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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I started in on fixing the ABS and brake light problem on my dash. That led to re-soldering the ABS module, replacing every brake line in the van, and installing two new wheel bearings because of bad wheel speed sensors. Upon installing new lines, I found out why my front end was sagging more than I remembered. My core supports were rotted, and the front end was sagging towards the frame. You can see that here:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Bumper Automotive exterior

The van didn't feel safe to drive until I fixed this, so I got right to it. I figured while I'm down there, I might as well throw in the 2+1 lift from Journey's and some new bushings.

I'm kicking myself for not taking a proper before picture. I have HD springs in the rear, and the rear sits about 31 inches from the concrete to the top of the fender. The front sat around 26 inches on the DF and 27 inches on the PF. After jacking the frame up and getting the core support to sit where it should have been, we went to work cutting out all the rust. Here's what it looked like after cutting away the rot.

Tire Vehicle Wheel Hood Automotive tire

Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Green Tire

After that, we started making some brackets to weld to the vertical columns on the core support. We used 16 gauge steel and bent it to shape. We also used an 1/8 steel plate on the bottom for extra support. Here's the brackets and how they fit on the van. Ignore my sh*t welds... I'm new to this. To make the hole for the frame to body mount, we set the bracket where we wanted it, used a sharpie to mark center from below, and drilled a 1/2" hole. We welded a M12 1.75 nut to the steel to fasten the bolt after.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gas Bumper Machine tool

Wood Line Gas Machine Screw

Automotive tire Blue Bumper Motor vehicle Rim

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Green Hood Automotive exterior

Motor vehicle Green Blue Automotive tire Gas

After the new supports were welded in, we rebuilt the bottom of the core support using some steel flashing. We used several bends to get it to sit at the back of the radiator between it and the lower fan shroud and used rivets instead of welding. Here's how it turned out.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Grille

Last step was adding some Rustoleum all around.

That's all. I've driven nearly 100 miles with this so far, and the van feels more solid than ever. The new body mount bushings and fastened front end made the van stiff. If you have any questions, ask away. I know this isn't the prettiest fix, but it got me back on the road, and I feel safe again.

After the new bushings and lift, the front sits right under 31 inches on both sides. I didn't bother with the rear shackles from the lift kit. I also haven't touched the torsion keys yet.

Big thanks to The Drummer's post for inspiration on this one.


· Registered
959 Posts
Great job! Another one saved

Your welds look good, way better than mine for this same repair. Mine were suspicious enough to require peace of mind bolts

· Registered
1989 Astro RS on a 1998 AWD frame with a 1994 350 TBI
7,389 Posts
I started welding with a cheap 110 MIG welder from Walmart years ago and had no clue. This past May I built a 2-Inch out to 3 inch exhaust I went from dual 2 inch down to a Y I bought them out to 3 inch through catalytic converter then into muffler then dual 2 inch tail pipes. I welded it all up solid with my Lincoln MIG welder. It sounds good and no leaks. But I watched a bunch of YouTube videos first because welding round pipe is a different technique then doing flat sheet metal. Next I am going to make a cowl induction style hood.
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