Grumpy the Rally Van

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Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 24th 2009, 4:38pm

Saturday
Intention was to Grumpy's yank the Y-Pipe loose and reset it, hopefully eliminating the exhaust leak, then replace the front axle seals, check the compression, and maybe replace the crankshaft position sensor.

Pulled Grumpy on the ramps and started attempting to loosen the Y-Pipe, which of coarse doesn't budge. Heat it applied, still nothing. Gave the bolts a few shots of PB Blaster and started waiting.

This is where distraction set in. Grumpy needs front recovery points if it's really gonna be off roaded and I wanted to see what hard points I had to deal with, so I removed the grill, bumper cover, and bumper. Determined that I couldn't bang out the dent that a PO had put in the bumper, but the frame horns were undamaged. Think I want to build some tow points off where the horns mount to the sub-frame.

Thought about putting stuff back together, but with the grill off already I decided to go ahead and paint it black, since I've been meaning to for quite a while. Removed the cracked bow tie, having a few pieces break off and took the time to super glue it back together. Painting of the grill went well and I think it looks pretty darn good. Letting the bow tie sit over night. Tomorrow the glue globs will be sanded off and it will be painted red.

With the bumper off I had access to the non-functioning horns. Tested the circuit, dead. Checked the fuse, blown. Replaced it and tested again. Horn circuit has power. Pulled the horns off, both show signs is rust, one rattles badly. I've never known a horn to rattle. Well, I do have set of cheap Harbor Freight air horns laying around, might as well install those.
Played around a little with loose wires to get the air horns to fire using the steering wheel's buttons. Once I was happy with that I started looking for someplace to mount them. Figured out that facing down the horns would fit
roughly where the stock horns were, but would be mounted to the bar over the AC condenser in the center. It even had a hole in the correct spot on one side of it already. I removed the bar to drill a hole on the other side.

Then thought, since the grill is black things behind the grill should be black as to not draw the eye. Red horns, now painted black and a fresh coat of black on the center bar.

While this was going on, I was occasionally being pulled away to help my wife with upgrading the lift on the back of her Jeep. Going from a cheap Rocky Road Outfitters spacer lift to and Old Man Emu spring lift with new Rancho RSX shocks.

Dinner time rolled around, so we put stuff away. Quickly test fit the newly paint grill, looks pretty sweet, but the unpainted back edge is visible from the sides. Grill will be removed again on Sunday for more paint. Never got
back to the Y-Pipe or anything else that I really should be tending to.

After dinner, it was starting to get dark out. Since I had some painting momentum going I grabbed the stocker wagon wheels that Mr. Roboto gave to me a while back and began prepping them for paint. First a good scrub down, then sanding. The stock chrome trim rings do a nice job of scratching up the outer surface of the rims, but sanding cleaned that up pretty good, well good enough for going on Grumpy anyway.

After I was done cleaning up the rims, it was time to call it a day. Made a mental note to put the leaky axle seal as top prioity for Sunday.


Sunday
Priorities, what priorities? Back to my distractions.

I need some nuts and bolts to mount the horns, red and black spray paint, a new air filter for the lawn mower, some spade connectors, a longer section of air hose, and my wife needs some CV clamps. Walmart, Home Depot, Napa #1, Ace Hardware, NAPA #2, home.

Sanded and painted the bow tie. Hey the compressor for the horn is silver, painted it black. Added more paint to the grill.

Mounted most of the hardware to the horns, more silver, painted black.

Drilled the another hole in the center bar for the second horn.

Distraction from distractions. Taught me wife how to make counter sinks into the mounting bracket for her Jeep's CB antenna.

Drill hole in Grumpy to mount the air horn's compressor and bolt it in place. Pull stock horn wires back into the engine compartment, attach leads for air horn, and attach them to the compressor. Test the compressor, it lives. Mount the horns to the center bar and the center bar to the van. Run the air lines. Test the horns. Success, Grumpy can express my disapprove of others' driving abilities. Wife and daughter, who are now both in the house, come to the window. More triumphant horn blowing, they shake there heads and go back to what they were doing.

Put the rest of Grumpy's face back together, thinking the black grill looks so much tougher. OK, time for the axle seals. Well maybe I could get the first coat of paint on the rims and let them dry while I do the axle seals.

Hmmm, I need something to lean the rims on while painting them. I have the old rusty spare from a friends Ranger, tire still looks pretty good. Use my tire changer to pull the tire off the rim. OK, now to paint. Wait, I can put this tire on another rim from that Ranger that had a blow out. Plus, seating the bead with fire is fun. Redneck flame thrower anyone?

Finally onto painting the rims. Painted the first two and my daughter asks if she can paint. Showed her a little and let her get started. She did most of one wheel, but my oversight instructions to prevent runs made her lose interest. Finished that wheel and painted the forth.

Finally onto the axle seals. Pull the passenger side apart, fairly easy and straight forward. Short break for dinner. How the heck are you supposed to pull the seals? I can't get any tools in there with the axle shaft in the way. Damage seal further by trying to get tools in there. This can't be the right way. Crap, it's getting late and I need this fixed so I can get to work tomorrow. What's the factory service manual say? Spend too much time trying to find book #2 of the factory service manual. Somehow misplace my portable work light, spend some time trying to find it. Give up and use Grumpy's emergency flashlight. Grab Grumpy's original front diff and work out how to
get the seal out, then do the same with the current diff. Push the new seal in and put the rest back together. Clean up all the tools and discover the FSM book #2 in the pocket behind Grumpy's passenger seat. Read the proper way to remove the seal by removing the axle. Sounds easy, doh!

Pics of Grumpy's grill to follow after the bow tie is glue back in place.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby $uperJoe » August 24th 2009, 6:40pm

sounds like how i work on things. just add pet the dog every time i walk by him and try not to pass shiny things that will deter interest and hope the idea of anything mario related doesnt cross paths with the task at hand. i love that nintendo wii
Don't explain it poorly 5 times. Take the 15 seconds to go out and take a picture of it!!
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby webcat » August 24th 2009, 8:54pm

Have any pictures of your painted rims?
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby Mr_Bowtie » August 25th 2009, 2:53am

Sounds like a busy weekend. :banana:
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 25th 2009, 3:12am

I'll get some pics of the rims after I get a couple more coats of paint on them. Still some shadow behind the new color.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ghostrider1061 » August 25th 2009, 9:03am

sounds like to me had too much to do to be busy with getting grumpy rolling for work.
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby evil_motors » August 25th 2009, 2:23pm

question.. did you use any type of primer or anything on the rims? and what kind of paint did you use? i am going to paint mine this week sometime
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https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3769
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 25th 2009, 4:15pm

Primer, eh...... Nah, I've just shooting them with Rustoleum. I figure after 2-3 coats they'll look good enough. I'm shooting for street stock nice, not show car nice.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 26th 2009, 2:16am

Stock wagon wheels don't look too bad in red.
Image

One more coat should do it.

Need to find a fifth matching rim though. Anyone want to give me one?
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 26th 2009, 7:14pm

Grumpy looking meaner.
Image

Sorry for the cell phone pic.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
Original Poster [OP]
ihatemybike
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby meetthespeakers » August 26th 2009, 8:53pm

You should tint your turn signals with 2 or 3 coats of VHT Nightshade... :whistle: :mrgreen: Looking good man, I had one of those really bad weekends with the van about a month ago... couple broken bolts, super hot outside, waiting for friend to show up with parts, blah blah.
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby evil_motors » August 26th 2009, 9:49pm

yeah beat the crap out of that van... mad max for the win
1992 GMC Safari XT , Rhinolined interior, Fatmat walls and celing, Racing seats, Satin Black Dash, Taplock, Clear Corners, Check out my continuing thread with all my mods and lots of pictures.
https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3769
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby $uperJoe » August 26th 2009, 10:45pm

is the bumper composite cover or steel? can you push the dent out of the cover even though the steel reinforcement is bent??
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 26th 2009, 11:00pm

The bumper cover is plastic, but it's forced into that shape by the bent bumper. A straight bumper would allow it to mostly go back to it's original shape, but it's been like that long enough that it somewhat holds that shape even when removed from the vehicle.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby Big_kid » August 27th 2009, 2:07am

Pound out the bumper so it can sit halfway straight & park it with the cover in the sun for a few days. That 's what I did on my rear bumper, it had/has a dent over the trailer hitch. The cover hides it quite well.
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 27th 2009, 3:17am

Unfortunately the dent in the metal is pretty extensive. I'm on the hunt for a cheap replacement though.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby Big_kid » August 27th 2009, 1:33pm

I'm sure you already know...
http://www.picknpull.com/locations.aspx
I have one here in VB, the next closest is 12 hours away. They're the CHEAPEST place around.
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby ihatemybike [OP] » August 27th 2009, 4:12pm

Yeah, there are a couple Pick-n-Pulls about 1-1.5 hours away. Been meaning to hit up one of their Wild Wednesdays for 50% off. Best price I've found near me by phone thus far is $50 at Victory Auto Wreckers.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby evil_motors » August 28th 2009, 1:57am

man i wish our pick and pull would do a sale like that.. you know how much crap i can fit in my safari now? i would have a couple 350s and loads of other crap
1992 GMC Safari XT , Rhinolined interior, Fatmat walls and celing, Racing seats, Satin Black Dash, Taplock, Clear Corners, Check out my continuing thread with all my mods and lots of pictures.
https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3769
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Re: Grumpy the Rally Van

Postby Big_kid » August 28th 2009, 2:17am

Care to guess where 4 of the 6 VW engines I have now came from? (I only have 2 buggy projects)

I stopped going because I think I have a problem- I ran out of money.
95 Astro Conversion of unknown irrelevant lineage
We have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart?
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