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Chevy Express/GMC Savana: Brakes



  • I have a 2001 Chevrolet Express 1500 LT van with 90,000 miles. I like the van, however, when I release the brakes, there is a "thud" in the rear brakes. Two different mechanics have looked at them, replaced the pads, adjusted them, but cannot eliminate this annoying noise. They tell me that there is nothing they can do to stop it. Are you all experiencing the same thing and have just gotten used to it? Or is there something that will fix the problem? What is the problem? Thanks for any advice that will help stop the problem (pun intended).
  • jcintcjcintc Posts: 3
    I need to thank everyone for the answer to my chevy express van brake light problem. After I posted & no one replied I forgot about the post & the dealer wanted $480 to fix it. Since I only drove the van a couple of times a year I didn't have it fixed. This week I decided to tackle the problem, did a search on google & my original post came up. I had totally forgot it. But thanks to you guys the answer was here. Replace the 2 lower sockets, which I got @ NAPA for $39 & that solved the problem. Thanks again everyone.
  • mfagg49mfagg49 Posts: 3
    anyone know how to adjust the emergency brake on a 2005 chevrolet express cargo van
  • My brakes are acting super sensitive and will lock up if even moderate pressure is put on the pedal. I thought it was the front ones only as the van stays in a straight line, so I replaced the front pads, cleaned and greased the bushings. This only helped a slight amount. Anyone got any ideas?
  • You might need new rear wheel cylinders....i have 2 express 2000 has almost 400,000 miles...and my 02 has 295,000. GREAT VANS!!!
  • Hello there. First post. While we should all know that protecting (not over using the brakes) will help prevent warping and vibration, this post is different.

    '06 Express 3500 12 passenger van. Loaded up with people coming down a 9% grade (Jackson Hole, WY). I am a conscience driver and pay close attention to the vehicle, especially around extreme conditions. I was descending this grade with moderate speed and typical braking. The more I used the brakes, the more they became pulsating and alternating in the front (steering wheel shook back and forth ever more aggresively). I became very nervous as it became very severe and quickly downshifted the transmission and avoided the brakes as much as I could. I was certain that I had over used the brakes (even though I was paying attention and didn't think I had). I was certain I would have to have the rotors turned and brakes replaced in Jackson, WY. Silly think is once I was on level ground, the vibrations completely disappeared. With shaking that violent, there is no way that the brakes could have been that hot and the rotors that warped and not remain that way. Once rotors are warped, they are warped. But I tell you that I have not taken it in yet and they are as smooth as the day I purchased the van. It is like nothing ever happened. I do not understand why this could be.

    Any help? :confuse:
  • My 98 chevy cargo van has no brake lights. The regular tail lights work fine,but when I press the brake pedal,nothing.Now I have checked all the usual suspects like the bulbs,fuses and even brake light switch.I would appreciate any help with this problem.
  • I am having this same problem with a 1997 3500 express Van. The brakes are super sensitive after the van sits overnight. Slaming on the brakes at 10 miles per hour makes the problem go away for the day. I pulled rear drums and looked at front rotors. All looked good. No fluid leaks. Van only has 9,000 miles on it. No anti lock lights on the dash? Can any one help?
  • praughpraugh Posts: 3
    I've had the same exact problem with my '05 2500 12 passenger van. Going down an extended grade, while using the brakes, I'll get a vibration that gets worse and worse. It seems like it must be heat related, because it doesn't do it in the winter and when it does do it in the spring, summer, and fall, it goes away as soon as I'm not using the brakes much.

    Have you found out the problem with yours?
  • I have a 1997, 3500 with 412+000 miles on it and the intake manifold gaskets were leaking. Replacing them did the trick but while all of that was apart I also had the fuel pressure regulator replaced also. It's alot easier to do it now than later since it is located inside the intake manifold. If you've noticed it takes a few more cranks for the engine to start that's usually the problem.
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18
    FYI, I did a part trade with a denali owner for his Baer brakes. They went right on, baers aluma sport 14 inch rotors front and rear. My gmc awd van brakes went ringht on his 06denali. awd for trade in.

    So, if you need parts you can use denali awd brake parts, or if you want exceptional braking you can purchase or get lucky and trade like I did for a baer like system that is for the 1500ck trucks....all the same, and most of the suspension if its a torsion bar front end truck, like the awd denali, awd escalade etc...
  • I saw your post about replacing the intake gaskets on your 99 Chevy Express. I have a leak and wasn't sure if the intake gasket is the gasket between the water pump and the engine? Please confirm. Thanks.
  • I have a '03 2500 AWD Express cargo. I do land surveying and the truck has been wonderful in off-road applications with slightly over-sized Pro-comp MT's . I am fully aware that it isn't a full 4 wheel, and do not ask it to be one. I would like to put heavy duty shocks on it, however, it being a somewhat rare item KYB list their gas-matic only for the front, and state the do not have a shock for the rear. I have, on my own on the internet, cross-referenced KYB's applications, and it appears that the the Tahoe, 00-06, Denali 00-06 might be of the same front end construction. Any help on Bilstein, or KYB Monomax, heavy duty truck shock applications, and a 1"-2" lift system would be appreciated.
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18
    The front ends are the same as all gm independant tortion bar front ends. You can not per say lift it....butyou can increase traval slightly by raising the tortion bar spring rate. All it takes is an adjustment.......I could do it in under 30 minutes for the front end, but I build and fabricate stuff for race cars. Any decent shop should do it for a pretty small charge. The rear can be raised also pretty easiliy but I d have to check into it. Problems could arise with driveshafts, yoke spline engagement etc...Ill have to look.

    Shocks, will not and do not raise the ride height, but may help aot with wheel control and ride. We have done shocks on a friends 04 awd, and a rear sway bar. The shocks helped, they are the strongest bilstiens we could get. Ill have to get the number. They work well, but for all around comfort and performance we were thinking of trying the edelbrocks on mine. A lot of shocks are made by one company and reboxed etc rancho's are really monroes I think. They are about 90% sales pitch and 10% good shock. The guy that owns the 04 I referenced is a suspension guy. I rely on him for alot of information.

    Since your using it offroad, if your worried about getting stuck, find out if your awd is equipped with a positraction in the rear. I think it was an option, but not sure. Id bet most are open anyways. Lots of options there, but costly also.

    I se you have a 2500 awd? I researche dit abit, and found that (I think) the 2500 is really just 1500 with options. It was unconfirmed but I think the "2500" gets different spring rates and thats it. The tow package gets 3.73 gears, and teh stiffere springs I think. A true 2500 should have gotten 8 lug wheels(or a 6lug 2500 diff), the 4l80 e trans with a 6.0 engine, but I m nearly 100% sure they never built such a van.

    Anyways Ill try to remember to talk to my friend, he has teh part numbers, interchangability etc all memorized somehow.
    He is sorta like an encyclopedia on allthings suspension/van and truck related. His back ground is very very heavily offroad, and rock crawling etc.
  • Thank you for replying, I appreciate it, I've gotten frustrated trying to research, find out suspension data on this van. It has the 6 lugs, therefore, I also think it is basically a 1500 with some extras. If you would be kind enough to provide me with Bilstein, Eldebrock shock numbers I am grateful. The idea of a rear sway bar is wonderful too, do you have a manufacturer #, or info on it? I had the truck on a lift and rotated one of the rear wheels, and the other rear wheel turned the opposite direction, therefore, I concluded that it is not a posi, I was hoping it was. Again thanks, for your reply. The other day I was at a job, and the owner pulled up in a diesel 4 wheel, looked at me, I said I'll follow you into the muddy field, I maneuvered a whole lot easier that him. He was slipping, and sliding, I was driving straight on.
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18
    I talked with my best friend, that also owns an 04 awd. He actually got me into them. He isnt very computer literate, and said just call him. He can give you the part numbers etc.....just email me and Ill send you his number.
  • I can't see how to email you privately.
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18

    I thought it showed it, sorry.
  • 1320jon1320jon Posts: 18
    the intake gasket is two large peices and two small bridges. The intake is the peice that is directly in the center top of teh engine. On a 99 the tbi bolts to it. The end gaskets are just rubber bridges that most mechanics never use. Most used permatex instead as a bead along the top of the engine block. I use "the right stuff"

    The side (actual intake gasket) sits on the cylinder heads on each side, the intake bolts down to the heads with the bridge of the block itself in the middle at teh front and back about 7 inches across.

    An intake gasket leak would be rare, and might be possle to fix just by tightening the intake down a bit. Most common is an oil leak from the back along the bridge area. I think the information regarding the fp regulator being in the intake is incorrect. Most are on the the intake, but on a tbi injected 99 model I dont think its even near the tb. It ma even be regulated in the tank.

    The gaskets are about 20-30$.......and it would take awhile to do. In my van I have to remove the front seats just to get the dog house off.......
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