The "Questions for Spectre" thread

Spectre

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Depends on the formulation. I've never used that type - I use steel drip trays because I've found the plastic ones not as impervious as you'd think.
 

NecroJoe

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Ahh, I did see those. As this is meant to be a semi permanent installation that will be subject to many hose-downs, and only ever used to prevent the leaking of dog piss, I think steel wouldn't be the material of choice for this application.

Basically, I'm making a 10'x3' patch of artificial turf, where employees can "hitch" their dogs inside an office building while they eat. While every dog has to be trained, it's simply *going* to happen that a dog is going to piss or shit on it, and it needs to be trickle/wash proof.
 

Spectre

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Ahh, I did see those. As this is meant to be a semi permanent installation that will be subject to many hose-downs, and only ever used to prevent the leaking of dog piss, I think steel wouldn't be the material of choice for this application.

Basically, I'm making a 10'x3' patch of artificial turf, where employees can "hitch" their dogs inside an office building while they eat. While every dog has to be trained, it's simply *going* to happen that a dog is going to piss or shit on it, and it needs to be trickle/wash proof.
They do make them out of stainless steel, too. My vet tells me that dog urine plus HDPE is an uncleanable mess that will smell.
 

NecroJoe

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Well that sucks. I did look into it, and it's supposed to be resilient to urine.

Any thoughts on Polypropylene?

https://www.grainger.com/product/AIR-SCIENCE-Polypropylene-Spill-Tray-9RD82

I am finding some stainless options, as well. Turns out there's things specifically designed to be liners in pet kennels/carriers.
http://www.pinnaclemetalcraft.com/pan-36-inch.html?options=cart

I worry, though, that it must be pretty low-grade stainless, because it's so cheap. I'm finding others well over $500 for the similar size.
https://www.denios-us.com/stainless-steel-drip-tray-36-x-24-x-3.html
 
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Spectre

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It doesn't have to be a particularly good grade of stainless. It's metal so it can be more easily and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized than any plastic.
 

Spectre

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Even not-great stainless >>>>> moons of jupiter>>>> plastic, I have been told.
 

luokyio

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Chevrolet Suburban (the early 2000's model) or Excursion? Which engines to avoid? Or is there some other proper full size three-row truck that doesn't pop into my mind right now?
 

Spectre

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Chevrolet Suburban (the early 2000's model) or Excursion? Which engines to avoid? Or is there some other proper full size three-row truck that doesn't pop into my mind right now?
There is only one good engine in the Excursion, the 7.3L PowerStroke Turbo Diesel. The gas engines had issues and the later 6.0L PowerStroke is a disaster. The 6.0s usually have lower resale values than the 7.3s. From the C pillar forward, it's basically an F-250 SuperDuty Crew cab so parts are readily available. However, Excursion specific parts (mostly cosmetic and trim plus anything to do with the rear hatch or ambulance doors) are more difficult to find than Suburban as the latter was sold in hugely greater numbers. Mechanical parts are easily gotten and the vehicle can be updated to any of the later front ends and lighting systems used on the Super Duty through 2016. The Excursion is actually a tougher truck than the Suburban and some say it rides better, but it weighs more (apparently it requires a special license in Finland, or so I've been told), maintenance is more costly with the PowerStroke diesels, and there is just more maintenance to do. On the other hand, you can literally tow a house with one.

On the Suburban, there are no good diesel engine options. Avoid the 4.8L and 5.3L gas engines as they were the most severely affected by the so called "Cold Spark Knock" aka piston slap issues necessitating engine repair or replacement. The 6.0 was also affected but not nearly as often. Avoid the 1500 Suburbans - get a 2500. The 1500 had the so-called 4L65E transmission - a supposedly hardened and uprated version of the venerable and respected 4L60E. Unfortunately the 4L65E was just badly built; somehow GM uprated the venerable 4L60E and somehow managed to ruin it - lots of random failures. The 2500 loses a bit in ride quality, but comes standard with the 6.0L or 8.1L V8 and the 4L80E/4L85E transmissions which GM didn't manage to ruin. Skip the 2000 year model trucks, they're terrible. 2003 or later trucks are preferred for a big interior design and quality improvement. 2005 saw the end of the mechanical cooling fan in all trim levels and instead of having a mechanical and an electric fan just went to twin electrics. Don't forget the Escalade and Yukon XL platform-mates.

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Brother Michael on here was talking with me some time ago about possibly getting an Excursion - check with him for more Finnish info.

There is also the Expedition XL from Ford, buuuuut it's not that great and was long neglected by Ford. And it's a bit smaller than the Suburban.
 
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luokyio

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Thanks. All these do require the "special license" but I have that so no problem. Towing a house is what I need as I plan on upgrading my 1400 kg caravan for a bigger one anyway.

Escalade would be awesome, but my wallet still remembers my SRX. :mrgreen: Sure they probably don't share any parts though.

Yukons are pretty rare, only one currently for sale, and way overpriced even that one. Might get quite a discount though as that has been for sale for quite a while. https://www.nettiauto.com/en/gmc/yukon/8566715

All Suburbans seem to have either 6.0 or 8.1, nothing smaller even available so that is a good thing I guess. The 2000-2006 models go for a bit over 10k, and the newer about 20. Worth the extra 10k? https://m.nettiauto.com/en/chevrolet/suburban/8598722
https://m.nettiauto.com/chevrolet/suburban/8212573

And when going to 20k also Lincoln Navigator and Escalades fit the budget too... Though choises
 
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Spectre

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The SRX is the weak sister of the Caddy truck lineup. That's because it's basically a car. The Escalade is a Suburban/Tahoe (same platform) with a better interior, upgraded lighting/exterior and sometimes a small power boost. Not really a problem and the only things shared are the badges. FYI, they made most of the T800 trucks here in the Dallas area. They're as common around here as Golfs are in Germany - or at least it seems that way.

The 2002 Excursion 4x4 with the 7.3 was rated at 11000lbs towing (remember, the American and Euro towing ratings are calculated differently.) The most a T800 Suburban 2500 type can tow is 9600lbs and that's with the tow pack, 8.1L big block V8 and the optional 4.10 axle ratios. With the more common 3.73 ratio, the most it can tow is 7600.

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Oh, another note - if you intend to do a lot of offroading and need to lift the truck for tire clearance reasons or just want to do it for cosmetic purposes, be advised that the T800s are really, really annoying to install lift kits on. I recently helped a friend put one on in a shop and wished I hadn't.
 
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luokyio

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Absolutely no offroading or lift kits. The biggest caravans available are barely over 2 metric tons so I guess any truck can handle that with ease.
 

Spectre

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All Suburbans seem to have either 6.0 or 8.1, nothing smaller even available so that is a good thing I guess. The 2000-2006 models go for a bit over 10k, and the newer about 20. Worth the extra 10k? https://m.nettiauto.com/en/chevrolet/suburban/8598722
Sounds like the Finnish are importing these as heavy trucks, something Michael may have mentioned to me. The 8.1 was only available in 2500s.

Run away from that 2000 model, that's going to be a problem child. They had badly designed heads and intakes that were fixed the next year and got them another 20-25hp for "free" - no MPG drop - IIRC. They also had some ugly electrical problems in 2000.

The GMT900 trucks like this one are another story. It's really a much nicer, much more modern truck. The 1500 is a better bet in these years but don't get one with the 4L60/65E transmission (07-09 1500s - 09 could have an optional much better 6L80 automatic) for reasons stated above - though I would recommend against a 1500 for your application, and I suspect you probably mostly have 2500s due to your import situation anyway. Get the 6.0 motor either way at a minimum, the 5.3s still had issues. The 8.1 is gone, replaced with a 6.2L on one Yukon variant. 1500s have lower towing than 2500s again; the 2500 tops out at 9600lbs again but this is with the 6.0 this time. They are much nicer to drive than the Excursion or GMT800 trucks. This was when the GM trucks really started driving a lot more like cars; the Excursion is surprisingly car like for its time but you can easily tell it's a big truck. The GMT900s drive more like a big car, but it comes at a cost - it's not as rugged as its predecessor (except in the steering linkage, which is improved). You can't just bull through stuff in a GMT900 like you can in the Excursion.

To use an analogy with some vehicles in your area - the Excursion will drive more like a farmer's G-Wagen whereas the GMT900 will drive more like a Merc GL.

And when going to 20k also Lincoln Navigator and Escalades fit the budget too... Though choises
The Navigator is significantly smaller than the Suburban; it's really a Yukon competitor. Rear rows are pretty tight in that truck.
 
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luokyio

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Thanks a lot, your input is appreciated. This cleared my head greatly! I feel newer Sub or Escalade feels like a good choice once a good example is found. On Escalade the biggest turn off for me is that it actually is too awesome. I don't want my employees thinking I live a luxury life at their cost. :mrgreen:

I have no hurry though, as with my current driving license I can drive a truck but cannot tow anything with it. In August I can participate a temporary government trial where I can get C1E license for a third of a normal price.
 
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Spectre

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Do the same things apply to Chevrolet Express? They seem to be comparably easier to find than SUV versions with low mileages...

https://www.nettiauto.com/en/chevrolet/express/8906991
Good GOD, no. Don't buy one of those horrible things. The GMT600 platform they're based on is a slightly updated 1980s GMT400 truck with a few GMT800 features (the early 2000s Suburban) thrown in. Their midlife update/'second generation" is the GMT610, which was only done to slightly update the interior (not very much or very well) and running gear to be compatible with the then current GMT900 so they could stop making the oldest crap the GMT600 was forcing them to use. Their ride, handling, and pretty much everything about them was miserable. GM only still makes them because there's no Euro/ROW van in their worldwide fleet that they can bring over as a suitable replacement for the 2500s/3500s. The 1500s were discontinued due to lack of sales years ago and were replaced by rebadged Nissan NV200s, which were hailed as an enormous improvement. That should tell you everything you really need to know for those things; on top of which, routine service is annoying and very special care must be taken to not ruin the interior when servicing. Additionally, non-routine maintenance is difficult to do and mechanics will often charge far more money if they have to work on them. Very few people in the market for a full size van will buy one of these if they have any other option.

That particular variant you linked, the super long wheelbase model, is a 15-passenger class model. Most of the older American vans in this class had some serious concerns with rolling over and attempting to kill everyone in the vehicle.


https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/federal-regulators-warn-of-15-passenger-van-rollover-danger/

There are some partial/bandaid solutions...
...but they're actually more likely to roll over than any post-88 SUV. Even my Bronco is less likely to roll than a mostly-loaded 15 passenger van. The 15-passenger types simply have seriously higher rollover rates even when perfectly maintained (per corporate fleets having maintenance records, etc.) and piloted by professional drivers (same). Their floors are higher than an SUV or pickup, their seats are higher, the roof is correspondingly higher, their track is often *narrower* than the trucks they're related to or built on and the steering is, well, crap. Especially when you're towing or have rear biased internal loading - you can actually lose steering authority, on a vehicle that didn't have much steering feedback to begin with. That GMT610 15 passenger model has one thing that GM tried to help stability - moving the rear axle further back to reduce the pendulum effect - but it doesn't really help all that much as you can see from the first video.
 
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luokyio

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Ok, this better be forgotten then. :lol: I assumed they would have as much parts bin stuff as possible with similar age Subs but apparently not.
 

Spectre

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Ok, this better be forgotten then. :lol: I assumed they would have as much parts bin stuff as possible with similar age Subs but apparently not.
Nope, sadly not. The 600 is mostly a modified version of this 1988 chassis:


With some of the powertrain from a GMT800.

Run far, far away from it.
 

GRtak

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It is not just GM 15 passenger vans that have the rollover problem. The Roadmaster video Spectre links even points out that the GM vans are a superior design. Anytime you get the weight that high up above the centerline, you will have problems. But the van you linked is a conversion, it will never have 15 people in it.

The frame is completely different from the truck platform, although it does use suspension components from the RWD truck.

Maintenance is more expensive on any full size van. Tune ups are the worst, but I have not done it on any LS powered version. It should be easier than on the previous SB versions.


If you treat it like a sports car, it won't take it. Drive like a reasonable person and it will be fine.
 
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