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Hi all - about to buy a G20

Posted By: Lister

Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 04th 2019 8:00 pm

Hi all, about to buy my first van, been camping and sleeping in the back of my Jeep so its time to upgrade!
I've looked at several vans in the 84-92 range and right now my heart is set on this one, a 87 high top with windows in the roof, my favorite kind.
Just a little worried about the age, but if the mileage is low I dont see why it shouldnt be ok, im not afraid to get my hands dirty and fix things (hey I own a Jeep I better be!)
Any advice? Things to look for when viewing a potential van to buy in that year range?
Thanks

Pics of the 92 Dodge and the 87 Chevy im looking at attached - thoughts?


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Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 04th 2019 8:57 pm

Welcome to the site .... I love the G series vans
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 04th 2019 11:38 pm

Thanks!
Love the merch on here, will be buying as soon as I can call myself a van owner!
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 1:05 am

Welcome aboard!

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Posted By: Starlord

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 1:11 am

Welcome, glad you've joined us. Yep, you should be a lot more comfortable going from a jeep to a van.
Posted By: Wedgy

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 7:18 pm

Hi Lister, Welcome to the site!

They both look like worthy candidates. I like Conversions, especially the price. Nice to have 2, 2 compare 2, too! Cheap vintage Big 3 V8 inside. Pop that Doghouse!

As with any Vehicle, Operational inspection. Does everything work properly, and what doesn't? A thorough visual inspection as to condition, rust, leaks, trans mounts and motor mounts, driveline integrity, brakes, tires, fluids. Etc.

I'd rather change a water pump on a Chevy, that's for sure, check for a loose shaft.

Both engines will be fuel injection, a plus, IMO, but In tank fuel pump. Grr.

I'd say Dodge if by the slim chance it's a 360, even though mine needs a WP. Grr.

if it's a TB 318, compared to a Chevy 350, I'd go Chevy to get the 350 smallblock, instead. If it's a 305, I'd say Dodge. Nothing wrong with either make, they're just different. That would be my leanings toward powertrains, anyway. Unless, 454...

Just have fun and enjoy the Ride!
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 8:00 pm

The 87 would be fuel injection really? wow hope so smile
I just got a carb rebuilt for a 74 Honda and it cost $180!
Thanks for the advice.
I'm pretty heavily leaning towards the Chevy, I love that window roof and I've been told bad things about early 200s Dodge transmission
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 11:22 pm

New van enters my field of view, like this one.
Boring outside but awesome inside with roof windows front and back.
a 95 GMC too which is a lot younger than an 87!

What do you think? Explorer edition is very nice

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Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 05th 2019 11:28 pm

My Dad had an Explorer...very nice conversions. 1995 is the last of that body style. So if you want a 3rd gen, you'll find none newer.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 06th 2019 2:03 am

Yeah that ones really nice.
Love the inside, love the windows in the roof, love the features, love the age
The outside is very very boring though, but I guess theres way to fix that smile
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 06th 2019 12:31 pm

welcome to the site! Very nice one!
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 06th 2019 10:32 pm

Going to see that 95 GMC explorer edition on Saturday, really excited!
Will be making a video when its home if get it.
Posted By: Wedgy

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 2:12 pm

Hi Lister, the '95 you're going to see is another worthy candidate.

Likely a 350, (Engine digit is the 8th digit in the VIN number, which is K for a 350,) it will have the 4L60E OD Auto trans. It has the front bumper push bars too! Air for sure, which will have the newer R134 refrigrerant as well. It will have a Drivers side airbag, not sure about passenger side. IDTS, tho.

I'd bet power windows, popouts on side and rear doors, Maybe even power mirrors. My '88 has the same top, there are pictures on the ' My Vans transplanted to Texas,' Readers Rides thread.

I like the lower hightops much better on the 3/4 ton Vans.
I bought mine for $1000 on a Lien sale from a tow yard, 6 years ago. 145,000 miles, Dodge B250 Safari Conversion. 318/A500 Auto.

Don't be shy about a respectful negotiation on price. There will be plenty of room for negotiation to a fair price.
Do Due diligence on your research, and checking out the vehicle. Know beforehand what it is worth, Market Value, condition, minus all that is wrong with, or worn out on it.

These Vans are bargains, even though they are Outrageously priced when new. That was then, they are not worth that high price now. Which makes the Convos perfect for a Budget beginning into Vanning.
Van ON!
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 3:26 pm

Thanks Wedgy , right on all accounts.
Airbag, power windows that have just been replaced (the motors)
new exhaust
VERY VERY happy to hear about the R134, that was a big concern.
What are front bumper push bars?

This is going to cost me $2500, and I dont think hes going to negotiate as he is holding it for me over slightly lower offers.
It looks to be in great shape so im ok with that price I guess.
I'll be doing a series of video of van tours and modifications once its home for sure!
If it drives ok on the test drive it will be mine!

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Posted By: Wedgy

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 6:42 pm

Hey Bud, Looking good! New Exhaust is a big plus. Always remember to check a used vehicle for rust. Especially if it's from Ohio...

Nice interior, looks like Leather seating as well. Maybe even a power bed. And. Don't old TV's look funny?

The push bars are the vertical bars mounted on the front bumper. Kinda like Cop Cars have. Semi rare option, good luck finding a set if one has a Van without them.

So $2500 is not a bad asking price. As a comparison, there's a '95 G30 Conversion out there with a 454 for the same price for sale. Doesn't appear to be in as good a shape. but.

I paid $3500 for a '90 Chevy G30 EXT 454 Beauville in 2015, 79000 miles, (no front pushbars, the taller ones, lol.) Or power mirrors, but found a set! Thanks VanMan!

There's an old saying, "Miles don't mean much anymore." From the difference in modern vehicles from "Back in the Day," when an internal combustion engine would need rebuilt at or before 100K miles.
Modern vehicles from this era will go hundreds of thousands of miles. Properly maintained, and with wear items replaced. Motors and transmissions will eventually need R&R. I put 298000 miles on a GM engine, your experiences with transmissions, may vary. Lol!

Miles can mean a lot if there is improper, or no maintenance. Low miles too. Even under 100K mile vehicles will have needed Brakes. I hope the PO has kept up on maintenance. If so, Bonus!

GMC, Chevy GVans are solidly built, sturdy Vehicles that will go far, and serve well. Just gotta Love 'Em! And Nurse 'Em from time to time.

Van On!
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 6:53 pm

I have a good feeling about it. Someone that bothers to replace the passenger side window motor probably is the kind of guy that wont ignore misfires and things
Hope so anyway.
NO push bars on this one, and im really not in love with the boring outside, but OH that interior! wow smile
I really dig the window roof too, even a sunroof in the back!
Tvs will be replaced but im a HUGE retro audiophile so the tape player is STAYING! I have almost 1000 tapes I listen to all the time in the Jeep
heres the Alpine currently installed



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Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 8:18 pm

I loved my Chevy G van so much I went N bought another G30 w/454.....

A Chevy or GMC may have cost a little more but the parts are plentiful...

A Dodge or Ford cost a little less but finding parts for them is difficult ...

You will be able to use G10 G20 G30 88 - 95 parts for your van.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 8:58 pm

Originally Posted by frscke1

You will be able to use G10 G20 G30 88 - 95 parts for your van.





That is very good to know thanks!
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 07th 2019 10:16 pm

Originally Posted by Lister
Originally Posted by frscke1

You will be able to use G10 G20 G30 88 - 95 parts for your van.





That is very good to know thanks!


Also GMC 1500 2500 3500 Savanna & Vandura 88 - 95 some parts may have a slight difference, but for the most part they are the same

They are all GM vehicles
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 09th 2019 8:52 pm

went to see that 95 gmc last night it was garbage
Needed tires, water pump, MBC, steering leak, shocks, temp gauge not working, no hot air, no AC...... urgh

Waiting to go see another 95 today with only 75k miles!
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 10th 2019 1:25 am

Being patient and finding a good one is worth the effort. Better luck with the next one.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 10th 2019 2:33 am

Dont be in a hurry there are lots out there ...... be picky but not to picky after all your looking at a 25 yr old veh, there will always be something to fix after you get it.


Good things come to those who are patient ...
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 10th 2019 4:46 am

Nice van $2500 Red G20 95 its not a conversion but you can make it one .....lol

Autotrader has a lot of 'em

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=506497678&zip=72002&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D72002%26startYear%3D1990%26numRecords%3D100%26vehicleStyleCodes%3DVANMV%26incremental%3Dall%26endYear%3D1995%26modelCodeList%3DCHEG10%252CCHEG20%252CCHEG30%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26listingTypes%3DUSED%26sortBy%3Drelevance%26firstRecord%3D0%26marketExtension%3Don%26searchRadius%3D0&listingTypes=USED&startYear=1990&numRecords=100&vehicleStyleCodes=VANMV&firstRecord=0&endYear=1995&modelCodeList=CHEG10%2CCHEG20%2CCHEG30&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=0&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=CHEG20&digitalRetail=true&clickType=listing
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 11th 2019 3:57 pm

Yeah i've changed my mindset about buying, I'd settle for just 'good bones' and I can deal with the rest, after all it wont be anything like a daily driver.
These two i've seen though both had motor and/or trans issues. Not buying a van with a leaking water pump and temp gauge not working. Also not buying one with a trans that whines when you are on the gas.
Theres one about 4 hours away from here in Texas, another Explorer edition im hoping to see this week. Fingers crossed on that one although its a 4 hour drive home so it better be ok
Posted By: CatFish

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 11th 2019 5:41 pm

Lister being picky can pay off.
We went looking for quite a while before finding our '95. Since we already had two vans at the time we were in no hurry.
It's a G20 Sherry conversion and when we found it, 4 years or so ago, it was one owner, kept inside with only 29K miles and had the original tires from 1995 still on it! It was part of a living estate sale and a little more money but was exactly what we were looking for.
BTW be careful! Vans have always been very addictive. While we've been as low as two, we're at four right now........ lol
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 11th 2019 7:50 pm

Originally Posted by CatFish
Lister being picky can pay off.
We went looking for quite a while before finding our '95. Since we already had two vans at the time we were in no hurry.
It's a G20 Sherry conversion and when we found it, 4 years or so ago, it was one owner, kept inside with only 29K miles and had the original tires from 1995 still on it! It was part of a living estate sale and a little more money but was exactly what we were looking for.
BTW be careful! Vans have always been very addictive. While we've been as low as two, we're at four right now........ lol


woah! Yeah I can see that totally. I need one for camping, excursions etc but I'd love an old 70s one to bring out on Sundays and restore too
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 12th 2019 12:04 am

Going to see this one tomorrow, 5 hours away by bus. I hope its good or its another 5 hours bus ride back!
Got a good feeling about it though, fingers crossed

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Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 12th 2019 1:55 am

Another Explorer?
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 12th 2019 5:14 am

Yep! I love that edition.
I really hope I come home with it!

The last one I looked at had a sunroof above the bed, this one doesnt seem to, I wonder if that was an aftermarket addition
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 12th 2019 5:56 am

Originally Posted by Dyno_Dave
Another Explorer?


He wants to go Exploring .... lol
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 12th 2019 11:35 am

Originally Posted by frscke1
Originally Posted by Dyno_Dave
Another Explorer?


He wants to go Exploring .... lol


Yeaaaaah soooooo?
😁

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Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 3:17 am

Got up at 5am, took the bus to Dallas (6 hours)
Bought the van and drove it home 300 miles and it didnt miss a beat.
I'm a van owner! smile
93 G20 190k miles for $2700 with new AC, axles, battery, pulleys, blower motor and four brand new tires

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Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 4:20 am

Nice waiting paid off N a good one came by
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:43 am

Congratulations! Looks like you got a good one. cheers

I love that first, long drive home in your new van. Got to make a similar trip myself a few years back.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 6:34 pm

Thanks.
Needs a muffler. Any G20 any engine one work you think?
Is there a compatibility chart somewhere here?
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 6:38 pm

If it still has the "pancake style" cat on it change it also ....
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 8:53 pm

Originally Posted by frscke1
If it still has the "pancake style" cat on it change it also ....


like round and flat? No I think it was fairly standard cat shaped cat. Kinda same as the muffler but smaller
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 9:36 pm

Like this one .... apparently they are worth money in scrap ....

https://www.scrapmetalforum.com/scrap-metal-questions-answers/6701-catalytic-converter-folks.html

One of these turned my 454 into a 222 ....lol was so clogged no air was moving thru it ...
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:27 pm

93 went both ways on cats, but the pancake was common weighs about 25 pounds and good for 10 lbs of back pressure.does your van have the big single tailpipe?
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:32 pm

The sucky thing was GM put a cat in front of muffler and a cat behind on late 80-early 90's g30 the catalytic converter technology was bad they had a problem with capacity and weight.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:33 pm

Now they both have 3" pipe all the way with new cat N muff ....

Had 2 1/2 with a 20 yr old cat & muffler on it
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:42 pm

I got bored and ran headers and dual cats with dual 2 1/2" pipes on my astro passes emissions with flying colors

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Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:47 pm

Back to the original reason for the post .... sry for the hijack
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 13th 2019 11:52 pm

I am sorry I will zip the mouth.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 2:39 am

no no this is all great info I appreciate it
Heres the answer, probably wont replace it unless it sounds like a rainstick like the muffler does when you kick it


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Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 3:36 am

That muff N cat caused me many months of grief .... till I took a mech for a ride ... "you always drive it that easy?"

He got behind the wheel N stuck his foot in it N said "you need a new cat".... I was driving it too easy N it clogged.

When they took it out a lot of rust N dust crap came out of it.

A new universal cat N muff cost about $150 well worth the performance you will pick up.
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 1:14 pm

That converter in the picture is the most restrictive design ever, you really need that replaced,if just for weight reduction.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 10:23 pm

Yeah I just ordered a muffler, probably gut the cat smile
No inspections in this state
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 10:27 pm

Yep, that's the old one Lister. It's full of platinum coated pellets. Your exhaust enters one end, has to force it's way through the "crowd" of pellets, then out the other end. A miracle of engineering in it's time, but the later units with a ceramic core are much better flowing, and are still the design used today. The ceramic core is a honeycomb...like a fist full of straws...with a thousand paths straight through the cat. The ceramic is plated, and does the same (or better) job of cleaning with a fraction of the flow restriction.

Unless you are having issues, you don't have to rush to do it. But it would be a nice upgrade for your exhaust system.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 14th 2019 10:38 pm

Originally Posted by Dyno_Dave
Yep, that's the old one Lister. It's full of platinum coated pellets.



That old cat full of Platinum would pay for your new muffler at a scrap yd ... dont let the exhaust shop keep it unless they compensate you for it.
Posted By: Wizard78

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 18th 2019 10:20 pm

welcome aboard
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 19th 2019 8:14 pm

Thanks for the welcomes

I tell you one thing I dislike about my van, is that my feet are size 13 wides (US) and I pretty much cant wear a shoe on my right foot because the pedal is so close to the doghouse and the brake pedal.
it gets caught behind the brake pedal when im wearing shoes.
Who did they design this for? not me. Good job im from Arkansas and dont wear shoes much hahaha
Posted By: Marcela

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 20th 2019 10:05 pm

I'm still trying to coordinate climbing out and getting my foot over the wheel well without the knee wedging against the steering wheel. Usually have to tilt the wheel up.
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 20th 2019 11:50 pm

welcome to the site. Good to have ya aboard. You will get used to it lol
Posted By: Marcela

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 21st 2019 1:29 am

Originally Posted by newkirkinc1
welcome to the site. Good to have ya aboard. You will get used to it lol

Originally Posted by newkirkinc1
welcome to the site. Good to have ya aboard. You will get used to it lol



Thanks. I never realized how difficult it would be to dismount.
Posted By: Lister

Re: Hi all - about to buy a G20 - February 21st 2019 7:37 pm

Originally Posted by Marcela
Originally Posted by newkirkinc1
welcome to the site. Good to have ya aboard. You will get used to it lol

Originally Posted by newkirkinc1
welcome to the site. Good to have ya aboard. You will get used to it lol



Thanks. I never realized how difficult it would be to dismount.


Maybe tilt the wheel up and try to get used to driving it that way. I did that.
I find it difficult to go from the drivers seat to the back without going outside. Not the best design I guess but its a small thing.
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