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06 Chevy Express van

Messages
211
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3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #1
Hello first time I've been over on this side of the forum I'm usually over with the 6.5 crowd. But anywho what I'm up to is I'm looking at a 06 Chevy Express with 112K on it and it has a Duramax and I have some questions. First off do any of you know of a free website that I can find out what kind of options this van came with by using the vin#? I tried to find one but all's I kept getting was the ones that wanted money and I don't think they provided the options ? This thing is a 2500 with a auto trans and I'm wondering about the hp figures and if it has the Allison trans. in it or not. I was checking out the FAQ section and it was somewhat confusing about hp figures and what type of trans used in the vans. I seem to remember reading that the first year or two was somewhat troublesome for the Duramax is the 06 a good motor? And the last question is how do I turn this van into a fire breathing monster ( just kidding) but I wouldn't mind doing some little things to it. Thanks for any info that you can provide.

Mark
 

Will L.

Well-Known Member
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Boulder City Nv
#2
I had good luck just taliing to dealership parts guys when you go in person. On the phone is just annoying, but when they see your face they are usually good.

Just line up the questions like what trans is it, what brakes, etc before you go in.

The van dmaxes are tuned down from the pickups for a reason. The front suspension and steering is not as strong as the trucks.

Simply look at the trans from underneath. If there is a spin on filter like the engine has= allison.

Keep in kind GM spent extra money to tune it down and lost profits doing so. If it could handle the power, they would have left it up at the stock level. So upgrade the chassis before doing the engine, transmission and rear axle.

The biggest issue that is faced by dmax is injectors. They can’t handle any dirt, water, or bugs. If you get it, plan a set of injectors and not the cheap ones as they suck.

Invest in the best water seperation unit and best fuel filter system you can fit. Do that before you bother with anything else.
 

btfarm

330,000 Worth and counting
Staff member
Lead Moderator
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Sandwich, Illinois
Staff #3
I believe it has a detuned LLY version Dmax and IIRC it's a 4L80 trans. Getting a vin check is not something I can help with. As to injectors, they may be just fine if the van had regular maintainence.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #4
Thanks Will & Bt for the provided info I appreciate it. I called GM and gave the woman the vin # and she said she was going to send the info on the van to my e-mail but she called back and told me her supervisor would not let her send me the info probably because I didn't own the van she told me to call a Chevy dealership and see if they could help. I was looking at a picture of the instrument panel and the trans shifter readout doesn't look like anything special so I don't think it has a Allison. Below is the add for the van.

Mark

https://cleveland.craigslist.org/cto/d/2006-chevrolet-express-2500/6664810530.html
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
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Location
AZ
#5
They never put Allison in vans. Look under the van, do you see the Allison oil filter? I bet not. This weak link is why they detuned the engines.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #6
I called the local Chevy dealer WW and he told me the computer was telling him the trans. is a HD4spd so no Allison I think I read somewhere that it has a 85LE trans.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #8
It would be nice if it had a big ole Allison I'd feel better about it but It would probably cost more to fix it not that any auto trans is cheap to fix.

Mark
 

FellowTraveler

Well-Known Member
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Location
Nature Coast
#10
Stock 4L85 is good for 430 ft lbs torque and can be built to handle much more....while the Allison is a better transmission I have heard it takes more power to drive it than the 4L85 does.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #11
This van is pretty optionless . GVW rating is 8600 , heavy duty brakes rated for 9800 GVW it has a engine oil cooler, trans cooler and a auxiliary trans cooler at least it shows two different option codes for the trans cooler. 3.73 rear end with DOP whatever that means and a 145 amp alternator and I almost forgot it has AC and it shows that it has had 2 owners.

Mark
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
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Location
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#12
Looking for a conversion van or what? What are you planning on using the van for anyway? I mean it's a boring van that's all business. Does it even have more than front seats - do you care?

Not much needs to be done to it for hot-rodding it or you will be building the trans immediately.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #13
Its just replacing my Chevy 03 van that I had to park at just 45K miles with a rusted out frame WW. I'm trying to find out what type of rear-end it has the GT4 must be the ratio and the only other thing it says reading the options paper is it has DOP and it also says 5X1 for the rear whatever that means.

Mark
 

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
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Staff #14
As said above, no DURAMAX van got an ALISON, EVER! If you drove one, it was a conversion. Starting in 2010 they did change to the 6L90 trans which is where many get confused into thinking it was an ALLISON as it is a 6 speed clutch to clutch trans like the ALLISON. The power output was 250HP and 460 ft lbs of torque which was the limit of the 4L85E trans. Be careful on power as the DURAMAX is KNOWN to eat the 4L85E in those vans if you push them hard. And rebuilds for them are NOT that cheap as they tend to lunch hard parts when they go. The engine is based off of the 06 LBZ, but was the detuned LLY version(it shares NOTHING with the 04-05 LLY). The rear axle in them is a DANA 70S, and is a RARE beast. They're not bad, but the trans was definatly a weak link in them if towed or worked them hard.
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #15
Yeah I don't think I'll be beating it to hard but I would like to pull a trailer. Anyone see that 3500 long wheelbase Chevy Express van on Utube? He's running NOS about 200 hp worth plus he's tinkered with the computer and he's still running the 85 LE although he's done a lot of stuff to the trans he has about 200 runs on it the Dramax is a 05 LLY and on the bottle he ran 10.85 in the 1/4.

Mark
 

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
Staff member
Lead Moderator
Messages
9,151
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Location
ZEPHYRHILLS FL
Staff #16
Yeah I don't think I'll be beating it to hard but I would like to pull a trailer. Anyone see that 3500 long wheelbase Chevy Express van on Utube? He's running NOS about 200 hp worth plus he's tinkered with the computer and he's still running the 85 LE although he's done a lot of stuff to the trans he has about 200 runs on it the Dramax is a 05 LLY and on the bottle he ran 10.85 in the 1/4.

Mark
That's Josh in "the dumpster" van. His trans is FAR from stock, and he destroyed even the best that JAKE's and a couple other builders could do. He got together with several big trans companies to get a build together to hold. And it's an 06, they didn't put the duranax in them until 06.
 

Will L.

Well-Known Member
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Boulder City Nv
#17
Yeah, I couldn’t figure out why I was fixed on ally in vans until you mentioned the 6 speed confusion thing- nailed it. That is exactly why I thought they were.

I do remember the first time realizing there was a dmax innthe vans without the ally and thought- why didn’t they just mod the van body to fit it and use EXACTLY what is in the pickups. For that matter, why not the same exact rolling chassis. Just make it more of a (think semi truck here) conventional instead of a cab over. Maybe some creative steering shaft linkage.
Might look funny, but could be way more aerodynamic. Look at the new nissan, MB, and Ford vans- they have longer hoods.

Mark, I won’t say dont put the power to it, but I am willing to bet I have destroyed more engines and transmission here at the track than any 3 other people here combined.
Nitropropane is some powerful stuff. But I never once planned on getting to runs out of one engine or transmission. It happened, but I sure never planned it. You wont be as bad as I was obviously. But dont plan on 10,000 miles out of a used & stock trans if you pour on some juice.

Your a big boy, it’s ok to play with fire- just so long as you understand that is what you are doing.

And no fair mentioning a race van without a link! Haha

I dont like vans. But that one is kinda cool!!
 
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #18
Yeah that's the van. After I posted I thought about hitting Utube and posting a vid but I must have procrastinated or something, sorry. The story I read on the Dumpster he was calling it an 05 and the 85LE he has in it as of the article he was saying he had 200 runs on the trans. I think I read. It sure gets your attention with the exhaust stack and the air intake up front like that.

Mark
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
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Location
AZ
#19
So that's 50 track miles on the trans at full power blah blah blah. :yawn:

That's got nothing on towing a trailer.

Miles of non-stop 7% grades with no cooling off every 1/4 mile. I get 50,000 miles out of mine doing that.

So, again, what is the van used for and what reasons do you have to want to turn up the power? Clearly transmissions will be expensive to do so.

Now back to the fun of 1/4 mile carnage.
 
Last edited:
Messages
211
Likes
3
Location
Fowler, Ohio
Thread starter #20
Well WW I really didn't have any intentions of cranking it up this originally started life out in California and I was thinking they might have detuned her for that state I would just like to make the motor a little more efficient if that's possible.

Mark
 
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