2005 AWD Express build (not Vanilla)

86scotty

Explorer
Vanilla is my white Transit so I guess I'll call this one 'not Vanilla'. Gotta keep track of em somehow. Here's the basics:

I've been looking for a truck for awhile since my Transit is pretty much just a work/travel van. I've looked and looked for a 4wd pickup at a decent price. They are just INSANELY priced these days. I have a pretty short list of things I've wanted but haven't owned (and kinda need) and this was at the top. I found my truck! It's actually got a big steel box on it instead of a truck bed. Oh well, good enough.

2005 Chevy AWD 5.3l in 'dark spiral gray metallic'. To me that means NOT WHITE! :l2: Pretty rare dual side door model, Onstar, remote start and that's about it.

It has high miles (215k) and it came from Michigan but is a 2 owner van that was cared for. NO body rust but some frame rust and I don't care. No bad cancer. It was extremely well cared for for a rust belt vehicle. I made it about 50 miles to Discount Tire on the passenger tires that were on it so the first upgrade has been done. 265/75-16 BFG KO2's

Plans are to use it as a truck. Haul me and things around, go exploring on occasion and just enjoy. It will be lifted for sure. No big buildout planned though. Yes, my wife has heard that before. ;) ......once or twice. Also, it can serve as a spare work van and is a write off.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 3.47.20 PM by 86scotty, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 3.47.31 PM by 86scotty, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 3.49.01 PM by 86scotty, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 3.48.31 PM by 86scotty, on Flickr

With new tires but no lift......:eek:

Untitled by 86scotty, on Flickr
 

marret

Active member
Congrats Eric. Looks good and even better on the new tires. Any rubbing on the front? Wonder if those wheels are from a truck. Look better than stock steel wheels.
 

86scotty

Explorer
I'm pretty sure they're the original wheels but who knows. Nope, no rubbing. They fit great and I'll be lifting 2-3" soon anyway. I read in the AWD info thread that this was the biggest size with no rubbing and it is correct. Worked out great, I wouldn't want any bigger lifted or not.
 

dleeallen

Adventurer
Great color. I'll be curious to hear your comparison with the transit over time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

86scotty

Explorer
Great color. I'll be curious to hear your comparison with the transit over time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks. No need to wait for a comparison! There really isn't one. They are drastically different. They Chevy is surprisingly quiet. I was really expecting more wind noise from a higher mileage van with all of those doors but it essentially has no wind noise at all on the highway. Like all half ton vans it is super floaty and softly sprung. Rides like a Caddy. I'll improve that since it all looks original under there anyway. The Transit is very Euro compared to a half ton domestic van. Much firmer seats and ride and starts, stops and handles much better but it is the Ecoboost and 10 years newer too.

I wish the Chevy didn't have creaky front door panels. All the plastic creaks any time you open a door or even lean on the armrest. Transit is much improved on interior trim, another 10 years and newer model thing mostly.

Transit gets 16ish pretty much no matter how I load it. Express got 18 except for when I put a heavy load in it for a day and that tank dropped to 16.

The Transit is the better choice for my purposes (travel/work) since I can stand in it and it is much safer and advanced (TPMS, traction control, etc.) but I've always loved Chevys and I have never owned an Express. The last one I had was a late 80's beat up G10 moto van. Now that I think about it it was the same color! I miss those cool 80's/90's rally wheels with chrome trim rings. :D

I look forward to getting this one lifted a bit and getting it offroad to see how it does. I'd like to put a real T-case in it but I'm not sure I'll bother unless I kill the AWD one.
 

dleeallen

Adventurer
Thanks. I too was surprised by how quiet an Express is. I've added some thinsulate and sound deadener to mine which I think has helped even more but even stock it was remarkably reasonable considering how old the platform is. I totally agree with you on the door panels / interior trim! Even my '14 is creaky.
 

ben2go

Adventurer
Thanks. No need to wait for a comparison! There really isn't one. They are drastically different. They Chevy is surprisingly quiet. I was really expecting more wind noise from a higher mileage van with all of those doors but it essentially has no wind noise at all on the highway. Like all half ton vans it is super floaty and softly sprung. Rides like a Caddy. I'll improve that since it all looks original under there anyway. The Transit is very Euro compared to a half ton domestic van. Much firmer seats and ride and starts, stops and handles much better but it is the Ecoboost and 10 years newer too.

I wish the Chevy didn't have creaky front door panels. All the plastic creaks any time you open a door or even lean on the armrest. Transit is much improved on interior trim, another 10 years and newer model thing mostly.

Transit gets 16ish pretty much no matter how I load it. Express got 18 except for when I put a heavy load in it for a day and that tank dropped to 16.

The Transit is the better choice for my purposes (travel/work) since I can stand in it and it is much safer and advanced (TPMS, traction control, etc.) but I've always loved Chevys and I have never owned an Express. The last one I had was a late 80's beat up G10 moto van. Now that I think about it it was the same color! I miss those cool 80's/90's rally wheels with chrome trim rings. :D

I look forward to getting this one lifted a bit and getting it offroad to see how it does. I'd like to put a real T-case in it but I'm not sure I'll bother unless I kill the AWD one.
1/8th-inch upholstery foam laid over the moisture barrier behind plastic panels will help eliminate the squeaks.
 

whith

Member
Creaky plastic is by far the biggest annoyance I have with my van. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Even gone so far as to look into some conversion van door panels. I just can’t handle the look of most of them.
 

ben2go

Adventurer
Creaky plastic is by far the biggest annoyance I have with my van. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Even gone so far as to look into some conversion van door panels. I just can’t handle the look of most of them.
Well, another option I have seen is that chrome door edge trim use on door panels and trim pieces to help stop squeaks. I don't know how well it works but it looks kind of ghetto fabulous. It doesn't work on all panels.
 
Top