The first diesel Astro conversion??.

GOT THE URGE FOR BLOWING BLACK SMOKE, NEED TOWING POWER, OR JUST WANT GREAT FUEL ECONOMY? POST UP YOUR DIESEL SWAP QUESTIONS HERE.

Moderator: mdmead

User avatar
GEJ
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:50 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Rochester,NY

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by GEJ » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:50 pm

:) Well then if diesels last that much longer than gas engines,(and they do)and here in the Salt capital of the world,NYS,that would mean a converted Astro diesel owner would have to have a number of Astro bodies lined up to swap the power train into. ](*,) ](*,) That would be cheaper how???. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :muhaha: :muhaha:
Call me Gary

1985 Astro-"Ole Yellar"
1994 LT Astro
1981 Winnebago-"Baby"
12'dual axle enclosed trailer
The vendor trailer


Lead with my heart & take the hits because of it like a man.

User avatar
Kabey's Van
I sleep in my van
Posts: 692
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:35 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Victoria B.C.

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by Kabey's Van » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:53 am

If you want a return on your investment you would have to be in the market for a Maybach or an RR, then you might get a return on your investment.
Oddly, I too own a 89 Sub effectionatly known as Big Blue. I bought it in 1991 and I still drive it today. It's a tank with over 231,000 kms on it with a 350. That's a 350 gasoline engine.
It still gets about 17-18 mpg with no major repairs ever having been done.
As far as a ROI goes, it's worthless. Nobody want's these beasts anymore because of the cost of fuel.
I can only speak for myself but I have lost money on every vehicle I've owned. I may have sold a vehicle for more than I paid for it but when all things are concidered it's always a loosing proposition.
I bought a 6ltr. 04 3/4 ton GMC new for $41,000. Today it's worth about $18-20,000 so where's the ROI on that.
I had about $22,000 into my hot rod and felt fortunate to sell it for $7000 where's the ROI on that.
My point is, and I think everyone would agree, is we buy our "meens of transportation" based on what each of us can afford. Affordability includes everthing from the purchase price to operating costs and at the end of the day it gets sold for less than we bought it for.
Shear conveniance and/or joy of driving is one of the largest exspenses involved, but we forget to concider this fact during our ownership.
Peter

pengyou
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:20 am

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by pengyou » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:35 am

I, too, am considering putting a diesel into an Astro. Several folks have mentioned the Cummins 4BT but there is one drawback. At idle the engines are noisy and shake badly. Given the size, weight and availability, however, they seem to be a good choice. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do about the noise and shaking?
New owner of a 1996 Astro named "Plain Jane" - stock right now - with 200,000 miles on it and running like a champ

LiftedAWDAstro
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4430
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:35 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: New Haven, NY

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:44 pm

Yeah...stick with a gas engine! If you want it to be quiet and shake free, a Cummins 4BT or any older style low pressure injection system won't provide this. If you want power, torque, quiet and smooth you will need to look at the new common rail high pressure injection diesels.
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

pengyou
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:20 am

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by pengyou » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:13 pm

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:Yeah...stick with a gas engine! If you want it to be quiet and shake free, a Cummins 4BT or any older style low pressure injection system won't provide this. If you want power, torque, quiet and smooth you will need to look at the new common rail high pressure injection diesels.
Will these newer engines give good fuel mileage? Do you think up to 30 mpg?
New owner of a 1996 Astro named "Plain Jane" - stock right now - with 200,000 miles on it and running like a champ

ihatemybike
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2275
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Elgin, IL

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by ihatemybike » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:17 pm

The Cummins 4BT would be a close fit. A couple other diesels I've been looking into are the CRD engines from the Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee. I need to find the dimensions of them though. I believe that with proper tuning they could be good for 30 mpg hwy.
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

sketchydelux
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:14 am

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by sketchydelux » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:55 am

sup fellas

i expressly joined this forum to research for an astro diesel swap

i only have started but im fairly sure the best engine would be the 4bd1t from the isuzu npr

less vibration than the 4bt

they go for for as cheap as 1400 as much as 4

they do good in fullsize gm trucks

this guys results http://www.isuzudieselswapper.com/index.html

MPG test results are as follows: (1) 200 miles of in town driving produced 24 MPG....(2) 200 miles of interstate driving at 60 - 65 mph produced 32 MPG

the auto tranny in the astro is the 700r4 correct? he sells adaptors

271tq peak @ 1800 rpm
128 hp @ 3400 rpm

i think if you turn up the ip and add an intercooler and ,more boost maybee 200-220 hp 350-400tq

this setup in an lifted awd>4x4 swap :heart:

+1 on the shitty salt filled streets in ny im from rochester too
having problems finding a astro in my price range with rot

User avatar
GEJ
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:50 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Rochester,NY

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by GEJ » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:57 am

sketchydelux wrote:sup fellas

i expressly joined this forum to research for an astro diesel swap

i only have started but im fairly sure the best engine would be the 4bd1t from the isuzu npr

less vibration than the 4bt

they go for for as cheap as 1400 as much as 4

they do good in fullsize gm trucks

this guys results http://www.isuzudieselswapper.com/index.html

MPG test results are as follows: (1) 200 miles of in town driving produced 24 MPG....(2) 200 miles of interstate driving at 60 - 65 mph produced 32 MPG

the auto tranny in the astro is the 700r4 correct? he sells adaptors

271tq peak @ 1800 rpm
128 hp @ 3400 rpm

i think if you turn up the ip and add an intercooler and ,more boost maybee 200-220 hp 350-400tq

this setup in an lifted awd>4x4 swap :heart:

+1 on the shitty salt filled streets in ny im from rochester too
having problems finding a astro in my price range with rot

Being the fact I am from Roch,for two of the three Astros I traveled out of state and the third one came out of Buffalo.Ebay purchases for two of them.
Call me Gary

1985 Astro-"Ole Yellar"
1994 LT Astro
1981 Winnebago-"Baby"
12'dual axle enclosed trailer
The vendor trailer


Lead with my heart & take the hits because of it like a man.

Someone
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:07 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Mississauga, On CANADA

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by Someone » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:51 pm

the problem with most of the Isuzu motors is that the Turbo is usually on the drivers side, and will not fit because of the brake booster... It could be modded but would be alot of work... but a Hino 3.4L Turbo Diesel would fit like a glove... but I can not put a toyota motor in a chevy anymore than putting a chevy motor in a Toyota... just does not seem kosher [-X
'98 Mercedes E300 Turbo Diesel
'89 4Runner SAS'ed, 38.5SX's, Mercedes OM617 Turbo Diesel
'98 Suburban K2500, Cummins 24Valve, 5spd 4x4
'03 VW Jetta TDI
'78 Vette 350 4spd

www.vehiclefleetsolutions.ca

Image

Rockwerx
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:35 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by Rockwerx » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:51 am

Someone wrote:the problem with most of the Isuzu motors is that the Turbo is usually on the drivers side, and will not fit because of the brake booster... It could be modded but would be alot of work... but a Hino 3.4L Turbo Diesel would fit like a glove... but I can not put a toyota motor in a chevy anymore than putting a chevy motor in a Toyota... just does not seem kosher [-X
There is no vacuum on a turbo diesel so you would probably want to run a Hydrovac system or some other system if you wanted power brakes. There is a bit more room under the hood when you use the Hydrovac system so one of the turbo diesels that Isuzu manufactures may fit. I would not hesitate to use almost any diesel engine that would fit (there are a couple designs that I would not use).

Hopefully somebody will show us their diesel Astro combination here one day! Good luck to anyone who is working on this swap!
1988 V8 Safari Panel
1985 V8 Astro Panel
1990 V8 Astro LT AWD Lifted
1988 V6 Astro Panel
1990 V6 Astro Panel
1991 V6 Safari SLT AWD bad engine knock
19?? V6 Safari SLT for parts

pengyou
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:20 am

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by pengyou » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:04 am

is a Hino 3.4L going to have enough power? Are they very fuel efficient engines? What about vibration?

Questions, questions, questions!

BTW, I have seen more TLC's with 289's than I have with the original I6
New owner of a 1996 Astro named "Plain Jane" - stock right now - with 200,000 miles on it and running like a champ

ihatemybike
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2275
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Elgin, IL

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by ihatemybike » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:58 pm

They use a 2.8L diesel in the 05-06 Jeep Liberty. Those things weigh as much as our vans, they even give them the same tow rating. The larger Hino should be fine.
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

Someone
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:07 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Mississauga, On CANADA

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by Someone » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:55 pm

The hino 3.9(corrected, not 3.4) W04C-TI - is based on the toyota 3B 3.4L which has been in landcruisers since the late 70's

a Landcruiser with a 3BT (turbo version) is heavier than an astro and is plenty responsive, even the N/A 3B(100Bhp) has plenty of torque and does well on fuel.

I believe the Hino version is about 200 BHp and 300Ftlbs stock if you get the intercooled version (which most are), If you get an early 90's brain dead model (no computer) it could be easilly boosted up. I plan to put one in my 4Runner as soon as the 22RE explodes... I am trying but it does not want to die..
'98 Mercedes E300 Turbo Diesel
'89 4Runner SAS'ed, 38.5SX's, Mercedes OM617 Turbo Diesel
'98 Suburban K2500, Cummins 24Valve, 5spd 4x4
'03 VW Jetta TDI
'78 Vette 350 4spd

www.vehiclefleetsolutions.ca

Image

User avatar
GEJ
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:50 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Rochester,NY

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by GEJ » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:40 pm

Well guys I know with this post I might stir the pot some.I can almost not believe you are suggesting off- brand engines.Yrs past,all I have seen was some kind of Chevy diesels posted to a thread about a conversion of some sort or another.Wt????.I think given members converting all kinds of BBC's to these vans should not be a concern while swapping in a diesel.Turbo positions??.Well time and again,there is a member here that have posted a down stream turbo to resolve issues like that.Welding for that???.Sure,but I wouldn't think anyone would be involved in a swap like this without understanding that is part of the deal.I owned a high torque low hp diesel and it was cool up to 55 mph and then it didn't get-er-done.I do think you can have a V8 diesel and still get great mileage.But that is my two cents worth. :-k
Call me Gary

1985 Astro-"Ole Yellar"
1994 LT Astro
1981 Winnebago-"Baby"
12'dual axle enclosed trailer
The vendor trailer


Lead with my heart & take the hits because of it like a man.

Rockwerx
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:35 pm
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6

Re: The first diesel Astro conversion??.

Post by Rockwerx » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:39 pm

I almost did a GM V8 turbo diesel swap. It would have been what I would consider an advanced swap as it would have required a lot of fabrication. If I would have gone through with it I would have had 1 ton "guts" (axles, engine, trany and t-case) under the Astro. I do believe that it would have performed very well on fuel also.

Some more things to consider. Some diesel engine designs are somewhat "disposable" while others are made to last and also rebuild. The ones that are engineered to be rebuilt I believe to be better than the disposable ones. When I said that there are some engines that I would not use I am refering to engines from countries that we would have a hard time getting parts...Russia, China, etc.

A diesel engine with 200hp and 300ft/lbs of torque would have more than enough jam to make it a worthwhile swap. The 4 cylinder Cummins engine can be turned up to make an easy 400 ft/lbs of torque.

I like the idea of swaping in a late model computerized diesel engine. These newer generation engines run smoother, quieter, cleaner and also do very well on fuel. GM (and other manufacturers) are working on some smaller diesel engine designs that we will be seeing in the not to distant future. A late model Duramax swap would be pretty wild in an Astro! Some of my friends have Duramax trucks that will do the 1/4 mile in the 13seconds or less...so imagine that same combination in a vehicle that weighs 40% less!

The power and torque potential of some diesel engines is incredible. To get the same torque out a gas engine you would have to spend a fortune and most likely add a supercharger or turbo/turbos. Then the reliablity and durability factor usually goes way down and they do not last as long as a diesel engine.

My latest diesel mod project is now putting out over 450hp and 1000+ ft/lbs to the ground. The best part about my project is that my fuel economy has gone up with each and every modification (when I am not having fun with it!). It is pretty wild that an 8300lb truck can do sub 2 second 60 foot times!

Good luck with your swaps guys!
1988 V8 Safari Panel
1985 V8 Astro Panel
1990 V8 Astro LT AWD Lifted
1988 V6 Astro Panel
1990 V6 Astro Panel
1991 V6 Safari SLT AWD bad engine knock
19?? V6 Safari SLT for parts

Post Reply