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Old 11-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #101
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Thanks for stopping by and any comments!

OK, so here is a photo showing our recent mods. These include the Boulder Offroad Van's 2" lift (dialed in at +2.5"), and Rhino Lining on the Rocker panels, wheel wells, and bumpers. We are 100% satisfied with the work done.



The next mod is going in Wednesday which is a pair of Truck Lite 5"x7" drop in LED headlamps []. I plan on taking before and after night shots out the windshield at the same location to show the difference in the bulbs.

Thom
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:26 PM   #102
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

===Follow up on install and test drive with Truck Lite LED headlamps. One word? AWESOME!
It is like someone strapped a landing light from a jet airliner to the front bumper. The difference is like night and day (yes that is a pun!) Highly recommend these lights.

Now onto a post shared by a fellow AWD owner:

This is a copy/paste of a post from ExpeditionPortal in the "Show us your van" thread. I wanted to insert it over here in the build thread as it is a real treat to see such a fun post about our rig. After the post i will share a thought on the project.

Quote:
Thom your van is looking great.
A quick kind of funny story. In September I was out in your neck of the woods surfing and hanging out generally living out of my van (white gmc savana awd). One day while hanging out at the cove in seaside I started bs'n wih another guy driving a sprinter. Anyways this guy goes on to start telling me all about a white high top awd chevy that's always parked up at a chain store a bit north, and I knew immediately it was your van he was talking about. So we yacked and drooled about your van for a half hour.
So I think that may make yours the most famous awd chevy ever if two strangers from opposite sides of the country can meet and both know your awesome van.
I thanked the poster for sharing his story and let him know it made my wife's day!

A thought on the project. October 2013 marked the van's 3rd birthday. What started out as a dream/idea of a regular husband and wife team with no special skills, no garage, and not even a regular _home_ (we live full time at an RV/Golf resort) has been full of _stories_ also. And many of them are part of this build thread. What might not come across in this thread is that I believe this sort of project is doable by any average-income individual(s). This van is nothing special. Didn't cost much more than an average soccer mom SUV (~$28K new in October 2010 w/zero % loan). Then we added what we thought would make a nice rolling adventure rig over the course of three years and paid cash for all mods along the way. IF you have a dream...and it includes something like this rig, i'm here to say it is totally doable for the average guy or gal.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing any comments.
Cheers,
Thom
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:27 AM   #103
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Pics or links to the LED headlamps? Sounds like a great improvment!
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:24 AM   #104
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoolin
Pics or links to the LED headlamps? Sounds like a great improvement!
Count me in too if these get a real-world experience review here! Been reading about them, if they're half as good as the advertising hype they'd have to be amazing!

I've found them sold individually here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/360767735920...84.m1423.l2649, best price believe it or not.

YouTube has a few videos about the Truck-Lite brand--well worth reviewing. Something like this would be a one-time purchase so that's not a big issue for me---results would be.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:30 PM   #105
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Greetings,

On the LED Truck Lite 5"x7" (ours appear to be the same ones linked to in the above post)... I will upload a picture of our rig showing new lights this week.

WE ARE 100% Satisfied with the ease of installation (direct swap with our stock gm/chevy lights) and coverage on road. Honestly, if i haven't stated already elsewhere...these lights are impressive in ability to light up the road to the point of getting a WOW! out of you in the cab first drive. I think we may still go ahead for next fall (our primary time of road-fog) and install some amber fog lights, but for driving lights these are well worth even the $$ i paid IMO...and a steal at the $ mentioned in the above link by JWA.

Not much of a write up needed.
1) direct replacement / easy swap
2) WOWZER response lighting up the road
3) Second takes at front grill to their bizarre (cool) look when off

Thom
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #106
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

First off. Thanks for sharing your experience on this thread. It's been super helpful for me. I've been going back and forth on a chevy Awd setup or a full 4x4 van and this is making me think for my needs the AWD might be the winner.

A couple questions. How is your mpgs towing that trailer and after adding the 2" BOR lift? I live in boulder and have been chatting with them about lift / 4x4 options but I'd love to hear from you experience.

This van will be my daily driver and we have a 2800lb Fleetwood E1 off road pop-up trailer that we tow.

Your van looks great and thanks for this thread.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:13 PM   #107
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Greetings & thanks for visiting the thread. Thank you for the kudos/comments and questions.

On towing our fiberglass (2400lb) trailer with lift kit? We've not had the opportunity. I wouldn't think there'd be a difference as the ride post-lift is actually better in our opinion (my wife luvs it/her DD). We got ~15mpg last trip which was ~300 highway miles (towing) and ~60 forestry trail/in-town miles.

Since you mentioned you visited the thread before you may know we come from a long line of 4x4 rigs (82 Toy 4x4, 75 FJ40, 07 TACO), and while we enjoyed pondering all the wild places we might end up actually using low-range in a 4x4 most miles were still highway or daily-driver miles and there were times when we wished we had the sure footedness of an AWD design (we are also a Volvo family...2x CX70 AWDs over the years) rather than the only-engage when icy/snowy 4x4s we had. While i rarely use words such as "always", "ever" and/or "never"... I doubt we will ever go back to a 4x4 when an AWD option is available. Also, in our state, having AWD + Mt.(stamped) all season radials is a pass to freedom year round on whatever road we may find ourselves on (while others may be pulling over and chaining up).

Cheers, and best wishes on your project/build.
Thom
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #108
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Ha. We have a Volvo xc90 and it's great.

Yeah I've had jeeps and trucks and vans. All 4x4 s. But like you said we rarley actually "off roaded". Right now I want safety, decent gas mileage and the ability to go most places towing our trailer. And in Colorado we have to be able to haul through snow on many occasions.

Sounds like we have very similar needs.


Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #109
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

xc90... nice ride! I think we would have gone that way after the xc70 but with the empty nest my wife wanted a rolling bed & bath

The AWD van rides great in snow/ice conditions here in Oregon (Mt. Hood and similar treks). Very sure footed.

Thom
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #110
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Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

here is a photo taken at an angle showing the waistline LED bulbs that house the individual LEDs and project them rearward to the reflector inside the 5" x 7" Truck Lite bulb. It is a freaky looking bulb (in a cool way)... and of course my growing assortment of stickers : )



Cheers,
Thom
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