View Full Version : Chevy Van Conversion

07-17-2000, 08:43 AM
Hello all. I am new to this site and also thankfull that I found a dedicated site to our cool GM Vans. I own a 68 half-ton panel van.

I too, am thinking of going through the process of changing my straight 6 and putting a V8 in also. My son pulled a 283 V8 out of his Impala and I figured I would get a little more power and install it over the fall/winter. I've read previous posts regarding peoples problems and concerns, and they are helpfull.

I am hoping this next question generates alot of response so here it is. Could anybody please share the process or processes you went through to install a V8? Also, if you learned of any tips and tricks along the way to get that sucker in their, it would be much appreciated.

I am wondering if it is gonna be too tedious or not, so maybe with your help, I too can add a little extra power.

[This message has been edited by Rayoc68 (edited July 17, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Rayoc68 (edited July 17, 2000).]

greg showers
07-25-2000, 03:01 PM
well lets see i don't know how others went about installing their v8 in but with mine i had to raise the front of the van high enough to slide a complete engine& transmission underneath i had already pulled the six and trans out, cleaned up the engine compartment and then lifted the van. i had everything that i needed to make the swap go as easy as possible. the radiator, rad. supports, crossmember, straight out of a 68 that i bought from an impound yard, all that i didn't use was the throttle assembly i changed it over to cables(quicker acceleration and response)but all in all it went very easily, and would recomend it to anyone who has one. but would also have to say that if you do it, have everything that you will need in hand first! if you need parts i still have some in stock i dont really have time to go out looking for parts but still have lots of small& not so small parts left GSho807548@aol.com

07-26-2000, 04:15 PM
You can get the engine in from above, if you remove the exhaust manifolds. When I went from a 6 to an 8 I bought a V8-3speed pickup and used the V8 clutch, flywheel and bellhousing. the 6 uses a smaller flywheel, not sure if it will work with the V8. I have done a half dozen swaps in earlies (I am rough on things....)and it can be done by one person, but two is better. just don't crac open the beer til you are done!

11-09-2003, 05:03 PM
Rayoco68, not to rain on your parade but you better make sure your exhaust seats are hardenned. If not the valve will begin to suck into the head. That old of a vehicle/motor 283 was built when only leadedgas was available.

11-12-2003, 11:36 AM
I think he finished that a few years ago based on the date of the posts.

Good to know someone new is using the archives though. (and giving good advise)

I'm new to the group as well, and it seems that every group I come to there is someone who slams the new guy for not checking the archives before asking a popular question.

They folks at VCVC are very helpful, very few mood swings so far!


11-13-2003, 03:19 AM
Did the same swap a number of years ago. the motor mounts, bell housing, flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate, and throwout bearing from the six banger will all bolt right on the 283. Be sure to do the hardened valve stem seals if the seals haven't been changed allready. The main problem will be that the original radiator for the six will not accomodate the 283 in summer. I cheated and used a 77 dodge pickup radiator for a 318. I do intend to have a 4 core radiator made for mine before this summer,(I'm adding a/c before this summer). Another note, the six cylinder clutch has outlasted, 4 engines,and hung on for ten years before starting to slip. Just replaced it before the nationals back in july.

11-13-2003, 10:22 AM
Its not hardenned seals. Its hardenned seats! If you cannot bring yourself to do this then you will have to use a lead additive.

By the way,,,,why use a 283? Old power pack heads they were called. Do yourself a favore and build a 350 from the junk yard.
Another thing to note. Most 283 heads were not drilled for accessories. Old style exhaust manifolds will have to be used. Or if headers are used you will have to get the brackets. Pain in the *** to get belts to line up.

350 will be less headaches. Technology is a wonderful thing.