A New Exhaust System for My 1967 Chevy Van V8 Conversion and the Problem Is Solved

Tuesday August30, 2016 Guerneville CA.

Time to get a muffler system installed

After yesterdays test drive I felt pretty good about taking the van to Santa Rosa to get a muffler system installed.

Called Johnny’s

So first thing I called Johnny Franklin’s mufflers to make sure they could take me as they are a first come, first served operation. The guy I talked with indicated it would be good to get there first thing in the morning which always irks me as I don’t get up until 9:30 and I don’t like to mess with my sleep cycle. Most people don’t realize that would be like me bugging them at 2 or 3 in the morning, but give it no thought. Anyway, I said I’d come down and if they couldn’t take care of me, I’d leave, so he agreed and I got it going.

No cops got me on the way

Without a muffler system I made a bit of noise. I made it through Guerneville ok and Forestville and into Santa Rosa ok. I parked the van and put some rags in the exhaust manifolds to keep any cold air from getting in there and messing with the valves, strictly as a precaution.

I talked with the guy and he said I made it at a good time, so I talked with him about what needed to be done and what I wanted in sound. In younger times lots of noise was ok, but I like things not so loud now and traded off some noise for good performance. Not the quietest and not the loudest either.

I pulled into the middle stall and he raised the van up on the lift and started working on it.franklins


Kenney is here to say hi

Shorty after I arrived this guy comes up and says hi, but I don’t recognize him as he has a beard now. It’s Kenney a blog reader came down to say hi. We shot the bull right in the middle of their shop for about an hour or so and no one kicked us out. Most shops they make you wait in the waiting room.

Here’s Kenney in front of the van just before they started working on it.kenney


Rarely will you see a picture of me as this is Bob’s Eyes

And I don’t usually do this, but here’s me, a happy van owner, getting her done.bob


He gets to it

So I gave the guy the parts I had and some directions and off he goes.tech


A walk with purpose

I hang around for awhile and then I went for a little walk up the street with a purpose.street


Only a couple blocks up the street is the Spring Works, who have been holding  my new front leaf springs for over a month as I got the new engine installed and I am eager to get them installed as it will finish things I wanted done on the van. I walked up there and found Leo and make an appointment for Friday at eleven in the morning.

Going back, I took the long way around the block and stopped in Smart and Final to see what they had in their store and cooled down in their cold rooms too. I didn’t buy anything.

Shooting the bull with the guys

I headed back to the muffler shop and shot the bull with one of their mechanics for awhile, then I saw Bobby an old timer that’s been there forever, one of the owner’s. We shot the bull for a good hour or so mostly about old time things.

Doing the tough part

I saw the guy working on the van starting to work on the back tailpipe and knew it was a tight spot to get through and was curious to see how good a job he’d do bending the pipe.

Here he’s checking it out, trying to get it as right as possible.tightspot


Getting through that little hole

He’s got to get it through that little spot and miss all the other stuff and allow some room for things on the axle to move around a bit and not hit it. I checked it out and could see the pipe was going real close to my gas filter and fuel pump and decided I would have to shield that later and maybe I could move fuel filter away from the pipe a bit with a longer piece of fuel line.

Here’s the tight spot he had to get the pipe through, from the back end.backpipe


He got it through there as centered as one could that’s for sure.

Driving around on seven

He told me one of my plug wires was off so I must of drove it down there on seven cylinders?

It wasn’t long before he got it all done and I paid the bill of 525 well spent bucks. I said my goodbyes.

A ok

When I backed the van out and moved a bit, I was impressed. I gave the worker guy an A Ok with my hand and roared off down the street headed for Wal-Mart to get some black paint for the underside of the van.

I bought the paint, but no paint

I got five cans of paint, about twenty bucks and some other stuff, but when I got home, no paint.  I think I left the paint in the basket is all I can figure out at this point. I’m still kicking myself.

Spinning tires

In Forestville I cut across to River road to avoid the construction in Pocket canyon. When I pulled away from the stop sign there, I heard this screech and I realized those were my tires. I guess I’ll have to learn to drive this keeping it down a bit.

I stopped to visit with Ray and his wife for a bit on the way home.

Checking out the fuel filter and pump

Once home, after a break, I looked under the van to see how close things are to the fuel filter and fuel pump.

You can see the fuel filter is fairly close to the pipe, but still ok as there’s usually a lot of air blowing through there, but it’s too close for me. I can move it further away, just by adding a longer hose to the top. You can also see the small space he had to get the pipe through.filter


The fuel pump is just above that. I’m thinking of making some kind of heat shield I can clamp to the pipe as it’s likely not a good idea to heat the fuel pump either.


I looked at that and will do something about it soon.

A serious problem I haven’t mentioned

Ok, there’s been another problem I’ve had since I first started this engine the first time.There’s been a tin type noise which was bad enough to make me wonder about the condition of this engine. But with no mufflers and not being able to tune things up until I got mufflers, I decided there’s not anything I could do for it for now and what will be will be.

Could it be the new type starter

It sounded a little like the starter gear might not be releasing. This is a newer compound gear type which I don’t have any experience with, so I was unsure about it. I thought the gear might be sticking on, earlier and installed the shims to prevent that which didn’t help.

Or could it be a noisy throw out bearing

Today driving down, I noticed the tinny sound quite a bit. It seemed to happen louder when I started the engine and when I put in the clutch peddle which was making me suspect a bad throw-out bearing and I wasn’t ‘looking forward to that as that meant I would have to drop the transmission to get to the clutch where the throw out bearing is located, not a fun thing.

I wasn’t sure what the noise was and the guy who installed the mufflers heard it and gave me a look. I said, starter not disengaging? And he nodded.

So, I decided the shims hadn’t helped so I might as well take them out of the starter.

What’s this?

I started to loosen the two big bolts on the starter and noticed the pointed metal piece of tin just below the bolts and started to bend it away as it was sharp, when all of a sudden, it came to me. I had installed that piece of tin to plug up a hole that was now in the dust cover because the newer starter is smaller. I only had one bolt to mount the piece at the time and it had turned on me wild messing with the starter.

See that pointed piece of sheet metal below the starter bolts? The other end of it was now hitting the starter gear and flywheel in some way as the thing had pivoted around the small bolt that holds it in place.starter


I removed the piece of tin I had installed and sure enough. The lower left shows where the starter gear was hitting the metal piece and I’m not sure how the starter even worked. It would likely have worn through the metal and gotten a bit better in time.metal


I took my tin snips and cut off a bunch of metal I didn’t need anyway so it can’t do that again. I then put it back on and put some silicone on the seam to sorta glue it in place too.

That is just great is all I can say. Grrreeeat.

I started the engine and the noise was gone. That is really just great to have found this problem as it was perplexing me and wasn’t a good sound.

Took the rest of the day off

I was so happy with that find that I took the rest of the day off and didn’t install the passenger’s seat that I was going to do.

Now that I have an exhaust system and an O two sensor, I should be able to set the idle and tune it up. I still have a list of things to do, but I can see the end of the tunnel finally.

Good day.

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2 Responses to A New Exhaust System for My 1967 Chevy Van V8 Conversion and the Problem Is Solved

  1. Bob says:

    Hi David, Zoom, zoom, you bet. :O) I was thinking about those new tires too, so I’ll get it under control. I also don’t want to visit with any cops either. As it turns out there seems to be quite a few people interested. A lady I was talking with today said she’s been following along and even though she’s no mechanic, the pictures give her the gest of what’s going on. Personally, I’d rather be scooting around the desert, but one must do what one must do. Once the engine is broken in, I hope to be off on some other adventures.
    Thanks for the comment

  2. Upriverdavid says:

    Great to hear things are working out….Zoooommm..Zoooom…Keep it up and you are going to have to buy new tyres…
    Am I the only one following your escapades?..Or others just being quiet?
    I can see the smile on your face..In the muffler shop..too..

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