
Nov 24, 2008 (7:53 am)
Super vehicle! I use a Master Lock adjustable (about $75) hitch with a Master Lock multi size ball. It locks into the hitch with a slot feature. I believe the AWD IS the Astro van AWD system (not the pickup). I prefer MT cars over trucks, but need and like this one. Suits me better than a pickup. My 03 has only 16k miles. I would be interested in any "econo" posts, especially 'how to hold a gear and prevent 'rowing". I cannot stay in gear, going up a slight grade at 60mph - with the (adequate) torque of the 5.3 ! Also, would like removable and/or folding seats for the passenger van.
#22 of 42 Re: [newsie23]
Nov 25, 2008 (2:24 am)
The transfer case is the same as the trucks, and so is the front suspension. The rear is the same as teh truck also. The front is the astro/ s10 diff it looks like. The stub axle seals are different though. I rebuilt mine about two weeks ago and gm listed a different stub axle seal, that I had to order. The carrier bearing was the same as the s10 (front diff).
To change the shifting, thats controlled in the pcm. Anything could be commanded depending on how you drive it. The same as the engine control parameters. I can do it for you if you want to send me your pcm...or get another one (about $100) if you need one. It should down shift and stay in 3 rd for most hills. 4th is a .7 overdrive and 60 is really low rpm for it to be able to use 4th.