Chevy Astro and GMC Safari Forum banner
101 - 120 of 120 Posts

·
Registered
2003 GMC Safari AWD
Joined
·
136 Posts
Big day yesterday! Put it down on all 4 wheels, measured for rear sway bar link, then back up it went for Trans cooler lines, engine oil, power steering flush, fill and filter.
Time for first start soon to check for fuel/oil/water leaks then torquing everything down.

The rear is about 3" higher than the front. I'll wait for some drive time to see where it settles at. I think I have it centered well enough, and it looks like I did OK for opening the arch for bigger tires.
I like those stock wheels - going to become Graphite Black, I think.

View attachment 285627
Very Jealous of your skills. I too need to cut out the bottom on my panels and weld some steel down there. I must pick up those welding skills first. I do notice that yours, at the front, is in line with the original front fender panel. if you go over 29" wheels, you may have to grind some of that off. I am running 235/70/16 and I do not have problems, but me thinks I want a bigger tire next time.
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #102 ·
On that front wheel arch...

That seam that everyone bashes over with a hammer was removed and then the rock slider beam sits back a bit from that. Hopefully that will get me enough room for something that looks good.
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #104 ·
Some satisfying work on the battery tray and front sway bar links

Wood Automotive exterior Gas Auto part Metal
Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Auto part Automotive design


Brake shields and door handles ready for paint. Curing the finish in the oven.
Tool Automotive tire Font Cutting mat Gas
Musical instrument String instrument Glass bottle Guitar Gas



Copper color battery tray in place and working out details for the rear sway bar

Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Metal Electrical wiring
Tire Wheel Crankset Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel


* AC system passed leak down test and Fuel system holding pressure at 56PSI
Electrical wiring Electricity Electronic engineering Motor vehicle Engineering
 

·
Registered
1997 AWD GMC Safari
Joined
·
881 Posts
Gee whiz, this really took off while I was gone - looks like amazing work on a rusty specimen! I should have stopped by on my way through Indiana to have you do mine lol.

And another question

Anyone recognize this bracket? I have no idea where it goes.

View attachment 285594
That goes where the starter and flexplate meet btw
 

·
Registered
1997 AWD GMC Safari
Joined
·
881 Posts
Yeah... lots of "I should just also do...."



Is it for a shield attachment? Starter is in.

I'll look through my pics to see if I can tell what attached to it.
The end of the starter that engages the flexplate goes through the hole and that plate fills the remaining gap, it is mounted to the oil pan, I believe, with two bolts
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Those TTX heavt duty inner tie rod ends had some really good factory coating.

All of the various black parts was pretty lame factory coating and would be rusted in a season in the snow belt.
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #112 ·
Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle Wheel


I have a popping noise on the driver side I need to sort out. Sitting still and getting in/out of the driver seat, or anything that makes the front suspension move.

Tire Vehicle Wheel Automotive tire Hood


Tire Wheel Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Automotive tire


Installed a temp sensor for e-fan controller

Automotive fuel system Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Motorcycle


Bleeding the brakes took some considerable effort. The hand vac pump was making no progress and our hands couldn't take it anymore. Switched to trying a coolant system vacuum pump and it worked great! In the end, it still wasn't enough (no way the hand vac would have ever completed this). In the end, it took a few trips around the van at each wheel AND pumping the brake.
since then I have run the automated ABS bleed with one more bleeding cycle at each wheel planned.

Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Crankset Bicycle


The new springs/shackle combo is giving me some grief. The shackle hits the frame.
It is a very hefty shackle, so I have been removing material and reshaping it hoping that it eventually swings freely.
I have the shock "upside down" but I don't think it matters for this design). The end of the shock with the adjustment knob is much fatter than stock so wouldn't fit in the lower shock mount without some more work. The knob up high makes more sense anyway?
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motorcycle Vehicle



The driver door panel had nearly every plastic clip mount broken so I made some metal caps
Motor vehicle Bumper Office equipment Flag Automotive exterior



Blue Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wood Bumper



Current issues:
  • Still trying to bleed the cooling system. The Coolant vacuum pump didn't work out very well. I have less than 3 gallons in there.
  • Need to bleed the brakes one more time
  • Rear shackles hitting frame
  • Front driver side suspension popping noise
  • Oil leak at rear of engine/trans
    • This leak is worse than when I took it apart so should be something I did
    • I was convinced the rear main seal was NOT leaking so I left it alone. (I prefer a non-leaking factory installed seal than a DIY replacement)
    • I may have not sealed the new oil pan gasket at the crank well enough?
  • Oil seepage at the front timing belt cover?
On Deck:
  • Electrical work
    • Higher Amp alternator
    • e-fan power
    • Battery disconnect switch
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,142 Posts
First of all, I want to say (as others have said) how incredibly impressed I am with this build thread. It is nothing short of amazing the work you've done to bring things back to life.. in some cases better than original. You're welding and metal treating skills are inspirational.

So my comments will be pretty insignificant.. take them for what they are worth.

Bleeding the brakes took some considerable effort.
I found this odd.. mine were extremely easy to bleed, in fact I gravity bled them.
I never got air in my reservoir.. and didn't have to touch the ABS system.

Did you have to bleed the entire system?
ABS included?
Again, mine gravity bled thru the entire system.

The new springs/shackle combo is giving me some grief. The shackle hits the frame.
I didn't see the picture.. not sure what might be the issue.
Is this a shackle you made, or purchased?

Mine is offset and can go in 2 ways.. the wrong way will hit the frame.

I have the shock "upside down" but I don't think it matters for this design). The end of the shock with the adjustment knob is much fatter than stock so wouldn't fit in the lower shock mount without some more work. The knob up high makes more sense anyway?
Interesting about the shocks.. and how they don't fit?
I looked at shocks (with the adjustment knob) and ruled this out... too gimmicky for me.
I went with the KYB MonoMax (which boasts a thicker piston).. they fit correctly.
I also don't know I would assume they can work upside-down.. maybe it doesn't matter.

Oh one more tiny little thing.. I think you have the boot attached incorrectly.
Mine is attached to the body of the shock, not the end of it (like your previous shock photo).
I let the boot position itself in it's normal resting position, then secured it.
This way I think it will expand and contract naturally.
Again (nit pick and probably no right or wrong).. it's just a boot..lol
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Tread


Still trying to bleed the cooling system. The Coolant vacuum pump didn't work out very well. I have less than 3 gallons in there.
How do you know it's an issue?
I don't understand why this would be an issue... I've never had this problem.
Park on incline.. fill radiator (with engine running).. done.

Higher Amp alternator
Are you running the AD244 alternator or have you considered it?

Finally, one more question:
What lower control arms did you use?
 

·
Registered
1992 Astro - Silver / Gray / 4 Wheels
Joined
·
5,503 Posts
I don't know where I been, but missed this thread ( Following now ).
Been nice in the morning & early afternoon to sit and absorb NoQuarter's Van and workmanship.

Your Photo skills... well.

Hat's off ! Must be a great woman around there somewhere....
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #116 ·
Mm - thanks for the extended comments

- The brakes were disconnected so long they were drained. Good thing too - The reservoir was full of sludge.
If I had to do it again, I like the gravity approach

- This is the shackle from ATS. Very heavy duty so Bob suggested trimming it to fit.
Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Trunk Vehicle door


This is with the van in the air and the distance for the shackle to swing rearwards seems small.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Rim Automotive wheel system



  • I'll have another look at that shock boot. It does look more bunched up than necessary
  • The cooling system was drained and power flushed and blown out with air. There shouldn't have been much left in the block but I have only been able to get 2.5 gallons back in.
  • The AD244 is what I have ready to go 🙂
  • The control arms are mismatched! 😒 Getting them at all was a big problem at the time. The driver side is ACDelco and the passenger side is Mevotech.
I had completely forgotten these were different manufactures. The passenger side was a real pain to install and the driver side was pretty easy.
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #117 ·
Decided I wanted a break from my other problems (maybe they will go away 😆) so I started into some of my electrical work.

At the moment, I am thinking I want a mounting panel something like this. (This is a cardboard template).
Dealing with the stock fuse box mounting will have to be determined. I think I will re-arrange the body ground cable, remove the rigid plastic cable protector, and get some more flexibility for its orientation. I might just replace the whole thing - It seems half of the stuff in the box is not used.
Car Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design


I slide in a piece of plywood so I could work out mounting locations and get started on some wiring. Here you see a battery disconnect switch, 100amp circuit breaker, relay box, power distribution block and a fan controller.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior


Here you see a temp sensor in the coolant hose (with a fancy zip tie hammock holding it away from the pullies) and its cable heading over to the mounting panel
The 2 wires in the front are from the fans. The right side is the stock cable and the left is my version)
Motor vehicle Auto part Gas Metal Automotive fuel system
 

·
Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
Joined
·
6,142 Posts
This is with the van in the air and the distance for the shackle to swing rearwards seems small.
View attachment 286508
I think I see two problems:
1) Your shackle doesn't have much room for movement
2) You springs seem to have a big arch.. which would of course cause more travel.
Mine are much flatter... but you did say you were in the air. Springs will flatten somewhat, but shackle will move rearward toward interference.

Here's what my stock (and aftermarket) shackles look like.. they seem to have more curve.
Wood Auto part Metal Fashion accessory Font


I might "suggest" that YOUR spring's front "fixed" position be moved further forward, allowing rear to follow accordingly as well. Probably wouldn't take much.

The cooling system was drained and power flushed and blown out with air. There shouldn't have been much left in the block but I have only been able to get 2.5 gallons back in.
I always refill mine with front slightly higher.. adding coolant to radiator while engine is running.
This has always worked fine for me. You might need to wait for thermostat to open.. running fluid level should drop, then keep filling some more.

The AD244 is what I have ready to go 🙂
Seems this should be more than adequate.

The control arms are mismatched! 😒 Getting them at all was a big problem at the time. The driver side is ACDelco and the passenger side is Mevotech.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE! I have SAME exact issue!!
I ordered both sides (ACDelco) lower control arms (thru Summit) last year, and only driver-side arrived. Passenger side was back-ordered.. then they contacted me and said it was no longer available from ACDelco.

My passenger side has a worn ball-joint and is in need of replacement (bushings bad too)... so yesterday I ordered the Mevotech lower control arm. You and I will have the same setups! I expect to install this in the next week or so. Trying to determine if unload tool is needed.. but I suspect it is not if I've disconnected the control arm enough for it to swing fully downward.

I heard once there may be a clocking issue with the Mevotec lower arm.. we're going to find out.
I'll take before/after measurements (both sides)... but at least torsion bars (each side) are adjustable as well.
 

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #119 ·
With the control arm totally hanging free the torsion key unload tool won't be needed. But... if you forget when putting it back together you will need to make a run to the store for a loaner.

This loaner works perfect
Rectangle Grey Automotive tire Font Motor vehicle


Laptop accessory Computer hardware Gadget Data storage device Metal
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2003 Safari AWD
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #120 ·
This is what I have so far. Over 50 connections here of various gauges and terminal sizes so really scraping up parts to get this so that it running in order to testt and then re-asses and make changes final connections .

Notes on this power center:

  • wooden board will be replaced with a removable metal tray
  • 6 High power relays (ground controlled). 2 used for cooling fans
  • Switched (ignition) power distribution bus protected with stock 30amp fuse and relay from fuse box
  • Battery disconnect switch (ground)
  • Ground bus
  • Dakota Digital fan controller (needs a waterproof box fabricated)
  • Stock fuse box needs adjusted to mount properly
-Constant powered accessories (like radio, fan controller, relays) protected via stock 30AMP fuse in fuse box

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper


Hood Electrical wiring Motor vehicle Gas Electronic engineering


How the fuse box works

  • The Aux power connections (#2) are always hot and each one is protected by the 30 Amp fuses (#1)
  • The terminal on the top of the pic (See #2 and marked Batt on the fuse box) provides constant power source to under dash convenience center near driver's feet.
  • #3 relay is used to provide switched power to under dash convenience center and gets its power from the bottom terminal, marked Aux on the fuse box
Electrical wiring Gas Audio equipment Electronic component Electronic device



Here you see the Aux terminal wire connection goes to the relay. When the key is turned on, this relay sends power to under dash convenience center. I used the relay output to provide 30A switched power to my power center.
Automotive design Electrical wiring Cable Computer hardware Wire
 
101 - 120 of 120 Posts
Top