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Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #795089 August 28th 2022 9:49 pm
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Vanula escaped from the laboratory for a while today. First time I have driven it in several weeks. Actually remembered to take a picture of it today. Everytime I drive this I forget how much I have always enjoyed driving it. Its alot more fun to drive now. It corners with very little body roll, accelerates like a 60s muscle car and also stops very well for its weight. The steering is tight and responsive like it was new.

[Linked Image]


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'
1 member likes this: Jimkinmd
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Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #795096 August 28th 2022 10:41 pm
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Wow ! Nice build

1 member likes this: 1983G20Van
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #795702 September 11th 2022 2:44 pm
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As I have been putting a few miles on it, have found a couple of small things to address. One of the AN cooler lines to the auxiliary trans cooler was leaking fluid, had to remove the grille to get to it. Also had a head bolt that started seeping coolant once I was able to get the system to fully pressurize. Had to remove the engine cover and luckily it was an easy head bolt to get to. Other than that it is running great.

Last edited by 1983G20Van; September 11th 2022 2:45 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'
1 member likes this: frscke1
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #795912 September 15th 2022 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by 1983G20Van
Vanula escaped from the laboratory for a while today. First time I have driven it in several weeks. Actually remembered to take a picture of it today. Everytime I drive this I forget how much I have always enjoyed driving it. Its alot more fun to drive now. It corners with very little body roll, accelerates like a 60s muscle car and also stops very well for its weight. The steering is tight and responsive like it was new.

[Linked Image]
Looking good! What size tires are they? Is it that the tires are big or the front is that low? The front wheel well looks nice and full, mine has so much gap.

Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
SafariTim #796719 October 04th 2022 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by SafariTim
Originally Posted by 1983G20Van
Vanula escaped from the laboratory for a while today. First time I have driven it in several weeks. Actually remembered to take a picture of it today. Everytime I drive this I forget how much I have always enjoyed driving it. Its alot more fun to drive now. It corners with very little body roll, accelerates like a 60s muscle car and also stops very well for its weight. The steering is tight and responsive like it was new.

[Linked Image]
Looking good! What size tires are they? Is it that the tires are big or the front is that low? The front wheel well looks nice and full, mine has so much gap.

The tires were just some old ones that came with those wheels. They were 235/85R16s and they did rub in tight cornering.

I bought 5 new take off Bridgestone L265s in LT245/75R16 along with a spare steel wheel for $918 out the door. The tires were ao new they still had the molding fuzzies on the tread.

See if you can spot the tire shops mistake... Before reading the next sentences.


[Linked Image]

I did not pay close enough attention when they went on and had to later swap the front wheels and tires side to side. I had never noticed that while the tires are not directional my wheels are. There are 2 of one and 2 of the other.

Last edited by 1983G20Van; October 04th 2022 4:41 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 #796720 October 04th 2022 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by 1983G20Van
The tires were ao new they still had the molding fuzzies on the tread.


Tires 10 yrs old can still have the little fuzzies on them. What is the DOT date and did you get a matched set ? All made at the same time.


SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #796721 October 04th 2022 4:55 pm
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New GM front blower motor has the ac blowing strongly.
https://youtube.com/shorts/SI7SDd-ZoRE?feature=share

I have made some additional tuning changes and have the envine running like a refined machine now. On a 250 mile nearly all highway trip with the cruise set at 70-80 mph where traffic permited I managed 18.8 mpg. I love the torque the 383 makes. On a 2 mile long 6-8% grade I go up fairly regularly, with the cruise set at 80 mph, it did drop to 76 mph but it just climbed without downshifting or unlocking the torque converter.

https://youtube.com/shorts/VSfSVm6tG3k?feature=share

For reference this is the first part of the grade I mentioned, cruising along in my mom's Titan. That truck is geared so tall it makes it all of 100ft before it downshifts.

https://youtube.com/shorts/0G_JirYtj0o?feature=share


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
frscke1 #796722 October 04th 2022 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by frscke1
Originally Posted by 1983G20Van
The tires were ao new they still had the molding fuzzies on the tread.


Tires 10 yrs old can still have the little fuzzies on them. What is the DOT date and did you get a matched set ? All made at the same time.

Tires are a matched set and they have this years DOT date (04/22).

Last edited by 1983G20Van; October 04th 2022 5:04 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'
1 member likes this: frscke1
Re: 1997 Chevy Express Cobra Conversion
1983G20Van #797191 October 17th 2022 1:44 am
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Van has been running well, but it is about to go under the knife yet again. At WOT I have always seen the intake manifold pressure dropping as the engine revs up. I turned the MAF sensor off in the PCM calibration and started pulling apart the air intake. First the air cleaner. Then the MAF. Then finally the dumb intake hat that GM used to literally cram our engines into these vans. I temporarily installed the marine flame arrestor that is little more than a mesh screen on top of the throttle body. With the throttle body finally able to draw in air, the manifold pressure went from 88 KPA to 97 KPA at 5,500-6,000 rpm. The engine ran like it has never run before. I would say it probably gained 40-50 HP. That pressure difference observed at the manifold is equivalent to driving at 4,000 ft elevation. I found an intake manifold that I ordered with fuel rails. It will have a 102mm LS style throttle body on the front of it, connected to the 4" silicone inlet ducting and 100mm MAF. The manifold is only 90mm at the face but I already have a 102mm LS style throttle body and a matching 102mm to 90mm adapter laying around unused on a shelf at the shop that came on a LS intake I put the DBW throttle body back on. My 97 Express van has 11" of height between the china wall at the end of the engine block and the bottom of the engine tunnel under the wiper cowls. The upper plenum sits 8" off the china wall and the lip for the throttle body mounting is 9" off the china wall. It will clear both the engine tunnel on the body and the factory doghouse. It is similar to the GM Ramjet manifold. I found engine dyno data for both the Ramjet and the L31 Marine crossram manifold on the same long block. Both the Ramjet and 300 HP Marine engine use the same short block, same 9.1:1 compression ratio with their thicker head gaskets, as well as the 196/206@ 0.050 duration GM 395' camshaft. The Ramjet and Marine intake both make the same torque at 2,500 rpm. At 2,700 rpm the Ramjet intake with its 4" long runners and open plenum starts to pull ahead. By 4,800 rpm the Ramjet 350 is up 61 hp over the marine intake. This manifold has slightly longer runners at 6" long. It should make a little more torque than the Ramjet manifold. That being said a 9.1:1 350 with a Ramjet manifold is already making 390 ft/lbs of torque at 2,500 rpm. With 383 cubic inches of air hungry small block compressing that air to a 9:1 dynamic compression ratio, I do not see this manifold making any less torque than the ported truck manifold or marine manifold. If it does cost a little torque, it will be well under the 2,800 rpm stall speed of my torque converter and a mere touch of the throttle will make the torque loss vanish. I am a little worried about how twitchy the throttle will become with the 102mm throttle body. The 80mm that is currently on the van is already pretty touchy at lower speeds.

The terrible flowing intake hat. I think this part alone is solely responsible for the 10 hp loss both the 305 and 350 in the Express vans have compared to the same engine in a truck.
[Linked Image]

Casting appears to be very clean in the pictures. Will know more about the quality of the manifold when it is in my hands.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by 1983G20Van; October 17th 2022 1:54 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'
1 member likes this: frscke1
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