Astro - chrome filler panel

Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby TDMobile [OP] » March 16th 2012, 11:28pm

Hey everyone,

New guy here, technically inclined just lacking information.

I'll start by giving you all a little bit of background: I bought an '05 Astro cargo AWD in July 2011 from a dealership that buys them from TDBank. Ever since, I've suffered from terrible night vision, having the highly ineffective sealed beam headlights. I came across this wonderful site when I was looking for information about how to convert to composite.

Now I found everything I need except for the grille, however, I'd rather do a custom grille and delete the big piece of chrome that runs across the front. What I'm wondering is if the chrome piece is purely cosmetic, or does it serve a true purpose? the material I'm hoping to use does not hold weight very well, so if need be, I can build a frame for it. I would really like to just skip the frame part if I can though, seeing as it will add extra time.

If anyone has information about this please let me know. I have searched all 18 pages of the Exterior portion of the forum and found nothing that points me to an answer.

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby Lumpy » March 16th 2012, 11:42pm

All parts of the grille are essentially cosmetic. Or to keep large pieces of flotsam out of the radiator. I believe you can remove the chrome piece and there is a similar sized plastic casting underneath that.


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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby TDMobile [OP] » March 17th 2012, 1:07am

Thanks Lump. Heres a better question: if i install the composites and leave my van with no grille, would it be driveable or would the headlights fall or sag? No, I'm not going to actually drive without a grille, but my home depot custom mod grille will have similar load-bearing abilities to having nothing at all
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby Lumpy » March 17th 2012, 3:37am

I couldn't tell you for sure on a Gen II, but I'm almost certain that no, the headlamps are mounted to the metal body, not the plastic grille. In Gen I vans, the grille in front of the radiator is a separate piece from the plastic surrounds on the headlamps. That plastic surround also becomes the park/turn signal lamp housings.

Remove a headlamp? Then see how it goes together.


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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby Jasen » March 17th 2012, 3:40am

Like Lumpy said, the head lights are mounted to the core support, the grill is just bling.
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby TDMobile [OP] » March 17th 2012, 3:56am

Very good, thanks a ton.
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby trapper20 » March 17th 2012, 5:52am

To confirm, I drove mine for a little while with no grille, the headlights are independent of the grille.
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby TDMobile [OP] » March 17th 2012, 7:26am

trapper20 wrote:To confirm, I drove mine for a little while with no grille, the headlights are independent of the grille.


Awesome, thanks for the verification! I suppose 8" of lift helps you not worry about anything hitting your rad on a grille-free drive. :rofl:
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby alexalexanders » March 19th 2012, 2:04am

X4 on the grill not needing to be for the mounting of the headlights, BUT on my 2000 safari, the blinkers hook into the grill on one side and have two screws on the other. Just somthing to think about, im just not sure if the screws would hold them in well enough to prevent them flying off.
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Re: Astro - chrome filler panel

Postby TDMobile [OP] » March 21st 2012, 4:42am

alexalexanders wrote:X4 on the grill not needing to be for the mounting of the headlights, BUT on my 2000 safari, the blinkers hook into the grill on one side and have two screws on the other. Just somthing to think about, im just not sure if the screws would hold them in well enough to prevent them flying off.


That's the same on mine... What I think I'm going to do is cut the blinker mount part off of the grille, since it mounts to the body at two points behind the blinker. Thanks for the heads up on that.
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