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AWD to 2WD conversion

12807 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ihatemybike
Hey all, I'm new.

I don't have an astro, but I'm asking the question for a friend that just picked up a 96' AWD auto astro for 300 bucks 2 weeks ago.
this is what we've done already:
Power steering pump
new serp. belt
new belt tensioner
cragar V-5 black steelies
new tires
new rotors and pads
removed clutch fan / shrowd and installed electric fan. (you can see the front of the engine now!!) :whack:
Cone filter intake

so next step... he and I decided to convert it from AWD (it doesn't snow here, and he doesn't want to take it off road) to RWD... I was under there and thought, damn, this could be really easy! all i gotta do is pull the front drive axles and diff, the front driveshaft, and yank the transfer case. then in it's place just get a 2wd tailshaft and connect it to the rear driveshaft and drive! :swerve:

my question: is it really that easy? what year astro's shared the same tranny that's in this one? what year tailshaft should i look for to put in there to make it 2wd? is there anything ELSE i have to do to complete the conversion?

thanks everyone
- Lash
21 - 24 of 24 Posts
Perhaps my mileage has been the key then. I put about 150 miles per week on it. Sometimes a bit less. Almost none of it highway mileage. I only track my mileage by filling up the tank twice right after I swap it in or out. Is there a difference between the coupler on the 91s and the 97s?
Might be that the lower speeds that you keep it at don't heat up the clutch much. Grumpy sees quite a bit of highway time.

If you don't log every tank it's hard to tell how the mileage really is. I fill every time and use to log my fills.
Looking at my logs you can see the winter blend mileage drop.

All AWDs 1998 and older use the BW4472.

Having owned several Astros and knowing how little resistance and weight that one shaft contributes, I don't think any benefit of removing/installing is worth it. Not to mention how much those E-Torx bolt heads suck, which is why I replace them with hex cap heads.
How do you keep the van from rolling when you disable the front drive?

Mine rolls if I don't set the parking brake.
You're doing it right.
21 - 24 of 24 Posts
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