Front diff swap

THIS FORUM IS FOR ANY QUESTIONS ON THE 7.25" IFS FRONT DIFF, CV HALF SHAFTS AND FRONT DRIVE SHAFT.

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Captn. Crunch
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Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:11 pm

So here they are, my trusty rusty 99 test mule and my new 03, side by side for the last time.
I swapped over the Torsen equipped cast iron front diff and tossed in a new set of remanufactured axles. I wanted to swap over the Detroit axles also but the 03’s got upgraded axles to go with the six lug hubs and bigger brakes. Hated to part with those-they were low mileage beauties. I also pulled the factory running boards off the 03 and started pulling the lower cladding from the 99 to fill in where the running boards turned up into the wheel wells. Good lord what a mess under that cladding! It was a smugglers paradise all the room up inside the rockers after the bottoms fell out. Does anyone have a pic or a part number of the clips that fasten the lower strip to the rockers?
I was hoping to also swap over the 2” aluminum body lift pucks along with the S-10 rear leafs but corrosion talked me out of that. I’ll be ordering a fresh set from SD Spring and using rectangular tubing to redo the body lift.
I recently junked my 00 BlaZr2 and pulled the np236 before the flatbed arrived so that’s going to get swapped in.
When the trans. in the 99 went out on me three yrs ago I put in a junk yard unit and had the original rebuilt by a local guy who does 4l60e’s in his sleep. Total go through-full upgrades-bulletproof. The junk yard unit never skipped a beat so I have this killer 60e wrapped in a tarp under the porch-I think it’s time it gets put to work.
I bought a gallon of Black Star Rust Converter to address the surface rust on the underside of the ‘00. I’ll photo doc. that procedure and hope to ward off the corrosion gremlins for the foreseeable future
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0418D2FC-2F25-4B81-B2DF-0A4AB352A689.jpeg
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

Captn. Crunch
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:02 pm

So the work continues...
The S-10 springs are in and 2” body lift with just 1/2” forward slide for tire clearance. I will be increasing the lift and forward slide in the next stage but I needed to get going. I needed tires desperately and couldn’t wait til I had everything perfect so I’ll put this set of Falken Wildpeaks thru hell and if they hold up I’ll go bigger when I bump up the lift to finished height.The rear shock mount mod went smoothly and I’m trying to figure out how to mod the rear spring hanger box where the rear spring eye bangs on it.
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9CB74AD2-C1CE-4236-93CA-3D122E08FD27.jpeg
9B667D06-FC59-446D-B137-AAC6A68041EC.jpeg
78FE791D-A3F7-4B35-BFF5-F78D8925ED57.jpeg
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

WE7X
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Front diff swap

Post by WE7X » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:40 am

My goodness; what an impressive shop. I am so jealous!
WE7X
Issaquah, WA
WE7X aka Rod Johnson
Forest Green Metallic '98 LS AWD
Issaquah, WA

Captn. Crunch
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:34 am

Thanks I’ll tell my brother you said so! I am very fortunate to have a brother in the biz. He keeps a very nice shop and is kind enough to let me wrench all weekend as long as I clean up after myself. Half a mile from the house, LAPS across the street next to the pizza house which is kitty corner to Dunkn Donuts. Air conditioned and satellite blues station? I am a lucky guy.
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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mdmead
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by mdmead » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:38 pm

Nice work!
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!

Captn. Crunch
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:30 pm

Thanks Matt!
I’m really pushing to get this one done. My 99 test mule never had the chance to roll down the street as a complete vehicle. I was so busy trying different and unique things like the first np236 swap and the first Torsen front diff that I didn’t pay any attention to corrosion control. Not this time!
Having done everything once before is very helpful so I’m hoping my signature will quickly grow past the list of mods on my 99.
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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doyoulikeithere
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by doyoulikeithere » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:19 am

Dude, if I had the run of that shop, I'd quit my job! ha ha
and build up my vans ! but alas, I am wishing to sell them both.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

Captn. Crunch
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:54 pm

It is a HUGE help having access to such a fine work space. Just about every tool, torches, welding you name it.
I’m sad to hear your getting away from the astro scene but you’ve been a stalwart member of the society for many years and no one could blame you for calling it a day.
I would LOVE to talk to you about your five speed 4x4, if it weren’t for having the full width of North America separating us I’d be on my way. Id love to see some pics if you don’t mind, maybe I could talk mamma into it!
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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timelessbeing
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by timelessbeing » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:42 am

How do you achieve the forward slide?

Captn. Crunch
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by Captn. Crunch » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:32 am

I copied lumpdog on that one. He used rectangular steel tubing for his lift, 3”x5” iirc. I used 2”x3” because I had a chunk leaning against the shed and didn’t need to do the steering shaft. I drilled straight thu and then drilled another hole 1/2” forward on just one side. Deburring tool to dress it up. You use two short bolts instead of one long one. Installed the spacers with the single hole toward the clip( just to be uniform) and slid the clip forward before tightening down the second one. Lumpdog slid 1.5” but also swapped in an np246 which is that much longer than the 136/236. The 1/2” gave me room at the rear of the front wheel well for the Wildpeaks with no cutting or hammering, and it’s a small enough slide that the driveshaft doesn’t care.
Here’s the link
https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=118657
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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timelessbeing
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Re: Front diff swap

Post by timelessbeing » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:32 am

Neat trick.
I would add something to prevent the box tube collapsing from lateral load.

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