Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby WoodButcher » November 5th 2020, 6:35pm

https://www.astrosafari.com/memberlist. ... le&u=50289

Laz1 has built a couple and driven them many thousands of miles, quite a bit offroad so he knows what he has built. I have questioned him about this, he replied it was all good so I must believe,,, but I'm still a skeptic...
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 5th 2020, 7:41pm

WoodButcher wrote:https://www.astrosafari.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=50289

Laz1 has built a couple and driven them many thousands of miles, quite a bit offroad so he knows what he has built. I have questioned him about this, he replied it was all good so I must believe,,, but I'm still a skeptic...


Thanks for the link! I am definitely looking forward to reading through the information and seeing some photos of them.
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AstroWill » November 6th 2020, 3:42pm

You can find pictures/threads of them here, I currently own 3 of them that I'm planning on selling soon.
Ken has done and excellent job with his https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=137612

There is also the Tiger Owners Group on tapatalk: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/tigerowners

They didn't extend the frames like some of the other companies have.

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby WoodButcher » November 6th 2020, 4:55pm

AstroWill wrote:They didn't extend the frames like some of the other companies have.

Really? You're saying tigers just cut the body and left the floor intact?

Interesting,,, having seen the wrinkles in the body that occurred when DRZ built the astromino I would be hesitant to trust a flatbed astro. Being a long time carpenter I know I can build in rigidity to a box but tying that to a 22 gauge body I think would be sketchy.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AstroWill » November 6th 2020, 5:06pm

WoodButcher wrote:
AstroWill wrote:They didn't extend the frames like some of the other companies have.

Really? You're saying tigers just cut the body and left the floor intact?


Exactly, and they hold up just fine running on the original frame rails/floor. When you look at them from the bottom they for the most part look stock. Other than the added tanks, fuel filler hose, bumper extension/etc.

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 8th 2020, 5:55pm

I mounted the air compressor last night. A major limitation of mounting it here is reduced access for battery removal. I decided to mount it here anyway since it is close to the battery supply and also allows me to run the inlet hose and filter through the firewall and into the cab neatly. I added an off-at-145PSI pressure switch and plan to add a timer switch to limit run-time to prevent the compressor from overworking itself along with an in-cab, accessory powered on/off switch to prevent the compressor from running with the engine off (if the toggle is accidentally switched on when the van is off). I have a 5 gallon air tank I plan to under-mount with air lines running to both front and rear bumpers. I also want to add separate regulators for the Ride Rite bags in the rear but am unsure how I am going to proceed. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby WoodButcher » November 9th 2020, 4:34pm

Wire the compressor relay to a circuit that is only hot w/ the key in run position. You won't need to worry about bumping any switches or forgetting that it is on.
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 11th 2020, 1:07am

WoodButcher wrote:Wire the compressor relay to a circuit that is only hot w/ the key in run position. You won't need to worry about bumping any switches or forgetting that it is on.


I was adding extra work for myself when I didn't need to! Thank you for the insight. :bow:
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
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Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » November 11th 2020, 1:12am

Vivian and I saw a Tiger (for the first time up close), and I was really surprised by the size! It looked like the length of a standard Astro and fit perfectly in a parking spot. Brewtus (our Aerolite) is 20 feet and sticks out a decent amount when parked in a parking spot.
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Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 20th 2020, 2:00am

I built a new computer for video editing, so there should be some entertaining, quality content on the way. :D Here are some photos back from the deconstruction I found (outdated photos). At this point, we were still planning on using the old steel ribs. Since then, we have decided to go our much different route! The van has been on pause for a little while because I [accidentally] bought a 1980 Jeep Wagoneer for really cheap ($460). I got it running and should be able to get it back out of the garage so there's more room for the van build. I can't wait to make more progress on this build...
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Brewtus
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 20th 2020, 2:03am

More recent photo:
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Original Poster [OP]
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
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Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 20th 2020, 2:09am

Current state of existence:
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Brewtus
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby tungtide » December 20th 2020, 11:01pm

Quite the project. Keep up the good work and watch out for Jeeps they slow you down.
Ken
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AstroWill » December 22nd 2020, 12:29am

Brewtus wrote:Current state of existence:

At least it fits in the garage :)

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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 3:32am

tungtide wrote:Quite the project. Keep up the good work and watch out for Jeeps they slow you down.


Hey Ken, I am totally beginning to understand what you mean by Jeeps slowing down the important (Astro) projects haha.

AstroWill wrote: At least it fits in the garage :)


Hey Will, I am super happy with being able to park it in the garage. I had to do a bit of MacGyver'ing to get it in there (remove a crossmember on the garage door & remove part of the rear bumper from the van). There is such a shift I feel being able to work on something inside a building. I have worked outside on plenty of things but am always concerned someone will walk by and steal something, someone will call the cops (happened at least twice on this project over the last year), and I also don't feel as comfortable working outside.
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Brewtus
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 4:14am

A little side-project action here... Vivian and I pulled the Jeep into the garage so I could focus on fixing it up and have one less thing to worry about. I got it running and gave it a bath. Hopefully I will have some more time to focus on the Astro with the garage being spacious once again.
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Last edited by Brewtus on December 22nd 2020, 6:11am, edited 3 times in total.
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 4:18am

Here are some 3D concepts of the finished product. I use a free 3D creating tool called "SketchUp," if anyone is interested in trying it out themselves! The "realistic" photo is just a simple rendering of the finished look. We may go a more angular route than round, depending on how involved we are with the PMF (poor-man's fiberglass). I have read and seen some pretty creative and functional projects made out of this stuff... I can't wait to see how Brewtus turns out. It is taking much longer than expected, which I should have expected.
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Original Poster [OP]
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
Topics: 4
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Joined: December 2019
Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 4:26am

The bed over the cab is king-sized and will sit on top of a bookshelf and most of our appliances. We plan to utilize the "tunnel" under the bed (which allows access to the cab) as a place for the dogs to have a bed. The room in the rear corner is the shower and the rest is our living/cooking space. We plan to have a small section towards the front of the van as a roof-top patio with the remaining space to the rear consumed by solar panels. We are planning for two 30 gallon water tanks, with one placed on either side hanging "under" the floor behind the cab (insulated w/water tank heating pads). I am hoping this will help with keeping our center of gravity low as well as providing a bit of an absorbent safety feature in case of being hit from the side. The rear bumper is going to be constructed of 8-inch structural tubing with a section cut out to hinge down as an entry step. This should help with keep our clearance high but also function well as a practical and easy-to-use set of stairs. It will be a BIG bumper, but it will also have the capacity to store some things (maybe a few camp chairs or something). We are still debating what material we are going to use for countertops and are leaning towards granite. We will be saving a lot of weight in other places and think it would add a nice "feel" to the build. Has anyone had any experience with granite in their van-life builds? I'm super interested in how it has held up, if so!

We are hoping to get all of the XPS foam cut out to size and dry-fit so it's all ready to assemble in some warmer spring-time temperatures. It should come together quickly once everything is all cut out.

For the van,, I ordered a bunch of Moog front steering components and the ball-joint spacer kit to try tightening the looseness I feel up there. Other than that, the mechanical parts of the build are nearly complete (aside from re-gearing the rear end :( ).

We are going to paint and undercoat all the exposed metal on the frame while we have open access to it... Having no floor is a luxury!
Original Poster [OP]
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
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Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby AlpineVan » December 22nd 2020, 5:05pm

I really like the layout you have planned, and that jeep is sweet find!
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Re: Brewtus: 1987 Astro Aerolite Rebuild

Postby Brewtus [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 7:24pm

AlpineVan wrote:I really like the layout you have planned, and that jeep is sweet find!


Hey Alpine! Thank you! I can't wait to see it come together. I am excited about the Jeep, too!
Original Poster [OP]
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Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
Topics: 4
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Joined: December 2019
Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

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