VintAGE-Vans

Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

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


+4
Vanish
mcfly
donivan65
G-Man
8 posters

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

avatar
Guest
Guest


basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Guest Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:05 pm

want to get a van to take my bonanza mini bike to cruise ins and use for some fun outings with my 9 and 10 year olds.

love the look of the between seat engine vans, but looks like the front engine vans may have better interior space

what are some of the plus and minuses of both layouts

thanks
G-Man
G-Man
Mayor
Mayor


Number of posts : 30743
Location : Fowlerville, MI
Age : 60
Registration date : 2008-05-06

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by G-Man Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:14 pm

For what you want to do maybe the later vans is what you want. They do have more room.

For Cool you can't beat a early
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:41 pm

Thats right, Earlys are cool,,,,,,,,nobody in their right mind would put up with the poor excuses for brakes and steering,,,,hard to find parts,,,,,,poor handling,,,,,poor mileage,,,,they are about as unsafe vehicle as you can get,,,,,,,all of them are rusting away,,,,,,it takes a lot of time and money to upgrade them so if you are a practical person, forget it,,,,,,,,,

Russell likes this post

avatar
Guest
Guest


basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Guest Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:11 pm

thanks for the fast answers
since my desire is mainly to have a show type van for my mini bike the mid engine is the coolest way to go
avatar
Guest
Guest


basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Guest Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:51 pm

donivan65 wrote:Thats right, Earlys are cool,,,,,,,,nobody in their right mind would put up with the poor excuses for brakes and steering,,,,hard to find parts,,,,,,poor handling,,,,,poor mileage,,,,they are about as unsafe vehicle as you can get,,,,,,,all of them are rusting away,,,,,,it takes a lot of time and money to upgrade them so if you are a practical person, forget it,,,,,,,,,

thats funny right there i dont care who you are!!!!!!
also true Sad
mcfly
mcfly


Number of posts : 626
Location : long island new york
Age : 59
Registration date : 2008-11-10

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by mcfly Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:57 am

donivan65 wrote:Thats right, Earlys are cool,,,,,,,,nobody in their right mind would put up with the poor excuses for brakes and steering,,,,hard to find parts,,,,,,poor handling,,,,,poor mileage,,,,they are about as unsafe vehicle as you can get,,,,,,,all of them are rusting away,,,,,,it takes a lot of time and money to upgrade them so if you are a practical person, forget it,,,,,,,,,

Thank God I am not a practical person !!!



mike
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:56 am

Me too!!!! I have been driving this same van my whole life,,,,,,from 1970, over 400,000 miles, it is family,,,,,,,,I wouldn't trade it for a million dollars,,,,,,,,,,,,
Vanish
Vanish
Admin


Number of posts : 5155
Location : Hesperia Cal
Registration date : 2008-05-02

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Vanish Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:02 am

Don woulden't Trade His for a Million .... But For the rest Of Us that Feel the same way .... In most cases .. one can be Had for Under 2 Grand ....

Scott
Scott


Number of posts : 1647
Location : Anoka, MN
Age : 52
Registration date : 2008-05-20

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Scott Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:16 am

At least try to find a 108" wheel base instead of the 90", that will give you a little more room inside.
avatar
crazee


Number of posts : 331
Location : O-HIGH-O ---> :P
Registration date : 2009-02-24

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by crazee Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:59 am

donivan65 wrote:Thats right, Earlys are cool,,,,,,,,nobody in their right mind would put up with the poor excuses for brakes and steering,,,,hard to find parts,,,,,,poor handling,,,,,poor mileage,,,,they are about as unsafe vehicle as you can get,,,,,,,all of them are rusting away,,,,,,it takes a lot of time and money to upgrade them so if you are a practical person, forget it,,,,,,,,,

LMAO!
Sounds like somebody doesn't want competition buying flatties........... lol!

YEP.......some are junk and need loads of work...................

Not true though "in all cases".

I've bought several flat front vans over the years. Drove a couple cross country & have one now that is my daily driver.

I find the mid-engine van easier to work on...........best gas mileage "if you have the setup that spells economy" ( example = mine = 250 six banger/ 1 barrel carb/ powerglide tranny with 10 bolts rear end with highway gears = 25mpg on the highway & 20+ around town on "non-windy days".LOL)

I bought my last one back in the spring.

Gave $1000 for it.............drove it over 100 miles home. Have tuned it up and put new tires and brakes on it..........lubed it and have driven the heck out of every since. I've taken several long trips over the summer & fall.........and have driven it almost daily with ZERO ISSUES. OH yeah..........it has the original drivetrain too! Heck I even took it on a big run down through the mountains of West Virginia & Eastern KY not long ago.....NOT A PROBLEM!

YEP........there are loads of "junk ones" out there...just like there are loads of junk or abused anything out there. BE SMART when you buy. If you BUY JUNK...........it shall cost loads to fix. If you buy smart..........the upkeep and repairs are minimal.

The later vans have more space inside and handle a bit better............but the earlies are more simple and cheaper & easier to fix and upkeep in my opinion. I suggest buying the later "earlies" that have the upgraded dual master cylinders and such for safety.

Good news is the price is "still right" on these vanishing and future big collector vehicles.

OH YEAH........... CHEVYS & GMC vans always are the best running, cheapest and easiest to fix with the best parts sources.

But truthfully with small kids.........you may want to think about seat belts and other safety issues. Of course the vintage vans can be so equipped if wanted even if they are so old they did not come that way stock.

So...........to recap in a less long winded way------------>

If ya like a vintage van...............buy one! If ya do not work on em or can't live without power steering, air, power brakes and such................best to stick with a new mini van or newer conversion van.

I like the Flatties and have never regretted owning them since my first one I had way back in the 70's.

ENJOY!
Smile
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:36 am

You definitely got to know the rules for Early Vans, they are primitive,,,,and the latest models would have the most modern equipment on them. About 10 years ago, you could not give them away,,,,now they are about the coolest looking things out there. But you need to find a good one or spend a lot of time and money fixing it up. But I think he has his mind set on a 8 door,,,,,,,,,,so thats what he will probably afFord
avatar
crazee


Number of posts : 331
Location : O-HIGH-O ---> :P
Registration date : 2009-02-24

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by crazee Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:32 pm

donivan65 wrote:.......... About 10 years ago, you could not give them away,,,,now they are about the coolest looking things out there. .................

hmmmmmmmmmm... must be different out on the left coast........around here they have always been cool and sell good. I know.......I been buying and selling em for years. They do seem to be getting more rare the last few years though. And there is a lot more interest as of late. Even I got super interested again in them. Before I just used em without a thought about them being collector items and such.

Wish I still had my old 1969 GTE van........that one was cherry as hell............WHY did I sell it????? DUH!!! lol

Of course most of em turned into tool sheds and garden sheds and fishing camps.........still lots like that buried in unusual places. Hell I pulled out one that was buried in a creek bank a couple years ago. It had a power glide & a 283 in it. The 283 ran great after we gassed it up. Poor underside was too rotten to fix and we put the 283 into a 53 M38A1 Marine corp Jeep...bolted it to the Jeep tranny with a JC Whitney bellhousing conversion. Sold the powerglide to racers. The van still sets behind my buddies garage as a parts shed. The Jeep still runs and is a real stump puller.
ha ha ha
avatar
Guest
Guest


basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Guest Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:18 pm

thanks for the van input
all good points!!
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:39 pm

I work on these every day, everyone of them needs repairing, anyone that says a 45 year old vehicle has no problems needs to take it to someone that knows about them. I would never pay big money for one,,,,,,,you are just going to have to redo it to make it more dependable and safer anyways. So get one with a good or repairable body, that is the most important part , everything else is fixable,,,then upgrade the brakes, cooling and drivetrain. Then make it pretty and comfortable the way YOU want it. If you crash into something, you are done for! And do you think 45 year old rubber hoses and metal brake lines last forever? And if it still has a single line suicide master cylinder that REALLY needs to be changed over to a dual line. Add fusible links to the wiring so you don't burn up the truck, WHEN, not IF, the wiring shorts out. There are tons of information on this site on how to fix and upgrade your van,,,,and someone always comes up with new ideas for us to try.
avatar
crazee


Number of posts : 331
Location : O-HIGH-O ---> :P
Registration date : 2009-02-24

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by crazee Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:26 am

donivan65 wrote:I work on these every day, everyone of them needs repairing, anyone that says a 45 year old vehicle has no problems needs to take it to someone that knows about them. ..............

Hmmmmmmmmmm........
Am I being overly sensitive...................?????
Because I'm taking the above post as "kinda" directed toward me. Shocked scratch scratch scratch

To tell the truth..........I realize yer a big shot on this forum affraid ...........and you seem an OK sort of guy too cheers ................BUT-------------->

Your statement above is NOT TRUE.

I bought mine from a 70+ year old guy who had it since the 70's................ I had carb issues ( easily fixed with a gasket and re-route of vacuum lines) and redid the brakes and tires "BECAUSE I ALWAYS DO IT".....but it was not needed. Mine is not JUNK like so many.

I also have a 1973 Spitfire that has 40,000+ ORIGINAL MILES on it and has a few years of TROUBLE FREE use on it by me.

GOOD ONES ARE OUT THERE.

My point is..............DO NOT BUY JUNK. You do not need to. Cars, trucks & vans are like women & dogs..........there are lots of bad ones running around.........but there are good ones too. No point in settling for the bad ones.......... Wink

Lastly............... I happen to be a great mechanic and have had more of these vans than most. Had em for years. Drive mine EVERY DAY..........EVERY DAY & do all my own wrenching. ( I'm 54 and got my first van -- a GMC air force surplus van when I was a young lad of about 19). I also build and restore and ACTUALLY DRIVE & RIDE Triumph cars & bikes, MGB's, Ironhead Sportsters and Honda 750- choppers. I drive a 75 Chevy truck with a zillion miles on it with a 292 and a granny 4 speed for about 14 years now. Bought it for $400 and changed the oil, tires, plugs, cap, did 1 brake job and she is worked like a mule daily to this day ( farm chores). So "NOT ALL" old stuff is junk that needs some entire rebuild.

Damn...... I even have a 1970 TR6R 650 Triumph sitting in my livingroom getting "modified" for next summer......( I like watching TV & being comfortable while I wrench on the bike in winter.ha.. ha)

Not bragging.........REALLY.......but my point is---> I'm VERY FAMILIAR and UP TO SPEED on OLD STUFF.

People tell me for years that Lucas electrics are junk ( NOT TRUE)..that British cars always break down & are hard to work on ( NOT TRUE)...that old Harley's and Triumphs ALWAYS LEAK OIL no matter what ( SUPER NOT TRUE)..and "other less than factual opinions".............YEP............lots of misconceptions perpetuated out there...............lots. Wink

Of course I also love the old stuff for "WHAT IS IS and how it was originally"............so I'm not into installing power brakes, steering, air, fancy electronic tranny's or other such crap. If I wanted a "new car".I'd just buy me a new car. tongue ..But to be truthful I prefer manual steering, brakes and tranny's. I do not like air conditioning........so I reckon I'm suited for using "VINTAGE" rides on a daily basis.............SHIT..........I EVEN LOVE MY POINTS and never did understand why some imagine electronic is better????? scratch scratch scratch

So any insinuation that I somehow don't know what I have or what I'm dealing with is kinda insulting to say the least. Fact is........I do not take mine to --> "needs to take it to someone that knows about them. .............. " ........ because I KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM than anyone I know within 200 miles of me. lol!

Ya know..........I remember being told that mine was not the original engine....the v-8 radiator was added later & not stock............my carb was not original and other misinformation when I first bought her.

ALL PROVEN WRONG because mine is original ...........engine, radiator, carb and more. So not all "opinions" by "experts" on any forum are always correct. Most of it is OPINION.

Summery is this............
NOBODY IS A KNOW IT ALL.............and NOT ALL OLD VEHICLES are gonna need massive repairs.
Common sense, patience & doing yer homework will help greatly in not making some emotional purchase of a piece of junk that needs some total rebuild. GOOD SOLID ONES ARE OUT THERE! study

Of course "some folks" just love to tear em apart and rebuild everything even if it's not needed. THIS IS COOL...........it's a hobby and some get enjoyment from this...........but they ALL DO NOT NEED THIS DONE TO THEM.

CHEERS................hope ya all enjoyed my rant for today..............now I'm gonna be "old school" (as usual) and twist up a blunt..........grab the fishin rod...hop in my "great running old van" ...crank up a Led Zepp cd and head for the river for a relaxing afternoon of fishing and picnicking.

PEACE "donivan65" cheers
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:21 am

He wanted to know the difference between a 1st Gen and a 3rd Gen,,,,,,and look at a 3rd Gen,,,,,,it does not use any parts or equipment from a 1st Gen, and there is a good reason for that, they made everything better. So there is no comparison between the two. So if he is looking for a 1st Gen, he needs to know what to expect. You just don't buy one and expect to drive cross country with no tools or spare parts like you would do with a newer model. There is always something to fix, so get used to it. 45 years takes a toll on it. Like last week, my front axle decided that it is tired of holding up my van, so it reverted to negative camber. And everyone I know has had cooling system and electrical problems. So if he is serious about an early, he might as well buy a junk one and start from scratch and take care of these problems. All I am saying is that it is going to take work to be driving the coolest vehicle in town.
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor


Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by donivan65 Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:37 am

,,,,,,,,,,and,,,,,,,if I really thought that I was a bigshot, I would just press this DELETE button and you would go away,,,,,,,,,
sasktrini
sasktrini


Number of posts : 2067
Location : Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Registration date : 2008-05-20

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by sasktrini Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:00 am

Without things on a technical question being turned personal, I think you both have valid perspectives on what you can get when you get into an early van, and that is what's important.

Crazee, you mention on earlies that are mostly driveable, that you pay attention to any trouble spots that show themselves... you don't buy an early and just expect to drive it... you check out the carb, motor, etc...

Donivan, you have a cautious perspective on earlies that serves you well, likely finding issues requiring attention that may otherwise be barely detectable from just driving it, what I mean is stuff that should be on the to-do list in order to prevent unanticipated failures while driving.

A new early van owner should appreciate the risks and rewards, and balance them out against what they want to use the early for (driving to a cruise, carrying a mini bike).

You guys are good guys, and I don't think you intended for this to become personal, forum posts are easily misinterpreted... I hope you can agree.

Anybody up for a round of "Kumbaya"?
G-Man
G-Man
Mayor
Mayor


Number of posts : 30743
Location : Fowlerville, MI
Age : 60
Registration date : 2008-05-06

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by G-Man Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:11 am

Opinions are great !!! And lets drop it here before this post goes somewhere we don't want it to go. If it does go there delete the whole thing.
avatar
crazee


Number of posts : 331
Location : O-HIGH-O ---> :P
Registration date : 2009-02-24

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by crazee Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:34 pm

The real point with any old vehicle is this.........
SOME ARE WELL MAINTAINED all through their life.......... MOST are not and the degree of abuse and neglect with these varies.

Some need NOTHING because they were well taken care of or barely used. ( no matter the age)

Others need "some repair done"............

Still others are just pure junk.

I buy the first 2 categories and pass on the 3rd category.

WHY?

Because the 3rd category is never worth the time, effort or cash expended. ( at least to me cause I like using em..not rebuilding them).

Also take into account my perspective is ALWAYS from a "users perspective"......not from a show car restorers perspective.

We all have different needs and apply different uses to our vintage machines no matter what they are. SO YES.........different opinions are all relevant.
AzDon
AzDon


Number of posts : 579
Location : Lake Havasu Az
Age : 66
Registration date : 2014-01-20

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by AzDon Sat Jul 23, 2022 10:43 am

Front engine versus mid engine??......They all have the engine over the front wheels, so by definition, they are all front engine!!
Except that.....
I set the engine back 18" on mine, so the "mid engine" description fits a bit better...

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Boomnd11

basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Boxwin10

And yes, I know this thread is ancient, but it's mostly still relevant except the part about the first two generation vans being cheap......Not true anymore!

Sponsored content


basic van question, front engine vs mid engine Empty Re: basic van question, front engine vs mid engine

Post by Sponsored content


    Current date/time is Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:35 am