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1964 Gruman Olsonette

Moderator: Mod Squad

Grumvan
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1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #1 by Grumvan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:43 pm

Hi Guys, my dad recently handed me his 1964 Gruman olsonette. He bought this van years ago when he started his construction company up in northern Wisconsin, it has tons of memories working with him. One in particular was when I fell off a roof working with him one summer and shattered my hip it carried me to the nearest volunteer rescue center. It ended its duties one cold morning as my dad was pulling onto a job site the engine caught on fire. My dad grabbed his lunch box and bailed, the van rolled onto a embankment and burned until the volunteer fire department arrived to put out the fire. The van has sat for many years as my dad couldn't let it go, except to me as he knew I would treat it right and give it new life.

I transported it to where I live now in Knoxville Tennessee, I don't have a lot of time as I'm running my own business now. I hired a local speed shop to take on most of the hard work, the frame is rusted out engine is charcoal. We have purchased a 1979 ford bronco frame since it seemed to be the best choice with 104 inch wheel base. I will probably be installing a custom k member front end and parallel 4 link for air ride. We plan on keeping the ford 9 inch rear axle and disc brakes on all 4 corners.

I haven't fully decided on the engine yet, it has a i6 originally in it and I was thinking a newer 4.9 300 with fuel injection, a Barra or a 3.5 eco. I'm leaning toward the Barra but I'm looking for pros and cons on the engines. I hope for this van to be driven quite often and short trips to shows etc our highway speeds are up to 70 mph around here and shows are 1 to 3 hr drive away. I want to set it up as a service advertisement truck for my electrical company so it will have some weight loaded in it but not a lot.
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broncr
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Re: 1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #2 by broncr » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:19 am

Well, you'll probably get more than a few votes for the 4.9 around here :) .

'Plenty of them still hanging out in the junk yards, and all kinds of parts readily available.

I'm not familiar with the other options you mention, but a later 80's & up 4.9 EFI would probably be a pretty good choice..
'82 FSP Bronco. Just about every mod ever mentioned. ( Too much to list - or remember...)

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rocklord
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Re: 1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #3 by rocklord » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:00 am

The 4.9 (300) would be a great swap, if it fits.
Looks like you have enough height in the engine bay for the 4.9, along with width, but length (radiator clearance) might get you.

The early Falcon/Econoline engine bay was tight when fitting a 4.9 without changing out the dog house.
Dan

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Grumvan
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Re: 1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #4 by Grumvan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:39 pm

The shop is not recommending the 4.9 but it is early in the build and ultimately my decision. Does anyone have dimensions on 4.9 and the barra? I found something with dimensions for an 188/221 and 200/250 I assume this would about be what is in it now. I'm going to get over there and get some measurements of the engine bay. I was thinking ecoboost but as I research the engine I'm finding it is bulky and with direct injection these engines are experiencing carbon build up especially on the valves and injection cleaning kills the turbos.
Anyone turbo or sc 4.9 and have a somewhat functional daily driver? Driving big blocks and turbo diesels on a daily I know the 4.9 will have the torque I like but I'm not sure I'll be satisfied with the lack of horses.
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Big64my79Effie
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Re: 1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #5 by Big64my79Effie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:25 am

The dimensions for the 300 six are located in a "sticky" at the top of Big Six discussion group. Will get you a little closer.

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bubba22349
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Re: 1964 Gruman Olsonette

Post #6 by bubba22349 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:57 am

Grumvan wrote:The shop is not recommending the 4.9 but it is early in the build and ultimately my decision. Does anyone have dimensions on 4.9 and the barra? I found something with dimensions for an 188/221 and 200/250 I assume this would about be what is in it now. I'm going to get over there and get some measurements of the engine bay. I was thinking ecoboost but as I research the engine I'm finding it is bulky and with direct injection these engines are experiencing carbon build up especially on the valves and injection cleaning kills the turbos.
Anyone turbo or sc 4.9 and have a somewhat functional daily driver? Driving big blocks and turbo diesels on a daily I know the 4.9 will have the torque I like but I'm not sure I'll be satisfied with the lack of horses.


Looks like body is real decent that's a great Van to build up!

:shock: "the shop is not recommending the 4.9" Wow just Wow! A stock 4.9 EFI could Cruise all day long at 70 MPH with the right gearing, and there are many mods to raise the performance level too. You can probably tell I am a big fan of the Ford 300 / 4.9 six'es. The Barra is a great engine too, you don't see them much in the US though and may not be so easy to get shipped over now from Australia. I was also quite interested in the EcoBoost F150 engine when they first came out, however to me its still too early to know how well they will stand up. Plus working on most of these newer tech engines doesn't appeal quite as much to me. Check out the links below for the wealth of info on the 4.9's. In the Turbo forum link you will also find quite of few 4.9 Turbo builds.

The 240, 300, 4.9 Big Ford Six forum
viewforum.php?f=2

Turbo forum
viewforum.php?f=22

The stock engine in the Gruman is the 223 built from 1954 to 1964 is a very good engine you can find much info about them in below link so won't retype that. Basically in size the 4.9 is close to 223, though it's lighter in weight should be easy to adapt in the Gruman Van. The engine dementions you posted are for the smaller six'es used in the Falcons, Comets, Mustangs, etc. are not the same as the 223. They are much lighter with smaller dimensions the only one that could work in my opinion is the 250, but with it at about the same weight and because of the much better torque of the 300 / 4.9 so is still a better choice.

Ford 223 info
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=78549

As good as the 223 engines were the 300 is much better still with lots of potential. There is plenty of info on building these engines over in the 240, 300, 4.9 Big Ford Six forum. Some new heads being developed currently for more power as well as turbo builds, street truck builds, all the way up to race cars and tractor pullers. Below is a link to 300 / 4.9 dimensions.

Ford 300 / 4.9
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=79408&p=613809&hilit=300+dimensions#p613809

The Barra is also a larger engine roughly about same size of 4.9, there is quite a bit of info on it's size in below link. Lots of people have been building up the late 1960's to late 1970's F100 and F150's street pickups using the Crown Vic front and rear suspensions for a great ride some are using the complete chassis too. How much weight do you plan to haul? Good uck :thumbup: :nod:

Barra
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78698&p=607063&hilit=Barra#p607063
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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