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What have you done to/with your van today?

965870 Views 17097 Replies 695 Participants Last post by  WoodButcher
The Jeep forum I'm on has this thread. Thought I'd bring it here. The idea is to post quick little things that really aren't special enough to have their own thread.

I go first.

Seven (my new parts van): Removed the rear drive shaft and mounted two donuts in the front. Then towed it to my brothers house.

Loaded up nicely, once Grumpy was used to shove it up the ramps.

Uhaul thinks we're moving a Dodge Neon. They won't rent tow dollies to move an Astro, they are supposed to be too wide.

The only good reason to use donuts on an Astro.

Plenty of room now.

We didn't bring Grumpy to the unload point and couldn't push Seven off the dolly. Our solution, set it's parking brake and pull the dolly out from under it. Worked beautifully. Unfortunately I didn't take pics or video of that.
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The two warnings I'll give about those is 1-Look at the frame for rot and 2-look at the leaf shakles and mounts for rot. I did both shakles on my in laws Ranger and they were just gone. I mean really gone.
I am doing the wiring for the rear hatch, hatch release, defogger & wiper. then I will TS the front wiper system finally. For the rearhatch I decided to go with a separate harness from the original van harness and use relays and add a circuit to the fuse box to power the on off of the relay. I will write it up after it is done and working and then post it .
I loaded up, went to U-haul, then went and picked up the truck. This was the first serious "trip" I'd taken with it (about 1 hour each way), and the only hauling I've done since the engine swap. Unloaded, the temp gauge stayed halfway between 100 & 210. Loaded, it stayed exactly the same. I won't say it towed "like it wasn't even there", as I knew there was something behind me even before getting the truck, but it was relatively smooth sailing. I kept it out of overdrive on the ride home, temperature gauge still read about 155. The only issue is I've still not gotten to the vacuum lines/canister hookup, and it still likes to stall at idle. That, and I noticed my R/F tire is worn on the inside now. The alignment has been off for a while, that makes things a little bit squirrely at times. Not much, not bad, just a little. It's on the list.

Edit: I brought the towing mirrors with me, but didn't need them this time. I couldn't see the truck on the passenger side, and barely saw it on the driver side. I definitely saw it in the rear view though!
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Digging in to at least three minor tasks, all related to needing to take off the radiator shroud.
I still have a very small, but persistent, leak at the lower trans cooler fitting on the radiator; A need to trim the lower fan shroud for the 2" lift;, and probably to to replace the rattling fan clutch on the water pump.
I have seen notes about needing a 10mm and an 8mm to get the shroud removed. The 8mm also fits the MAF sensor clamps, which must be removed and the MAF moved out of the way. I wire tied mine to the wiper arm, leaving the wires attached. I found seven places for screws when removing the upper shroud...five were installed, with one clip missing. It was a very tight fit getting the upper shroud piece out, but by pushing the upper radiator hose around a bit, the shroud half came out in one piece.
I thought I saw a note about more screws to remove the lower shroud section, but mine was just a 'Tab and Slot' arrangement at the bottom, so it came right out with a tad bit of maneuvering.
I now have easy access to the lower radiator trans cooler line, and the fan clutch assembly.
Turns out, my rattle was not the fan clutch itself, but the fan hub was cracked and broken off all four bolts that mount it to the clutch assembly.
I just returned from the FLAPS to borrow the fan clutch too set.
A side note: I found an electrical device of some sort bolted to the front cross member, and under the lower fan shroud. I have no idea what it is. I posted a pic in the Gallery. ( I still cannot seem to figure out the method of adding pic's directly to the posting).
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View media item 101776View media item 101774 Maybe I just found the 'Magic Wand' ! :cheers:
One picture of the 'unknown ' electrical part found bolted down under the fan shroud.
One photo of the air box removed and the MAF out of the way.
I think it's the impact sensor for the airbags.
Leeann_93 said:
I think it's the impact sensor for the airbags.

Rod's Trucks said:
( I still cannot seem to figure out the method of adding pic's directly to the posting).
Two basic methods (that I'm aware of)
1) Attach File (I'll show you this one)
2) IMG TAG (photo already posted somewhere else)

click this2.jpg

click this3.jpg

click this4.jpg

Here is method #2...

click this5.jpg


click this6.jpg

If you use "IMG TAG"..
It is best to post a photo to your own "Image Gallery" first
...then hot-link photo from there.
You can also link from outside sources (if they allow photo hot-linking)

Here is an example of a hot-linked photo (from my photo gallery)
(right-click full sized photo and copy "image address".. then post using IMG TAG)
One advantage of this method is click photo to zoom, click again returns to forum..

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Ok... some small mini-projects and stuff with my 2000:
(the past few weeks in order)


New front tires LT245/70R17... (van mileage 234K replaced under road-hazard)
LT Firestone Transforce HT2 (Highway Touring) 10-ply load range E .. 30.5" tall
Same tire factory provided on a lot of commercial trucks.


These new tires ride as smooth as glass! LOVE them!


Installed new 55w halogen fog-lights.
I couldn't pass them up at Harbor Freight for only $8/complete set!
I had young apprentice helpers...


With my lift, I was able to mount them directly on the lower sub-frame.
No visible holes.. (the brackets are mounted up high near the crossing brake line)
They are somewhat stealth... tucked low and under, behind the bumper...

20200517_174349a (2).jpg

I was quite surprised.. they have a very focused horizontal pattern and work amazingly well!
I wired them (through a relay and toggle switch) to always come on with the ignition.


I've always been a fan of the old-school look. I'm quite happy with the placement and look!


Next I did some quick suspension and alignment work:

* Adjusted torsion bars to level the van (PS was higher than DS by 1/2")
* Did my first AWD cam camber/caster adjustments (set to 0 degrees camber)

Surprised how easy it was!


After adjusting torsion height and camber/caster, I re-adjusted toe-in...


With new front tires and a pending trip... this was important!
Van drives perfectly straight and smooth!



Took a trip from South Florida to western VA and did some fantastic riding in the mountains!
Stayed in Floyd VA near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beautiful area & wonderful riding!
The trip up and back was smooth and uneventful... the van needed nothing.


The trailer/bike totes along behind like it's not even there!


Lover's Leap Overlook, VA



I have had a very slow drip leak from my hydroboost unit for the past few years.
It eventually makes a mess all over the DS suspension, as well as my driveway.
It's been a low-priority long over-due pain in my butt pending project.

So I pulled a unit from one of our spare junk work vans.
Here's the 97 donar van...


This is the hydroboost unit I pulled from the donar van...


Here's a photo of my stock original leaking unit (lines disconnected)...
(I'll keep it and see about rebuilding/replacing the bad seal)


The hydroboost unit is fairly easily removed!
Inside 4 nuts and 1 brake pedal pin, outside 2 steel lines, 1 rubber hose, 2 nuts master cylinder.
Brake lines are not touched.. master cylinder is pushed aside.
(easier access removing upper radiator hose and pushing fuse panel aside)


You WILL need new o-rings for the steel lines!
I just happen to have A/C o-rings that fit perfectly (see green o-ring 2 photos up)
I only needed to add a little fluid, and did a brief lock to lock air-bleeding.

I GUNKED and pressure washed everything.


Replacement unit installed... works perfectly!


So the next morning I was heart-broken when I saw a small trail of fluid in my driveway.
I open the hood and the hydroboost is dry. I look underneath.. everything appears dry!
This is impossible! Where the heck is the leak coming from?

I keep looking and finally find a single drip of fluid on a steering arm near mid-engine.
Follow it up to the water-pump which I just installed last year.

Turns out it's a stupid cracked rubber cap (over the heater hose nipple on the water pump)
I don't use the heater in South Florida and after a cracked heater valve, I just capped it off.
I've read that these crappy rubber caps now only seem to last about a year.. looks like it's true!
Thankfully it didn't blow out on my trip to VA.


I made my own "cap" using a short piece of quality heater hose and a steel plug.



The dripping hydroboost (over the years) soaked and ruined my DS upper control arm bushings, so I have a new complete control arm coming this week. Will replace and redo alignment when it arrives.

THAT'S IT! ... :D
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I was excited to mount my summer wheels, bought some new rims and tires. Picked them up yesterday from the garage, when I unloaded them a bunch of the stick on weights fell off. Not happy. Looks like they didn't wipe down the rims is my guess.
I replaced the upper fan cover with one that had all the posts in place for the air filter box. I also put on the little rubber gaskets to securely hold the air filter box.

It wasn't a hard job but getting the fan cover out and back in is a PITA.

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Loaded up 8 tires and wheels, and took them over to Goodyear for mounting and balancing. Thursday the plan is to take it to Shelby Twp, and pick up a hood and a door for the Prizm, and then this weekend get some lumber to fix the eves of the garage.
Gotta do an oil change on the wife's Accord Friday. Will probably do a tire rotation on it as well.
8 tires and wheels? Yikes - how much did that cost???

Oh - if you need AC stuff for the wife's Accord, I bought a compressor kit for an '00 Accord from Amazon that I no longer need....
Opened up the door panels and changed out the dry rotted original speakers, added some sound deadening, WD -40 to the inner door lower seam, changed drivers power lock motor and mirror switch (mirrors still don't work, old switch looked like it got hot).

Finally got the summer wheels on. Vision Turbine's in 16" with Firestone 215-70-16's. Much quieter. Interested to see any change in my fuel economy. Slider just barely contacts the tire. No stress.

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I took everything out of my van then put the stuff I am using to work on it back in since i am waiting for wire and connectors to finish the hatch wiring. We are currently paying off all debts to get ready to start looking at homes in Texas again as soon as the covid thing is over. We have a potential buyer for the California home so we are a step forward from last year.
Took my son and the Astro to 2 yards today, details on the other vehicles thread.
Leeann_93 said:
8 tires and wheels? Yikes - how much did that cost???

Oh - if you need AC stuff for the wife's Accord, I bought a compressor kit for an '00 Accord from Amazon that I no longer need....
It was 150 for the labor (dismount 4, mount and balance all 8). It was also almost 90*F outside (radio claimed the heat index was 102 or something like that), so the guy worked his butt off just doing them.
Not at the moment I don't. Her car makes great AC. But I'll keep you in mind for sure.
Did my first Gen II style "upper control arm" Sunday on my 2000.
I've done a few older style arms, including my 92

Purchased a new Mevotech MS50120 Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly
Amazon for $57 (incl free shipping)... this is their "Supreme" upper line.


Jack van DS (under lower arm).. pull wheel, separate upper ball-joint.. pull arm...
THAT'S IT! Literally! Really quite easy!


My hydroboost drip over the past few years destroyed the bushings on my DS.
There is still some meat inside.. but I wasn't taking any chances.
I just installed new tires and don't want any unseen alignment wear issues, as well as any highway sway issues.


I recently did my first camber alignment using the offset cam design.
I was curious how turning the bolt on one side affected both sides.

Low and behold, it's an indexed (or flat-cut) bolt with cam on each end! Cool!
(for those like me who've never seen this before)



Here is what each mount looks like... with "oval slot" for camber/castor adjustment.
Now I understand the cam/slot limitation that people talk about when control-arm geometry is severely altered with excessive suspension lift. This was the first time I've ever seen this. (I'm used to the older style with drop in shims)


Installed! It wasn't actually that difficult at all


Quick camber/caster alignment was a snap! I practically got it first try!
Toe-in was still good once camber set back to zero.

Lubed up the front end (a little overdue)
Drives perfect! Goes perfectly straight! Stops perfectly straight!
Brand new Transforce LT tires (smooth as glass) ... all good! Love it!

Anyone considering chiseling out ball-joints and pressing in your own bushings is out of your mind.
Just replace the arm and entire set for next to nothing already assembled! :D
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Why did you buy mevotech vs moog vs dorman which are all within 5 bucks of each other in price. These are $67 now..
dcsleeper said:
Why did you buy mevotech vs moog vs dorman which are all within 5 bucks of each other in price. These are $67 now..
I've had very good luck with Mevotech the past few years.. impressed with their products and prices.
They offer a standard line.. and a professional line. Workmanship "appears" quite good on these.
Moog was always the choice for me until past few years.. I keep hearing about China quality issues.
I still buy Moog... but with reservation. Reviews starting to show "some" quality issues.
No hard facts to back up my feelings on this one.. just my gut.
If I were buying individual parts, I'd most likely still buy Moog... or Mevotech.
I don't usually buy Dorman products.. especially for suspension. It may be fine.
ACDelco has REALLY taken a dive lately! Some good, some not.
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