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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found her on craigslist, she had been towed and the owners didn't come to get her. So you can say she is a rescue. I was able to drive her home for $2,000.
I'm a detailer by trade so I got her cleaned up.
A buddy at working was going to scrap these old wheels, another rescue. New tires and tried them on. Changed the whole look of the van. I got some time and did a quick hand polish on them.
The van has been awesome. It's been there during some hard times and has always been there when I really needed it. It took me about a year to get the center caps and another year to get the lug nuts. I gave the wheels and good machine polish, then coated them 10 times with ceramic coating, and added the white letters.
It's been a long road getting her to where she is today. So far, I have done new heads (#6 had a broke valve spring), all seals and gaskets in the the intake, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, TPS, IAC, control arm bushings, idler arm, tie rods, air and fuel filter, water pump, fan clutch, new front exterior door handles, new doors pins (both sides), new power window motor (passenger side), new power window switch (both sides), 16x8 with slightly stretched 215/70/R16, 1/4" spacers in the front (to clearance the calipers), center caps, lug nuts, console from a 2017 Chrysler Town and Country, and a Wolo Jukebox musical horn.
I have 5 kids and love to travel. The van will be built as a family road trip machine. All seats will be staying, she has seating for 8. I want to keep the kids happy, quite, and comfortable. Lots of charging ports and a huge entertainment system. I also want to it to be easy to clean, so lots of dark vinyl. I like black and red, but small touches of color. The interior isn't horrible but it needs work. The dash really looks the worst and I have been wanting a big touchscreen. I measured the dash and ordered this. It's got a 10.1 inch touchscreen, GPS, wifi, bluetooth, hook up for two more screens, two USB inputs, back-up camera, hands free calling and text.
I started by fixing the broken pieces one at a time. Using tape to hold them in place and epoxy lots of epoxy. Once I got it back into one piece I cut into it. I saved as many of the factory clips and things that I might need later down the road. The a/c controls, rear wiper switch, and rear a/c fan switch were all in the way. I don't have a rear-view mirror and have never used the rear wiper, so that is on the shelf. The rear a/c isn't working at this time, so that is on the shelf for now. Next, I used the bottom off the factory radio as a base to build a holder for the screen. Worked out nice, slides in and snaps into place like factory.
It took a while to get everything lined up. Lots of body filler and sanding, but I'm happy with it.It's not finished. I will be adding a starter button on this panel, next to the steering column. Once that is done I will wrap the piece in black vinyl upholstery. I haven't done the back-up camera yet, still need to change out the factory speakers. Lots more to come. I also took a underseat cubby out of the Disastro and put it in Vanessa. Pretty handy.
While I cleaned up the dust from all that sanding, I got sidetracked and polished the air intake off the Disastro. It's a pretty nice set up, not digging the blue. I hit it with a Scotch Brite pad, machine and hand polish using Mother's aluminum polish.
Now back to the dash project. The a/c controls need to be installed. I didn't have to cut any wires or hoses going to the a/c controls, it just hangs right into place. I used this Polywall stuff I had laying around. It's cheap easy to work with and fairly strong. And more body filler, but this time I did my sanding outside.The only modification I had to do, was trim this bracket alittle. The other end just holds the back edge, so it will still use the same screw as factory.
I hate the cupholders! Drinks never sit right. Try to hold them in place while turning. Try to catch them if you take off fast. They are useless and no longer my problem. I cut them! Using the polywall and epoxy I made sides and a bottom. I will be use some carpet to cover the bottom of the cubby. I moved the 12 volt outlet into the glovebox. My USB adapter has a LED light that lights up the inside of the glovebox, kind of a bonus.
Not feeling the gloss, but I'm going to leave to help keep me motivated to get it wrapped. I ordered a new a/c control, it blew for the shelf once or twice. I guess it still had air in it. Once it gets here I will get pics of the dash. I like it. The dash looks better without on the switches. Later I will be making a switch panel to go in the ashtray/coin holder. Hopefully I can fit all the switches inside. More to come!
 

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'92 Astro LT - CPI / W Motor - 200K miles
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Nice work on those wheels.
Thanks for the Pics n' Stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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VERY nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This morning all was dry, so I epoxyed the bolts in place.
I'm going to epoxy the top of the armrest, in hope to stop it from getting worst. Then drill 2 holes, in the door panel to bolt these in place.
Screenshot_20210624-114334_Gallery.jpg

Not going to be installing today, maybe this weekend. My passenger side window isn't working. I replaced the window and both switches. Something messed up somewhere, cut wire? I need to take the door panel off and get into it. I also have some speakers that have been kicking around. So I'm getting a few quick upgrades while I have the door panels off.
Screenshot_20210624-114951_Gallery.jpg

I have 4 of these speakers, 2 in front doors and 2 in back Dutch doors. Any tips on keeping that little rod in place inside of rear door handle? Thanks for the comments! More to come.
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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I would think a dab of silicone sealer/caulk on the tip of the rod would keep it in place, and still be somewhat flexible. It should still allow removal if needed, unless of course the plastic retainer clip is broken or deformed.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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'92 Astro LT - CPI / W Motor - 200K miles
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bigt20to7 said:
... Any tips on keeping that little rod in place inside of rear door handle?
Can you take a Pic - is it that white nylon POS that come on the Gen II...
- instead of the "Rod-Thru" spring steel retainer- Gen I...?

Just wondering - is the speaker vibrations messing things up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The end of the rod is L shaped with a white plastic holder. Seems to just pop out of the hole whenever you need it to open. Could stay for a day or a week. I need to remove the rear plate holder to mount the back-up camera. That will give me more room to fix it long term. I rarely listen to the radio and the trashed stock speakers are all that is back there. That clip just sucks. I may just put a small zip tie around where it holds the rod.
 

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I had a similar issue with a G3500. I wrapped some mechanics wire around the joint a couple times so it can still have full articulation but keeps it from popping out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, looks like there will be a change in plans with Vanessa the family road trip machine. Last night drove home in a 2014 town and country. It's pretty nice, all power doors, rear DVD, all black interior, power ports everywhere, very low miles, it's the perfect family road trip van. Not too nice, but nice. So, Vanessa will be coming "Daddy's van". Which is fine by me but, now I have to move her vans to the top of the van project. She also has a 2007 town and country. I will be giving it a full detail, some this and that, and getting it ready to sale. The 2014 came from family and also needs a full detail and ceramic coating. The driveway is looking like the home of a vanning family!
 

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'92 Astro LT - CPI / W Motor - 200K miles
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:sleep:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
20210914_002149.jpg

After a few hundred trys. I'm happy with this. Vanessa will be staying factory color with the addition of vinyl stripes. Perforated over the rear windows. Something with a heavy flake look. Kinda of a 2021 twist on a 70's style van. My initials are TL. L's down the side, T on the hood. I call her Vanessa, and a V on the hood also. Flares, custom air dam, and folding rag top. It will give me something to work towards. I like having a plan. I will soon start on an interoir rendering
 

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'92 Astro LT - CPI / W Motor - 200K miles
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Pretty awesome TLV - how many trys?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I also got the backup camera installed. Drilled out the keyhole blank and made a small bracket. Clean stock look.
20210914_121851.jpg
 
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