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Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776812 May 28th 2021 12:54 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
AdSense long
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776881 May 29th 2021 7:39 pm
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Received the $20 AEM GM EV6 injector harness today and fit it to the fuel rails on the marine intake. I picked up an assortment of the Deuschworks connectors on Amazon to build a matching end for the engine harness. Plan to install the leftover connector on the OEM spider connector just in case I ever need to quickly swap back to the stock intake in the future for emissions reasons. Nice to have near plug and play options should the need ever arise.

Attached Files
20210529_192715.jpg (274.06 KB, 132 downloads)
20210529_192724.jpg (207.1 KB, 131 downloads)

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 #776891 May 29th 2021 11:41 pm
Joined: Jul 2019
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Nice job and it sounds great. chevy

1 member likes this: 1983G20Van
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #776897 May 30th 2021 8:43 am
Joined: Feb 2002
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Awesome!


Jim & Lucy Newkirk
1965 Chevy Bad Influence
1981 Chevy-the Love Shack
2012 Chevy Van , 2020 chevy van
2020 Chevy van Sapphire Sweet.
Club Vannerz.
vanninvanner@comcast.net
1 member likes this: 1983G20Van
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
pontiac59 #776898 May 30th 2021 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by pontiac59
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.

Changing the speakers, tweeters, exterior handles, power window and lock switches, lock actuators and the window motors while I am in there in addition to greasing the power window regulators with the correct grease. Also need to lube the window runs while I have it apart as well. Windows have been slow for years and the lock actuators weak. Driver outer handle has function but it has been loose for a couple of years.

I prefer the 96-02 vans to the 03+. Not a fan of the $$$ failure prone sealed hub bearing assemblies up front as well as the BCM and all the added wiring GM added somewhere in the 03+.Finally not a fan of the sluggish low-end torque of the LS that makes them downshift on even slight grades. The old 5.7L had lots of low-speed torque. Even rolling on 31.5" tall 20s with a 3.73 gear the old 350 would pull the Express up a 6% grade in overdrive at highway speeds without unlocking the converter. Several years ago going through Kentucky I took advantage of the sustained heavy loading of the uphill climbs and dialed in the spark timing map going down the road while my little brother was driving. I had realtime tuning on the 0411 and was able to make changes with the engine running. Old 350 with the GM 395' 300 HP 350 Marine/Ramjet/HT383 cam in it felt like an electric motor pulling that van as the throttle increased. Even down at 2,000 rpm budge the loud pedal and it would respond with more power.

https://youtu.be/UgwvwHzk74c

Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 30th 2021 8:55 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 #776912 May 30th 2021 1:51 pm
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Welcome to the Site Sir with that well wrenched on Rig. That's alot of well done work. Nicely done! Quite sure Pops is proud.


"Who New? Blue"
1990 Chevy G30 454 EXT
Church Van, maternity division

"DogVan"
1988 Dodge B250

"Cabin Cruiser"
'94 Dodge B350 www.xplorermotorhome.com/
Xplorer MH model 230 230 hp MPI 360 LA Wedgy OD auto

Old vans are getting pricey!
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
Wedgy #776948 May 30th 2021 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Wedgy
Welcome to the Site Sir with that well wrenched on Rig. That's alot of well done work. Nicely done! Quite sure Pops is proud.

I am sure pops would be. Although when I put the first replacement Vortec 350 in this van back in 2005ish he was pretty mad at me. The old 350 had self destructed on startup on him by hydro locking on coolant from a leaking intake gasket. Broke the #2 connecting rod which then munched the cam and block. When I put the new crate engine in, I replaced the spider and removed that stupid EGR diffuser plate on the vortec throttle plate. The torque converter had also been slipping so I put a reman for a 4.3 S10 into it. Behind the L31 it stalled 2,500 rpm. Then I had a friend that had TunerCatsOBD2. We put a bit of a power tune in the PCM. The tuning included a massive timing table change. Not having much to go off of since neither of us had worked much on the 5.7L Vortec, my friend had a Ramjet 350 timing table. We put the Ramjet 350 timing map into the Vortec PCM and pulled a couple of degrees of timing out of the whole map for the weight of the van and the fact dad always ran 87. Dad got it back after I had broken in the engine. He bitched at me for a couple of weeks because he could not accelerate from a stop without burning the tires which I found odd because his other vehicle was a 1994 Ram 2500 regular cab long bed 2wd with the V10 Magnum which was the lightest truck you could get that engine in. The factory PCM had died in that truck and I had replaced it with a mopar performance unit calibrated for a colder thermostat and a low restriction exhaust and air cleaner. Cats had failed so we did what everyone else had done and gutted them. That truck was way touchier than the van on the get up and go pedal. My brother who was still at home and rode to school with my dad said my dad would burn the tires out of every stop and not intentionally. Eventually he relearned the go pedal and enjoyed having the extra get up and go when needed. He upped it to P295/50R15s from P235/75R15s when it needed tires and it was much easier to get off a stop without smoking the tires. My dad was mostly a putt around kind of guy but he would occasionally break his foot off in the go pedal. I remember one time he had the Q-Jet on the old 83 G20 305 singing for several miles with the needle on the 85 mph speedo wrapped around and pegged on the back of the 0 mph stop. First time I had ever been that fast in a vehicle. He had a guy in about a 95 Chevy truck that kept trying to cut him off so he just flat footed the carb 305 that was not governed like the TBI was and made him vanish in the rearview mirror. The 83 had eaten a cam and lifter somewhere around 120K miles when I was about 10 in 1995. Dad was a coach amd a teacher on a limited budget and had some mechanical experience and I helped him over the course of a week of summer nights pull the heads, take them to the machine shop and replace the cam and upper end gaskets. He had bought a couple of small block chevy books at the local bookstore and we would read up during the heat of the day and work at night and sleep in the next morning. For a 305 it ran really well. Machine shop gave him some kind of .454 lift cam that he said would make it pull dads trailer better. Years later I think I know what cam went into it but it was a huge kick in the pants over the tiny factory cam and it had a little lope to it. After we got the cam broken in we had driven the van around with the dog house off and played around with the distributor to get the timing set by ear. Q-Jet had an awesome sound opening up with the doghouse cover off. This kickstarted my interest in cars and engines.

Last edited by 1983G20Van; May 30th 2021 11:04 pm.

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 #776967 May 31st 2021 3:07 pm
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Started my day off this morning by deleting the EGR wiring. The pink switched power wire is going to get extended to control the switched power side of my fan relays. Then moved on to cleaning the passenger inner fender and truck bed coating it. Next step is to remove the a/c box off the firewall. Was waiting on some penetrating oil to help release the a/c fitting for the rear a/c liquid line or I would have it off already. I was able to get the fitting to release but now waiting on the truck bed liner I already sprayed to dry. OEM power antenna is getting removed for a fixed FM/CB antenna. Van is getting a small Uniden CB radio installed in the dash where the factory CD player once resided.

Attached Files
20210531_112951.jpg (217.21 KB, 90 downloads)
20210531_113114.jpg (203.53 KB, 89 downloads)
20210531_113217.jpg (202.79 KB, 88 downloads)
20210531_131838.jpg (212.75 KB, 89 downloads)
20210531_131846.jpg (174.09 KB, 89 downloads)
20210531_142521.jpg (269.64 KB, 90 downloads)
20210531_142452.jpg (203.98 KB, 89 downloads)

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 #777042 June 02nd 2021 8:13 pm
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So my OEM airbox had basically fallen apart on this 97. I looked on GM Parts and its discontinued. Tried the local treasure yard and found several in the same shape or worse than mine. Looked at an 01+ and picked one up. Would not clear the fan shroud. Tried to find an aftermarket CAI kit. NONE on the market. Then discovered K&N makes a kit for a Kodiak with the 6.6 diesel that shares the same firewall as the van. Called K&N to try to buy just the heatshield and the filter from them. The woman on the phone was absolutely not helpful at all. Seems the only way you could get the part even if you already had the kit and needed a replacement part would be to buy the whole kit again. She suggested I look at Spectre for something "universal" despite making the product I need and wanted to buy with debit card in hand. Never will buy or suggest K&N or Spectre parts again after having run their filters in all my vehicles over the past 18 years and suggesting and selling hundreds of K&N and Spectre products to customers. Their customer service was that bad. Its ashame because they already make the perfect shaped heatshield and perfect sized filters for the 96+ Express vans. The filter is even a 3.5" like our OEM MAF. Could literally fabricate some mounts in about 30 minutes and bolt it in. Still scratching my head as to why one of the most common vans ever built does not have a CAI kit made for it yet they build one for an oddball one or two year run of a very limited production Kodiak truck. K&N also got a nice 1 star review left on their google reviews. Absolutely zero chance of me paying $350 for a stamped metal heatshield, a few bolts and nuts and a cone filter even though it would fit and look great. Even more puzzling is that K&N builds an intake kit for an Econoline van with the modular V8s. I see 3-4 Express/Savanna vans for every Econoline on the road and GM has had a much longer run than Ford.

Attached Files
Screenshot_2021-06-01-00-07-28-1.png (678.5 KB, 81 downloads)
Last edited by 1983G20Van; June 02nd 2021 8:34 pm.

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'
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