The DIVCO project

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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:45 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:Oh my, this is beyond cool. Please keep us in on the updates with pictures.
That's the plan.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:48 pm

UncleBob wrote:I hope he wears this outfit when he drives it:

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Nope for work, but my home state of Pennsylvania holds shows for these things where they do wear this stuff. I may be crazy enough to ship it out there, visit the folks, show the truck and wear the uniform.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:49 pm

UncleBob wrote:Image

'50's DIVCO Ice Cream Truck.

Image
Yep, that's a larger, more common square back.

I tried to contact the owner of that truck and see if he still wanted to sell it. No reply. But minus the logo, I liked the paint job. Ours will have blue of a different shade to match our company colors.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:21 am

I've been waiting for this. It'll be fun to follow this project.

For the non-gearheads in our group, Divco trucks were made from the 20's through the 80's. Like Checker cabs and VW Beetles, they looked essentially the same through their entire history and fixing them up - in either original trim or resto-mod (restored, modern, with modern stuff like AC, stereo, shiny wheels, better front suspension) - is all the rage these days.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:05 am

Today I'm headed out to finish the purchase.

I'm looking forward to the project and hope to get my hands dirty with it some too. Much of the initial mechanical work will be done by my brother in law, his buddies and I. They are all mechanics and car enthusiasts, they have lots of experience doing restorations and building various custom projects with lots of contacts. They are veterans (Marines) who are convicts and felons, most on parole. My brother I law sees this as an opportunity to pay back his "debt" to us for the years of help my wife and I gave him. He really seems to want to do this and has been eager to get information and pricing. We will be paying his buddies more than their employers (who pay convicts poorly) and less than a pro garage would charge us. Some of the work concerning fabrication, body and paint will be sent to pro specialty shops.

I'll be putting in an LT1, LS or perhaps a newer GM Vortec small block engine.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:27 am

Thunktank wrote:I'll be putting in an LT1, LS or perhaps a newer GM Vortec small block engine.
You can buy new wiring harness' to make those swaps a breeze. It's more expensive than cutting down a junkyard OEM harness, but it's waaaay easier. And there are a few aftermarket companies making DBW (drive by wire) throttle pedals if that's what your engine has. Again, they're not cheap but it's easier than hacking up an OEM truck pedal or converting it back to use a throttle linkage.

BTW - Modern engines run HOT. Around 215 f water temp and the exhaust system gets much hotter than that. Your feet are going to be about 6" from the exhaust manifold/headers. There are a lot of great insulation materials on the market these days. Use them everywhere you can between the engine and the passenger compartment.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:21 am

FredS wrote:
Thunktank wrote:I'll be putting in an LT1, LS or perhaps a newer GM Vortec small block engine.
You can buy new wiring harness' to make those swaps a breeze. It's more expensive than cutting down a junkyard OEM harness, but it's waaaay easier. And there are a few aftermarket companies making DBW (drive by wire) throttle pedals if that's what your engine has. Again, they're not cheap but it's easier than hacking up an OEM truck pedal or converting it back to use a throttle linkage.

BTW - Modern engines run HOT. Around 215 f water temp and the exhaust system gets much hotter than that. Your feet are going to be about 6" from the exhaust manifold/headers. There are a lot of great insulation materials on the market these days. Use them everywhere you can between the engine and the passenger compartment.
Fred, you are now an official member of my team.

We do plan to buy a new wiring harness.

The insulation has not come up before. But very good heads up. I would imagine it would help with road noise too.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:33 am

Yes, the insulation helps with road and engine noise too. In fact, some of the products convert most of the sound energy (waves) to heat energy (waves) and then work to disperse the heat instead of passing it through the body panel. I worked as an app engineer for about 5 years supplying those exact products (among others) to the American OEM's. Those products in general are called NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and if Ford, Chevy or Toyota wanted to spend $150 more per vehicle on NVH products they could make them feel like riding in a brand new Rolls Royce.

DynaMat is the leader in the aftermarket for those products. HushMat is as a cheaper alternative. I know the guy who owns Hushmat - as the manager and main shareholder, he bankrupted the company I worked for, then left and started buying our products and rebranding them for aftermarket sales. There are also some spray-on products like LizardSkin that look interesting but I have no first hand experience with them. Then there are foil-lined fiberglass mats from places like DEI. And even simple metal heat shields over the exhaust manifold and catalytic converters help keep the heat outside the vehicle.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:26 pm

Might be picking up a free mobile home thanks to zoning laws. The city authorities say it must be gone by end of day Monday. It has a 350 engine and good transmission that we could rebuild. It doesn't have electrical as that's been taken. The rest can be salvaged for scrap at 75 dollars a pound. It's been offered to another lady, if she doesn't get it in time, I can have it. Thinking it over. This could save me about 3k maybe. By getting special AAA membership I can get unlimited towing and send it to my inlaws for disassembly as storage for something like hat is my biggest problem around here.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:14 pm

I know prices are high in CA, but $75/lb for scrap metal is crazy! I can buy it for $4/lb here so I'm going quit my job, go down to the scrap yard, load up the trailer and head west with as much as I can haul this afternoon.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:23 pm

FredS wrote:I know prices are high in CA, but $75/lb for scrap metal is crazy! I can buy it for $4/lb here so I'm going quit my job, go down to the scrap yard, load up the trailer and head west with as much as I can haul this afternoon.
Yeah, I'm not so sure about that either. Something got crossed in translation I think. It doesn't matter, the other gal is currently hauling it out. Oh well, I want something newer anyway.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:39 pm

So, I'm seriously considering the purchase of an 87 Buick Grand National 3.8 liter v6 inter cooled turbo charged engine to put in this thing. 245 hp 300 ft pounds torque.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:19 pm

I decided to talk with a few other enthusiasts about this motor. They all agree that it's a good engine but a couple of guys said the difficulty of finding parts may end up costing me more in the long run. The general consensus seems to be that I should find a Corvette motor instead.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:39 pm

Not "it may end up costing more in the long run". It will end up costing more in the long run. Speed parts are more plentiful and cheaper for SBC variants than any other engine in the world. Packaging your engine and transmission in the dog house of that van may be tricky and swap parts like special engine mounts, headers, oil pans, alternator and power steering pump pulleys and brackets are much more plentiful and diverse for the Chebby than the Buick.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:29 pm

FredS wrote:Not "it may end up costing more in the long run". It will end up costing more in the long run. Speed parts are more plentiful and cheaper for SBC variants than any other engine in the world. Packaging your engine and transmission in the dog house of that van may be tricky and swap parts like special engine mounts, headers, oil pans, alternator and power steering pump pulleys and brackets are much more plentiful and diverse for the Chebby than the Buick.
I bought an LT1 this morning. Problem solved. For those who don't know, the LT1 engine was used in the Corvette from 92 to 96.

We are also actively considering transmission choices and insulation against noise and heat.

Another stage to contend with is the method of getting the truck out of the backyard of it's former owner in Riverside CA and transport it down to the shop in San Diego. The former owner had to remove part of his fence and take out a shading frame from the side yard that accessed the yard with the truck. He was happy to let us keep it there for now until we were ready to get started on the project. :lol:

I'm hoping I won't have to dig it out in 100 degree weather.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by FredS » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:19 pm

Thunktank wrote:. . .We are also actively considering transmission choices . . .
I don't know much about bowtie transmissions so go with what your local experts suggest, but I think it's hard to be a 700R4. It's a 4 speed (fourth gear is overdrive) automatic.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:10 pm

FredS wrote:
Thunktank wrote:. . .We are also actively considering transmission choices . . .
I don't know much about bowtie transmissions so go with what your local experts suggest, but I think it's hard to be a 700R4. It's a 4 speed (fourth gear is overdrive) automatic.
Yep, that's the one we want and in fact might have now.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:49 pm

Don't know if I should just put this thread into PMs to Fred. :lol:

Anyway, I have been putting together and meeting with my team of mechanics the last few days. I went and saw my engine and transmission. If nothing else, I'm good at delegating and choosing people to get something done. As the old saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." I'm feeling good about it. I also get to help out a few veterans who ran into trouble through alcohol abuse and trying to get their live's back. I'm using services that don't have nice front desk offices, but hard working fellows who get their hands dirty for a living. They love what they do, and view these old vehicles as their work of art. It does require some out of the norm dealing and trading which is fine by me.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Del » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:10 pm

Does it play music from a broadcast speaker?

Because I would seriously chase down that truck, if it played music near me.
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Re: The DIVCO project

Post by Thunktank » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:11 pm

Del wrote:Does it play music from a broadcast speaker?

Because I would seriously chase down that truck, if it played music near me.
We haven't gotten that far into it, yet. But maybe some Pennsylvania polka would be in order. My grandma would be so proud. She use to play that music all the time at cultural events there. :lol:
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