GM fullsize AWD Van Info thread

Scotty D

Active member
Hey Gang! I'm not ready to start my own build thread yet as I'm still researching and parts collecting for my newly aquired 2014 AWD Express. I'm currently tire shopping and considering my needs and options. How many folks maintain a 5 wheel rotation? As I'll be upsizing my wheels, a stock spare will be bad news. So if I'm going to spend the money on a fullsize 5th, I might as well utilize it, right?
I almost upsized when I went to BFG KO2s but ultimately decided to stay with the stock tire size since the gearing is already so tall.
When you are crawling along on a bad road you really miss the torque when you have oversized tires and no Lo gear.
 

45Kevin

Adventurer
Hey Gang! I'm not ready to start my own build thread yet as I'm still researching and parts collecting for my newly aquired 2014 AWD Express. I'm currently tire shopping and considering my needs and options. How many folks maintain a 5 wheel rotation? As I'll be upsizing my wheels, a stock spare will be bad news. So if I'm going to spend the money on a fullsize 5th, I might as well utilize it, right?
I have five 235/85/16 tires. My spare is currently out of the rotation until I can find a matching aluminium rim at the junk yard to put it on. It is currently on the stock steel spare rim.
I don't find the gears too tall and I think that maybe the slightly larger tire makes for a little less gear hunting on the highway.
 

45Kevin

Adventurer
There are several build threads with guys that use their van to sleep in after toting their bike to somewhere.
I think a couple of the build threads listed on the first or second page of this thread.
 

stuntman mike

New member
Has anyone had a dirtbike in one of these cargo vans (similar to pic)? I'm interested in the cargo version of the Express or Safari in AWD and wondering if it would be feasible to also get a bed in there to sleep on with dirtbike inside?
Yes you can. The dimensions of the interior are easy to find and measure the total length of your bike. I have the same plans bouncing around in my head, except I measured for an old enduro and my chopper. Now I need to engineer a bed/bench that swings around. I'm not planning on sleeping in there with my bike, so you'll probably have a narrower bed setup. I'm using an old foam mattress, but you can get foam cut to order too depending on what's available near you.
 
Yes you can. The dimensions of the interior are easy to find and measure the total length of your bike. I have the same plans bouncing around in my head, except I measured for an old enduro and my chopper. Now I need to engineer a bed/bench that swings around. I'm not planning on sleeping in there with my bike, so you'll probably have a narrower bed setup. I'm using an old foam mattress, but you can get foam cut to order too depending on what's available near you.
Thanks for the reply! I looked at the dims online but I guess I was wondering how it feels in real life haha. Do you have the 1500 or 2500? I've read some people think the 1500 is pretty light duty?
 

stuntman mike

New member
Thanks for the reply! I looked at the dims online but I guess I was wondering how it feels in real life haha. Do you have the 1500 or 2500? I've read some people think the 1500 is pretty light duty?
A stock 1500 cargo (what I have) should be able to handle the payload of a bike, bed, tools and supplies for a weekend. IIRC the suspension upgrades with the right lift option can make it pretty much like a 3/4 ton. Keep an eye on the tire load rating and do the homework if you roll with passenger tires as LT tires. It took me two nights to read this thread and I'm still lurking around...
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Sailing Alone Around the World: a Personal Account of the...
by Joshua Slocum
From $26
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
First Overland: London-Singapore by Land Rover
by Tim Slessor
From $13.4
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Sur...
by Dave Canterbury
From $9.99
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales
From $9.99

akskiffer

Member
Anyone experienced inability to move the shifter to first? My van shifts through the gears but I can only move the shift linkage down to 2.


Thanks,
Tod
'09 express 1500 H1(awd) LT
 

KBOB

New member
Quick Question. 2010 AWD Express........ The front torsion keys have been turned up about an inch, and the van sits level. That's all I plan to do to the suspension other than replacing the shocks. Will the longer shocks listed at the beginning of the thread work with this set up front and rear (rear not lifted)? I'm not seeing any Bilstein shocks for the stock length. Thanks.
 

boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
Quick Question. 2010 AWD Express........ The front torsion keys have been turned up about an inch, and the van sits level. That's all I plan to do to the suspension other than replacing the shocks. Will the longer shocks listed at the beginning of the thread work with this set up front and rear (rear not lifted)? I'm not seeing any Bilstein shocks for the stock length. Thanks.
I don't believe so.
Thoae shocks listed are all 2-3" longer than stock
 

KBOB

New member
OK so the "longer" shocks are too long........... What are the best options for stock length shocks? Part #s?
 

krj

Observer
Towing.
I know the stated specs, just looking for some real world experience from people who tow with 1500 awd's on a regular basis.
I'd be towing a 5000-6000 lb trailer on a semi-regular basis for work. Just wondering how these rigs hold up to use like that.
The majority of the vans I'm looking at don't have hitch's. However, one I have found has a hitch & the accompanying factory tow/haul button. I assume that setup will work better in the long term for hauling, but am interested to hear from folks on both sides of the coin - factory & aftermarket setup's.
Additionally, an info on what exactly that factory tow/haul mode does or means in regards to gearing & transmission would be beneficial.
Any info is appreciated.
 

Scotty D

Active member
Towing.
I know the stated specs, just looking for some real world experience from people who tow with 1500 awd's on a regular basis.
I'd be towing a 5000-6000 lb trailer on a semi-regular basis for work. Just wondering how these rigs hold up to use like that.
The majority of the vans I'm looking at don't have hitch's. However, one I have found has a hitch & the accompanying factory tow/haul button. I assume that setup will work better in the long term for hauling, but am interested to hear from folks on both sides of the coin - factory & aftermarket setup's.
Additionally, an info on what exactly that factory tow/haul mode does or means in regards to gearing & transmission would be beneficial.
Any info is appreciated.

The 4L60E trans is terrible for towing. I had to put in a new transmission as soon as I got my van because the previous owner towed a 4000 pound trailer on mountain interstates occasionally.
 

KBOB

New member
I haven't towed a trailer that heavy with my 2010 yet, but I have towed a 1500 lb flat bed with it, and have towed a Bunch of 6000 lb travel trailers with other trucks. The van will struggle at that weight if it's a high profile trailer like an RV. Wind resistance is the worst part. The gearing is too high for starters, and you will never see 4th gear. No trans cooler on the Express either. Expect fuel mileage in the 8 mpg range, or lower in a head wind. If you have pulled the trigger already..... look into a trans cooler, and a fluid change. My 2 cents.
 
Top