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Old 07-08-2018, 09:56 PM   #1
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2006 GMC Savana 3500 Build

Hello all,

I picked up this 2006 GMC about 2 years ago to use as a "work truck" with the hope of one day turning into my own little SMB. That day has come and I have started to pursure this dream. I got the van from my work with about 250k miles for $1k. I know all the maintenance was done and that most of the miles we're freeway miles. It's an EB empty cargo van with rear A/C. It's got the 4.8 L but I wish it was the 6.0L.

Right now I have a family of three (wife and 2 1/2 year old) and one dog. We would mostly use this for day trips to the beach, towing our travel trailer (6.0L would be nice), or towing my car(S2000) to the track and spending the night.

My game plan at this point is to start getting the things I "need" and at that point decide how much I want to really get into this thing. First thing it needed was a seat for my boy. I went ahead and grabbed a 64" Wide Empress FT sofa bed(tight fit &#129322 that was just delivered this week with quick release clamps and a set of three lap belts. Next I'd like to get the floor done so I can install the seat and start insulating the walls. Then I'll get the tow hitch and brake controller hooked up. I'd like to eventually put a fridge in it, some kind of outdoor shower setup, outdoor stove, gravity fed sink. I'll just go with a locker and winch setup with no 4x4.

I look forward to getting all your input, advice, and constructive criticism.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
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Nice platform for your build. Can you provide more details about the sofa? Where did you purchase it and how do the quick release clamps work? I’ve seen the quick release bolts on one of the van seat supplier’s websites and wondered if they would be good for my situation. Thanks
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:47 PM   #3
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Hi Dan, welcome and nice score on a clean looking rig. Being that you plan on towing and building it out, I agree some more motor would be something to really think hard about. Have you looked into what it would take to put a 6.0 in it? It may actually not be that bad. Those things can be had pretty inexpensively used.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoker View Post
Nice platform for your build. Can you provide more details about the sofa? Where did you purchase it and how do the quick release clamps work? I’ve seen the quick release bolts on one of the van seat supplier’s websites and wondered if they would be good for my situation. Thanks
I bought the seat from shop4seats.com. Price was $948 for the seat. With the seat belts and quick release it was $1381 out the door with shipping to my work. It took a little over a month to get the seat as it needed to be made after ordering it. You can order it in different widths, colors, and material type. I'll have to let you know about the clamps as the seat will not be installed until I get the floor in.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WhitH View Post
Hi Dan, welcome and nice score on a clean looking rig. Being that you plan on towing and building it out, I agree some more motor would be something to really think hard about. Have you looked into what it would take to put a 6.0 in it? It may actually not be that bad. Those things can be had pretty inexpensively used.
Totally agree with you. Being that the van has 250k miles, I already assume a new motor will be needed eventually. One of the things I liked about the Chevy's is that the motors are a dime a dozen. I am currently towing with a 2011 Tahoe with the 5.3 and that leaves more to be desired when towing as well. I haven't looking at what it would take to put in a 6.0L but will look into it. Unfortunately living in California my options for modding for more torque and horsepower are pretty much non existent with the current motor. Another thing I thought of is looking into a crate motor with enough torque/how to get it done but not sure if that would be cost effective or not.
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