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Thread: A Sportvan build up in Maine

  1. #51
    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    It's been a busy summer and not much vanning going on after John's memorial and my overheating issue. I replaced the radiator with the aluminum one posted from KookyKrispy on eBay. That went in pretty smooth except for the custom tranny cooler fittings that they provide that snapped and they don't respond when I asked to buy a few more. So I installed a separate tranny cooler temporarily right in front of the radiator. I'll probably build a brace and install it right behind the front grill over the winter. I saw that on John's van yesterday and it looked good and more functional.
    After replacing the radiator (and tranny cooler), it still ran warmer than I would like so I went ahead and built a tunnel. This was a bit of a pain but I'm happy with the results. The pictures below are pretty self explanatory. First, was a template, then measure/cut, test fit, trim, and install. I made the tunnel removable for any future updates or further modification to it. I'm pretty happy with how it looks and it definitely functions well. I'm cruising at 185-190 on 70-80degree temps all day. We don't see too many 90 degrees days up here so I'll try it as is next summer and see if I need anything else done for those hot days.










    I had a buddy laser cut the tunnel pieces out and when doing so, he cut me doubles of everything to be safe. In other words, if anyone was interested in it, I have this exact same tunnel (unbent edges and unwelded) in 3 flat pieces I could mail out. PM me.
    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

  2. #52
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    A Sportvan build up in Maine

    Those side pipes do look good

  3. #53
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    That looks alot like the one I built, it seems to really help with the temp. staying around 180.
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    1966 Sportvan Deluxe 230 3 on tree (work in progress) Now 283 small block
    1965 Sportvan Deluxe 250 powerglide (Sold)
    1965 Chevy Van Panel (Project)

  4. #54
    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    I've been missing in action for awhile over the last 6 months working on a new (but very old) building we purchased and refreshing my '63 Bug. But we got to spend today caraVANning with Mike, Terry & Mona, and Ron on our way to Melissa's house (Planet Vear). Here's a few pics from the occasion. I'm not paying to upgrade Photobucket so let's hope they upload and work from my iPad.
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    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

  5. #55
    Administrator smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjamesx View Post
    I've been missing in action for awhile over the last 6 months working on a new (but very old) building we purchased and refreshing my '63 Bug. But we got to spend today caraVANning with Mike, Terry & Mona, and Ron on our way to Melissa's house (Planet Vear). Here's a few pics from the occasion. I'm not paying to upgrade Photobucket so let's hope they upload and work from my iPad.
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    Pictures look great, James! Thank you for posting them. Looks like a great day for cruising too.
    1966 Chevy Display, "Southern Belle"
    1968 Chevy, "Blue Overdose"

  6. #56
    VCVC Member ExEarlyVanner's Avatar
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    Cool GO V8

    James thanks for the Pictures also And GO V8 wish I had one also !!


    Ken
    68 90 6cyl three speed

  7. #57
    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    Just a winter update

    So, the winter is almost over and Iím still trying to get this drivetrain swap done for the summer and the Nats. Itís been another learning experience but we are heading in a good direction.
    My 250 I6/Turbo 350 were getting tired and after the motor mount bolt broke and the fan went into the radiator, I decided we needed the upgrade. Start the groans now, but I decided on an LS swap since theyíre plentiful up here and the Ď36 pickup build last year went well. We will be sticking with an aluminum radiator, 2 speed electric fan, 4l60e tranny and the stock (modified) crossmember. Iíll keep updating the pictures every week, as we plan on welding in the motor mounts next Sunday. Then, we can start cutting the floor and extending the doghouse.
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    I welded in some plates to strengthen the crossmember to handle the new HP and torque.
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    Just measuring where itíll sit but itís pretty close in this last picture...
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    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

  8. #58
    VCVC Member SAVAGE's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Your going to like the LS in your van James.
    Tom(Millwright71) sure make's it look easy (Tom's doing all the work)on my 68 van
    Tom

  9. #59
    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    Sorry for the lack of pictures and updates on the LS swap. I juggle too many projects (in the garage and at work) so I forget to take pics. We are SOOOO close to being done and on the road, and almost ready for the Nats trip. Have it all put back together but have an issue with firing so itís at the mechanic (tuner) to figure out the last glitch.
    Hereís a few pics of the process. We widened the stock 1st gen D/H and made the rear 2/3rds removable, added a 4-core radiator and electric fan, relocated the battery under the floor, and mounted the engineís PCM and additional fuse panel under the seat. I also updated the Spyder gauge cluster with a new speedo and tach thatís LS ready. Iíll post more pics over the next week or so after I get it back to the house. Oh and yes, my garage is always messy and chaotic, but we get a lot done that way.
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    My buddy welding the exhaust between the motor and sidepipes...
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    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

  10. #60
    VCVC Member LedZeppvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjamesx View Post
    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I'm just glad to be back in a Chevy van and finally have a garage and tools to fix it up.
    Looking fabulous! Great space and many many toys! Tools galore!! Nice
    Jacke

    1964 GMC Handi-Van Custom 350
    1971 Ford Mustang 302
    1957 Karman Ghia Project

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