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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
She has a power steering/brake leak though. I'm fine with keeping it RWD and just using it as a road van but I don't want to put that much money into it I cant convert to AWD down the line. Does anyone have experience with these leaking brake fluid? planning on making a nice little camper out of her.
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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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It looks pretty straight from the one photo, and the price is good. How about rust issues?
Where in Washington State, are you located? If it has spent most of it's life in the NW, it may very well be rust-free. Did it come with the back end already stripped?
I see you have the rear A/C.
The leaks, as well as almost everything else you will need to repair, are repairable. If you are willing to get dirty and learn, most repairs are not too expensive nor difficult. You will gets lots of help from the list when you ask questions.
Converting to AWD/4WD is a major project, requiring the entire front steering and suspension to be swapped. I think that also includes the sub-frame, but I am not [positive on that. Somebody else will confirm...or not.

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It didn’t seem that rusty but I haven’t given it that deep of an inspection. The couple we bought it from had been living in LA when we bought it from them so I don’t know what part of WA the original owner was from. They had already stripped the back and had a bed laying on the floor. It’s good to know that the repairs won’t be too bad.
 

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First to swap to a s-10 transfer-you will need an AWD front frame, to which you would have to move your engine to the AWD frame and you will need the AWD transmission. Then to switch to a 4x4 transfer case you will either copy mmusicmans ideas or use the kit from Journeys off road. I did a similar swap but I used a 98 frame under my 89. If you were to use a pre 99 frame then you would need the drive shafts from a 99 and above AWD to match the 4x4 transfer case. If you decide to just go AWD then 98 and older AWD transfer cases are much better (in my opinion) then 99 and newer. Also if you decide to do this rebuild front suspension and brakes prior to sliding the AWD frame under your van. Makes things so much easier. Good luck. Mark
 

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Nice van. IMO if you are not a mechanic, don’t go there. Just get an AWD a few guys here have done it, but it’s not a walk in the park. If you were to go that route I would suggest a donor AWD. They can be found cheap. I just sent a 99 AWD to the crusher. I did offer it up here first. I think you need the steering column from an AWD also. Any way you go welcome to the club. By the way is your van G-80 or open? Find your door sticker. ( passenger side ) it will tell you all the codes.
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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Can you convert to AWD/4WD? Of course you can. Is it worth it on a regular everyday normal average van? Oh heck no! It's a lot of work to do for something that is already available stock.

If the rest of the van is in perfect condition and you want to keep it, consider a limited slip or a locker. Otherwise I would just wait for an AWD version if that is what you need.

Then if you really need a 2spd transfer case, buy one from a JY and a new gasket and install it, maybe grab the manual shifter parts while you are there. Manual shifting or push button shifting is available. For manual shifters I really like what Gavio and MMusicman have done for their shifter, much better looking IMO than some other options. Depending on which transfer case and how much lift you may need to have your driveshaft lengthened to ensure that it stays engaged with the TC.

There are other ways to go about it as well, one member on here converted his to a diesel 4x4 by adapting the body to a Blazer frame. Just depends on your desires and what you are willing to put into it in labor and money.
 

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Oh and you asked about going to a standard trans? GM stop making the 4 and 5 speed stick van in 1989 so they chance of finding factory pedals is slim. However someone in this forum did it using pedals from either a race car parts place or a hot rod place like summit. But I don't remember who it was or where they got the parts. Sorry but I know it can be done is why I mentioned it. Mark
 

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Oh and you asked about going to a standard trans?
I kinda glossed over that. Why would you want to switch to a manual transmission esp if you want to go AWD/4WD?
 
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