Bad Ast Project

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Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 14th 2011, 6:30pm

Does anyone remember my Bad Ast Project from the old board? I finally got it off the computer this spring and have the chassis and suspensions 90% built. The van is on the hoist and has been gutted for the chassis install. if anyone is interested I can give you the updates starting back on Memorial Day weekend...
Here are a few pics as she sits right now.
Image

Image

Image\

Image

Thanks for looking at all of my stuff.
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 14th 2011, 6:34pm

This is one of the lower front shock mounts ready to be tacked to the arm
Image
Mocked up and ready to tack. You can see the rear tab which wasn't as big because it didn't stretch out to the LBJ cup.
Image
The uper towers took a bit of set-up to be comfortable with the location and alignment to the lower mounts.
Image
After tacking. EVI will get the job of finish welding these dudes. I know my limitations...
Image
I mocked up the shock (no spring) and control arms for thr RH side. What do you think?
Image
The lower arm brkts are not in place here but they were next on the list.
Image
The outer brackets are shown in place. The two inners , seen to the right in the pic, needed to be fit to the center angled tube. I'll get better pics if anyone is interested.
Image
Body mounts prior to cutting the mount hole
Image
Thanks for looking
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 14th 2011, 6:35pm

Here are some teaser shots of the van at approximate ride hgt. The front is too high as the van is level on the hoist and the actual stanch will have a bit of rake built into it.
Image
Image
Image
What do you think? Look okay?
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby Phantom » August 14th 2011, 11:07pm

Yes that lookin real cool ,, custom frame and suspension , very cool , what prompted you to go to such involvement? The appearance of your profile pic looks rather sinister ,, looks fast sitting still , is that the look you are going for in the finished product? :rockon: :thumbup:
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 15th 2011, 2:41am

Phantom wrote:Yes that lookin real cool ,, custom frame and suspension , very cool , what prompted you to go to such involvement? The appearance of your profile pic looks rather sinister ,, looks fast sitting still , is that the look you are going for in the finished product? :rockon: :thumbup:

Yes sir, that is the look I'm going for and it's going to be very close to that. Going to such involvement was necessary to get the handling where I wanted it to be. This required a complete redesign of the suspension and the project just ballooned from there. I'm glad you like it.
Here is another styling pic. I used Silverado headlights and front bumper here. There is no cowl hood but the van will probably have one in the end.
Image
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
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1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby Phantom » August 15th 2011, 3:39am

Very cool , yea the hood does give it a muscular appeal :thumbup:
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby WoodButcher » August 16th 2011, 1:49am

Wow. Just wow.
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 16th 2011, 11:29am

Thanks for the kudos guys, here is where we stand as of last night.
One of the hurdles for this project was modifying the front spindles to hit the new outer tierod points. This was necessary not only to correct the geometry for the Corvette steering rack but fo inner wheel clearance with the deep positive offset (7 inches) wheels I am running.
I built a spindle fixture to relocate the tierod ends after cutting them off. This fixture was designed to do both sides, LH & RH by simply swapping it to the other spindle and bolting it back on.
The two base plates drilled and centered to the LBJ.
Image
I had to do a bit of redesigning on the fly due to the actual steering arm being in the way of my fixture. You can see the arm running right thru my intended fixture arm.
Image
I changed one piece to a 1/2" dia. rod and continued forward. This actually worked out pretty well as I was able to make the "hit point" bracket one piece (for LH and RH spindles) and simply bend it to the right angle and tack it on.
Image
Hopefully this will make it fairly straight forward to get these dudes fit up...
Image
The bottom of the aluminum tube spacer is where the top of the tie rod point needs to go. A little over an inch outboard and an inch upward. To fit the RH spindle the fixture simply bolts in place and we will use the opposite hole and angle to bend to.
Image
Thanks for looking at my junk
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 16th 2011, 11:33am

I talked with a few people about this and the end decision was cut and weld. Ideally I also needed to invert the ballstud (ballstud pointing down, rather than up, as the stock Astro was oriented) so cutting and rebuilding was beneficial. I also talked with the owner of Iron Mike's (Mike) in Flint and after looking at my situation he ultimately recommended the cut and weld solution.
This is what I worked on last weekend.
Image
I had yesterday off so I broke out the sawsall and grinders and modified the two spindles.
Image
You can see in thes pics I have ground the existing support ribs down to the base web thickness. I did this on both sides.
Image
This will give the new support plates a solid foundation for welding. Everything has been ground down and chamfered for good weld penetration.
I did a LOT of grinding yseterday. It was hot and I was sweating and my arms were ORANGE...
Image

Making the fishplates to support the new tie rod position. The plates are 3/8 inch thick and will be plenty stout when welded in.
Image
If you look back at the first couple pics you can see that the old arm "hung" out in space. I am taking the new plates all the way in to the lower ball stud area. I think these will be plenty strong.
Image
I dropped the modified spindles off with Mike last nite after work. He was fairly impressed with my work and said these things will weld up beautifully. He said once this is all welded together the modified portion on the spindle will be stronger than the unmolested part... As you can tell I left the plates a little oversized. After the welding I will grind everything down and make it look purty.
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby Moosejuice » August 16th 2011, 3:05pm

You are building a very impressive Astro, it looks like you have put alot of planning into the suspension. I didn't check the old boards but what kind of drive train are you planning on?
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 17th 2011, 2:47am

Thank you, yes, lots of planning. I have been planning this build ,off and on, with a few false starts, since 2005...
The planned drivetrain is a BBC with a 700R4 and a narrowed 9 inch with 3.90 gears.
This is a pic of the engine as it sits right now.
Image
Thanks for looking.
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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User avatar
astroracer
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 22nd 2011, 1:06pm

Thanks guys! It's good to know SOMEONE is looking at this thread.
I am still working through the spindle rebuild. The welder is taking his time with them. There is no rush of course as the van is still a long way from rolling.
Mel And I got a lot done this weekend though. On the van and on the old 49 F1 I was building last year. The guy I bought the 49 from stopped out to the shop last weekend and actually bought the truck back. Mel and I pulled the frame off the rotisserie and stabbed in the powerpack and rear end so he can haul her home... The cab will go on next weekend and the rest will fit in boxes. :) I am a happy camper here. Makes for more room in the shop, the rotisserie is empty now and I will have some extra coin to through at the van.
We got the front driveshaft loop and K member built and tacked in Sunday. I used 1 5/8's and 1 1/4 dia tubing and will finish weld everything when it's on the rotisserie.
Here is the loop getting fit to the 1 5/8 dia crosstube.
Image
here is the crosstube and loop tacked into the frame.
Image
Fabbing the K member.
Image
Image
Side view showing the 15 degree angle the loop is on.
Image
Thanks for looking
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 22nd 2011, 1:07pm

This where the 49 ford frame is at.
just after we rolled it into the shop. You will notice the Astro frame is off the tables and the tables are rolled outside.
Image
Off the rotisserie and hanging the rearend.
Image
Engine and trans stabbed in...
Image
Image
Got a lot done this weekend even though we only had Sunday. (Saturday was Back to the Bricks in Flint).
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby Phantom » August 22nd 2011, 4:49pm

Lookin Good ,,nice to see a BBC going in , will surely be a real wakeup call to many unsuspecting onlookers
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 22nd 2011, 8:41pm

Yea, He.. he.. He... (Done in my best Snively Whiplash laugh). Especially with a pair of quiet mufflers and cut-outs...
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby ProStreet_LS1 » August 22nd 2011, 9:53pm

astroracer, where are you located? I am a little north of Kalamazoo.
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1998 Pro Street Chevy Astro: Tubbed w/ 33x22 rear tires, 350 hp aluminum LS1 V8
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby redfury » August 22nd 2011, 10:56pm

You obviously work in the trade to even think of going this route with an Astro van. Looks like it's going to be one sick set up when finished. Kudo's. I could never pull off work that required that kind of precision...just isn't part of who I am.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 23rd 2011, 11:14am

tpibadassastro wrote:astroracer, where are you located? I am a little north of Kalamazoo.

Byron, 20 minutes west of Flint. You have any pics of your van loaded?
Mark
2004 Astro
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2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » August 23rd 2011, 11:19am

redfury wrote:You obviously work in the trade to even think of going this route with an Astro van. Looks like it's going to be one sick set up when finished. Kudo's. I could never pull off work that required that kind of precision...just isn't part of who I am.

I worked at GM as a contract puke for 10 yrs. I designed the suspensions for the STS/SRX, the Solstice/Skye and did a lot of work on the Cavalier SS/HHR SS.
I had a little help with the vans suspension points from an engineer who worked at Art Morrison. He helped me nail down the roll center and anti-dive and said the numbers for this design could generate 1G on a skid pad. We'll see when it's done. :layrubber:
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby icebrrg3rd » August 23rd 2011, 2:23pm

That would be interesting to see a van pulling 1g around a corner and not roll over. That full frame looks great, how much weight does it add to the van? Or are you going to have the van lose weight in other places? Course, that BBC will help move it out quickly either way. Very nice work :clap: and keep the pics coming as you go along.

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