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Old 04-18-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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Express 1500 AWD vs. e-series 4x4 conversion

Im trying to decide if getting a AWD Chevy Express instead of a Ford E-Series would be better in my situation.
Any input is appreciated.
If I went with a Ford, I’d plan on doing a 4x4 conversion but I know in reality that I’d be very reluctant to shell out an extra $15,000 in addition to the price of the van to get it converted to 4wd.
With the Chevy Express, it’s already AWD and, although I might spend a few more thousand at purchase, I’d save many thousands by not having to do 4x4 conversion and could use that money on upgraded suspension, lift, wheels/tieres/build-out.
The two major things I can see being a sacrifice when going with a Chevy Expeess are the interior cargo space and the AWD is only offered in the 1500 series which would limit towing/climbing with a full build-out + gear.
I don’t plan on towing anything except maybe a couple dirt bikes. So I’m not too worried about that.
If I went with a Ford, I could see myself initially planning a 4x4 conversion but then never actually getting around to it.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:29 PM   #2
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I've owned an E350 Quigley, currently own an Express 3500 Quigley, and have spent a lot of time in a good friends Express awd. Largely, the Express is just always going to ride better on road. The only argument in my mind is if you're looking for an extended body van, plan to tow heavy, or plan on doing really hard core offroading. Otherwise its the GM awd van all day. Yes there is more aftermarket support for the E series, but there is enough now going for the GM vans that you can accomplish pretty much what you'd like to, other than the exceptions I've already mentioned.


I'd add that you should look for and AWD with the G80 locker in the rear. That will make it even more capable. My buddies van is fantastic in snow for example already even without the G80. My van does have the G80 and there is nowhere I'd rather be in snowy and slippery conditions. I've done a lot of miles that way and its very predictable, stable and reliable.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:39 PM   #3
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I've owned an E350 Quigley, currently own an Express 3500 Quigley
How do you feel about the cargo area size on the express vs the e350?
Was you’re e350 rb or extended? And does the express feel WAY smaller?

I’m having trouble finding a good e250 or 350 in extended cargo, even searching nationwide. I’m looking for something under 50k miles. There are a few but it seems like a hassle buying out of state and might just get a regular body in state.
I honestly think the extended bodies look silly. Why extend the rear end out 2 feet without extending the wheel base also? Guess it looks better lifted and with bigger tires though.
Any rate I might just settle for the regular body since there are many around.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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Mine were both rb. No way does the Express feel way smaller. I'd say there is no discernible difference actually. I've not looked at the measured cubic feet for both, but I've loaded pallets, I've taken many road trips with my 7 person family in each, and I've not been able to tell the difference.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:29 AM   #5
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I talked to a dealer in Colorado that has a 2010 Chevy express 1500 awd.
The express has only 24,000 miles on it and they’re asking $26,000. I wonder if that’s a ridiculous price to pay for that van and I also wonder if I’d be happy with that express vs the eb ford eseries in regards to cargo area and power.
It looks like the regular size express is bigger than the regular eseries but it is smaller than the ford extended obviously. It also looks like the express has 310 hp vs the fords which only have mid 200’s.
If I’m not towing , maybe the express awd is the way to go. Then I won’t have to worry about any 4x4 conversion.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:34 AM   #6
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The Express 5.3 v8 is plenty of motor if you're not doing a lot of towing. Lots can be done though on this platform. You definitely should check out Accrete's build here on the forum as well as Rock Bender's.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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There are a lot of threads on the GM AWD vans over on Expedition Portal that you may want to peruse.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:59 PM   #8
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I went through this when I was van shopping. I was looking pretty hard at the 1500 AWD and did test drive one. I liked it but just couldn’t find one at a price point I was comfortable with. I wanted a cargo van and all the local ones I found were at dealers and they wanted $18k to $22k for ones around the 100k mile point and they wouldn’t budge on the price. These were just empty cargo vans with no build. I did find a dealer in MT that seemed to get and move several around the same mileage point but they were all passenger windowed vans around a $13k price point and I really wanted a cargo van. The AWD system would have been plenty for me as my 4x4 needs are pretty light and I really like the idea of an OEM system. I was open to either or on the Ford vs Chevy debate and really just wanted a good van for a good deal. I ended up finding an 06 E250 with 67,000 miles for $7500 and bought it and got the Agile conversion back when you could get it done for $11k. So I ended up getting a true 4x4 system with low miles and low range for what an AWD was going to cost me. I’m sure you could be happy with either system or even a 2x4 with a good LSD. But I certainly wouldn’t shy away from the Chevy AWD.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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No real comparison here between a GM 1500 Express 4WD and a Ford E series 4WD conversion or GM 2500/3500 4WD van conversions. The capabilities of these vehicles are so different.

The 1500 Express AWD 1/2 ton van is a light duty passenger/cargo van with an even lighter duty front IFS differential and an AWD transfer case installed. VERY little in the way of available upgrades to increase the capability of the IRS front Suspension, NO way to incorporate a true 4WD transfer case that will not have your dash light up with check engine codes as the transmission control module (TCM) is also integrated into the van's BCM (Body Control Module). Way to go GM! Lift capability is very limited and you still have the issue of rear passenger/cargo area air bags that can be dealt with yet still is another issue.

All the Ford E series 4WD vans from Ujoint, Quigley, Sportsmobile, Agile etc are true 4WD units built upon a 3/4 or 1 ton van chassis with leaf or coil suspension depending upon from whom you purchase. These are real 4WD's built on MUCH BETTER truck chassis.

With GM 2500 or 3500 Express vans your choices are Weldtec and Quigley for 4WD conversions. Again real 4WD conversions on a MUCH more capable chassis.

Having said all that this does NOT mean that you should not consider a GM 1500 AWD Express van just realize what you will be getting and ask yourself this question:

Will a 1500 Express/Savana AWD van provide the capability you desire to go where you want to go and haul what you want to haul?

IF the answer is YES then BUY one!
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
All the Ford E series 4WD vans from Ujoint, Quigley, Sportsmobile, Agile etc are true 4WD units built upon a 3/4 or 1 ton van chassis with leaf or coil suspension depending upon from whom you purchase. These are real 4WD's built on MUCH BETTER truck chassis.
You forgot one (coil); https://expovans.com/conversions/e-series/
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...are-22440.html
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