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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking to a friend the other day about my interest in getting a van and the topic of swapping engines came up. We came up with some theories on how it's done but I'm not too sure about our theories :no:

So how do you pull an engine from a van? My best guess was you drop it from underneath somehow.
 

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The grill assembly has to come out. No other way. Rad,shroud, everything. Fender to fender. Its not for a weak at heart.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that was another idea we had. It's probably not something I'll ever be doing myself.
 

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Bruce B....I had an 86 Astro, 4.3 that spun a main bearing.....to get the engine out the easiest was to drop the whole front "A" frame and drop the engine and tranny and everything at once. Had a lift and large engine tranny lift. It was only doable with the lifts......Any other way ...it will be a Big "B".

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bruce B....I had an 86 Astro, 4.3 that spun a main bearing.....to get the engine out the easiest was to drop the whole front "A" frame and drop the engine and tranny and everything at once. Had a lift and large engine tranny lift. It was only doable with the lifts......Any other way ...it will be a Big "B".

Good Luck
Yeah, it sounds like it's well beyond my patients level :biggrin:

The conversation started because I'm thinking of getting an Express and it was mentioned that vans are harder to work on than trucks. I've never worked on a van so I don't really know much about it, but I wouldn't be doing much more than basic maintenance myself.
 

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A Van is much harder to work on even replacing the spark plugs is a pain in the *** :sarcastic:
 

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A Van is much harder to work on even replacing the spark plugs is a pain in the *** :sarcastic:
Really? Maybe I should rethink this. I've been shopping for a Suburban for a while but the right one hasn't come along yet (used). I was going to add the Express to my shopping but maybe I shouldn't. :neutral:

I do want something I can do basic maintenance on without too much hassle. Some of those conversion vans look awfully nice though :yes:
 

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BruceB....

I don't think that a shop directly charges more for a van...They work on flat rate for the job performed on a particular vechile......Now with that said.....certain jobs.....many those under the hood might well book more hours because of the diffucilty of the task of working on a van?

Brakes on the such would be the same, tune-up, Alt's ,starter might well cost more.

If that makes sense !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BruceB....

I don't think that a shop directly charges more for a van...They work on flat rate for the job performed on a particular vechile......Now with that said.....certain jobs.....many those under the hood might well book more hours because of the diffucilty of the task of working on a van?

Brakes on the such would be the same, tune-up, Alt's ,starter might well cost more.

If that makes sense !!!
Yeah, makes perfect sense. I like the vans but I probably shouldn't get one. :eek:uch:
 

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taredown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you have to remove all the front parts,bumper, grill, headlights , front facing (where radiator is installed) the engine it's pulled through here
 

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you have to remove all the front parts,bumper, grill, headlights , front facing (where radiator is installed) the engine it's pulled through here
I know someone else also said this, but its not always true, front end removal is more for mini vans, ventures, montanas, caravans, etc. i myself have done a couple on caravans and well its not that bad actually because the whole thing really just slides out after you get the bumper, rebar and rad out,

the vans i think your talking about in this thread are more like astros, and full size contractor vans, on those you drop the engine from the bottom by taking out the subframe, there not too bad. even the tune ups there not as bad as people say, take out the doghouse, jack up the truck and take off the tires, and you got decent access, think of it like this. The post about plugs on vans being a biatch was i think posted more towards minivans, now those, those are fun.
 

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When I was working I actually did a motor job on a full size Chevy van (ambulance conversion) without taking the engine out. Tough but doable. The first day it was out after the motor job it had a trip to Halifax from Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia. The attendants told me they made the trip in less than two and a half hours; 175 miles. They ran it for 4 years after that and had no problems. It was a 350. So for me the engine would have to be completely gone before I would remove it. I have taken some out to replace them by taking the bumper, grill,rad support, and rad out too but I would still do an in frame job if I didn't have the engine crane and such.
 

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Dont get me wrong Davandy, i would say its more of a pain than to do it on a pick up with the same motor, but thats the beauty of a van. Try the simple task of changing a fuel filter on a F*** E350 with a 7.3L diesel, i think id rather change plugs on your van than change that filter.

Nice Van btw, what motor does it have, 350?
 

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engine swap

I've owned a couple vans. You can get to the motor pretty easily on some vans. It seems like it always take me longer to do something on the van than I think it will :). It's usually more time spent than $$ spent unless you are paying someone to do the work. To get to the motor on the Express you have to go from inside the van, there is no way to do anything from the front unless you plan on doing a lot of work. Once you pull off the inside engine cover you can see most of the motor. I think it is worth the extra hassle to own a van, but I'm biased towards vans anyway.
 

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Dont get me wrong Davandy, i would say its more of a pain than to do it on a pick up with the same motor, but thats the beauty of a van. Try the simple task of changing a fuel filter on a F*** E350 with a 7.3L diesel, i think id rather change plugs on your van than change that filter.

Nice Van btw, what motor does it have, 350?
Ya it's the 350. I'm lucky that I have to change the plugs every 100000 :rules:
 

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I was wondering how hard it was going to be to swap engines! I figured I would have to remove the front grille, radiator lights and trim and rad support. I would rather not remove the fenders if I don't have to.
 

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Well, I'll let you know. I recently toasted the 5.7 in my savana and will be changing it out to a 383 stroker. :happy:
I haven't swapped engines on anything in a while, but I think that I'm up to the task.
It looks to me like the grille, and everything behind, not the fenders. Probably have to jack it up and roll it forward to clear the frame, we'll see. I have had vans for awhile and the utility of a full size van is unmatched. I pull my 05 Kawasaki concours into it, hook up my 26' Hilo trailer to it with my fishing gear and 16 foot canoe on top and I'm ready for a couple of weeks at camp. Just recently hauled a 15' roll of carpet inside with the doors closed in the rain, that ain't happenin with a pick up. Won't own anything else, even if I have to work on it once in a while. Actually I haven't done much to it, a couple of distributor caps which is easy to reach. The spun bearing was probably my own stupidity, I was pushing it too hard on a long steep grade while towing the camper. High miles with the 5w 30 weight oil and high rpms is a recipe for disaster, learned an expensive lesson on this one but I am getting a major powerplant upgrade.
 
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