what a good work van


Old 11-26-02, 04:02 PM
Hot Rodn
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what a good work van

It's time I retire my old Ram Van. I'm looking at getting an econoline next; 3/4 ton; I landscape and need something reliable;any ideas appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-26-02, 06:57 PM
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my personal picks for landscapers, plumbers, commercial electricians, commercial HVAC:

GMC/CHEV Savana/Express

2500 series with C6P package (ups the GVWR to 8600lbs) with 4800 V8


if you're towing, 3500 series with 6000 V8 (300hp!)

Both the 2500 Heavy Duty and 3500 Series share the same basic running gear underneath (brakes, frame), the 3500 will take a bit more abuse.

Tip: If purchasing new and visiting a dealership, ask to speak to either their truck specialist or fleet manager, who will properly match the van to the application. Otherwise you'll get, "did you want red or blue" or "did you want to pick it up Friday or Monday?"
Old 11-26-02, 07:00 PM
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By the way, where in BC are you? I can order and drop ship to a GM franchise anywhere from the lower mainland to Squamish.
Old 11-26-02, 08:55 PM
Hot Rodn
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heard bad about GMC Savana

Thanks for the reply Otter. I'm in central BC -- land of mud and snow. I've got an electrian friend who bought a Savana new a year or two back. Says it's the worst van he's ever owned--always in the repair shop. Blown transmition because a breather hole got plug with mud, etc., etc. I need something a little tougher.
Old 11-27-02, 06:26 AM
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Everyone has different experiences with these beasts. I've got contractors who work 'em hard and swear by 'em.

Your friend's van may very well be under-spec'ed for the application.

If you're in the land of mud and snow, why not an HD series pickup with a service cap on the back? Unstoppable.
Old 11-27-02, 09:44 AM
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GM products would also be my pick.

Easy to fix, simple technology and reasonable power and economy.
Old 11-27-02, 03:59 PM
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Location: corona Ca.
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coming from a Ford guy, you know what I will suggest--A Ford. There is a reason why Ford sells the #1 trucks. Just about the only thing Ford can do right these days.

Stay away from the new dodges--they might be beautiful and have massive powerplants, but I am not particulary fond of sending my hard earned cash to germany. Stay American.

You can't go wrong with either GM or Ford, like Joe and Otter said, make sure you properly match you application with the vehicle so you don't wind up overworking your vehicle.
Old 11-27-02, 09:06 PM
Hot Rodn
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I am looking to Ford

I was wondering if Ford would get a voice--we used their trucks on a large cattle ranch I work on. Very dependable.
I guess one of the things I was hoping to find out is if one of their engines is better than another. Like you said, I don't want to be lugging it all the time.
On the other hand gas is about $3.20/gal.US here.....

Also is there a year that had upgrades worth looking for?

I'm set on a van--too many tools to be cralling under a truck canopyfor.

(I see you're from Corona--just vacationed in the Santa Barbara area. Beautiful. Look forward to visiting again.)
Old 11-27-02, 10:09 PM
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If you must buy a Ford, buy a diesel.

Ford vans now use the modular OHC V-8 & V-10s. They're not nearly as torquey as the old OHV engines & they're not too easy on fuel.

The 7.3 diesel is powerful, tough & reliable, but it is very noisy.

Ford vans also use the ancient Twin I-Beam suspension. Plan on replacing ball joints, radius arm bushings and I-beam pivot bushings on a regular basis.
Old 11-28-02, 06:52 AM
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re: ford

on the topic of twin I beam....good luck keeping it aligned.

on the topic of OHC engine...mechanically complex compared to pushrod design that GM has stuck to (Gen III Vortec now standard on 2003 models). Mucho more money to repair once out of warranty.

Good luck with your choice.
Old 11-28-02, 02:13 PM
Hot Rodn
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Thanks -- good advice. I will get pre-OHC if I go Ford.
(You guys are making me want to look at a GM.)
Diesel is definitly out--I lived on and in diesels for years and just don't want that noise anymore.
Old 11-28-02, 04:04 PM
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Diesels of today are not the diesels of yesterday. Quieter, more power, better on fuel and run a long time. Also, everything with a diesel tends to be heavier duty and beefy.

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