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Awd conversion question

950 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rod's Trucks
Okay so I’m new here and have an awd question. I have a 99 Astro van and want to make it awd. I understand how everything works mechanically and electronically. But I’m curious if you can take a awd subframe from an 03 and up van to make it 6 bolt. I’m not sure if the subframe bolts up the same and that’s all I’m worried about in all reality. Everything else I may come across I’ll fabricate to make it work. I appreciate your time and accepting me into the group
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All Astro/Safari vans bolt the frame using the same patterns, same boltholes and so on. If you plan on going off-road the 98 and older AWD transfer is better, however if you plan on going with a 4x4 transfer then the drive shafts for the 99 and newer swap right in with the 233c transfer case. I put a 98 AWD frame under my 89 RS.
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okay thanks for letting me know. I’m only doing it for reliability in the wet and snowy conditions of PA. But that is good info to have if I plan on doing any off roading. I really appreciate your response it was very helpful.
It can be done, if you are going that route get the entire drivetrain with the subframe so that the wheels and everything match up. Might also need to change out the brake master cyl or at least make sure they are the same size. If snow/slush/ice is your main usage case, stick with AWD.
Okay so I’m new here .... But I’m curious if you can take a awd subframe from an 03 and up van to make it 6 bolt.
Yes, you can use the later sub-frame, but remember by swapping that in for the 6 bolt wheels, you will still have 5 bolt wheels and drum brakes the rear.
Converting the rear to 6-bolt rear end is a fair amount of work, and requires a newer master cylinder, due to the rear disc brakes on the 2003 and later.
If you can find a decent 2003+ donor at a P'n'P, get the rear axle complete( be sure the gear ratios are correct) and all brake components, along with the master cylinder.
Or just get the complete sub-frame with front diff, brakes and all. That way the front and rear gearing will match ( but maybe not the same as the original) .
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
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