Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it 4wd

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akforceten
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Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it 4wd

Post by akforceten » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:30 pm

I just saved this 1995 GMC Safari van from the crusher. It has a blown engine which i'm replacing.
My plan is to replace engine an to lift the van roughly 5" on a budget. OK its picture time

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s-10 blazer rear leafs an a matching gears s-10 front dif
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s-10 233 t-case for my safari
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this is where i work so finding things for this project will be easy
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this is the 4x4 shifter i will be using to shift the t-case
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:51 pm

Today i'm starting the lift on the rear of the van. I have also decided to eliminate the clam shell leaf spring holders .
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I found these u-bolts an spring plates with 2"lift blocks that are from a 98 ford ranger
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Hooray I got the tire off lol
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I always need a little helper
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The Astro leaf spring is out
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To use the s-10 blazer leaf pack i had to flip the front spring mount around
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s-10 blazer spring is in
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2"lift block in
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Test fitting spring plate an u-bolt
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to use the u-bolt on the inside some trimming of the spring perch needs to take place probably tomorrow cause its getting dark an really cold
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

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mdmead
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by mdmead » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:09 pm

Can't wait to see more!
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!

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:05 am

OK i finished the rear lift today only thing i need is shocks stock ones are dead. The 31's fit nicely so time for picture

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Now its time for engine work an lift the front plus rebuild the subframe
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

ihatemybike
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by ihatemybike » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:29 pm

I'm a bit jealous of your parts source.
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

LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:14 pm

Nice job on the rear lift!

How are you doing the front 4x4? The subframes are totally different. Maybe you can source an AWD subframe from the yard.
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

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:38 pm

Thank you all an yes i got a new subframe

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so the work begins on the front soon will keep u posted
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:59 pm

I also have a front diff from the same s-10 blazer with matching gears 3.73's Image

This is how i'm going to engage the front diff instead of the vacuum actuatorImage

Plus i got these parts to install to
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so i'm going to be busy as money permits lol
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Ambitious swap! You have all the right parts though. Can't wait to see the finished van!
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

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doyoulikeithere
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:30 am

Geeze, I hope I get to see pic of a V8 sitting on that new awd subframe :)
I am also jealous of your parts assortment :yikes:
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:50 pm

well for now its a going to be a 4.3L .I cant afford the v8 yet

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This was the donor van for the complete sub frame

even thou I work there an have the pick of the lot I still have to pay for it , a small amount out of each pay check.lol
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

astrozam
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Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by astrozam » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:37 am

Nice to see an other project, brings back some good memories... had that same colour scheme in a 95 Astro without the composite lights good luck with everything akforceten :supz:

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:47 am

Thank you astrozam . Update time . I have ordered my sub-frame bolts, 4 of 10.9 grade M12 1.75x170MM and 2 of M14 2.00x170MM. I got some 2.5 ID black-wall pipe 19" long . After Christmas i'm ordering the prothane 7-108 black body bushings. I'm going to be making 3" spacers for the front an yes there will be pics. Before i get more pics i need to replace camera the dog broke it
Image

2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:23 am

Update time . The leaf springs I installed have settled an the van leans to the drivers side now. It is sunk about 2" compared to the passenger side. The blazer that donated the springs had been rolled so i'm thinking the springs were damaged. Well i went to work an grabbed another set of rear leafs from a s-10 blazer that wasn't wrecked. After replacing the damaged springs the van sat level but was lower instead of 36" it was at 34". To bring it back up to 36" i went out an bought those Auto zone lowering shackles part#13-4100 . They fit the spring end just fine but i had to have a friend make some spacer bushings to fit in the van pocket. Ok picture time
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Unfortunately it got dark an cold so i stopped for now
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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:34 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Lifting my new to me 95 safari on a budget and making it

Post by akforceten » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:27 am

I finally got the rear leaf springs figured out. After trying different s-10 rear leaf packs I ended up building a 4+1 leaf pack

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leaf pack separated

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this is going to become the second leaf in the pack

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Well that's all i got for now

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cutting the spring eyes off
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this is the completed leaf pack

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Now the new leaf pack will allow me to eliminate the lift block.
here is a pic of the bushings i had made so the auto zone shackles fit in the upper shackle pocket.

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I also got my new sub-frame bolts

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2000 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

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