Scotts_DG8

Reviving a 69 Dodge Sportsman Van

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Thanks John and Pat for the nice comments, they mean a lot really.

John, there are a few small parts/pieces that I will be working on this winter for sure, but it will be in my basement as opposed to my easy chair although I do pull the service manual out now and then while sitting here.

Pat, I had thought about attempting to make one (Dog Bone floor patch) but ended up putting a request out for a clean floor piece and with some luck someone came up with it. As far as the amount of detailed work I'm putting into this, it's really become a rock and a hard place. This is not the Custom Sportsman model it's the basic Sportsman so there are no interior panels, that leaves the inside exposed as delivered from the factory. If I had all the panels I sure would be spending a lot less time but the panels of a Custom (window/wall and trim) are really hard to come by. The good news is that I'm down to doing the underside of the roof which is pretty clean (no dents to speak of just a lot of sanding) and the remaining floor section (still a number of small dents, welded up screw holes and surface rust pits to be glazed).

Again, thanks for the comments. Scott...

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Gary, it's good to hear from one and all that have taken the time to follow my efforts on this project. I'm glad that you, and everyone else reading this (or just looking at the pictures is ok too) found an interest in what I've choose to tackle. There are still many challenges ahead and the progress does slow down a bit (well maybe a lot) during the cold/wet months around winter but I'm driven to bring this to completion, hopefully a lot sooner than later. Again, thanks for checking in. Stay tuned. Scott...

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when i worked for NCR in the 60s & 70s they gave us a dodge van just like yours as a service van. i think it was around 1967 or 68 if i remember correctly. it had the V-8 and the auto shift on the dash. in ours NCR always put a crash protector behind the motor from floor to roof and side to side incase of an accident.

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This is late Sunday evening, April 6th, 2014. The snow is for the most part just about gone here and the temps are just starting to get into the mid to upper 50's, at least for now, so I'm getting antsy and want to get back at this project. It makes it harder looking at the projects that are starting to come to life here too. I've still got the yard to prep for the spring and other odd jobs to take care of before starting back on the van but with the weather starting to look like it actually might be warming up I should be able to get going on those shortly. Last year I didn't get started until mid May and I'm hoping to get started sooner this year, we'll just have to see, anyway I thought I'd be optomistic and raise this back up toward the top so I don't have to search for it. Sorry this isn't a proper update with photos and all but with some luck it won't be long. Scott...

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Good luck with some good weather, soon, Scott. I cannot wait to see more great progress of yours.

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I am starting restoration of the '68 A100 pickup that I took my original drivers test in. I found and read this entire post today (01/02/2016) but noticed that the story stops before final paint and reassembly. I was looking forward to seeing and hearing about the final product. Where is the rest of the story?

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Thanks for your interest in and taking the time to read about my project. I had to side track from the van project to tackle other projects for a while. My hope is to get back to the van this coming spring/summer (2016). I've done a few little side projects on the van that I hadn't posted an update on where I restored the heater  box and sliding step as an example. If you read my entire post you may have come across another site that I'm pretty sure is mentioned that only covers vintage Ford/Chevy/Dodge vans, it may also be of interest and helo to you and '68 Pickup project. A link to that site is the following: http://vintage-vans.forumotion.com/forum

 

I hope that you enjoy your '68 Pickup, these vans are unique and although there were lots of them built there are not all that many still on the road. If you would like to post a photo of your van and what your plans are with it you are welcome too. Again, thanls for your interest. Scott...

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scott.  good to see you back. I missed following your post.  waiting for more. I might have mention before that when I worked for NCR they gave us 68 dodge vans for company cars. with v/8 and auto shift on the dash.

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Gary, I too am missing my posts and am looking forward to posting more as that will mean I'll be back to making some progress on the van. It can be hard at times to stick with my current goals and not diverting my time back to the van.  I've stood gazing at it numerous times but it just had to move to the back burner for a while. I mentioned that I restored my heater and will take a bit of time to organize the photos I took and post them in the next few days. Thanks for having the interest in following along. Scott...

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This is Tuesday night, Jan 5th, 2016. I mentioned that I would organize and pull together some pictures of the heater that I restored some time back, the following covers the heater task.

 

First up are a few pictures of what I started with:
post-102138-0-98173700-1452045511_thumb. post-102138-0-30575000-1452045513_thumb. post-102138-0-45019400-1452045514_thumb.
 
I had went thru the blower motor some time back and covered this in an earlier post. I've included a couple picture just for reference:
post-102138-0-76832700-1452045515_thumb. post-102138-0-10431700-1452045517_thumb.
 
The biggest part of the task was to get a heater valve to work in its original location. The original valve looks like this:
post-102138-0-03318300-1452045518_thumb.
 
The closest replacement valve looks like this:
post-102138-0-48583700-1452045519_thumb. post-102138-0-59910500-1452045520_thumb.
 
Not only was it short and the head would never fit within the heater box but the valve directional on/off function was reversed. So I came up with a plan to disassemble the new one and use the head from the original as the basic valve was the same. The internal valve body needed to have a bleeder slot cut into the opposite side and the body needed to rotate the other direction. This task is covered in the next set of photos:
post-102138-0-67569300-1452045521_thumb. post-102138-0-61269400-1452045522_thumb. post-102138-0-69458400-1452045568_thumb.
 
After putting it all back together I checked out the operation to verify that it was opened and closed when expected based on the valve lever location. I know who cares but I still took a few pictures to document it:
post-102138-0-70385000-1452045569_thumb. post-102138-0-03391300-1452045571_thumb. post-102138-0-92459900-1452045571_thumb. post-102138-0-98721200-1452045572_thumb.
 
Next was to clean up the heater box (glass bead) and then primed and painted it before reassembly. I did not take a picture of the clean and paint process so we'll jump to the assembly and the finished product.
The new heater core:
post-102138-0-11132500-1452045574_thumb.
 
The new heater valve:
post-102138-0-10984100-1452045575_thumb.
 
And the finished product:
post-102138-0-13842400-1452045576_thumb. post-102138-0-13888400-1452045577_thumb. post-102138-0-17252100-1452045578_thumb.
 
That pretty much covers the heater restoration. I have the duct pieces put away and they are thin plastic and I did not want to chance breaking them.  I'll post tomorrow night some pictures of the sliding side step that I also went thru. That's it for tonight. Scott...
Edited by Scotts_DG8 (see edit history)
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Wow Scott!  Nice work on the van.  I just came across your thread.  I know what you mean about the gazing part of the project.  Do it a lot my self.  Seems like life just always pops up when you want to do something on it.  Keep plugging away at it. Every part finished is a part closer to the final product.  ;)

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Thanks all for the nice comments. As I mentioned it was hard to put this project on the back burner but I will get back to it. The only other task that I completed that was not posted here was the side step which I'll post tonight.

 

 

Wow Scott!  Nice work on the van.  I just came across your thread.  I know what you mean about the gazing part of the project.  Do it a lot my self.  Seems like life just always pops up when you want to do something on it.  Keep plugging away at it. Every part finished is a part closer to the final product.  ;)

 

One way that I managed to handle not working on my own project was to view other threads here and seeing the talent that is out there. I'm ok with what I've accomplished so far but see that there is still a lot that I can learn as I read/follow other projects. As far as the glazing, I learned about it from a neighbor who is a body guy and the PPG store guys where I get my supplies have helped a lot too. Scott...

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great job on the heater. it look beautiful. you take great pics also.

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It's Wednesday, Jan 6th, 2016. Again this is an update of activities performed some time back as the van project is currently on hold and I'm more than hoping to get back to it this up coming spring/summer. This task covered the the restoration of the sliding side step that allows passengers entering the rear of the van a step up into the passenger area.

 

The first thing to point out is always be careful when buying parts sight unseen. The van was missing it's side step when I got it and it took awhile to find one. I did see a photo before purchasing it but the photo did tell the entire story. Sorry but I do not have a picture as it arrived but two things became apparent when it arrived; 1)It had sat outside go some time and was rusted to where it would not move, and 2)I was damaged before it was removed from whatever van it was on, meaning it was racked as it appeared the corner of the step had encountered some firm object. Other than that it was in good shape.

 

When I had time to tackle the step the dirst thing I did was to manually straighten it out and put it in the blast cabinet to clean all the pins the hangers swung on to free things up. It was at this time that I found the the swing arms and pins on the front side were bent. I tried to straighten it out without removing the pins but it wouldn't have it. This is where photos start. I took a picture before and after removing the two problem pind that allowed me to access the swing arm to straighten it out.

post-102138-0-01884700-1452129837_thumb. post-102138-0-57495200-1452129838_thumb.

 

I knew removing the pins were going to be a problem when putting it back together as from the factory they are like a large rivet. There is a large flat head that steps down to maybe a 1/2 inch barrel that goes swing arms swing on and drops down again to maybe 5/16 that goes thru the side and gets peened over. I had to have some made up and did a drawing that I took to a machine shop and they made them up with a threaded end where it would have been peened over. I also had to have a plastic/sillicon bushing on the lower portion of the swing arm to ride in the slot when the step slides open/closed. The picture shows the original and new parts.

post-102138-0-74299700-1452129839_thumb.

 

I then assembled the step and tried it out.  The only way to be sure all was working correctly was to test mount it and opperate it, first without being attached to the door.

post-102138-0-86405400-1452129840_thumb. post-102138-0-83483900-1452129841_thumb.

 

And after being good with how it worked I tried attaching it to the door and confirming that all operated as expects.

post-102138-0-85740600-1452129842_thumb. post-102138-0-21532100-1452129844_thumb. post-102138-0-27218000-1452129845_thumb.

 

Happy that all was working well I could move on to blasting the entire step and painting it to finish. It is stucked away, as is the heater, until the final assembly begins.

post-102138-0-32405100-1452129846_thumb. post-102138-0-21400400-1452129847_thumb. post-102138-0-25682400-1452129876_thumb.

 

Sad to say but this covers all the updates that I have not posted here. Ending up with the step that needed a lot of work to make it work I'm reminded that I need to try harder to watch what I buy when I find myself buying needed parts. So, until some future update or need to respond this covers where things are at. Thanks to all that have the interest in looking/reading thru my thread. Scott...

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great job on the heater. it look beautiful. you take great pics also.

 

Thanks, I sprayed this with some PPG paint and a HVLP gun. The pictures are taken with a Canon camer. Scott...

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That's really a cool project Scott. Thanks for sharing your update.

 

Jason, I mentioned in an earlier post that if you would like to comment on what your plans might be for your van/pickup and post a couple pictures to feel free to dao so. I'm sure others maybe interested too. Scott...

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Scott- haven't noticed any new posts in  two years,  and hope you haven't given up. Good work to date, I must say.  I have a '69 A108, 318, 3 on the tree, no side doors, that I bought in '84, still have,  and drove forever it seems.  Has some rust issues,  but is still mostly solid. I'm from SC, but currently live in WA. state and found another '69 (A100, slant six,manual,side doors, no windows drivers side, doors are a bit sketchy) that I'm thinking real hard about buying, so I've been researching parts and looking at restoration ideas. Unfortunately,  I live in a flat out here,  so no garage, and if I follow through it'll have to go to a storage yard - that will allow me to do work on it...

   Anyway,  my biggest question is this- engine removal: out through the door,  or out through the bottom? That had been my outstanding trepidation on a restore. 

   So,  hope see more posts soon, and look forward to any new progress.  Good luck. 

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Grimjack....I had a 1967 A100 compact pickup with a 273 V8 and removed the engine through the passenger door. Easy, peasy.

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Keiser31, thanks for the input. I'll letgo that in mind even I get that far.  Any idea if Scotts DG8 is still working on the van?

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Scott is my buddy and has a lot of pans on the fire. I am certain he will eventually get back into it.

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 Well,  Scott needs to step it up! I'm anxious to see what progress he's made in the last two years.  Also,  a tip when cutting slots with radiused ends when you don't have a rat trail file - mark the outer limit of the slot,  then come back half the diameter,  and drill the ends of the slots with a drillbit the diameter of the slot width. This will establish overall length and gives you a rounded slot terminus. You might also consider welding extra plate inside at the stress points where the hinges bolt into the door, as well as where the strap brackets bolt up to the door (or just building a reinforcement piece with holes drilled to match the bolt holes, like an inside rectangular washer to shore up the sheet metal) 

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