1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project complete.

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

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1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project complete.

Post by Coyote X » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:08 am

Well I have been accumulating parts for a little while now. But I get a week off for thanksgiving so I might as well get started on it now.

This weekend I am stripping down the G30 donor van. Next weekend I start fitting the motor and trans into the Astro. I figure the motor and trans will be easy to get in there and get running. The few problems I am going to have are mainly the radiator and battery trays. The radiator in the G30 is 35 inches wide or so. That is going to take some effort to cram in there. Also the dual battery setup will have to be built under the van I figure. There is no way it is going to fit under the hood. Right behind the shifter rod seems like the best bet to mount the battery box. The passenger side is going to be taken up by the exhaust and in the future the turbo will sit where the cat is currently mounted. I mainly want to get the motor and trans in there now and in the spring I will upgrade the chassis to 1 ton capabilities.

ImageImage Image

I will have more pictures and stuff soon. I am really hoping to have it running with the engine and trans in by the end of thanksgiving week. But there are a million things that could keep it from working. I will know in a couple of weeks if it is going to work I suppose.

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by astrozam » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:03 pm

I'll be following along :supz:

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by mdmead » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:06 pm

Yeah, this is a cool swap! I'll be watching too.
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!

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:14 pm

I'm watching too.
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: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by lockdoc » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:32 pm

Me too! :muhaha:
Current:
01 AWD - Stock
98 AWD - Stock
Past:
93 4WD - 305 V8 - 5" lift - 31" tires
98 4WD DHC - 10" lift - 33" tires - Onboard air and Hydraulics - Snowplow
92 RWD - 350 V8 - lowered - 97 front clip
92 RWD - 350 V8 - converted to AWD - V6
91 AWD - 350 V8 - conversion van
94 RWD - 350 V8 - sons van
92 RWD - stock - sons van
93 RWD Shorty - project
89 RWD Shorty - parts van

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by T.Low » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:47 am

Cool.

You could start by posting some more pics of that killer shop you're working in. How big is that place? What the heck all ya got in there? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by Coyote X » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:18 am

All the cars stuffed in my garage are listed across the top bar of my website http://rthompson.us I have a few random projects going on :)

The garage is 40x48 with a half dirt floor and half concrete. I have been working on pouring the floor it is just slow going. I have a large area already done so I put a 2 post lift in there. I only have a 10ft ceiling so I can't lift my high top Astro that far off the ground but everything else seems to be fine. I have pretty much anything needed to build a car from the bare tube steel. The metro I built was a ground up home made car built inside the old rusted out body. With the 3 phase AC motor in that car it can get 400mpg if you drive it super careful. The funny looking car in the picture of the engine has a caddy 500 in it and is a terrifying car to drive.

I'll try and get some random pics of the garage tomorrow when I drag the G30 shell out. If nothing comes up I should be getting the last of the fuel system off it and will put the front crossmember back on and get it out of the way and clean up the mess under it. I am hoping probably Thursday I will start swapping the motor and trans into the Astro and have it running by thanksgiving.

Anyone got any tricks on getting the 16 year old bolts out of the subframe? I bet I break most of them and will have to deal with fixing them. Other than that I can't see any major reasons why the van can't be bolted together and be sitting on it's wheels in a couple of days.

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by T.Low » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:40 am

You really know how to have a good time.

Like the Manta and the DR650, too.

Looking forward to the Astro build Image
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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by Coyote X » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:02 am

Took all day but I got the old drivetrain out of the Astro. Tomorrow I will fit the 6.5 and 4l80e onto the subframe.

I would probably be able to lower the body back onto the subframe tomorrow but there are a few things I need to do while it is apart. One of the body bushings has rusted through and needs repaired and I need to take the gas tank off and put new lines on it and route them to the right place for the new engine. I also need to clean the tank out and get rid of the electric fuel pump.

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by 6spd_monte » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:48 am

Awesome!
-James

1987 LT
249,000 miles

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by giddug » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:57 pm

Very cool...subscribed. Would be great to see/hear a video when it's all together.
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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by Coyote X » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:54 am

I keep chugging along with it :)

Image Image

First thing was mounting the new motor to the old 4l60e transmission so I could use the factory trans mounting location to hold the engine in the right place. I removed the motor mounts from the frame and marked a line using the stock bolt holes as a reference so I could get the new motor in square.

I bolted the mounts to the engine and lowered it down onto the frame. I then had to move it side to side and get it level. I could use my lines I marked to make sure it was aligned properly. Once it was in the right place I put a spot weld on the mounts to keep them in the right position then unbolted them from the motor and lifted the motor and trans back off the frame.

I then just had to drill and bolt the mounts and brackets onto the frame. One bolt on the drivers side hung off the side of the cross member so the easiest thing was just weld a piece of metal on there to give it enough room to mount. It might have been possible to bend it over and mount it that way but I didn’t try it.

With the mounts in place I put the 4l80e transmission onto the motor and lowered them into place. I had to move the transmission mount back to fit the different mounting location. I had to notch the ends of the cross member slightly to clear the body bushings but it was a pretty simple job to move it back and drill new holes to bolt it down.

I still need to repair the rusted place on the frame and redo the gas tank before bolting it back into the van. It won’t be long though…

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by Coyote X » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:00 am

Got a lot done on the Van today. I got the frame patched where it was rusted badly. The fuel tank has had the pump removed and cleaned out. And I joined the subframe back up to the body.

Image
Getting the frame patched wasn’t that bad. I just used the old bent flex plate for the patch metal. It had holes in it that were a perfect match for the bushings to go through. So I cut a bit off it and welded it onto the frame. I just spot welded it on top and bent it over the sides to hold it solid. I didn’t want to weaken the frame by welding it all the way around it. I undercoated the frame good to try and keep the rust from getting to the places where bolts were removed and there were bare spots. It has made it this long without bad rust so a little bit of undercoating should get me another 16 years out of it. I think the front corner is rusted worse than the rest of it due to the battery being over top of that area.

After that was done and while the undercoating was drying the tank was dropped and the sender and pick up tube off the G30 tank was fitted on it and it was put back up under the van. I need to run new fuel lines, the old ones are pretty rusted and are in the wrong place. That should be easy to do though.

With all that done it was time to get the subframe back under the van. It took a bit of effort to line it up but it wasn’t that bad. I watched to make sure everything would clear while a buddy lowered the body down. The only parts that didn’t clear were the abs module needs moved over about an inch to the side and the lip of the doghouse drivers side opening needed bent over about half an inch or so to clear the fuel lines. Other than that it dropped right down like it was made to fit. It took a bit of fiddling to get the frame lined up and bolted back down. But now it is sitting solid with it’s new motor in there.

Image Image

Next up is hook up the driveshaft and fuel lines. Then start on the big mess of wiring. I have a ton of wires that need removed from the Astro harness. The last few things are put all the accessories back on the motor and figure out where to mount the batteries and get the radiator fit down in it somehow.

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by mdmead » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:32 am

Wow!
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!

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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project starting.

Post by dunedog » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:55 pm

You make it sound like just 'another day at the bank!' :cheers:
1999 LS AWD 3" Lift,4.10's,Snowplow,9500lb Ramsey winch

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