Question and suggestion, Duelie axle swap

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LT.Raven
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Question and suggestion, Duelie axle swap

Post by LT.Raven » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:40 am

Hi guys first time posting, i have a 96 SLT safari 5th owner but kept in family grandfather bought brand new and then past down the line. body is in mint condition no rust and has only seen 3 winters. just past 208K.

anyways, heres my question and my quest to swap out engines and axles.

I'm looking to see if i can take the engine and drive line assembly out of a dodge sprinter or the mercedes equivelant and through them into my safari with as little body mods. reason why im looking at doing this, first of not only will in my mind a duelie safari will look amazing but the engine swap will increase MPG. if i cant do the engine swap id settle for the axxle swap if the engine can handle it.i havent had the timt yet to look at the parts to see what will need to be done but obviosly the wheel wells will have to be modded, but not sure yet if the frame will be in the way of the axle swap.

In the end of my project im looking to update my safari to the point of making it a GMC safari concept vehicle and present it to GMC to let them know that the safari and astro line is not dead and needs to be brought back to life. As everyone here should agree you cant find a better van.

if anyone has thoughts on such a project or insight anything is much appreciated.

Thanks

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timelessbeing
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Re: Question and suggestion, Duelie axle swap

Post by timelessbeing » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:50 am

Welcome. That's a formidable project. It hasn't been done here before.

ihatemybike
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Re: Question and suggestion, Duelie axle swap

Post by ihatemybike » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:15 pm

We are of similar mind. The MB 3.0L V6 diesel is an engine I think would be excellent in these vans. Occasionally I check the auto salvage sites for a rolled Sprinter, but they still aren't cheap. I also haven't found the dimensions of the engine to see if it would fit with little to no modifications to the engine compartment. The MB is a 72° DOHC engine, while the Astro's 4.3L is a 90° push rod engine. This usually would mean the MB engine is taller.

Personally I think duallies would be a bit overkill. The uni-frame of the Astro body isn't designed to carry enough weight that would warrant them. The smallest Sprinters only run singles anyway, also Sprinter's track is 3" wider which would lead to custom axles to fit under the Astro.

Here are the horsepower and torque specs of the two engines.
GM 4.3L 190 hp / 250 ft lbs
MB 3.0L 154 hp / 280 ft lbs
http://autos.msn.com/research/compare/e ... &v=t104828

I'm reasonable certain that the Astro's stock axle would be able to handle the extra 30 ft lbs of the MB engine.
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

LT.Raven
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Question and suggestion, Duelie axle swap

Post by LT.Raven » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:29 am

Thats fantastic info about the engine swap. main reason why i would like to do this is just for looks but i do work in music production and i find that im always doing runs for my shop, we have a Geni that wheighs quite a bit and only one other truck at the shop can pull it. having the extra stregnth from the diesel would be nice and the extra load capabilities from the duelies would be amazing....but im not just going for the extra load and such im going for the look. i have a few yards here that are always looking to do swaps as such and i have seen a couple of sprinters, so we'll see what happens. If i can find another diesel swap that would work better or one that has a turbo that will fit ill go in that direction as well.

Im gonna through photoshop back on my comp and come up with some designs and such to see what it will look like with duelies

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