Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

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88scastro
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Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by 88scastro » Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:39 pm

I'll be swapping out the 4.3L V6 in my daily driver, a 1988 2WD Chevy Astrovan, with an LS1 from a 98-02 F-Body and the matching 4l60E. Before the install, I plan to upgrade the cam for improved performance, and sound at idle. I'm scheduled to pull the V6 beginning in May. I've discovered several threads on engine swaps for 90's Astrovans, but very little on the late 80's. If you know any people to contact or threads to read before I get started, please send them my way...

6spd_monte
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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by 6spd_monte » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:00 am

Welcome to the forum! :cheers:
I'll be following along with your swap.
-James

1987 LT
249,000 miles

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mdmead
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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by mdmead » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:10 pm

I don't think you'll find much difference in doing the swap into an earlier van. Obviously an earlier van has fewer electronics to adapt and interface with.

Honestly, I'd steer clear of an LS given how easy a traditional small block bolts in. The LS is a great engine, but adds numerous steps when swapping into a van. I'm guessing the oil pan isn't an issue for your swap, but I'm not so sure about the A/C compressor which is low on the passenger side on the LS (at least on the truck versions). Then you have to covert the van to an electronic throttle or the LS to a cable throttle body. Bypass VATS. Etc., etc.

It is certainly doable and if you have already done the research, then you already know what is ahead are prepared for it. In that case, great, can't wait to see your build! :muhaha:

Oh, and welcome!
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by doyoulikeithere » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:12 pm

This may cause you grief..... AstroSafari used OBD 1 Computers until 1996.
I Doubt if you can fire up an LS with OBD1.
I suspect that You will need to upconvert your OBD1 van to use OBD2 Electronics if you stand a hope of getting an LS running in your OBD1 van.
Aside from the physical Fit problem, this will also add countless hours of frusteration to your project.
Alternatively, a SBC will bolt straight in and fire right up on an OBD1 system that comes with your 88...
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by mdmead » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:05 am

doyoulikeithere wrote:This may cause you grief..... AstroSafari used OBD 1 Computers until 1996.
True, but I'm guessing he will either have the wiring harness with computer from the LS or will go with a stand-alone harness. A stand-alone harness would be pretty sweet... but they don't give 'em away!
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by 6spd_monte » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:52 am

mdmead wrote:......... but I'm not so sure about the A/C compressor which is low on the passenger side on the LS (at least on the truck versions). Then you have to covert the van to an electronic throttle or the LS to a cable throttle body........
I know there are aftermarket accessory drive systems for the LS that allow the use of the Astro's original AC compressor. Just do a google search for "ls engine r4 compressor".

Also, I think if you use an early LS truck engine, it is set up for cable operated throttle.

It can be done, a member here (whose name escapes me at the moment) did it years ago. But, when I swap mine I'll probably do the traditional small block, just because of how easy it is.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't do the LS swap, make it look easy and maybe I'll change my plans!
-James

1987 LT
249,000 miles

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by cool95astro » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:46 pm

i did a swap from a 95 impala for my 95 astro. I had the whole car so I had most everything I needed. my brother is a drivability expert for gm. im not that sharp on wiring and would not have got it to run and shift properly without him. gm did some prototype astro's with v8s in them and didn't get the results they wanted. I found a 95 astro cargo like mine. my plan is to use a 383 crate engine with a carb and a non computer 400 trans. old school. the van I found had a wiring fire no body damage no rust and no interior. starting with a clean slate. good luck on yours......

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by 88scastro » Mon May 25, 2015 2:36 am

Thanks for the info. I just got my LS engine and 4L60E transmission from a 2000 Camaro. It had been upgraded to an LS6, so it's got a little more power than the stock LS1. Does anybody have any recommendations for engine mounts?

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88scastro
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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by 88scastro » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:39 am

Getting close...

https://www.facebook.com/88SCAstro

Thanks for the tips everybody on astrosafarivans

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Re: Swapping 1988 Astrovan to 98-02 F-Body LS1

Post by AstroWill » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:42 pm

88scastro wrote:Getting close...

https://www.facebook.com/88SCAstro
What is facebook?

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