Noob in NorCal

Cast Iron Philosopher

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
31
Reaction score
71
Location
Healdsburg, CA
Hey... quick intro,

My name is Ryan MacNeil. I'm 46, and a Mechanic by trade. I recently fetched a 1965 Dodge A100 Camper Van from the desert, so it's rust-free and original paint—stoked! Of course it needs some help before it can hit the road. It's sporting a 225 Slant, A727, and 8-3/4 rear. It was originally "camper-converted" by Bradley Controls Inc. in Van Nuys, CA when new. They dubbed it the "Van De Camper" and it has the original badge to match.

If you want to get a feel for me go check me out on Instagram: @castironphilosopher
I just finished my 1949 Chevrolet 3100 pickup after 13 years. Now I'm getting ready to share my van build with everyone. My garage is known as "The Projects". This will be my first vintage Mopar build.

Unfortunately I didn't realize these things were unicorns until AFTER I bought one. No regrets though. Fortunately it was pretty complete. I'm gearing up to upgrade the master cylinder to a later-model dual chamber, add a factory sway bar, rebuild the engine, transmission, and the rear end, and generally turn this bug-eyed beauty into the coolest camper van in Northern California.

Currently:
-The 225's head gasket is blown or the head is cracked. I've got coolant in the #5 cylinder after a cooling system pressure test, and the radiator erupts with combustion gasses once it gets warm and the thermostat opens. Great compression and vacuum though. I know, kinda strange.
-Park Lock cable is broken. (new cables in hand)
-Rear end is leaking everywhere and was backed into something, so there's a nice dent in the back of the housing.

I've got lots of questions, mostly around parts sourcing. I've already spent a grip on a mountain of parts.

I didn't see a dedicated A100 Forum, so my first question is: Where can I post general A100 questions without lighting anyone's fuse?

Alright... that wasn't as quick as I thought it would be.

Thanks for having me.

Ryan
 

Cast Iron Philosopher

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
31
Reaction score
71
Location
Healdsburg, CA
VanDeCamper.JPG
 

318willrun

Utube channel 318willrun
FABO Gold Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
20,531
Reaction score
25,342
Location
I'm here
Welcome to the site! Love the Van! Happy to give you your first two "likes" ~!~
  • I'd just list in the forum that pertains to the part of the van you are working on at the time (engine in the /6's, etc). IF you want to do a resto thread on the van as a whole, there is a restoration forum here too!
 

1969cuda

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
1,285
Reaction score
1,763
Location
California
Welcome to the forum, here’s mine.
12EF03E8-86E7-45CA-90FC-14F34AA4C0E8.jpeg

Vintagevans.com is a great resource… see you there.
 

RenVill

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2022
Messages
77
Reaction score
60
Location
San Lorenzo
Oh man, I love the headlights on those. I'm in NorCal also, San Lorenzo to be exact.
 

Beams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
173
Reaction score
226
Location
Modesto, CA
Welcome to FABO! There’s guy on Instagram, @a100rescue.

Located a couple hours south of you. Might be a good resource for parts and/or information.
 

Cast Iron Philosopher

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
31
Reaction score
71
Location
Healdsburg, CA
Welcome to FABO! There’s guy on Instagram, @a100rescue.

Located a couple hours south of you. Might be a good resource for parts and/or information.

Thanks! I've already found him. It appears the A100 world is small. I scooped a bench seat for my van from him on my way home from picking my van up. Super nice dude.
 

RustyRatRod

I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday.
FABO Gold Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
93,677
Reaction score
82,425
Location
Georgia
Gawd that thing is cool. Welcome aboard, Ryan. I'm a retired, wore out, POS mechanic myself. lol Do you plan on keeping it a slant 6?
 

Cast Iron Philosopher

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
31
Reaction score
71
Location
Healdsburg, CA
Gawd that thing is cool. Welcome aboard, Ryan. I'm a retired, wore out, POS mechanic myself. lol Do you plan on keeping it a slant 6?
Thanks! The Slant is one of the reasons I love this van so much–I'm definitely keeping it. I love inline engine configurations. My`49 Chevy pickup has a 261 straight six. My Dodge Ram has a Cummins 5.9, and my wife's Jeep Liberty has 4 cylinder diesel as well.
 

RustyRatRod

I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday.
FABO Gold Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
93,677
Reaction score
82,425
Location
Georgia
Thanks! The Slant is one of the reasons I love this van so much–I'm definitely keeping it. I love inline engine configurations. My`49 Chevy pickup has a 261 straight six. My Dodge Ram has a Cummins 5.9, and my wife's Jeep Liberty has 4 cylinder diesel as well.
That's great. I think the 225 is just right for trucks and vans because it has that off idle grunt.
 

Cast Iron Philosopher

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
31
Reaction score
71
Location
Healdsburg, CA
Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone.

Well, I just pulled my 225 slant six and tore it down—she's a boat anchor. The coolant leak in the #5 cylinder turned out to be a crack in the cylinder wall. The #4 cylinder is about to spring a leak in the same area as well. It's only bored 0.040" over but the water jacket is really rusty and full of scale. I'm on the hunt for a new engine now. That's how these things go. I should've known buying a van near Vegas was a gamble. Fortunately I still feel like a winner.
 
Top