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Old 08-22-2011, 10:16 AM   #1
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Ford or Chevy Van?

I have noticed that most of the SMB vans are Fords. Is there a particular reason for this? I know that SMB states that they will convert either Ford or Chevy but I still haven't ever seen a picture of a Chevy with a penthouse top. Is it easier to convert a Ford van? I found out that I can get a stock Chevy van with AWD. That would be a plus for driving in the snow as I don't need an off road vehicle. Just wondering why it seems that 90% are Fords. Is it the look folks like better or reliability? ? I have never owned either one so forgive my ignorance.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

I was at Van Specialties in Portland Friday and they were doing a high top Chevy. There are several Chevy's on this forum. However there isn't a heavy-duty, rock-crawling, zombie-stomping 4x4 solution for Chevrolet... as there is for Ford.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

Oh! That explains a lot. I do not plan to stomp on any zombies or crawl over any big rocks but I would like to visit national parks, forest service campgrounds and have the ability to navigate into Yosemite in the winter without putting on chains. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

I have been looking at replacing my van with a new one. I called and actually had an email conversation with my local Ford dealer and they dropped the ball. Ford Customer Service was no better, rude and arrogant. This would be my 3rd new Ford van in a row. Hate to say, Quadvan didn't return my email or call.

Looking at Chevy's and Sprinters now. So far no response from Salem Kroger about the cost of converting a Sprinter.

Come on people.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.whitbread
I have been looking at replacing my van with a new one. I called and actually had an email conversation with my local Ford dealer and they dropped the ball. Ford Customer Service was no better, rude and arrogant. This would be my 3rd new Ford van in a row. Hate to say, Quadvan didn't return my email or call.

Looking at Chevy's and Sprinters now. So far no response from Salem Kroger about the cost of converting a Sprinter.

Come on people.
Try Newberg Ford in Newberg, Oregon. They sell a lot of new and used Quigleys and Quadvans. Might even have one in stock.

Also Quigley now makes a lifted 4x4 chevy
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

Chevy comes out of the box with some nice standard features for a heavy van conversion. Full floating rear axle and locking rear diff are standard. With regard to rock crawling, SMB's conversion is definitely much more robust than Quigley. This does not mean that a GM could not be built to rock crawl, there are just no off-the-shelf setups to speak of.

If you're not doing much offroading, a Chevy with IFS will do fine (in fact that's the only option Quigley now offers on Chevy unless dhally has some updated info??). With regard to reliability, I would say that, from experience if not historically, Chevy generally holds at least a slight advantage on powertrain durability. If you're talking diesel, probably a bit more.

I would strongly encourage you look into using a GM van as your base. We love ours, would not trade for two of anything else except for something bigger.

PM me if you'd like to see photos of mine, and I have a few basic photos with the penthouse top up in my album.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

The Chevy AWD van is only a 1500, and has about 1/2 the payload of the Ford E150 van, so it limits conversion options.

As noted, Quigley will sell an IFS Chevy 2500 or 3500.

The new Chevy 3500s do not have a full floating rear axle anymore, at least not on the passenger vans.

As for a rock crawler.... The Chevy vans have always gotten milder 4x4 conversions, because they have less frame than the Fords. It simply takes more upgrading to bring the chassis up to the same level.


BTW - I don't think SalemKroger exists anymore.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

That info about Chevy is good to hear even though I don't know what a floating axle is or locking differencial. However I am sure those are both good things or you would not have mentioned them! As you might have guessed I have never owned a truck or van before. Yesterday I learned from my supervisor, who was complaining that his Ford E350 diesel was leaking oil, that there is a problem with those leaking oil after a whie....said he wished he had known before he bought it. But it was not too late for me to benefit from his misfortune I would love to see pics of your van. Thanks for your help
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

Actually Chevy's 3500 van can be ordered with AWD too
Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
The Chevy AWD van is only a 1500, and has about 1/2 the payload of the Ford E150 van, so it limits conversion options.

As noted, Quigley will sell an IFS Chevy 2500 or 3500.

The new Chevy 3500s do not have a full floating rear axle anymore, at least not on the passenger vans.

As for a rock crawler.... The Chevy vans have always gotten milder 4x4 conversions, because they have less frame than the Fords. It simply takes more upgrading to bring the chassis up to the same level.


BTW - I don't think SalemKroger exists anymore.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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Re: Ford or Chevy Van?

Near as I can tell, only the 1500 comes with the AWD option. But, if you go with the 3500 and let Quigley do the 4x4, you can still get the Duramax diesel with lots of torque.


All-Wheel Drive
Express 1500 Passenger Van and Cargo Van offer available All-Wheel Drive (AWD) to provide a more sure-footed drive in inclement weather ó something Ford E-Series and Mercedes Sprinter vans don't offer.


ēStandard Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 engine with 260 hp and 525 lb.-ft. of torque
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