1988 Chevrolet Van G20 High Top Conversion from North America - Comments

7th Oct 2005, 13:17

We just got our 1990 Mark III Conversion van and it REALLY is roomy. Got it on eBay for $1200!! and it had passed PA Inspection a month earlier. Just lucky I guess!

We got it for our rock band. We were using three different vehicles to transport the drums and equipment,.. but now four band members and all equipment can be transported safely and comfortably! WOW!

That is actually an earth friendly use too! Only only ONE designated driver is needed :)!

By the way... Our van had problems with the tensioner too... is that a common occurrence in these vehicles??

7th Dec 2006, 14:20

I used my 1991 G20 conversion as my daily driver and work vehicle. I'm absolutely in love with it. Sadly, she just seized the engine, so now I'm working on getting her a new one (147,000 miles on the old one).

18th Jun 2007, 13:51

I've got an 1988 Chevy G20 with 220,000 miles. The gas expense is high but it's needs relatively few repairs. I've replaced alternator, water pump, oil pump, radiator and engine fan. It's kind of noisy, but engine's in good shape. I'm curious about just how expensive it would be to rebuild or replace transmission. Thanks...

15th Nov 2009, 11:15

I bought a G20 Conversion Van last December, as it was the only thing I could find large enough for my family, 5 children and 2 adults.

There are days I regret buying it, as we've had nothing but problems with it since then. However we have replaced probably $700 in parts (sensors, hoses, fuel pump, every filter imaginable, tune ups, tranny tune up, tires, alignments) and now it's running smooth. However the gas mileage just bites the big one. I've gone back to driving my tiny Mitsubishi Mirage for everyday use, and when the entire family goes places we use the van. I really miss my 01 Dodge Caravan that was totaled a year ago. That was a NICE van with GREAT gas mileage and comfy as well.

1st Apr 2010, 22:15

OMG, I found an audience!

I was a Chevrolet Master Technician when these G Vans were new!

I recently purchased one last summer, and I must admit: I love it!

183k miles loaded with US Conversion Enterprise package.

I embroidered the doors with Notre Dame!

Junk yards are filled with these vehicles since the cash for clunkers incentive last year!

They are extremely reliable! Just keep the fluids filled and the rear springs up to the correct height! Weak leaf springs on the rear will create numerous problems! 250$ to re-arch!

Shocks and brake hoses could be changed in the front yard!

P-B Blaster Spray keeps all bolts ready for when you need to remove parts, so soak the van everywhere!

P.S. I know these GVans like you know your spouse! Simplest of Chevy for those years!

seriusautotraining@yahoo.com

2nd Apr 2010, 04:56

12:08 I had a very low mileage 1990 Chevrolet dual battery loaded G20 350, and later put in a flat screen TV, a separate DVD and a Duracell battery box in the back to run several hours with the key off. I removed the original TV and the Nintendo.

A really great High Top Van. Mine was under a carport and always looked great. From some angles, especially the sides, it almost could pass for a new one.

I had factory Cadillac Ditzler paint applied at DC Conversions and it had beautiful woodwork in it.

The daily driver comment that 12:08 had was pretty far off in my case. I worked only 5 miles from my home and drove mine nearly every day. The amount of gas I used was likely less a week with my short commute than some of my co workers that drove an hour in their imports. I sold mine in 2009, still in mint condition, and miss it.

I use to drive mine a few minutes to a nice park at lunch, watch a movie, and hate to go back to work. The seats, especially the back were the same as in corporate jets.

The gas comment was irrelevant as I drove daily, but had a short commute.

I sold it and bought a Corvette C5, and it is actually great on fuel consumption on any distance driving. 30 MPG as soon as the overdrive kicks in, and it literally coasts down the interstate. Still miss my High top van though; great family vehicle, and even though it was not inexpensive new, it more than paid for itself. I kept it longer than most of the vehicles I have owned. I regret selling it, although I love my Vette for most of my solo driving anymore. My kids all drive now and we likely all burn more fuel driving multiple vehicles this year.

I recently talked to the buyer of my High Top, and he had taken his family on long trips and loves it.

8th Nov 2010, 09:28

I have a 1990 G20 350 Hi top Van. We are planning a trip from Wisconsin to Florida. Wondering what kind of problems we will run into with all the different grades of gas out there? We routinely run non-ethanol regular gas in it without any problems, but heading south, particularly Ill, we know we will run into corn based gas, and not sure how this will affect the engine and performance. Any experience out there or comments on this issue?

9th Nov 2010, 01:31

These Chevy G20's are great vans. I have one myself. I doubt you will run into problems, they run just as well on low grade fuel, but if so, just use premium gasoline for a few fillups.

A bottle of carburetor cleaner, which costs $3-$4 dollars at a gas station will make a difference too. Just put it in the tank when 1/2 full.

On a long trip be sure to check your engine fluid levels every 500-1000 km to be very careful. Check oil level, coolant level, steering fluid, etc. Check tire air pressure and bring a spare on a rim with tire tools & jack.

Either way you should be OK, these are really tough vans!

I have one with high kms and it works like a swiss watch. My friends with newer 2000's import cars have had to borrow this van on numerous occasions while theirs was in the shop. This is an incredibly reliable van, and parts are cheap and easy to find in case of breakdown. You should have no problems on your road trip if the van is mechanically sound. Good luck on your road trip!

4th Jan 2011, 21:05

I have a G20 van, 1995, V8 5.7 liter.

I bought it from the son of an elderly couple who just used the van to run up from Arkansas to Illinois to visit.

It has a hitch, which I have never used.

Now, this recession, I lost my work and lots of money, and eventually I found work with a friend driving small cargo loads around the country.

I had this van for 5 years already before I started this.

I have taken out all the seats except driver's, of course, and have driven this about 60,000 miles since starting this work.

I was surprised at how reliable it has been. Cruise control is great help on long drives.

I like the comments on changing the timing for gas saving. My van is NOT subject to inspections in IL due to age... go figure. So I don't have to worry about emissions, and if I can get a few extra miles per gallon, it would be fine.

Now, to be able to handle more diverse loads, I am thinking of getting a good trailer, and using this to haul the cargo, and keeping the van for living quarters on the road.

I am going to call Chevy to get an idea of the towing capacity.

The trouble I have had has all been structural. I broke two ball joints, which is scary when you are going 65. I am looking into beefing up the rear springs dramatically with various springs, heavy duty shocks, and maybe even air load levelers. I just call Strutmaster today, and they have some amazing products.

Apparently the G20 IS KNOW FOR A WEAK front suspension, and when towing a trailer, you may have some dip in the front end. I have not noticed a problem, but have not towed anything yet.

Once I had a 2500 lb electric motor on a skid in the very back of the van. This seriously bottomed out the rear suspension, and was a bit scary to me. Since then I have had 2000 lbs in the van, but distributed better throughout the van, and I didn't notice much problem at all.

I am beginning to hear some differential noise, or at least the mechanics can hear it, and I have various minor looseness in the myriad of suspension parts, and am planning to fix as am able to. An insurance policy for drive train has been purchased, but I have to investigate further on this.

My partner has two commercial cargo vans, and he has had constant breakdowns.

I would like to get a heavier duty vehicle when money permits, and may go to bigger straight trucks. But, this vehicle is definitely fun to drive.

Watch the suspension, though. The ball joints broke on mine two times this year, one on each side, and I thought they had been checked out with no play. So, this is an indication that Strutmaster was right in saying the front suspension was designed basically as a beefed up Cadillac... not really very heavy duty.

I wonder how much stronger the G30 is?

My motor burns very little oil so far. I am using Mobil one full synthetic now. I have about 138,000 mile on this van.

Any comments on what to do on getting better mileage, or towing capacity, etc are appreciated.