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85 GMC Van W.I.P. 1-28-13 DONE! DONE! DONE!


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#1 Foxer

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:40 AM

Since it's almost fall. it's about time for me to start another project BEFORE finishing anything! This is my daughter's old van she had in school about 8 years ago. It was a 1985 GMC long wheelbase G3500 1 ton with the 8 lug wheels. After another post searching for the kit and pieces to start with, I got many responses with all the info I needed from the great members here! Here's a few photos of the van as a reference for the build here:

gmcvanP6291581.jpg
ReneeVanP6291591.jpg

I got started with the interior first, which I thought at first wouldn't need any modifications. Come to find out, the dash and console were all wrong so I got the dremel out and started grinding away. The console had a straight slope up to the dash and the dash has small flares on both sides that incorporate into the console. The photos at least show the amount of mods needed to fix this. This is still in the works, so more photos on next post.

Start of interior mods:
DashStartDSC_6463.jpg

Console ground down and top dash lip extended:
dashgroundDSC_6464.jpg

Framework for console face added and dash face mocked up"
ConsoleframeDSC_6466.jpg

I welcome all questions, comments, or criticisms


Edited by Foxer, 28 January 2013 - 08:33 AM.


#2 charlie8575

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:55 AM

I'm going to have fun watching this...

Charlie Larkin

#3 mikemodeler

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:20 AM

This should be interesting! Are you going to duplicate the bumper stickers on the rear door too?

#4 Foxer

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:32 AM

This should be interesting! Are you going to duplicate the bumper stickers on the rear door too?



All the stickers in the back will be done with decals. I took closeup photos when she had it with the idea of making it in 3D. That never happened, but now they come in handy. The window stickers are not clear in my photos so some will need to be recreated for the decals.

#5 Chuck Most

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:34 AM

Great use for this kit!

#6 Foxer

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:49 AM

Just saw that I never mentioned the starting kit ... the AMT A-Team Van, which is an '83 GMC Van with the grill and headlights I need. You TV fanatics can just cry ... It's getting butchered and rusted! The body is the same as all the previous Chevy vans but doesn't have the window impressions inside the body for easy cutouts. Not a big deal and a Chevy Camper would have made my job easier... but not for the $300 wanted for the only one on ebay!

#7 Foxer

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 06:50 AM

Been slow with all going on here but got one update on the dash/console progress. The center console piece is just placed in there and the rod sticking out of it is NOT a shift lever! .. just a temporary grab hold. Think it's time to get some gauge holes located before gluing in too much more ... at least some planning time on that as the form is looking good to me now.

Posted Image


I've been going back and forth with my straight 8 Chrysler turbo system and haven't even started a WIP on that yet, so they snuck in for a photo opportunity. B)

#8 Joe Handley

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 02:09 PM

Can't wait to see what you do for a correct dash on this thing, the dog house is looking pretty close already!




I wonder why they never went this far when they tooled up the A-Team van, shouldn't have taken that much more work

#9 Foxer

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:03 AM

Just a workout with the new micro punch set I got to put the gages in. These punches are going to see some use here... I really like what they do! Started some filler also to get shapes finalized.

You can see I acquired a GMC Pickup dash which has the slight flares at the ends. Haven't decided yet if I'll hack the left end off to patch to the dash or just do it in sheet plastic. At least it gives me a better idea of the flare. The right side I'm leaving flat into the console ... it's pretty subtle anyway.

Posted Image

#10 Foxer

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 06:12 AM

Little by little this one is actually advancing! The major dash work is complete .. just needs holes in main dash panel for ac/heater controls. Unit is in first primer coat ready for fine putty work. I did chop up the '84 pickup dash for the left side piece and will be patching in the A/C controls too. :rolleyes:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Foxer, 03 October 2010 - 03:12 AM.


#11 Mudpit602

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:32 AM

Great work on the dash. Can't wait to see the rest.

#12 charlie8575

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

Very nice work on the dash, Mike. Your attention to detail is, as always, excellent.

Charlie Larkin

#13 Foxer

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:02 AM

Thanks for the comments guys. :) It may seem to be going slow, but it's FLYING by my usual standards! eheh

And, a little update tease with the patterns for the RED CARPET ... just wait for the leopard skin mattress! Yes, this is a Hippie Van of the 90's! :P

Posted Image

Edited by Foxer, 05 October 2010 - 06:05 AM.


#14 Foxer

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:15 PM

It's been over a week since my last post? B) It's leaf season here and the past few days have been spectacular weather! Only excuse I'm offering, but I do have an update. I wanted to do these midway, so heres some windows started. They were taped out horizontally and vertically drawn using a square. I drilled a small hole in some .02 sheet off a 90 degree corner at the center of the larger drill I would use for the corner radius. The final holes are in the photo and the little template is there above the file in the last photo. Simple but effective getting the corners in so I just need to cut between them.

Posted Image

I've also been working on making the interior panels. This photo shows the blue vinyl that wrapped around the inside. I'm gluing strips to a .02 base using 1/8" Evergreen V-groove for the rolled pattern. Just getting started here, but you can see what's going on. That lovely 70 year old bastard file acting as a straight fence is my grandfathers and my favorite. B)
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Foxer, 14 October 2010 - 02:17 PM.


#15 ian ashton

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 04:21 PM

Your daughter drove that thing? How many arguments did that start when you gave her the keys, lol.


This is a super cool build though, good work!

#16 mikeD1

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:53 PM

cool idea foxer!!!!!
love the dash!!!

#17 davyou5

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

Great job so far keep it up!

#18 Foxer

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:08 AM

Your daughter drove that thing? How many arguments did that start when you gave her the keys, lol.


This is a super cool build though, good work!


She was going to Stockbridge Agricultural School at the time, over 21 and also had a '95 Probe GT at the time. She said she got it from one of the Mexican workers at the farm for $500 ... maybe 10 years ago. I have no idea why she needed 2 vehicles, but she IS a car girl! ;)

#19 Foxer

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:12 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys. The dash has been sitting for a bit. I think I'm going the do the face with the gages over. The holes look too small, especially the small openings for the accessorie gages.

#20 Hattley

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:55 AM

Your daughter drove that thing? How many arguments did that start when you gave her the keys, lol.


This is a super cool build though, good work!


Ha! Having two myself, I can only imagine. ;)