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Old 07-25-2013, 12:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Another noob

Been lurking off and on for a couple years.

Don't own anything that can be considered fuel efficient, 97 Chevy Astro AWD cargo, my V6 powered tool box. I haul 3/4 ton in it daily, only drive it to/from job sites, almost always in rush hr. traffic. I do my best hypermile driving, which get's me 14.5 mpg. The other gas guzzler is a 98 Wrangler sitting on 31" BFG A/T's for 19 mpg.

I've got the notion to build a super gas sipper from scratch as soon as the stupid stars align in my favor. So the research and pre design/idea stage is underway.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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So, are you intending to retain the same cargo capacity in your upcoming build-up?

BTW have you never considered an engine swap into the Astro?
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cripple,

With vehicle weight and my load, the 4.3 is dragging 6,500 lbs down the road.
I'd like to drop a 5.3 or 5.7 in it. Others that have report better mpg. I know of a couple people that have done diesel swap's, that's a huge project, with one headache after another.


As far as my future build, I'm eyeing the XR3, with a redesigned nose, possible GT40 style doors and leaning towards a 1l Metro motor built by Jeff's geo metro www .jeffsgeometro . com

Thanx for the welcome
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forums!

Don't worry, most people don't actually consider engine swaps, it's just the standard greeting some of us like to throw around.

Let me put it another way: I was involved in an engine swap.
Once.

You are definitely right about the headaches--one taupe/blue wire connected to a slightly-lighter-tan/blue wire and the engine doesn't turn over.

EDIT: And then you spend 4 hours cursing and bleeding from the knuckles as you try to sort out what the hell is wrong with it.

As for the XR3, that certainly looks like a lot of work, but it could definitely be worth the payoff. If you do go that route, please start a thread on it!
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasen View Post
With vehicle weight and my load, the 4.3 is dragging 6,500 lbs down the road.
I'd like to drop a 5.3 or 5.7 in it. Others that have report better mpg.
It's pretty much a straightforward swap, and you can easily get an engine already bolted to the transmission, eventually getting a 6-speed one instead of the old 4-speed...


Quote:
I know of a couple people that have done diesel swap's, that's a huge project, with one headache after another.
I'm favorable to Diesel swaps, altough they're really not the easiest job ever.


Quote:
As far as my future build, I'm eyeing the XR3, with a redesigned nose, possible GT40 style doors and leaning towards a 1l Metro motor built by Jeff's geo metro www .jeffsgeometro . com
I like tricycles too. Well, you might agree with me that going from a mid-size van to a 2-seater trike would be such a radical move regarding cargo capacity. Have you already seen the thread about trailers?
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...uck-25485.html
It would be quite odd to spot a trike pulling an utility trailer (or a teardrop-shaped one to provide weather protection to the load and keep up with the aerodynamic layout of the trike), but is something worth to at least take a look.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been an active member of astrosafari.com for 4 years. their are a lot of members there that have done the v8 swap, some for power others for mpg. for a 2wd it is literally a straight bolt in, awd needs the oil pan modded to clear the front diff.

the xr3 would not replace the van, unless i get on a secure enough job site to actually leave my tools on site. it would be more of a grocery getter plus allow us some freedom to take some road trips. $4-$4.50 a gallon hits the wallet even in the wrangler.

i'm a carpenter by trade and builder/inventor at heart. in my youth i've built a couple 12.5 second cars as well as a mean corner hugging 160mph mid sized wagon. factor in some of the off the wall, construction technology envelope pushing homes i've built for some of the overly wealthy, the xr3 is right down my alley. involved, complex, lot's of room for my imagination, and just plain fun to do

like we used to say, anyone can buy a hot rod, but it takes a real man to build one
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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yes the v8 swap is pretty much a direct bolt in, with the awd the oil pan needs to be modded to clear the front diff.

unfortunately the xr3 wont be able to replace the van, at this point anyway, unless i get on a job site secure enough to actually leave them on site, and i have to many tools to trailer with the xr3. it would start out as a grocery getter and afford use the fuel savings to get out and about more, and take some road trips.

i will definitely do a build thread.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasen View Post
yes the v8 swap is pretty much a direct bolt in, with the awd the oil pan needs to be modded to clear the front diff.
One thing I'm lurking for a long time is to make a custom composite oil pan, inspired in the one of the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine which used a fiberglass one. If you would ever perform a V8 or any other engine swap into the Astro, that's something you could eventually also consider.


Quote:
unfortunately the xr3 wont be able to replace the van, at this point anyway, unless i get on a job site secure enough to actually leave them on site, and i have to many tools to trailer with the xr3. it would start out as a grocery getter and afford use the fuel savings to get out and about more, and take some road trips.
I'd recommend a teardrop-shaped enclosed trailer instead of a plain utility trailer exactly due to security concerns, not just for weather protection. Well, since you wanna take some road trips, it might still be worth to consider one to haul the luggage

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