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Chevy Express/GMC Savana



  • Hello all!
    Is the '01 Express LT good or not? My mini-van is rough riding besides hard to fit into;
    However the LT is on a 1/2 ton chassis;
    We won't be towing with it, however, just hauling the family around;
    Would a conversion van from a decent converter be better/not?
    Thanks for the time;
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I would also like to get consumer inputs on the 01 Express LT or Savana SLT. We currently have a 01 Safari SLT AWD but wanting more room. We currently get about 14 in the city & 18 hwy. It seems the full size van would achieve about the same. We borrowed one last night to see if would fit in our garage & it fit but was pretty darn long. It was very comfortable inside & very large plus the entertainment system was really nice. The dealer has tried to sell his Express LT with Ebay but no luck. They are trying everything to move these vehicles due to car purchasing slump & gas prices. Any input on these vans would also be appreciated.
  • I compared the cost and utility of minivans vs. the full sized vans. The mini vans offered more options and accessories and better gas mileage. The full sized vans offered more room and greater comfort for each passenger. For essentially the same price (or less) I got the bigger van. My preferences are for comfort and perceived safety over getting a few more miles per gallon. I haven't regretted buying it and we really enjoy having the larger van.
  • apmapm Posts: 11
    I have a '99 gmc safari van and I posted a message in the astro/safari column about my problem. The shop I went to found service bulletin no. 00-06-04-018. Peculiar problem that involves plastic filler neck that may allow gasoline to extract compounds from plastic that will clog the fuel injectors. It caused difficult starting problems when the engine was cold. A new filler tube, fresh gas, cleaned fuel injectors solved the problem. GMC service didn't help with costs. The service bulletin refers not only to astro/safari vans but to your vans and c/k models of specific yrs. ranging from '97 through '00. No recall involved as of yet.
    Good Luck.
  • I have a 1500 that has had both the Catalytic converter and the muffler replaced twice. So counting original equipment, I am on my third of each. I do not haul or tow anything. It has 38000 miles on it as of this date. I have changed the fuel filter, used different gas etc. I am fed up with this van. My previous van (believe it or not) was a 1991 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.0 that never had a single problem.
    Right now there is again an intermittant rattle from the exhaust and I am again dropping it at the dealership. It has been about 3000 miles since the new muffler was put on. I could not recommend this van.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I got a feeling your letting your vehicle run at idle too long while parked. A vehicle should never be run very long at most 10 mins. Otherwise you overheat the catalytic converter. I wouldn't be surprised if the muffler problem is related. I guess a lot of heat is created and not enough air flow is passing through the system. That likely leads to more moisture at the muffler end causing rusting from the inside out.

    Try another brand! Good luck!
  • oak4oak4 Posts: 5
    I'm in the HVAC service business and purchased a new 2000 Savana 3500 van in 4/00. I drove Fords for 8 years when working for someone else, but I'm a GM man so I chose the GMC. I took the van in at 12k miles for a front end alignment but you had to pay $175 because it didn't happen in the first 7k. A few months go by and my front pads need replaced at less than 20k. I'm now at 37k and noticed my brake fluid getting low. I check my front pads and there at 50%(I used Carbon/Metalic)so I pull the rear driver side and find an axle seal is leaking and the shoes have oil cooked in them. I take it to the dealer and offer to pay them for other services while its in the shop(transmission service,fuel filter)so they could make some money on the job. I told them to call me if the seal couldn't be replaced under warranty. They call me and say for $50 they could repair the seal, but they say I need a new engine belt $81, front brake service$141, rear brakes cleaned and adjusted(their seal failed)and rear end fluid replaced. I paid for the rear end service and other repairs for $350. What bothers me is that I know at 37k I'm out of warranty but that seal had to be leaking for some time and I think they should have serviced the rear end and replaced the shoes. The van also backfires at times when first started, outside mirrors are useless at speeds over 35 because they vibrate so much the Firestone tires will only last to about 40k and rear brakes will need replaced at 50k. I purchased the 1 ton van thinking it would last a long time. The Fords I drove (E250) would get over 70k on rear brakes and no less than 50k on the front. Ford will not give you any crap about a front end alignment at less than 36k. Tires were good for 60 to 70k.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Making a general comment that Fords are better, only because your dissatisfied with the brakes and alignment is insufficient evidence for a comment like that. Yes, others have complained in edmunds about the short life of brake pads, and in 2001 this was one of 5 upgrades GMC made (longer brake life). Tires now for 2001 used are Michelin, not Firestone....perhaps that solves that problem. An axle seal leaking could happen to any vehicle depending on what you drove over or through. That is a hard one to comment on, I have not come across that complaint. I have seen as many complaints for Ford as for GMC and Dodge. It is hard to say which is the better vehicle in my book. At least Fords and GMC/Chevy ride and handle well, and have more modern design, that leaves Dodge in the corner. After that it is personal, I for one love the tons of leg room on the GMC, and the slight differences in reliability between GMC and FORD are in my book negligible when leg room is what matters to me (and easy access to the rear of the vehicle).

    Bottom line........ I wouldn't hesitate to buy either GMC or Ford except for my preference for leg room. So I oredered the GMC 2001 Savana 2500 extended passenger van, 5.7L, 3.73 axle, loaded, a few months back.

    Improvements for 2001 on GMC include a improved torque converter on the 4L80E heavy duty tranny, improved longer lasting brakes, more robust door handles and ignition lock, upgraded audio, quieter alternator, introduction of 8.1 L, and more advanced powertrain control modules for the other gas engines. This was the biggest year since it's introduction for changes!
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Did they fix the mirror vibration problem that has plagued the van from day one?!!! oak4 - does your van have power or manual mirrors? I am trying to figure out if the power heated mirrors are the only ones with problems like this.

    What do you mean more robust door handles and ignition?!! They look and feel the same to me. My mother in law just got a '01 Savana SLT on the 6th, it all looks ant feels like my fathers '98 conversion as far as the handles and ignition, unless they changed the key to the one with the big head on it and I didn't notice. That key head change would force an ignition switch change, besides GM probably only changed the key because it was the only vehicle left with that style of key, and it's cheaper to have all or most car lines use the same type of key cylinder, they get a better volume discount. I work for GM so I know how they think. I do like the van other than the mirrors, my fathers conversion has only had the front brakes done once and he has 65k on it, rears are at 70% roughly. We do our own work so I know for sure, not just what a shop tells me.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The term more robust door handles is the exact wording I read in a one of the articles on the net, unfortunately I cannot remember the source. I think they are referring to the inside mechanism, because I see no visible surface difference either. I guess this same reasoning applies to the ignition lock.

    I have heated mirrors and so far their is a very slight vibration on rough roads, and I was aware of it only because of the reported problems I read in the past. I do not consider it to be a problem at all, although time will tell. It only has a bit over 4000 miles now.
  • Where would you sell a new unpainted "go industries" downspoiler and a rear bench seat(4 person color neutral/tan) in the Los Angeles area?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Salvage yard or eBay?

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • oak4oak4 Posts: 5
    My van has the manual mirrors.
  • Has anyone had experience driving the same van (model and size as well as same rear-end axle gear ratio) but with the two different engines?

    I have had solid performance for the past 2 and a half years with the 7.4 liter engine. Recently I drove a Silverado 1500. The half-ton silverado's are more quick than the van from the start. I don't know about the power curve for the 8.1 liter. I wonder, how does it compare with the 7.4 liter?
  • go to post your lemons here under the pickup board section. I had a 2k 6.0 that was flawless and i have owned several 7.4 s in different trucks, they are fast but the 8.1 is much faster but i could not keep up with engine repairs or fuel costs.... 9mpg at best. I now have a 2002 6.o and i am back in heaven after my trip to he** with the 2001 8.1
  • I am a mechanic with a MAJOR leasing company and some of the recurring problems we encounter with GM Vans are as follows:
    Power steering pump leaks;
    Instrument panel problems;
    Engine oil cooler lines on 6.5 diesels;
    Light problems, especially signal,marker light sockets at $ 60.00 or more a pop!
    Sliding door mechanism that is made out of plastic and difficult to change. (read high labour charges)
    Other than this they're GREEEAAAAAAT!
  • rikstrrikstr Posts: 4
    I have about 9k trouble free miles on my 2001 Chevy Express cargo 3500. I use mine for appliance service, so it's pretty loaded down. The ride is great for a 1 ton. I'm getting about 11mpg, give or take 2tenths. Doesn't seem to matter that much how I drive it air on or off. My only complaint is that GM didn't put a larger tank in the 8.1liter. There is lots of room under there. At 275 miles you start getting a little nervous, it's on E. A 40gal. would have been better. On the whole I really like it alot, especially the power...........
  • I have a 97 1500 w5.0, Geneva Conv. bought used 6 months ago with 45,000. I like it except for the following: had rear end problems, needed new bearings. The drivers side window stays down sometimes after it goes in the auto down position. Not the motor or the switch. #156 (drddinky) says the fix is the connector behind the seat. ?
    Please help. Thanks.
  • Mine is a 2000 also with 5.0 litre engine with 40K. Had the same intermittent problem that has gone away now for a year. I noticed that the problem only happened when the window is all the way down.
    To avoid the window not going up, I pulsed it going down that first year. I did not want the dealer to fool around with it even under
    warranty. Braking is better now than after the last service at 30K, new pads + resurfaced rotors.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    ....but I'm here to announce the new Chevrolet Vans Owners club now available on Owner's Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Vans.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Owner's Clubs
  • Hi i just got a 2002 GMC Savana Extended Cargo Van with the 5.7L Engine. I have 3K on the Van and Have 2 Problems. First I get Alot of Water Condensation Coming out of the Rear Pipe and I also get water condesation on the Back of the Muffler coming down. Today i looked carefully at the Condensation and it seems to be full of Black Soot. When I put a white towel under the exaust it turns black and all wet any ideas.
  • Im thinking about buying a Hyundai SUV. The value is really hard to overlook. I made a mistake on bought the worst car in the world, 99 Kia Sportage EX, ,and now I want to buy American. However, fuel economy, and utility is what i really need. I don't need anything real fancy. Just something that can tow a hoby cat, and some musical equipment. I was thinking about a Chevy Astro, Or Maybe some sort of blazer or jimmy. Whatever it is, Im looking for value. Expecially factory to dealer incentives, that will make the cars cheaper.

    What do you guys think about the Ford Explorer sport? hehehe.

    please respond to [email protected]
  • I was looking for axle info for my Express, and ran across this stuff on GM's webpage for the 03 Express re-do. Based on the changes, looks like GM finally pulled their head out and fixed everything wrong with Express:

  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    I bet 10 buck they leave those wobbly mirrors on there! Still to this day they all are the same, good for 6000 miles then they are useless. I am glad to see them going to the new engines, does any one know if they are going to include the 4.2L I6 in the mix as the base engine?
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    What does that mean? I could say the same about Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc. What specifically are your complaints about the express? Considering there are only 3 choices among full size vans, your pick is limited, and every model has their faults, and guaranteed they all will need maintenance. Narrow down the fact that Dodge is out of the running in my book with their current van, your left then with only Ford or GMC, and then both have their flaws, and some people like one design, and others the other. It's a tough choice! If you drive a Ford van for a while, you may find things again you don't like, it never ends.

    I believe either the Ford or the GMC are pretty good, and I accept the fact that both will have their own repair problems, but I bet in the long run both will average about the same for total maintenance costs over the years. I'll take the huge leg room advantage of the GMC, and bite the bullet when it comes to any repairs smaller or larger. I want the comfort when travelling, and the ease of getting around the dog house, to me that is more important then anything else in a full size van. I'll live with minor complaints or costs, or wobbly mirrors (although mine does not wobble).

    Good luck with whatever full size van we may have! Lets just enjoy what we got. I also prefer it for the huge cargo space, load capacity, towing capacity that mini vans cannot match. This is when I appreciate it even more considering the limited choices we have.
  • I have never had a problem at my local dealer. Any concern has been well addressed.

    A 1/4" spot near the gutter on the roof was missing paint. Clearly, the spray guns at the factory must have been out of adjustment. It is tough to see this spot since the van is 7 feet tall and the paint is light brown. However, I noticed this the first time I waxed it in 1999 and reported it.

    Now nearly 3 years later, I had it fixed. they re painted the entire big roof. Sure, the van was in for a week but I had a great free loaner to drive. Now the paint and clear coat on the roof is new and the thickest. This paint should last longer than the rest.

    The cassette deck plays only one channel (right). I'll take that in to get fixed next.

    I like the warranty and my service center. Together they are keeping a 3 year old van in new condition without direct cost to me.

    As far as the reliability, it has never failed to run well. Other than the paint, I haven't experienced any other problems than I would expect from a similar vehicle.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Well as far as I am concerned the Express or Savana are the only full size vans I would own. The biggest problem I have with it is the mirrors that after 6000 miles look like the glass is mounted with silly putty. They literally wobble around to the point I think it is a real safety hazard. Those mirrors go on to cargo vans as well as the conversions, and passenger vans. This is really dangerous on the cargo vans for the simple reason that you NEED the mirrors to look into and change lanes because they don't have windows to check the blind spots. If you put a blind spot mirrors on the wobblers you still can't use them. In my family we have 3 GM vans 2 Express and 1 Savana SLT, all have the same mirror problem. I can't believe that the Motor Vehicle Safety Standard board, or the National Transportation Safety Board has not done anything to force them to change the design.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I've heard enough complaints about them mirrors on the Savana and express. Sounds like we need a recall on them, considering it is a safety issue.I wonder if the National Transportation safety board is even aware of it.

    As a solution for the problem I am wondering if a dab of clear silicon at the four corners would hold it, I will have to look more closely at my mirrors. Then if a change is ever needed you cut through the silicon and add some more. Considering one position is usually enough , it might be a temporary answer, or the only solution for now. Considering silicon is one of the few safe materials used to glue mirrors to walls (other glues dissolve the mirror coating),I think it should hold just nice, and would be quite invisible if a small amount is used.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I noticed it is not the black exterior body that shakes, but rather the mirror inside. I only have 5200 miles on mine, and I already can see it will be a problem like everyone else has. I pressed on the top and then on the bottom and found lose play......what a disapointment, but not unexpected.

    Although having power mirros is nice, and we paid for the option, I can see that clear silicon (very little) on the 4 corners is the only option for now. I set mine once and have never reset them, so it is not a big deal to me. But since we paid for it, someone needs to take the initiative to complain and get a recall started. That is hiway robbery in my book. Another option to drive the manufacturer crazy is to keep asking for replacements while under warranty. Guaranteed after about 3 replacements (both sides), and if everyone does the same under warranty....they might get the message. Otherwise I love the vehicle so far, and expect repairs in the future like everyone else. With only 2 choices...Ford and GMC in full size vans, were going to have to live with accepting all the imperfections from both companies. Maybe I should hang plastic lemons off both my mirrors (call it lemon mirrors). It should get some attention at a dealership when you drive in to look at some cars.
    But so long as the tranny and engine are good, this is more important to me and much more costly. So far everyone seems happy in here.
  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    Silicone dabs may work fine.
    My 1999 mirrors are ok. No bug deflector on my van. A little wobble at above 70 mpg. After reading the posts, I considered wedging a bit of black closed cell foam between frame and mirror as a temporary vibration damper. Haven't tried it yet because, for me, the wobble is tolerable.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    An interesting thought hit me regarding what may be a possible cause of the fast failure rate for the mirrors. One cause may be road vibration, but a more likely cause is using a high pressure wand while washing your van. I have done it myself, 1500 or more psi pointed at the mirrors even 3 feet away is a tremendous amount of force, especially when the surface area of that mirror is greater then on most vans. So it may be built tough enough for road vibration, but not tough enough to handle high pressure washing which causes a tremendous amount of back and forth vibration when hit with spray. Your likely cracking components, or bending, who knows what without taking the mirror apart. I know from now on it will NOT GET any direct spray from my 2000 PSI wand. Unfortunatley we are all doing the same thing, and it is far more damaging in my book then simple road vibration. So far my slight bit of vibration is bearable, but I am hoping it will not get any worse (unless components have cracked)when I stop hitting it with high pressure water.

    I like the black foam idea over silicone if other drivers use the same vehicle. It allows quick changes, but if it ever got behind the mirror, the stuff might cause more problems. I think we need to be writing this stuff to GMC so they know about it.....Shees!
  • lynandmikelynandmike Posts: 1
    I have an '02 1500 Passenger Van with 8,000 miles. There's a vibration at 30mph +. Dealer
    balanced tires, rotated tires, and replaced driveshaft. Any suggestions out there. It's driving me nuts. Took it to another dealer and they said they didn't have one on the lot to compare it.
    Told me that might just be how it rides!!! Please help.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I have the 2001 factory shop manuals from GMC for the Savana van. I took a look under "vibration diagnosis and correction" and found many different tables that list the steps to narrow down to a specific problem. There were tests for tire and wheel, driveline, hub/axle, engine balance, accessory isolation, etc. It then lists types of vibration symptoms like shake, roughness, buzz, tingling, moan or droan, whine, etc. My point is the dealer mechanic has to follow through all the various steps in the manual to narrow it down, and no one in here can make an opinion without knowing if its coming from the front or back or road testing it. Also the dealer should have a J J38792-VS Electronic Vibration Analyzer (EVA)to hook up.

    I think it's best to see as many dealers as you need. I got a feeling this is an area not always easy to diagnose and you might be brushed off, there is no money in it for them to spend hours looking for a problem they can't easily find. By seeing more dealers someone might have the right answer or be energetic enough to look carefully.

    I would start with test driving another vehicle to confirm your really have a problem, a cargo or passenger van makes no difference so long as engine size and vehicle size are the same. IF there is a noticeable difference, they have to fix it. I've notices smaller dealers love to find things to fix for you while it is under warranty, they will spend more time I think diagnosing the problem.

    You might want to buy those manuals and read up on the problem yourself. There not cheap, but there is a lot of information there to save you money in the long run (simple or advanced repairs). You might be the only one to read through it all to give them some ideas.

    Good luck.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Out of the 3 family owned vans only one of them is power washed at a drive through car wash. The other 2 are hand washed and rinsed with a garden hose. It might be a factor, but not the root cause of the problem. If you stick silicone drops on the 4 corners it will stabilize the mirror and get rid of the vibration, but it fixes the mirror in one position and if you need to change the position for a shorter/taller driver you are stuck. When I drive my dad's van I take a piece of cardboard and wedge it under the mirror to stop the wobble. It's the whole mirror mount, not just the glass, so I don't know where to turn next.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Well they are finally doing something with these things!!

    New for '03 are the following:

    1 Left side 60/40 doors, like the passenger side.
    2 All wheel drive availability
    3 Engines 4.8L, 5.3L, and the 6.0L(3/4 and 1 ton only) ditching the old 305 and 350 engines.

    Returning for a repeat performance are the Mickey Mouse wobbling mirrors! They never learn.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Sticking cardboard may work for you, although most alternatives will look a bit sloppy. Chose whatever method pleases you, I'm sure it's obvious they all work. I mentioned silicone because many of us are the only drivers of the vehicle and silicone is more invisible for them.

    I think most here are complaining about the glass itself, not the whole mount. My mounts are solid, and if your looking at a mounting problem, take the door panel off and tighten it. Either way, it does not make good sense to hit the mirrors directly with a high pressure power wash. Touch the glass and you can see how weak they appear in design. High pressure spray is well known to have damaged many radiators, and I bet mirrors are just as susceptible.

    By the way, the root cause is not the power washing, but the poor design of the mirrors! It looks like the 2003 models will have the same mirrors, but with the improvements introduced....I bet people will buy even more of them regardless of the mirror problem. I guess there are more important issues then mirrors when buying, and GMC has done a good job in that dept with all the new updates. I can't wait to see one.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,101
    A journalist is looking for someone who bought one "twin" over another where the manufacturer offers two or more vehicles based on the same basic platform. (a Maxima vs. an I35 (or I30) or the TL vs. Accord)
    Did you know it was basically the same vehicle as the other?
    Why did you choose it over the other?
    Please submit your response to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, May 15.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • wayneeewayneee Posts: 1
    I was wondering what anyone else might have paid through their dealer for an extended warranty. Mine cost 995.00 for 5 years/60000 miles
  • jschrandjschrand Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2001 Savana that now has about 500 miles on it. When accelerating with the AC on, there is a strong odor inside the vehicle. It is very similar to the smell of natural gas in a home. Has anyone else experienced this or have any suggestions? I'm looking for some background before we take it into the dealership.

  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    I recall an odor that faintly smelled of ammonia. I reported it, they replaced a filter, it eventually went away.
  • momof05momof05 Posts: 12

    I have a '99 Savana 1500, 5.7 liter engine, 43,000 miles, never towed anything, no extended warranty. The tranny is slipping, and when cold, does't want to shift out of 1st gear. The dealership has looked at it, run a diagnostic, and said they think a valve is sticking in the valve body. However, they can't tell more without taking the tranny apart. That alone will cost $300 (which would be deducted from the final cost of the repair if I have them do it right then, while the tranny is opened up, otherwise I'm out $300 if I tell them not to fix it, even if I end up having them do the work at another time). I was also quoted $1200 for a new valve body if it can't be fixed, or $2500 for a new tranny, if necessary. No price quote for a rebuilt tranny.

    I've read this message board, and I know that a lot of the owners here have had similar tranny problems, also at low mileages, like mine.

    Anyone here been able to get GMC to fix it without charge? Are there any secret warranties on transmissions for the Savana (or the same transmission in, say, a GM or GMC pickup truck)?

    The service rep and the mechanic I spoke with were both surprised that I hadn't had the tranny serviced yet; apparently they advise all their customers to get their first tranny service at 30,000 miles. I had been following the owner's manual fairly consistently regarding what services to do when, and the first transmission service isn't scheduled until 50,000 miles. BTW, I bought this van at a different dealership - who never said anything about getting the tranny serviced 20,000 miles before GM's owner's manual says to do it.

    Never had any problems with my mirrors - they're solid. I also never power wash the van. Also, my ac smells musty if I haven't run it for a while, meaning several days to several months.

    If anyone here has any advice or comments on dealing with GM regarding anything I've mentioned here, I would appreciate it.


    PS - Should I have the tranny work done at the dealership or at a transmission specialty mechanic?
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The a/c smell is less likely to be a problem if you run the fan (heat on even better) to dry out the evaporator under your dash for a bit before you park. All that humidity has to end up as mildew. Another common practice I have heard is to spray Lysol through the intake vents along the bottom of the windshield while your blower fan is on HIGH. That should kill the odor quick.

    YOur problem with the tranny is common with the 1500 series van, not the 2500/3500 vans that come with the heavy duty 4L80E transmission(not all 2500 cargo vans have this tranny, it must be ordered, while it'standard on passenger vans in this class). I would also prefer a tranny shop to the dealership once your out of warranty. Most dealers do not do tranny work and contract it out and will bill you extra. Unless the dealer tells you they do it themselves, why pay them to send it out.
  • My 97 Sav SLE 1500 also blew a trans at 46,000. Repair bill was $1600 GM paid half. MOMOF35 I would write a letter to GM. If you have been having your service work done by a dealer they might help you with the trans. It seems GM only is concerned about customers that pay for work at their dealers. If you haven't then you won't get anywhere. I had someone help me in GM to get my check.

    My dealer says the 2003 Sav will not be avl until Nov 2002 because of a drive train problem. Problems starting already....
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We recommend that you do not give out email addresses in your postings. Spammers grab them and you may get solicitations for stuff you didn't know existed ;-)

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  • I am looking at a 2002 Express 2500 LS with 5.7 and 4.10 rear axle. I need the 4.10 axle because it increases towing to 8200lbs from 6500 lbs. I need the 2500 (8600 GVWR) for HD trans. and increased payload and braking power. I have a 1500 series now and have had numerous problems with trans., brakes, battery connections...List price is $31,700. I am looking at below invoice ($27,700) plus $2000 reduction in rebate. I will get dealer price Monday.

    Does anyone have experience with the 2500 series in GMS or Chevy vans? Towed with them? Reliability? Should I go to an Excursion or Expedition? Thanks in advance.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I got the 2001 Savana extended passenger van, 5.7L, with 3.73 axle. So far mileage is too low to determine reliability. Unless you really tow a lot, I would avoid the 4.10 axle, a 3.73 will be better on gas mileage and much quiter. Mileage wise I get 20mpg Cdn (17 mpg US). The extended is nice for smoothing out the ride, and the seats are really comfortable. The engine has plenty of power.

    Remember that only the 2500 extended "passenger" vans come standard with the heavy duty transmission and heavy duty axle, it is an option with cargo vans (at least in Canada).

    Good luck
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    They are having more of a problem with the drivers side rear doors than the trans. The trans is going to be lifted from the trucks and suvs so the problems with them should be all ironed out by now. I was told by my dealer that the '03 models will be in in late August with the 8 door models in November. It's all speculation at this point, but I am sure that M is anxious to get the new models out and see their sales go up from the new features they are adding.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The 4L80E heavy duty transmission is a tough tranny. It is only available in the 2500/3500 series Savana/Express, not in the 1500 class vans which have the light duty tranny, and where all the complaints originate. This 4L80E is also standard in their commercial vans with wheel basis of 150 inches and over with GVWR double what the 3500 Savanas are rated for. IF you look at the new information on the 2003 Savanas, they are keeping the 4L80E tranny (the only thing that remains original )and not pulling them as you said from their trucks and SUV's. Why would they do that when for 2001 they did a major upgrade to improve the torque converter for smoother shifting. A few articles I read somehwere in here had comments by tranny shop owners stating the tranny is very durable.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    The 4L80E trans is outdated and replaced in the '02 models by the 4L85E trans. It has a stronger intermediate sprag, torque converter and a valve body change to make shift smoother. The 4L80E is the trans that I have in my '01 model Yukon XL 2500 series. All of GM's trannys are the same now. The 4L65E is the light duty trans, and is still being used on 1/2 ton models, in the vans, trucks, and suvs. If they are planning on using the trans from the AWD 4L65E Denali/XL trans to run the AWD vans then they are having problems with the Denali AWD trans, not the regular 2WD/4WD trans. Check the Denali/Denali XL board in the SUV section, and you will see the problems they are having. This only pertains to the AWD units, not the 2WD or the 4WD SUVs. I think the AWD transfer case and internals are over working the LD trans and that is what they are working on fixing. I have a strange feeling it's gonna be a band-aid type fix too.

    There is a big difference between the AWD and 4WD systems. Check it out in the SUV section.

    I bet you that they will have '03 models on the lots very very soon. You just won't see the AWD units until the bugs get worked out of the tranny.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The full article can be found at.....

    For 2002 the 4L80E remained unchanged for the heavy duty version. Why would they change it after a major upgrade in 2001 (torque converter), then go back to it in 2003.

    First Look: 2003 Chevy Express and GMC Savana
    March 6, 2002

    When GM engineers embarked on redesigning the 2003 Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans the mission was clear: deliver more. With the addition of features like all-wheel drive, a left-hand-side 60/40 entry/load door, and unique side-access panels on Express Access and Savana Pro models, these vehicles should impress even the hardest-working commercial customer.
    "We're delivering more by providing solutions to our customer's individual business challenges," says Dave Kanous, brand manager, commercial vans. "All-wheel drive allows more efficient travel to and from the job site, while left-hand door and unique side access provides improved on-the-job productivity."

    The 2003 Express and Savana also feature upgraded mechanical systems and powertrains to further enhance durability, dependability, work efficiency, and safety. A 200-hp Vortec 4300 V-6 is now the base engine for light-duty G-Series vans in all 50 states, featuring new multi-point fuel injection for smoother, longer-life performance than the injection system previously used in the 49 states outside California. The ugraded "Gen III" V-8 range includes a heavy-duty Vortec 4800, a spirited Vortec 5300, or brutish Vortec 6000.

    With 275 horsepower, the Vortec 4800 V-8 produces 50 more horsepower than the Vortec 5000 it replaces and is mated to a standard 4L80-E four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive. Rated at 275 hp @ 5200 rpm and 285 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm, this 4.8-liter engine is primarily used for heavy-duty service applications such as in 2500 Series regular- and extended-wheelbase cargo vans (8600-pound GVW), or as the optional engine on 3500 Series commercial and motorhome cutaways (available with regular wheelbase only).
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