THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by 97CargoCrawler » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:13 pm

OK. Took some pix last night of the fender bracket I modified and the exhaust hangar extension.

For the fender, as per my previous photo a few posts back, I cut a big chunk out of the wheel well. In fact, I cut much more out after that photo was taken. The key is cut as little as possible, but enough where you won't be rubbing and slicing up your new tires. Needless to say you have to put the new tires on and mark the spots that need to be cut BEFORE you begin cutting, you can't just guess. Cut a little, check clearance, cut some more, check again and so on. Even if it means taking the wheel off 10 times to get it done. You'd kick yourself in the ass if you cut out way too much, it's not like you can just put it back on.

Keep in mind I have a 2WD, 31"x10.5" BFG Mud terrains on 8" wide wheels with 3.75" backspacing and -25mm offset. Also my wheels stick out much further than normal due to the lift spindles I have on. So your cutting will probably be far less severe than anything pictured here.

First I cut the big hole in the fender well. I cut a bit more out than I needed by accident #-o :

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Of course I cut off the part of the body that the trim bracket bolts to. I drilled out the rivet holding the metal bracket to the trim and set it aside knowing I would need to chop it up or make a new one. Without any way to hold the trim piece on for measuring and marking, I taped the fender piece on to get and idea of where I would need to trim it:

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I used a Dremel tool with the flexible cable attachment and a metal cutoff saw blade as the bit. Knowing I would later do the fine details with a Dremel sanding drum bit, I cut well inside my markings. You can't get a decent cut with a cutoff wheel, and they love to take off no matter how hard you hold them so having a little fudge room is always good. The sanding bit will rip through the plastic like you won't believe too, but it is much easier to control. Don't feel like you need to get as much material as possible off with the cut off disk bit.

Once you've marked the spots to begin cutting it is always a great idea to remove the wheel, It will give you room to work and keep you from cutting up your tires when the Dremel slips or when your reaching for a cold one.

Here it is, taped on and trimmed:

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I dont have pix of what the fender trim bracket looked like before I butchered it, but here is cut up and riveted on afterward. The bolt is actually going through the body, but as you can see I cut a bit too much out and it's very close to the edge. CUT OUT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE! Always have that thought in your mind!

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You will need to trim the mud guard as well to match. Mine looks a bit funny because I cracked a chunk off the other day. I guess I need to cut a bit more off:

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You'll probably need to cut the bumper fascia too. Same method......cut a little off, check, then cut more. These are cosmetic pieces so obviously you don't want to F them up!

I know a lot of this is just plain common sense and didn't need to be stated. I just want to be thorough and get the point across that you should do the cutting in small increments.

Here's the exhaust hangar mod:

A simple cut and weld:

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Good luck!
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:34 pm

lockdoc wrote:The full time AWD unit in these vans is far more pratical for everyday use especially if you drive in a lot of snow. Unless you want to go out rock crawling, etc. I would think about keeping the AWD unit.
That's an interesting point you bring up, lockdoc. I would love to hear more of the technical nitty gritty about this. I understand the AWD system on 99s and later is part-time automatic, and that it uses clutch plates and an electric motor to gradually ramp up torque to the front axle when slippage is detected. Can you explain how the 4WD is different and what makes it grabby? Is T.Low's TC able to shift on the fly or do you have to be stopped? Why wouldn't I just be able to drive around the city in 2WD mode and switch on 4WD when needed? Considering that snow is only an issue a few times a year here, I don't see that it would be a huge deal. I also like to get into the mountains (as you can see from my videos) and I plan to do a lot more offroading, which is why I wanted a 2 speed.

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:30 pm

The end result ...
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Front wheel well clearances ...
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by T.Low » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:50 pm

:supz: :cheers:

Time for a BC Astro trail run!
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by mattblackratbus » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:19 pm

Nice, that looks kool :supz: ....well done.....Johnny

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:27 pm

Not only do the tires rub at the bottom of the fenders, but I found these scuffs on the inside too:

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most of the mark is on the plastic curtain, but part is going up onto the metal as well. What do you guys think? Can I just bash it in with a hammer a little bit?

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:37 pm

Looks AWESOME! Well worth it wasn't it?

Just cut and trim and hammer wherever you need to to make clearance.
Current rides:
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2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

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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

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:32 pm

It was challenging but I can't wait to take it out on trips!

Future projects will be a wheel mount like this: (9dawgs)
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Front skidplate like this (lockdoc):
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Bottom skidplate: (Dean)
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Rock rails: (by Dean. on Snapple's van)
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And this is the best bumper I have ever seen: (RocWorks custom on gabequest's van)
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by snapple » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:14 am

=D> Congrats! =D>
Hammer & cutting wheel will take care of your wheel wells! I have a little more trimming to do myself!
:cheers:
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by lockdoc » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:07 am

Be careful the first time you go up a steep incline. Your rear tires MAY rub againt the fender well edge due to axle wrap. Go slow to check it so you don't gouge your new tires like I did. You may have to trim a little.
Current:
01 AWD - Stock
98 AWD - Stock
Past:
93 4WD - 305 V8 - 5" lift - 31" tires
98 4WD DHC - 10" lift - 33" tires - Onboard air and Hydraulics - Snowplow
92 RWD - 350 V8 - lowered - 97 front clip
92 RWD - 350 V8 - converted to AWD - V6
91 AWD - 350 V8 - conversion van
94 RWD - 350 V8 - sons van
92 RWD - stock - sons van
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89 RWD Shorty - parts van

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by phr1$k37 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:22 pm


Hi there fellow Vancouverite!
Sorry I did not get to say hi earlier but good old TLow sent me a link to your post. Welcome and congrats! Now start hammering away!
PS I really hope you do not go underground much. I would say 70% of the underground lots here in Vancouver I cannot clear and your lift is taller than mine hahah. Good Luck again!
Where abouts do you live? I would love to swing bye say hi and take some Astro Safari photos (since apparently you suck at that lol) teasing you already! Hope you dont mind :)

Tom are you treking up any time? Or maybe we should trek down to you :)
Darn I really need to pick up a new digital camcorder ... I think I am going to need it.
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Location: West Coast, B.C., Canada eh?
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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Thank you phrisket (is that right?)
phr1$k37 wrote:I really hope you do not go underground much.
I measured and I'm about 6'10-6'11. I made it into my own parkade at home. This morning I scraped a sign with my roof rack going up a ramp to the parkade at work. Weird ... it didn't do that the other day.
phr1$k37 wrote:Where abouts do you live? I would love to swing bye say hi and take some Astro Safari photos (since apparently you suck at that lol) teasing you already! Hope you dont mind :)
Tease away. I live in Coquitlam.

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by phr1$k37 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:21 pm


Ah Richmond here :D Nice!
Hmmm There is the KMC shop out there .. is there a Princess Auto as well? I might just head out that way come SAturday :)
97' Safari AWD SLT - Nicknamed "Princess" cause of all the TLC she begs from me!
Location: West Coast, B.C., Canada eh?
Photos and Specs of "Princess"

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:39 pm

KMS and Princess Auto. But don't buy anything important from PA though. That Powerfist stuff is pretty junky.

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Re: THIS WEEKEND. Things to do when lifting.

Post by phr1$k37 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:52 pm


Oops I mean KMS :)
I just ordered a digital camcorder off Amazon ... I hope the shipping is not messed up.
97' Safari AWD SLT - Nicknamed "Princess" cause of all the TLC she begs from me!
Location: West Coast, B.C., Canada eh?
Photos and Specs of "Princess"

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