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1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
#776778 May 27th 2021 1:49 am
Joined: Apr 2007
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Thought I would show my project van. Parents bought it in 98 with about 13,000 miles on it. I have had it since 2012 when my mom said get it out of my driveway. My dad had passed away in 2011 and it had been his daily driver. Had to make some wiring harness repairs and decided to just go ahead and yank the engine and clean the whole engine compartment. Gave me some much needed time to work on other parts of it. The van was a 1500 but has been converted to full 1 ton specs. Suspension, running gear, brakes and all are right out of a 2002 15 passenger church van.

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1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
AdSense long
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776780 May 27th 2021 2:05 am
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Current big project, remove everything from the firewall, clean and paint the front frame section, bedline both sides of the inner fenders and firewall that shows and repair the harness. Once that is done the 383 is getting dropped back into it. I had a a rear main seal leaking on the fresh 383 and with the front clip and headers off already doing the steering gearbox and harness it was only about an hour job to pull the engine again.

What the 383 sounds like with a Q-Jet on it and the open tri-ys off the Express van.

https://youtu.be/l7XDuEvqFR4

Currently adding flex fuel sensor and fuel pump hotwire wiring into the main harness as well as redoing my electric fan harness. Also adding an a/c pressure transducer. This 97 is running on a Blue/Green terminal 1 meg 2005 DBC 6.0L Express PCM with a 2005 Mexican GMT800 L31 5.7L vortec based engine calibration. The Racetronix hotwire kit was an old modification that feeds the fuel pump directly from the output stud of the alternator through 10 gauge wiring and a 30 amp relay as well as geounds the pump through a 10 gauge ground wire. Was necessary for the 340 LPH fuel pump upgrade to support my ~500 hp 383 on E85. Those 6.2L Raptor injectors on the marine intake get thirsty on E85 around 5,000-6,000 rpm.

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Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 27th 2021 2:26 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776782 May 27th 2021 2:19 am
Joined: Apr 2007
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Just made an entire post in the GM how to on this. Updating the mirrors to the dual glass mirrors found on a 2012 Express while retaining the power and heater functions. Repinned the mirror harness to match the 97 and they work perfectly. Also still have to wire it in but had a 10 year old Gentec Auto dimming homelink rearview mirror that was brand new in the box that I just installed on the windshield.

https://www.vanning.com/threads/ubb...o-2012-dual-split-mirror.html#Post776779

Attached Files
20210526_210754.jpg (258.57 KB, 75 downloads)
20210526_212312.jpg (187.59 KB, 75 downloads)
20210526_212300.jpg (245.59 KB, 75 downloads)
Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 27th 2021 2:22 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776784 May 27th 2021 5:31 am
Joined: Aug 2005
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Likes: 14
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Supreme Master
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Nice work!!


Nate Breece
--------------
1993 Chevy G20
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776786 May 27th 2021 8:29 am
Joined: Feb 2002
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Old Timer
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Yes iy is . sweet!


Jim & Lucy Newkirk
1965 Chevy Bad Influence
1981 Chevy-the Love Shack
2012 Chevy Van , 2020 chevy van
Wrangler go cart Van, 2 of them
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2020 chevy Sapphire Suite
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776804 May 27th 2021 10:53 pm
Joined: Aug 2002
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Nice looking van you got there.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776808 May 27th 2021 11:53 pm
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Thank you for the complements guys!

Some of the engine build for those of us that like a hotrod of a van. At 11:1 with 210cc heads it is not messing around for power. 218/228 @ 0.050 roller cam on a 108 LSA and 104 ICL with 0.578 lift with the 1.7 full roller rockers. Effortlessly spins 6,500 with the balanced rotating assembly, 6" H-beam rods and forged Weisco slugs. Pump premium or E85 only for it. Heads were ported by Lloyd Elliot and flow very close to 300 cfm on the intake and 200 cfm on the exhaust through a 2.02/1.60 valve.

I had the marine intake, 300 hp marine cam, 1.7 rockers and the headers on the old 350. How it ran with the old 350 Vortec and the 300 hp GM 395' marine cam that only made power to 5,100 rpm. The hotter 357 hp SPO cam made power to 6,000.

https://youtu.be/Sc-DZDdjc7o

I later put a bigger 357 hp SPO 350 cam in the 350 (a little smaller than the 383s cam) and 3" electric cutouts before the muffler. This is what the bigger cammed 350 sounded like. Apparantly never made a WOT video of it though with that cam.

https://youtu.be/4GLiLvlr2MM

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20210424_230525.jpg (256.85 KB, 49 downloads)
Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 28th 2021 12:08 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776810 May 28th 2021 12:20 am
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I had a custom converter built by Performance Torque Converters of North Texas out of Kennedale, TX that has a billet front cover, bigger lockup clutch, fully brazed fins and is restalled for the 383. The old 350 was pushing through the Pheonix out of Weatherford, TX built converter. The Pheonix built one is the smaller diameter FWD V6 based body. These were both built to stall roughly 2,600 rpm yet the old 350 was stalling the smaller one 2,800+, you can hear how loose it was in the WOT acceleration video. Given that I tow a 6,000 lbs travel trailer with the van the smaller converter was not going to cut it behind the 383. 383 would have likely stalled it higher than 3,000 rpm and built a massive amount of heat trying to get nearly 13,000 lbs rolling from a stop.

Attached Files
20210416_205949.jpg (243.49 KB, 44 downloads)
Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 28th 2021 12:25 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776811 May 28th 2021 12:35 am
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The towed rig is a 2015 Jayco 23RLSW. Great for a bachelor or a couple for longer term or for a shorter trip with a kid or two or perhaps even the parents or in-laws for a weekend. With a bedroom in the nose and the rest of the sleeping space in the rear it is pretty nice to get away in. It sleeps 6 comfortably and I have actually had 7 in it on one trip. Inflatable air bed fits perfectly in the floor with the slide out. 7 happens to be what the van carries as well. It was after that 500 mile trip the van became 1-ton equipped. It has Helwig front and rear sway bars under it. 1-1/2" front and 1-3/8" rear and the trailer is setup on a good weight distributing hitch (spring bar type, no chains) with built-in antisway.

Attached Files
20150826_095953.jpg (315.39 KB, 41 downloads)
Screenshot_2018-08-26-19-05-24.png (92.45 KB, 44 downloads)
Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 28th 2021 12:42 am.

1983 G20 Conversion Van, 350 TPI, Reed Hydraulic Roller cam, Ported 906 Vortec, Edelbrock 3817 TPI-Vortec Base, Doug Thorley Tri-Ys, Dual 2 1/2" exhaust, Speed Density 7730 ECM tuned by ME, 700r4 by ME, Stock 1,600 rpm converter, Rebuilt Stock 10 bolt with posi by ME, 3.08 gears, 358 RWHP @ 5,200, 384 RWTQ @ 3,400, 14.66 @ 95.43 w 2.28s 60'
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776812 May 28th 2021 1:54 am
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These are nice vans if you like working on them. If you have to get into a door for anything, consider changing the handles, they get brittle with age and can break.


1994 G20
2002 Express, sitting dead
1988 G20 conversion, stored
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