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Thread: V8 conversion ?'s

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    New Guy
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    V8 conversion ?'s

    I have a 1966 sportvan 250I6 with 3 speed on the column. Just wondering about throttle linkage, tranny linkage, and whether a small block will fit without cutting the dogbox? What all is involved in the swap?

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Pretty much bolts in, but you need a 2nd gen doghouse or modify yours.

    Then there's the issue of radiators..... if you get the 2nd gen doghouse with a crossflow radiator you're good, otherwise you will need to have your rad recored or a custom one made.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    doing a v8 conversion the right way is a huge task. To do it right, you need to find a 2nd gen doghouse and the front floorboard tunnel, and graft it to your 1st gen van. I am going through this on my '65. The fabrication to the doghouse and the floor is taking a long time because I am doing it correctly. You also need the V8 radiator setup (with lower mount) from a 2nd gen, or some kind of custom radiator that can properly cool a V8. None of this stuff is a bolt-in. It all requires fabrication.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    While most all of the parts to do a 1st gen V/8 swap are pretty easy and inexpensive to come by.
    The 8 will bolt into place where the 6 was at.It all boils down to what type of fabracation skills you have.
    To some having to weld any thing is a deal breaker.to others it just makes for a nice challange to do some thing really cool.
    there are a couple of 1st gen owners here who have came up with some great looking Dog House mods that are not only functional but look really cool also.
    There is really no "correct" or "incorrect" way to do this job.There are no "Kits" avalable
    Your only limitation is you skill set,or maybe your budget.
    There is nothing as exciting as driving one of these old girls with a strong running V/8.

    .......Wookee
    Last edited by Wookee; 09-27-2012 at 04:51 PM.
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    there are a number of ways to adapt throttle and xmsn linkages. for those "how to's" go to the archives here and read what has been done by others. i used a cable setup from lokar for throttle and a cable shifter from b&m for my 3-speed automatic. you can also use the stock 6-cyl doghouse, but it is tight and can contribute to a warmer running engine. like wookee says, alot of it depends on your skill set and drive to start and complete the job. there is a wealth of knowledge here so ask any and all questions. pv

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    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    What everybody else said and more. The only part that bolts right in is the engines two mounts.EVERYTHING else is a custom fabrication job.
    It took me about half my spare time over 23 months to get mine to the "back on the road" point and them there was another $2000 or so getting the details straightened out.

    But it can't be the end goal you are after or you might not finish, you have to love the process along the way and it will be alot of fun and well worth it in the end.

    You can get some idea of the fabrication I did on my 65 here.

    http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/o122/m1dadio/

    M1D

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    VCVC Member digz's Avatar
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    Okay maybe I'm forgetting something. I did the 283 v8 thing in a 65 when I was 17. All I remember being a pain was the throttle linkage and blowing out the sides of the doghouse for the manifolds. The stock 3 speed shouldnt be an issue on linkage if Im remembering it right. I did use the rear exit exhaust manifolds. Used the stock 6 banger rad, but for the limited time i drove it, here in MI overheating wasnt an issue, but bumping up to at least 3 cores and a better fan and some kind of tunnel would be a good thing. A real basic swap wouldnt be that tuff , but as soon as you change things up a little every system is going to need more attention.
    64 Project,65 Driver,66 Parts sorta

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    When I did the V8 swap in my 68 it took two days, I know this because I did it in my boss's driveway in one weekend back in 85.

    Day one- pulled motor from donor pickup truck, towed rest of truck to junkyard. Pulled six out of van.

    Day two- installed V8 in the van. Made an angle bracket to mount the throttle cable from the pickup truck and attached cable to six cylinder linkage at back of doghouse. Filled fluids and drove home.

    Later when I modded the engine I ended up creating an overheating problem by using the stock six radiator. Solved by having it recored 4 rows.

    Drove it until late 86 when the 305 heads I was running warped due to scuzz blocking cooling passages. Since then I've been OCD about backflushing.

    I've since done a half dozen engine swaps in earlies- primarily to me blowing them up.. ahhh, youth. My current record for a swap is 10 hours. Solo.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    M1's very clean set up deserves a couple linkless pictures.



    If these vans came with TPI injection it would look like this......



    .........Wookee
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  10. #10
    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    Well Thanks for that Wookee. Those ar actually older pictures just after i got it running. Since then I had to change up a few of my first "Good ideas" that were not so good after wards.That silly laundry vent tube as an inductuion was steeling about 23 HP at the top end as proven on the dyno. My first duel electric fans were crap so I changed that up too. Its like that when anybody does a major build, theres a lot of ideas you thought would be good but not so much. Like i said I spent another 2K sorting out those things. But now my van is extreemly reliable and runs like a modern vehicle and gets decent gas mialage, way better then the original I6 3 spd set up.

    Like Vanner68 said, a 2nd gen van can be alot easier because they came with a V8 as an option so all the parts can be had to get it together quick wwith little fabrication.

    However the 1st gen V8 install is a very different annimal.

    This is it today
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    It was a little tight with all that gear in there but it works and breaths well now
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    A few mods getting the 700R4 to work peak
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    And a rear end that works
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    OOPs! sorry about the wife getting in there, I ment this one.


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    And this is why i like a V8
    http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/o...t=DSCN1423.mp4

    M1D
    Last edited by m1dadio; 09-28-2012 at 12:40 AM.

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