Matt's 95 Astro

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Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 7th 2018, 3:38am

I'm hoping a build thread will assist to keep me moving towards my goals (dreams?) for the van.

My rides are:
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2017 Kawasaki Versys X-300
Image
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100
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1995 Chevy Astro Van 2wd

I have changed:
Master cylinder (x2)
Wheel cylinders
Drum, shoes, and hardware on both sides
Tires
Intake Gaskets (LIM and plenum)
Distributor
Plugs and wires
E-fans
Coolant pre heater
Laminate flooring from front section of carpet to underneath the rear bench seat and rubber matting in the back
Patched a rust hole in the floor of the van by the middle bench seats rear passenger mounting leg
Transmission filter and pan gasket

What it looks like now:
Image
It had 214,176 miles on it when I got it, now its got 224,686 miles
Last edited by M_a_t_t on February 7th 2018, 3:46am, edited 1 time in total.
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 7th 2018, 3:45am

What I need to do:
Ball joints (control arms?)
Power steering pump
Coolant leak (99% sure its at the thermostat housing)
Power steering leak
Re do E-fan shroud and tidy wiring
Put filter on radio
Weather striping around the dutch door and slider need some attention
Patch panel in rear driver wheel well
Touch up paint in spots

What I would like to do:
Subframe swap (I have a rust hole in mine)
V8 swap (might as well if I'm swapping subframes right :thumbup:)
Put some nice rims on it, I like the look of these. I'm thinking 17's or 18's
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LSD in back
Paint the bad sections of the paint job
Rust treat the underside
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby 1lowcab » February 7th 2018, 4:08am

Not looking bad right now, those rims will look sweet!


Nice KZ :thumbup:
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 8th 2018, 3:18am

1lowcab wrote:Not looking bad right now, those rims will look sweet!


Nice KZ :thumbup:


I would say that is the good side of the van lol.

Thank you, I like the looks and ride of my KZ, but the Versys is nice as a commuter. I would like to do some longer trips on it (the versys) as well, but I don't know when I will have the time. Do you ride 1lowcab?
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
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1995 Mercury Tracer
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2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby 1lowcab » February 8th 2018, 3:52am

I used too, I haven't had a bike in a long time.

My last 2 were a 1977 Suzuki gs750, I bought it as a basket case for $50 and rebuilt it. Rode that bike for a long time!

And a 1984 Kawasaki gpz 550, bought it as a basket case too for $75. It had SUPER low miles, the owner wrecked it, messed the fairing up, bent the fork tubes and cracked the triple tree. Rebuilt it and rode it for awhile but it was just too small.

I've been wanting to get an Enduro, or dual sport bike as they call them now, but just haven't found the right one....yet.

Had my eye on the Kawasaki KLR650....soon as I find a good deal. :D

But that Versys X-300 looks pretty sweet too......hmmmmm...decisions.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 8th 2018, 10:04pm

If you are looking for a used KLR 650, the cheapest I've seen was (I wanna say 14, but not sure) for 3500. I think buying a new one is like 7500+. I haven't ridden a KLR, but from what I've read the KLR is more offroad than on. The versys is more onroad than off. The 300 and 650 versys have the engine out of a ninja in them (not sure on the 1000) so they make good power, but its UP in the rev's, like 10k rpm. I wanted the versys because I saw myself as on road and (especially since there aren't any fire roads or anything around me) and some light off roading. I would love to do something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SINyNWwFvFk

I think with something other than stock tires it will do pretty good off-road. I went out in the mud once and then later when it was frozen (the mud was frozen) I easily got wheel spin in the mud from the smooth-er tires, but when it was solid I felt alot more stable and I didn't spin the wheel when I stopped even though there was a little bit of snow on the ground (maybe 1/4-1/2 in).
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby 1lowcab » February 9th 2018, 12:13am

Awesome video, that would be a blast!


That Versys is way more capable then I thought it would be, thats a nice bike. Looks comfortable on pavement too.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby TurnNburn » February 9th 2018, 12:18am

Put a filter on the radio?

And why does it look like you have moons on your current rims in that second picture?
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 9th 2018, 10:28pm

TurnNburn wrote:Put a filter on the radio?

I'm getting an electrical whine, started happening after changing radios out. I need to do some troubleshooting before I drop the cash for one though.

TurnNburn wrote:And why does it look like you have moons on your current rims in that second picture?


I do, sort of. They are plastic discs cut out for smooth wheel covers. Smoother air flow = better mpg's. I couldn't tell you how much they improve though, I just know I get 18 mpg around town pretty consistently when it is fairly warm (above about 50F). You can read more here -> http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.p ... 34368.html They are supposed to give a 4-5% increase in mpg (based on someone elses data) @ 17 mpg thats an increases of .85 mpg. Not worth much, but I had the materials and nothing to do.

1lowcab wrote: Looks comfortable on pavement too.


The seat is ridiculously hard, but its not too uncomfortable, I don't know if its just me though. Longest I've ridden straight was about 45 mins, by the end of that my tailbone was starting to feel it.
Last edited by M_a_t_t on February 9th 2018, 10:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby TurnNburn » February 9th 2018, 10:39pm

does the sound change with RPMs? Usually that radio static caused by the ignition system. Typically plug wires or coils.

Unless you have a magneto distributor, which is unlikely for like 5 different reasons.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » February 9th 2018, 10:47pm

TurnNburn wrote:does the sound change with RPMs? Usually that radio static caused by the ignition system. Typically plug wires or coils.

Unless you have a magneto distributor, which is unlikely for like 5 different reasons.


It does change with RPM's. I don't always pay attention, but this morning it didn't whine. It does it with the radio powered off as well if that is a clue.
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
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1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » March 10th 2018, 3:47am

So I picked up a 2 ton engine hoist for $100, fit perfectly on the back of the seats. I also got a th400 from a 69 (maybe 79) rv. It had 25k miles on it. $200
Going to get a 94 g30 van with 130k miles on it tomorrow. Supposed to have had a new engine put in at about 50k. Either way a relatively low mile engine.

Now to do some reading about heads, intakes, carbs... Ready to learn the world of carbs, if anyone has any good resources, tips, advice please share.

Thanks guys

Edit: Would an "Edelbrock 1406 Performer Series 600 CFM Carburetor with Electric Choke" be a good pick? I think I read 600cfm is about the right size for a 350, local craigslist ad for $150.
1973 Fiat 124 Special
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1981 Kawasaki KZ750E
1981 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR
1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
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1995 Mercury Tracer
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2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby 1lowcab » March 10th 2018, 3:56am

Good score on the hoist, really good price for a 2 ton.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby chevymaher » March 10th 2018, 10:52am

M_a_t_t wrote:
Edit: Would an "Edelbrock 1406 Performer Series 600 CFM Carburetor with Electric Choke" be a good pick? I think I read 600cfm is about the right size for a 350, local craigslist ad for $150.



500 is what a 2 bbl is on a 350. 750 is what a 350 really wants.

Older 350's came with them before they got all weird and smoggy. Factory quadrajets are 750's on 350's. My first car a chevelle, a 327 had a 750 holley from the factory.

So a newer smog motor 600 is fine on one. It will run fine with it.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby Mmusicman » March 10th 2018, 1:56pm

chevymaher wrote:So a newer smog motor 600 is fine on one. It will run fine with it.

Agreed.

Unless you are turning 5000-6000+ rpms or more, a large carb will not benefit you, and may work against you. Typically, the smaller the carb, the better the "throttle response". You can find CFM/RPM calculators (based on engine size) for maximum power, but that doesn't always mean ideal performance.

Winding out an engine beyond it's effective power/torque band is counter-productive. Most near stock cammed engines have a power band of say 2000-5000 rpms. Beyond 5000 rpms, torque drops significantly. I say all this because CFM requirements at 5000 rpm are much lower than 6000 rpms.

I'm currently only running a 500cfm Edelbrock on my 350 (I had a pair of them laying around), and it's excellent... but a 600 would be a little more suited for the cam I'm running at WOT (wide open throttle). :D

Here's what mine sounds like with moderate acceleration shifting just under 5000 rpms, which I consider more than adequate for a street machine:

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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby markmitch » March 10th 2018, 4:19pm

you may want to use the trans from the G30 too a 400 will use more fuel. The G30 should be a 700R4/4l60 has overdrive whereas the 400 does not.
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby Mmusicman » March 10th 2018, 4:40pm

The TH400 is an AWESOME indestructible trans (I have a couple), but it LACKS overdrive and lockup ... two REALLY nice features I've come to love and appreciate a lot! (same problem as TH350) If you're going to hammer on the trans (or tow).. then the 400 is a solid choice. If you plan to commute or travel.. then 700R4 is the better choice, but should have appropriate upgrades to handle a V8. If you were to shop a 700R4.. be sure to go with roughly 92-up, as they have some internal improvements over earlier editions... or performance aftermarket.

But as long as your moving... it's ALL good! :D
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » March 10th 2018, 6:05pm

I thought the lockup was just in the torque converter? Based on that I should be able to put the converter from the g30 on the th400 right? Or can you only go from lockup to non lockup converter?

About to pull the radiator out of the g30 after lunch.
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1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby M_a_t_t [OP] » March 11th 2018, 3:53am

So I've been doing some research, found the answer to my question and did some rpm calculations. No lockup for the 400, no conversion kit or anything. My current plan is to use the th400, but I want to rebuild/upgrade my current 4l60e. Is there really a difference between a v8 and v6 700r4/4l60e?

The g30 had an after-market trans cooler, a swivel base, and it should have the bigger calipers to swap in or use as a core. I plan on keeping the harnesses for the engine and trans, dipstick and fill tubes. Should I be keeping anything else?

The master cylinder is fairly new and looks the same as the Astro's. Different P/N's though. I will probably stop by NAPA on Monday and see if they have info on bore, stroke, and booster bolt spacing. Maybe it will complement the caliper upgrade.
1973 Fiat 124 Special
1975 Honda Civic CVCC 4spd
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1983 Kawasaki KZ1100-A3
1986 Nissan 300zx Turbo 5 spd
1995 Chevy Astro RWD
1995 Mercury Tracer
2004 Chevy Astro AWD
2017 Kawasaki VersysX 300
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M_a_t_t
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Re: Matt's 95 Astro

Postby chevymaher » March 11th 2018, 9:50am

M_a_t_t wrote: Is there really a difference between a v8 and v6 700r4/4l60e?


Yes there is. the 6 cylinder model has 2 gears on second gear and the 8 model has 3 gears on its planetary gear.

2 other areas of concern are.

Bushings there are 2 types used. babbitt and copper. Babbitt ones are weak.

The other is the sunshell must be new. This is a weak link in them. They develop cracks form stress and heat and must always be replaced.

There is a beast sunshell which is stronger. Now My new found trans guy said issue with those are. They don't always fit. Because they are thicker they don't always have the clearance in some transmissions to work properly. He assures me they are not needed if it is done right. And he warentees his work so it isn't like he is telling tall tales. His opinion is they cause more problems than they are worth.

Hirium Hernadez the trans guru on you tube also never recommends them either, Just use a new one always is his advice.

Musicmans advice was correct also. There were design changes in the cases which made them stronger. But that happened in 90 and later transmissions. It was a phasing out old stock situation so they were using the older ones till 92. Just got to check the casting number of the trans.

This difference is not as dramatic and is overcome by a good rebuilding. Main issue back then was the poor quality bushings. Strength issues were way above what anybody here is playing with HP wise. So it isn't a concern.
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