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    Jalopy Journey

    As of the new year I?ve been working on a new project that some of you might be interested in. I?ve been documenting the journey my first gen Chevy Van takes to gain a new lease on life. I purchased some equipment to record the journey with and hope to upload some proper content to YouTube in the next few weeks. As for the Forum though, I will be using this thread to provide updates and discuss things specific to the project. So, you?ll get the inside scoop! Since I know that the forum is having some issues with the PHP and displaying photos, I?ve attached links to a google photo album and a couple quickly thrown together videos. That way you can at least see some progress rather than a wall of text. If there is another workaround for posting photos and videos let me know.

    What I?m dealing with
    The van is a 1964 Chevy Van and I saved it in early November 2019 from a scrap yard where it was waiting to be crushed. So as one would expect the van is a bit of a jalopy, but these vans aren?t getting any easier to find (especially here). That and I think this particular van has had an interesting life that if true I?d like to document and preserve, but I have to do more research so I will touch on that later.

    Photos of the van before getting started - https://photos.app.goo.gl/kmToMWHQP9qJxg7V8

    Drivetrain
    It has a 194ci engine I have yet to confirm that it is the original but I think it is. I was able to get it running but the fuel tank was rotted out and leaking so it?s running out of a gas can behind the seat. It has the 3-on the tree transmission with the distinctive lack of synchros in first gear as was the standard in 64. The rear differential appears to be standard equipment as well.

    Video of the Chevy Van running - https://youtu.be/xa7tmGCYFP0

    Suspension
    The rear suspension is rough. I suspected this much since I know that on two occasions the owners had modified the suspension system. At some point in time the van was lowered by doing axle flips. I will admit that they had done a somewhat decent job welding plates to the front axle to better mount the springs, that and they had replaced the shock absorbers.

    The front suspension was later reflipped at some point, and as if that was enough, they had placed a chunk of 2in square tube between the spring and axle. Interestingly enough the gasser appearance of a raised front end was not their complete intent and was probably done for reasons you would likely never guess (I?ll explain later). Since the front was raised so high the front shock absorbers wouldn?t reach the lower mounts so they were simply left disconnected and hanging from the upper mounts. At this point the rear was hanging so low that when I purchased the van had chunks of 4x4 placed between the rails and the axle to keep it from bottoming out when it was moved.

    Body
    The body of the van is littered with bondo and has at least 5 layers of paint (I think I counted 8 total layers of material before bare metal). With all the paint its almost amazing that there is as much rust as there is, the rocker below the side doors is non-existent and have been ?replaced? with a piece of tin (no joke). There is rust in the obvious rust spots under the driver step, behind the rear tires... etc. There is little to no rust to the rear wheel arches however they were removed when a previous owner radiused the quarters; at least they were saved and left in the back of the van.

    There are screw holes on the corners of the side and rear cargo doors indicating the doors were screwed shut at some point in time. This isn?t a surprise to me since the rear cargo doors are rotted right out and have little to no structure left. The front doors appear structurally sound although there is a dint in the passenger door that leads into the front corner.

    There were 3 non-factory windows that were cut into the van, evident from the interior paint showing off the missing horizontal panel braces. There was another window in one of the side doors that was filled so I?m not sure if the door was replaced or what happened but the inside color appears to match factory. There is some residue from where spray adhesive was used to insulate and upholster the interior but was later removed.

    Since the gas tank was garbage, I decided to drop it and inspect the undercarriage a little more thoroughly. That?s when I learnt that 64?s have a cast weight bolted to the underside of the floor. There was a lot of learning that day because I also learnt that at some point in time the driveshaft had left a decent dint in the floor that was obscured by the plywood covering the floor. I cleaned out the van and removed the plywood floor and to my surprise the floor is in really decent shape, the dint was easily addressed with a large hammer.

    Quick video of a walk around inspection - https://youtu.be/zu2gNgqJZx0

    Steering and braking system
    The rear brakes were completely disconnected despite one drum having new hardware installed. The other rear drum is absent and missing after loosing a wheel (and drum) on the side of a road, but that?s a story for another time. The front brakes work decent considering the reduced weight on the front with the nose jacked up in the air. The steering system worked up until it didn?t. When inspecting the van a generous tug ended up breaking loose the drag link where it mounts to the steering arm (boy am I glad that didn?t fail on the road). All the links are straight so at least nobody tried towing the van by the track rod.

    So what?s next?
    I?ve decided to completely remove both the front and rear suspension including the steering and braking components. I?ve already made quick work of the front suspension but have to raise the van a bit more to get access to the rear suspension. I?d like to start out fresh by replacing some of the suspension system. I would like to upgrade to disk brakes (power steering would be nice too), I have some ideas but I?m still deciding. If you have ideas let me know, or let me know what it is that you did.

    #2
    Jalopy Journey

    Project Time!
    I am learning to weld on mine!

    Hey on your walk around video - two questions...
    On your dash where the speaker grill would be your van has louvers. Does it look factory, or someone did a nice clean job reworking it?
    The muffler in the cargo bay - are there any markings on it?

    TIA
    Gary
    1965 Display

    Comment


      #3
      Great Project!

      Happy to be your 1st subscriber. While there's a lot going on there to fix, there's also a lot that's looking really good.
      The upper windshield frame joints seem in great shape.
      You've got both front and rear bumpers which are hard to find, particularly the rear.
      That Vin plate style, I've never seen. General Motors of Canada!
      The fuel filler area looks solid, another typical rot spot.
      That accelerator pedal bushing probably needs some work. A bent accelerator pedal is a typical "fix" for rough bushings.
      Front floor with no obvious rot through? Huge bonus!
      Original add on turn signal/hazard switch, nice! May be serviceable.
      Dash are looks unmolested. That louvered vent has got to be factory but I've never seen one. Is it plumbed into the defroster? Original radio delete, nice! Ebay guy wants $125 just for that piece.
      Engine looks unmolested. It has the 1964 correct Rochester B model carburetor. It probably is a 194. That head can go on a 230/250 and provides more compression because of smaller combustion chamber. I want that head if you don't!
      Extra doghouse cover.
      Didn't get a shot of rear axle cover. Many/most 1964s came with the 12 bolt rear axle, another nice feature of the 64 models.
      Keep us posted! PM sent.
      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

      Comment


        #4
        Jalopy Journey

        Okay hold Mark down - I have a correction... the original carbs were Carter YF...
        Gary
        1965 Display

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by gfleduc View Post
          Project Time!
          I am learning to weld on mine!

          Hey on your walk around video - two questions...
          On your dash where the speaker grill would be your van has louvers. Does it look factory, or someone did a nice clean job reworking it?
          The muffler in the cargo bay - are there any markings on it?

          TIA
          congrats on learning to weld, it's definitely an indispensable skill for working on these old vehicles. I also might be learning some welding on the van, I purchased a TIG but haven't had a lot of practice with it yet.

          I do believe the louvers are factory, the dash matches the factory paint throughout the interior. I'll have to double check the muffler and see if there is anything on it.

          Originally posted by 108VanGuy View Post
          Happy to be your 1st subscriber. While there's a lot going on there to fix, there's also a lot that's looking really good.
          The upper windshield frame joints seem in great shape.
          You've got both front and rear bumpers which are hard to find, particularly the rear.
          That Vin plate style, I've never seen. General Motors of Canada!
          The fuel filler area looks solid, another typical rot spot.
          That accelerator pedal bushing probably needs some work. A bent accelerator pedal is a typical "fix" for rough bushings.
          Front floor with no obvious rot through? Huge bonus!
          Original add on turn signal/hazard switch, nice! May be serviceable.
          Dash are looks unmolested. That louvered vent has got to be factory but I've never seen one. Is it plumbed into the defroster? Original radio delete, nice! Ebay guy wants $125 just for that piece.
          Engine looks unmolested. It has the 1964 correct Rochester B model carburetor. It probably is a 194. That head can go on a 230/250 and provides more compression because of smaller combustion chamber. I want that head if you don't!
          Extra doghouse cover.
          Didn't get a shot of rear axle cover. Many/most 1964s came with the 12 bolt rear axle, another nice feature of the 64 models.
          Keep us posted! PM sent.
          108VanGuy...
          Thank you for the subscribe! and for picking out some of the good things the van has going for it.

          being that its Canadian (apparently assembled in London, On) and was a somewhat early production first gen (#956) its bound to have a few interesting things, including the vin plate and the louvers. I was unaware that the louvers on the dash were anything special, I'll have to double check but I'll bet that it is plumbed to the defroster. Another thing I think might be interesting is that paint code is a 4 digit number (5010), from what I've seen most GM's from that era used 3 digit codes. I haven't seen any 4 digit codes online, I was thinking it could be a Canadian code for 510 turquoise iridescent but I'm not sure.

          The fuel filler area isn't as bad as I've seen on some, there is a area on the passenger side front floor where it has rotted unfortunately but its will within my ability to fix it. I was thinking of using the spare doghouse cover to make a larger tunnel to the radiator but I' might not, the floor does look in decent shape I might try preserving it instead.

          I did get around to pulling the rear out and its a 10 bolt with the eyebrow, I'll post some pictures of and the springs in another post.
          Last edited by Simpkins; 01-18-2022, 03:50 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Additional Information/Corrections Welcomed

            Originally posted by gfleduc View Post
            Okay hold Mark down - I have a correction... the original carbs were Carter YF...
            I certainly don't have the parts expertise or books that you have Gary and I defer to you about what the parts books say they came with, the Rochester B model Carb is what I've seen on the early 1st gen vans. I never saw a YF on a 64 or 65. Later VCVs, including second gens I've seen with the Rochester Monojet and later the Carter YF. I'm not saying they all followed this pattern, it's just what I've seen out here over the years I've been looking. Just out of curiosity, do the parts references you have say there was a B model option?
            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

            Comment


              #7
              1st Gen Carburetor

              The G-10s has Carter Carbs (i.e. 1965 P/N 3975S MT / 3976S AT). The cars employed the Rochester P/N 7016544 onto the same engine - It just dawned me that must be one of the prime usages for the different engine build codes on the engine block. The rest of the engine is the same between the cars & vans.

              The Rochester B has a different linkage from the 7016544 <-- Linkage has the same mating point in space as the Carter.
              These carbs certainly look the same otherwise.

              I had to research it; ebay has pictures of both:

              7016544:
              https://www.ebay.com/itm/17501536979...p2047675.l2557

              Rochester B:
              https://www.ebay.com/itm/35372868703...SABEgL8g_D_BwE

              This would have been a great time for photo's to work...
              Last edited by gfleduc; 01-19-2022, 02:24 PM.
              Gary
              1965 Display

              Comment


                #8
                Well, it?s been a busy week so we are due for an update, I was able to get both the front and rear suspension out and get some pictures and such. I did make some headway in other areas but for the purpose of not overloading you all at once I?ll break it up into multiple posts for the future.

                As I stated in the first post there was some ?interesting? stuff going on with the suspension and that you would probably not guess why the van was put into the extreme stance it had. Well, at one point in time this van was owned by what we will call a group of local motorcyclists. I?ve had some of the stories confirmed so I?ve come to know how they used the van and why it was the way it was.

                The group used the van to quickly load and unload mini bikes during events and special occasions. One of the stories explains that the rear suspension was virtually collapsed while the front was raised substantially so that mini bikes could be rode out of the van and be loaded as easily as possible for a quick evacuation of the premises. Mini bikes had even been ridden out of the van while it was driving down a street popular for shows and cruises.

                If you look back at some of the old photos and videos of the van in the first post (first link) you may notice that the rear doesn?t sag as much in some photos as it does in the later ones. That is because there were a couple pieces of 4x4 posts stuck between the frame and the axle when I got the van. These pieces of wood had abruptly removed themselves (a story for another time) allowing it to sag to the same point that these mini bikes would have been ?unloaded? out of the van at.

                Since it wasn?t used often the actual function of the van?s suspension wasn?t important to them, it met the minimum to be road compliant keeping authorities at bay if they had questions. For that reason, it wouldn?t be a problem if the van had distinctively different leaf springs side to side, which it did. One of the rear leaf springs was substantially beefier than the other. It looks like the big one was narrowed with a cut off wheel and a torch so that it might fit into the original spring mounts. Since it was narrowed the bushings wouldn?t fit either so they ?made? their own, which obviously didn?t work but apparently met the minimum requirements at a glance.

                as I said before the front was raised so high that the shock absorbers couldn?t be properly hooked up. Instead, they were left hanging from the upper mounts, again just compliant enough that at a glance it seemed acceptable. Obviously, no one ever thoroughly inspected the vehicle after these modifications were made.

                I?ve attached some albums with pictures of both the front and rear suspension systems. I wish I had some photos of the rear suspension in the van but it would be virtually impossible to get under the rear of the van with the suspension so collapsed.

                Front suspension ? https://photos.app.goo.gl/aQD8L1jj7pWtgaTx7
                Rear suspension ? https://photos.app.goo.gl/gBKoGWscuCYYo39a7

                To facilitate some more conversation on this thread feel free to chime in about what you might like to see about the van, orlet me know what you think might be interesting to do to the van.

                Originally posted by gfleduc View Post
                The muffler in the cargo bay - are there any markings on it?
                there are markings on the muffler, I tried taking a picture of it but they are too hard to see in the pictures. It has1171 then the inlet direction followed by G 21331 and of course made in Canada.

                Originally posted by 108VanGuy View Post
                Dash are looks unmolested. That louvered vent has got to be factory but I've never seen one. Is it plumbed into the defroster?
                For the louvers, I wasn?t able to look behind them but I couldn?t feel any ductwork to/from the defroster. I can feel that there is an outline around it I?m thinking it?s a weld seam (or braze), so I don?t think that it is factory. It may be some sort of residue from an adhesive for some ductwork but I doubt it, there was some ductwork in the back of the van when I cleaned it out perhaps that?s where it came from. Once I move some stuff around I?ll see if I can get under the dash with a light and camera to see what is actually going on there.

                Comment


                  #9
                  What are those weird-looking four-hole blocks under the I-beam, on those front spring images? They attached them to the spring mount "U" bolts.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by dan65 View Post
                    What are those weird-looking four-hole blocks under the I-beam, on those front spring images? They attached them to the spring mount "U" bolts.
                    I'm not 100% sure I understand exactly what part you are referring to. I hope I'm thinking of the same thing you are, if not let me know.

                    If you are referring to the two plates welded to the bottom of the I-beam just under where the leaf springs would mount, my thought is that one of the previous owners attempted to run the leaf springs under the I-beam to lower the van. It's called an 'axle flip', it's a stupid name because you're not flipping the axle your just mounting it above the leafs. There is another thread on this but I don't know how much it will help without the pictures working. http://www.vcvc.org/showthread.php/2...ront+axle+flip

                    If doing an axle flip like this you would need to weld a plate to the bottom of the I-beam to mount the springs to. In some cases you can use the factory hardware and bolt the leafs to the welded plate so its basically free and it lowers the vehicle. however this would mean all the forces of the suspension system go through the welded plate and it also introduces bump steer into the suspension. Some people opt to use longer "U" bolts that would extend up to the original mounting face at the top of the I-beam, thus making it stronger.

                    In the raised orientation they didn't need to use the welded plates, also they ditched the U-bolts all together and just used lengths of threaded rod.

                    If I didn't answer your question or your still confused or something feel free to ask again or PM me if you want.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Jalopy Journey

                      Thank-you for the muffler detail - hard to tell in the video - is it round / cylindrical shape?
                      Gary
                      1965 Display

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by gfleduc View Post
                        Thank-you for the muffler detail - hard to tell in the video - is it round / cylindrical shape?
                        It is cylindrical.

                        If you don't mind me asking, what is so interesting about a muffler? Are you cataloging part numbers or something?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Muffler

                          Yes I am - I try to catalog any original parts that went into our 1st Gen vans.
                          Gary
                          1965 Display

                          Comment

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