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Thread: Russell's '66 Sportvan Deluxe

  1. #1
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Russell's '66 Sportvan Deluxe

    I just received the '66 Deluxe I bought from Fresno. The person I bought it from had it delivered. It's rough but mostly there, the roof is totally straight, the front has a dent in the drivers side area and one of the back doors has been worked. It is missing the side step and a few other parts. I took a lot of pictures, here are just a few.
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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)

  2. #2
    Van Addict TheVolt's Avatar
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    Cool

    Nice van. Thats awesome you got the belly pan with it. The Patina would look great with a polish on it.
    VGMCVC
    1966 GMC G1000 Handivan
    230 Inline, with more oil ON it than IN it.
    British Columbia, Canada.

  3. #3
    VCVC Member xjamesx's Avatar
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    What a great looking complete Sportvan. Can't wait to follow your progress on this one.
    1966 Sportvan - 1963 VW Bug

  4. #4
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    Nice

    I like the potential. Belly pan, dash pad, tail light ring, maybe 2? Doesn't look butchered up, just aged.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  5. #5
    Van Addict SteelyVan's Avatar
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    I like the water spigot heater control

  6. #6
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I've spent 2 full days cleaning out the trash, removed the wooden box in the back and vacuumed 30 pounds of dirt, nails, toothpicks,1 dead mouse and lots of droppings and more.
    I removed the seats and cut away all of the rotted material covering the seats, doghouse and floor.
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    Under a inch and a half of dirt, rotted carpet etc. I found a bank money pouch, when I got it open there is a $50 dollar bill inside or what's left of one.
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    I also found the missing Deluxe name tag sitting in the rain gutter. I checked the pictures closer where it was sitting and it is missing in the picture, it must have been there the whole trip down from Fresno while being trailered.
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    It has 3 bad spots, the front,
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    The rear door,
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    and the front floor,
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    The heater looks complete including the plastic diverter,
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    The wierdest thing is the custom gauge panel mounted on the front of the doghouse with a switch and light mounted in the lid? Notice where they moved the parking brake handle to?
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    There is also a light mounted inside of the lid,
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    I have my work cut out for me but at least now I have a cleaner starting point and better view of where to go with it.
    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)

  7. #7
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    And original black plates to boot.....
    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

  8. #8
    VCVC Member ExEarlyVanner's Avatar
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    Smile $50

    Russ if you can read the serial # on the fifty the bank should be able to give you a new one !!

    Ken
    68 90 6cyl three speed

  9. #9
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I haven't had much time to work on the Van, busy doing other things that pay the bills. I did get a chance to pull the ign. switch so I could get a key made, after thinking about it I pulled the front door handles and door locks also, I took them to a Locksmith who found the key code on 1 and made a key, luckily it fit all of the locks and ignition switch. $12.00 for 2 keys. On the other Van it cost me $80.00 to have all the locks keyed to the ign. switch key I had. I was also able to get all the door rods and assemblies freed up with some WD 40 and some working them a bit, a couple of the rods were actually stuck in the bottoms of the doors with rust. after spraying and scraping all are working well even the locking plates move freely.
    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)

  10. #10
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I finally had some time to get some work done on the Van, I took the brakes apart and bought new Master cyl. wheel cylinders, rubber lines and shoes, pissed off a few spiders who decided this was "their" home and got most put back together yesterday.
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    Also I pulled the parking cables and got them loose and working well again.
    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)

  11. #11
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    Nice

    That van has a lot of Deluxe potential. Keep the pics coming!
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  12. #12
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Last week I had to move another car up to the garage so the van had to move, my driveway has a slight downhill going out to the street. I didn't want it to roll away from me as I pushed it so I put the shifter in 3rd gear and moved it down the driveway. I noticed the fan turning and no weird noises coming from the engine, I wondered if it would start?
    The bolt broke off the starter when I tried to remove the cable so I borrowed a starter from a friend and did the very minimal wiring to make it run.
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    You can kind of see the hot jumper coming from the starter cable, another jumper coming from the electric fuel pump feeding the carb and sucking from the gas can, I dumped some gas in the carb and it fired right up, no bad noises but ran real fast. it didn't have a spring on the carb and the linkage was frozen. I unhooked the linkage and added the return spring and it fired right up again, it reved up and idled really well, I was really surprised since this van has been sitting since '86. No radiator so I didn't run it very long.
    I was able to drive it out into the street, back it up and drive it back up the driveway without any brakes and pulled the wire when I got close to the garage and let the clutch out to stop. (Better than pushing)
    I forgot to mention the arm from the pedal to the linkage was stuck solid, I took it out, WD40 and some working it apart, cleaned, lubed and re-installed got it working nice before the drive.
    Last edited by Russell; 06-13-2016 at 11:29 PM.
    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)

  13. #13
    VCVC Member SAVAGE's Avatar
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    Cool

    Cool you got it running. Make's it alot easer to move it around
    Tom

  14. #14
    VCVC Member dfeole's Avatar
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    Looking for a side step for you.

  15. #15
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Engines want to run!
    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

  16. #16
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I pulled the rear end cover off of the panel today to check the gearing, it has numbers 3790628 11-37 GM 3 66 2 on the ring gear also the other side has T 1-4 on it. I assume this is a highway gear and probably what I want for my '66?
    I still need to pull the cover off that one and see what's in it.
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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)

  17. #17
    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    what you have there is a 8.2 inch 336 to 1 posi rear axle. with an overdrive
    trans it would be great on hwy.
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

  18. #18
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panelmanrd View Post
    what you have there is a 8.2 inch 336 to 1 posi rear axle. with an overdrive
    trans it would be great on hwy.
    I took the cover off of the '66 and it seems to have the same gearing, 11-37 but not a posi.
    This is still better than the 4-11 gears, I just need to decide how badly I want the posi?
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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)

  19. #19
    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    most 10 bolt or 8.2 rears have the 336, the posi would be nice if you
    had a v8, but with a 6 the open or peg leg rear end works just fine.
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

  20. #20
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Years ago I had a '69 Camaro with a 350,auto trans and a posi rear end, That was one of the best handling cars to drive I've ever owned.
    Friday, I had a guy come over to look at the panel, he says he wants to buy it. Yesterday I pulled both rear ends and installed the non posi into the blue panel, today I got the posi rear end installed in my '66, I still ahve to replace the brakes, shocks, rear cover gasket and oil. I also want to put a new seal in the trans at the driveshaft,(looks like it was leaking before it was parked) has a oil stripe under the body above the driveshaft seal.
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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)

  21. #21
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    From the picture of the starter and the picture of the rear fender wells .It looks like this vans spent a lot of it's life on dirt roads.

    If they could only talk........
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  22. #22
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I've been really busy working the last couple of months and haven't had much time to work on my Van. About 3 days ago someone asked if I was going to a Van display show next wed. I got busy and borrowed a radiator, fixed a bunch of wiring and actually drove it around a few blocks today! It's smoking real bad but seems to run pretty good, tomorrow I will be going to DMV to get the tags for it, I don't know about wed. yet, we'll see how it does under pressure?
    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)

  23. #23
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Yesterday I talked to a guy about a 283, I will meet him tomorrow and plan On buying it for my Van.
    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/pts/5710582333.html
    I did get it registered and drove it to a show in El Cajon, I wasn't sure I would make it home, I think the fuel pump was acting up and it smokes a lot!
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    The Van on the left is my old '65 and the ugly one is my '66. First time on the road since '86. It seemed to drive really well on the way out but was sputtering etc. on the way home. The engine is worn out and I know the V8 will make a big improvement.
    Last edited by Russell; 08-04-2016 at 05:48 PM.
    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)

  24. #24
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    It's fuuny, the two vans side by side look like a 'before and after' photo
    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

  25. #25
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I picked up the new engine on Saturday, it's a 283 with newer heads, roller rockers, msd electronic dist. Edelbrock performer rpm manifold and carb, mild cam, starter, water pump and fuel pump, ceremic coated headers and a couple of other goodies. I bought it from a guy who is building a El Camino and he took this engine out to install something bigger. He said he doesn't think it has 1000 miles on it, runs like a top.
    I hope it runs as good as it looks.
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    So yesterday I cut the doghouse off of the floor, unhooked the linkage, wiring etc. and today I pulled the 230 out.
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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)

  26. #26
    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Even though it's tired, there may still be a buyer for that 230. Especially if someone has an older Mercruiser drive and cracked their block. That's where my 230 went.
    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

  27. #27
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Nice project! Do you have a 2nd gen doghouse?



    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!

  28. #28
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    Nice project! Do you have a 2nd gen doghouse?
    Yes I do.
    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)

  29. #29
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    If this new engine runs as good as it looks it should make your van a very fun ride.......


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

  30. #30
    VCVC Member ExEarlyVanner's Avatar
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    Cool Nice Show

    Russell
    Looks like you had a nice collection of Early Chevy Vans at the Show !! did you get any more Pic's of them?

    Ken
    68 90 6cyl three speed

  31. #31
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExEarlyVanner View Post
    Russell
    Looks like you had a nice collection of Early Chevy Vans at the Show !! did you get any more Pic's of them?

    Ken
    I didn't take many but Don did, http://vintage-vans.forumotion.com/t...diego-vanarama There were some really nice one's there.
    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)

  32. #32
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    nice pictures.......

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

  33. #33
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Nice panel was there, I wish mine was this straight.
    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)

  34. #34
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    Slow but sure,
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    Lots more to do............
    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)

  35. #35
    VCVC Member cruzbox's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Looking good!

    Looking good nice job bet you can't wait to fire her up! Keep the pictures coming!
    Cruzbox

  36. #36
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Make the dog house so it can be removable.
    It makes future maintenance so much easier......
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  37. #37
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I tried using the stock radiator support,(after cleaning it) I didn't like the way the radiator sat.
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    I cut and drilled some 1" x 2" aluminum angle to fit into the stock mounting holes at the bottom and the radiator fits much better. closer to the fan, and fits inside the doghouse nice.
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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)

  38. #38
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    After a couple of days and a trip to the wrecking yard I was able to get my throttle linkage installed using mostly stuff I found in the parts van with no engine, I assumed the parts were for the linkage but did not know how they worked together?
    I spent a couple of hours looking through posts on websites and searching google for any pictures of the linkage assembly with no luck.
    Also I didn't want it attached to the doghouse so I can make the back half removable.
    This is what I came up with from the parts and rods I have.
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    I was able to mount 1 swivel bracket above the clutch rod by drilling and tapping the frame and making 1 support bracket.
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    After relocating a hole and bending one of the rods I was able to make everything move freely and get full pedal movement and avoid all of the clutch rods, exhaust, radiator support and crossmember without needing the doghouse in place.
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    I looked for a cable set up and couldn't decide on how to use one, all cable? part linkage and part cable etc.
    I came up with this set up because I had all these parts here.
    Seems like it will do what I need it to do.
    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)

  39. #39
    Certifiable Vanatic RAY68108's Avatar
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    I didn't know you were looking for all that linkage...I could have helped you out...I took all that binding linkage out and used the throttle cable from a Fiero with the GM cable brackets at both ends. Instant binding linkage problem solved. I bought a NOS cable on ebay just in case my used cable breaks...4 or 5 years now trouble free
    68 108 panel parts donor
    69 108 sportvan deluxe 350 4bbl 700R4 3:36 posi
    68 108 sportvan custom 350 4bbl 700R4

  40. #40
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    It's coming along slowly, I was able to find a low alternator mount on ebay which worked nicely, My heads don't have mounting holes.
    I had to search the rack of belts to find the right length, (3rd one was the charm) I also had to search through the radiator hoses to find the right shape and length for the lower hose. installed the distributor after finding out it was hitting the mounting plate for the linkage, I had to take it off and grind a spot for clearance on the side of the plate, then the distributor dropped all the way down.
    I couldn't use the headers I have with the plug wires I have, too tight by the tubes, it would have melted the ends.
    I used the stock manifolds I got with the engine.
    I did get everything hooked up and put water in it, dumped a little gas in the carb and it fired right up!
    I didn't run it very long because it has no exhaust but it did fire and run pretty well.
    I still have some wiring to replace and a lot of work to do on the doghouse.
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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)

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