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Unusual conversion van project.
1. Modifying the suspension. I would like to give the van a classic front to back rake, but cannot find shorter front springs. I really hesitate to just take some new springs and cut them, and I do want to do this right. I have to replace the front springs anyhow. I intend to to put bilsteen shocks on and add front and rear sway bars. Just a start here. Any other suggestions?
2. Engine/drivetrain. I currently have a 305 with a 3 speed automatic. I go back and forth here about modifying and building the engine and transmission and adding an overdrive unit, or switching out and going with a 350 and an L4 700 tranny. Have not decided if I want or need to change the gearing in the rear end.
3. Fuel system. One way to increase range is to put in a larger gas tank. Has a 22 gallon tank that for some reason I can only get 20 gallons in. Saw a 40 gallon tank 2 years ago at JC Whitney, but they don't have it anymore. Biggest I can find now is 33 gallon. Any suggestions?
4. Climate control. Main AC unit works fine, but the rear ac unit has problems. The plastic case that surrounds the motor and unit, melted and split open. I cannot even turn it on without binding the motor. The result is the AC does not work well. It is a heater/blower combo in the back. Has heater hoses as well as AC lines running to it. I cannot find any names or numbers on the case. What to do?
5. Exterior. Intend to paint it an off white pearlescent. Will have a fade of pearlescent colors imbedded in the paint (yellow, orange, red). Will replace all plastic glass with tempered glass if it can be done, and replace all all glass with smoked glass if possible. Want to have the undercarraige treated with undecoating to block out road noise.
6. Interior. This will be redone with the same color scheme if I can. I like the red seats, side walls and, and ceiling fabric. But want to modernize and upgrade. Sound system would have upgraded speakers and maybe add a subwoofer. Has a working TV, but would like to upgrade and add a DVD player. Has a cb that doesn't work, and would like to replace it. Carpet will definitely have to be replaced, and the olive green color thats in it is sickening.
I want to start with the climate control and the suspension. The engine has 120,000 miles on it, but my mechanic says it looks like it has about 30,000 on it on the inside. As I said, I have searching the net, and this is the 1st sight I have found that I can post and maybe get some leads on. Finding parts is a bear, especially performance parts/or replacement parts on the conversion van parts. The local Chevy dealer won't help at all. I have stopped at a couple of street rod shops and they can't help. Hoping maybe some here could. I live in the upstate of South Carolina, and cannot even find any van conversion shops. Any ideas, connections, suggestions, or leads that you may have would be greatly appreciated. Also, if there are any van conversion shops that would be helpful that you could point me too, that would be great. Thanks in advance.