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

Post by kamenz » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:03 am

Matt fine wine's value increases over time,I hope you are not speculating along this line.
Kamenz

1998 Astro AWD Conversion

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

Post by Coyote X » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:53 am

Few minor long term updates to report.

First one is if anyone does this swap go ahead and put all new injectors and hard lines in. I just spent 3 days swapping injectors. The ABS module is completely in the way. It took an hour to do 6 injectors from the fender wells and the rest of the time was on #1 and 3. Putting the ABS module under the van somewhere else while it is apart would be much easier than doing it with the 6.5 taking up all the space. I had to take the master cylinder, ABS module, and steering shaft out to get at #1 and 3. If I had some brake lines extra I probably would not have put the ABS module back in.

I bent the floor a bit more beside the #3 injector to give me enough clearance to get the line off to replace the injector. So anyone making this swap should make sure they have plenty of clearance when fitting the motor so future engine work is easier.

I have around 10k miles on this combination now and I think running 1oz of 2 stroke oil per gallon is really needed on these engines to make the injection pump last a long time. I get around 25-28mpg driving like a nut most of the time. Towing 5-8000lbs I still get 18mpg :)

I still have not been able to get at the 1 ton suspension. I have way too many projects getting backed up for this summer so it looks like the suspension work is going to get pushed back to probably around fall. I really need to get my Geo Metro re-bodied before fall so it is warm enough to do the fiberglass work in an unheated garage. I still think from the looks of it just getting the lower arms modified to accept the larger ball joint is about all it will take to get the front end on there. I am thinking my best bet for the rear end is to have the axle narrowed and swap the 4.11 limited slip gears for 3.52 open carrier.

I am thinking of ordering the Moog CC640 springs for the front end to make it a bit stiffer. While I have the spindle off I will get some pictures of how the two spindles compare and what it will take to get them mounted.

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

Post by mdmead » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:27 pm

kamenz wrote:Matt fine wine's value increases over time,I hope you are not speculating along this line.
:muhaha:

(I missed this way back when....)
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 comple

Post by Coyote X » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:16 am

I had one minor but really annoying problem. There was a lining in the stock gas tank of some sort that didn't seem to like diesel. It ate the lining out of the tank and let it clog up the pick up sock. I am not sure if it was a factory thing or something that zeibart did way back when the van was new with the first owners. But anyone doing this swap might want to make sure the tank is clean while it is out.

Also I am getting ready to make a 6 hour trip with this van towing my Metro to Ohio. So anyone interested in seeing it in person that lives around Pymatuning state park could drop by and check it out. It is in the northeast part of Ohio. I will be there Thursday night the 21st and leave Sunday afternoon sometime.

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

Post by Mr_Roboto » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:31 pm

Coyote X wrote:I had one minor but really annoying problem. There was a lining in the stock gas tank of some sort that didn't seem to like diesel. It ate the lining out of the tank and let it clog up the pick up sock. I am not sure if it was a factory thing or something that zeibart did way back when the van was new with the first owners. But anyone doing this swap might want to make sure the tank is clean while it is out.

Also I am getting ready to make a 6 hour trip with this van towing my Metro to Ohio. So anyone interested in seeing it in person that lives around Pymatuning state park could drop by and check it out. It is in the northeast part of Ohio. I will be there Thursday night the 21st and leave Sunday afternoon sometime.
Interesting my tank didn't seem to have any sort of visible lining in it when I pulled the sender out. What color was it? Sure it's not fuel line guts? Is the "bath tub" in the middle of the tank still in tact?

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

Post by Coyote X » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:16 am

The van has been chugging along just fine. No issues for the last few months at all. Until the other day the rear end started making clunking noises when I went around a curve or accelerated hard. It sounded mostly like the exhaust hitting something. Today I lifted the van in the air to find the noise and make it quiet. On the drivers side the clamshell had tore in two and the spring was spread out sideways and the third leaf was hitting the inner fender. The passenger side had the U-bolt in good shape but the other side with the clamp that goes through the bumpstop had stripped out both bolts and that clamshell is slightly bent up. I think the replacement springs that use the fiberglass mounting setup let the spring move around a bit much for the power and weight of this van now. It isn't like I have abused it by towing 15,000lbs or anything :rolleyes:

So this weekend it is time to head to the junkyard and find a 96 up spring hanger setup and put on a proper set of steel springs instead of those replacement ones. If I can find a G30 axle with 3.54 or 3.23 gears I will get it while I am there. I don't want to use the axle I have with 4.11 gears.

If I can't find a good 14 bolt to use I will try fitting the 2.5 inch wide 2800lb capacity G30 rear springs on the 10 bolt with the astro hangers if it is possible to fit them all together.

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

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:01 am

that shouldnt be too difficult :muhaha:
Those clamshells are prone to rusting away, same with the brackets that hold the leafs to the axle.

Good luck, post some more pix..... :poke:
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Re: 1 Ton 94 Astro. 6.5L, 4l80e, 14 bolt swap project comple

Post by Coyote X » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:30 pm

Not much to post pictures of yet other than a small pile of stripped out and bent bolts. I looked everywhere the last couple of days and have not found a 96 up astro anywhere that I can get the front hangers out of. There is one more place to look but they won't be open till Monday. If they don't have anything I will probably have to just order a set from a larger junkyard out of state somewhere.

Anyone here got a spare set of hangers they will sell me cheap? :)

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

Post by Coyote X » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:49 am

Image

Finally found a set of front spring hangers so I started taking the G30 apart. I got tired of crawling around under it so I made it easier on myself.

Didn't have time to get it all apart but I got the front suspension totally removed and the back 90% free before it got so dark I couldn't see what I was doing. I will finish it up this weekend and get the springs under the Astro. I will have to get a set of 3.54 gears before I put that 14 bolt in though. I really hope it doesn't make the back end sit up in the air like 6 inches or something crazy.

I will strip the front suspension down and start figuring out what it is going to take to get those spindles mounted this weekend also if I have time.

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

Post by Mr_Roboto » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:36 am

Awaiting this. Definitely. PICS please.

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

Post by Coyote X » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:27 am

So far the van is still sitting on the lift with the rear springs out of it. The G30 springs were an inch longer on the back half so I had to hunt around and finally today found a set of springs off an S10 that match the size of the Astro main leaf. Tomorrow I will take the spring packs apart and put the G30 stack of springs on the S10 upper and hopefully it all bolts together and doesn't jack the back end up real high. I don't mind a couple of inches but if it is more than 5 I won't be able to get it out of the garage :)

So pics are coming as soon as I manage to get enough parts to do something. It gets kind of annoying around here that there are no local junk yards anymore. The ones within a couple hours of here usually don't know what stuff they have if you call and don't keep stuff long on the lot before crushing it for scrap metal.

If I have free time this weekend I will try and get something done on the front end. The fun part is going to be getting those front 1 ton springs out of the suspension now that it isn't in the van. I have a few other things I have to work on so I probably wont get to it till next weekend.

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

Post by markmitchinnh » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:51 pm

Great write up, I personally hate diesel engines but to each there own. I think the Government should make it mandatory that any diesel engined vehicle should have its injectors cleaned every 12 months. All that black smoke has to be damaging to the air quality. And the smell gives me a headache when ever I get stuck behind them in traffic.
Recently bought a 1989 Astro RS from Florida. Replaced stock engine witha 1997 5.7 vortec with TBI and replaced transmission with rebuilt 700R4 with mild shift kit.
Bought on Monday the 16th of April 2012

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

Post by Coyote X » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:51 pm

You would really hate the smoke from mine then since half the time I am running used motor oil :yikes: I am from WV so there is nothing I could possibly do to even get close to the pollution of the strip mines near me. Ever see how much black smoke comes from burning about 50 huge rock truck tires before they bury them in a valley fill. I am sure you could see the smoke from space.

So anyways, I made a set of springs up for it. It consists of the top and second leaf off an S10, The #3-6 in the pack are from the G30. It has a decent arch to it but it didn't seem that bad on the ground when I put the pack together. I put the springs in place and used ratchet straps to hold the axle on the springs just to see where it sits. Here is what it now looks like.

Image
Image

From the fender lip to the ground is 33 inches for a total lift of around 4-5 inches. That would not be bad except it is not able to get out of the garage, and the shocks and brake lines won't reach :)

The bad thing is it feels real good when you jump up and down on the bumper. I bet it would ride good on the road with the springs the way they are. If it wasn't so high I would think that it is the perfect combination of springs for the way I want it. But tomorrow I will probably take the third leaf off and see if I get a more normal height out of it.

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

Post by markmitchinnh » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:50 am

Wow the inviro people don't do anything about the tire burning? that's crazy. I am not a tree hugger or anything like that I just don't like the smell of diesels exhaust. Hell my Astro has no smog equipment and my S-10 has no cat con. I just think there are alot of diesel vehicles that should be smog checked due to the black smoke pouring out of them. Why should gasoline engined vehicles be scrutinized and not the diesel vehicles? By the way I was stationed in Virginia many years ago
while in the Army.
Recently bought a 1989 Astro RS from Florida. Replaced stock engine witha 1997 5.7 vortec with TBI and replaced transmission with rebuilt 700R4 with mild shift kit.
Bought on Monday the 16th of April 2012

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

Post by Coyote X » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:36 am

Nobody cares much about pollution around here. I guess since everything is downstream nobody thinks much about what gets dumped into the water and air. Also no regulators work after 5pm or on weekends, so it is easy to get away with pretty much anything.

I finally managed to find a good combination. So I have S10 upper and second leaf and the bottom 2 springs of the G30 with the G30 straight load spring on the very bottom. It sits about an inch to an inch and a half over what it was at. It seems pretty good but I won't know till I get a load on it how it responds to weight. Eventually I think I am going to get a new upper leaf made that is the thickness of the G30 upper and put the full stack on it and have them re-arched to get the van back down level. That way I know it can take any kind of load that will fit in the back.

Tomorrow I will get new ubolts and try and get it all assembled so at least I can drive it again. Since I had to unhook the back brakes I will probably go ahead and pull the ABS box off it and do away with them for now until I get the bigger brakes and stuff installed.

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