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Thread: Donor Car Options

  1. #1
    VCVC Member Staypuff68's Avatar
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    Donor Car Options

    It is FINALLY time to shop around for a donor car for the transplant of Stapuff's engine and tranny. This process has morphed along the way from just a new transmission to swapping both the engine and transmission. Currently the drive train is mostly stock with a 307 and powerglide set up. I am looking for a 305 with a 200r4, my question really boils down to how hard is it to move a TBI from the donor to Staypuff? If the pain isn't to severe it opens up more vehicles to choose from, if it is a REAL pain then I will narrow down the search accordingly. With a donor transplant I will get all of the accessories mounting points (think about A/C in the near future) on the engine and a transmission that has worn in with the engine.

    It will be mostly week end driving, pulling a smallish trailer about the size of a small pop up.

    Thanks.
    1968 GMC Handi-Bus Custom, 307 w/ powerglide
    Semper Gumby

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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    converting a tbi back to carb is not that tough, intake, carb, distributor
    and basicly that's all of the major things involved
    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

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    Van Addict sparky's Avatar
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    Yup Edelbrock adapter intake for the vortex motors is an easy swap

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    To covert to TBI you do need all of the electronics,wiring that go along with the set up in the doner car to make a pain less transition......
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    If you are not comfortable working with vehicle electronics, don't go TBI.
    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 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    I have a 91 camaro that I have been learning a lot from that would be a great donor car for such conversion. These systems need good ground to the motor. It has a 305 with tbi except it's a 700r overdrive transmission. You will likely find a 200r4 in a mid to late 80s g body car. The tbi system has 2 fuel lines. One of them is a return line back to the tank. You will also need an electronic fuel pump ideally in the tank. The fuel in the tank helps keep the pump cooler and helping the longevity of the pump. You would have to find a donor tbi tank that fits our van (I saw someone used an 88 Chevy van gas tank) or modify our gas tank. I haven't measured the camaro tank. They also sell fuel sumps that can be installed up front but they are expensive. Edelbrock has some. I know the whole computer and wiring can just easily be transferred with the motor but I know you can make it minimal with just the necessary sensors. I haven't learned how to do that yet. I like the whole fuel efficiency but sometimes the idea of modern wiring with different sensors and relays kind of scares me. It takes away the simplicity if there's a breakdown. I'm still learning these tbi systems myself. Was trying to learn how to convert it to my straight six.
    Last edited by 66BeachCruiser; 02-19-2017 at 10:46 AM.
    1966 Chevy Sportvan seafoam green/white
    Sliding ragtop
    230 straight six
    HEI distributor
    12SI alternator
    2bbl 32/36 Progressive carb upgrade with 1 to 2bbl carb adapter
    200r4 w/stock auto shifter, custom hanger, 96 suburban trans cooler
    3:36 rear
    Front Disk Brake conversion with Dual master
    Recored radiator to 3core
    5 blade fan
    belly pan.

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    VCVC Member zwett's Avatar
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    TBI to L6

    pardon me for taking the thread in another direction but here is a good site for exploring TBI conversions http://www.gearhead-efi.com/Fuel-Inj...Engine!-HOW-TO!
    I can change if I have to I guess

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    VCVC Member 65campervan's Avatar
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    There is very few things on my van I can't fix with the spare parts and tools I carry on board. And if I can limp it to a parts store I have even rolled new bearing into the bottom end in a parking lot.
    1965 Chevy G-10 Travel Cruiser. 383 MAG Bravo 4V Plus-Series Engine by Mercury Marine. (NEW) (This torque monster delivers 370 HP and 456 ft-lbs of torque at 3800 RPM)

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    80's Malibu, Camino, or Monte appear to be the only choices for the combo you are looking for..... If you are willing to consider the 700r4, you would have a much wider range of choices.... Camaros, Caprices, Buick Roadmasters, pickups, suburbans, tahoes, even Corvettes!.......My donor was a 91 Olds Custom Cruiser wagon..... 305 TBI Chevy with 700r4 and a 323 posi that is less than one inch longer than a van rear..... Full serpentine with accessories, cool side mirrors, lock solenoids (make good door poppers), Tilt column...... Got the full harness, but probably will just throw down $450 to Affordable EFI for a harness and recalibrated chip.... or I may go big and put a FITech 4 barrel EFI on an Edelbrock air gap manifold with a Comp Cam and headers.....
    There has been a lot of buzz about the 2004r trans, but it comes almost exclusively in lighter cars than does the 700r4, so I'm suspicious that a used unit might not be as viable as a used 700r4.....The 700r4 fits these vans fine and is much more plentiful and inexpensive, even as a rebuilt..... The only advantage to the 200 that I can see is if you want to use a non-chevy engine (Buick, Olds or Pontiac) only a 2004r was available for these....
    My donor wagon was a running, viable car that I got for $800 with a less than 5k mile rebuilt trans.... The posi has the five inch lug pattern, so my bigger rear wheels wont fit the front (no big deal!)
    TanksInc.com has a 53 Chevy tank that is a pretty close match for the stock tank in my 69 van and has several EFI pump choices and either an early (30 ohm) or late (90 ohm) sender available, although I'm considering having an aluminum tank made to fit exactly and use the wagon fuel module, which has a 90 ohm sender...
    Last edited by AzDon; 02-19-2017 at 11:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Van Addict
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    I'm not sure, but it's possible that a 2004r from a BOP car might also have the Chevy Bell housing pattern, as well..... This would open up your trans donor list to all BOP v-8 cars from the eighties, some of which were pretty big cars (contradicting my last post some)
    But most v-8 chevy donors are going to be 700r4 cars.....

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