LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Forum rules
Build topics only! Members are allowed one topic per vehicle in this forum. Topics may only be started by the vehicle owner but all are welcome to reply to the authors project thread.

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 13th 2020, 9:42pm

Photo Nov 10, 8 48 10 AM.jpg
Got some help to lift the top on (since it's gotta be 250+ pounds at this point) to check the fit and trace the hole. The frame prevented the top from sitting flush in most places, which wasn't unexpected, but it was discouraging.
Photo Nov 10, 8 48 17 AM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 8 48 13 AM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 8 47 35 AM.jpg
View from inside when it was initially placed on top
Photo Nov 10, 1 22 42 PM.jpg
After getting it all lined up and tracing where I needed to cut and drill holes to mount the lower frame, I propped it up
Photo Nov 10, 1 22 28 PM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 1 37 46 PM.jpg
Drilled out all the rivnuts for the roof rack mounts, since I didn't want them to be in the way later
Photo Nov 10, 1 48 54 PM.jpg
Drilled out the holes for mounting the lower part of the frame to the roof
Photo Nov 10, 8 56 00 AM.jpg
Also removed the front headliner, which is held in by the screws holding in the sunvisors
Photo Nov 10, 9 03 48 AM.jpg
Pull through the wiring to undo the electrical clip
Photo Nov 10, 8 56 04 AM.jpg
Undo the screws on the trim above the front doors, then pop off the clips holding the rest of it on
Photo Nov 10, 8 56 10 AM.jpg
Break the clips along the way
Photo Nov 10, 9 02 42 AM.jpg
The trim piece above the slider door had to go too
Photo Nov 10, 9 02 45 AM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 9 07 27 AM.jpg
Then pull out the headliner
Photo Nov 10, 2 56 37 PM.jpg
Since the piece of trim there isn't going back on, I removed some excess metal
Photo Nov 10, 2 59 46 PM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 2 48 09 PM.jpg
Photo Nov 10, 2 48 30 PM.jpg
Trimmed the sheet metal all the way around the opening
Photo Nov 10, 3 00 53 PM.jpg
And then trimmed down the ribs - only two of which were cut btw
Photo Nov 10, 3 00 44 PM.jpg
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

  • Similar topics
    Replies
    Views
    Author

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 13th 2020, 10:06pm

Photo Nov 10, 9 36 25 AM.jpg
I kind of like how the front looks with no headliner for some reason - it looks clean I guess

Photo Nov 10, 9 36 34 AM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 9 18 43 AM.jpg
So once the whole was cut, filed, deburred, sanded, and everything painted (very messily) the top went down to be bolted on

Photo Nov 10, 8 47 44 AM.jpg
bolted it through all the cross members and some other areas

Photo Nov 11, 3 04 30 PM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 12 42 45 PM.jpg
At this point the front and rear parts of the frame were still sitting on the van's roof and preventing the top from sitting flush. So, I cut more of the roof off (now with what I am going to do to change the frame, this was unnecessary after all)

Photo Nov 11, 3 04 41 PM.jpg
There are little notches above the B cross member in the front

Photo Nov 11, 3 04 50 PM.jpg
And all the sheet metal in the rear had to go

Photo Nov 12, 9 05 39 AM.jpg
So once all that got cleaned up and painted, the rear part of the frame was recessed into the roof and didn't interfere with the top sealing on the roof

Photo Nov 12, 9 05 35 AM.jpg

Photo Nov 12, 9 05 30 AM.jpg

Photo Nov 12, 8 09 51 AM.jpg
I bought some 1/8" c channel steel from HD and cut and drilled it to use to secure the rear part of the frame to the van

Photo Nov 12, 9 04 48 AM.jpg

Photo Nov 12, 9 04 52 AM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 2 33 30 PM.jpg
So now the top sits on there pretty well - some latches to hold it down and I'm confident it would be water proof

Photo Nov 11, 2 59 43 PM.jpg
Then I took the Maxxfan (I got the deluxe 5100 version mostly because it can be open in the rain, and can intake or exhaust)

Photo Nov 11, 3 00 48 PM.jpg
Took off the decals

Photo Nov 11, 3 10 37 PM.jpg
And stuck it on there.

So that is how it sits now.
Unfortunately, it's going to have to come off and be redone. But, since I don't have to do all the stuff with the roof of the van, and the solution I have should be somewhat simple, I'm hoping it won't take too long. We'll see.
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby markmitch » November 14th 2020, 1:46am

Sorry I never got back to you, I was in Sanford, Maine close to the NH border.
User avatar
markmitch
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L6)
Firing on 7 Cylinders (L6)
Years of Membership: markmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full yearsmarkmitch has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 5787
Topics: 624
Images: 20
Joined: March 2008
Location: California
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): 1st gen or frankenvan
Van Model Year: 1989
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: RS V8 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » November 28th 2020, 2:56pm

Update
The top came off for pretty much a complete redesign.
2020-11-17 10.19.49.jpg
bare top

2020-11-17 10.19.38.jpg
Frame out

2020-11-17 12.47.04.jpg
Undoing weeks of work...

2020-11-17 13.03.34.jpg
Cleaned up

2020-11-19 16.46.12.jpg
I decided to make mounting pads in the 4 corners for the hinges to sit on. So I prepped the corners

2020-11-19 16.46.21.jpg
Cribbed up pads of wood and some super adhesive

2020-11-19 16.46.31.jpg
And there are the fronts

2020-11-22 18.38.03.jpg
And rears. I didn't want to drill more holes through the roof, so I used the mounting bolt for the roof bars to help secure these, along with lots and lots of loctite

2020-11-19 16.46.44.jpg

2020-11-17 14.25.32.jpg
To get the hinges to sit up higher in the top, I had to shorten them as much as possible

2020-11-17 14.31.53.jpg
Remove the bearing

2020-11-19 15.11.30.jpg

2020-11-19 14.35.18.jpg
And boink them back in there

2020-11-17 15.01.22.jpg

I replaced all the mounts with these guys, which I could fit now that i was changing the frame desiign. I had wanted to go with these earlier, but knew I didn't have the clearance for them.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MW ... UTF8&psc=1
1/2" bore pillow block mounted bearings

These are what I have in the tubes - https://www.vxb.com/3-4-Inch-with-1-2-d ... 93EALw_wcB
VXB bearing with 1/2" integrated axle.

I had a really hard time figuring out what to put in the ends of the tubes to mount them. I ended up going with those vxb bearings with axles, but I'm sure there is a better way.
Maybe threaded end caps like this? https://www.jwwinco.com/en-us/products/ ... 7-1%2F2X13

Or maybe I could have tapped a bearing after pressing it in there, or something else. I dunno.

Anyways
2020-11-17 15.01.28.jpg
Stuck these much more stout bearings on to all the hinges

2020-11-17 15.01.13.jpg
2020-11-25 16.50.45.jpg
Then I connected the hinges to the top and put it back in the van

This allowed me to put the top exactly where I wanted it (which was further towards the rear of the van than it had been before). This has given me a nice seal all around.
2020-11-25 16.51.15.jpg
Once on the van I got the top where I wanted it and drilled holes to mount the bottom half of the hinges, and bolted them on

2020-11-25 16.51.20.jpg
2020-11-25 16.51.29.jpg
2020-11-25 16.51.35.jpg
2020-11-25 16.51.41.jpg
2020-11-25 16.51.50.jpg
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 21st 2020, 1:28am

So, since my last update I did some little things to make the top sit flush with the roof of the van. Then it was on to the lifting mechanism.
2020-12-02 11.15.10.jpg
I took some rectangular tubing ~3.5" long and drilled some holes in it

2020-12-02 15.48.12.jpg
Cut off one end

2020-12-02 16.10.14.jpg
Which made it u-shaped

2020-12-02 16.10.20.jpg

2020-12-02 16.10.22.jpg
And cleaned up the edges and top to prep it for welding

2020-12-07 15.14.38.jpg
I ended up messing with the shape a bit, but you can see how it ended up - and how it connects to the linear actuator with wire lock pins so it is easily removable without tools

2020-12-02 16.10.35.jpg
Got two of these strut trolleys for the lift to slide along. It was the best way I could think of to keep the arms and actuator in a straight line. I cut them up and prepped them for welding. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KN9UA0S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2020-12-02 19.49.37.jpg

2020-11-29 10.03.56.jpg
This is how the trolleys sit in the 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 strut - there isn't much play, so they can take weight pushing or pulling on them

2020-12-06 15.46.04.jpg
So for mounting the other side of the linear actuator, I got a couple strut brackets

2020-12-06 16.03.52.jpg
Took these brackets I got with the actuators and used them to connect to the end of the actuator

2020-12-06 16.04.07.jpg

2020-12-06 15.58.02.jpg
Ended up with this

2020-12-06 16.02.36.jpg

2020-12-06 16.15.10.jpg
And the other end in the u channel that will be welded to the trolley

2020-12-06 16.15.30.jpg

2020-12-07 15.39.38.jpg
Buuut then I realized I needed to switch the actuators 180* so I changed the brackets

This is the actuator I got btw... 400 lbs x2, 24" extension. If I had to do it again, I'd get ones with 750+ pound lift strength though. You'll see why in a bit. https://www.firgelliauto.com/products/p ... -actuators
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 21st 2020, 1:49am

So I took a piece of unistrut I got at Lowes and cut it in half so I had 2 five-foot sections. This ended up being the perfect length.

I had saved the leftover pieces of metal from cutting up the L shaped strut brackets, the trolley, and the u-shaped channel. Those ended up being perfect for mounting the strut to the ceiling of the top. I used the bolts holding down the roof rails to secure the track when I was done with it.
2020-12-12 11.52.23.jpg
Everything welded

2020-12-12 11.52.26.jpg

2020-12-12 11.52.29.jpg

2020-12-12 11.52.35.jpg

2020-12-12 11.53.01.jpg

2020-12-12 11.51.33.jpg
Trolleys welded

2020-12-12 11.51.39.jpg

2020-12-12 11.51.55.jpg
This is the one part I welded - my first (crap) welds - woot! I gotta get a welder soon...

2020-12-12 11.52.07.jpg

2020-11-19 11.08.42.jpg
Then I painted everything with some metallic spray paint and dried it with a heat gun

2020-12-13 17.40.38.jpg
This is the strut channel with the actuator bolted onto it on one side, and connected to the trolley on the other

Then this is how it turned out with it mounted on there
2020-12-13 18.10.30.jpg
Passenger side

2020-12-13 18.10.42.jpg
Passenger side

2020-12-13 18.10.55.jpg
Drivers side

2020-12-13 18.10.59.jpg
Drivers side

2020-12-13 18.11.08.jpg
Drivers side
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 21st 2020, 2:02am

2020-12-14 15.54.52.jpg
I was eager to see if it worked, so I got it wired up and tried it out - and success!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES

2020-12-14 15.54.56.jpg
It's really tall - I can't reach the top standing in the van when it is all the way up.
I shook it some and it is pretty sturdy - but not stout. If I had done steel in the same dimensions, it would be fine - but aluminum is a little bendy - and it's got a lot of weight on it. I'll test it some more later - but I was just glad it worked and didn't collapse on me.


One thing is that the actuators have a hard time doing the first couple inches of the lift because the angle of the mechanism inside doesn't give them any help lifting at all. I had to do it that way and knew it might happen.

It can still lift it on it's own, but it lifts unevenly and clearly the actuators are struggling badly. This is why higher strength actuators would have been good. I just give it a little assist for the first few inches and then it's all good on its own.

I have a remote synced up to the actuators that lifts them simultaneously - it is this unit from Firgelli (where I got the actuators and brackets) - https://www.firgelliauto.com/products/t ... rol-system

I'll go more into the remote and such later on.

Oh - also, a convenient thing is that the actuators use the full 24" length - I didn't have to get any sort of limiting switch. Like I said, it is crazy high though - I could have gone with an 18" actuator it seems - and gone shorter one the "long" portions of the hinge arms.
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 21st 2020, 2:21am

I struggled so much (and am still struggling) with the way I'd latch the roof down. There just isn't any easy way to do it that isn't intrusive or involves too much work.

This is what I have for now -
Attachments
2020-12-15 15.22.40.jpg
Drilled some holes in some 3" bar from hd
2020-12-15 15.22.29.jpg
Got these latches to try out - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NV5CFNV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2020-12-15 15.22.58.jpg
Mounted the two latches on
2020-12-15 15.23.00.jpg
2020-12-15 15.23.12.jpg
2020-12-15 16.07.02.jpg
Drilled matching holes on each side into the strut
2020-12-15 20.04.58.jpg
I bolted two other pieces of steel to the edge below and drilled holes for the hook to go into. This is how it came out
2020-12-15 20.05.02.jpg
2020-12-15 20.05.07.jpg
The hook doesn't secure in there super well, and the bottom plate isn't very sturdy - I'm going to alter it soon, but it doesn't have to be bombproof since the top is so heavy anyways
2020-12-15 20.04.49.jpg
Tape for reference
2020-12-16 14.34.28.jpg
After verifying that the lift worked, I could finally clean up the van (which has been a mess for months now). I used this magnet to clean up the steel shavings. I filled this thing up 10+ times.
2020-12-17 15.44.26.jpg
Then it snowed. I didn't shovel the snowbank in front and the van was able to smash through it on the third try - beast.
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby Rod's Trucks » December 21st 2020, 7:21am

Impressive engineering effort and great pictures!

I had no idea those actuators were that inexpensive. Thanks for the link. I might have a use for them with a different project.
Rod J
Rod's Trucks
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Rod's Trucks has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 546
Topics: 30
Images: 55
Joined: January 2020
Location: Issaquah, WA
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Rod and/or WE7X
Van Model Year: 1998
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: Forest Green LS AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby dcsleeper » December 21st 2020, 5:40pm

Hella work! Good job!

When satellite was popular the actuators were often on the surplus market for 29 bux. But that was a while ago.
Please update your User Control Panel to include your location!!! it's in the upper right!
Profile | Edit signature

ChevyMaher wrote:If you don't want people saying you suck, which is the truth, stop sucking
User avatar
dcsleeper
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Posts: 404
Topics: 19
Images: 77
Joined: April 2020
Location: North Carolina
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): DC
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: I have 2 1AWD 1RWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby AlpineVan » December 21st 2020, 11:06pm

Wow this pop-top build is great!
User avatar
AlpineVan
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Posts: 39
Topics: 3
Images: 0
Joined: September 2020
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Alpine
Van Model Year: 1995
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: SLX AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby Brewtus » December 22nd 2020, 3:26am

Blake, this thing looks great! I am so excited to look through all of the photos. I imagine cutting the hole in the roof was exciting! Can't wait to see where you go with it.
User avatar
Brewtus
Fueling (7/8 tank)
Fueling (7/8 tank)
Years of Membership: Brewtus has been a member for 1 full year
Posts: 89
Topics: 4
Images: 17
Joined: December 2019
Alias (AKA): Vivian & Dylan
Van Model Year: 1986
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 1987 Aerolite Resto.

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby sixsix » December 22nd 2020, 3:17pm

Wow - That is some job on the Lift and Hold Down.
Wonderful Imagination - Great work - Fab Pics.

Thanks a Lot - Future High Top folks will be Thanking you also !
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... Anyone that condones the actions of the American People during the Storming of the Capitol are as complicit as the Assholes themselves.
But no way does this let the Democrats or the MSM off the Hook.

.
User avatar
sixsix
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: sixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full years
Posts: 4587
Topics: 38
Images: 1320
Joined: May 2014
Location: Edgewood, Northern Ky.
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Mike
Van Model Year: 1992
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT W CPI - RWD 200K

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 25th 2020, 7:07pm

Thanks gents - it's been a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to when it is done!

Yesterday I replaced the radiator cap with a pressure release one from Autozone - the other one was leaking.
2020-12-24 08.14.47.jpg
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby tungtide » December 26th 2020, 4:08pm

Looks like the Autozone pop top was much easier to install. Great work on your write up and pictures.
Ken
tungtide
Site Contributor
Site Contributor
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: tungtide has been a member for 2 full yearstungtide has been a member for 2 full years
Posts: 401
Topics: 27
Images: 22
Joined: August 2018
Location: Salvisa KY
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): tungtide
Van Model Year: 2002
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 2002 LT AWD 1999 LS

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » December 31st 2020, 4:57am

tungtide wrote:Looks like the Autozone pop top was much easier to install. Great work on your write up and pictures.

Haha, true true


So this has been happening this week - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 8#p1572848

Seems like that will be drawing to a close as soon as I go to the junkyard next.

As far as current events, today the van took a trip up a long, steep, snowy, and icy forest service road to a trailhead. I got a flashing ses right as I pulled into the parking spot, so I figured I'd deal with it after the hike.
2020-12-30 09.48.36.jpg
View from the parking spot

2020-12-30 09.50.47.jpg
Super sweet views just a couple hundred feet away - you can see the presidentials unobstructed in this one.
Such a cool spot for this super secluded summer cabin.

When I got back to the van I used my obd2 reader to see I was getting a cylinder 3 misfire, and the van was running bad.
Oil looked fine.
Doghouse off, plugs and distributor looked fine.
So it was a good thing I had all my tools with me.
2020-12-30 10.39.15.jpg
How the tables have turned.


I got the wheel off and popped the skirt in the wheel well to find this -
2020-12-30 10.39.41.jpg
Wire #3 fell off the plug!

Once I got that reseated, the van was fine.
I was dreading having a flashing ses on the top of a mountain way up off the main road, but it only took me like 20 minutes to get it figured out and fixed.
It really felt good to be able to diagnose and fix the problem on my own so quickly - in a place where help was not coming soon.
Even though the van can be a pain sometimes, I'm really grateful for the skills I am learning in the process - being able to do what I did today is absolute verification of that.

Also, the van slayed the road up - only one other car had driven up in the past two days since the last snow, and a group was walking up the road after having parked their subies way farther down where it said "road unmaintained from this point on" or something to that tune.
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby sixsix » January 3rd 2021, 2:53am

Nice going, Great Fix, sporty !
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... Anyone that condones the actions of the American People during the Storming of the Capitol are as complicit as the Assholes themselves.
But no way does this let the Democrats or the MSM off the Hook.

.
User avatar
sixsix
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: sixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full yearssixsix has been a member for 6 full years
Posts: 4587
Topics: 38
Images: 1320
Joined: May 2014
Location: Edgewood, Northern Ky.
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Mike
Van Model Year: 1992
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT W CPI - RWD 200K

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 10th 2021, 5:33am

I made a trip to a couple junkyards, here are my finds.
2020-12-31 11.32.48.jpg
s10 relay bracket for holding volvo relay for efan mod

2020-12-31 14.53.50.jpg
This metal box has dozens of feet of cable, plugs, the relay bracket, a/c pressure switch, the plug and wiring for it, and a bunch of relays and fuses of all sizes. Guy at the counter said "Ehh... $10"
Sold!

2020-12-31 16.18.33.jpg
I got this huge bundle of wire for $10 at another yard from a wrecked rv.


I soldered, heat shrinked, taped, and loomed the plug for the a/c pressure switch on the accumulator, and installed the jy switch.
2021-01-09 20.13.07.jpg


Then I got to work on the rear end. I took the plunge on finally fixing the roaring that has been getting progressively worse over time. It had been making me nervous that the rear is going to blow up catastrophically when driving.
2021-01-01 11.47.04.jpg

2021-01-01 11.52.02.jpg
Rear brake line and diff breather

2021-01-01 12.16.23.jpg
undoing the brake line

2021-01-01 12.16.48.jpg

2021-01-01 12.22.05.jpg
Off

2021-01-01 13.29.20.jpg
Took the rear drums apart

2021-01-01 13.32.26.jpg
And got the ebrake disconnected

2021-01-01 13.32.31.jpg
ebrake routing

2021-01-01 13.32.38.jpg


I had some issues with undoing the ebrake connector bracket thingy. I undid it so I could drill a hole on the ebrake line bracket for the 2" lift I will be installing eventually.

Instead of repeating what I already posted, here is where I posted about it in another thread - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 2#p1573372
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 10th 2021, 5:50am

2021-01-01 11.47.34.jpg
Found a leaky axle seal on the driver's side rear. I wonder if that was why my brakes were so jerky in the back when I'd first start driving in the morning.

2021-01-01 15.16.44.jpg
I took off t he clamshells and such

2021-01-01 15.16.48.jpg
I had no idea there were isolators in there, I figured they were gone or something

2021-01-01 15.16.53.jpg
I am so glad I have a cordless impact wrench these days

2021-01-01 15.16.58.jpg
There was also this tiny thin piece of metal on the leaf spring isolators

2021-01-01 15.17.20.jpg


The last thing to do before taking the rear end out (I had also disconnected the brake line and shocks of course) was the driveshaft.
What. A. Pain.
It took freakin forever and was pure evil.
So I was looking for a different way to bolt the driveshaft and found driveshaft u bolts. I posted about getting the driveshaft off and some info about the driveshaft ubolts here - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 8#p1573698

So, as you can see in that thread, it was a pain, but I eventually got the driveshaft and the rear end separated.
And then it was out!!
2021-01-01 22.22.47.jpg
Woo!
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: LeSafari - 1997 AWD Build

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 10th 2021, 6:04am

Once the rear waas out, it was on the the springs, hangers, and shackles.
2021-01-02 16.56.59.jpg
The leaf spring bolts were all seized, so I took the hangers and shackles off first

2021-01-02 19.04.16.jpg
After wrecking two metal sawzall blades and doing almost nothing to the first hangar bolt, I switched to a grinder - which barely fit in there, but did the job

2021-01-02 16.56.50.jpg
I would have died without the impact wrench. I'd still be out there. As it was, the passenger upper shackle bolt was unbelievably stuck. It took all my might for probably two hours to get the nut off with a breaker bar. It was insane.

2021-01-02 18.03.13.jpg
Finally I got the springs out!

2021-01-02 19.04.25.jpg
And I mercilessly beat the leaf spring bolts until they came free.

2021-01-03 17.35.11.jpg
They were all super corroded inside - I think it would have been impossible to replace the leafs without taking off the shackles and hangers. Good thing I had to take them off anyways.

2021-01-03 15.31.33.jpg
The 22-687hd's got the poly bushing treatment. It was mega hard to get the bushings out with the ball joint press though.

2021-01-03 15.31.37.jpg
Purdy.

2021-01-03 17.30.39.jpg
New vs old

2021-01-03 17.16.37.jpg
The underside of the van is hollow
Image
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
SportsBoy
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: SportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full yearsSportsBoy has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 612
Topics: 23
Images: 23
Joined: August 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Blake
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

PreviousNext

 
  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Projects/Builds

It is currently January 28th 2021, 5:58am

Projects/Builds Forum
Projects/BuildsEach members' project build thread. Post details and photos, past and present, of your projects coming together. Restorations, modifications, or customizations of a vehicle and a sequential history of the progress. Build-up threads only!
To create a new topic in Projects/Builds, click this button:
Previous topic Next topic
Recent Image Attachments
Attached by:
pmou
in Projects/Builds
Views: 3748
Comments: 88
Date: Jan 24 '21
Time: 5:17pm
» Read last comment
Attached by:
pmou
in Projects/Builds
Views: 3748
Comments: 88
Date: Jan 22 '21
Time: 8:01pm
» Read last comment
Attached by:
Attached by: SportsBoy
SportsBoy
in Projects/Builds
Views: 18934
Comments: 185
Date: Jan 21 '21
Time: 2:37am
» Read last comment
Attached by:
Attached by: SportsBoy
SportsBoy
in Projects/Builds
Views: 18934
Comments: 185
Date: Jan 21 '21
Time: 2:04am
» Read last comment
Attached by:
pmou
in Projects/Builds
Views: 3748
Comments: 88
Date: Jan 20 '21
Time: 5:16am
» Read last comment
Sponsors

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests