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Old 09-04-2016, 06:44 PM   #1
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Help Selecting a van to start with

So, I've been looking for a 4wd full size van to replace my daily driver VW Vanagon (2wd) and my 1976 Dodge W200 4x4 into one vehicle.

I don't really off road much, so the AWD Savannah type vans are fine with me in terms of capability. What I'm looking for is help to stay away from problems. I'm currently looking at 3 vans.

2007 Chevy Express 1500 AWD. 200k miles, good maintenance, etc. 5.3 engine, cargo interior but with windows. $11k

1998 E350 Quigley (type) straight axle conversion. V10 engine, 100k miles. $11k

2006 Chevy 3500 Quigley van. 200k, but PO towed dual axle camp trailer, thought it was getting 'tired'. $11k

I like the LS V8 engines, and am unfamiliar with the V10, though have heard bad things - for what that's worth. I've owned more old Dodge trucks than anything else.

Any big red flags here, or are they all kinda depending on condition upon inspection?

Thanks for help and advice - hope to join your ranks soon.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:59 PM   #2
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1) Not a bad option but plan on rebuilding the transfer case. The AWD T-case is not robust, and is probably worn out at that mileage. Beware of the weight limitations on a 1500 van. If you plan on towing much, pass on this. The rear end is weak.

2) V10 is solid. 100k miles is still "like-new" IMO for that powertrain, just beware that many folks folks don't do the 100,000 service if they know they'll sell it soon. Not a deal breaker, but its almost a $600 job at a dealer, so factor accordingly into negotiations. The V10 is a wonderful motor that'll do everything you need it to do, and more. There's good reason nobody else has been able to compete in the motorhome and Medium-duty truck market.

With all that said.... at 100K some of the Quigley parts will need service. Might have to weigh the cost of all those repairs (brakes, ball joints, bushings all around) vs "de-quiglifying" and installing something better. Going better might not cost much more than making your Quigley axle work. Quigleys are fine for on-pavement driving, but some parts wear fast, and they aren't the best for actual off-road driving without upgrades.

3) This one will drive best stock. The Quigley-Chevy conversion is better than the Quigley Ford conversion IMO (It's basically a drop in GMT-800 front end). The "feeling tired" comment could be a concern. Yes, the 6.0 LS motor can go 300,000 but usually they sound and feel pretty terrible at that point. If its been used for towing a lot, or oil changes extended, if could be plain worn out. I would not make an offer on this without doing a compression and leak-down test. That said... It could just feel "tired" because the 6.0/4L80 combo just doesn't put down much torque compared to most modern trucks. It makes good power, but only high up, and the gear ratios aren't well matched (with the newer 6-speed however it drives great).
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thank you so much. Exactly what i was looking for.

I forgot to mention, but #3 has a 5.3 LS V8 as well.

I will be towing an open single car trailer occasionally, but mostly running to and from car events with parts, or lightly loaded for camping. That said, the 1500 sounds like it's not the best solution.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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Hmmm I assumes it would have a 6.0 being a 3500. A 5.3L in that heavy of a van towing probably felt tired new! The Ford 5.4L feels torquey compared to the Chevy 5.3L (The Chev makes more high end power however). I think it would be worth the hassle to try to test drive it with your trailer. Even with a single car trailer I think you'll be much happier with a 6.0, especially if you can hold out for a newer one with a 6-speed. You can probably find one close to $15k coming off a rental fleet.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:56 AM   #5
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Hi Greg, welcome, and you will start hearing good things about V10 here!

One question: on the 98 V10, what do you mean by "Quigley (type)" conversion? Do you know who actually did the 4x4 and when? If it is a true Quigley you can call in the Quigley serial number and they will send parts list and maintenance schedule for their product.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
1) ...
2) V10 is solid. 100k miles is still "like-new" IMO for that powertrain, just beware that many folks folks don't do the 100,000 service if they know they'll sell it soon. Not a deal breaker, but its almost a $600 job at a dealer, so factor accordingly into negotiations. The V10 is a wonderful motor that'll do everything you need it to do, and more. There's good reason nobody else has been able to compete in the motorhome and Medium-duty truck market.

With all that said.... at 100K some of the Quigley parts will need service. Might have to weigh the cost of all those repairs (brakes, ball joints, bushings all around) vs "de-quiglifying" and installing something better. Going better might not cost much more than making your Quigley axle work. Quigleys are fine for on-pavement driving, but some parts wear fast, and they aren't the best for actual off-road driving without upgrades.

3) This one will drive best stock. The Quigley-Chevy conversion is better than the Quigley Ford conversion IMO (It's basically a drop in GMT-800 front end). ...
CarringB thanks for the info you called out on the a quigley/Chev/ford- useful to know since I bought a V10-Quigley combo this summer. I like knowing the scheduled maintenance factors for my vehicles. Oh, and I would happily do a 100k mile service on my van when the time comes if all goes well!

May need another thread but what upgrades would you think a Quigley system would demand for much off roading?
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie O View Post

May need another thread but what upgrades would you think a Quigley system would demand for much off roading?
Agile RIP kit, or DIY upgrade the system for more bump-travel (longer springs, better shocks, upgraded front sway bar to ditch the crummy OEM bushings, possibly add spacers to the sway bar bushings....)

There are existing threads out there. I don't remember any in particular besides the Quigley RIP kit thread. Maybe somebody else can chime in with the other Quigley upgrade threads. But besides improving travel, some may need more work too, like a better track-bar, new trailing arms (Earlier Quigleys had cracking arm issues...) plus the standard old truck stuff like ball-joints since Ford/Dana really didn't get a long-lasting ball joint going until the '05 SuperDuty axle came out. Lastly the older Quigley brakes are pretty small compared to newer van, and since they used generic GM brake hardware to a certain point, upgraded brakes can take a lot of work.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:50 PM   #8
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Great input. Thanks again.

RE: the V10 straight axle - I don't know who did the conversion, haven't heard back yet, and can't see any identifying badges in the photos.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:15 PM   #9
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CarringB-
excellent reference info- what i love about this forum- so much knowledge! Anyhow, I am starting with a RIP kit upgrade on my 2011 V10 TOMORROW! Taking the Quigley maintenance schedule to the shop so they can also go over the full system.
itching to get out of town soooo bad now that holiday/house guest happenings are over but this week is booked up with biz and auto work. Should be worth it because I'm happy to report that my RIP Coils-Add-a-leaf w.platform- Fox Shocks are IN THE HOUSE!
oops- thanks for letting me thread-jack, now back to originally posted topic.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:29 PM   #10
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I'd do the Ford.. assuming it is a Quigley or other 'name brand' 4x4 conversion.

While older, the V10 is great, it has lower mileage, and the aftermarket support for all things Ford is much larger.
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