Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby 1lowcab » March 6th 2019, 1:30am

They did an awesome job on that, very sweet!
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby Rockridge » March 6th 2019, 1:36am

Who says you need a hi-top for some extra head room? Cool project so far. I was just looking at those Rotoplast jugs. We bike alot and camp a bit so hauling some extra water would be cool. and the I occasionally need to grab some fuel for the mower or atv. Never liked having the jugs in the van. They seem like nice product. Can the jug you have be mounted sideways also? So water could be dispensed without un-mounting it?
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby 97cargocrawler » March 6th 2019, 5:35pm

Jester wrote:
I made sure to pose when I did my well :thumbup:



:thumbup: :thumbup: :D
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby icebrrg3rd » March 6th 2019, 6:39pm

Hey, I had a Camaro like that, my (future) wife was not impressed with seeing the road passing by beneath her feet.

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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby ericstg [OP] » March 8th 2019, 3:49am

I owned a 1974 El Camino once that was missing most of the floors and doors. Also no interior door panels, that car was a real gem!

The rotopax are great. Necessary? No, but my goal lately has been to maximize storage above, below, and behind the main van area. I bet you could mount the rotopax upside down, I haven't tried. I'm fine just pulling them off. Or swap them to gas rotopax when needed.

Today I took the chunk of floor mat that was removed and cut it to fit the basement. Also test fit a few things. Might build some sort of divider just to keep stuff from rattling around. And my battery box fits perfectly!

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Next up was to tackle a old problem that came back. Freaking H4 headlights. My previous "fix" only lasted a few weeks before that damn right headlight cut out. So one afternoon I was messing with them again, flipped the headlight switch to see if they were working, they were, then I noticed a little plume of smoke coming up out of the left headlight socket. Now I admit I know very little about electricity. Honestly I believe it to be a form of witchcraft and not to be trusted. But I do know enough to know that the connections should not be smoking. Turned the power off and got that thing unplugged ASAP.

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Guessing its just a old crappy socket and shorted out. Replaced both headlight sockets with Dorman 84790.

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So far so good.

I am really excited about this basement thing. scorean and 97cargocrawler set ups were big inspirations. Now I can move forward with a camper build out and I'm also going to try to harness the power of the sun.
Last edited by ericstg on March 8th 2019, 4:30am, edited 1 time in total.
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Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby Leeann_93 » March 8th 2019, 4:11am

I had an ‘89 240sx that was a whole lotta fun to drive. In my stepdaughter’s experience, it was a ‘hole’ lotta fun after a few years...the middle of the floor pan for the rear passenger was just plain gone. That wasn’t what killed it, though. The internal frame rotted at the bends that transitioned from the engine compartment to the passenger compartment. I drove it (gently) to the junkyard and it scared the hell outta me. Every bump I hit, no matter how small, I could feel the engine compartment flex independently from the passenger and luggage compartments.

I was pretty scared I wasn’t going to make it, to be honest. And that was a damned fun car as long as I wasn’t stuck in those awful seats over an hour.
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby TurnNburn » March 11th 2019, 5:01pm

Regarding the melted connector, have you by chance done that high beam with both beams on mod? I have heard from friends (not on this forum) that doing that will not only burn out your lights faster, but also melt your connectors. That's why I haven't done it at least... Just curious if that's the cause of the extra amperage burning stuff. And why wouldn't the fuse pop for something like that?
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby ericstg [OP] » March 12th 2019, 4:04am

TurnNburn wrote:Regarding the melted connector, have you by chance done that high beam with both beams on mod? I have heard from friends (not on this forum) that doing that will not only burn out your lights faster, but also melt your connectors. That's why I haven't done it at least... Just curious if that's the cause of the extra amperage burning stuff. And why wouldn't the fuse pop for something like that?


No, I have not tried that mod. And as far as I know previous owners did not mess with any wiring. Everything looks stock. I have read about that high beam low beam thing but decided against it. No idea why the fuse didn't blow either. Either way ruined a connector so had to deal with that. The H4 upgrade has been great overall, it's just taking a little while for Vantera to warm up to new head lights.
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Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby AstroWill » March 12th 2019, 4:28am

Yea with a sealed beam headlight system, I wouldn't keep both filaments on at the same time.

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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby ericstg [OP] » April 14th 2019, 3:24am

You folks may have noticed that I picked up a Ikea Lycksele sleeper sofa couple weeks ago. Love the idea of this thing but its just too wide. albrow100 modified one so I pretty much copied him. Really happy with the way it turned out. Thanks albrow100 for the inspiration!

Cut the main bed platform down 3" per side. About where the blue tape is.

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First section almost done.

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Then moved this...

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over to here.

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Because the back rolly legs were catching on my blue storage bins.

Some how I missed taking any pics of the back section being cut and welded but you get the idea. That's it! Easy! Cutting the foam mattress was easy enough also, the mattress cover on the other hand, well I just tucked the 6" of excess down under the mattress. Done!

IMG_4960.JPG


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And here's a couple van pics from random adventures the past few weeks.

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IMG_4972.JPG
2003 AWD Astro Cargo, 3+1(plus a shackle) lift, LT245/75R16, it's badass!

Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby WoodButcher » April 14th 2019, 3:09pm

For some reason I missed this thread, I'm subscribed now!
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby sixsix » April 14th 2019, 4:06pm

Back at it eric - Nice Work! Ikea is good for something - but where's the particle board/laminate feature?
Do they include it in a little baggie ? - everything they sell has to have it by Law. LOL

WoodButcher wrote:For some reason I missed this thread, I'm subscribed now!

Yeah, you were on Vacation... he snuck in



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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby ericstg [OP] » August 18th 2019, 7:02pm

Hey everybody! Figured I'd jump in here with a little update. Vans running great and I have been enjoying it quite a bit this summer.

So since I have added more junk to it this year(basement, rotopaxs, new bed, etc) I noticed the rear started sagging a little. Not a lot but when I load up a couple bikes and all the gear its lower then I like. Not a big deal, just moved the leaf spring to the next hole in the rear shackle.

IMG_5542.JPG


IMG_5544.JPG


There! All better!

IMG_5546.JPG


But now I'm getting wine from the rear end. I just screwed up pinion angle, right? The wine is not a constant sound. It is most noticeable when decelerating from 30mph to 20mph, the second I get back on the throttle it goes away. Also more noticeable on sweeping right turns in the same mph range, but not left turns for some reason. I know I could shim the rear end but I've been wanting the Journeys front hanger anyways, probably just buy those. Thoughts?

Oh and here's some more pics.

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2003 AWD Astro Cargo, 3+1(plus a shackle) lift, LT245/75R16, it's badass!

Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby Rockridge » August 18th 2019, 10:13pm

If you need pinion shims, let me know. I have some I didnt end up using.
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby ericstg [OP] » December 31st 2020, 9:37am

Its been over a year since I updated you folks!

Been a crazy year but van related things have been pretty good, for the most part. More on that later. A few upgrades, a few repairs, fixed a couple of ongoing issues, newish set of tires. here are some pics for the last years adventures.

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Upgrades include a new sleeping platform with storage, USB charging ports with voltmeter, blue tooth stereo. Also fixed a leaking pinion seal(pinion was loose, cause of the rear end wine), ball joints, main seal, oil pan gasket, main seal again(didnt go in right the first time, started leaking again!). Drilled the doors to replace door handles, worked great! If you are going to replace the exterior handles just drill the doors, super easy.

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All good stuff! Few more adventures.

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Now that it just turned over 270,000 miles something was bound to give up. And that was the transmission at 70mph, 250 mile from Las Vegas.

IMG_7718.jpg


Fun times. It was a whole ordeal. I'll spare you guys the details, long story short, I will not be fixing it. It has been a super fun project, lots of great adventures and memories with this thing.

Who wants a free van?! It's in Las Vegas, transmission is shot, it will not roll, not even in neutral. Has to be dragged or pull the drive shafts out. It is currently at a shop and I will be mailing the title down there next week. Send me a message if you are interested.

Thanks to everyone on here who has helped with this project over the years. Maybe there will be another(nicer, lower mileage) Astro/Safari in my future!
2003 AWD Astro Cargo, 3+1(plus a shackle) lift, LT245/75R16, it's badass!

Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby sixsix » December 31st 2020, 11:21pm

Actually, I can't believe you are giving up ...
when I am ' still waiting '...

ericstg wrote:
sixsix wrote:Can we get a Full Receptacle Report ?

:banana-dreads: :banana-dreads: :banana-dreads: :banana-dreads:

Mike


Of course Mike! Let me do a few more trips with it and I'll work up a complete FRR for you.

OK, you've had a "Few Trips" ( explains the sideways pics ).

and.. you have a little "Tranny Prob" - who doesn't ? Just ask Belleview High - ugh - 3 Bathrooms X 3=$430,000.
I wish we could all either get a new Tranny or have the Tranny we got looked at ( or not... ).


What can we do ?
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby SportsBoy » January 1st 2021, 1:49am

I was just thinking the other day if you had any updates - the van being dead sucks though!!!
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby Rod's Trucks » January 1st 2021, 2:42am

Just read through the whole thread again...Great pic's and story.
So sorry it has to ens this way.
I still think it might be a good deal for somebody who is looking for a van, to have a new tranny installed and then drive it home.
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby Rockridge » January 1st 2021, 4:19pm

Nice looking gravel bike, digging the biplane fork
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Re: Far Beyond Driven, the story of Vantera

Postby markmitch » January 1st 2021, 7:20pm

Wow that sucks I wish I could come get it just for all the stuff you added but wife would have a cow if I even mentioned that to her lol simply because we are moving in like 3 months if the buyer finishes this sale. Best of luck to you, thanks for the great write up and all the pictures.Mark
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