Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by Fire Cakes » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:33 am

potskie wrote:
Fire Cakes wrote:Men we have to spell everything out for you.
Nope! you just feel you do because you don't understand male code. Remember we can communicate all with just a nod of the head!
yeah usually the wrong one.....................LMAO
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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by potskie » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:36 am

Fire Cakes wrote:
potskie wrote:
Fire Cakes wrote:Men we have to spell everything out for you.
Nope! you just feel you do because you don't understand male code. Remember we can communicate all with just a nod of the head!
yeah usually the wrong one.....................LMAO
I was never aware of the fact until now that they actually made mind gutters that deep. Any deeper and you're going to start thinking we are all speaking chinese.
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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:28 am

BLAZER wrote:Tires look good, need some wheel though, but I guess those are winter beaters. Those off a military vehicle? they seem to always have those tall,skinny tires
The wheels are just stock 16" steel wheels off a truck. I was going to get some fancy wheels but figure for free these will be good enough. When I rebuild the SPB I will get some fancy wheels then.
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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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by dunedog » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:58 pm

When I rebuild the SPB I will get some fancy wheels then.[/quote]


SPB is a work in progress Dean :supz:
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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by Cobra » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:26 pm

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:
BLAZER wrote:Tires look good, need some wheel though, but I guess those are winter beaters. Those off a military vehicle? they seem to always have those tall,skinny tires
The wheels are just stock 16" steel wheels off a truck. I was going to get some fancy wheels but figure for free these will be good enough. When I rebuild the SPB I will get some fancy wheels then.

rebuild you say.... that's a scary concept
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Re:

Post by T.Low » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:05 pm

9dawgs wrote:Ok, looking at this post again just makes me want to go out and buy an AWD..I've got to stay away from this post! . One day, one day...

Dean, your fabrication skills are awesome. Do you teach classes?? \:D/



Yeah, I have been avoiding this post for a long time and temptation finally got the best of my clicker finger. Ouch. Very ouch. Its sick. Its awesome. Its put too many ideas in my head. I mean the text I probably could have delt with but the pics were just too much, more than I could handle...But what hurts most is that its out of my league!

All I can say is "Well Done" and thanks for the info...just incase I ever get to that point...
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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by T.Low » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:56 pm

Dean, what are the specs for the SPB immediately after the SAS ( as in the photos) in regards to lift height, tire size and gearing? (apologies if I missed it in the thread, but I did look).
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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:59 pm

Immediately after the SAS there was around 10" total lift, 33 x 12.5 R17 tires and 4.10 gears.
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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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by knucklehead » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:50 am

ok i know its been a while since a post on this one but i re-read it for the hundredth time and i gotta ask what kind of leaf springs you used in the rear with how long of a shackle? also did u flip the shackle so it was pointing down or left it pointing up? one more thing how many inches of travel did you end up getting in the front and rear?

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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:42 am

The rear leafs were the stock ones with an Overland add-a-leaf (from the original lift) and a 2nd add-a-leaf from my local spring shop. I also used a 3" block and a 1" "zero-rate" block for 4" of lift there. The shackle is the Overland Vans extended one. It is mounted like it has been since August 2002. The shackle has always pointed down even from the factory.

The front has probably somewhere around 18 inches of travel at the wheels and the rear is quite a bit less at around 10" or so.
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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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by knucklehead » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:43 am

ok awesome info Lifted and if i can ask for some more...
i am still working on my solid axle swap trying to figure out the geometry to make sure i get it right the first time and i originally wanted to use these shocks i could get a good deal on which are rancho 5000 with 13" of travel so i was going to set it up for 4" up travel and 9" of down. my question is when the axle comes up 4" to hit the bump stop on the sub frame the tire will have traveld more but wont it hit the inner fender like crazy? aand if so how can i get around this (if i cant at all) maybe some offset rims? ut my front wheel bearings are spindle type and ive been told not to go to much offset cause it will put a lot of sress on the spindle type bearings and end up failing them very quickly which i dont mind cause my part store would just warranty them for me and i would just have to repack new ones every so often.
currently i have just steel 16" that are 8 bolt from an 88 surburban and i wanna get new rims either 15'" or 16" and id still like to try and fit 35" under it.

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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:23 pm

The center section of the axle will hit your oil pan before the tire hits the top of the inner fender. What I did to find the location of the shock mounts was to cycle the axle through the entire range of motion before welding on the tabs. You can then get the proper location for the shock mounts and only tack weld them and the swing the axle through the range of motion again. I also installed extended bump stops on the axle to hit the subframe.

In this pic you can see where I used a single main leaf to be able to swing the axle without lifting the van off the jack stands.

Image

I also have the axle moved forward over 2" to give firewall clearance. With 35's you may simply have to do more trimming.

One more thing you keep an eye on is the drag ling on the steering going from the pitman arm to the right side tie rod. Mine would hit the crank pulley on the engine when the right tire was stuffed. I ended up putting a 15 degree or so bend in the drag link.
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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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by jeff hosford » Mon May 25, 2009 12:41 pm

Dean van looks great. question what is the length of your front springs from eye to eye and what are they off from. I'm trying to position my front axle so hopefully the tires don't hit. I'm going to run 31" or 33" tires not sure yet. I wasn't sure if ford springs are shorter or not? Any info will be helpful. And where did you hook your crossover steering to.

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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by SAS H3T » Mon May 25, 2009 8:53 pm

Do the front axle with coils, and you'll be able to sit it "ahead" by 2 to 3" to clear the front "cab" corners of the fenders. You may still need to trim some.
Coils ain't half the work that leafs are. Seriously.
You need a panhard/trackbar mount welded on, and you'll need to build out the frame channels to flat sides to attach your Ford Exploder coil towers to.
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...but after that, it slips in. Radius arms off of a 79 Ford (or custom fabrications) should slide right into the vacated and slightly reworked torsion bar holes.

Dean, I recently went crazy with the sawzall and cut monsterous holes for the stock 2005 GM 2500 fender flares. I had to cut out the back of the wheel wells inside in 2 "pie slice" cuts and beat the corner back. I covered all of that with custom cut galvanized sheet stock, and now they look like they were born on the truck.
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Front end will be finished soon. It's a Hummer front grille on a handmade core support and frame and fiberglassed exterior that I built here. It flips forward like the real thing and everything.
I'll try to get some pics up.
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1995 Astro
Solid axle conversion
1 ton axles
Hummer front clip

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Re: Solid Axle Swap into a 1998 Astro AWD

Post by SAS H3T » Mon May 25, 2009 9:19 pm

The early work on the flipper

Image

And a little later on the hood...

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Making my county a safer place thru active participation in local politics.
http://www.tooconservative.com - I am " The Bulletproof Monk".
Newsflash!!!! I just opened my own county political blog!!!
http://thebulletproofmonk.blogspot.com/

1995 Astro
Solid axle conversion
1 ton axles
Hummer front clip

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