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Old 01-16-2019, 12:17 PM   #31
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Yeah I could go 75 even 80 but I'm in no rush to get to the next....gas station. These vans are rolling bricks. Your mpg drops down a lot over 65 mph with my 4 spd trans.

If I had a 6spd that would change. I wish I could put my 3.0 TDi engine and 8 spd trans in this van. I wouldn't trust the German electronics though. Lol
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:45 PM   #32
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Ya I dunno. I have both Van's and they are both very different Van's. When it comes to getting stuff done and hauling things places I take the transit because its fast, comfy and gets the job done.

When it comes to enjoying myself, leisurely running errands and getting out and about I take my high top 4wd e-series 5.4l and it does what I expect it to do. I think is just depends on what you want to accomplish with this vehicle.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #33
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Ha, what I'm trying to do is condense an 80 series land cruiser and a high top vanagon into a single vehicle. Solid axle 4x4 that I can also live in for a ski weekend. Around 140" wheelbase is what I'm willing to take on trails, anything longer is just a soft roader (which has its place, just not my cup of tea). However being based out of Denver, there are some amazing places within a 10 hour radius. Being able to do that drive in an actual 10 hours, not 12-13+, makes those quick hitter trips much more feasible. That's why this thread caught my attention, because every direction I would want to go involves taking a few mountain passes along the way.

Good comment on the trans - the 5 speed is a big draw over the 4 speeds. Not sure anything with a 6 speed is in the budget at the moment however.

Not to derail the thread too much but the other option is a flatbed camper on a ~140" wheelbase truck platform, which opens up some higher hp drive train options, but you lose a fair amount of real estate with the hood of a truck, the pass-throughs are OK at best, and you also lose the passenger seat in a van becoming part of the interior space. In my opinion the flatbed campers are also crazy expensive for what they are.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:10 PM   #34
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There's also a simplicity benefit in an off road/expo vehicle where I've been leary of taking a turbo vehicle into the boonies
I wouldn't shy away from an otherwise good engine just due to it being turbo.

I'm sure it happens, but I've not personally seen or heard of a catastrophic turbo failure in a non-modified vehicle. The normal failure modes tend to be gradual and obvious. I've seen Saab 900's leaving a smoke trail due to bad shaft seals, and had the odd issue on Mercedes diesels with weak wastegate springs, but nothing that would stop someone from driving down the road. One of my Mercedes had about 270,000 miles on the original turbo.

At altitude you really can't beat a turbo, because it can compensate for the reduced air density.

Simpler is always better, but a turbo wouldn't keep me up at night worrying it would fail. Inspect it for end play every so often and you'll know when it's wearing out well before it gets to be a problem.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:35 AM   #35
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I agree, I guess I'm a little apprehensive on turbos at the moment as the turbo in my TDI is puking oil and one on the SHO is starting to leak a little as well. Great when they're running though.

However I may have found the right bowl for porridge *for my needs*. It's a bit blasphemous, but the Chevy L96 6.0 with the 6l90 is a sweet combo. Decent mpg for what it is (reports of up to 15-16 highway even after 4x4 conversion, unheard of with the V10), 6 speeds to run through starting in '10 (not an option on the Fords unless you get a cab chassis), more hp than anything from Ford in a van, and should you want more power - the aftermarket support is massive. There aren't as many 4x4 options out there which is why Chevy wasn't really on the list until just recently, but I'm 20 min away from Boulder Off Road who does a solid axle conversion, or Weldtec is now making high end IFS DIY kits (albeit almost at the cost of turn key from BOR). I'd also add that since the market is seemingly looking mainly at Fords, you can get a used van with a 6.0 + 6 speed, with 5 digit mileage, for $12-15k.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:58 PM   #36
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If you're looking for another data point, my V10 has no problem trucking up Eisenhower at 75. It also had no trouble at 80mph on a road trip to WI, although at that speed (and up to 85 with the wife driving) you could watch the fuel gauge move, plus the wind was pushing heavily on the pop top--we ended up adding straps on the inside to lock down the top and keep the wind from sneaking under the front edge. No idea on vehicle weight, but it's an EB passenger with 4.10 gears, 31" tires, and over 160k miles. The only "power" mod is an AFE intake.

Edit: Just realized my profile isn't showing my location. If you didn't pick it out from context, I'm in CO as well.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:50 PM   #37
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Glad you've found something that will fit your needs. Persistence pays off sometimes.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:05 PM   #38
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Love to see another GM van rolling around here. Post up some photos when you can. Congrats!
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:49 PM   #39
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Thought I'd circle back around in case others were looking/wondering. After looking more into the 4x4 options for the Chevy's, I decided against going back to an IFS rig for off road (personal choice), ended up with an 05 V10 with the 5r110. Hauls pretty good up passes as-is, keeping 70-75 uphill is a quick downshift to 4th, we'll see how it does once it's 4x4 and has some weight in it.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:09 PM   #40
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Ha, what I'm trying to do is condense an 80 series land cruiser and a high top vanagon into a single vehicle. Solid axle 4x4 that I can also live in for a ski weekend.
If you have not found him already, @shadetreevanman came from the Landy/Vanagon camp and has a Ford van that he highroofed his own self. You might find some information in his thread to be helpful.
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