Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

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1996astro
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 am

Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by 1996astro » Sat May 08, 2010 9:14 pm

So heres the deal, Story first (short version) went out to the swamp and sunk the van... Got the van out and did the YEEHAW out of the ditch when something went wrong. So the problem is that the idler arms are touching the frame occasionally. Also the drag link contacts the crankshaft pulley occasionally. I only have about a 1/4 gap between the frame and idlers at most. I can't see for the life of me what is bent. I tried to find a van to compare to but no luck. The idlers look straight and the frame looks unharmed where they bolt on. If someone has a pic of their idler arm frame gap and idler arm bolt location it would be awesome. I built it to break it, but now I have to fix it.
Brandon
Bay City, MI

1997 Astro LT 4x4 48,000 Miles,
Custom Lift: 3" body spacers, torsion keys,
4" leaf spring relocation mounts (by ME),
added a leaf spring from a 94 S10 blazer.
All this gives me 5-6 inches of lift.
General Grabber AT2 31X10.50R15
Custom fit Brush guard
Western 7' 6" plow pictures coming soon...
Image
1997 Buick Century 198,000 miles

LiftedAWDAstro
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4430
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:35 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: New Haven, NY

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat May 08, 2010 10:59 pm

Time for pics and I could help. The drag link will contact the crank pulley when the idlers are worn or bent. Sounds like it's time for new idlers.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

1996astro
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by 1996astro » Sat May 08, 2010 11:42 pm

I hope its just the idlers, otherwise I'll have too tweek and strengthen the frame. Or it could be time for SAS? I'll get some pics.
Brandon
Bay City, MI

1997 Astro LT 4x4 48,000 Miles,
Custom Lift: 3" body spacers, torsion keys,
4" leaf spring relocation mounts (by ME),
added a leaf spring from a 94 S10 blazer.
All this gives me 5-6 inches of lift.
General Grabber AT2 31X10.50R15
Custom fit Brush guard
Western 7' 6" plow pictures coming soon...
Image
1997 Buick Century 198,000 miles

1996astro
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by 1996astro » Sat May 08, 2010 11:58 pm

Here are some pics...
Image
Image
Image

Dirty and rusty, but I like it.
Brandon
Bay City, MI

1997 Astro LT 4x4 48,000 Miles,
Custom Lift: 3" body spacers, torsion keys,
4" leaf spring relocation mounts (by ME),
added a leaf spring from a 94 S10 blazer.
All this gives me 5-6 inches of lift.
General Grabber AT2 31X10.50R15
Custom fit Brush guard
Western 7' 6" plow pictures coming soon...
Image
1997 Buick Century 198,000 miles

1996astro
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by 1996astro » Sun May 09, 2010 12:28 am

I suppose I could continue the story about the swamp trip. It started out we were just going to ride the trail, then we came to a mud hole just before a small hill. I said "I am not going to make it through there then uphill." My buddy said "yes you can I did it in my s10 with bald tires." I should have trusted my instinct. I had to go slow cause the hill was steep, so I tried to stay off to one side. Nope, pulled the front end right in. Now the back end is headed for a stump. Couldn't steer out of it couldn't go forward, couldn't back up. So my buddy called his bro and he came to get us and take us to his truck and he went back to work (works at a bar.) We got his old, tired, beat up pickup with 4 bald tires. Broke the strap twice and then got it out. I turned it around and headed for the entry, which is a ditch. So not wanting it to ruin my night I hammered threw the ditch and when it came down it made a horrible noise. Checked it out and didn't find anything wrong so we drove carefully back to drop off the truck. Then we went back up to the bar to give back his keys and have a couple beers. I pulled in the parking lot and was telling my buddy hear that? Thats the noise. I went to back up into a parking spot and the drivers front of the van hit the ground, I was like "well something broke." Got out to find all my lug nuts gone off the drivers front tire. Jacked it up and found all the studs were ok just had some aluminum in the threads. Checked the other lug nuts and found them a 1/4 turn loose to my standard. I took one nut off the other three wheels and put them on the drivers front. Went in the bar had one beer and limped it home. I replaced the lug nuts that went missing the next day. I don't know how they got loose I always torque them to 120lbs. The wheels haven't been off since last summer, but I did check the torque in February. The van only sees about 6,000 miles a year, two oil change check ups, and one tire rotation.
Brandon
Bay City, MI

1997 Astro LT 4x4 48,000 Miles,
Custom Lift: 3" body spacers, torsion keys,
4" leaf spring relocation mounts (by ME),
added a leaf spring from a 94 S10 blazer.
All this gives me 5-6 inches of lift.
General Grabber AT2 31X10.50R15
Custom fit Brush guard
Western 7' 6" plow pictures coming soon...
Image
1997 Buick Century 198,000 miles

rlsllc
I sleep in my van
Posts: 918
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:35 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by rlsllc » Sun May 09, 2010 3:32 am

120 ft lbs is over tightened. 100 ft lbs is correct for the 1/2" 20 lugs on our vans. Tighter isn't always better, over tightening stresses and will eventually cause the studs and lugnuts to fail.

If you really want them that tight, replace them with 14mm studs and lugs. They can be torqued to 140 ft lbs.

The other thing is beware of wheels that are not hub centric. They can cause problems.

My opinion, YMMV.

1996astro
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Something bent in a YEEHAW trip to the swamp

Post by 1996astro » Sun May 09, 2010 3:25 pm

Ah Ha! over torqued makes sense. I just looked it up and I'll be damned it is 100lbs. All this time I have been doing it wrong. I know the cars have smaller studs and I torqued them to 95lbs. I don't know where I got 120 for the van from. The larger truck studs I have torqued to 140. Where I work alot of the techs don't even torque the lugs they just crank them down with an impact. 120 has to be better that that LOL! Hopefully I didn't wreck the studs. Thanks for the info.
Brandon
Bay City, MI

1997 Astro LT 4x4 48,000 Miles,
Custom Lift: 3" body spacers, torsion keys,
4" leaf spring relocation mounts (by ME),
added a leaf spring from a 94 S10 blazer.
All this gives me 5-6 inches of lift.
General Grabber AT2 31X10.50R15
Custom fit Brush guard
Western 7' 6" plow pictures coming soon...
Image
1997 Buick Century 198,000 miles

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