BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Buying Advice

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Lostranger

Number of posts : 11
Location : Marion, NC
Registration date : 2014-05-25

Buying Advice

Post by Lostranger on Sun May 25, 2014 5:57 am

Here's a query for the wisdom of the forum. At age 61, I'm a newbie to this forum, but not to classic Chevy vans. I had a '64 G 10 in high school. That was 1970, and I'm pretty sure it was the first personal-use van in our county. The few other vans here at that time were used by plumbers, electricians, carpenters and so forth.

I replaced the tiny six banger with a 327 300hp from a '65 Chevelle. Had to rebuild the engine and change the doghouse, but it made a wonderful package. I can report that it had adequate power and was a blast to drive. I took it with me when I moved to St. Louis for college, and I'll always regret swapping it off while I was there.

I've had the bug for a 2nd Generation Chevy for some time, and I've finally found one. Two, actually, and I'm in the process of deciding which one to buy from a local salvage yard. Neither have titles, but that is workable in this state. I do not yet know the year of either. Both are panel vans. One is a 108 with no windows in the side doors. The 90 has windows in those doors. The man claims that both were running when he got them, but that's not important.

My plan is to build a unique daily driver. Nice, but daily. I have a fresh 350 TBI from an '87 pickup. I will back it with either a TH400 or a TH700. The engine will be stock except for headers and a Flowmaster system. I plan to upgrade to front disks, and I'm open to changing the rear end. Springs will probably be rearched and tempered. I'll want to be able to do some towing.

If the vans were in identical shape, I would buy the 108. Unfortunately, it has major rust at the R/R corner. Much of the body and some of the floor is gone in that area. It has rust in other areas, but not as severe. The 90 has some rust, but not nearly as bad. It would be easier to repair.

Which would you buy and why? I'm not the world's best body man, but I do good work. Eventually. The major repairs to the body will take me a lot of time, but I am willing. I plan to keep the van for as long as I'm able to drive, so I want to keep that in perspective.

I need advice on the brake upgrade. I'm also interested in the possibility of AC and PS since wifey will drive it some, but all that will come later. Right now, I need to decide which van to buy.

Any help will be appreciated.

Jim in NC
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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1703
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Buying Advice

Post by m1dadio on Sun May 25, 2014 9:09 am

To me, rust is a show stopper. Rust repairs are expensive to do properly and not only is a repair never going to be 100% of what the original was but you need to have a realistic consideration for the fact that this is a unibody vehicle. If you see bad rust on outer areas then it also has rust everywhere throughout the structure and at every spot weld. I just bought about as rust free a van one can find out of southern CO. it has some dents that can be straightened and some surface rust areas but most areas shop clean grey or shinny steel where I pressure wash the original paint off the bottom. I paid 1500 for the not running and incomplete van and another $3500 to get it home. People who think $5000 for a rust free van is expensive are people who do not have that much real experience with auto body metal repair. I can tell you for fact that 3500 can go away real fast doing proper rust repair. Many rusty vans get 5 to 10 thousand dollars in metal repair and then what do you end up with when its done? You end up with a repaired vehicle that is week due to corrosion in all other areas of the chassis you cant see. If you take your time to find a solid rust free van and then pay the large lump sum up front for it you will not only end up with a better vehicle but it will also probably cost less in the end, compared to repairing a rusted van.
On the other hand some people love doing metal repair and if you are going to do the work yourself in which case the "time" it takes to repair is of no consequence; then a rusty van is both the hobby and joy you seek.






This van will be a joy to paint up right and I will always know it to be "vergin metal"
On disc brakes, there is a set of brackets being raffled on VCVC.org right now.
You can read more on disc brakes here.
http://vintage-vans.forumotion.com/t39633-disc-brake-2014?highlight=disc+brakes+2014
And/or email me at m1dadio@shaw.ca I am currently out of stock and generating a list of people who want them. If you want your name on the list you need to email me. It will be about a year before I have more brackets available.

As for power steering, there is a couple options, none of which are easy or cheep to do. You can use the search engine at the top right corner of this page to find several threads on the subject.

AC; a number of vanners have installed AC. Again in several different configurations and there are several different threads here you can gain information from. (Again try the search). I have never done an AC installation. I have trouble keeping warm and dry where I live.

M1D
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Joe Van
Moderator 1st Class
Moderator 1st Class

Number of posts : 4619
Location : Ocala fl
Age : 50
Registration date : 2012-10-11

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Joe Van on Sun May 25, 2014 7:13 pm

m1dadio wrote:To me, rust is a show stopper. Rust repairs are expensive to do properly and not only is a repair never going to be 100% of what the original was but you need to have a realistic consideration for the fact that this is a unibody vehicle. If you see bad rust on outer areas then it also has rust everywhere throughout the structure and at every spot weld. I just bought about as rust free a van one can find out of southern CO. it has some dents that can be straightened and some surface rust areas but most areas shop clean grey or shinny steel where I pressure wash the original paint off the bottom. I paid 1500 for the not running and incomplete van and another $3500 to get it home. People who think $5000 for a rust free van is expensive are people who do not have that much real experience with auto body metal repair. I can tell you for fact that 3500 can go away real fast doing proper rust repair. Many rusty vans get 5 to 10 thousand dollars in metal repair and then what do you end up with when its done? You end up with a repaired vehicle that is week due to corrosion in all other areas of the chassis you cant see. If you take your time to find a solid rust free van and then pay the large lump sum up front for it you will not only end up with a better vehicle but it will also probably cost less in the end, compared to repairing a rusted van.
On the other hand some people love doing metal repair and if you are going to do the work yourself in which case the "time" it takes to repair is of no consequence; then a rusty van is both the hobby and joy you seek.
Word for Word I could have Not said it Better Myself..!!!... Find One with a Solid Body you will be 10k ahead right from the Start they are some Really Nice Solid Van's posted In the For Sale section on this Site.....Good Luck....Very Happy..M1 That Van is "Super Clean" GREAT Buy..cheers..


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1966 GMC Handivan "Panel"....1975 Chevy Van G10 "Panel"....1991 Chevy Van G20 "Conversion"
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Lostranger

Number of posts : 11
Location : Marion, NC
Registration date : 2014-05-25

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Lostranger on Sun May 25, 2014 7:26 pm

I appreciate the responses. Serious rust is a horrible situation, and yet, I dare say that a majority of old car projects involve rust repair. I'm leaning strongly toward the mostly rust free van, even though I'd rather have a 108.

And on that topic, does anyone here know if the rear corners of a 3rd generation van are at all close to the contours of a 2nd generation. If so, that would save an incredible amount of time in fixing the 108 I'm considering buying. Those parts are readily available.

Keep up the commentary as you feel led. Jury is still out. I'm going to buy one of these vans. They have strong price and proximity incentives.

Best to all,

Jim in NC
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diamond dave

Number of posts : 565
Location : canal fulton, ohio
Registration date : 2012-04-24

Re: Buying Advice

Post by diamond dave on Sun May 25, 2014 8:18 pm

I love the look of the 90 over the 108 vans, but that's just me. if youre gonna throw an overdrive in it, make sure you have the right rear end. I see a lot of people that throw an overdrive in a van with a really short gear, like a 308, and it costs them power and fuel mileage.
just get the one that you want, and anything is possible.
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millwright71

Number of posts : 531
Location : Northeastern Indiana
Age : 46
Registration date : 2012-05-28

Re: Buying Advice

Post by millwright71 on Mon May 26, 2014 1:58 am

There are complete corner pieces available in the aftermarket for the second gen vans. If you have a welder, it can be repaired. Just takes time. Those parts can be found either on eBay, or check out the parts links section here at the forum.
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NEK64

Number of posts : 72
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2013-03-11

Re: Buying Advice

Post by NEK64 on Mon May 26, 2014 2:23 am

Couldn't agree more on the bodywork/rust comments. I had 2 weeks into mine, 80hrs @ $60 per hour = $4,800. And that didn't include sanding and paint!
But of course I don't charge myself.
I believe the replacement corner panels I bought (mines a 1st Gen.) were actually for the second Gen. They had the marker light cutout.
These vans are a labor of love. Best of luck on your adventure!
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NEK64

Number of posts : 72
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2013-03-11

Re: Buying Advice

Post by NEK64 on Mon May 26, 2014 2:59 am

A couple of more thoughts on rust (after another cup of coffee!).
Having grown up in the Northeast and dealing with rust all my life. Its something you just take care of. But there are two distinct types....what I call "skin" cancer and "bone" cancer.
When these vans were built they never thought about all the places that hold dirt...which holds moisture...which then rusts. If its limited to sheetmetal (skin) its a fairly straight forward (albeit time consuming) process. Structural/frame (bone) is another story. Although not surmountable you're better to stay away...and with State inspections (at least here in Vermont) they are refusing to inspect them if the frame has been repaired.
Panel replacement is fairly easy nowadays with the advent of wirefeed welders....sounds like you have done some in the past so it'll be easy for you.
But as m1dadio states, always look for the best your money can buy.
Also m1dadio, those pictures you posted are amazing...we (in the rustbelt) would die to see vehicles like that!
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Lostranger

Number of posts : 11
Location : Marion, NC
Registration date : 2014-05-25

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Lostranger on Mon May 26, 2014 4:45 am

This thread keeps getting better. I've done some looking, and I have found at least one source for new repair panels. I should have known. Thanks for making that clear.

I am acquainted with body repair. I am incredibly slow at it, but I love the idea and the process of making something great out of "junk."

I'm thinking of buying both the vans, working on the better body first, then tackling the rusty one in the future. We hillbillies always like to have a good supply of parts on the hoof.

Love this site. I've been drooling over m1dadio's photo bucket page. Great work there. I've written him and asked if he did a build thread. I have questions about the details.

I've owned many vans through the years. I have a yard full now. Somehow, though, I've never gotten over my affair with the '64 G10. It was worn out from carrying SnapOn tools. I made it better. Looking forward to doing the same and more for a 2nd generation.

Best to all,

Jim in NC
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diamond dave

Number of posts : 565
Location : canal fulton, ohio
Registration date : 2012-04-24

Re: Buying Advice

Post by diamond dave on Mon May 26, 2014 1:40 pm

buying both huh? I like your style. haha. that's the best idea yet.
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Vantasia

Number of posts : 1371
Location : New Jersey
Age : 63
Registration date : 2013-08-18

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Vantasia on Mon May 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Lostranger wrote:Here's a query for the wisdom of the forum. At age 61, I'm a newbie to this forum, but not to classic Chevy vans. I had a '64 G 10 in high school. That was 1970, and I'm pretty sure it was the first personal-use van in our county. The few other vans here at that time were used by plumbers, electricians, carpenters and so forth.

I replaced the tiny six banger with a 327 300hp from a '65 Chevelle. Had to rebuild the engine and change the doghouse, but it made a wonderful package. I can report that it had adequate power and was a blast to drive. I took it with me when I moved to St. Louis for college, and I'll always regret swapping it off while I was there.

I've had the bug for a 2nd Generation Chevy for some time, and I've finally found one. Two, actually, and I'm in the process of deciding which one to buy from a local salvage yard. Neither have titles, but that is workable in this state. I do not yet know the year of either. Both are panel vans. One is a 108 with no windows in the side doors. The 90 has windows in those doors. The man claims that both were running when he got them, but that's not important.

My plan is to build a unique daily driver. Nice, but daily. I have a fresh 350 TBI from an '87 pickup. I will back it with either a TH400 or a TH700. The engine will be stock except for headers and a Flowmaster system. I plan to upgrade to front disks, and I'm open to changing the rear end. Springs will probably be rearched and tempered. I'll want to be able to do some towing.

If the vans were in identical shape, I would buy the 108. Unfortunately, it has major rust at the R/R corner. Much of the body and some of the floor is gone in that area. It has rust in other areas, but not as severe. The 90 has some rust, but not nearly as bad. It would be easier to repair.

Which would you buy and why? I'm not the world's best body man, but I do good work. Eventually. The major repairs to the body will take me a lot of time, but I am willing. I plan to keep the van for as long as I'm able to drive, so I want to keep that in perspective.

I need advice on the brake upgrade. I'm also interested in the possibility of AC and PS since wifey will drive it some, but all that will come later. Right now, I need to decide which van to buy.

Any help will be appreciated.

Jim in NC

Your story is very similar to mine!! I'm 60 now and back in high school in the early '70's I had a '66 Panel. It was a used auto parts store delivery van and I put chrome reverse wheels with baby n moons on it, it was the only hot rod van in town and we used it to haul band gear around! Only last year did I decide to get another van just like it, similar to your story...best of luck with your endeavor, you will; find great help here, I have for almost a year now.....Vantasia....
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vanner68

Number of posts : 636
Location : Eastpointe MI
Age : 56
Registration date : 2008-09-22

Re: Buying Advice

Post by vanner68 on Mon May 26, 2014 5:03 pm

I still have the 68 I bought in 79 at 18 years old, and in the last couple years have had to do extensive rust repair. It's driver quality, but still took a lot of time.

Only you can determine what your skill level is, and buy accordingly.
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Lostranger

Number of posts : 11
Location : Marion, NC
Registration date : 2014-05-25

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Lostranger on Tue May 27, 2014 10:12 am

The plot thickens. I've found a third van. '68 90, panel, windows in side doors. Some rust through, but nothing I can't handle. Complete and drivable w/title. Less money. I've already told the first guy that I'll buy at least one of his. Would Dear Wife tolerate THREE more vans in the yard? Stay tuned....

Jim
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Coop

Number of posts : 67
Location : New York
Age : 41
Registration date : 2014-04-01

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Coop on Thu May 29, 2014 11:20 am

Welcome Jim Good luck to you and keep us postedcheers
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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 8686
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 58
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: Buying Advice

Post by vanny on Thu May 29, 2014 12:03 pm

Lostranger wrote: Would Dear Wife tolerate THREE more vans in the yard? Stay tuned....

Jim

Almost wet my pants laughing at that one!!! I like your style!



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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1703
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Buying Advice

Post by m1dadio on Thu May 29, 2014 11:31 pm

NEK64: I am also from the rust belt just east of the great lakes where I used to own a body shop. The truth is I am so freaking sick of eating rust all day I would have paid 10 grand for a rust free van if i had to. I just want minnimal sand blasting and a nice rotisery paint job so I can love and want to keep my van and not be so sick of it by the time its painted that I just want to sell it. Some of you know what I am talking about. I spent several years looking for this van, I listened to the advice of expirienced vanners and turned down about 6 prospects that came and went.

On another note: I hear all kinds of "no it alls " braging about how rare thier car is, "there was only 27.000 of these made and only 12,000 had this or that option".
Looking at the production lists of these vans I see that of the 1968 SportVan "Custom", there was only 685 of these with the 90" W.B.
Isn't that truly what you would call "rare"? In those days they had to make min 500 of a vehicle for it to be clasified as a "production vehicle".

What do you guys think; is it right to say that is "a rare' model?

M1D
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NEK64

Number of posts : 72
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2013-03-11

Re: Buying Advice

Post by NEK64 on Fri May 30, 2014 3:21 am

To answer your question: Is it right to say its rare?

I'm of the school that thinks vehicles are meant to be driven and enjoyed. And if possible bring them "back" so they may see the road again. I've owned many cars over the years and within each group there are a select few who have to make a point (Porsche owners are the worst) of telling everyone production numbers...option lists and has this motor or that. I stopped going to car shows because I just got tired of hearing it! Van owners are a different breed (I hope)...down to earth guys who like wrenching on their vehicles...driving them and "talking shop".

I say leave the term "rare" to steaks.

I couldn't agree more with you on "rust"...my van will be the last rusted vehicle I bring back...it IS a ton of work!
I'm looking forward to seeing your (wisely chosen) van when its complete.
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panelmanrd

Number of posts : 764
Location : kcmo
Age : 56
Registration date : 2009-10-04

Re: Buying Advice

Post by panelmanrd on Fri May 30, 2014 6:53 am

I second NEK64!!!!!!!
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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1703
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Buying Advice

Post by m1dadio on Fri May 30, 2014 5:26 pm

Got it!

I'm so happy with my newest van, I was having a delusional moment.

M1D
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jazzcat

Number of posts : 35
Location : San Diego
Registration date : 2014-05-03

Re: Buying Advice

Post by jazzcat on Fri May 30, 2014 9:14 pm

I second that...... being a transplant from Michigan to California.... i will never buy another rust bucket....
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Lostranger

Number of posts : 11
Location : Marion, NC
Registration date : 2014-05-25

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Lostranger on Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:56 am

jazzcat wrote:I second that...... being a transplant from Michigan to California.... i will never buy another rust bucket....

I'm happy for you, jazzcat, but around here it's merely a question of how much rust can you stand.

I fooled around meeting other responsibilities, that is and let the '68 get away. Now I'm back to the two wrecking yard beauties. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy the shorty, but I may go for both.

We raise a large, organic market garden, and I'm pretty busy with that right now. I always thought I'd have lots of time by this age, but I'm busier than I've ever been. Really looking forward to wading into an early van, though.

Jim
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m1dadio
Chevy Guru

Number of posts : 1703
Location : Victoria B.C.
Registration date : 2008-10-06

Re: Buying Advice

Post by m1dadio on Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:00 am

You know really any van is what it is in its own state. The real value is in what it does for the owner. If your van brings any amount of joy into your life, then its doing exactly what its suposed to be doing just the way it is. I didn't go hunting for a rust fre van to impress or show othes. I have a very bad habit of putting so much work into a vehicle that there comes a point where I don't like it any more, its been too much of a make work program and then I get rid of it for one tenth of what I put into it.. I've done this many times. The real reason I sought out a rust free van was so that I will not burm myself out fixing it up and will finnaly keep it and comtinue to enjoy it until it out lives me.

M1D
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Lazarusvan

Number of posts : 1292
Location : Charleston, South Carolina
Age : 44
Registration date : 2011-02-22

Re: Buying Advice

Post by Lazarusvan on Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:20 pm

Haven't read through all the posts yet, but from an aesthetic standpoint, the shorter wheel base is a better looking vehicle to me. It just seems more aggressive and less "dumpy."

As far as windows go, many guys here are semi-obsessed with no doors. They look awesome, but having a window, particularly on the passenger's side, would be a helpful addition to my van. I like the clean look, but I can't see anything while trying to back out of a parking lot space. I try to avoid that situation whenever possible.

My two cents...

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