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Thread: Advice needed for a newbie

  1. #1
    New Guy
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    Advice needed for a newbie

    Hi,
    We have just purchased a 1965 Sportvan with the camper conversion (one previous owner) and although I am not very mechanically inclined I am ready for a challenge (my first ever car challenge)
    The motor supposedly only has 3000 miles on it, the fuel lines cleaned and a new carburetor just installed- so it starts like a dream and sounds great when it runs.
    I have gutted the interior and have a blank slate ready for oak flooring, new cabinetry etc (I did retain the original sink and hardware but the rest was pretty bug infested). I am good with working the interior- it's the mechanics that scares me.
    What I need help on from you all is: where do I start? It feels like the front suspension needs work?? It crunches coming back into first from second but all other gear shifts are good), what do I need professionally checked from a safety perspective? Are there any tell tale signs that may tell me I need something addressed?
    Any advice now and along my new exciting journey is very welcome.

    thank you,
    Penny
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

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    Van Addict
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    First gear is not synchronized. I think later model vans are 67-70
    Van Treese 65 g10 window 194/powerglide

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    VCVC Member EZ Cool's Avatar
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    It's best to come to a complete stop before shifting into first gear with the old non syncro first gear trannies. However with practice you can do a quick double clutch to get it into first if you need the low gear with out stopping. What you do is shift to neutral, let out the clutch while reving the engine a little then push in the clutch again and shift into first. This get the gears turning closer to the same speed so they don't grind much if any. Like I said, it takes some practice.

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    I always come to a complete stop before putting it in 1st gear.
    If i'm rolling, i go into 2nd and it's never a problem.

    I think this is a common practice but i'm not 100% sure.

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penster74 View Post
    Hi,
    We have just purchased a 1965 Sportvan with the camper conversion (one previous owner) and although I am not very mechanically inclined I am ready for a challenge (my first ever car challenge)
    The motor supposedly only has 3000 miles on it, the fuel lines cleaned and a new carburetor just installed- so it starts like a dream and sounds great when it runs.
    I have gutted the interior and have a blank slate ready for oak flooring, new cabinetry etc (I did retain the original sink and hardware but the rest was pretty bug infested). I am good with working the interior- it's the mechanics that scares me.
    What I need help on from you all is: where do I start? It feels like the front suspension needs work?? It crunches coming back into first from second but all other gear shifts are good), what do I need professionally checked from a safety perspective? Are there any tell tale signs that may tell me I need something addressed?
    Any advice now and along my new exciting journey is very welcome.

    thank you,
    Penny

    Welcome! Nice van, looks great.

    A suspension rebuild is a great project. These vans are 50 years old, so if the bushings have never been changed yet, they are likely wasted. A rebuilt suspension with all new bushings makes a huge difference in ride and handling. Have a look at the shocks too. Good shocks make a big difference too. King pin bushings may also need replacing.

    As far as safety, I would look at brakes, even simply keeping an eye on the fluid level. The 1st gen vans have a single reservoir master cylinder, and if there is any leak or anything in the system, the fluid can leak all out and you can lose all your brakes. Beyond that, it is always a good idea to pull the brake drums off and have a look at the brake shoes, the wheel cylinders (check for any sign of leaking), and while you are at it, grease the hubs and check the axle/wheel seals. Also get a grease gun and grease all the zerk fittings on the chassis, especially tie rod ends and king pins. This is all basic & easy stuff that you can do yourself with simple hand tools. If you own a vintage van, you are going to need to learn to wrench on it, so might as well get to learning how to DIY.

    Again, welcome to vcvc!!!
    Last edited by kookykrispy; 12-08-2015 at 10:36 AM.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
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    Administrator smiley's Avatar
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    Yes to all that's been stated so far. That's a great looking van! Welcome to the site. You'll find all you'll ever need here.

    Your '65's transmission will likely let you downshift from 3rd to 2nd, but not from 2nd to 1st. It's not worn of problematic, but they way they came from the factory. Post some pictures of the suspension bushings if you can get shots of them. There's not a whole lot to the suspension, but it can still be a bit of an effort. Take your time and ask LOTS of questions.
    1966 Chevy Display, "Southern Belle"
    1968 Chevy, "Blue Overdose"

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    Welcome Aboard!

    Welcome.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
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    dive right in, the water is fine. i think you will find it very nice here. welcome!

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    New Guy
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    Thank you

    Thank you all for your advice and help.
    I have some great pointers to get started!!!

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Welcome to our forums....
    very clean looking 1st gen.
    Does the step still work?
    Does your state require a safety inspection when tags are issued to the van?

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

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