The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby WinnieVan » May 8th 2018, 2:02am

Leeann_93 wrote:Nope. I’d be dead from hitting my head on something under the van trying to get away.


:rofl:
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 12th 2018, 4:14am

So it's been a busy week, just now finding time to get back to the Astro. I managed to get the ebrake cables
reinstalled. I still have a grease leak on the passenger boot, so I figured wth a little more won't hurt. I have to clean it all off anyway. I then proceeded to the hills behind my house and bouced around for a few minutes, pushing her a little bit. Man that was fun..she's running better with the new spider, cranking everyday. It's amazing to me how strong that old motor still is, pulled like a champ. About my boot, can that be re cremped? I'm pretty sure I stretched it doing keys. :banghead: Oh well, you learn from mistakes.

On that note, she is after all a nearly 300k mi buggy. With that in mind, I decided to pull the trigger on a
front end kit. I also got me some new CV's and sway bar bushings and links. My hubs only have about a years
use on them. I replaced those and the brakes and the ball joints about 10 months before she went down.
I went with the Mevotech set up, which has new ball joints..so I'll just keep mine for spares. I think that CV
can be saved, I'll try. the new ones have an extra ruffle, so hopefully that will give me a little more slack.
Not that I think my angels are bad, the extra fold can't hurt. I just should have been more mindful of the
stretch when cranking my keys. I had read something about cranking them all the way with no load and then
lowering it to where u want with the tires on. Seemed to make sense at the time.... :blah:

Will do that differently this time.

I did get her nose pieces back on. I thought they lined up nice. She's starting to look pretty good.
Attachments
20180511_163814.jpg
20180511_163829.jpg
20180511_163932.jpg
20180511_184942.jpg
20180511_185008.jpg
20180511_191701.jpg
20180511_201159.jpg
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Leeann_93 » May 12th 2018, 2:51pm

She looks really good. Even better out for a drive ;)
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby sixsix » May 12th 2018, 8:47pm

Your Van looks really nice with the "New Font End".



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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 18th 2018, 5:52am

Thanks for the cudo's. BTW by new front end I meant suspension...like so


All my parts came in except my shaft seals. Still waiting on those..meh :sleep: I did pick up a new distributor, a drive belt kit and a new TCCModule. Got my shop cleaned up a little bit and
got her back in the O.R. :thumbup: Got tired of waiting and figured I'd get started. I managed to get the passenger side tore down in just a couple of hours..wasn't too bad. Had a nice little surprise when I pulled the upper CA, someone had already taken out the knockouts, so that was a big chunk of work I didn't have to do.

About my shaft seals, I have no leaks, they seem fine but they are 300k seals, so I thought it best to go ahead and do them since I'm so far in already. Should I drain the diff or can I replace those without fluid going everywhere? And there are only the 2 right?, one on the end of the extension shaft and one on the driver side plate.

Anyways. Super excited about having all the new parts up front. Not in a big hurry atm. Mainly wanted to see how it all came apart so I can have a better approach for putting it back together.
I need to flip the new upper Balljoints and will most likely paint some things too.

I'll post again after I get some more accomplished
Attachments
20180517_141922.jpg
20180517_215828.jpg
lucky me
20180517_165157.jpg
The Spitter
20180517_141922.jpg
20180517_165157.jpg
the spitter
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 20th 2018, 5:37am

Today I finished getting all the old stuff out. Still waiting on seals..could have just hit the LAPS but oh well. Got some more parts painted and got my sway bar out.
Guess I'll paint that too. Figured I'd leave CV's in until seals get here, hopefully Monday.

More to come....
Attachments
20180519_122551.jpg
20180518_213618.jpg
20180519_000533.jpg
20180519_122608.jpg
20180519_155315.jpg
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20180519_211239.jpg
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby 1lowcab » May 20th 2018, 3:10pm

Image

Lovin the stance, looks great!
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby WinnieVan » May 21st 2018, 6:50am

Some gear oil will come out when you pull the seals but not a lot. Have a catch tray ready, but you don't need to drain the diff.
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 22nd 2018, 6:15am

Thx Winnie..that's exactly what happened. Seals came in..finally! So, yesterday I just took it easy..finished painting CVs and swaybar. Ground down the corner of
the bumpstop horn on the subframe(didn't like how close it was to my shocks),and that was about it.


While waiting on my seals to arrive I built my tierods. Then went and ran a few work errands. When I returned they were here so I got started on those. I knew nothing of snub-shafts, so got a little scare when I removed the DS CV. As you all may have noticed from my other post of the day. Leeann and CopperFiremist informed me that all was well and I was still good so I carried on and Voila'...new seals and stiks :D After that I got my sway bar back in(left it loose until I can connect everything). I thought I was going to get at least one side done tonight, but noticed a little issue with the Mevotech Lower CA's. The top portion @ the front mount is a bit higher than stock and it wants to rub/bind on the inside top of the frame mount(preventing it from travelling upwards all the way to the bump stop). Not sure if others have had this issue but I'm just gonna grind some of that back and that should fix it. Had to call it a nite(didn't think the neighbors would enjoy the sweet sounds of an angel grinder @ 11pm) :poke:
Anyway, it's going back in now so I'm excited...here's a few more shots of the days progress. Until tomorrow....H18 :wave:
Attachments
20180521_164753.jpg
finally!
20180520_135357.jpg
corner of bump stop horn
20180520_151804.jpg
sway bar painted
20180521_121631.jpg
tie rods and uppers
20180521_171025.jpg
20180521_172859.jpg
the I thought I broke it piece(snub-shaft)
20180521_193824.jpg
new seals in
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20180521_201152.jpg
New CVs in
20180521_221432.jpg
the offending edge
20180521_222422.jpg
stock
20180521_222431.jpg
Mevotech
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 23rd 2018, 7:40am

Today was a good day. Got up this morning and ground the edges off the lowers, shot a little black on em to cover the QC marks and the grind. Popped one in...
smooth like butter :dance: Pulled it back out and put the crossmembers on both.
20180522_124056.jpg


Then just took my time getting it all back together without trashing the paint.
20180522_182306.jpg
The only other problem was that the washers for the TT links were a little bigger than the hole in the lower CA, so I just tapped them in. Will have to open the bottom hole a bit if I ever need to get them out. Other than that it all went together real
nice. You need 3 hands sometimes so bungy cords work well.
20180522_140341.jpg
20180522_144149.jpg
20180522_194427.jpg



Then it all just came together.
20180522_230604.jpg
20180522_230532.jpg
Tomorrow I'll put bolts and keepers back in the keys and put just a little pressure on my bars. This time I'll crank them with the tires on
and on the ground(maybe witha little jack assist). The boots on the Cardone's don't seem nearly as stretched as the stocks. I'll get my shocks back in and then button up the front.


Then, all that's left of phase one is to re address my ebrakes( have something binding so I'll pull that apart tomorrow also). Then hopefully I'm off to the alignment shop. Still have to do the tuck and fold for the rear shocks but I'll do that after. Last but not least..new dual exhaust.....and then BAAAAM!! Drive time for a bit while

I hatch out phase 2.
Hangar 18...what goes in may NOT always be what comes out!
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby sixsix » May 23rd 2018, 10:26am

Very Pretty manly colors dude - my guess is it will all work wonderfully.
Fingers crossed Confidence is a ... , well... quality.



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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 23rd 2018, 3:36pm

Unfortunately couldn't find any red ball joint covers or link bushings so that's what I'm stuck with. Thought about just painting them but want everything to stay soft.

I did find some at Energy Suspension may look into those later.
Hangar 18...what goes in may NOT always be what comes out!
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 24th 2018, 5:12am

Yessir..got my keys in, got her cranked back up. Shocks on, tires on. :bouncy: Did my first string alignment today...got her pretty squared up
20180523_213422.jpg
...alignment shop should be cake.
20180523_213440.jpg


I'll get the ebrakes straightened out tomorrow , then it's off to the alignment shop and duals...woot can't wait!
20180523_213604.jpg
20180523_213521.jpg

Yes it's kind of festive in there but wth...it's Mine! :poke: (sixsix) time for a Margarita! :cheers:

Oh yes, and lubed everything :whack:
Hangar 18...what goes in may NOT always be what comes out!
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 25th 2018, 6:57am

So today was quite the eventful day. First, the good news...

Pulled both rear brakes apart, re-centered the horseshoe, did a little adjusting..put it all back together. Driver side did great,no bind..passenger side still biting a little. So I'll go in and do it again.

Got to drive quite a bit today, took it to 4WheelParts to get an alignment quote. Thinking, who better to do the alignment on my lifted vehicle. Asked him how much

and his response was 85.00 for toe..175.00 if they have to get into camber. I was like holy ****, it's 2 bolts. So I declined that and went to a local tire shop that I've
had do other stuff over the years. They were busy.. but still slid me right in.
20180524_151718.jpg
On the rack
I told them what I wanted and even got to assist a little(how many shops will let u do that anymore?). If you look at my before numbers they're really good IMO, especially for someone whose never done any aligning before. You guys might not be impressed, but I was kinda proud of that. When I went to settle the bill I was quite surprised on the one hand and bothered on the other(by the attitude the guy at 4WP had and the price he quoted me). Which goes to show you that BIG BOX anything is both overpriced and underserviced! As evidenced by my bill.
20180524_214703.jpg
da bill
They did a great job and I was in and out in less than 40 mins. She got a good report card..
20180524_214513.jpg
report card
.not sure how my numbers compare to yours...but I'm in the green
20180524_155907.jpg
In the green
and she drove really well. The caster number is wrong..he showed me on another screen and it was like 1.1(I just didn't take a picture)


I drove a total of about 75 miles which is the most i've gotten to drive her in 17 months...man I've missed that van...she's looking better and feeling great! Then I went
by a muffler shop I had do my duals on my '96 Z71 a few years back..they were slammed and wanted me to leave it(which I'm not a fan of) so I just opted to make an early appointment a few days from now and headed home...

and now the bad news...


everything was goin great..drivng good,running good, front end and CV's working great....and then I see it...the dreaded white smoke of "oh crap...I need to pull over". So I did, did a little guage check....she was a bit warm, like 210, but not over heating so I shut it off and got out. Quick walk around front and there it was..
she was bleeding like a stuck pig
20180524_174703.jpg
Astro Down..MEDIC!!!!
.....transmission fluid...all over my hard *** work. Was like o.k. why? The leak was up front by the radiator not the trans....so I fired her back up for a sec to see exactly where it was...lower high pressure line to the rad. Seems I didn't strech things enough..had a bit of an S bend in the soft section of the line(note to self..walk/stretch every line...stressed lines are not your friend! So...got to ride home on the tow truck(125.00)ouch! Which negated my earlier savings on the alignment. But it's like this, it's lifted...everything is in a different place and is going to wear differently than stock. I'm probably as far stretched as u can get these vans without drifting too awful far from stock. Problem solved is a new one found...if u even think it might be trouble it probably will. Better to find it now than 300 miles from home. The good thing is that I was on the lookout for anything and I caught it quick....I only lost about a quart/quart and a half of fluid. No real damage, just a line, some fluid and a lesson learned(and a fat tow bill).
So I got it home, had him put me on my incline, threw the ramps under and fired her up for sec to get on them.
20180524_201247.jpg
yet another bath
Let her cool then gave her the super Dawn bath from hell. I'll wipe it down tommorow....as for now I think this calls for a victory/pity Magaritta while I order a new line...well make that two(lines)...if your gonna do it..do it all.
Cheers! Ya'll....Astros are an adventure everyday...gotta LOVE EM
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby WoodButcher » May 25th 2018, 11:29am

Add a trans cooler and repair the lines you have if they are good from the radiator back. These little trucks really appreciate added cooling.
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Hangar18 [OP] » May 28th 2018, 7:51am

Well I did exactly that, added a trans cooler. nice quick fix and was on the to-do list.
20180526_233211.jpg
The PITA
Got her cleaned back up the best I could, still have trans fluid in all the tiny spaces. I spent over an hour lying under there just wiping everything. That done...moving on, I swapped out the distributor finally.
20180525_200942.jpg
Seems to have solved my starting issues. Old one was OE, new one is aftermarket(World Power)50ish bucks works like a champ. It's been starting in one shot every time since and runs much better. I opened the rear brakes again. The e-brakes were fine just needed adjusting. The bind was my calipers sticking from the long sit. It was everything I could do to get them to collapse with a C-clamp and a breaker bar. Should have been able to do that by hand with just a clamp. Said screw it and replaced both calipers and pads.
20180526_165741.jpg
20180526_184619.jpg

Had those replaced about 3 years ago. The passenger line bolt to caliper was sheared, had to grind that off(doing so trashed the crushwasher surface on the line so just got a new one. Got the new ones on, got em bled
20180526_203004.jpg
, good to go. Nice fresh brakes(and properly adjusted ebrakes). Got a few of my stickers on and re-trimmed my bumper cover. Put a cheapo exhaust tip on it(looks better anyway).
20180527_144734.jpg


Then I decided it was time to just drive it! So away I went..did about 127 miles, various roads and speeds.Did some highways, backroads..a couple small towns and some rough construction zones. It handled it all really well. I was getting [email protected] and [email protected] Not too bad for the old girl. Pulled great, rode great(except for that little rear end swizzle at speed over larger bumps). I can see now why a rear sway bar is needed on these vans.That was a lot of work in just 2 months,but I've fixed most every thing. Still have a feew things to do but at least now I can drive it. That's the best she's ran in quite a while...it was awesome! Glad to have my van back and I've got a good solid platform to work from now.
I still have a bit of wheelhop in low speed tight turns so it' either My TCCmodule or in my transfercase. I have a TCCM ready to go and I think I'm leaning toward the 236/246 swap in lieu of my 136. The only code she's throwing is for a bad CO2 sensor but i have those too.

I have a pretty big JY list growing so I think I'm gonna start collecting parts and drive it for a bit...time for a break and some fun
Attachments
20180527_145842.jpg
20180527_161549.jpg
about to hit the road
Hangar 18...what goes in may NOT always be what comes out!
'99 Safari LS Ext(sold)
'04 Astro Cargo AWD 4.3 Vortec/4L60e
'09 F 150 FX4 LWB 5.4 Triton 3V
'14 Express 1500 AWD 5.3 Vortec
build viewtopic.php?f=127&t=132410
Original Poster [OP]
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Hangar18
250k+ Miles
250k+ Miles
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Fueling (5/8 tank)
Years of Membership: Hangar18 has been a member for 2 full yearsHangar18 has been a member for 2 full years
Posts: 73
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Joined: April 2018
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Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: Cargo 4.3L AWD

Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby tank2 » May 28th 2018, 4:06pm

What a beautiful job! You've inspired me. :D
tank2
Fueling (3/4 tank)
Fueling (3/4 tank)
Years of Membership: tank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full yearstank2 has been a member for 9 full years
Posts: 75
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Van Model Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
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Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby Meterpig » May 28th 2018, 4:50pm

If you do any serious off roading, I will bet that you will be in that TCase again. You seem pretty handy. My two cents is to go to a two speed transfer case. Especially witht he 31.5's...or a very large electric fan and transmission cooler.
How many sensors, fuses or computers does a Bw4472 need? Zero.

1999-2005 FSM PDF (Torrent) https://www.thepiratebay.org/torrent/30867489/astro_safari_van_fsm_factory_service_manaul

2004 Astro-https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-F7bd6R/
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Meterpig
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L2)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L2)
Years of Membership: Meterpig has been a member for 6 full yearsMeterpig has been a member for 6 full yearsMeterpig has been a member for 6 full yearsMeterpig has been a member for 6 full yearsMeterpig has been a member for 6 full yearsMeterpig has been a member for 6 full years
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Van Model Year: 2002
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: Not a minivan

Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby WinnieVan » May 29th 2018, 3:49am

Noice work man. Beautiful van. Glad driving it is fun :-)
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WinnieVan
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: WinnieVan has been a member for 4 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 4 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 4 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 2329
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Location: Berkeley, CA
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Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: The CamAstro or ASTROC not sure yet...build thread

Postby 90safari » May 29th 2018, 4:56am

Really nice work you've done. It sure looks pretty with the red mixing into the black bits. For something like that, I've mixed gloss and flat blacks, with painted lines. Sometimes the details show, and other times people don't notice. As long as you're happy with the end result, then the time spent is worth it.
Now I've got to clean up the bottom (it's got mud splattered on it), and re-shoot the front sub (paint is peeling off), then maybe mine can start looking that good underneath. But, it's got a long way to go to look that nice. :clap:
Bob 88 Astro cs and Sue 90 Safari
867378671386681
90safari
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L2)
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L2)
Years of Membership: 90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years90safari has been a member for 7 full years
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Van Model Year: 1990
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: plus an 88 Astro

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