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Old 12-13-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
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Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

It is interesting to look at the 3 SMB sites and what they show for used SMB's. In CA, it is almost all Ford diesel 4x4's. But elsewhere you see a lot of Chevy's and Dodges, usually 2WD? This forum seems to have more Fords. Are Fords just better? How to the Chevy's and Dodges rate?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

It's mainly a frame thing. Most people that 4x4 with a heavy van prefer a heavy duty frame...Ford wins in that section. 2WD is another story.
A similar post:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5839
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

SMB West sells more 4wd vans. Maybe it is where we live. Maybe it is how vans are used out here. Maybe it is peer pressure and keeping up with the jeep crowd. Other areas of the country only seem to do mostly 2wd.

Indiana is in the middle of van conversion county and RoadTrek and PleasureWay sell many more 2wd vans than SMB does. None of the 2wd companies seem to specialize in one make of van (SafariCondo in Canada used to only do GM vans but now does Sprinters also).

And, no matter the chassis it is built on, everyone seems happy with their choice of van.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

Wow! This is exactly the forum I have been looking for. I can't make up my mind on vans. I really like this 2000 dodge sportsmobile. It has everything we need to start camping now...penthouse top, aux. battery, 110 inverter, shore power, sleeping for four, sink, microwave, fridge, and forward facing seating for four with shoulder belts for $12,000. Overtime we would need to add an interior shower, hotwater heater, aux AC, generator, aux heat and 4x4 conversion. It is the 3500 with the 5.9 liter. It does, however, have 93000 miles on it. Plus I keep reading negative things about dodge 4x4 vans. Many places won't even convert a dodge van to 4x4 and those that do charge a premium.
My other option is to buy an empty 4x4 and have a complete interior conversion done as well as a penthouse top installed, but can't seem to find a ford or chevy in decent shape for less than $15,000 grand and after I have all the conversion work done this puts us over our 30 grand out the door price point.

I have checked out a third option of trying to find a van that would need both the 4x4 and the conversion work, but now I'm trying to find something in decent shape for 5 grand.

My fear is if I go with a dodge I will end up with an inferior 4x4 van with a frame that will crumple on me.

Many thanks...
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:16 AM   #5
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie
My fear is if I go with a dodge I will end up with an inferior 4x4 van with a frame that will crumple on me.

Many thanks...
I don't think that fear is unfounded. The Dodge doesn't have a real frame. It's actually a unibody, with a stamped subframe for the suspension. The Ford and Chevy vans have full ladder frames. It's just not very robust, and even in 2wd version, it's not a solid chassis. Body flex is the norm. Because of this, it also has a lower GVWR. The Dodge Ram 3500 GVWR has the same GVWR as the current Ford E150. Dodge B-vans with doors that are no longer square is very common, and some even have body panel separation problems which could be serious, since the body is the primary structure.

The Sprinter is a Unibody as well, but a much better engineered one, and one with may restrictions where the builder can add windows and other cutouts. (Salem Kroger does make 4x4 Sprinter but it uses the Ford front end, so servicing could be a issue) .

SalemKroger converts all makes into 4x4, and even used to do some Dodge vans. But right on their website they state the Ford vans have the strongest chassis, and that's why they are the most common 4x4 conversion.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

What do you guys think...if my plan is to never convert the dodge to 4x4 is $12000 a good deal? What about $16900 for a GM3500 with savanna 4x4 with the 454 with 70000 miles for $16900 that would need a complete interior conversion? Not really sure where to post questions about van prices. Does the longer wheelbase of the gm's help alleviate some of the rollover risk with the extended vans?
L
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie
Does the longer wheelbase of the gm's help alleviate some of the rollover risk with the extended vans?
L
Yes, most definitely!

Mike
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

OK then I think I'm inclined to go with the chevy as it sound safer and has the beefier frame and chassis. I 'm going to have my two little ones in this ride and want them to be as safe as possible. So my next questio is the price of the GM. It has a broken window latch, a big stain on the carpet from an antifreeze spill, and the passenger side panel needs to be replaced. Mechanically, it is sound. What might be the depreciation value of a quigley conversion done in 2001?
Thanks,
Jason
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie
What do you guys think...if my plan is to never convert the dodge to 4x4 is $12000 a good deal? What about $16900 for a GM3500 with savanna 4x4 with the 454 with 70000 miles for $16900 that would need a complete interior conversion? Not really sure where to post questions about van prices. Does the longer wheelbase of the gm's help alleviate some of the rollover risk with the extended vans?
L
Wheelbase is just one factor that affects rollover stability. The GM vans loaded aren't really any more stable loaded than the Ford vans. Rollover rates are the same. When comparing equal occupant levels, 15 passenger vans with all their media attention still have lower rollover rates than full size pickups, all SUVs, and even minivans. The GM vans have narrower leaf springs, which negates some of the wheelbase advantage IMO.




However, generally 4x4 is worse if the height is raised and track width is not. (SMB and QuadVan increase track width, Quigley does not) And leaf-sprung solid front is even less ideal for stability (which is I think what is on a Chevy Quigley of that era). You may have to do some work to it to make is behave as well as a 2wd van. Also, look up some of the older posts on here about Quigley death wobble. I don't want to scare you away, but you should be aware of some issues that may cost you $ to address.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Re: Ford v. Dodge v. Chevy

The biggest problem with extended vans and rollovers is inexperienced drivers. Typically a church or school van filled with people and the driver is young, almost no experience. The mass of a 6-800# of passengers, high and behind the rear axle makes it more likely to have a problem on quick maneuvers.

If you keep the weight between the wheels, the extended van doesn't have much effect on handlling.

Mike
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