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Old 07-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 34

Work Van - '89 Chevrolet Astro
90 day: 28.43 mpg (US)

240D - '83 mercedes 240D
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Economy modding my Chevrolet Astro work van (diesel 5-speed conversion)

Hi, newbie to the forum! just wanted to start a thread on my ongoing project of maximum effeciency while still achieving maximum usability in my 1989 astro work van.

Some quick history is I use this van for property mantainence and am almost daily towing, or carrying items around, or traveling to a jobsite or back. I've had the van for 3 years, and absolutely love the early shorty vans, which are a few inches longer than a jetta, yet turn just as tight or tighter, and can tow a double axle uhaul flatbed.

For the last couple years I've been collecting parts and waiting out the epa for my eventual plan of a diesel powertrain swap. Previously the van would do at best, 19 to 22mpg, and 16 towing.

Earlier this year I got a final gas inspection sticker, and started work on the swap. The donor motor was to be a 1980 mercedes 616 4cyl diesel, which I would boost power with a 1983 turbo from a 617 motor on custom manifolds, and mate the powerplant to a 5-speed overdrive manual transmission.

I just recently completed work and am in the tweaking phase. First test run I was doing 29.4 mpg which while pleasing is unsustainable with the gearing I have, too much top end, not enough granny power for the low HP plant.
Ill be updating with periodic improvements to see what I can do for economy, but glad to join the forum! Any advice or opinions much appreciated!

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