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

1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Share

nabor j

Number of posts: 30
Location: Portland, Oregon.
Registration date: 2008-06-15

1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by nabor j on Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:25 pm

I would like to say "hello" to everyone out there and introduce myself since I will probably be using this forum quite often. I recently acquired my first van, equipped with a 1968 Handi-Van with a 327 V8 Auto Powerglide Transmission and it has a little over 79,000 miles on it, (miles are proven to be accurate.) I'm going to post images of the van so you can have a look....let me know what you think. I'm interested in learning about 1968 and similar-era GMC vans from everyone on this forum.

The van is in o.k. shape for a 40-year old vehicle, but there are a few problems that need to be addressed and any advice is greatly appreciated. Also, I had a local garage that works on "old stuff" and they seem to have a decent business, but I'm wondering if the prices for repair are fair on each item listed below:

*I don't know how to do these things, so I figure the shop should do it:
1. Replace front wheel brake cylinders, resurface rotors, adjust brakes: $300.00
2. Replace rusty exhaust pipe and muffler: $225.00
3. Transmission Fluid Flush: $100.00
4. Full tune - up (includes new wires and plugs): $400.00
*I think I can figure these things out:
5. Replace valve cover gaskets: $150.00 (Should I attempt this myself?) There is residual oil on the motor and tranny and I'm wondering what is the best method to remove it....should I use GUNK?
6. Clean and rebuild 2-barrel carb.: $300.00 (Should I attempt this myself?) Is it worth just replacing the original carb with a new one instead?
7. Coolant Flush and Fill: $90.00 (Should I attempt this myself?)
8. Brake Fluid Flush and Fill: $100.00 (Should I attempt this myself?)
9. Replace fuel filter: $50.00 (Should I attempt this myself?)
10. Ignition: Should I get rid of the original set up and go with an electronic ignition? (I really don't like the idea of setting points!)
11. Window insulation / seals....where can I get them?
12. Seats: Any hot links out there?
13. Wheels: The original 14" wheels are on the van....should I get rid of these and go bigger for any reason? It seems this is a VERY small rim for such a big vehicle.

In addition to your opinion on repair costs, please let me know if you have recommendations for particular parts that work best or if you have something I might be interested in. The only MAJOR part I'm looking for is a right rear door that is dented in.

*Also, what is the best source to obtain a manual / repair guide for my van?

Thanks!
-Nabor J











G-Man
Mayor
Mayor

Number of posts: 30745
Location: Fowlerville, MI
Age: 53
Registration date: 2008-05-06

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by G-Man on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:22 pm

[b][i]Nice Van!!! Some of those repairs seem high and some seem like the going rate. Things like the fuel filter should be a easy fix for you. Tune up seems high. Alot of these things you should be able to learn. Things like brake I would have done but you can get a new Holly carb for under $300. Vavle cover gaskets you should also be able to handle. Those prices for the flushes seem to be in line. Of course you can do alot of this cheaper if you know how, but learn how to do it yourself is rewarding. They are a business and need to charge more in order to stay in business to cover the costs to run a business.

Are you sure it's a 327??? That not a stock motor. Maybe a 283???

for repairs get one of these it will help alot. Welcome to the group!!!

http://cgi.ebay.com/CHILTONS-Chevy-GMC-Van-Repair-Tune-Up-Guide-1967-1978_W0QQitemZ220244930514QQihZ012QQcategoryZ13926QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

enbro

Number of posts: 469
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Age: 46
Registration date: 2008-05-16

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by enbro on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:26 pm

Cool van man.

Yes, you can do a lot of those things yourself. In fact, unless you're rich you're going to have to learn to do them. Owning an old vehicle is either for the mega rich or the handyman. Which are you?

Learn to do the easy things first, then someday you can work up to the harder things.

4. Full tune - up (includes new wires and plugs): $400.00

Seems expensive to me. Replacing plug wires and spark plugs is pretty easy, you can do it yourself! Get a service manual that shows you how or sign up at your local community college for a night course and learn how, it's not hard.

5. Replace valve cover gaskets: $150.00

Real easy to do! You can do it! If you can handle a socket wrench, then you can do it. Cost will be about $20 to do it yourself.

7. Coolant Flush and Fill: $90.00 (Should I attempt this myself?)

Easy to do too. New coolant will run you about $20 also.

9. Replace fuel filter: $50.00 (Should I attempt this myself?)

Real easy, but you will likely spill a bit of gas on your hands. Does that bother you? Cost will be about $5 to do it yourself and it takes about 3 minutes.

Some of the other things might be a little harder to do, but start with these easy things. Don't let a shop over charge you because it's a vintage van. If anything, they should charge less because vintage really means it's easier to work on and any old-school shop should know the old stuff pretty easily. Parts might be harder to find, so they might want to charge you more for that aspect, but the labour shouldn't be more than for a modern vehicle. If they are overcharging, find someone else.

Joining your local Chevy car club is a good place to start too....there you'll find lots of guys with some mechanical know-how that can help you do some of this stuff. Good luck!

G-Man
Mayor
Mayor

Number of posts: 30745
Location: Fowlerville, MI
Age: 53
Registration date: 2008-05-06

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by G-Man on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:42 pm

enbro is right all this you can learn and it will only save you a ton of $$$. They are pretty easy to work on.

Scott

Number of posts: 1368
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
Age: 44
Registration date: 2008-05-20

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by Scott on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:13 pm

Welcome to the site, we are always happy to see a new member. I picked-up my 68 GMC Handi-Van a few months ago, and luckily found this site. You will find the members here happy to help when they can, or when they have the answers.

One quick tip: Typically when looking for parts I tell people I have a Chevy G10 Van, they seem to find the parts a lot quicker then when I tell them I have a GMC.

Iím in the process of replacing all brake components on mine. The reason for a complete brake overhaul is because brake fluid becomes very corrosive with age, and doesnít move around very much in the lines. Donít wait for something to move out in front of you before replacing the brake lines; you may just blow one out instead of stopping.

As far as pricing for the repairs, I cant really help you. Take it for a second opinion if it seems a little high. Your going to have to decide what you want to tackle, and what you donít. May just start with some of the smaller things, and move up from there.

I know with the front brakes NAPA will resurface the rotors for $10 each, and Auto Zone sells the wheel cylinders for about $41. But once your mechanic starts working on your brakes he might also want to replace a few more parts.

Typically repair shops mark the part prices up a bit, so you can be sure the parts from them will be a little higher. If you use those numbers as a gauge, youíre looking at about $200 in labor. Iím not sure how long it takes a seasoned mechanic to this, but there is more know-how then work involved. In my opinion know-how is worth more then the actual labor.

Full tune-up seems a little high to me, but I really donít know much this normally cost.

If you do the valve cover gaskets, make sure to make the bolts snug, not tight. Over tightening them will ruin the gasket.

I wouldnít rebuild the carb by yourself, that things full of a lot of little parts. Somebody else on the site might be able to answer the new carb question.

Donít do the brake fluid flush yourself, thatís not something you want to tackle yet. Getting all the air out of those lines isnít easy.

You might find it easier to get through this list by doing a few things at a time.. When your ready to do the window insulation / seals, just post the question of how to go about finding what you need. Members of the site will chime in and give advice as they can.

Also, donít forget to put your location in your profile. There may be another member close by that can help you out.


Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new van, and how it progresses.

Scott,

xjamesx

Number of posts: 299
Location: Rural Maine
Registration date: 2008-05-14

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by xjamesx on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:31 pm

welcome! cool van. like it was said earlier, do it yourself. start with the easy things and move up from there. i didnt know much about cars when i bought mine 3 years ago and now i am relatively confident in my abilities on my van...
james

donivan65
Governor
Governor

Number of posts: 9010
Location: San Diego, California
Registration date: 2008-05-12

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by donivan65 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:34 pm

We are getting double posting on this thread, lets continue it in the G Van General Forum,,,,,

nabor j

Number of posts: 30
Location: Portland, Oregon.
Registration date: 2008-06-15

Re: 1968 GMC Handi-Van. (With pictures.)

Post by nabor j on Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:04 pm

Correction on my motor....it's a 307, not a 327 V8.

-nabor j

    Current date/time is Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:00 am