GM fullsize AWD Van Info thread


would love to know how you did the body lift. do you have an IG? this looks great, what size tires are you running?
I posted tire size and you even quoted it. :) Im running 285/70/17 BFG ATs and I had a shop do the body lift. Whats IG?


New member
Did you ever end up replacing the skyjackers? I’m having the same issues with mine and curious if Bilstiens solved the dampening issue
I left the skyjackers in for now- I guess I got used to the rodeo ride. But Maybe I should try to send them back on warranty or something IDK... they really suck maybe I should replace them -- they might cause an accident.

I'm really not sure if the Bilsteins are any better. I havn't tried them - but if I can recall my research the only one that works for 2" lifts is the Bilstein 5100 Monotube 24-186643 it seems like they don't have much travel and don't have the enough dampening neither...

However, on a positive note, the rear Bilstein 24-221948 seem to work well with the 4" lift springs.

I guess I'll have to go for the custom-valved FOX from Boulder... maybe Summit Racing will take these stupid skyjackers back...
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New member
Has anyone put a larger cranking battery in their van? Mine has finally seen its last day and I want to replace it with the largest one possible.

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The Interstate group 27 battery from Costco drops right in with just a little shaving of the plastic factory bracket. It has 28% more capacity than the stock 78.

I put heavy duty top posts on. Most cables reached - the only cables that were too short were the starter and the alternator but they are easy enough to replace. The 4ga alt cable is too small anyways so it was a good opportunity to replace with 2ga.

Or... using the jankey top-to-side adapters is an option if you don't wanna get into cable upgrades.

BTW The Interstate battery is 1/4 the price of the same size optima, and has 11% more CCA and 5% less capacity. Both have the same length of warranty. However with the Interstate Battery you don't get to impress your friends with the bright yellow coloring and the compelling marketing...


New member
Also- just an FYI- for those that want to maximize battery capacity- there is the custom dual, under-hood option:

And an easy bolt-on (using crossnuts) OEM battery box solution for the frame (no drilling required):

If you want to have two batteries on the frame, simply relocate the awkward fuel pressure computer and drill to mount a second OEM frame box. Frame box accepts Group 78 and Group 24.

With both these setups you can have four, inexpensive lead acid batteries without compromising cargo area or spending the big bucks on AGM, Optima or Lithium.


New member
what size tires did you go with?
The first day of ownership I went with 275/65 r18 E ... Only because the 255/70 r18 D was out of stock and I needed tires quick because the 'good guys' sent me off for a 1500-mile drive back home with a irreparable hole in one of the 'almost new' tires that they had mounted on rusty wheels covered up by chrome plastic facades with one brake caliper falling off and scraping a cut in the rusty wheel. Luckily, I found the hook up for 5 beautiful 18" suburban wheels in Rapid City and Discount Tire had the Load E tires available. The load E ride harsh, unfortunately at that time all the load D BFGs were out of print.

So i have rigid tires and flabby shocks lol... oh well the ride is ok in most situations.


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New member
I am currently on the hunt for either an AWD or Quigley 4x4 GM van. I have had many RWD GM vans and am wondering if anyone could comment on whether it is worth the extra money and hassle to track down a Quigley or is the AWD just as good. I have had many 4x4 trucks and jeeps but not an AWD vehicle, the hardest trail I would do with it, on purpose, would be the coyote flat trail near Mammoth Ca or the trails in Big Bend. I have researched the heck out of both and understand the driveline/engine differences etc. Towing is not as important but I do plan on getting a boat when this crazy market calms a bit.


Active member
I don’t know those trails but I can tell the AWD is capable of some pretty impressive stuff, particularly if you can find one with the G80 in the rear. I think you main concerns will be whether the 1500 chassis and 5.3 is right for the size boat you have.

Scotty D

Active member
The awd is amazing on sand if you air down .
Great for getting over a few steep tricky obstacles on a long dirt road
It can do better than you would think but mine is geared way too high and with no low range , you really feel it sometimes
A quigly is not going to give you the same awesome fuel mileage
The 4l60e transmission cannot tow any boat without risking damage , its just too light duty , I would not even tow half the rated weight
I am not familiar with the routes you mention but once you start calling a road a trail, to me that sounds like rock crawling and these are not built for that because of the gearing
All that said I love mine, its perfect for Baja


New member
Thanks y’all. I’ll probably get whatever I can find in my budget. 15-20k for an AWD that seems like it would do what I am looking for vs spending 50k+ on a Quigley.

Dirt Serpent

New member
Hi I'm a long time lurker and have learned a ton on this thread and others. I'm finally getting around to replacing the wheels and tires on my mostly stock 2011 AWD rig.

IMG_2917.jpegI had my heart set on these American Classics at 17" and planning on running 265's (no lift). Their fitment guide doesn't approve the 1500 but doesn't have a category for the AWD which has a different size OEM wheel.

I don't fully understand the offset but is there any problem with running these at 0MM? I haven't seen anyone else running them so that's a bit of a red flag.


American Classic
17 x 8
6 x 139.8
Backspace 4.5
Offset 0MM
Bore 108.00
Lip size 2.2

Apologies in advance if this has been covered. if this option won't work. Any similar soft 8 hole designs that would? I love the classic look my taste in wheels seems to have stopped in 1988.

Thanks again for all the info you didn't know i was soaking up over the years guys!


Check out the sweet Kelty Sideroads Awning I scored last weekend; It rode out the 5 inches of rain that blasted out of the sky too. For $130 it adds an amazing amount of shaded/dry living space outside of the van. Our vanlife situation just got seriously upgraded.



New member
Dirt, I would just go by the back spacing. Measure what you have and how much clearance you have at full lock both ways. I'm old school and dont know why they went to offsets.

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