Another 98 Astro solid axle swap

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jakepatch
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Another 98 Astro solid axle swap

Post by jakepatch » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:45 am

Well, I think I'm finally ready to start posting this swap. First off I have to say, I'm really sorry I don't have any pics yet, I am building my parts at work and am not allowed to have my camera in there, but once the parts start going on the van I'll start including pics.
Anyway, I am using axles from a 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The front axle is a Dana 44, the rear at this point I believe to be a GM 12 bolt(I'll post a pic soon for others to see and confirm).
Right now I am focusing on the front axle. I have made a new crossmember using 4x4 square tubing that will run underneath the front of the frame, basicly if you look at Dean's swap, he went between the frame at the front, and I will be going right underneath that. The "problem" this poses is that this new crossmember will be right where the hole in the frame is to get to the front body mount. I am correcting this problem by cutting out holes in the square tubing where the bolt holes need to be, and welding a piece of tubing in there for the bolt to be able to pass thru.
I'm using 1/4" plate steel for my spring hangers, these plates are 4"x5", and welded to the bottom of the new crossmember, along with gussets for extra support.
I should have this new front crossmember tacked in place hopefully tommorow(including pics). Once I have this piece in place, then I will look at what I need to do to hang the rear of the front springs.
Hope to be vannin' again someday........

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Post by peter » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am

I'm so glad to see you working on your project, for it tells me a couple of things. First, it tells me that things have smoothed out for you.
Second, it confirms that YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET ON WITH A PROJECT =D> =D>
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Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:57 pm

Looking forward to see how you do your swap. Can't wait to see pics.
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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Post by e7ats » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:39 pm

Great news Jake. I also can't wait to see those pics.
2003 AWD ASTRO Personal van

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Rileysowner
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Post by Rileysowner » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:48 am

You also probably can't wait to get back to yours :)
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Post by lockdoc » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:46 am

You're finally ready to post? Finally ready? I don't think so!

NO PICS MEANS NO READY! [-X


:)

jakepatch
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Post by jakepatch » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:11 am

OK, OK, I should have known better, but I wanted to get some info wrote down while it was all fresh in my head. That being said, here's a few pics for ya!
First, here's the start of the front brackets and crossmember.
Image
Here's a side view of the van, it will actually be going up about 3 more inches from where it is sitting right now.
Image
Here's a shot showing the Dana44 sitting under the van.
Image
And here's the start of putting it together.
Image
Finnaly, here's a shot of the center section of the rear axle. I believe it to be a GM 12 bolt, unless someone else thinks otherwise?
Image
Hopefully this will help calm you guys down for a bit. :muhaha: Still alot of work to be done, I'll keep posting as I go along.
Hope to be vannin' again someday........

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Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:21 am

Looking good so far!

That rear axle looks like an AMC 20...probably a wide track version. Check this link and see: AMC 20 Tech
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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Post by Fire Cakes » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:29 pm

Looks to me like Jake is going spring under in the front whereas Dean went spring over. Unless I am seeing something different.

It will be neat seeing how this goes together for you Jake since I was right there when Dean did the majority of his SAS. Good luck to you.

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Post by BLAZER » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:30 pm

Fire Cakes wrote:Looks to me like Jake is going spring under in the front whereas Dean went spring over. Unless I am seeing something different.
Most AMC/Jeep suspensions were spring under. Alot of 4 wheelers do a spring over conversion to get about 4" of lift on trial rigs.

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Post by Fire Cakes » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:50 pm

BLAZER wrote:
Fire Cakes wrote:Looks to me like Jake is going spring under in the front whereas Dean went spring over. Unless I am seeing something different.
Most AMC/Jeep suspensions were spring under. Alot of 4 wheelers do a spring over conversion to get about 4" of lift on trial rigs.
I realize that, my Jeep is spring under and when the leaf pack snapped we were thinking of going spring over for added clearance but opted out of that for the time being. I was just saying it will be interesting to compare the differencce in the two (one with spring over and one with spring under).

jakepatch
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Post by jakepatch » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:46 pm

Yes it is spring under. I was thinking of doing a spring over conversion but wasn't able to figure out how to do it myself because of the driver's side spring being right on the center section, and I haven't seen any kits for it to go by. If anyone has a link to one I'd like to see it.
Thanks for the tip on the rear also. Obviously I still have alot of work to do, but I'm getting there.
Hope to be vannin' again someday........

jakepatch
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:32 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Berlin, WI

Post by jakepatch » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:21 pm

Well, after checking that link from Dean and going out and looking at the rear more, I find a "D" stamped in it, according to the chart that means it's got 2:73 gears. So now it seems I need new gears!
Also, the guy I got the axles from went and gutted the passenger side drum out, all the brakes, springs, brake lines, etc. are gone from that side. Kind of thinking about looking around for a different rear now. I know I'll have to change the gears so they both match. I would consider keeping the Astro rear in there, but I don't want to have 5 lugs in the back and 6 lugs in the front. Maybe I could find a newer Astro rear with the 6 lugs? Lots of thinking to do now...
Hope to be vannin' again someday........

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Post by mdmead » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:00 pm

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:Looking good so far!

That rear axle looks like an AMC 20...probably a wide track version. Check this link and see: AMC 20 Tech
If the rear axle came from the same rig as the front end, that seems to make good sense too.

Lookin' good Jake!
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
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Post by peter » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:32 pm

Lookin' very good, Jakey. =D>
"Just keep swimming..."
97' 4wd Safari
ZZ 502 Ramjet
4"L"80E/NP241C
Ford 9"


Kinky is using a feather.
Perverted is using the whole chicken.

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither
inclined nor determined to commit crimes".
- Thomas Jefferson

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