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Old 01-17-2018, 06:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
EXPRESS1500AWD
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Chevy Express AWD 6 lug to 8?

I just picked up a 2004 chevy express awd 5.3 at a auction for $1000. The good news, the body is in great shape, the frame is straight, minimal rust, the 5.3 seems to run well. The bad news, the 4l60e transmission is shot. I'm going to tackle the rebuild myself and upgrade to 4L65E parts. Crawling around underneath I noticed the stock rear axle looks like it should be on a go-cart. I'd like to upgrade to a full float 14 bolt in the rear with an ARB or Eaton e locker, but as far as I know, the 14 bolt only comes in 8 lug, and the front hubs on the AWD Express are 6 lug. Does anyone know if there is an 8 lug hub option for this van or if any Silverado parts are interchangeable? I saw on Expedition Portal, that it's relatively easy to swap the awd to 4x4 by changing the transfer case and a drive shaft, so I'll be attemping that as well.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1500 van is completely different than 1500 truck and then 2500 is way different then either 1500 setup. I think you’d be cheaper off sourcing some 6 bolt hubs for the 14b if that’s what your set on.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually it looks like the awd van uses same control arms and wheel bearing setup as the 1500 silverado. The problem comes in that the 8 lug silverados use a 4 bolt flange for the wheel bearing not a 3 bolt pattern like your van. 94-97 dodge light duty 2500's have the 3 bolt flange 8 lug wheel bearing (along with a 4 bolt variant) but they didnt have abs sensors till 98 and then they were 4 bolt flange only.

I have a 04 2500 yukon sitting in driveway I can grab measurements off of but I wonder if you could swap the entire 2500 spindle/hub onto your van leaving the stock control arms and axles. I'm 90% sure the outer axle ends are same and they are listed as same spline and length between 1500-2500 silverado, only the inner part is different but again your not changing the whole assembly. Maybe even 1500HD parts? since they were 8 lug also, but again 4 bolt flange so would need spindle.

The other way would be just to buy a 2 piece wheel adapter that converts from 6 to 8 though I think they only come in 2"+.

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Old 01-18-2018, 10:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What newb said

I'm no gm pro, but the 96ish z71 with certain options had the 6 lug sf 14b iirc, as did oddball light duty 2500 trucks. You could probably also get an 8 lug sf and get custom shafts, swap your rear discs over, done

I'd be real curious about the ifs parts interchange though, I've kicked around the idea of converting 2wd chevy van to 4wd with ifs, I know the awd to 4wd is just a t case swap, but I'd like the whole junkyard recipe
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Would the hubs from the 99-00 2500 trucks bolt up?
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Would the hubs from the 99-00 2500 trucks bolt up?
No the 2500 trucks use a 4 bolt flange on the hubs instead of 3 bolt.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Converting GM 1500 IFS to 2500 IFS is tough. I've done a lot of research into it and the frames, control arms, and control arm mounts are different, at least in the truck world.

I've seen some people that had success swapping in the 9.25 center section and adapting it to the 1500 hubs, but that doesn't help you with your 6 to 8 lug dilemma.

Doesn't the express have the same 10 bolt 8.5/8.6" rear as the trucks? I would be more worried about the front diff than the rear strength wise, depending on your overall goal for the van.

If you want a stronger front diff for an GM 1500 IFS, for the amount of work involved, you're better of just doing a solid axle swap. Otherwise do a 6 lug 14bolt semi-float, or convert a 14bolt full float to 6 lug. They make a kit to do this I believe, but it's not cheap.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 350TacoZilla View Post
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C
Tagging you guys because it sounds like y'all are knowledgeable, and I'm about to start a similar project, maybe a little opposite of the op, I have a 06 express 3500 8 lug, my research online and in the dirt tells me that I can put 2500 4wd hubs in place of the 2wd van stuff, and I can swap a 1500 diff and shafts in (I have it, it'll package well, and it's not a monster van, just some dirt road camping)

The question is lower control arms, can I swap my 4wd 1500 lca's in?
Did either of you ever get down to ball joints, can I run 2500 joints in 1500 arms, etc?
If I do, are the 2500 torsion bars interchangeable with 1500 stuff?
If not, I may go coil overs and modify the van lca's

As for the op, in case he didn't disappear, I'd be real happy with the 9.25 2500 front diff and 6 lug hubs and a 6 lug semi float rear, should hold up pretty well
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PROJECTJUNKIE View Post
Tagging you guys because it sounds like y'all are knowledgeable, and I'm about to start a similar project, maybe a little opposite of the op, I have a 06 express 3500 8 lug, my research online and in the dirt tells me that I can put 2500 4wd hubs in place of the 2wd van stuff, and I can swap a 1500 diff and shafts in (I have it, it'll package well, and it's not a monster van, just some dirt road camping)

The question is lower control arms, can I swap my 4wd 1500 lca's in?
Did either of you ever get down to ball joints, can I run 2500 joints in 1500 arms, etc?
If I do, are the 2500 torsion bars interchangeable with 1500 stuff?
If not, I may go coil overs and modify the van lca's

As for the op, in case he didn't disappear, I'd be real happy with the 9.25 2500 front diff and 6 lug hubs and a 6 lug semi float rear, should hold up pretty well
I cant help you too much there but here are few thoughts. I doubt the frame is setup to allow for the torsion bar setup but I'm not real familiar with them so there might be room. Yours might be an easy swap if you can just bolt a 4x4 wheel bearing assembly onto your stock spindle, run all stock arms and spindles and either fab a mount for some coilovers or use a strut from newer silverado like 07+1500 I think? All 3 use different balljoints (express 3500,silverado 1500 & silverado 2500) but I'm not sure what the differences are between them.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I cant help you too much there but here are few thoughts. I doubt the frame is setup to allow for the torsion bar setup but I'm not real familiar with them so there might be room. Yours might be an easy swap if you can just bolt a 4x4 wheel bearing assembly onto your stock spindle, run all stock arms and spindles and either fab a mount for some coilovers or use a strut from newer silverado like 07+1500 I think? All 3 use different balljoints (express 3500,silverado 1500 & silverado 2500) but I'm not sure what the differences are between them.
So all 3 I've measured use the same size threads and nuts on lower joint, so theres a possibility of the size and taper being correct. I think the torsion bars will fit, but the Y pipe is considerably wider than a truck piece, and would need to be modified.

I'm looking for best bang for my buck

Plan A: 1500 4wd lca's and torsion bars
Plan B: factory van parts and late model struts
Plan C: I've got a line on a gmt400 2500 that's lifted, use lca's and the aftermarket lower bracketry and torsion bars
Plan D: 05+ super duty

Right now the 1500 clip is here and the 2500 hubs are in the mail
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So all 3 I've measured use the same size threads and nuts on lower joint, so theres a possibility of the size and taper being correct. I think the torsion bars will fit, but the Y pipe is considerably wider than a truck piece, and would need to be modified.

I'm looking for best bang for my buck

Plan A: 1500 4wd lca's and torsion bars
Plan B: factory van parts and late model struts
Plan C: I've got a line on a gmt400 2500 that's lifted, use lca's and the aftermarket lower bracketry and torsion bars
Plan D: 05+ super duty

Right now the 1500 clip is here and the 2500 hubs are in the mail
I would go with B if possible or D if it was my project just because I'm not a big fan of the torsion bar suspension on my 04 gmc and the Super duty setup is proving to be easy swap with great strength to cost ratio.
If the 4wd hubs are in fact the same bolt pattern as your existing wheel bearings then B will probably be the cheapest and could probably pass for stock if the strut/coilover fab work is done well. Post up some pics of the vans stock setup along with what you figure out for sure.

I do see what your thinking on plan C and use the lift brackets as its own subframe so all the mounting points are on it and all you are left with is upper arms and such but then you might get into some odd problems between different year/length control arms and might even end up needing some oddball spindle to work it out.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So B is easiest, my main concern is whether or not the f150 strut would have the spring rate for the van, I think it would, as long as I treat it accordingly, but I'd hate to build mounts, let the jack down and watch it bottom out

C, I bought the gmt400 for the trans, it actually doesn't have the lift I thought it did from the pics, just cranked torsion bars, so that's off the table. A future cheap used gmt800 cradle could make its way on another van tho

A, I'm cool with torsion bars, it's effective, and minimal fab work, if the lca's are compatible, all my ifs shit is from my junk pile, so it's all free shit that nobody would buy

D, I will build a big van at some point using this proven setup, this van is a low buck, they say it can't be done, with the benefit of low ride height and abs

Anyways, my thread is on the same page if you'd like to follow, or weigh in, it's what we're here for
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