Building Up Rastro

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Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 9th 2017, 10:45pm

I've been lurking for many years and posting for about 6-months after I purchased the newest member of my automobile family: Rastro. For those that don't know, Rastro is a 1999 Astro AWD.... Rastro was brought home from a local buy-here-pay-here lot about 3-miles from my house. The owner was gracious enough to give me a good deal and let me see the service records for Rastro. He had been well taken-care-of and recently had the front-end and the transfer case worked-on prior to my taking delivery. I drove Rastro home, gave him a hug goodnight, and promised some sweetness to come.
My goal was/is a lift, insulation, house battery addition, larger tires, new shocks, new bumper, cladding removal, and more general coolness so I can take him up to the hills and rally in the snow and dirt. I am a climber/skier at heart, so Rastro is going to be a Mountain Machine to get me up to my local Trailheads and Ski Areas, with the occasional road trip.
Attachments
Photo Sep 03, 10 13 47.jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Building Up Rastro... The Beginning

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 9th 2017, 10:53pm

Once Rastro had settled into a seemingly simple suburban life, I decided that he needed a few upgrades: To not feel neglected. Our first project was the Passenger's Seat Swivel from Northern Tool. If you haven't seen or installed one of these, I recommend you look at them closely. For a moderate price tag and a few hours of easy work (read: drill a hole, drink a beer. tighten a nut, brink a beer. etc), you get a nice piece of equipment and the bonus of having a swivel! :rockon:
Attachments
Photo Sep 03, 16 27 57.jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Building Up Rastro... The First Shakedown

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 9th 2017, 11:03pm

The following week, I decided to drive Rastro the 40-miles to work and see how he did on the Interstate... He did great! I drove him to-and-from work for a week straight; we even passed a small bark fire one day:
Attachments
Photo Sep 13, 16 48 01 (1).jpg
Last edited by YakClimber78 on January 9th 2017, 11:43pm, edited 1 time in total.
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Building Up Rastro... The First Hiccup

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 9th 2017, 11:06pm

During one Trip home, I noticed a "Bit of a Glitch" on my dash: Rastro's volts were dropping fast! :banghead: I did a bit of investigating and yup, sure thing: the Alternator and the Battery were both toast..... :crying-blue:

Time for an UPGRADE! :rockon: New higher-amp Alternator and an AGM battery with a high reserve cap.
Attachments
Photo Sep 07, 18 19 13.jpg
Last edited by YakClimber78 on January 9th 2017, 11:44pm, edited 1 time in total.
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Building Up Rastro... A Few Little Things

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 9th 2017, 11:26pm

By the time the end of September rolled around, Rastro was wanting more; you could see it in his eyes: He needed a USB charger (see my other topic on how that little project ended up :rolling: ). He was getting tired of carrying his spare in his butt so he got a new tire carrier. He wanted to carry our bikes for us, and that called for a new (refurbished) receiver hitch. Yet, after all these gifts, he was still asking for more....... What was I to do? :confused:
Attachments
Photo Oct 08, 17 39 07.jpg
Photo Sep 13, 18 20 23 (1).jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby TurnNburn » January 9th 2017, 11:55pm

Looking good so far. Way to glaze over the details of the tire carrier though! You know someone is going to ask how you did it.
2000 Astro- 7'' lift, NP233C 4x4 T-case, 31x10.5x15 A/T, ongoing camperization in progress
"If you wont drink a beer with me then we probably cant be friends"
Build thread- viewtopic.php?t=103066
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Extra Info: 4x4 Overlander

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 12:03am

TurnNburn wrote:Looking good so far. No info on how you pulled off the tire carrier though?!

Leaving that as a topic for later....... Well, or not. :laughing-rolling:

I used this post from a few years back as reference. viewtopic.php?f=66&t=70281
After install, I found that using a larger piece of backer material than a hinge was needed to hold a 235R15 tire on a steel wheel. Also, the holes I drilled thru the sheet-metal on the hinge side needed to have some small washers as backer. Hope this helps

Yak
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby 1lowcab1lowcab is online! » January 10th 2017, 12:17am

Very nice looking, like the color combo. :thumbup:
2003 Astro AWD G80
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby TurnNburn » January 10th 2017, 12:17am

Oooh right on! I don't think I had come across that thread before. It wouldn't work for dutch doors unless you had some pretty large spacers to move it more rearward so that the glass would clear. But for barn doors that is a nice way to handle that problem and you cant argue with that price.
2000 Astro- 7'' lift, NP233C 4x4 T-case, 31x10.5x15 A/T, ongoing camperization in progress
"If you wont drink a beer with me then we probably cant be friends"
Build thread- viewtopic.php?t=103066
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Year: 2000
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Extra Info: 4x4 Overlander

Re: Building Up Rastro... Lifting His Spirits

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 12:18am

Rastro Was feeling a bit low, he hadn't had any real "fun" yet and his upgrades were feeling small, inferior, and miniscule compared to what was promised. I was an ashamed Van-Dad :crying: I wanted to give him more, I wanted to lift his spirits, I wanted to give him bigger shoes.... 4" Lift, 235/75R15's, and a new Jeep Bumper ala Wimpazz.
Attachments
Photo Sep 21, 18 23 57 Crop.jpg
Photo Nov 23, 07 10 34.jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby WimpazzWimpazz is online! » January 10th 2017, 1:13am

Rutt roo roorge!

Hehheh looking good man, thanks for posting a build thread, Rastro is one cool van. Did you figure out the OLV bumper bracket to bring it up yet?
2000 AWD Safari "TK421"; (Build Here):http://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=127&t=103714
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 2:28am

Wimpazz wrote:Rutt roo roorge!

Hehheh looking good man, thanks for posting a build thread, Rastro is one cool van. Did you figure out the OLV bumper bracket to bring it up yet?

Thanks for the props, Chris.... Means a lot. I mounted the Jeep bumper I salvaged from my buddy's auto accessory shop using the OLV brackets. I used a few pieces of hardwood to allow for the misalignment in the brackets to the bumper. This proved to be the key as using a STACK of washers was not on my agenda. Thanks for the OP on the Jeep bumper install, it's a fine upgrade to an already nice looking front end. :thumbup:
I haven't completed it yet, but we found a pair of JY under-headlight pieces off a Safari to fill the gap under each of the lights.... I'm in agreement with many posters here: the gap in the middle is just SCREAMING :screaming: for a lightbar.

Yak
Attachments
Photo Nov 26, 15 56 21 (1).jpg
Last edited by YakClimber78 on January 10th 2017, 2:32am, edited 1 time in total.
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 2:31am

1lowcab wrote:Very nice looking, like the color combo. :thumbup:


thanks Lowcab!
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » January 10th 2017, 2:42am

Looking good! I think you should put a light bar in there to fill the gap :rockon:
Pullin The Pass
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 8:47pm

Thanksgiving weekend rolled around and the temps were beginning to drop. Rastro was in need of some insulation if his winter adventures were going to be successful. I headed down to the local hardware store to get some closed-cell foam, reflective insulation, and expand-o'-foam in a can. Ripping out the entire interior also allowed for me to clean the rugs and fully wash and bleach the interior as I had located the remnants of a 4-legged creature that had long-vacated his plush mobile residence. After 2+ days of work, Rastro became Doggy Approved by my own pups :banana:
Attachments
Photo Nov 24, 12 12 24 (1).jpg
Photo Nov 26, 14 00 23.jpg
Photo Nov 27, 13 12 54 (1).jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 10th 2017, 9:12pm

The first weekend in December was our next real shakedown: Rastro's first trip to White Pass, our Local ski area, for opening day. We loaded him up with our gear, the dogs, and us and headed off for a sprawling winter wonderland. :driving:
The swivel seat was perfect for booting-up, the insulation kept us warm in the 20-degree temps, and his AWD got us there and back safely and quickly.
Attachments
Astro 12-4-16 4.jpg
Astro 12-4-16 3.jpg
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby WoodButcher » January 11th 2017, 4:25am

Nice job Yak, keep it up.
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby 1lowcab1lowcab is online! » January 11th 2017, 4:29am

Thats a good picture right there, I like it!

Image
2003 Astro AWD G80
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby WimpazzWimpazz is online! » January 11th 2017, 5:52pm

Light bar, cool! I think the silver cladding is screaming for black bedliner.....

:think:
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Re: Building Up Rastro

Postby YakClimber78 [OP] » January 11th 2017, 6:13pm

Wimpazz wrote:Light bar, cool! I think the silver cladding is screaming for black bedliner.....

:think:



Already in the works....... :mrgreen:
1999 Astro LS: "Rastro the Astro"
AWD
4" Lift
235/75R15
Mountain Machine
Original Poster [OP]
YakClimber78
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: YakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full yearsYakClimber78 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 68
Topics: 9
Images: 5
Joined: May 2012
Location: The Palm Springs of Washington
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Yakclimber
Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

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