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beanco
beanco New Reader
5/18/15 8:50 a.m.

Finally got some free time on Saturday morning. I removed passenger seat to gain access to the engine cover.

New plugs and coil wires. One plug smelled like stale gas? DANGER next picture contains blood !!!

All done and cleaning off lip where engine cover goes and it bit me. At this point I had not eaten breakfast, only coffee. I almost went down.

beanco
beanco New Reader
5/18/15 8:58 a.m.

While I had the console removed from engine cover, I decided to fix all the holes.

I already had a plastic weld kit from HF and some flexible glaze.

After breathing in some toxic fumes, I applied the glaze and sanded it smooth. It was humid, so painting is taking awhile.

I'm using Rustoleum any surface hammer paint. On the areas I used glaze, I put the paint on heavy and dabbed with a paper towel to match texture on the console. Looks good, a few more coats and should be undetectable from 10 feet away.

beanco
beanco New Reader
5/18/15 9:10 a.m.

Scored a front seat from a Ford pick up on the CL.

$50.00 and was just around the corner from my house. I plan on pulling the seat base out of my Astro parts van and mounting the two together somehow.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/18/15 9:14 a.m.

NSA Surveillance Van with appropriate stickers

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
5/18/15 7:51 p.m.

Great project! These vans are very under rated.

beanco
beanco New Reader
5/19/15 9:25 a.m.

Turned out great for a hack like me. Last night I removed front floor mat and scrubbed the floor. Nothing exciting happened.

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
5/21/15 9:32 p.m.

bean:

center console looks great

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
5/21/15 9:53 p.m.

That console turned out fantastic! I am following this thread with interest. If you have decided on a name and would like the thread title updated, let me know. I can update it for you.

beanco
beanco New Reader
5/22/15 8:45 a.m.

Big Thank You goes out to mndsm for the vans new nickname. It's better than the ones my so called friends came up with. Some weirdo gets caught with a van full of questionable items and now everyone that owns one is labeled.

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
5/22/15 6:43 p.m.

In reply to beanco:

Hey..live and learn..

JtspellS
JtspellS SuperDork
5/23/15 9:02 a.m.

This intrigues me, glad to see you found what you wanted.

beanco
beanco New Reader
6/1/15 8:05 a.m.

Here's what I did Sunday.Those aren't studs, they are headless bolts. Luckily there was enough sticking out of the head to get a hold of with visegrips. Front bolt took almost 45 minutes to remove, not much room. Rear took 15 minutes.I didn't remove exhaust manifold, just wedged it away from head. I was nervous the entire process, aluminum heads + steel bolts= disaster. Not much else to report, fixing random wires, cleaning, trying to figure out interior layout. Weather did not cooperate on Saturday, so I did not get to weld holes in roof above drivers area. This is keeping me from putting front interior back in. Maybe tomorrow ?

beanco
beanco New Reader
6/29/15 5:37 p.m.

I've made progress!!!

In between rainstorms I've managed to install carpet headliner, build some side boxes/bed supports and other various details.

beanco
beanco New Reader
6/29/15 5:42 p.m.

The plywood floor is loose right now while I figure out rear passenger seat arrangements. Speaking of seats. I took this stuff and made a swivel seat base.

pictured is a seat base out of my parts Astro van, front hub assembly out of my junk suzuki sidekick, some steel plate and some appliance rollers. Total $4.00. I chose the sidekick hub because I had it and the center hole was big enough to stuff wires through. I had to section the seat base to keep it same height as the original. The rollers are mounted on all 4 corners to prevent the base from tilting or rocking.I deleted pics somehow from build, so I will post more when I take it apart for paint.

It's a tight fit and I had to rework the door panels built in storage pocket.

picked up some grab handles from a suburban and reworked them to fit just inside rear side doors.

Here's the other side before. There is a plastic trim piece that goes against the front headliner then ends a foot back. The plan is to paint the trim pieces to match carpet. I'm using 3 different carpet remnants, so color may vary. I'm trying to use 1 roll per project. Headliner, boxes and floor. Total $ 51.00 for carpet.

84FSP
84FSP Reader
6/29/15 6:27 p.m.

Looking like a real deal van now! My bro has been dying for an awd full size.

beanco
beanco New Reader
8/17/15 12:32 p.m.

Finally got something done, I've been neglecting this project and trying to get other things done. Installed a 2"-3" lift on Saturday. Basic fullsize Chevy truck lift. New front torsion keys,blocks in rear until I can afford new springs. Ordered Bilstein shocks for front and used rear shocks from kit.

Next order of business is an alignment and new/used wheels and tires. Searching Craiglist daily for deals. Quick story about Autozone. I needed a torsion bar service tool, basically a large specialized C-clamp to remove pressure from bars. Mouth breather was wearing filthy shirt, smelled like beef and cheese. Part wasn't on picture board of loaner tool, no clue what I was talking about. TO THE COMPUTER...can't spell "torsion" = no matches found.Decides to scroll thru all parts until he comes to torsion bushing, getting warmer. Clicks on parts and sees service tool list. I'm looking right at it and he still doesn't know!!! I point to part number and he writes it on his dirty hand and disappears for a few minutes, only to return with a brand new torsion service clamp. "Still never heard of one before" he says as I try not to erupt in rage. I didn't even bother to purchase the other items I needed that day, just took clamp and shopped elsewhere. Thank you for letting me vent.

before shot

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr SuperDork
8/17/15 12:44 p.m.

MOAR!

Nice sticker!

What happened to the rear bumper?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/17/15 12:48 p.m.
beanco wrote: Some weirdo gets caught with a van full of questionable items and now everyone that owns one is labeled.

Yeah... the never-ending smart-ass comments is probably the most annoying thing about owning a van...

beanco
beanco New Reader
8/17/15 12:54 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: MOAR! Nice sticker! What happened to the rear bumper?

working on new bumper/hitch/swing away tire carrier

beanco
beanco New Reader
8/17/15 12:56 p.m.
Ian F wrote:
beanco wrote: Some weirdo gets caught with a van full of questionable items and now everyone that owns one is labeled.
Yeah... the never-ending smart-ass comments is probably the most annoying thing about owning a van...

I had to pick my daughter up at cross country practice the other night near park. She asked me not to bring the van

Wally
Wally MegaDork
8/17/15 1:48 p.m.

I was wondering if they could be lifted. it looks like the county is going to be auctioning a few off in the near future. Do you know if the truck transfer case works too?

beanco
beanco New Reader
8/17/15 2:13 p.m.

Someone on Expedition Portal swapped out the t-case from a 90's pick up. He used the one that cable shifts, not the electric. Might look into it in the future. Front diff is stronger on vans than truck. Not an easy job to convert from 2wd to 4wd, but it can be done if you can weld.

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 Reader
8/18/15 10:35 a.m.

Before we bought our Suburban I was looking at full size vans. Wish they made the 2500 or 3500 in AWD. I know you can get one converted, but the wife wasn't going for that (she wasn't going for the whole van thing in general to be honest).

Until that point I didn't know they started putting the side doors on both sides. That must make them much more convenient.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
8/19/15 9:59 p.m.
Quick story about Autozone. I needed a torsion bar service tool, basically a large specialized C-clamp to remove pressure from bars. Mouth breather was wearing filthy shirt, smelled like beef and cheese. Part wasn't on picture board of loaner tool, no clue what I was talking about. TO THE COMPUTER...can't spell "torsion" = no matches found.Decides to scroll thru all parts until he comes to torsion bushing, getting warmer. Clicks on parts and sees service tool list. I'm looking right at it and he still doesn't know!!! I point to part number and he writes it on his dirty hand and disappears for a few minutes, only to return with a brand new torsion service clamp. "Still never heard of one before" he says as I try not to erupt in rage. I didn't even bother to purchase the other items I needed that day, just took clamp and shopped elsewhere. Thank you for letting me vent.

They don't get paid enough to know anything, regardless of whether it's their job or not. Even if you ever find a parts counter person who knows anything about car parts, you're probably looking at someone who doesn't know what they're worth, because if they did they wouldnt stick around for what the parts stores pay them. In general, if you wish parts people knew more, you should wish they got paid enough to bother learning.

Cool van, btw.

beanco
beanco New Reader
8/20/15 12:23 p.m.

Yeah, I wasn't mad at the guy. If kids today can't find it on a computer, it doesn't exist. Sometimes the lack of trying upsets me. I've had up to 63 employees and only 6 are still with me.

Van progress is under way. Alignment tomorrow, bought new rims and tires (ouch)and general service. All fluids changed, brake fluid flushed and other odds and ends.

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