LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 24th 2020, 3:04am

I got all the radio stuff I used off crutchfield - sony xav ax1000 for $300ish, plus the antenna adapter, wiring harness adapter, dash kit, instructions https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XAV100 ... X1000.html
2020-07-12 19.19.30.jpg
Antenna adapter
2020-07-12 19.24.30.jpg
headunit
2020-07-12 19.21.27.jpg
The antenna adapter plugs into the antenna guy that was on the back of the stock radio - now it can fit in the new radio
2020-07-12 19.24.40.jpg
Metra dash kit
2020-07-12 19.27.48.jpg
So it turns out the dash kit would have made fitting the headunit to the original tray unnecessary, because these clips could have just attached to the sides with some simple modifications
2020-07-12 19.40.34.jpg
to fit the dash kit, use the larger template to trace where to cut the dash bezel trim
2020-07-12 20.01.21.jpg
Cut it with a multi tool and deburred with a razorknife
2020-07-12 20.04.23.jpg
And the black trim piece from the metra dash kit snaps in place and looks super good
2020-07-12 20.04.27.jpg
And it sits nice and flush
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Van Model Year: 1997
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Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 24th 2020, 3:55am

The next step in the journey was setting the wiring for the backup camera.
This is the camera I got - Natika WD-012 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083S ... UTF8&psc=1
In my van, since it is gutted, it's a lot easier than it normally would be, so that's nice.

The camera has two~6ft long red and black cables for ground and power coming from the back - the ground is easy to attach anywhere, and you are supposed to connect the red power to the reverse light power wire. I did something different.
From the rear, continuing past the shorter red and black wires is a long video cable with a yellow rca connector that your run from the back to the front. Popping out next to the yellow rca connector is also a little 6 inch red wire that your are supposed to connect to the reverse signal in the back of the radio. This is assuming that the red power wire in the back will be connected to the brake light - in that case, the brake light would power on the camera and I suppose would tell the headunit to go into backup mode.

I had some trouble figuring this out, but what ended up working for me was to connect he black cable to ground and the red cable along with it in the rear I just taped off. The yellow rca cable I plugged into the back of the headunit, and I also connected the red wire to the other red wires in the radio harness, which are switched power. I took the parking brake wire and connected it to the ground wires so I could use the functionality of the radio at all times. All the extra light green wire from the parking brake wiring I ended up using to connect the "Reverse in" wire (purple with white) from the radio to the reverse signal in the left front side of the driver's footwell. It is a green wire in a bundle tucked into the corner left of the fuse box. More info here - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=135888

Ok, now for the pics
2020-07-12 20.35.53.jpg
Wired the cables into the right rear lower dutch door
2020-07-16 09.20.53.jpg
Here is the ground for the backup cam, with the taped off red wire along with it. The cables run though to the door where there is a push connector - this is where the camera plugs in
2020-07-16 09.21.07.jpg
more zoomed out view
2020-07-12 20.45.45.jpg
Ran the video wire along the loom to the front
2020-07-12 20.58.52.jpg
tucked it in here
2020-07-12 21.30.04.jpg
removed the trim piece on the passenger footwell and ran it under there. Then ran it up and into the corner under the vertical trim
2020-07-12 21.30.15.jpg
ran it up here
2020-07-12 21.31.03.jpg
and above the air vent thingy under the airbag
2020-07-12 21.48.14.jpg
2020-07-12 21.48.20.jpg
put a loom over it before it went into the spot behind the radio
2020-07-12 21.47.50.jpg
And got the rca connector and red wire to the cavity behind the radio. I connected the red to the switched power in the radio harness
2020-07-15 20.06.02.jpg
Ran the mic for the headunit through to the wheel - tested it and this spot works very well and is pretty inconspicuous
2020-07-16 08.47.00.jpg
Will use the supplied doulbe sided tape to more permanently connect this once I put everything back together
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Van Model Year: 1997
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 24th 2020, 4:09am

So as far as the wiring for the headunit itself, the supplied instructions made it pretty easy - pretty much just connect color for color, except for a couple of things I noted in my last post and which you'll see here.
2020-07-16 09.59.09.jpg
Connected the wires from the back of the radio to the adapter harness that came from Crutchfield using butt connectors (yeah, I know, not as good as soldering). You'll notice right in the middle that I tied the light green parking brake wire in with the black ground wires so the headunit has full functionality all the time.
2020-07-16 17.42.06.jpg
Took this extra light green wire that was supposed to be for the parking brake and connected it to the reverse signal
2020-07-16 17.46.14.jpg
Ran it down under the dash - this is looking in just right of the steering wheel
2020-07-16 17.44.51.jpg
Then down into this corner
2020-07-16 17.44.07.jpg
And used one of these unreliable pigtail splicer wire clamp things to connect it in. Not easy at all since there is very little slack in the reverse wire and it is friggin hard to get to without taking the driver's seat out
2020-07-16 17.42.02.jpg
Back at the radio, the purple with white "reverse in" wire is connected to the light green we just traced
2020-07-16 08.47.18.jpg
This is the general look of it in back after it's been tidied up
2020-07-16 17.40.45.jpg
2020-07-16 17.41.08.jpg
Antenna adapter goes here
2020-07-16 17.41.21.jpg
Backup cam goes here
2020-07-16 17.41.15.jpg
Mic (so siri can hear you) in here
2020-07-16 17.41.46.jpg
This is how I got power to the backup cam - connected the red wire to the other reds in the harness, which are switched power
2020-07-22 19.00.13.jpg
Here is the wiring in the back passenger side of the van all cleaned up

Then you can just tuck all the wiring into the empty cavity between the tray and the radio and slide it into place until it clicks - and bam! You are done.

Once I get the backup cam mounted I'll have a few more pics, but everything difficult is done now. The backup cam now has power whenever the van is on, so I can use the headunit to toggle to the backup cam whenever I want, and it automatically switches to backup mode when I go into reverse.
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby sixsix » July 27th 2020, 6:00pm

Boy-O-Boy... THAT was a lot of work.
And it all came together very nicely.
.

"Ban gerrymandering" out 1 side, then says, "We really need to get rid of the electoral college for starters, there is no way in hell that the person that receives fewer votes wins, simply crazy."
So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects??
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » August 7th 2020, 6:53pm

Well, getting the cam where I wanted it was a bit more of a pain than expected...
2020-07-24 20.05.27.jpg
Opened up the panel on the right rear dutch door
2020-07-24 20.05.35.jpg
Started removing the lock cylinder by getting this clip off
2020-07-24 20.06.01.jpg
Then this came off
2020-07-24 20.07.16.jpg
Pulled this off

Then I could not figure out how to get the rest out. Looked at this thread and figured I'd have to take the whole license plate holder most of the way off unfortunately. https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=129225
2020-07-24 20.28.42.jpg
Finally got it out by pretty much taking off the license plate holder. Broke a little bolt so I had to run to the hardware store to replace it
2020-07-24 20.45.29.jpg
Now I could get the cam in
2020-07-24 20.45.40.jpg
Looking at the back, you can see I had to do a bit of filing at the hole so the cam could fit through. There was much more filing to come
2020-07-24 20.48.50.jpg
The wiring runs through the back door as you can see
2020-07-24 20.46.59.jpg
And it fit in there great and looked great. HOWEVER, the angle was not what I wanted it to be

So, to make the camera angled down more, I had to do a bunch of filing in the hole to fit the camera in there. Then I used some rubber and weatherstripping sealant to plug it up and make it stuck at the angle I wanted.
2020-08-04 16.48.43.jpg
This is how it came out..... yeah, not good. But! it faces more downward like I wanted, and I can clean it up with black caulking or something when I feel like it. For now, it's watertight at least
2020-08-03 19.50.28.jpg
How it looked originally
2020-08-03 20.35.53.jpg
How it looks now. Basically, I wanted to see the bumper. I can still see things behind me, but just not as much as before. I really wanted to see what I was about to hit down low as I was backing up, which I now can.
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Van Model Year: 1997
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Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » August 7th 2020, 7:08pm

Since I removed the ducting for the foot heat behind the front seats, I had a part of the hvac system that was doing nothing. So instead of just having it blowing into the cavity above the doghouse, I plugged the hole. I wanted to get this done while things were apart and the kickpanel for the passenger's side was off.
2020-08-04 15.40.39.jpg
So first I cut this thing off - for reference this is just left of the doghouse in the passenger footwell. It is normally covered by the lower dash panel piece. This originally connected to the "L" shaped duct that went down the doghouse to the ducting under the carpet. Now it was doing nothing.
2020-08-04 15.47.07.jpg
Cleaned up the hole
2020-08-04 15.47.16.jpg
I made a plug out of the part I took off
2020-08-04 15.56.45.jpg
And got it on there with some weatherstripping adhesive I have

The next project was to clean things up a bit.
2020-08-04 16.48.21.jpg
Rear driver's side door

2020-08-04 16.48.27.jpg
Left this in there just in case I want/need it in the future

2020-08-04 16.48.33 HDR.jpg
Passenger rear door cleaned up with zip ties and tape

2020-08-07 13.08.56 HDR.jpg
And I put all the dash stuff back together - the headunit doesn't sit perfectly flush with the trim unfortunately, but it's good enough.
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » August 7th 2020, 7:19pm

Today were a couple quickie projects -

My key fobs have never worked, so I got these 1997 gmc safari key fobs off ebay for $20 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/202873539768

Then I used this to program them - super duper easy!
https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=4753
https://www.programyourremote.com/class ... -5496.aspx

Thank you Leeann
2020-08-07 11.02.46.jpg
Old
2020-08-07 11.02.40.jpg
And new. Super stoked to be able to pop the rear hatch with the fob!

Then I replaced my bumpstops - energy suspension 9.9143
Same as 1lowcab - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=109170
The originals were nonexistent.
2020-08-04 17.07.42.jpg
what I had on there....
2020-08-07 12.02.25.jpg
Got there to secure them - they fit in the hole and can be held from the top if needed. Normal hex head screws wouldn't fit in the hole, and even if they did, a socket wouldn't have the clearance to fit around them. The nut is 17mm, and the allen head on top is 5/16"
2020-08-07 12.51.41 HDR.jpg
Bolt, starwasher, washer that came with the bumpstops, and nut.
2020-08-07 12.59.58.jpg
Installed. Nice to have these for the first time since I've owned the van! lol

Also, I hit 140k yesterday -
2020-08-06 19.46.36.jpg
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » August 16th 2020, 1:06am

New Shocks!

Got new KYB monomaxes all around - all were $50 each from RockAuto
KYB 565050 x2 for the rear
KYB 565062 x2 for the front

It was pretty dang easy overall - for the rears I didn't jack the van up at all, just lowered the spare, and undid the top and bottom bolts on both. I used a ratchet strap to compress the shocks before putting them in since they are wicked hard to compress by hand, especially at awkward angles. Torqued everything to 79 ft lbs, which I think is right

For the fronts I jacked up the front and got the wheels off, then undid the bolts on top and bottom, which was easier with the wheel turned. After putting the top bolt on, I jacked up the lower control arm to get the lower shock hole to accept the bolt.
The only problem I had was I had to undo a clip for the rear heater lines on the passenger side in order to get a socket on the top shock bolts. The top shock bolts I needed a socket that was just a bit longer than my shallow 18mm, but the deep 18mm I had didn't fit in the space - so that was a pain. With a lift it would have been no problemo though. Ahh, someday...
'Pics!
2020-08-13 16.38.34.jpg
New Rear
2020-08-13 16.38.12.jpg
New front
2020-08-13 16.37.52.jpg
Old ones were bad news

The van bounces way less now. And the rear passenger side sits at a normal height instead of sagging bad. I still have non LT tires and tired old springs, so it's not exactly rock solid - but much better.

Also, I upgraded from an iphone 5s to the new SE - and wowie, the phone pictures are a massive improvement.

Also a week or so ago I got some metal for the poptop build - all aluminum. I'll write what specs I actually end up needing later, since I've already had to cut some stuff.
2020-07-29 12.05.39.jpg
Cleaned up the goop and sealant around the edge of the poptop with the eraser wheel I have - HIGHLY recommend using the wheel vs scrubbing with acetone or something like that
2020-08-14 12.18.00.jpg
Aluminum angle and tube
2020-08-14 12.18.21.jpg
Starting to mock things up

Also also, here's a bonus pic of what the interior looks like at night - although the picture still isn't the greatest
2020-08-14 20.58.44.jpg
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby sixsix » August 16th 2020, 8:10pm

Heels and sideways photos - ugh.
make note... save for later after 'League of their Own'.

Actually - Lots of Pics are always cool ( tell those 'sideways guys' to go to hedoublehockeysticks ).

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
.

"Ban gerrymandering" out 1 side, then says, "We really need to get rid of the electoral college for starters, there is no way in hell that the person that receives fewer votes wins, simply crazy."
So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects??
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » August 17th 2020, 12:28am

Yeah, the sideways photos are annoying - I don't know how to fix it, but whatever it entails isn't worth it since it kinda takes long enough to post stuff anyways, plus the right side up one is always just a click away. Thus, I don't bother
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » September 17th 2020, 1:25am

I did the idler arms, but didn't notice much of a change - I guess they weren't too bad yet. Was impossible until I borrowed a pickle fork, then it was easy enough.
2020-08-24 19.06.19.jpg


I also hauled some pavers and was sagging bigtime in the back - the shocks helped a lot but the leafs are certainly shot. I went over just one bump and the bump stops hit the frame and one broke off! First bump it's ever seen where it hit the frame, and it ripped off. :(
I found it on the side of the road later when I drove by there again.
2020-09-01 15.55.30.jpg
the load
2020-09-01 16.06.26.jpg
bump stop is gone
2020-09-01 18.38.15.jpg
ripped off
2020-09-01 18.38.44.jpg


I emailed energy suspension and will see what they say....

Also have been very slowly working on the top - it filled up with rain and one of the sawhorses it was on collapsed, which caused some fiberglass damage, but not too much I guess. Just a huge annoyance since epoxy resin and hardener spilled everywhere.
2020-09-16 18.44.40.jpg
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby AstroWill » September 17th 2020, 4:06am

SportsBoy wrote:Yeah, the sideways photos are annoying - I don't know how to fix it, but whatever it entails isn't worth it since it kinda takes long enough to post stuff anyways, plus the right side up one is always just a click away. Thus, I don't bother

Exactly! No need to worry about it.
It's actually because of the forum software. https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=122977

I'm enjoying your thread, thanks for posting!

Trolls take away from productive work, best to ignore & go about your business. See: Dark Tetrad
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » September 17th 2020, 5:53pm

Thanks Will!

Update: Energy Suspension is sending me new bump stops - that was super easy and fast
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Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » October 3rd 2020, 2:23am

2020-09-21 18.31.22.jpg
A new pair of bumps came in the mail promptly - I still haven't replaced the broken one yet though.

2020-09-30 10.32.16.jpg
Got these in the mail.... or more like left on the ground in front of the house. 22-687hd's - I have a lot of rear end work I'm gearing up for.....


My rear wiper fluid hasn't worked in a while, and my front fluid stopped working, so it was time to fix that.

Using the shop manuals, I diagnosed that the rear washer pump was bad, and that the front wiper motor was bad (well, the wipers still worked, but have been wonky for a while, but apparently it impacts the front washer fluid too if it is bad). I opened up the motor to see if there was anything obviously wrong with it, and didn't see anything - so to RockAuto I went!
2020-10-01 16.13.31.jpg
Pulled out the airbox, then remove the wiring harness and 3 bolts holding on the wiper motor
2020-10-01 16.21.04.jpg
Take the new motor and fit the rear arm through the hole behind it
2020-10-01 16.22.06.jpg
You will have had to pry this arm off to get the unit out, now make sure to pop the arm back into the clip on here (very difficult) before bolting the motor on.
2020-10-01 16.25.38.jpg
Here is another look at it - it will be falled down in the space under the windshield, so you kind of need to use the hold behind the wiper motor to fish it out, then insert the wiper motor and pop it in - not easy
2020-10-01 16.33.03.jpg
Bolt the new one on and put dielectric grease in the connection, then you're good. It was hard to get the bolts to seat because of the new plush rubber grommets on the wiper motor.
2020-10-01 17.25.24.jpg
Then to take the washer tank out, I undid the overflow rad hose
2020-10-01 17.25.29.jpg
Undid the cruise control cable bracket on the front of the plastic a/c housing thing, the name of which is eluding me at the moment
2020-10-01 17.25.15.jpg
Undo the pop clip(s) holding on the tanks - if you have either still attached. Mine has one still attached.
2020-10-01 16.36.00.jpg
Then pull the whole thing out
2020-10-01 16.38.40.jpg
Conveniently, the rear motor was labeled "REAR", so I unclipped it and took it off
2020-10-01 16.40.09.jpg
Replaced the little rubber thing where it goes into the tank, and put the new one on
2020-10-01 16.41.58.jpg
Had to take this little rubber guy off the old pump to get the new one to sit in snugly.
2020-10-01 16.49.17.jpg
And I used compressed air to blow out the lines in case there was any crud in there

Then the front fluid worked great, but the rear still didn't work.... I went and opened the back hatch and a flood of wiper fluid came out the corner of the hatch! I had been filling it up pressing the button hoping maybe the fluid just hadn't made it back there yet. So, took the trim off and found this -
2020-10-01 17.09.32.jpg

Reconnected it, and modified the rear sprayer placement a bit on the arm to make it sit in what I think is a better place, and then I was finally done.

Also, my abs light went off and I'm not mad about it.... van passed inspection :whistle:
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SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 656
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Location: Massachusetts
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Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby sixsix » October 3rd 2020, 5:28pm

SportsBoy wrote:You will have had to pry this arm off to get the unit out, now make sure to pop the arm back into the clip on here (very difficult) before bolting the motor on.

Here is another look at it - it will be falled down in the space under the windshield, so you kind of need to use the hold behind the wiper motor to fish it out, then insert the wiper motor and pop it in - not easy

Wouldn't taking that Black Plastic Grill under the Windshield off have made it easier to access the Wiper stuff?
I have had ours off and it was no biggee, just quite a few little torx screws.
.

"Ban gerrymandering" out 1 side, then says, "We really need to get rid of the electoral college for starters, there is no way in hell that the person that receives fewer votes wins, simply crazy."
So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects??
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sixsix
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: sixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full years
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Van Model Year: 1992
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT W CPI - RWD 200K

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » October 5th 2020, 12:41am

You're probably right....
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Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
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Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » October 13th 2020, 6:47pm

I replaced the broken bump stop finally.

Also I've been working on the poptop some.

2020-10-07 12.52.46.jpg
Prepped the inside of it
2020-10-09 12.10.58.jpg
Painted it with a bunch of Lizard Skin
2020-10-09 12.20.37.jpg
Removed the pin stripe from the top, filled all the screw holes around the edges with epoxy, and scuffed and then cleaned the whole thing
2020-10-09 12.37.42.jpg
and took off the rear light. I had to scrape off silicone stuff under the light that wasn't under the light on the van - the one on the van came off crazy easy - just the two screws.
2020-10-09 16.10.13.jpg
2020-10-09 16.11.01.jpg
2020-10-09 16.11.22.jpg
the two compared
2020-10-09 16.32.15.jpg
I reused the one off the van, but cleaned it up first
2020-10-10 13.02.21.jpg
A little wetsand and clear spray paint made it look much better
2020-10-12 18.05.57.jpg
Then I put it on with some silicone since the rubber seal is quite tired. I painted the top with raptor, but haven't gotten a picture of that yet.
2020-10-07 10.15.15.jpg
I also took off the roof rack on the van
2020-10-07 09.41.13.jpg
The screws that didn't come out were a pain, either had to vise grip the bottoms, or rip the whole thing out.


Not too much left now....
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SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 656
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Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 13th 2020, 5:16pm

Some updates on the poptop project....

It is currently on the van, however I realized that the way I put it together won't allow for the canvas tent to fit inside when it closes... an oversight when I was planning it.

However, I think I have a relatively easy solution, but I'll have to remove the top and undo what amounts to probaby a couple weeks of work when I do it. Sigh.

Better than it not being functional though.

Anyway, here are some pics, I took a bunch, but some are not 100% relevant now since the frame design is changing.

2020-08-31 16.16.27.jpg
Aluminum angle frame
2020-08-31 15.20.37.jpg
I built the frame, then marked where it sat, then took it out and glassed in wooden blocking.
2020-08-31 15.20.55.jpg
For the hinges I have these little mounts that allow the H-hinge to rotate while being attached to the frame
2020-11-05 17.07.59.jpg
These studded bearings I whacked into the ends of the tube with a 1/2 socket over the top of them
2020-11-05 17.16.01.jpg
2020-11-07 08.43.38.jpg
2020-11-07 08.43.35.jpg
Photo Oct 21, 3 46 45 PM.jpg
Stack of aluminum tubing on its way to the welder
Photo Oct 21, 3 46 51 PM.jpg
I drilled holes for the arms in the thicker base tubes, the arms were inserted in these holes and then welded up.
2020-11-05 17.15.45.jpg
Got the hinges welded up
2020-11-05 17.15.53.jpg
The arms are in line
2020-11-05 17.16.11.jpg
I don't know what aluminum welds are supposed to look like, but even though this doesn't look amazing, I just went with it
2020-11-05 17.16.17.jpg
2020-11-07 08.43.44.jpg
I stacked the hinges and then bolted the arms together
2020-11-07 08.43.49.jpg
2020-11-07 08.43.26.jpg
2020-11-07 08.44.01.jpg
2020-11-07 08.44.06.jpg
On each set of hinges, one of the arms is longer - this is for lifting the top
Last edited by SportsBoy on November 13th 2020, 5:52pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 656
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Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 13th 2020, 5:48pm

2020-08-31 16.16.38.jpg
This is how I held the frame together btw (no welding, the only welding on this was on the hinges). 3/8" bolt to hold the pieces of angle together, and then the little mounts have their own 1/4" bolts that help hold things in place.
Photo Oct 14, 3 52 13 PM.jpg
This is the top after raptor liner - I was stupic and mixed in a bucket that had old raptor in it, so there are little flecks of gray (from the trim around the bottom of my van when I did that a while ago) in the paintjob on the top, but it isn't too bad. Really happy with how it came out minus that one stupid detail - I used 25% reduces because I wanted a smoother finish, but I don't have an hvlp gun, just the schutz gun from the raptor kit.
Photo Oct 14, 3 52 24 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 14, 3 52 30 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 14, 3 52 38 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 14, 4 43 24 PM.jpg
I did use strut for the roof rails - I cut two lengths at about 90" and cleaned up/painted the ends with a similar color I happened to have. Then i marked out where they should go on the roof, trying my best to make them straight and parallel.
Photo Oct 14, 4 56 04 PM.jpg
Marked and drilled the holes for 5x 5/16" bolts on each side, and put butyl tape around the edges
Photo Oct 14, 4 56 07 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 15, 1 24 04 PM.jpg
I tried to pre-bend the strut to the curve of the roof, but couldn't quite get it. I ended up bending it by tightening it down. On the underside, the bolts go through little blocks of plywood that I stained and drilled holes in. The plywood is to spread out the force of the pull on the bolts.
Photo Oct 15, 2 05 35 PM.jpg
Worked like a charm
Photo Oct 15, 3 23 59 PM.jpg
For the fan I decided the front would be the best spot for it - so I followed some youtube instructions for maxxfans and made a 14" square cardboard template, centered it, and traced it. Then I drilled the four courners.
Photo Oct 15, 3 38 15 PM.jpg
Then I used a circular saw to make the cuts - which worked great.
Photo Oct 15, 3 41 12 PM.jpg
Drilled for the screws
Photo Oct 15, 4 04 08 PM.jpg
Stacked some butyl tape to seal it
Photo Oct 15, 4 04 14 PM.jpg
I should have used more butyl to build up the edges because the roof is curved and when I tightened the frame down to make the seal, it distorted the frame a bit, which just make the fan's fit a bit tighter.
Photo Oct 15, 6 05 35 PM.jpg
Once it was screwed down, I got this rando roofing sealant at HD that took FOREVER (like a week) to dry. Wish I had just ordered the lap sealant stuff everyone uses and waited for delivery - no stores around here sold anything better than the stuff I used.
Photo Oct 16, 7 48 39 AM.jpg
I got this side bulb weatherstripping on amazon and it is perfect for this project - fits super snug, definitely will not come off unless i try to get it off. Only problem is that it was hard to cut without the special tool they sell.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NE ... UTF8&psc=1
30 feet was perfect - I have like 2-3 ft left
Photo Oct 18, 7 42 08 AM.jpg
So I did two pieces - one long one from rear right all the way up and around to the rear left corner. Then one shorter piece for the rear edge.
Photo Oct 18, 7 49 09 AM.jpg
Where it joined in the corners was tricky, to cut and to seal.
Photo Oct 18, 7 37 21 AM.jpg
A little rough
Photo Oct 18, 7 49 11 AM.jpg
Used 3m weatherstripping adhesive, which worked ok. I hate how it's so green though - just like on my backup camera :(
Photo Oct 09, 12 10 57 PM.jpg
So the inside was painted and looked like this
Photo Nov 07, 8 42 26 AM.jpg
Then this with the roof bars and roof fan
2020-11-07 08.42.44.jpg
Photo Nov 07, 8 42 59 AM.jpg
The bolts that came through in the front of the top were in a bad spot, so they ended up looking stupid because I couldn't use the plywood blocks on them like the other holes.
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SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 656
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Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 13th 2020, 9:21pm

2020-11-07 08.42.50.jpg
Bolt on the other side of the front
Photo Nov 07, 6 38 46 PM.jpg
So when everything was ready frame-wise, I stuck the lower frame in the topper and drilled holes to attach it
Photo Nov 07, 6 49 51 PM.jpg
I then screwed it on with lag bolts
Photo Nov 09, 3 01 34 PM.jpg
Put the hinges and the other side of the frame on and got this - however, like I mentioned earlier, this isn't going to work with the canvas, so I'll have to redesign
Photo Nov 09, 3 01 51 PM.jpg
Photo Nov 09, 3 01 56 PM.jpg
Photo Oct 22, 4 42 03 PM.jpg
This is some of the hardware I got for this part of the project, and for securing the top to the roof
Photo Nov 07, 6 59 21 PM.jpg
Then the crazy began --- cutting into the roof. This is the first hole
Photo Nov 07, 6 59 49 PM.jpg
I used this sheet metal nibbler off Amazon for a lot of the cutting - it makes these little crescent moon shaped chips that get everywhere and stick to everything, plus they are sharp lol.
Photo Nov 07, 7 06 24 PM.jpg
Also pulled off the random accent rubber as the hole enlarged
Photo Nov 07, 8 31 54 PM.jpg
So I cut out the areas between the ribs first - I realized later that the roof crossmembers aren't actually connected to the roof sheet metal at all. They are kind of glued with a spray foam stuff and there is 1/2" or so in between. So, the sheet metal nibbler can actually just cruise all the way around the roof and cut the whole thing without interfering with the roof cross members.
Photo Nov 07, 8 41 23 PM.jpg
I cut the crossmembers with a sawzall
Photo Nov 08, 8 49 20 AM.jpg
The van ready to receive its new hat.
The original hole I cut was smaller than the final - I traced and cut the full hole later.
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SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
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Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

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