SOLD: 1997 Express 2500 Quigley 4x4 Sportsmobile Diesel

1997 Chevrolet Express 2500

230k Miles on Chassis

Full Paper Trail for drivetrain replacement



Reason for sale:

Just purchased my first home and looking to downsize to a Vagabond Drifter on my Tacoma. I originally purchased this van 10/18 in Northern California from the second owner. That gentleman had it for a few years and had the drivetrain work completed. The van had previously lived in Oregon where the original owner had it converted and explored in it. I purchased it as a marketing vehicle and for trade shows, I didn’t have enough room in my Tacoma to take product, tables, EZ Up and still sleep in it on road trips. But the van is just too big for me to use as a daily driver. The way it stands, it is an excellent road trip, fire road and ski van. But not the best moderate off-roading van, mostly due to the lift. The 4x4 works great in high and low range, no strange noises or binding.

The powertrain has plenty of power for its weight, but the 6.5L has more torque than HP. It is like a tractor, you can easily cruise 65-70 mph on the highway even in wind. However, on long grades like the grapevine or the climb out of Laughlin, AZ you will be doing 45-50mph when loaded. The engine is not built for big boost, just longevity. The boost controller is set to 8psi which is a touch higher than factory, the engine goes into limp mode at 12psi. If you want to turn up the boost you will need an ecm chip and injectors from Heath Diesel.

7k on Engine

Military Surplus 6.5L Optimizer Turbo Diesel

Updated repower engine for GM 6.5l

More hp and torque, mainly larger cooling capacity


-Arp Head Studs- Heath Diesel

-Manual Boost Controller-Heath Diesel

-Remote ECM w/ heatsink-Heath Diesel

-Wicked Wheel II Compressor Wheel

-5” Straight Exhaust-Diamond Exhaust

Google for more info.

6k on Transmission

4L80E rebuilt with paperwork

6k on Transfer case

NP241 with paperwork

Quigley 4x4 Conversion

Ford Dana 60 Front Axle with Cross Over Steering

4” Spring Under suspension

The van also comes with all the documentation and manuals from Quigley, this conversion was done around 1997 so the front end has 200k miles on it.

Sportsmobile Pop Up Top

Top conversion completed by Sportsmobile, it is a fiberglass top that raises to a full sleeping area. Very comfortable for two and can fit three if needed. It is the gas strut version, only takes a slight push and the top springs up into place. Overload bars are included to prevent the top from retracting if there is weight on the roof like a kayak. Tent canvas and windows in good condition, no mold or mildew and no leaking seals when closed. Only imperfection is a patch and hole on the aft end of the canvas. This was caused by the rear lock. Has never been an issue when camping. The sleeping platform can also be raised with the top allowing you to stand up fully inside the van.

Rear Axle

Factory 14 Bolt w/ limited slip



-Roof Rack

-Spare and cargo box on swing outs (Cargo Box is cracking and will need to be welded or replaced, just a cheap box off Google Shopping)

-35” BFG KM3’s (less than 3k miles)

-KMC 17” Wheels

Custom bumpers front and rear, roof rack with ladder, spare tire carrier, and cargo box. The van does have LED lighting mounted for scene lighting and fog lights. They are all controlled by an SPOD, these can be included or removed based on agreed price. A RV propane tank is mounted in an armored section in the rear bumper, it is new and never filled.


-Captain’s Chairs

-SPOD w/ touchscreen

-Killmat sound deadener

-New multilayer floor

-L Track Mounting – Used for rear seat and tool drawer slide

-Third Battery w/ Blue Sea Auto Charging Relay

-Separate 12v fuse box for additional interior electronics

-12v outlet for fridge, the Dometic can be included for right price

-Rear seat folds down to a bed, can sleep one or two

-Diesel heater mounted but not plumbed or wired


A diesel heater has been fitted but has not been wired or plumbed to the fuel tank, I have been putting this off due to dropping the fuel tank to install the fuel pick up. The auxiliary power system with the third battery is something I built and can be removed if not wanted. It has plenty of spare connections and has a cigarette outlet for a 12 volt fridge/freezer. The rear seat has been rebuilt and recovered by the previous owner, it is electric and folds down at the push of a button. You can sleep two for a total of four in the van.


If I were to keep it, I would explore the following:

12 Valve Cummins Conversion – The van just needs more power, the resources are available to hop up the 6.5L but I am more familiar with Cummins platforms and would shift that money towards a swap.

Front Steering- I would upgrade to heims and beefier tie rods if doing moderate 4wheeling.

Skid Plates- Protection of Engine Oil pan and Trans pan.

Diesel Heater – Connect and plumb the heater.

Furniture – Build out more permanent furniture for storage and quick kitchen set up.


All spare parts, literature, and documentation will be included with sale.


Depending on negotiated price the following can be included with sale:

-SPOD Controller

-LED Lighting by HardKorr Lighting

-Kenwood HAM Radio

-Dometic Fridge/Freezer

-Camping gear from Dirtraveler