Author Topic: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan  (Read 2606 times)

wantahertzdonut

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2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« on: December 22, 2016, 01:02:20 AM »
This past July I landed this 2010 Chevy Express 3500.  I hunted for a Duramax van but decided to pick up this one with the 6.0L gas V8.  With the 6sp transmission it gets 16-17mpg on the highway so it would take a long time to justify the purchase price of the 6.6L diesel.  Plus it's 700lbs lighter up front.  LT trim with all the exterior chrome and nice seats along with rear heat/AC.  The color wasn't my first pick but my chances of finding one in construction orange or yellow are slim to none and no way am I buying one new.  So this is it!

The plan is to build this into a motovan for track days as well as use as a weekend camper and exploration vehicle.  There's a lot of places out in the desert that require high clearance to access but are also awesome remote places to camp and get out of town, or bring a dirtbike along or whatever else sounds good.  I've spoken with a fabricator who has made suspension lift/long travel kits for these and is looking to build more.  I'd like to get a 4-6" lift and 33's and some sort of a locking differential.  Should get me most places I'll want to be.

I bought it with just over 75000 miles.  All is in great shape.  Needs window seals but that's it.  I'm impressed with how it drives, it handles the canyon roads around here with ease despite the long wheelbase.  It doesn't feel ponderous at all.

Pics!





This came as a 15 passenger van but I sold rows 3, 4, and 5 back to the dealer since I have no need for them.  The seat mount rails need to go too, and that was a bigger challenge than I planned.











About 50 nuts hold all these rails to the floors.  Some are easy to access and allowed for quick removal of the left rail...


However many on the right side were hidden behind a heat shield and were difficult to access.  Others were impossible as the nut was between the frame rail, the heat shield, and the floor.  I had to cut the seat rail in half lengthwise and then drill out the bolts, then pound out the remnants in hopes they fall out.  It took 4 days of wrenching, cutting, drilling, and prying to get these things out.


But eventually the all came out!


Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 01:17:45 AM »
New carpet in



These are some insulated window blackouts I made.  They velcro in the windows for camping.  I still have to stick the headliner to the inside so they look more finished but they darken it up nicely inside.


Window blackouts stowed between the seat and wall.


I have a chock to bold in that will hold my bike in place


This is a Pitbull motorcycle trailer restraint.  Makes toting a motorcycle a breeze.
Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

87Warrior

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 10:00:33 AM »
Glad to see you are moving along with the van. Looking forward to seeing the build progress.

speedy_2

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 09:00:58 AM »
I like it. Can't wait to see it done.

Gremlin

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2016, 08:24:00 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiEIToOWr64" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiEIToOWr64</a>

Today's Politically Incorrect post of the day.  :mrgreen:

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 12:36:56 AM »
This Friday I'm bringing the van in to have the fabricator start on a lift kit.  It pains me to have someone do my work but with no facilities I'm stuck.  But in a world with no off the shelf lift options I'm sort of stuck. 
Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

AirForceOne

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 09:00:38 AM »
Are there coils or torsion bars in the front?

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 09:12:48 AM »
Coils.  The AWD vans have torsion bars.
Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2017, 07:37:17 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiEIToOWr64" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiEIToOWr64</a>

That dude looks like a child molester!  I forgot about that song, it does nothing for debunking the rape van stereotype lol

Today's Politically Incorrect post of the day.  :mrgreen:
Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2017, 12:20:46 AM »
I have a handful of photos of the individual parts on this thing but photo upload sights are a pain in the ass these days.  You'd think with how easy it is to dump photos on facebook that sites would improve, not take steps backward.  But anyway the van is largely done at least in the suspension area.  I went to a fabricator in San Diego called Weldtec Designs who is trying to establish a market for their GM van suspension work.  They did a lot of work to a Quigley Express for SEMA that got my attention.  They do good work and for the most part I'm happy with everything.  Considering this was my first experience farming out work it went OK.

Basically I have about 6" of suspension lift and 33" tires.  Front suspension travel is about 10.5" using custom upper control arms, spindles, springs, and Fox 2.0 shocks.  Front sway bar is eliminated.  He also made me a very nice tube bumper with a winch mount and multiple light mounts that I still need to wire. 

I bought an Aluminess spare tire carrier which at $650 leaves a bit to be desired in terms of fit.  Plus they were kind enough to forget the hardware to bolt the spare to the carrier and took nearly two weeks to mail them to me.  Pretty lame by today's standards.  I wish they just refunded me $20 and I would have ordered the stuff from McMaster-Carr.

Here's a few pics taken on a drive through the Santa Ana mountains a couple weeks ago.





Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

speedy_2

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2017, 01:29:37 AM »
VERY cool. :)

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 01:06:15 AM »
A few more pics that I finally got around to getting off my POS phone.

Suspension




This is the Aluminess spare tire carrier.  For $650 it leaves much to be desired considering how much nutswinging the Sportmobile guys do for this outfitter.  The hinges aren't spaced properly so I needed to add shims to ensure both hinges saw the load and then they mounting plate comes with studs that are way too long.  Maybe they expect us to use aluminum wheels but still.  The shoulder on the studs prevents me from being able to tighten the wheel securely unless I pile up washers behind it.  Then they sent me an "improved" mounting plate with shorter studs but they sent me the same damn part.  Now they won't return my emails.  I'll just get some studs from Autozone and call it a day.





I forget why I took this closeup



My original headlights were beyond polishing so I got some newbies.  Big difference!

Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

wantahertzdonut

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 01:08:37 AM »
My next task is finding a bar to mount roof lights.  I bought some KC Daylighters to go up there and just need a way to stick them down.  Anyone know a good manufacturer of roof mounted light bars? 
Why do the loudest stereos belong to those with the worst taste in music?

angry hampster

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Re: 2010 Chevy Express Adventure/Motovan
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 06:42:46 AM »
This van looks gnarly as hell. great idea.