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I'm planning to take my 03 awd 1st I'm changing to 4x4 I have all them parts now ..after I'm going to order max lift kit from journeys off road with whatever I may need ..longer shocks etc ..last but not all I'm now hunting a 2002 to 2005 4x4 truck with 6.2 or 6.0 or the caddy 6.2 for big power I'll have donor truck so I'll have alot of what I need ..I'm trying to find list of parts I'll need for sure if it's better to get a painless wiring harness I will I'm doing a lot of research .I'm new to this newer stuff swap.i often thank a 383 stroker n 400 trans would be better but I'd like this to be show worthy one day and I'd like it all to work n be a great daily driver as well as take a 2k trip across desert ..I'm excellent welder n fab .great mechanic it all I've done n went to school for but ls swaps n computers I'm new at if anyone will point me in a direction I'll check it out ..thanks guys ..when I'm done I'd like it to look badass and factory setup.a/c n cruise n all working as should n if you smash gas hold on ..maybe even supercharger...

Premium Member
6,797 Posts
03 to 05 have rear disc brakes, to use a non LS V8 you will need a custom oil pan, or you will have to raise the drive line up to clear the front diff. To use an LS you will also need to get a custom oil pan or raise it up. Non LS will also need a specific passenger side exhaust manifold. Let me know if you need that info, I have it in my notes. The 400 trans may be hard to find the correct transmission to transfer adapter to fit the frame, since the cross member was designed for the 4l60e.

2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
5,886 Posts
Does anyone know did any Astro / safari vans come with rear disk brakes ..
You say you have an 03.. and yet don't know it has rear disc brakes?

i often thank a 383 stroker n 400 trans would be better but ...
I'd like it all to work n be a great daily driver as well as take a 2k trip across desert ..
I own several TH400 transmissions.. and I can tell you that would be a BIG mistake.
Nothing wrong with the 400 (it's a rock solid work horse), but if you plan to drive it daily as well a travel, then it would be an unnecessary disadvantage not having lockup and overdrive. Traveling you would get poor fuel economy while equivalent of driving in 3rd gear, rather than 4th, and again no lockup. My 92 is temporarily running a TH350 and I avoid taking trips with it without my 700R4 overdrive trans. The other issues would be the incompatibilities with the typical 4x4 systems that bolt into place. I'm all for custom, but this would be pointless, and actually a negative.

The 383 stroker on the other hand, is an EXCELLENT idea.. fantastic bang for the buck.
Great power and torque...AND they drop in like the van was made for them.
They are ALSO an excellent and practical choice for travel too... depending on how you build it. You'll have to decide your priorities compromises

I would avoid the LS non-sense. A 383 will make same torque (which is what accelerates you and burns the tires).. and will fit without ridiculous amount of extra work. All the accy's from the v6 (including a/c) will bolt directly on to a 383 (or any Gen 1 small-block).. and it all fits. You'll need a custom pan (for AWD) or lifted engine (easy enough if you lift your van)

if you smash gas hold on ..maybe even supercharger...
I currently own 3 superchargers and I can say... GO FOR IT!
I've had a supercharged van, and I can tell you it's a lot of fun.
The little superchargers fit nicely and give you insane power.
I assume no emissions standards where you live?

Personally, I'm at a stage in my hotrod life now where I prefer less work and more reliability.
I run a basic hotrod carbureted 350 in my 92 (plenty of smash the gas and hold on), and my 2000 4x4 will remain mild, even when it gets a V8.

Clearly you have a lot of ideas and dreams.
We look forward to seeing your adventures.

PS: Here's a photo of my previous van engines.. a 400 & 502
The 400 was eventually supercharged as well, before being replaced by the 502
Both are currently on engine stands in my garage waiting for their turn again...
Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting

The 400 is slated to go into my 92 Astro (torque of a big block)
(I'll pull the 350, and undecided if I want to supercharge again)
The 350 is too radical for my 2000 4x4 daily cruiser van.. so I may look for a stock crate 350... still undecided. Again.. priorities and compromises.
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