The Stovebolt.com Forums Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Helping out ...


WELCOME

The site has expanded to include the 1973 to 1987 trucks!

Check out the new forum just for them and welcome our newest brothers and sisters with the "Rounded Line" trucks.
Encourage one another! Share what you've learned!

Stovebolt Site Search
 
Old Truck Calendars
Months of truck photos!
Nothing like an old truck calendar

Stovebolt Calendars

Check for details!


Who's Online Now
9 members (AZChris, Johnny N, cameo1956, papas52, 2 invisible), 211 guests, and 4 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums58
Topics121,837
Posts982,345
Members44,322
Most Online1,229
Jan 21st, 2020
Image Posting Policy
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
The wheelchair van project
#1398305 Sun Feb 21 2021 10:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 369
H
Shop Shark
The GMC 248 has been the most reliable engine I've ever seen, and it's simple enough that even I could maintain it. It has failed to start three times in 25 years, and two of those were my fault. Now, the headgasket is gonzo, sweet smelling steam pours out the exhaust. One of the con rods goes clunk on cold starts. Rebuild, immediately; obviously!

But wait, I don't have a garage to work in, my truck sleeps in the rain. Furthermore, there's a clause in my lease that specifically forbids work that would render the vehicle immobile for more than 24 hours. Can't pull apart the engine in the parking lot.

Get an estimate from a shop! Inlines are way easier than V8's, right? Nah, they all say pull it and send it to a machine shop... total cost would be double my entire savings.

Okay, then, what options are within my budget? Different engine? Maybe an inline you can find parts for? [summitracing.com] That would require moving the motor mounts, but not much else in modification. I'd have to buy new intake/exhaust/pumps/pans but that will still be less than the shop (new pumps were included in the rebuild estimate as well).

BLASPHEMY! Destroying the purity of this vintage... um... work truck. When I first acquired the GMC panel it had a 228 laid to rest in the back with a rod poking out the side. The engine that's in it seems to be a wrecking yard find. Haven't a clue about actual miles or hours of operation, let's just say it's not original and well past its warranty. When it hasn't been used as a moving van by nearly everyone I know, it's been a rolling storage locker. I'd like to make it my wheelchair van, if I can find a lift that will clear the bumper and retract inside the doors. There's a place north of Seattle that harvests and resells wheelchair lifts, I'll see what they have. But, I digress.

What about the SM420 transmission? I've successfully ignored the input shaft bearing until the clutch throw-out began shouting even louder. I have a 4L60 automatic I'd love to see through a fresh-cut hole in the cab floor. grin

Hey, if you're gonna replace that GMC block with a bowtie, why not LS? Money, honey! I am a cripple with a very limited income, and if I can't afford to rebuild the inline, I sure can't afford a full LS conversion. Let's not forget this is a 3 ton vehicle, it will never be fast.

So, that's what's kept me busy during lockdown. How are you doing?


If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll laugh at you.

Panel Beater: 1955 1st Series GMC 250-22
Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398308 Sun Feb 21 2021 11:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,894
E
Shop Shark
Can you find a shop on the dryside (Yakima, etc.) that would let you take it over there where it won’t rust overnight, rebuild the engine(a 270 or 302 would fit right in there, similar rebuild costs). 420 is a good trans, look up Novak in SLC for info. If you can drive a 420 with your disability, good for you.

It will still cost $. Spend a lot of time looking for someone who will not just gold plate everything.

Do you have any friends who can help you? I am sure there are clubs in the ‘wet side’ that might help you.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Re: The wheelchair van project
EdPruss #1398344 Mon Feb 22 2021 02:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 369
H
Shop Shark
Yeah, I got one reply from an inline builder near Bellingham, but that shop has a 10 month waiting list. I found a shop in Tacoma that will actually gold plate my valve cover and make my truck tap-dance with hydraulics, but they won't rebuild the inline.

I can either operate the clutch or brake, not both. I have power brakes, so I feel confident slapping it out of gear when I need to stop completely. Starting on hills (which is all we have in Seattle) is a three handed operation, getting the 4L60 installed would make it much safer.

Money is the one thing I'm not permitted. If a disabled person receiving benefits has more than $2K in cash it causes an automatic audit, and if I earn any money they will raise my rent and cut my benefits to compensate. I know a 270 or 302 will fill the hole, but unless you're going to donate a running engine it's not really useful info. I haven't considered the 270/302 for the same reason an LS is out of the question. I have to work with what I have, there is no budget for a wish list. Ironically, a tax subsidy will help pay for installation of the lift (modification for medical purpose), but the van itself is my problem to solve.

My friends and relatives moved out of Seattle when they got old enough to know better. Within minutes of retirement, they were packed and gone. If I didn't have a subsidized apartment and a cadre of medical specialists to support, I would have led the exodus. Seattle car clubs don't answer email, except the Greenwood Knights who informed me where to send membership fees. As a result, I have little info on local clubs beyond their webpages.


If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll laugh at you.

Panel Beater: 1955 1st Series GMC 250-22
Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398387 Mon Feb 22 2021 02:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 786
K
Shop Shark
I don’t know how much work is involved but there may be some information on installing either a 235 or maybe a 250 chev engine in your panel ,if it is easier to find a good engine.


kevinski 1954 GMC 9300 Welcome to the virtual Garage
Re: The wheelchair van project
KEVINSKI #1398477 Tue Feb 23 2021 01:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 369
H
Shop Shark
As I mentioned above, I'm looking at the 250 Chevy inline sold through Summit; it's within the budget and parts are still available. I don't have precise block dimensions yet, but I've been told the GMC block is longer than the Chev, so if I move the front motor mount it should drop in with room to spare.

I can't afford to drag the truck to Centralia. That's the nearest "dry side" shop that will touch an inline, and they're booked solid through 2021. Haven't looked farther east than that, TBH; I'd rather do the swap and worry about the GMC block later. Might rebuild, might sell, might stick it back in the truck someday.

It is at this point where Cunningham's Law comes into play, and those experienced with engine transplants administer the virtual dope-slap.

Last edited by Hedgehog; Tue Feb 23 2021 02:00 PM.

If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll laugh at you.

Panel Beater: 1955 1st Series GMC 250-22
Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398478 Tue Feb 23 2021 01:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,434
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Actually that particular swap has been done hundreds of times, maybe by a few on Stovebolt. I would think if you have reasonable mechanical skills and access to a fair amount of equipment and tools it shouldn’t be too difficult.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398675 Wed Feb 24 2021 09:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 110
W
Shop Shark
This sound like an interesting project, can you post a picture of the Panel Truck? It sounds like you will put the wheelchair lift in the back door, why not front door? I have no idea how it would fit.
You might be able to find a used 235 that someone no longer needs. Someone that swapped in a 350 and has that old running when pulled last year 235 sitting under a tarp in the yard, ahem…


1947.2 Chevy Panel Truck 1 ton
1955.2 Chevy Suburban
1955.2 Chevy 6700 Bus/RV
Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398834 Thu Feb 25 2021 07:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 369
H
Shop Shark
Okay, here's my old stovebolt photo page, it hasn't changed much in 20 years. This is where I'll be working: https://bit.ly/3bEXZUP I would have posted a pic but the [img] tag failed.

I already have an inline that needs a rebuild, I don't need two. Summit can drop a "freshly rebuilt" 250 in my parking lot for under $3K, which leaves me just enough money to do all the work myself. Thanks, anyway.


If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll laugh at you.

Panel Beater: 1955 1st Series GMC 250-22
Re: The wheelchair van project
Hedgehog #1398900 Thu Feb 25 2021 10:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 110
W
Shop Shark
That is a good looking Panel Truck, I put mirrors like that on my '47.


1947.2 Chevy Panel Truck 1 ton
1955.2 Chevy Suburban
1955.2 Chevy 6700 Bus/RV

Moderated by  HandyAndy 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-Ya Shop
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4