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


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    1968 Handi-Van (Questions!)

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    Post by Guest Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:22 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?)
    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



    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?
    donivan65
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    Post by donivan65 Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:18 pm

    Where are you at????? We can help you fix all those problems that you have listed,,,,,,these vans are simple to work on.....
    Simple Green would be a good product to spray, wipe and rinse all the grease and dirt off your Van. With that old of a Van, you might as well do the brakes RIGHT,,,,new brake lines from Napa, and convert over to Front Disk Brakes while you are at it. Which problem do you want to talk about 1st?????
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    Post by Guest Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:22 pm

    donivan65,

    I'm in the Pacific NW (Oregon.) Any of the numbered issues I listed are open for discussion....let me know what you think. About brakes, how much money would converting to front disks cost?

    Thanks,
    nabor j
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    Post by Guest Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:31 pm

    I've always used some cheap brand of engine wash that you just spray on then hose off. Be careful not to hose the electrical stuff too much. If the van won't start after a hosing, let it dry for a few days then try again, or take the distributor off and make sure no water got in there. Just be careful when hosing it down.

    OR, you can carefully clean the motor off with a rag and some brushes and some varsol or paint thinner...but it will take a little longer to do than a spray on Gunk or whatever.
    donivan65
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    Post by donivan65 Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:41 pm

    Does the van have 5 lugs on the wheels? If so, we may have a source for the front brackets which allow you to mount disk brake calipers and replace the front drums with rotors, then replace the front brake hoses and add an adjustable proportioning valve to the rear brake line.
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    Post by Guest Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:04 pm

    donivan,

    yes, the van has five lug wheels. how difficult and what is the cost to convert to disc? will this make a big difference and will it save money over time?

    thanks,
    nabor j
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    Post by donivan65 Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:23 pm

    We will tell you how to do the repairs, but you have to make the decision if you have the time, tools, skills or confidence to do the actual repairs or for someone else to do them. On the Disk Brakes, there are 2 editions of the brackets based on the brake rotors used. I have the the 1st edition, the Nova type. But I don't think they are being made anymore. Now the 2nd Type, the TransAm type, were, and maybe still are, for sale here. So someone tell me,,,,,are there still some for sale and has anyone totaled up the cost of all the parts required.
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    Post by donivan65 Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:19 pm

    As for a repair book, you can send this seller an email to see if this book covers Vans,,,,or use a Chevy Van shop manual,,,,


    1968 Handi-Van (Questions!) 68_gmc10
    wacko
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    Post by wacko Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:00 am

    Welcome to the site. I too am a novice when it comes to vehicle repair and the people here have been a GREAT help. Ask anything you need to know and i am sure someone will have the answer.
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    Post by Guest Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:34 am

    Many thanks to everyone who replied to my post....you advice and info. has been very helpful so far and I'm looking forward to learning more!

    Take it easy,
    nabor j
    donivan65
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    Post by donivan65 Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:19 am

    1st of all, if you go up to PROFILE,,,you can put in your location so it shows up on your posts,,,,everyone likes to know where everyone is.
    I think Brakes is the #1 thing you should be concerned about. You don't want your life or anyone around you depending on a 40 year old system. And all the parts are still available for it. I surely don't trust 40 year old metal brake lines,,,and the rubber hoses,,,,and the master and wheel cylinders. As for electronic ignitions,,,there are several,,,,from the high priced hot rod distributors to an 80's GM HEI unit from a wrecking yard. (Is anybody running an electronic ignition distributer on a V8 in their van?) I have the 80's GM unit in my 6 cylinder.....
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    Post by Guest Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:15 am

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

    -nabor j
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    Post by VANagain Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:07 pm

    Howdy Nabor! Welcome aboard!

    $400 sounds a little high for a tune up, "full" or not. If you switch to an electronic ignition distributor, that takes care of your dwell setting forever. And you'll have to set the timing anyway when you put the new distributor in. Plugs are super easy to install, along with new plug wires. Then it's just the carb. I'm not sure you should attempt a carb overhaul if you've never done one before. Have that done and they should include adjusting it when they reinstall it.
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    Post by Guest Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:27 pm

    Congrats!! Very Happy so where are the pictures, lets see this van!! Cool Very Happy

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