Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

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Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 1st 2020, 1:25am

Hey all, picked up this guy about 2-3 weeks ago and it's mostly been sitting as summer things have been taking over. I've been slowly picking up on some issues as I drive it more and scheming.

Picked it up in denver from a used car dealer, was his personal ride. It seems his plan was to rice it out. Was a rebuild from salvage, passenger door and front quarter panel have been replaced and painted to match. 3.73 rear / no LSD, AWD. So far, it seems pretty much everything they did is terrible. I think they outsourced the door/panel work so that actually seems pretty OK. The headlights don't fit. The aftermarket grill is held in place with wood screws. There was a rear sway bar that didn't fit at all and was loose when i bought it and has marred up some of the lines on the rear axle but i think i got it out of there before too much damage. The seller was stunned that this was there (and this was a car dealer???). the price was right though, and low miles due to the salvage (118k at purchase), clean underneath, and the good gear ratio in the rear axle.

Image

Hanging in the driveway with my current transit connect camper.
Image

It had some terrible aftermarket headlights and signals that don't fit AT ALL. I have reinstalled the original signals, but am wondering if anyone can recommend some that would actually fit? it looks kinda lame with nice clear headlights and fogged/yellowed signals.

Took a trip to the local pick n pull within the first week or so and got a DIC installed. not too bad but spent a lot of time chasing loose connections in the harnesses :banghead:

Image

also picked up some seat bases from a power seat model & am planning to install some seat swivels.

planned:
2-3" lift
swivel seats
rip out the back & camper-ize
larger tires
roof rack
install aftermarket LSD in rear

stretch plan:
some sort of 4x4 conversion
electrical system for the camper setup


Issues so far:
throwing a P0101 code, seems to only happen under heavy acceleration / load -- as an example: i live a few thousand feet vertical up a canyon. Drove down about 40mins and no code at all. On the way back up, got the code again within 10 minutes. I have already changed the air filter and it had the dirtiest one i've ever seen in a vehicle so i'm wondering if it's just a dirty MAF (still getting code after changing). going to do some signal readings to see if that is all lining up. check for vacuum leaks. if that all looks good, i'll probably turn to MAF cleaner next. any suggestions?

driver armrest flop

squeaky/sagging doors. already got the driver side with a floor jack, just need to hit the passenger i think.

got a big box of fluids and going through one by one. oil change on the list, checking t-case fluid, diff fluids. spark plugs as well which it looks like should be an adventure.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 1st 2020, 4:11am

Follow up on the p0101:

MAP is reading 75kpa at 8300ft above sea level which seems within range.

MAF read 11.5g/s at 900rpm idle, once warmed up read around 8.5g/s at 650 rpm idle. WOT at 1-2 shift was a little hard to tell as the OBD only updates every second or so, but was 100 g/s or more. wasn't able to find any obvious vacuum leaks.

Pulled the filter box off and found some roadside potpourri on the MAF so gonna hit it with some cleaner as a first step.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby SportsBoy » July 1st 2020, 5:10pm

Good luck dude! Did you get a Safari to camperize because it has more room and offroad ability than your transit?
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby Leeann_93 » July 2nd 2020, 3:48am

If cleaning the MAF doesn’t help, my ‘05 would throw that code initially under heavy acceleration, then under moderate acceleration, then under any acceleration...

My injectors were leaking into the cylinders (and the PO had the spark messed with to mask the problem for a while) and the unburnt fuel took out the cats. Melted them so only idle exhaust could get through. I fixed the spark problem, which made the fuel problem obvious so I fixed that, then the cat problem also became obvious. Fixed that, no more P0101, coughing, hesitating, roaring, falling flat on its face.

Sorry, that was long-winded. Really, what the code meant in my case was that the engine couldn’t get enough air in because no air could get out. After the spark and fuel work, I pulled one oxygen sensor and accelerated (really loudly) out of my driveway, no problem at all. Did the loop to get back to my driveway, ran up to the computer and ordered the y-pipe and gaskets. Since then, I haven’t had a single problem.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby dcsleeper » July 2nd 2020, 1:18pm

First do no harm.

Don't you wish people who can't fix something properly wouldn't fix it all?

Nice van, congrats.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 7th 2020, 10:58pm

Wow, thanks for the replies and info all -- i wasn't subscribed to the thread (thought that was auto for your own posts) and so i missed all this.

SportsBoy wrote:Good luck dude! Did you get a Safari to camperize because it has more room and offroad ability than your transit?


Exactly. Even this last weekend for the 4th I was reminded what 7inches of clearance on 26" wheels, FWD, no traction control feels like on the roads around here. also living up in the hills, there's pretty much 5" of snow on the roads october to april and i just need a bit more help from the vehicle. The transit is pretty much a bed in a box, so i'm hoping to have swivel seats for some seating and a little bit of floor space.

Leeann_93 wrote:If cleaning the MAF doesn’t help, my ‘05 would throw that code initially under heavy acceleration, then under moderate acceleration, then under any acceleration...

My injectors were leaking into the cylinders (and the PO had the spark messed with to mask the problem for a while) and the unburnt fuel took out the cats. Melted them so only idle exhaust could get through. I fixed the spark problem, which made the fuel problem obvious so I fixed that, then the cat problem also became obvious. Fixed that, no more P0101, coughing, hesitating, roaring, falling flat on its face.

Sorry, that was long-winded. Really, what the code meant in my case was that the engine couldn’t get enough air in because no air could get out. After the spark and fuel work, I pulled one oxygen sensor and accelerated (really loudly) out of my driveway, no problem at all. Did the loop to get back to my driveway, ran up to the computer and ordered the y-pipe and gaskets. Since then, I haven’t had a single problem.


Wow - that was quite the process it sounds like. I'm praying mines a little simpler :pray: . Update on that -- I got MAF cleaner today in the mail. blasted the MAF, let dry. i swear the honeycomb was a bit more bronze in color before (can't really see the sensors/wires). Popped it back in and took the same drive as the first time around, no code! the MAF now is reading 4g/s at around 650rpm idle... from my memory, that's outside the range stated in the manual... but, no code? :shrug: I expected the number to change but that seemed drastic. perhaps its the elevation? Will be keeping an eye for pending codes, but hopefully that's all it was. That air filter was gnar-ly so i think that could've actually been all it was.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby sixsix » July 7th 2020, 11:29pm

Very Nice - Welcome to the Madness.
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So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects

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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 9th 2020, 2:07am

alright, a little update -- was planning to do the plugs this weekend (got delco iridiums) and oil so i decided to pull off the doghouse for the first time mainly to peek at the plug wires and distributor. Aside from all the foam pretty much crumbling and blowing away in the wind, i thought things looked pretty good in there. a little bit of oil here and there but nothing significant that i could spot (although i certainly welcome extra eyes)

IMG_20200708_180459.jpg
doghouse off


a high pressure line (ac?) looked to be rubbing the doghouse a bit.

IMG_20200708_180636.jpg
line


IMG_20200708_180644.jpg
line 2


PS valve cover area

IMG_20200708_180651.jpg
ps valve cover area


Plug lines looked good to me, read "Packard" on the side, don't think they are original. Distributor cap seems to not be either, had some fresher seeming blue loctite on the screws. That said, i think it looks pretty nasty once open. The cap has some corrosion on the terminals, as well as the rotor.

IMG_20200708_181257.jpg
distributor cap


IMG_20200708_181304.jpg
rotor


IMG_20200708_181521.jpg
rotor 2


It also had a bit of play that seems to indicate some wear? from what i could determine here, the rotational play seemed pretty normal. No radial play that i could detect (i think i attempt to deflect in vid 2). however, at the CCW end of the rotational play, it's possible to "pop" past the easy end point and eek out a little more rotational play that is accompanied by a bit of axial play. hopefully the videos make that more clear...





From what i can gather from here: https://sites.google.com/site/astrosafa ... or-disease, that axial play is bad? i haven't noticed any serious ignition symptoms nor P03XX codes, but this has me thinking i should probably do the distributor as well as the plugs? and hey while I'm at it the plug wires as well? Any thoughts? And if it's recommended to do distributor / cap / rotor etc any recommendations on brands or just stick OE? (i'll take plug wire recommendations as well)
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 9th 2020, 2:55am

After comparing those videos more closely to the videos at the link I shared and doing some reading here, it looks like the axial play is normal and the amount of rotational play I'm seeing is not too bad? may just do cap/rotor due to the corrosion. plug wires look pretty clean (although dry) so may just coat with some fresh dielectric grease and put new plugs in.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby Leeann_93 » July 9th 2020, 3:31am

Haven’t watched the video, but Delphi wires say Delphi Packard, or something like that. Well, it could be AC Delco, but I think it was the Delphi wires...

That cap and rotor could look a lot worse, but the rotor definitely has an arc on the end and it’s time to replace it.

It’s a bit dusty under there, but I don’t see anything terrible. Does look like the AC line needs to be bent a little forward because it is rubbing.

AC Delco cap and rotor, AC Delco or Delphi wires.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 20th 2020, 3:59pm

Update: did plugs, wires, dsitributor cap/rotor last weekend. Aside from the wires being a total PITA, everything seemed to go well. The P0101 has returned, and at one point there was an oxygen sensor code P0131 (pending) but it has gone away. trying to figure out what is going on with the MAF -- starting a thread in the engine sub here: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=143144
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 21st 2020, 7:36pm

Based on input from that thread, and the discovery of busted vac lines, i am going to be replacing all engine bay vac lines. also have on order -- rear DS park brake cable (housing busted), coolant for flush, and fuel filter.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 30th 2020, 9:27pm

Slight update: Replaced all vac lines, did some test drives, and seem to have no more P0101. Replaced rear DS park brake (housing busted open). There is some sort of intake hose on the PS of the intake that i plan to replace soon as it's in bum shape.

Have some radio & speakers work to do soon, hopefully this weekend. Then likely pulling out the carpet & starting to think about build. Going to be using one of these for the radio: https://isimple.com/collections/tranzit ... -car-radio . I'm a big proponent of hands free for driving, so i'm hoping this can make that easy (and allow some tunes through the radio). Also, my phone doesn't have a headphone jack so the common AUX mods were more or less out for me.

Swivel bases were ordered about a month ago, est ship date 9/3 due to the state of the world.

Edit: also plan to drain and refill coolant. getting ahead of myself on the camper build. Also looking into lift more seriously, thinking 3+1
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » July 31st 2020, 3:37am

Also forgot I had a fuel filter sitting around, popped that in this evening without too much trouble.

My wipers don't seem to like to stay attached, maybe I worked the catch on the install. idk. either way, I'd say the way these wipers install is pretty stupid. So I added a little zip tie mod that I think came out pretty well, and seems to help hold them on. maybe it's just the wipers bought, although they are decent (trico neoform)

IMG_20200730_181905.jpg
wiper modz


(I trimmed the zip tie flush after this photo for aero)
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 12th 2020, 2:30pm

Small update: replacing vacuum lines fixed the P0101 code. I had originally installed a dorman check valve that seemed defective out of the box, started getting the blowing out the defroster under load issue which i don't think i had at one point. Installing actual delco valve resolved that portion. Installed new DS park brake line, current one had blown housing essentially leaving me with no park brake. Installed new fuel filter.

Coolant still on the to-do list, and then i'm looking into getting a detroit truetrac for the rear axle before the snow hits here.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 12th 2020, 2:38pm

Also installed a Bluetooth adapter that goes in the way of the FM antenna. This one here:https://isimple.com/products/install-kit-for-hands-free-calling-and-music-streaming-through-your-car-radio

Don't pay the price there, I paid less than half I think from new egg. Turns out the factory antenna is a smaller diameter than what that expects. there's probably other ways to do this but I just got this adapter set: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EEIXVC/re ... mFb497MT4J

problem solved!

It actually worked out pretty well, the unit fit behind the stash box that is in place of the optional CD player. Sound quality on music is good to good+ not suited for audiophiles I'm sure. call quality is good- there's some occasional buzzing. Just tied it into the power/ground for the radio, no ground noise at all.

Here it is stashed behind the cubby. used velcro to hold it in place.you can see it spliced into the yellow line, that was switched power on my radio.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby markmitch » August 12th 2020, 4:02pm

Welcome to the forum nice project you have there. I don't think you can do both swivel and power seats though but if you figure out how to do both I want to know how too. Mark
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 12th 2020, 4:07pm

Hey markmitch! thanks!

I should have been more specific -- I grabbed the metal frame that goes under all the "power" portion of the power seats. I did this just because it is shorter, has a flat top, and is more close to level so that you don't end up at weird angles while swivelling (as I think at least driver needs to be on top of the frame due to airbag sensor sticking up)
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 14th 2020, 2:06am

Ok well today driving back up the large hill to get home (15mi / 3k vertical) I got a blinking SES light. popped in the OBD and it seems like I have a p0300. I say seems because that's what car gauge pro and chevrosys report. piston reports a p0304 (nowhere to be found in the others). I'm not sure how that's even possible.

Not in a position to dig into this too far for a week or so as I'm going to be moving and lots of other enjoyable life things. so for now, just thinking.

As I've done cap, rotor, wires, plugs my guesses at this point are coil, fuel pressure, fuel injectors, or it needs a full dizzy and cap/rotor didn't do it

otherwise I guess we are talking sensor issues or compression issues. hopefully doesn't come to that.

any other 2¢ welcome in the meantime. will update as things evolve.

Hey still no p0101 though.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby MechBob » August 14th 2020, 2:41am

Flashing SES means do not drive.Only happens with some codes.Happens with misfire codes because the older catalytic convertors are very easy to ruin.I would clear code and take for normal test drive and see if it quickly resets code.
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JD_GM
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Date: Feb 23 '21
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