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Chevy Express/GMC Savana



  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    It is probably correct. The trucks just started useing them. Test drove one today, man what a difference! The truck had an 8.1L in it and on the freeway at 55 MPH the tach was only reading like 1300 RPM!!!! A friend of mine has a truck with the same combo and claims to get 14 city/18hwy. All of the other posts I have read say to expect about 10-11.5 city and 13.5-14 hwy. Wish the 6.0 L was available,I have one in my YukonXL and it has great power for hauling stuff, decent mileage too, 13 city 17 hwy. 320 HP 345 ft. lbs. torque. I know about the tv in the back, keeps 'em quiet for sure. There are tv's available for the YukonXL that go on the roof- flip down of course.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    You can now get a ceramic pad material from aftermarket manufacturers for the the brakes on a Savanna (or most anything else) Reports are that the cost is about $50 for the pads, they put off very little "dust", have little to no fade and more than double the mileage. For those of you who wonder why the newer vehicles don't get nearly the miles on brakes as the older vehicles, don't forget that asbestos is no longer used in brake pads. That is one BIG reason pads do not last as long.

  • tunapetetunapete Posts: 1
    My 2000 Express 1500 has had two apparently common problems since the day I purchased it. The mirrors tend to flutter at highway speed, particularly in a crosswind. It is a low top conversion van with no bug deflectors or the like. I've seen several posts about this, but no solutions. Replacement with the same type of mirror seems fruitless. The more annoying problem is with the drivers side power window. It occasionally sticks in the down position, often during high humidity. It behaves as if there is a faulty electrical connection, rather than a mechanical problem. I've taken it to two different dealers, and either they've done nothing, or they can't trace the problem due to its intermittent nature. I've called Chevrolet customer service, and have been told that there is no technical bulletin for this problem. Any ideas?
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I purchased a 2500 savana passenger extended (still on order), but for the test drive only a 3500 extended passenger van was available. I was really surprised how smooth the ride was, I expected the ride you get on a Ford F250 Heavy duty pickup truck where you feel every single bump. It coasted over rail way tracks smoothly. and bumps on roads didn't bother me guess is the extended version makes a difference. Never did try the regular length.
  • drddinkydrddinky Posts: 4
    My 96 had the same problem with the window. The dealer went straight to a connector behind the drivers seat, and replaced it. (I have a Mark II conversion, but I assume all the panels are located in the same place.) I haven't had the problem since. As for the mirrors, I haven't heard of any fix for them. It's just a poor design. You somehow get used to it.
  • cammetancammetan Posts: 3
    Has anyone seen the new Express LT yet? Any word on when they can be expected to start showing up at dealers? My local dealer says that many are "in transit" to this area but he thinks this may mean they are out of the factory but at the finishers (Lear Corp.?) for the interior installation. If this is so does anyone know if there is a hold-up at Lear?
    Thanks for the info.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I saw both Chevy and GMC versions at the Detroit auto show. My dealer says to expect them in early to mid April. It is 100% built at a GM plant, no outside companies are putting them together. Some of the parts may be from the aftermarket suppliers, but it all goes in at the plant. This is GM's attempt to get in the "conversion" business, and I like it. The new front engine cover, dual overhead TV's, Bose surround sound, and most of all the 4 bucket seats and the re-configurable seating in the back. A really good showing and all in all I think they will be taking quite a bit of business from the conversion companies. The real bonus is that everything is covered under factory warranty. One other side note that I like about it is that when you see it the thing just looks like a regular passenger van and is less likely to be broken into for the add-on's The conversions advertise with the big windows, and side graphics.

    I asked the guys at the dealer about the ride and handling, and he said it will handle like a regular window van, but expect to get a quieter ride.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Not to mention a solid metal roof and safety glass on the rear windows. The seats and seatbases will also be factory-engineered to work properly in the event of an accident. Major improvements in safety.
  • vguardvguard Posts: 78
    It seems Chevy is following Fords lead on this one. I purchased the Econoline "Chateau", complete with quad captains chairs (less the leather and entertainment system however), and love it !!

    Doubt I could have gotten my wife to go along with the "full size van" idea without those captains chairs.

    Ford also has the "Leather" version, it's called the "Traveler" , and it also has the entertainment system.

    The only thing I did not like about the onboard entertainment system was the fact it was VHS based. For that kind of money, you would think it would be DVD (both Ford and Chevy).

    About the only major difference I can find between the Ford and Chevy version, is the fact Ford sells the "Chateau" in both half and full ton configuration while Chevy only sells the LT in the half ton size.
  • cammetancammetan Posts: 3
    Looks like Chevy has a good idea here for a niche market. We had a Astro LT in the past but with the amount of travel we do with 4 kids and 2 dogs there was not enough room or weight capacity. We always thought that one of the Big 3 should do something like this and take some of that conversion van market. I would not buy a conversion van but am ready to buy an Express LT since it is factory backed. GM is not installing the interior and exterior cladding. Lear is doing the interior for GM so lets hope they can handle the installation. I believe they already produce many of the components for GM's interiors but the production arrangement is new. For more info see the press releases at Lears website.
    The real problem with the E150 is that the rear bench seat is just an old bus seat. No head restraints or support to encourage proper sitting position when traveling and falling asleep. Not worthy of my childs safety. That is besides the lack of rear reading lights (at least on earlier model years). The configuration of GM's rear seat is excellent, reclines and encourages a upright seating position rather than falling toward the middle or to the side.
    If only GM would offer the heavier duty version and DVD.
  • vguardvguard Posts: 78

    You make some interesting points, particularly about the third row bench seat. I also noticed the rear reading lights in the E-150 are above both sets of captains chairs and behind the third row bench (cargo area), so your right, the third row bench does not have direct light for reading.

    It would have been nice if the "LT" had been on the showroom floor when we needed to make a decision. We were in a position, with my wife's promotion, where we needed to purchase a second car "today".

    As my buddy "xfiles" will confirm, the chevy does have several nice advantages over the Ford (his big one is front leg room). Perhaps when we are back in the market, the "LT" will be something we can consider.

    As for the third row bench seat, I can't help but think our kids will be ok, particularly since they are all young and sit in car seats anyway (Boosters for the two oldest). One thing for certain, our kids love the full size van !!!!

    On the Entertainment front.....You can purchase the same systems (DVD based) in the aftermarket for much less than you pay GM or Ford for a VHS based system.

    p.s. The only down side I have found with the Full Size Van concept is the amount of time it takes to wash and wax. I am pretty sure you will suffer from this issue, on either the GM or Ford version.....
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I was told by the rep at the Chevy display that the GM plant would be doing the install of the whole interior,but with the info from cammetan, I did the research and did find that Lear is doing the install after the van is built as a window van.

    Here is a part of what I found on Lear's web site:

    "Production of the luxury vans starts at the GM Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant. The vans are shipped to the new UAW-represented Lear plant nearby, where Lear completes installation of the electronic and electrical distribution system, overhead system, flooring and acoustic system, seats and door panels. After exterior enhancements are installed, GM ships the finished vans to its dealers. As a result of this innovative program, the luxury vans will carry GM factory warranty coverage and can be serviced at any GM dealer."

    If you would like to check it out for yourself go here:

    If it doesn't take you right to it do a search for Express, and it will find it for you. It is under General Motors-Lear Partneship produces...

    One other feature I like about the Express LT I did touch on before but did not explain is the re-configurability of the rear seating. You can removethe 2nd row captain chairs and replace them with the 3rd row bench, and install the captain chairs in the 3rd row position. I think you can even install the seats in the 3rd row backwards for a tailgate party or something, but can't confirm this, due to the other misinformation given to me at the auto show. But I do know you can move the bench and buckets, they did a demonstration, so I know at least that much can be done.

  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Yup, I am a sucker for leg room on GMC/Chevy vans, but I also like the long wheelbase you get with extended models (what I have). The ride is unbelievable up front in an extended model, and I bet the extended wheel base has a lot to do with it. Not only is it smooth over bumps, but it almost seems to float over the bumps, like a larger boat smoothens out the waves you ride over. The ride on the 2500 extended passenger Savana I would say is close or equal to many luxury vehicles. I never took out a regular length model (except in cargo models), so I cannot say how much of an improvement an extended model makes, but I can say it is very smooth.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Rollover characteristics of 15-passenger vans

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  • drew40drew40 Posts: 2
    I bought my van in Set. 2000. It has 5400 miles on it. Mark lll Conversion package. If I plug a radar detector or a cell phone charger in the cig. lighter the fuse blows after about 10 minutes. As I speak it in the shop for the second time. The outside mirrors flutter at highway speeds. Seeing that all I drive is on the highway, it drives me crazy. Dealer says get use to it.(in so many words) Any cures???
    The passenger front door power window button sticks at every other use.
    The rear door latch was defective at the first visit. Dealer replaced it but it operates about every fifth pull. Back in the shop for that reason. The interior light override system that kicks off the lights after so long does work. Dealer trying to find out why??? Concern about a sight pull to the left. Dealer says the alignment is fine. I wonder if they will replace the front tires due to uneven tread were.
    Love the drive!
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Regarding that cigarette lighter blowing fuses, I would try replacing that lighter yourself since it is a simple job and the part is cheap. I cannot see a radar detector consuming hardly any power to cause a fuse to blow. This makes me think it is mechanical. Likely just inserting the plug into the lighter is jarring something in that piece to be enough to cause a short and then the fuse goes.

    Regarding the mirrors fluttering, I have a 2001 model with only 180 miles on it right now and I did look at it the other day since a few others mentioned the problem. I never noticed anything other then the occasional vibration when I went over a significant sized bump. Likely they have improved them for 2001. The problem is if you order a new one it may be anything from a 96-2001 model you would get since they all are identical. In this situation you may not be any better off. Maybe you should try one from a 2001 model from a wrecking yard (check the date on the vehicle is 2001). At least you can buy one cheap enough for one side to see if the problem goes away, and if it does then you can buy the other one.

    Regarding the power door buttons sticking, that is a minor problem and cheap to fix if you do it yourself. Pick up a Chilton manual (I got mine at Wallmart). This will show you how. As for the handles not working, I really doubt the dealer replaced it. Did you see them do the work, I bet they lubricated it or something similar and sent you on your merry way with the same problem. If it was really replaced, that same problem would not have returned.....I don't think that is a common problem and I have never seen it on any Savanas I saw.

    Regarding the interior light not switching off. The dealer is pulling your leg and obviously does not care for whatever reason to repair it. Normally almost every dealer sends there vehicles out for electrical work to some other specialist. Dealers do not usually get involved in this type of work. Go see an auto electric specialist (yellow pages). They will find it fast, and replace the guess a timer. They can track it down in a flash. I've had much more complex problems then that taken care of quickly, and the Toyota dealer even gave me the phone number and address of an auto electric repair place.

    The slight pull to the left by the way may be caused by many reasons....winter pot holes do not help. Depending on the company, I have had wheel alignements done and found my vehicle worse off (wrong specs used). I would trust only someone like a dealer, or someone that has the spec sheets to do the adjustments. I have had a friend return his vehicle to the alighnment shop just to have things returned to the old settings. This makes me think a lot of places do not have the specs and set things to a universal value that is only close (but not exact for that car). If your pulling only a bit, I would not worry about any major problems, it's just an annoyance. Could be the numbers are slightly off on the alignement and they did not want to bother with the labour. As you can see, I DO NOT trust any I do all my work myself.

    Hope I was of help!
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Mirrors-Have a 98 with the same problem, replace the mirror last time, about 3 months ago, and it is fine now. They said it had a new part number that "superseded the old one." Seems to have done the trick.

    Lights-The interior lights may be going off due to the battery rundown feature some of the new ones come with. After 1/2 hour it shuts down the accessory power until the ignition key is turned.

    Pulling- Take it to a front end specialist, dealers suck at checking alignments, and rarely even try, just say they did it to shut you up. Try rotating the tires to see if the problem goes away. If not take it in to the front end shop, and have the work done. Take the receipt and more importantly the before and after sheets from the alignment computer as proof. The dealer should reimburse you and turn it in under warranty. If the shop finds nothing wrong it may cost $15 or so for the inspection, a good shop takes a half hour to 45 min to do a good inspection.

    Locks-Tell them to replace the switch.

    If all else fails find another dealership with a better service dept. Took me 4 dealers to find one. Good luck.
  • cammetancammetan Posts: 3
    Drew, Does your van just tend to wander one way or the other or is the pulling greater upon braking and acceleration? If it pulls significantly during braking and pulls worst when braking hard then it may not be as simple as getting a good alignment. We had a Astro van that pulled to the right and pulled pretty severely when braking. The faster you were going and the harder you had to brake then the harder it pulled. Not a very comfortable feeling! GM could not fix the vehicle and ended up buying it back from me after 20 some thousand miles. It is still out there somewhere since a buy back does not get labeled as a lemon. An engineer at the facility that designs the Astros said that they were having problems with sticking calipers. Anyway, I don't know if this is relevant to the full size vans and I may be off the subject but just a FYI. Not too long ago I recall seeing a bulletin that suggested the dealers adjust the brake proportioning valve to lessen a similar pulling problem. This just puts more of the braking power in the rear brakes and less on the front brakes. This does not sound like a fix so much as a band-aid approach and I wonder what that does to your stopping distance?
    Hopefully a good 4 wheel alignment will take care of you.
  • drew40drew40 Posts: 2
    Folks, didn't expect to hear from anyone. This is great!
    Cigarette lighter - X-files thanks for the idea. Went to replace the cig. lighter only to find out that the quick connect plug was very loose. Took a pair of needle nose pliers and firmly re-attached the connector. *Problem solved* The wire too was a little pinched!
    Power door lock, passenger side- I took off the conversion wood grain panel and re aligned it. Had to use the help of my son when tighten it back up. Seems the holes were not drilled quite where they should have been. You would have thought the dealer could of handled this one!
    Forgot to mention that the pin stripping was replaced. The dealer did take care of this. The adhesive gummed up and created lumps.
    The problem with the mirrors still assist. Definitely have to do something about this.
    Have a couple of responses regarding the pull to the left. Made appointment at another dealer.
    Cammentan - I did notice that after driving through the West Virgina mountains, having to apply the brakes several times the pulling to the left was much more noticeable. Possible caliper problem!
    Jgmilberg, This appointment a the other dealer, I going to inquire about replacing the mirrors.
    I appreciate all the responses. Great to know that I not alone and my wife thinking I am to picky!
  • dale4656dale4656 Posts: 1
    The side door hinges on my 96 Chevy 1500 van are shot. I saw one reference to a recall. Also heard mention somewhere of a service bulletin on this. The body shop guy says there not fixable since they're welded on. Any ideas?
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    There are fairly cheap ($.50) bushings available for the front doors. I think the side and rear doors are the same setup...
  • cs506cs506 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Chevy Express conv. van and I'm going to install a class III hitch on it. Can you tell me the place where I should attach the trailer wiring kit to ?

    Thanks a bunch !

  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Please what ever you do DO NOT let the hitch installer hack into your wiring!! Insist on a kit that is designed for the van. I got one from Draw-Tite. It has the factory connectors and just plugs in. The one I got had one wire that ran from the drivers side to the passenger side to hook up the turn signal. It even has the converter for the turn signal and bake lights since they are separate. The part is called a T-One connector. Part number is 18377. Check out the site for more info on dealers etc. If you want to look it up, it is under current products, wiring on the site.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    If you have the mirrors replaced, after the work is done check the door panels. Right around the pod where the speaker is, if covered with fabric you won't see this, but if not a little spot lighter in color than the rest of the door pad may be there just in front of the pod about an inch. If you see it the dealer damaged the door panel. I had mine replaced twice because of poor dealer installation of the panel. Just an FYI.
  • madaxmadax Posts: 1
    My 1997 G3500 tranny blew up at 70,000 miles! It's $2500.00 to replace it with a Certa(newly rebuilt chevy certified unit 3 yrs/50k warrentee) I've owned it since new and this stinks. The milage is 10-11 max also. I love the van-it looks good and drives well. But, it's deisel for me from now on. To bad Chevy dosen't put Duramax deisel in Vans. But Ford does. Guess what Chevy?
    [email protected]
  • tx3500tx3500 Posts: 2
    I have a new MC Savanna 3500 Conversion. It's a high-top Explorer set-up to pull our heavy trailer. Problem is, unloaded the ride is very bounty for those in the back. Can anyone recommend an after market shock/spring set-up that would allow me to vary the ride height and stiffness when not trailering? We love the van, but the bounce has got to go.
  • eska1eska1 Posts: 1
    Anybody know where the flasher unit is on my new used 98 savana 2500? I cant seem to find it by the drivers feet , unlike every other vehicle I have owned. Thank You Tim
  • deppdepp Posts: 3
    tx3500, Sorry I don't have an answer for your bounce problem. However, I am currently looking at the Savanna 3500 and 2500 Conversion, and am also looking at the high top Explorer. I will also be using it to tow, and am interested in any other experiences or impressions you have with the van, good or bad? What's this bounce like? I am guessing when you go over bumps, the trailer is pivoting on its wheels, causing the rear of the van to move up and down? Also, what engine do you have?

    Where did you get your trailer package, was it part of the Explorer package or like that from the factory? My dealer told me that Explorer would not put in a trailer wiring package that was mounted to the hitch and wired from the underside, it instead had to come from inside the van and hang out between the floor and you then just slam the rear door on the wiring. They said this was because Explorer did not want to drill a hole in the floor. Mind you, I don't know much about it, but this does not sound like a quality setup for towing to me. So how is yours setup and how did you get it that way?

    Thanks for your time
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I drove the Savana 3500 extended and the ride was quite good up front, similar to my 2500 extended. All full size vans are going to be rough riding in the back when 2500/3500 series.

    One alternative is to check your leaf springs in the rear, perhaps you can remove one and get it down to what the 2500 uses. However, even the ride on the 2500 you may still not like, and softening it further could create a handling problem when you need to tow. The ride on my extended 2500 is not bad when I sat in the first row of bench seats and likely is fair until your over the rear wheels.

    Your vehicle is built for leaf springs, not for springs and shocks in the back....there will be NO WAY of attaching them to the rear. The only thing I can see is a different brand of leafs for the rear (aftermarket), or removing one leaf to make it close as possible to a 2500. I would leave the front springs/shocks alone, since they are not what is effecting your ride.

    To bad you never test drove the extended models, the 3500 extended I test drove was impressive up front (don't know about the back).A longer wheel base always improves the ride.

    Under the chevy/savana reliability forum I remember others discussing the rear ride quality. Two people mentioned putting between 700-800 lbs of weight to the back. One used water bottles, and other sand I think. Not what I would like to do, but perhaps you can find ways of adding some weight to the rear. Perhaps the trunk could be fitted with a 1" piece of plate steel from a wrecking yard (bolted down for safety) which likely would add lot of weight, and then can be covered over by carpetting so it is not visible. It would also not take up any space laying flat. A 1" thick piece 3x3FT has to be quite heavy I bet (or go for a 2-3"piece). This might be your best and cheapest choice.

    My friends wife was driven to the airport in a 3500 extended, and even then with a full load she mentioned the ride was a bit rough in the back except for smooth hiways. Perhaps there is no solution to get rid of all of it, but adding weight will always help (with one less leaf in back).
  • tx3500tx3500 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your post. My van has the 8.1 liter engine. The bounce problem is most pronounced when not towing anything. Just the kids in the back. When crossing railroad tracks or just going over uneven pavment sections on the highway, the rear seat passengers get quite a ride. With the trailer hitched up the problem is still there, but not nearly as bad. I am pulling a 7200 pound trailer using a very good equalizer hitch.

    I ordered the van with the hitch and the basic wiring in place under the van. After getting the van from the dealer I took it to a trailer service shop and had the light connector and brake controller installed.($280.00). There are no holes in the floor and the connector is mounted up under the the bumper out of sight. Mounting it in any other position would have put it below the hitch and made it easy to tear off on a curb or driveway.

    I have tried putting extra weight in the back and it does work. Just hoping I could find a better solution. Right now I've got about 300 pounds of water back ther in a "Phat Sack" used for weighing down a boat to create a larger wake. I like the idea of using a piece of steel bolted to the floor though. I'll have to check that out.

    Since the dealer did not have a van like this in stock and Explorer said they had only ever built about 5 of them, I was unable to test drive one before ours arrived. All in all, we love the van and it can really pull. The new 8.1 liter engine is amazing. Fantastic power. Thanks for the posts. We'll be leaving next month to pull the trailer from Texas to Utah. I'll let you know how our experience with the van progresses.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    did you really think you'd get a good ride out of a 1 ton van? Any 1 ton van?

    Those leaf springs have to be able to carry much weight. Unloaded they are going to be rough. Really, the rides in newer vans, especially the GM's (and I'm a Ford-guy) have improved greatly. But you still have to expect a rough ride in a 1 ton.

    Good luck. Maybe removing a spring, or replacing all the springs with ones out of a 2500, would be your best bet.
  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    I've got a few cases of water bottles in the back. I also monitor the tire pressure to match what's on the door tag. If the tires are over inflated the ride is especially lively.

    Pro's and cons for each fix of the hard ride.

    Weight in back--Pro: Keep trailering and cargo capacity. Cons: Possible flying load in accident. All the time worse gas mileage.

    Suspension adjustments--Pro: Tuned and softest ride. Cons: If done wrong, handling may suffer. If done right, trailering and cargo capacity sacrificed.

    Someday I'll get around to re doing the suspension because I don't need the towing capacity. The plan is custom springs and air bag suspension plus better shocks. I'll retain the ability to return it to factory specs. Until then, the kids enjoy getting air when hitting the bumps.
  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    Does anyone know why GM switched?
  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    Most importantly what transmission model?

    1. Conversion van?
    2. Trailer? If yes, what?
    3. Fluid changed at how many miles?

    I am surprised because, the one ton cranny's should be tough. The 4L80E in my 99 is one tough cranny.

    Even still, I have replaced the fluid in mine with synthetic because I was once inconvenienced by a cranny in a Chrysler/Dodge and don't ever want to repeat that experience.
  • Sorry about the spelling. Too much reliance on the spell checker and not paying enough attention!
  • 25,000 mile report. Subject vehicle a 1999 3500 passenger model with the 7.4 liter engine. Not used for towing. Mostly around town with 4 people in it.

    Front brake pads worn out. Replaced with fully metallic pads. Thanks to Edmunds this wasn't an unexpected occurrence.

    Rear cylinders showing beginning signs of leakage. Will see dealer about the rear cylinders under warranty.
  • vfeehanvfeehan Posts: 3
    I have 2000 3500 express cargo van,with 2000 lbs of equipment mounted in it.One set of brakes at 6000 miles,warranty upgrade kit free,Month ago wouldnt start,just turned over.Towed to dealer.They said theft mudule was bad,Well today 7/16/2001 van did same thing,towed to dealer for free 1800chevusa,Now they say the fuel injectors are all pluged,Ilive in california and there mtbe added to gas and all other crap.Service bozzo says i have used bad gas,The van has 9800 miles on it!I mean get real.My toyota truck has never had this problem.This is gonna get old when the van is out of warranty
  • vheean,
    Sorry to hear of your problem. Should be easy to verify. Did the injector service take care of the problem? Fuel filter replaced?

    I am also in California. 15 years ago, I had a bad tank of gas in my Toyota Truck. That was an awful experience. Never had a problem since...but now I keep my gas receipts! I am trying to say that if the injector, fuel filter, and fuel tank service fixes the problem, the problem is likely with the gas station not the vehicle.

    Please explain the warranty uprade kit free. Did you get new brakes?

    Where did you have the vehicle serviced?
  • mpazosmpazos Posts: 42
    I'm considering the 2500 w/C6P and 6.5L diesel. Mostly because I've owned a '92 K2500 HD with the 6.5L diesel. The '92 has mechanical fuel injector pump and is near bullet proof (mine has never been in the shop 121K). The newest version is electronic and the cooling is improved. Don't sell this engine short. It's not a Duramax, but 430 lb. ft. (easily modified to 460+) of torque is nothing to sneeze at. Add the 4L80-E and 4.10 gears and look out. Anyone have this engine in their van? Mine will be going to Quigley for a Dana 60 (breathing hard!!) front axle.
  • lucey1lucey1 Posts: 1
    my injectors have clogged twice,once at 10000 then again at 20000.My dealer says that there is a service bulliton out for this.I have had them cleaned twice and the last time they replaced 2.I have spoken w/several people who have same problem but this is just the tip of troubles.ihave had a bad fuel pump,brake pump,power steering pump,alternator,over packed wheel bearings,power windows twice and is in the shop right now 4 a rattle in my ac compressor.they say it is a bad belt but i know better.I am in the middle of getting them to do a buy back and they are down playing problem to hurt my case.I have 26000 miles on van and it is in the shop for the 10th time for a grand total of 35 days
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    You live in California? Thank your envirowackos for all spotted-owl-friendly/injection destroying additives. I'm not much of a GM guy, but Cali seems to be the only source of this problem.
  • beezobeezo Posts: 1
    I have just purchased a 99 Chef Cargo van with 4000 miles on it. It had been set up for a construction worker like myself but no one had purchased it until I did. I have had it just over 2 months and twice it has been towed to the shop for not starting. The dealer said that the computer does not show any problem and they cannot figure it out. Motor turns over just fine it just never fires and starts. The last time they had it for 4 days, the first time or two it would not start for them but them every time for the next four days that they tried to start it, it would start. Anyone out there have any ideas where to start? I looked at a couple of sites for recalls and related problems but did not find any thing about this. Being self employed and depending on my van to get me and my tools to the job I cannot afford for them to have it for days on end only to say that they cannot find any problems. I had just picked it up from the dealer, drove to the job site, 2 hours later it would not start and had to be towed back.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Tell the dealer to replace the crank sensor, without a proper signal the computer won't fire the plugs. There were several posts on the suv board about the same problem with the 99 models with the 5.7 in them. It is a good starting point. Does the problem only happen when it's hot? If it does then try the ignition module under the distributor cap. Those are famous for going bad on those models. The ignition module will not set any codes, but will fail like described above. Good Luck, and let us know how it goes.
  • vfeehanvfeehan Posts: 3
    Well they replaced all8 injectors,now the check engine light is on.Took to dealer,code say all 3 catlytic conv need to replaced.Ordered them,instaleed today 8/7/01.Brakes are bad also.Front rotors need to be cut,I already replaced the back brakes at 6000 miles,turn the drums ,new shoes,unbielievable.The van has 9900 mile on it .Bought new 2/01.Van has heavy carpet cleaning equipment bolted down inside,maybe 2000lbs.When the van is down i cant work,so i have contacted a attorney,Ineed my money back,this van has horrible brakes,not to say the engine problems,fuel inj,theft module towed to dealer twice,The van haS 9900 miles on it .It is driven buy me,yes i do live in the hills but thaTS why i bought a 1 ton,guess that doesnt mean anything?
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I think you have a really crummy dealer working on the problems you described. It really sounds like they are just throwing parts at it. I have never heard of someone needing 8 new injectors, and 3 new cats at less than 100,000 miles. That is when the injectors start having problems, and they usually only need cleaning, not replacement. I know you are disappointed in the van, and really don't want it anymore., but GM really does a good job on the things, it's a stupid dealership that can cause way more problems than the factory ever could. Downtime for you is a real killer unless you have a backup unit to rely on, not saying after buying a new truck you should need one. What engine do you have in it? I don't like the brakes on the vans either, any size, GM undersized them for the loads they carry, I think the 1 ton brakes should be on the half ton model. Too much pressure needs to be put on to stop. With only 2000 pounds in the back there should be no problems at all, with the brakes. Look at the payload capacity of the van, it is way more than 2000 pounds.
  • vfeehanvfeehan Posts: 3
    5.7 votec v8 no power at all
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    My father has a 98 conversion, he has had no problems with it except for the starter, and front brakes. We have tried 3 dealerships before finally finding one with a good service dept. I really do think you need to try a new dealer. Before going to another dealer, ask for a FULL copy of the service records, take that with you for the new dealer to put into the file. This way they know what kind of parts and other BS was done by the parts throwing morons.
  • I have a '96 Savana Explorer Traveler conversion, it now has about 40,000 miles. I have had various problems with it; service engine soon light has been the most persistent this year, it spent 3-4 days a week in the shop for about a month. Had the fuel pump replaced (had been replaced after a failure in 2/2000), "rollover valve" recall done, power steering pump replaced, water pump replaced; re the SES light, the oxygen sensors (2) were replaced after the fuel pump didn't fix it (that was the initial code), a W-sensor was replaced. SES still came on; the PCM/VCM was replaced. Next SES was with running rough when cold, a fuel injector was replaced.

    As of today, the SES light is back on, when I started it, it was running rough or missing. I suspect this will be another fuel injector. I live in Phoenix, we get MTBE and ethanol fuel here; is that the problem with the injectors? and if this problem is another injector, i guess the other 6 will go also?

    Luckily I have a 6 year/72,000 mi. warranty.
  • I've read quite a few posts on this board concerning the premature wear/replacement of various brake components. As a point of reference for express/savanna owners, I have a 1999 E-350 passenger van with disc brakes on all four wheels, and with 50k miles has not required any brake maintenance at all. However, I have never towed anything and generally don't carry a lot of heavy cargo, so this may help to explain why they have lasted this long. When carrying heavier loads (2000lbs worth bricks etc.) I noticed that that the brakes still perform well without a significant increase in brake pedal effort, although the overall stopping distance is noticeably greater.

    When it comes time to replace the E-350, I will be looking at both Ford and Chevy/GMC, so hopefully some of the brake-related problems currently being experienced by some express/savanna owners are corrected in the future.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The fact that you had to replace all the fuel injectors and your having catalytic problems suggests to me bad fuel. I had a good engine ruined by staying with one gas station (water problem and a ring seized up). This may be your problem, bad gas from your repeat visits to one station all the time.

    As for brake problems your 3500 express is a huge vehicle, and brake life will be a lot less regardless of the brand of full size van. The fact that your living int he hills makes a big difference, and probably makes a bigger difference when the vehicle is so large. For example, I travel a lot through mountain country on my holidays taking pictures, and my brake life on my Tercel is as low as 15-23,000 miles in comparison to about 50,000 miles or more of just flat country driving where I live. By the way, 5 new improvements were made for the 2001 model year, one was improved longer lasting brakes all around, improved torque converter on the 2500/3500 series 4L80E tranny(smoother shifting), improved door handles, improved radios, can't remember the last one).

    Good luck!
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