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88 G20 slow resurrection

Posted By: Juntao_DW

88 G20 slow resurrection - August 17th 2019 1:57 pm

Figured, I'd share a bit of my progress with my 88 G20 van. Back story, my father bought the van in the late 80's, and it was used as the primary family/ travel vehicle for most of my childhood. In approx 2007 the van was put out to pasture so to say, after having a reman engine installed in 06. After his passing, family decided it was destined for the scrap heap, but me being sentimental, and crazy enough to bring it back i acquired it from the estate. Now i'm left with a very rough chevy van not worth the money I'll be spending on it, but I feel the end result cruising an interstate again in this van is priceless, smiles per gallon not miles right?.
These are previous posted pics from photobucket, new pics will be postimage which is preferred by another forum i frequent for my mini's
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First step was to verify it was a functioning engine, so after making sure it was not seized, i rigged up a fuel system. Yes that is a 5 gallon home depot pail with a fuel sending unit in it running off the cig lighter from the dash... no it's not safe, yes it did work.
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After ensuring the engine was running, and taking it around the block amazing trans shifts well, and brakes were working fine although all of those systems will be checked and gone through before this sees any road use. Next step is making it mechanically sound, and a few small upgrades to go with it. Basic tune up clean the valve covers noticed a small crack on one manifold so that needed fixing.
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The long tubes are from headman, the black paint was not a high temp coating just shipping paint so i had to strip them down to metal and used some header paint to try to protect them for as long as possible while i have the van.
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Also did the ultimate tbi mods, by grinding down the fins near the ports to the tbi unit and the shaft also added a 1/4 fuel pod spacer. I know that the quest of horse power is lost on an 88 tbi 305, but if i can squeeze a few mpg's I'll give it a try.
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This is the only section of actual rot underneath, it happens to be on a section of structure, i'll have it addressed later thinking it would have to be cut out and welded not something i have the equipment or talent to do, but i'll have someone help me with that.
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Posted By: Just4fun1991

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 17th 2019 2:05 pm

Juntao

Are you related to MacGyver? I have never seen anyone run a fuel pump off of a cigarette lighter.

You are correct the love of vanning is smiles per gallon! With a little labor of love you'll have smiles a mile wide when cruising your van.

Good luck with the repairs/mods/customizing. Love the pics, it always adds to the story...
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 17th 2019 2:12 pm

Originally Posted by Just4fun1991
Juntao

Are you related to MacGyver? I have never seen anyone run a fuel pump off of a cigarette lighter.

You are correct the love of vanning is smiles per gallon! With a little labor of love you'll have smiles a mile wide when cruising your van.

Good luck with the repairs/mods/customizing. Love the pics, it always adds to the story...


Lol, no relation unfortunately i feel like i'd have a much more adventurous life if i were. I think if falls more to laziness is the mother of invention, i realized that the driveway at my parents house was quite a steep incline and with narrow roads, and no real safe way to remove it from the driveway i had to get it running. also the trailer was not equipped with a winch that is a whole lot of steel to push up that trailer.
Posted By: Wedgy

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 17th 2019 3:32 pm

Looking Good! Nice Van, good work too. Motor sure cleaning up nice. That's going to be one happy little smallblock Chevy!
Cool story Junato, priceless Van. More than a feeling. Pop's is proud!

Van On!
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 17th 2019 6:21 pm

Thanks Wedgy, progress is going to have a few spurts here and there, then quiet down. This is a more recent sort of "shop truck" project i did for myself. 95 s10 pulled from a salvage yard threw a real terrible Frankenstein 92 corvette LT1, with a carb swap manifold, with a tbi fuel injector adapter to keep it fuel injected and control the 4l60e with the computer.
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Motor was laid inside the frame rails when i bought the truck hence why i took it.
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cleaned up wiring needs more but this was a "budget build"
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this is during testing/tuning making sure everything works Heat and AC included, put another nose on it i had
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after a another face lift from the original
Problem is i have one more of these trucks to build, customers truck 98 s10 getting a V8 of some sort and a manual transmission of some sort, but since he has no parts yet i'll take the time to wrench on the van this week.
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 18th 2019 11:37 am

Nice work on the van for sure.
Posted By: kursed

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 19th 2019 3:29 am

Both sweet rides. Keep up posted on the progress, it's coming along nicely so far.
Posted By: Wedgy

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 19th 2019 12:49 pm

Originally Posted by newkirkinc1
Nice work on the van for sure.


Nice Jab! Jim!

Subtle....

adj. So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive.
Posted By: Just4fun1991

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 2:55 am

Juntao

I am curious. I have not heard of this

"ultimate tbi mods, by grinding down the fins near the ports to the tbi unit and the shaft also added a 1/4 fuel pod spacer"

Do you know has it added any MPG?

Can you enlighten me any more on what it is and how it's done?

Bob
Posted By: CTDEXP

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 2:40 pm

I will 2nd the request on the 1/4 fuel pod spacer information.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 3:07 pm

Most of the information for TBI mods i got from several camaro and off road forums, https://www.thirdgen.org/ultimatetbi2/ this is a quick read into it. http://tbichips.com/?page_id=217 this is some pics and info for what needs to be ground down. It supposedly adds 50cfm of air flow or so, is there any benefit i couldn't tell you. Van is sadly 3months to a year from being on the road depends on how much work i have comming and money i have to burn. My tbi swapped LT1 s10 only has a fuel spacer in it. that being a 350 and it can idle all day through town it gets 16-17mpg city which for a Lt1 v8 in an s10 with a/c on thats good enough for me. Harris performance has a lot of info for tuning tbi engines most of it applies to 350's as everyone seems to think 305's are junk, but im looking for an interstate cruiser i want to touch every last bit of the lower 48 and maybe one day hit alaska in the van too, so my main focus is fuel economy. I know 5.3 and a 4l80e would do it justice in that dept and power, but it wouldnt be my dad's van anymore call me sentimental.
https://www.amazon.com/Throttle-Bod...qid=1566313886&s=gateway&sr=8-16
this is the spacer i bought beings all it does it lift the fuel pod over the throttle body, i used the least expensive one i couldnt justify spending over 30 bucks on something unproven to me.
Posted By: Just4fun1991

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 5:03 pm

Interesting!

I guess I am more familiar with the Tune Port Injection / TPI than I am to the TBI motors. My 1988 Iroc was a TPI and I did what I could to increase all the ponies without getting into the motor.

I am going to guess that since you did the mods, that you may be running a K&N filter at some point in time to help with more air?
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 6:11 pm

tbi's are a lost cause for efficiency and power in most cases, but reliability and torque they do very well with. Exhaust is a big gain for power and torque on these motors the factory y pipes are typically a huge choke point. Not sure on an air cleaner yet, contemplating swapping to an electric fan and maybe making a cold air some how, maybe adding a duct behind the headlight and route the intake into that area, headers are going to add alot of heat in the engine compartment so i'll have to do something or it'll heat soak.
Posted By: Just4fun1991

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 6:49 pm


I have thought about the route you're taking. Thought and have come to a decision, that I am going to ride my 1991 TBI 350 out until something big happens and then do an LS Swap like JAGI410 did on his 1984. BUUU-TEEEE-FULL.....

I have wanted to add headers to the van, but not sure they would work on the LS swap (guessing they will, from a 5.7 to a 5.3)
I will have them "ceramic coated" inside and out to help with cutting down on the heat...
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 20th 2019 7:19 pm

i'm pretty sure that the patterns for bolting the headers to the block are different on the older non ls based motors, if you're fully intending to do an ls swap i say go for it awesome reliability for cheap by todays standards. for the 350 do a 2.5" y pipe it'll wake it up enough that you could probably bypass spending coin on headers. Shop truck was a cheap parts runner that i threw together and the van is sentimental so it's going to stay a 305 for until that dies. This is the ypipe on my shop truck, the van will probably get true duals out before the rear wheels on both sides.
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Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 21st 2019 1:54 pm

Not a lot of work done last night installed locking header bolts finished up routing the driver side wires put some heat socks on the ends and tightening the spark plugs, didnt have a socket that would fit under the runners on the passenger side to tighten them. So i stopped for the night.
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edit: ordered my bullet converters for the exhaust as well as some get loud goodies. Still not sure what mufflers i want to run something quiet i plan to do a lot of cruising in this, but not oem want it to be stainless so it'll last a long time.
Posted By: lukester

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 24th 2019 4:28 pm

Nice work man.
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - August 25th 2019 11:30 am

Lookin good.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 04th 2019 11:37 am

Had a bit of time last night between tearing down a customers truck and waiting on parts, so this week i should have some decent progress being made, if the weather holds out van is outside unfortunately but i cant fit it in my garage space i'm renting.
finished routing the bank 2 wires
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mocked up the one side of the true dual exhaust, up on the fence if i want true duals or if i should add an x pipe in the system. It should pick up more midrange torque with an x pipe, but thats another 180 in pipes and it'll move the positioning of the mufflers further back which may make it harder to route out before the rear tires. Although this should be easy to remove and modify if i change my mind later down the road. It's a bullet converter with an electronic cut out to a thrush turbo muffler.
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also painted a few brackets and the oil fill tube quicly in the bed of the shop truck....end of the night after clean up figured why not, not like i care about the finish all that much its a shop truck
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this is where i left off on the customers truck, it was suppose to be a simple motor replacement, which is why i left the harness and fuel lines in place, but now it's getting an ls1 t56 supposedly... i'll see what he drops off for me at the shop saturday.
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Posted By: Just4fun1991

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 04th 2019 2:30 pm

Juntao

You have gone from MacGyver to MacWrench! Looking good. Are you installing cutouts in the exhaust?

Bob
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 04th 2019 4:00 pm

It's an utterly useless modification, but stock is no fun lol. Yea it'll have one on each side remote operated. I got one as a gag for the shop truck most reviews said they were junk, but 3 months later its working just fine.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 18th 2019 6:37 pm

Got a quarter panel skin in finally, still waiting for my fuel tank. Any advice on replacing this thing? i'm open to opinions if not ill just have at it. need to find a bench seat at some point someone had laid pipe from the bed over the rear seat completely destroyed it, cleaned up the interior a bit removed the bed have plans to rebuild it and make it better.
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Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 10:32 am

I got a spare bedroom full of new sheet metal parts for my 73 g20, I am going to start work when it cools off.The last van I put sheet metal in was 10 years ago, now at 52 it is harder to get motivated..Having 6 needy vans don't help. Advice is it is better to cut to little than too much.lol. go to harbor freight and get a flanging tool if it is your first time. Butt welding is an art, so practice,practice,practice.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 11:45 am

Originally Posted by Astrocreep66
I got a spare bedroom full of new sheet metal parts for my 73 g20, I am going to start work when it cools off.The last van I put sheet metal in was 10 years ago, now at 52 it is harder to get motivated..Having 6 needy vans don't help. Advice is it is better to cut to little than too much.lol. go to harbor freight and get a flanging tool if it is your first time. Butt welding is an art, so practice,practice,practice.


i've picked up a flange tool a long time ago got to find it, needed it for something stupid way back when. What i'm worried about how bad the remaining metal is, i noticed the rust on the inside traveling upwards. Also behind the rocker there the inner rocker is pretty bad near the pinch weld, can i just use any old steel down there? or is it something special? Looks like its just flat metal from the floor down. I unfortunately will not be welding it, i'm going to have it done by a local welder i figure my chances are better, i have a sneaking suspicion that if i were to do the welding i'd warp the panel burn it through and possible burn the van down. Although, this maybe a good time to learn how to weld.
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 4:33 pm

It is very time consuming to weld in long panels, and you have to stitch weld and keep metal cool,you bought the hard part to fabricate,everything above the style line is usually workable and easier to section and patch. Inner rocker is pretty flat on most vans, so have fun jump in with both feet.😀
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 4:35 pm

When you cut the panel out double check that the Jersey Devil ain't in there.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 6:04 pm

Originally Posted by Astrocreep66
When you cut the panel out double check that the Jersey Devil ain't in there.

lol i dont think i'll find the jersey devil, but i've found some old bee hives and the automotive equivalent to the jersey devil... (rust) Honestly if this wasn't my fathers old van, this would've been in a junkyard by now, but against my better judgement financially i'll do what i can to bring it back. The rockers for both front doors are gone ill do those maybe in the spring, the sliding door is rotted out at the bottom, thats going to be a fun repair. My slider is pretty beat as it is, i remember years ago the door split by the latch so its been welded around the latch area, but i've searched for the last year and still do everyday finding a rust free slider is probably not happening.
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 10:33 pm

Brother you haven't seen my 73..lol
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 19th 2019 10:34 pm

Mill supply in Ohio is where I got all my sheet metal, great prices.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 20th 2019 11:35 am

i'll probably order the rest of the panels from them, just wanted this one hung before i move the van back to my dads property for the winter. The rocker was half the price from mill supply but shipping cost put it at 3 dollars cheaper than buying locally so i got it from my neighbor hood auto parts store.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 20th 2019 3:40 pm

Just go to a bone yd and get the whole side of a van as I did to fix big red ...

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Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 20th 2019 7:30 pm

Originally Posted by frscke1
Just go to a bone yd and get the whole side of a van as I did to fix big red ...

Holy smokes, must be nice to be out of the rust belt, i wouldn't be able to find a shell that clean anywhere up here.
Do you have more pics of how u fixed your rig? Curious how the inner structure is laid out.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 20th 2019 8:37 pm

Here's how it started ...

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And $3500 later it rolls ....

There are ribs in the walls that you need to separate from the skin ...

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As it is today ...

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Posted By: Deathorvictory

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 21st 2019 4:59 pm

Wow, that’s some incredible surgery. What was the hit from?
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 21st 2019 7:14 pm

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/lo...s-Radiator-North-Magnolia-330401961.html


SRY for the hijacked but you asked ....
Posted By: Deathorvictory

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 21st 2019 7:22 pm

Yeah that’ll do it. If you can fix that, there’s hope for the OP’s van
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 22nd 2019 8:17 pm

I was called the next morning ... saw it N fell to the ground, It was there to get a new radiator.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 23rd 2019 11:14 am

Originally Posted by frscke1
SRY for the hijacked but you asked ....


Not at all im glad to see your van up an going, amazing to see what its been through would have never guessed. Gives me hope that i can get my dads van up and going again soon.

edit: got to distracted to post the pics of the rotted out side i took not that its a big deal to look at rust its common up here lol. Also took a small road trip picked up a mint 90 or 93 bench seat guy wasnt sure what van it was from sadly i didnt take pics of it i will later. But the seat is getting ripped apart needed a good seat frame as the rear seat frame was bent near the top. going to try to reuse my original material on it.
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now i feel like theres substance to what i posted lol
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 24th 2019 11:37 am

Wow didn't know it was that bad. Looks great
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - September 24th 2019 1:00 pm

Yea seeing frscke1's van come back definitely gives me hope that i can get this one done
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this is the new old seat i purchased to repair this seat
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been playing around with paint and colors trying to settle on something for the main body of the van, this is silver metal flake with candy red on top its my air cleaner, just the snout failed miserably on the lid and body of the air cleaner, but ill see if it looks better after clear and polish. Like everything else practice makes perfect, and if i'm going to attempt this van ill need a lot of practice.
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Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 10th 2019 2:41 pm

I had some spare time this week got the radiator, thermostat, water pump swapped out. replaced all the cooling system hoses. I used a radiator from a c series pick up that someone left behind that has been laying in my shop for a year. I assume the guy isn't coming back. Issue i'm having which i clearly fail at measure twice cut once mentality sometimes, the width of the radiators was the same, top to bottom the c series radiator is taller, it fits but interferes with the air intake.
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this is a zoomed in section you can see the over hang over the top of the core support, but the hood closes no issues
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painted the timing cover, quickly in the van of course.... being lazy
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only had white engine enamel on the shelf, after 9pm i wasnt going to stores to try to find silver or black
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using this set up to reduce drag on the serpentine system, and i'm hoping the larger radiator with electric fans will be enough to cool the bay, and hopefully it'll help with fuel economy. Obviously power is not something to expect out of a 305
also painted the bow tie for the grill i don't have. Does anyone know if the C/K pick up truck grills are the same as the van i've been having trouble locating a replacement grill
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Dropped the bowtie off at my pinstripe guy to add the black border, i'm still trying to learn how to paint metal flake and paint in general, as it seems the only way this van will see paint or body stuff is if i can do it myself. unfortunately i cant afford to have it done professionally.
sorry about the tons of pics, i just assume everyone is like me and enjoys seeing photos.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 10th 2019 5:11 pm

Truck grills are diff from a van...
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 10th 2019 5:29 pm

Originally Posted by frscke1
Truck grills are diff from a van...

i figured as much ill keep trying to find one for a semi reasonable price i'm thinking i may just go with a billet at this point
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 10th 2019 6:40 pm

http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/vn/full.aspx?Page=33

http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/vn/full.aspx?Page=36
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 10th 2019 7:03 pm

Of course the 394113 that i need is not available... i checked them earlier, found a few for over 100 which seemed high to me but it is what it is at this point thanks for looking out for me tho.
Posted By: Lionvan

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 11th 2019 3:16 am

the square tube grille I got. On my 90 also fits a bunch of older pickups. JC Whitney if they still sell them. I think they fit 80s Chevy pickups. It came with instructions for both.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 11th 2019 6:24 am

https://customvan.com/catalog/index...148&zenid=scoigk4oe04vicn7lj7k2mdgj6
Posted By: Lionvan

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 11th 2019 2:53 pm

Mine is chrome steel,not billet. It cost about $100.
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 11th 2019 6:18 pm

Originally Posted by Lionvan
Mine is chrome steel,not billet. It cost about $100.

tried to look it up on jc whitneys sight didnt see anything have any pictures of yours?
Posted By: Lionvan

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 12th 2019 4:47 pm

I can't find one either. They must have quit selling them. I've had mine since 93. I looked all over the net just now and can't find any.
I don't have a picture. It's square chrome tubes were to two braces in back and plastic caps on the ends. There are two tabs on the top to screw it on.
Posted By: Deathorvictory

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 12th 2019 4:53 pm

http://www.customgrills.com/trucks-vans/

These guys still make really nice grills. I think they may make other not listed because I have seen other vans with their grills and they aren’t shown on this page so it could be worth reaching out to them.
Posted By: Lionvan

Re: 88 G20 slow resurrection - October 12th 2019 6:18 pm

I saw Glory Grills. They are nice but expensive. The ones like I have were a little cheaper back in the day. They probably don't make mine anymore. Too bad.
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