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Thread: 1969 G10 Short Wheel Base Restomod Project

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    1969 G10 Short Wheel Base Restomod Project

    I am taking this project on for a friend.

    He wants to be able to take it on road trips and be comfortable. He had started buying lots of parts and planning what he wanted, but as a very busy guy without much shop space, he couldn't do what he dreamed of.

    He brought it to me with a rough running 327 and 3 speed manual. The original plan was to use the small block with a 4L60E, but we have since picked up a low mileage 5.3L LM7 from a 2005 Tahoe. I scrapped all the factory engine wiring and ordered a Holley Terminator X ECU and wiring harness. It has an integrated TCC for the 4L60E and a digital dash. I also ordered a new chassis harness from American Autowire. My buddy had started placing the Vintage Air AC parts under the dash, but I will most likely be redoing the mounting. I am adding a custom center console for additional gauges, AC controls, and radio.

    One of his biggest complaints was the engine noise and another was the heat coming off the doghouse. To quiet things down and manage the heat, I am spraying on a few layers of Lizardskin acoustic dampener and ceramic thermal barrier. I also have Hoodliner foam to help manage those issues as well.

    The seating will be a couple of Aluminum buckets up front with some leather seat pads. Not 100% sure what the cargo area will look like, but it will be getting some love as well.

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    Welcome

    Welcome aboard! Sounds like a great project. Post up some pics if you get a chance.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 ring 4 Spd. with OD, 2.73 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    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"
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.
    1969 G20 Shell

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Out with the old
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    in with the new.







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    Not sure how to rotate the images. The orientation is correct on my computer, but not when I attach it here.

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    Is that a power brake booster in front of that Corvette master cylinder? Can you post up some pics of that set up?
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 ring 4 Spd. with OD, 2.73 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    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"
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.
    1969 G20 Shell

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108VanGuy View Post
    Is that a power brake booster in front of that Corvette master cylinder? Can you post up some pics of that set up?
    108VanGuy...
    Good eye!

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8ball View Post

    He brought it to me with a rough running 327 and 3 speed manual. The original plan was to use the small block with a 4L60E, but we have since picked up a low mileage 5.3L LM7 from a 2005 Tahoe. I scrapped all the factory engine wiring and ordered a Holley Terminator X ECU and wiring harness. It has an integrated TCC for the 4L60E and a digital dash. I also ordered a new chassis harness from American Autowire. My buddy had started placing the Vintage Air AC parts under the dash, but I will most likely be redoing the mounting. I am adding a custom center console for additional gauges, AC controls, and radio.

    I had to drop my LS swap down 2" to clear the coil packs. I used the ICT plates for SBC to LS mounting, ordered SBC motor mounts for the original cradle and it bolted right in.

    You can also get an aluminum radiator from Summit, a Be Cool 35100 I believe which is nearly identical to the size of the original radiator in my van and comes with the steam port. It did not have provisions for auto transmission lines in it however so I used an external cooler.

    I used the factory ECU and made my own standalone harness though. I use HP tuners to VATS delete and tune the system. I did a cam change along the way also.

    Really makes these vans fun to drive with fuel injection!

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    I will post pics of the brake booster setup when I get to the shop tomorrow. That was done before I started working on it and I donÂ’t know much about what it is. Hopefully You guys can help me figure it out. The E Brake is inoperable as is because they reconfigured one of the pulley wheels in a way that doesnÂ’t work.

    I have tried bolting the motor up 4 times now using some new stock SBC mounts and SBC to LS mounting plates. There are a few sets of holes and I tried it every way I could with no luck. I even removed the alternator for more clearance but it just wasn’t going to happen. I ordered a set of custom LS motor mounts. As soon as they come in I’ll cut the old perches off the crossmember and weld the new mounts on, keeping it as low as I can. I’ve also got a new aftermarket oil pan on the way because the stock one hung about 3” below the crossmember.

    I have a new aluminum radiator with inputs for the transmission lines, and a secondary external cooler as well. IÂ’ll run it through both coolers per the recommendation of the shop that rebuilt the 4L60. The plan is to use an electric fan for moving the air through all the radiators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8ball View Post
    I will post pics of the brake booster setup when I get to the shop tomorrow. That was done before I started working on it and I donÂ’t know much about what it is. Hopefully You guys can help me figure it out. The E Brake is inoperable as is because they reconfigured one of the pulley wheels in a way that doesnÂ’t work.

    I have tried bolting the motor up 4 times now using some new stock SBC mounts and SBC to LS mounting plates. There are a few sets of holes and I tried it every way I could with no luck. I even removed the alternator for more clearance but it just wasn’t going to happen. I ordered a set of custom LS motor mounts. As soon as they come in I’ll cut the old perches off the crossmember and weld the new mounts on, keeping it as low as I can. I’ve also got a new aftermarket oil pan on the way because the stock one hung about 3” below the crossmember.

    I have a new aluminum radiator with inputs for the transmission lines, and a secondary external cooler as well. IÂ’ll run it through both coolers per the recommendation of the shop that rebuilt the 4L60. The plan is to use an electric fan for moving the air through all the radiators.

    Here's how mine mocked up. I had no issues at all. My van was not an original V8 but from what I understand that doesn't make a difference. I know there are two styles of SBC motor mounts, these just take the one bolt in the center on the cradle.

    Don't forget you need to deal with the steam port of the LS somewhere.. That's what I forgot in the beginning, and why I chose the Junkyard LS series from Be Cool. It already had a threaded port for a nipple to handle the steam ports.

    I also had to use an adjustable water neck to get the lower hose angled correctly as my factory LS housing pointed directly at the frame. I angled mine nearly straight down and was able to find a hose I could cut and make work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot_20210124-205519_Instagram.jpg   Screenshot_20210124-205536_Instagram.jpg  

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushin69 View Post
    Here's how mine mocked up. I had no issues at all. My van was not an original V8 but from what I understand that doesn't make a difference. I know there are two styles of SBC motor mounts, these just take the one bolt in the center on the cradle.

    Don't forget you need to deal with the steam port of the LS somewhere.. That's what I forgot in the beginning, and why I chose the Junkyard LS series from Be Cool. It already had a threaded port for a nipple to handle the steam ports.

    I also had to use an adjustable water neck to get the lower hose angled correctly as my factory LS housing pointed directly at the frame. I angled mine nearly straight down and was able to find a hose I could cut and make work.

    I have the same SBC to LS adapter plate. One thing that looks different is my crossmember had been flipped the other way for the SBC. The problem I was having is the engine is offset to the driver side pretty far. The coil packs were hitting the doghouse. I will try flipping it to see if that helps. Yesterday I pulled the old pan, the valve covers and the accessories. I am going to clean things up a bit while I am waiting for parts.

    Thanks for the heads up on the steam vent. The radiator I have doesn't account for that.

    Here is a shot of the brake setup.

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    Things I would change down the road

    So here's what I did and what I would change.

    I used the truck oil pan and it is DEEP. My pan hangs down to almost the top of the beam because I used a piece of 2" square tubing to drop the engine to clear, you guessed it, the coil packs!

    So starting fresh I would go with a coil relocation kit to maybe hang them off the back of the doghouse. or the side, but get them off the valve cover for clearance. Second, I would get an F Body pan or if I was really lucky a Corvette pan to get that sucker up away from trouble.

    I also switched to an electric fan to get the radiator in the right spot. Speaking of radiator, the one I mentioned the Be Cool 35100 puts the core closer to the engine rather than forward in the cavity. To do it again I think I would have a shop cut the brackets off and turn them around. Then I might have been able to squeeze the factory fan in along with an electric fan..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot_20210126-203745_Instagram.jpg   Screenshot_20210126-203810_Instagram.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8ball View Post
    Here is a shot of the brake setup.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for posting that up N8Ball! Wow! That is quite a setup. I gotta hand it to whomever fabbed that in there. To me, that demonstrates a lot of determination and creativity. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work well though. The smallish booster may provide less assist during the brake apply and the checking and filling of the master cylinder fluid level will probably require some more, well, effort, but power assist is real nice to have. I can also see how this particular setup would cause an issue with the park brake cable routing.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 ring 4 Spd. with OD, 2.73 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    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"
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.
    1969 G20 Shell

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushin69 View Post
    So here's what I did and what I would change.

    I used the truck oil pan and it is DEEP. My pan hangs down to almost the top of the beam because I used a piece of 2" square tubing to drop the engine to clear, you guessed it, the coil packs!

    So starting fresh I would go with a coil relocation kit to maybe hang them off the back of the doghouse. or the side, but get them off the valve cover for clearance. Second, I would get an F Body pan or if I was really lucky a Corvette pan to get that sucker up away from trouble.

    I also switched to an electric fan to get the radiator in the right spot. Speaking of radiator, the one I mentioned the Be Cool 35100 puts the core closer to the engine rather than forward in the cavity. To do it again I think I would have a shop cut the brackets off and turn them around. Then I might have been able to squeeze the factory fan in along with an electric fan..

    The spacer on the crossmember crossed my mind for sure. I have ordered the lowest profile oil pan available and it's on the way. With that and the new engine mounts I should be able to drop the motor about 1.5" in the cradle. I like your idea about the coil pack relocation; gonna look into that for sure.

    The brake upgrade helped, but according to the owner, it still feels weak. I will likely be looking to swap out the front drums with disks.

    We discussed a custom width Mustang II front end, but we are holding off on that for this build. I say this build, because he already bought a long wheel base 1968 that is in amazing shape aside from some minimal front end damage and a missing powertrain. If I still have any sanity left after this, I'll be diving into that one almost immediately.

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Front end stolen

    Well guys, I really screwed up. I had the front axle assembly off so I figured I'd give it a good degreasing and a coat of paint. I left it outside my roll up door for about an hour while I was inside prepping a couple other parts. Some body stole it in the hour it was out there. Leaf springs to brakes, the whole enchilada. If anybody has a line on a front axle assembly, I am in the market. This is a client's vehicle so I am absolutely screwed right now. I have filed a police report and I am heading to the local scrap yard now. Not holding my breath but I'd take a miracle right about now.

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    VCVC Member cruzbox's Avatar
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    Holy crap!

    The build was going in the right direction to, sorry to hear the bad luck. Crap that really sucks!

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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Well lesson learned on my shop neighborhood. I asked around and just about every neighbor said leaving stuff outside was a bad idea. Any way. I reached out on Instagram and I found a guy with an axle assembly he’s willing to part with. Should be on a pallet and heading this way in the next couple days. So crisis averted. I mentioned before that The owner of this 69 has a 68 as well but I don’t want to rob parts off of it just because I made a mistake.

    So here’s some progress the new motor mounts. Hope to get a test fit going by the end of day tomorrow. You can see the new low profile oil pan is on there, and I hit everything with some good old Chevy orange.

    The Holley Terminator X system showed up yesterday as well. I am pleasantly surprised with the size of the digital dash screen. It’s about the size of a double DIN stereo so it shouldn’t take up too much room. I am brainstorming some ideas to keep the vintage feel even though it is modern tech. I’ll share that when j get it sorted out a bit more.
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    New Guy N8ball's Avatar
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    Well everybody, since the front end got jacked, a few things have changed for me. I ended up getting some potentially scary health news, and before the replacement front end showed up, I was in surgery. Between recovery time and follow-up stuff I wasn't working on this project. As of now, I am officially healthy and back to wrenching on this bad boy. I also took a day job that has limited the amount of time I have to spend on it, but I am chipping away at it.

    I got the front end stripped down and off to the media blaster last week. I expect it back this Thursday or Friday. It will be getting a fresh coat of paint and all new bushings, tie rod ends and whatever else it needs. It was evident during the teardown that the drum brakes were 100% gone. So disks are definitely in my near future.

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