View Full Version : Dumb Questions Part 1

11-20-2001, 04:31 PM
This will be an ongoing installment as I just go my mits on a GMC van and have only known Fords my whole life.
1)For the straight-6, did they use the 230 and 250 in the 67 Handi-Van? How do you tell which you have?
2)What's the best book to start with? Chilton's?
Thanks for any answers. I got a million ideas for what to do to this thing but I'm certainly open to advice or suggestions.

11-21-2001, 05:07 PM
sorry to hear of your ford past
we all have our dark days lol
anyway ive seen 230ci 250ci 292ci 307ci
305ci 350ci best bet if you don't know
do a compression check or find the block #'s
and call a dealer to find out that way
probly a 230ci if it's the original motor
thats my guess
you've taken the first step to ford rehab
ya bought a chevy haha keep vann'n

11-21-2001, 06:10 PM
I would also like to know the status of a good manual...

I read in an august post that one diligent member was toiling away on a comprehensive "vanual". Anything come of that yet? Great project!


11-21-2001, 09:33 PM
The Vanual is about thirty pages plus copies from other manuals. It will be available sometime after I move. I'll put it on CD-Rom
and make it available to all.
I recomend you buy yourself a Motors manual for cars. 1970 is a good year because it covers all the 60s. EBay is a good place to find them. Chiltons and Haynes and others have made manuals but none are very good because they are more geared to the 71 or later. There is the Van supplement too but it is just that, a supplement and covers only stuff not covered in that years main shop manual. The truck manual for that year is more geared to the big trucks and the auto manual covers the componants that are the same as the cars. Like engine, tranny and rear end.
The Vanual is excerpts from all the manuals as well as parts numbers both O.E.M. and after market. There will be photo illistrations related to machanical systems.
An example is the photos Vannman67 posted of his front suspension restoration.

11-21-2001, 11:03 PM
highdiver you are a clearly deserving of the certified vanatic title. a worthy project indeed.

Is the front end rebuild somewhere in the doghouse forum?
And when you say the rear ends are the same as the cars.... do you really mean it?


11-22-2001, 01:24 AM
Argh! This ain't so easy...
What block #'s should I look for? Can't I tell from the number inside the driver's door or is that only a FORD thing?

11-22-2001, 03:43 AM
When I bought my 65 it had a Chevy Small Block in it of unknown origin. I called an engine rebuilder and told them what I had and asked where to find the proper numbers on the block. They usually want your core to match the engine they sell you.
I forget which manufacture I called, but it was long before I had Internet access. Perhaps a search might find you a web site where you could ask such a question. (Mine turned out to be a 283).
Hope this helps.
Ross, in Boulder County, Colorado.

11-22-2001, 06:50 AM
there is a # on the block,
on the manifold ,and the head (probly under valve cover) any one or all should do it
but i'd try for the head # or block # first~
don't go by the door jam #'s yet
if the motor is a replacement it may not match the plate -also i'd look for
motor tracks (i call it) does it look
like the engine has been replaced or removed,
sitting wierd,round corners on motormount bolts,missing bolts,wiring chopped,dog house removed,etc........but ya still have to go by the #'s to know for sure what you have there~~ thats step 2 in the ford rehab program--getting to know your chevy--
good luck

11-23-2001, 07:07 PM
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you......
The best way to know what ya got is to build your own motor and toss it in there!

11-23-2001, 10:26 PM
Alright, alright, I found the Chiltons and have identified my 230 as being a 230. Now, more stupid questions...
Is there any advantage (or is it possible to do without a new manifold) to changing to a different carb?
I'm neurotic about overheating (bad Galaxie experience). What's the best and classiest way to connect a heat guage to the dash?

Thanks for the input.

11-24-2001, 10:12 AM
First, the photos are in the parts department, topic "door handles".
And, the basic gm ten bolt rear end "Salisbury" uses the same ring & pinion, bearings and seals were used in chevy II, basic malibu, basic camero and even early El Camino. Tomchanser has some cross over references, I could add the pertinent pages to my Vanual if he could send them to me. The vans use a wider housing and so the axles are dedicated.
The 12 bolt rear ends are the same as those used in pick ups. I do not know if the 12 bolt van rear end is a dedicated width though.
As for the carb. With the stock maniflod you have two basic options. Rochester or Carter.
Each comes in various configuration for auto choke and so on. You can buy two or four barrel adapters but without a fresh built up motor you would only be dumping gas in it it could not make into power. I'm working on a simple tubular intake that will flow better that the stock 90 degree turn on the stock manifold. A lot of fuel is knocked out of suspension and falls to the bottom of the manifold at low rpms. You can see it as gum in the ports.
You run the cable for the temp gauge around the radiator and to the front under the floor to the hole your wiring harness comes thru the floor. Mine is a three gauge set and is situated right under the radio. Using the chrome under dash bracket. You could mount them in dash where the ash tray is.

11-24-2001, 04:16 PM
as far as front drum and hub assy all "a" body cars between 64-74 will work.such as apollo,chevelle,olds f85,omega,ventura,buick special,nova,chevy ii,tempest,gmc sprint,elcamino,and even 67-69 camaro per the hollander interchange.more then enough donors for our illustrious van.as far as 64-67 vans rear drums off of 53-67 trucks and for 68-70 vans off of 68-70 trucks.as far as wheel cyl. its not listed but probably off of same year as van in question in trucks.rear end assy's are showing just for vans showing a difference from 64-66 and 67-70 not sure why.with obvious 10 and 12 bolt differences.but have been told that elcamino rear end between 73-? will work but with a one or two inch of a narrow on the rear end.cheap way to narrow rear end and possibly upgrade to a 12 bolt posi setup.can anyone elaborate on this to substantiate my claim.got a van dan perhaps?hope this info helps you out.feel free to add on to it. will surely help us all out in the future when vans become even tougher then already to locate for parts support.unfortunately most of the parts are exclusive to our vans however if modifications are your fortee i'm sure other applictions will also work.like disc brakes etc.

11-24-2001, 04:33 PM

He said Omega.


11-24-2001, 05:31 PM
What'sa matador?

11-24-2001, 08:28 PM
A bullfghter or an AMC car

11-24-2001, 08:48 PM
thares a 50`s euopean FC van (maby by fiat) called the matador,kinda looks like a VW

11-24-2001, 11:25 PM
It's what you say to a sick entrance way....Ooohhh sorry!

11-25-2001, 09:27 AM
Back in the seventies when amc was on it's last leg they made this tasteless commercial
for the uuuglyest car sence the Edsel. But they were on a run with greats like the gremlin " so cheap that my aunt bought two gremlins and solved the whos night is it to use the car issue. And the Pacer which looked to me like a inverted fish bowl. We mocked everything we saw back then. We would see a matador and all yell at the driver
"SO THAT'S A MATADOR". God I miss those days when I hadn't a care in life. What the hell happened.

11-25-2001, 10:14 AM
hey now,how bout that mega sporty rebel(LOL)
i cant say im an amc fanatic,though i had 3 given too me.an orange hornet wagon w/ a 360 that was fun for squirling around in,a gremlin w/ a straight 6 that we destroyed at the gravel pits,and a pacer i drove twice and gave to a friend who swore he was gonna make an aquarium out of it and put his mailbox on the front as a lan ornament.....he never did.if i remember right,them cars were full of ford,dodge and chevey parts.guess they were scroungin to hang on.the biggest memory of full size amc`s
to me was that in lots of 70`s and early 80`s movies and tv shows,tons of these cars were destroyed(mostly as cop cars)ive always wonderd if a hollywood company bought the last thousand or so at a super low price?
oh well,i know thares amc clubs out thare that love thare cars as much as we love our vans,but personaly i cant take them cars too seriously.poor managment and quality control were the demise of that company,not nessisarily bad ideas.the hornet became the eagle witch should be considerd one of the first SUV`s of the modern era.the wider idea of the pacer has been picked up over the last few years.i think the gremlin body was picked up by a forigin company...i could be wrong on that one.
i guess i chalk the AMC company with the old AMF harleys,good potential....bad delivery

11-25-2001, 02:45 PM
Here are four ebay site with good manuals
HD. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1489240559

11-25-2001, 04:24 PM
As the owner of a few AMC's (two gremlins, two spirits, an AMX, a Jeep pick-up, and a postal dispatch)I have to step up in their defense.
I have never owned a more reliable, tougher than nails vehicle than an AMC. (Yes that includes my van) If it were not for the unfortunate tendency of anything driven in the winter to rust away in this part of the country I would probably still have most of them. If I can manage to find a another decent gremlin or spirit at a good price...it's mine.
I'll grant you, they built some strange cars. I'm sure the Pacer in particular is an acquired taste, but I've known people who loved them. (And they were the perfect parts car for a gremlin or spirit.)
For performance they had the very cool Javelin and AMX. They made the best 4-wheel-drive trucks ever to run on, or off, the road. They had SUVs before they were cool, Wagoneers, CJ-5s and the Eagle. (tell me Subaru didn't get the idea for the Outback from the Eagle) And lets not forget the Jeep Dispatch, the cornerstone of the US postal service for a lot of years. (Many of which are still in use delivering the mail after more than 30 years on the job.)
And just to set the record straight, AMC didn't die as a company because they made poor vehicles. They were bought out by Chrysler to get their hands on the Jeep. (Talk about a company trying to kill itself selling junk product)
So as far as I'm concerned, AMC rules. And if I happen to get my hands on a Matador someday down the road, I will drive it with pride, in remembrance of a great bunch of often misunderstood cars, and the fine company that built them. A company sadly trampled by a lesser, if better financed, company in the pursuit of something it couldn't build itself.

Hows that for two cents?

11-25-2001, 04:49 PM
Uhhh, really good 2 cents, except that my Grandfather had a green Matador in Des Moines. So personaly, any time anyone says Matador, I'll only be able to picture him running red lights on a regular basis without knowing it. :0 LOL

11-25-2001, 05:22 PM
I distinctly remember (sort of) getting severely hammered at a college soccer game (UCONN), back when you could get hammered at them. Driving home with my buddy in his Pacer, when he took a shortcut. We ended up driving unused train tracks for about two miles til we got stuck. It rode pretty smooth over the railroad ties. When we convinced the tow truck driver that, yes it was down the railroad tracks, and, yes it was a Pacer, and, yes we did have $75. . He pulled the car back on the tracks, we turned around and drove back out (still hammered). I thought it was a pretty good ride ugly, but smooth. We did knock the tailpipe off though.

11-25-2001, 05:53 PM
i had an amx javlin once
it was only rewally good for
"javlin shows" and whole shots!
ate more gas than a mobil station
here's a pic or two http://communities.msn.com/1972amxjavlin
yes yes those were the days
used the cash from the amx and bpought a van
my dada had an ambasador "343"
KICKED *** but like most amc's
not rust proof lolololol keep vann'n

11-25-2001, 05:57 PM
do as i think
not as i type ~really~ dad~
figured i'd fix it before someone
pointed it out lol

11-25-2001, 07:16 PM
the jeep has always been great.its legacey seems to ride on saving companys.the willys corp gave up cars alltogether,amc woudent have hung on as long as they did without em.
the smartest thing chrysler did was to aquire them.the good ol jeep and an old idea known as the minivan saved that company and changed automotive history.add bob lutz and you come up with a saved company.take one of them three key elements out and you`d find a fizzled company that tried to ride on k-cars and imports for about 10 years.make no mistake about it...no matter what hapends in the next 50 years or so,the jeep will live on

11-26-2001, 03:01 AM
ah yes a willy's
been there done that too http://communities.msn.com/1959willyswagon
anyone seen the new "liberty" jeep wagon?
too new to know just yet if it's any good

11-27-2001, 07:36 PM
Continuing with the questions, what are the virtues of a 350 over the currently-installed 250? Any thoughts? I'm weighing the future option of rebuilding the 250 or replacing it.

11-29-2001, 12:03 PM

Is it a 230 or a 250? Two posts w/two different displacements. I'm curious because I've got a '65 with an identity crisis....everybody says it's sharing parts between the two displacements.


<A HREF="http://www.oldchevyvan.com" TARGET=_blank>OldChevyVan.com
</A>If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

11-29-2001, 03:41 PM
The difference between a 250 and a 350?

It's the difference between "Ok, it gets me where I'm going and can get out of it's own way when it has to" and "Hold on to your hat when the hammer drops, cause we're off to the races."

The first time you step on the gas after the swap and the rear wheels grab, then you feel the front end rise up on its shocks as the back end squats, and things in front of the windshield start rocketing toward you at a phenominal rate, and you veer all over the road as you outdistance your normal steering reaction, then finally get things sorted out enough to take a glance at the speedometer to see you're doing about 80 mph before you knew it...
It's about at that point the difference between a 250 and a 350 really sinks in.

Hope that helps http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/smile.gif

11-29-2001, 05:04 PM
what's that make a big block chevy in a van.just curious.

11-29-2001, 05:24 PM
Sorry, I screwed up. It's a 250. One should never post after the 4th beer.
My second question was poorly worded or thought out. I'm looking for the pro's & con's and people's experiences with the great displacement question in regards to a van. And how easy is it to "pop in" a 350 on the current mounts and all that stuff. I definitely want this to be a highway ride so that's why I ask.

11-29-2001, 06:08 PM
A 350 swap isn't a bad undertaking if you have a later van (I think it's 67 & newer) with the big doghouse.
If you do a search of the message boards, there is a ton of information on it.
The engine mounts did not need to be changed to go from a six to eight, in mine at least.
The only thing that has really given me fits with my 69 is the throttle linkage. And that's only because I tried to cob it up rather than going with a cable set-up from pedal to carb.

As for a big block in an early van... that's just plain insanity. Not that that's bad mind you... but definitely insane.

11-29-2001, 09:30 PM
Hey, insanity RULES!
Ask the man who knows --- TV

12-10-2001, 03:31 PM
I'm back with more dumb questions... Got the engine running quite nicely, so now my concern is moving to other things. One thing that bugs me is the driver's door which sags a little when it is open and you have to give it a lift when closing. I know this is pretty common but I've never had it happen with my old cars. What's the best solution for this?
ps. Got the thing out into the country this weekend for the first time and damn it is fun!

12-10-2001, 06:23 PM
its not as common for these typs of van hinges to wear out like on a car hinge.(im not saying they dont wear out) but it is worth the time to grab a wrench and see if you cant adjust it where it needs to be.each hinge has 6 bolts,3at the door,3 at the post.
try it out,it might just be a little loose.you may have to play with the stricker a bit too

solid side 65
12-10-2001, 09:05 PM
Sometimes the hinge slop is corrected by replacing the two bushings on each hinge and the pin. I don't know if these numbers are good anymore or the correct ones, but they should work, pin 3773706, bushings 3962468. You might try doing a search here, ahighdiver came up with a low cost bushing fix using brass tubing and washers. Seamus, in what section of PDX are you located? Freflyte and I are in Clackamas county, one on the east side of the river one on the west. Good luck.

12-10-2001, 10:55 PM
I'll look for those bushings. Thanks. One small job at a time. I'm hoping to have my machine in full mechanical and partial cosemtic splendor by spring/summer. I'm located in SE-PDX. Lots of Dodge vans in the neighborhood.

12-12-2001, 10:16 PM
I've found that the front doors droop because when the weatherstrip wears out, the hinges then have to support the entire weight of the door. The metal where the hinge bolts to the door is too thin, and tiny cracks form around the bolts.
First you have to jack the door up to take the weight off the hinge, then weld up the cracks, then take the door off and weld on another layer of steel to strengthen the area, or it will eventually happen again.
Swinging from the door like a monkey is a definite no-no. --- TV