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Old 06-01-2006, 05:46 PM   #1
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Looking at Chevy 3/4 ton van with Quigley fwd & 5.7 Litre..thoughts?

I'm looking at a van with the above description. This is an older 1998 than my current 2004 ck2500 extended cab (for sale in classifieds). I've pretty much talked myself into buying it - taking it to mechanic for inspection tomorrow and plan to haggle the price a bit.

Any thoughts on ....

a) the quigley 4wd conversion? http://www.quigley4x4.com/ I know the seller seems to like them as they replaced it with another quigley conversion. They used it in their construction fleet as basically the foremans truck and I'm sure it pulled a lot of trailers in it's 94,000 mile life.

b) the 5.7l gasoline engine? I drove it today and it drove better than I expected. I thought it might be a bit of a handful.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

I pull a 28ft excella.

cheers..jb
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:20 PM   #2
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Hi JB,

I used to own a 2000 Chevy Express 1/2 ton van. I don't know much about the 4WD system, but I will tell you that after owning a Sprinter, I will NEVER go back to owning a Chevy Van. Even if that restricts the size of trailer I own! The Sprinter is a far superior vehicle in every aspect except tow capacity. The maintenance is lower, it carries more than a 1 ton, has a higher CVWR and the best part......gets almost DOUBLE the mileage.
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Hi JB,

I used to own a 2000 Chevy Express 1/2 ton van. I don't know much about the 4WD system, but I will tell you that after owning a Sprinter, I will NEVER go back to owning a Chevy Van. Even if that restricts the size of trailer I own! The Sprinter is a far superior vehicle in every aspect except tow capacity. The maintenance is lower, it carries more than a 1 ton, has a higher CVWR and the best part......gets almost DOUBLE the mileage.
I tell you what. If it could tow the same amount as my suburban I would get the van you have in a second. Nothing quite like a diesel Mercedes!
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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I hear you. I had a 1/2 ton PU truck and while technically it met specs to pull my trailer, it just felt like an unhappy truck (been driving pickemup trucks for 25 years). So I bought the 3/4 ton when chevy was giving all the rebates and such.

I don't know what a "sprinter" is. Is that a brand name or a model or something? Pbbly outside of the budget right now. I'm basically looking for a reason not to get this. I pretty much need a 4wd. We pull into some pretty hairy places at friends and our farms. I also live in a high-snow area. I saw this van locally and just got to thinking about how much I hate climbing into the back of that pu bed (oddly seems that I hate it more and more every year, not sure why). Plus I could use the cash by downgrading my ride. I'm planning to get a smaller fuel efficient junker to get around too.

Thanks for the input.
jb
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:26 PM   #5
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Hi. We tow with a 1995 Chevy 3/4 ton van, with a 5.7 engine, and it tows our Overlander well. The G20 has a 6000 pound tow rating, is your coach at or below that? You will also have to deduct the extra weight of the 4wd gear from that total.
The Sprinter is a Dodge/Mercedes Euro type delivery van, either 3/4 ton, or 1 ton capacity, with a diesel engine. They seem to be, well, the Mercedes of vans, with a Mercedes price.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:09 AM   #6
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I'm going to check the tag for the weight limits when I take it in this morning for a checkup. Good point - I was assuming (i know..bad idea) that a 3/4 ton van and 3/4 ton pickup would be similar in towing capacity.

thanks
jb
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:36 AM   #7
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Dependent upon the axle, that 5.7 might be a little marginal in the 3/4 ton van. I had a '99 Chevy express half ton with the 5.7 and 3.73 rear axle. Its rated towing capacity was 6,500 lbs. I pulled a '01 27' Safari which weighed in about 6,000 in normal towing mode with dry water tanks. I towed in 3rd gear and while I was pretty satisfied, it wasn't till I went to the 3/4 ton van did I realized how much difference (positive) that the heavier suspension made.

My reason for my marginal statement was that typically there is a weight penalty when you move up the body line in the vans. For example a one ton GMC van with the same configuration as my current 3/4 GMC, 6.0 liter, 4.10 axle, has less towing capacity.

So unless you have a 4.10 axle, considering the additional vehicle weight coupled with the overhead of the 4 wheel drive unit, you might not have the best towing capacity if you move into the world of the more modern wide body Airstreams.

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Old 06-05-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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Follow up here. I had the vehicle checked by my local gm dealer. Good guys, they printed out what was basically the sticker options for the van as originally sold. It has a 3:73 rear end which lowers the towing capacity to 5000 lbs (4.1 was 7,500#).

Anyway, I'm pbbly gonna take a pass on this one though if it sits, I might get it anyway as a work van if the price gets right. I might also keep an eye out for 2wd hd van with proper towing setup. 99 times out of 100 I don't need 4wd when towing the AS but that one time it makes a heckuva difference. My wife really liked the van over our extended cab pickup. Nobody but the dog has ever sat on the back seat and I think the dog would like the van too.

Anyway, thanks for the good advice.

P.S. There was a web-page somewhere that showed the factory weights for all years of AS trailers...I can't find it. Anyone know where it is?

Thanks
jb
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboy
Follow up here. I had the vehicle checked by my local gm dealer. Good guys, they printed out what was basically the sticker options for the van as originally sold. It has a 3:73 rear end which lowers the towing capacity to 5000 lbs (4.1 was 7,500#).

Anyway, thanks for the good advice.

P.S. There was a web-page somewhere that showed the factory weights for all years of AS trailers...I can't find it. Anyone know where it is?

Thanks
jb
Goes to show you the penalty you pay for that heavier chasis. As noted my 5.7 liter '99 with 3.73 had a 6,500 lb. capacity. You lost 1,500 lbs. in the year older van with the 3/4 ton capacity. That's why you have to be careful when considering the heavier chasis upgrades and that bigger is not always better, unless you match that upgrade with an engine/axle upgrade also.

Current specs on the 3/4 ton van with the 6.0 liter engine/4.10 axle gets you 9,900 lbs capacity. The interesting thing is that at the time in 2003 when purchasing new, this upgrade from the half to the 3/4 ton vehicle added less than $300 to the bottom line. Axle choice was free and if I remember the 6.0 liter engine was also a minor upgrade charge.

Jack
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