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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1994 safari. My engine in knocks and my transmission is going out. It is my first vehicle. But now I can't drive it reliability and I don't want to V8 swap it. So should I either buy another V6 or get my V6 rebuilt? I'm already leaning on buying a 4L65E Transmission to put in it
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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The cost of replacing your engine and transmission will be MANY TIMES what the old van is worth.
Unless the van has sentimental value or is in mint condition, I doubt it would be considered worth it.

But on the flip side, you'd have a van with new engine and trans, worthy of another lifetime.

Your call...
 
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So should I either buy another V6 or get my V6 rebuilt
How many miles on your current engine? Are you going to be installing it yourself or paying someone?

Might want to look at getting a good used engine as it would be more cost efficient, but if you are paying for installation then used may not be the best option.
Rebuilds can be kind of a crap shoot, I'm sure most are of adequate quality but try to find a place that has good customer service reviews, companies that really stand behind their work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bought it for 200. I've put g20 captain seats in the front. It has over 200,000 miles on it. Can I drop the engine out the bottom? It's a 1994 model. I'm thinking about trying to do it myself. I would sell it but it has too much sentimental value to me.
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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It can come out the bottom, if you pull the sub-frame. Then you will have the engine and transmission out together.
If just doing the motor, many cut the upper radiator mount, and slide the motor out the front.
There are a few pictures on the site, showing where that is typically cut.
 

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First generation vans have unboltable radiator cross members. So it should be straightforward out the front. I've done it both ways and out the front is easier. Especially if you can just unbolt the crossmember.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Easy one man job, done in one afternoon...
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car Vehicle
 

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Crate motor long block. I would come out the bottom, but I have a lift. If she were mine I would not be worried about the fact that I have more in it than it’s worth. My van is important to me. Keep us posted.
 

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Here is the thing. You could rebuild it with better parts and get more hp out of it. Add things like a cam and rockers and get a tune on the pcm and have a new engine that is better than new. There are options. Depends on what you what to spend and how much work you are willing to put into it. And nothing wrong with the stock 4L60E, and they can be built better as well. I have a racing 4L60E in my other car and it's pretty darn nice and bullet proof.
 

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everybody has their opinion - mine is i would SERIOUSLY reconsider replacing the V6 with a V6. your van has sentimental value, you want to do the work yourself, i think 1994 is one year shy of requiring a catalytic converter, the van will NEVER get great gas mileage with the V6 anyway - so - since it's going to come apart anyway - put in a V8 !!!!!!!!!!!
 

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everybody has their opinion - mine is i would SERIOUSLY reconsider replacing the V6 with a V6. your van has sentimental value, you want to do the work yourself, i think 1994 is one year shy of requiring a catalytic converter, the van will NEVER get great gas mileage with the V6 anyway - so - since it's going to come apart anyway - put in a V8 !!!!!!!!!!!
Catalytic converter and emissions testing is heavily based on where you are. We have nothing here in Indiana. I drove my van with open headers for a few months (not my DD though). Including a 60 mile trip to go haul a car I bought.

I have gotten an improvement on fuel mileage when I consistently drive it on the road unloaded. It's mostly used for pulling a trailer now. I used to average 18 mpg with the v6. I can get 20-21 MPG now with the v8.

For the average person, just get a v6 to replace it. Plug and play swap. Shouldn't be any problems with getting it working properly in the van. V8, even carbureted, if you don't know what you are doing can cause headaches/unnecessary downtime.
 

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Catalytic converter and emissions testing is heavily based on where you are. We have nothing here in Indiana. I drove my van with open headers for a few months (not my DD though). Including a 60 mile trip to go haul a car I bought.

I have gotten an improvement on fuel mileage when I consistently drive it on the road unloaded. It's mostly used for pulling a trailer now. I used to average 18 mpg with the v6. I can get 20-21 MPG now with the v8.

For the average person, just get a v6 to replace it. Plug and play swap. Shouldn't be any problems with getting it working properly in the van. V8, even carbureted, if you don't know what you are doing can cause headaches/unnecessary downtime.
hi matt - agreed on your thoughts on "headaches/downtime", you are a man speaking from experience. when i read in your post where you said you get better milage with the V8 i had to go and find your build thread - i watched your driveway test video over & over - seeing an astro backing up to the sound of a V8 idling was great - congratulations!!!!


had to link Mmusicman's "moderate acceleration" vid i found in your thread as well

just trying to turn Marv1432 over to the dark side.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To everyone who recommends a V8 yes I would love to have a short block 350 4 bolt main in my 94. I am 19 and have very little experience. Main reason I want to do a V6 instead is because my end goal is to make it into a solar van. I thank everyone for the ideas though. I also plan to take out all the ac stuff and make pull out vents instead. Like im older model muscle cars. I got the idea from a 1972 Chevy Nova that my father in law owns. It's already "custom" because I put 92 G20 captain chairs in the front.
 

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Clearly a V8 is not for you... and it's not for a lot of people.
Fun, but not necessarily practical.
Stick with V6 (which is a great little engine)
 

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Is a 'solar van' one that is parked in the sunshine and let sit to heat up?
I am from Western Washington. We do not typically get enough sun, to make that work. :D

Rod J
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Honestly I do not know if it is practical or not. But I've seen a couple of old Volkswagen buses made to run basically like an ev. Just using solar panels on the roof. I live in Georgia so I think I might be able to do it. Just really want my old blue to run again for rn. It's a very different kind of idea and I haven't found any astro or safari that runs off solar panels yet. It might not even be possible
 

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Haven't seen one because it is not an ideal platform to use as a base. Maybe if you get a Tesla battery pack (which is flat vs a Chevy volt pack for example) and put it under the van then you could get it to work pretty well. Charging via solar panels on the van is not gonna happen. That only works on small, efficient cars because a little bit of charge goes a long(er) way.

Consider the range of a Tesla pack vs it installed on the astro. Aero drag is ~2x because it is bigger and because it is less aerodynamic. So that 375 mile range just became 190 miles or less.
 
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