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#288196 - May 04th 2009 1:16 am Converting Grills?
Cactusc00ler Offline

Registered: April 21st 2009 3:06 pm
Posts: 17
Loc: Orange County,CA,USA
Hello all. Its about time for me to purchase a new grill for my 87 van, its cheap plastic and its cracking in some places, its just plain ugly.

So my question was, is it possible to use an older generation chevy grill (Single round headlights) instead of the 87 style?

I know it has to be possible, but has anyone done it? How? Difficult?

I just love the older style grills. chevy

#288203 - May 04th 2009 1:50 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Cactusc00ler]
VanVida_Israel Offline

Registered: December 21st 2002 12:00 pm
Posts: 3571
Loc: KS
Good luck..hope you find what you're after.
for 2% T-shirt info go to

#288204 - May 04th 2009 2:28 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: VanVida_Israel]
Shnoogens Offline

Registered: April 18th 2009 12:33 am
Posts: 177
Loc: Tacoma
i would start by finding old fenders and a core support.. thats how i swapped my 88 s10 grill to 93 jimmy grill

same principle?

75 chevy shorty nomad

#288206 - May 04th 2009 2:41 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Shnoogens]
Cactusc00ler Offline

Registered: April 21st 2009 3:06 pm
Posts: 17
Loc: Orange County,CA,USA
hmm not sure if the fenders will be in the way. i just found this. He did exactly what i want to do.

its about halfway into his blog.

#288207 - May 04th 2009 2:47 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Cactusc00ler]
Shnoogens Offline

Registered: April 18th 2009 12:33 am
Posts: 177
Loc: Tacoma
why not go get the grill and headlight buckets from a junkyard? try that.. and if you end up needing a core support go get one when you can afford it?

75 chevy shorty nomad

#288218 - May 04th 2009 6:57 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Shnoogens]
NateNCBV Offline


Registered: August 23rd 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 20415
Loc: Brooklyn Park, Maryland, USA
Do you have quad headlights or just the dual setup?
Nate Breece
North Chesapeake Bay Vans
1994 Dodge B250 Elk Conversion (5.2L/A518)
2008 Dodge Caravan (3.8L)

#288219 - May 04th 2009 7:00 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Shnoogens]
swimmster Offline
old hand

Registered: February 16th 2008 9:41 am
Posts: 1189
Loc: New York
You may also need all the sheetmetal behind the headlights as well. not an easy piece to remove since most junkyards, here in friggin NY state anyways, will not allow you to bring in ANY form of cutting tool or power tool.. I am converting my van from 92 style to 79 style. have to get back out to buffalo to get the pieces that Stan cut off for me so i can do this conversion. But where the headlights mount to the structure is what you are going to need as well as the core support. Otherwise, it is ALMOST that easy.... have not seen yet where you have to change out fenders on a G20. some mounting points may be in a different spot, but that is easy to overcome.. far easier than cutting your fenders off and rewelding new ones back on.
Yeah..... I know I know.... It's NOT a van... But if you squint, It could be a REALLY long van?

#288223 - May 04th 2009 7:06 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: swimmster]
Blue77 Offline

Registered: February 03rd 2009 10:36 pm
Posts: 1689
Loc: Galesburg, IL
wookee and hippieluke are wanting to do this.
And well anyway, you need the grille, and the grille support.


#288284 - May 04th 2009 10:58 am Re: Converting Grills? [Re: Blue77]
wookee Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: April 14th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 7535
Loc: Joppa Md. U.S.A.
You really need a 71 to 77 doner van.....

I have this project slated to be done but have not gotten around to it yet......

Karson also did it in his van....

It's just not an easy bolt and unbolt job.There will more than like likly be some welding and some spot weld cutting needed to pull it off.
I found out the other day a 91 hood is the same size from front to back as a 77.The latches are in different locations

Nice clean 71 to 77 grills are also getting harder to come by these days.

Its a "Van Thing"
A life style you have to LIVE to understand!

Vintage Chevy Van Club

#288882 - May 05th 2009 10:53 pm Re: Converting Grills? [Re: wookee]
matchstickBGV Offline

Registered: January 01st 2008 10:24 am
Posts: 3428
Loc: louisville, ky
I think the main difference is the 71-77 grills mounted flat , but in the 80s GM added a lip of sorts that kind of sits inside the headlight door that you will have to cut off so that the MID grill sits flush like it would on it's origin van.
I go to Truck-ins. How about you?

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