found a 1991 gmc custom van. good for towing?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Danielflading, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    I have a chance to pick up a full size gmc custom conversion van, 4 captain seats, fold down bed, etc. 125K miles, runs pretty good. Cheap! my wife says it is big and ugly, but it will seat all of us and the dog, a friend for daughter if she wants one to go camping and alot of space. does anyone else tow with one of theese, what do think about it

    it is a v8, suto, rear air, i think it needs some cosmetic attention also but has potential.

    so let me hear from you full size van owners..

    thanks

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  2. ozzy1

    ozzy1 New Member

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    Hi,
    91 Isn't a bad year. But find some things out about it first.

    1/2 or 3/4 ton (G10 or G20)

    How often has the transmission been serviced? If it is a 1/2 ton, G10 series van, it has a fairly week transmission. If the people serviced it regularly, it will probably be alright.

    Which motor does it have? A 305 (5.0 Litre) or does it have a 350? (5.7 litre) Personally, I would stay away from it, if it was a 305. The aren't that great on power, and they get worse milage than a 350.

    Other than those specifics I would find out, you should be fine towing with it. As long as you weren't pulling something too heavy. (I don't know how much your Chesapeake weighs)

    The rest of the van is pretty much general maint. Brakes, exhaust, good tune up. These rigs get much better milage when are tuned up good!!

    Good luck. Please let me know if you need any more info. I would be glad to help.

    Mike

    2008 Fleetwood Bayside
    2005 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
     
  3. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    I wouldn't shy away from a 305. Granted, a 350 will give a bit more power, but if you're not on a racetrack, what's the difference? If I were BUILDING one then yes, I'd go 350- no doubt. I wouldn't make it a deal breaker though. The only difference between the two physically is the bore diameter, the 305 being just over ΒΌ" smaller.

    The 700R4 Tranny can be beefed up. Add a cooler, discuss it with a local tranny builder.

    If you're comfortable with it and it doesn't need too much work, go for it.

    Me 66, DW I value my life, DD 96, DD 00, DS 03
    Starmaster 8 68, Mercury Villager 95
     
  4. bigdad

    bigdad Active Member

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    I have a 1994 G20 custom it has a tv in it and rear a/c and heat capt seat and rear fold down bed it is set up for towing it hs he trans cooler the van well a new pant job before to long my van has the 350-5.7 i get about 19 hwy but i have alot of room for the kids and two dogs.the van has 104,000 miles it tows the camper better than my dakota. i would ask to see the maint report on it.
     
  5. ozzy1

    ozzy1 New Member

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    Big Kid,
    I wasn't putting down the 305, I was just giving my "Opinion" on a 350. :) The 305 isn,t a bad motor, I just prefer a 350.

    The killer for a 700R4 tranny is heat. If you're not on the highway, I wouldn't even use over drive. Keep it in drive. It will add years to your 700R4 by not constanty shifting from drive to over drive and back again. That constant shifting is what builds up the most heat. I also agree with the tranny cooler. Put the biggest one on you can find. The cooler the better.

    Around here at least, if you want a good stout 700R4, you would have to pay along the lines of $1000.00 to $1200.00 for one. That would include a new pump and torque converter.

    These are just my personal opinions. I have been in the auto industry for over 20 years and have been a die hard Chevy man all my life.

    Mike

    2008 Fleetwood Bayside
    2005 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
     
  6. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    In my experience, most conversion vans are built on the 3/4 ton chassis, but be sure to check that out. Some were made on the lesser 1/2 ton, but not too many.

    I agree on the trans. Don't use the OD for towing at all. Mine 'hunt's' all the time, and it's just not worth it to burn it out. The factory usually recommends no towing, but then again mine's only a 1/2 ton truck.

    I now wish I did buy a small V-8. The 4.3L V-6 is a little under powered IMHO. It works, but... A little more Umph! would be nice while towing. I've been told that the 4.3 is essentially the same as a small block V-8, but with 2 cylinders cut off. It seems to be a stout engine, but since it's only a 6 it feels like it's always 'working' to haul my camper. I think the small V-8 would have more of a chance to just cruise. Does this make sense?

    <hr><center><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper"> ~ Scott
    <font color=green>1994 Chevy W/T 1500 towing a 2008 Palomino Yearling 4124</font id=green></center>
     
  7. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    thanks for the replys, it is a g20 3/4 ton 5.7L automatic, the ac has a slow leak, i charged it up and it blew very cold with no compressor noise. the van has 125.000 miles on it and they are asking 2500.00.

    has 4 captain chairs, fold down rear bed, rear ac, rear stereo, nice vanity lighting etc. trailer hitch, 4 pin flat connector already installed, needs some body work on some rust spots, a paint job and the interior professionally steam cleaned.

    runs great, smooth shifting almost transparant, quite and smooth engine.

    so is 2500.00 a good deal?

    I have to give it back tomorrow or buy it tomorrow, i have had it for the weekend.

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  8. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    Sounds pretty good for what it is. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Smile"> That's nice that they let you have it over the weekend. Must be getting it from someone you know?

    Anyhow, I paid $2000 for my '94 W/T 1500, and he was asking $2250. I had to replace the windshield, so I pretty much insisted on the drop in price. Otherwise, I have no rust on this truck, but it has the V-6 with 200k miles on it. Being the W/T version, the interior is pretty spartan. So for a deluxe and custom interior, plus the fact you're getting a 3/4 ton with a V-8, I'd say $2500 is reasonable.

    Happy Towing with the NTU van! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper">
     
  9. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    I am getting it from the owner of the place i work at, a automotive repair/collision/wrecker/auto glass/used car....shop. he is asking 2500, that will include a oil change, fresh state inspection, and front end alignment, i will have to make any other repairs. i can get the parts for cost and a discount on any labor i have done. I am a service advisor for the auto repair portion of hte business and also a mechanic so i think it is a good deal but i wanted tohear from other owners before i made it final. I have a f150 that needs main bearings he will take for a partial trade and payroll deduct the rest on a weekly basis so i would own it outright in about 8 weeks

    thanks for the replys guys

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  10. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    it is a 91 gmc vandura g2500 custom conversion van, i would take pics but it now pouring down rain outside.

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  11. ozzy1

    ozzy1 New Member

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    The 3/4 ton has a 4l80 trans. You are good to go. But I would still have it serviced. $2500.00 doesn't sound like too bad of a deal. Especially taking your F150 with abd main bearings in trade. Also the deductions from your pay check. He wants all the money for it, but if it goes that good and is in good shape than I say go for it!!!

    Good luck with your new TV!!!

    Mike

    2008 Fleetwood Bayside
    2005 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
     
  12. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    thanks ozzy1, we are going for it, my wife says get the interior redone but i think a good professional cleaning will do it wonders.

    maybe paint a darker color, the white really shows off the windows and i think a darker color would be more pleasing to the wife

    thanks again

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  13. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    just added to the insurance policy, looks like a keeper, thanks for helping me make the decision

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     
  14. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    We're on the same page. I was born and raised on Chevrolets, and am rumored to bleed hugger orange (I also realize and respect that others are the same way about other brands).

    Agreed on the tranny too. When I rebuilt the one I had it got a new pump, converter and TC solenoid. It's been a few years since I've done one.
    ******************
    Sorry guys, I thought I posted this this morning. I came home and fount it waiting for me to click "post reply".

    Congrats on the deal, I think you'll be happy with it(aside from occasionally missing a pickup).


    Me 66, DW I value my life, DD 96, DD 00, DS 03
    Starmaster 8 68, Mercury Villager 95

    Edited by - Big_kid on August 03 2008 20:46:16
     
  15. ozzy1

    ozzy1 New Member

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    Cograts!! Have a great time in your new rig!! Just take your fix ups one thing at a time.
    Mike

    2008 Fleetwood Bayside
    2005 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
     
  16. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    Seems like ya got a winner. Congrats, and best of luck with it! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper">
     
  17. Danielflading

    Danielflading New Member

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    thanks all!!

    Dan
    Kelly
    Maddy
    Sophie our dog (noncamper)
    Cupid the camp dog
    97 F150
    03 Tribute
    92 Coleman Chesapeake

    11 nights camped in 2007
    6 nights camped in 2008
     

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