Rebel's work in progress - V8 astro with Corvette IRS
Long long ago, another place, another time and when I was much younger the idea of V-8ing something different came to mind. I had done 55 Chevies, Novas and a couple of Model A Fords and my Son and I had swapped in a 350 in a couple of S-10 Blazers. What came to mind sounded very strange to many outside the van world and when I mentioned the idea to my Son, his head kind of turned sideways. You know, like when you make an odd noise around your dog and he looks you straight in the eye and twists his head trying to figure out what's going on. After a few laughs, we both got really excited about the project and started doing some research to see if any information was out there. After a few minutes on the net,,there it was, Astronut's web site with all the details of how to V-8 a Chevy Astro. So it had been done before, a good sign and after looking at the site, looked to be an easy swap. Turned out to be the quickest of any previous swaps. The wiring had been cut in many places under the dash and hood so locating all the wires and tracking down where they ended up was actually the most difficult and time consuming part of setting up my Astro with a V-8. We did take a short cut, trashed the ECM and decided to run a 650 Holley and Rob's (SafariRob) TC lockup system.
After finding the old van site, we were home free and really excited there were many others out there who had found something different to V-8. A whole big family of Astro/Safari vanners who were always willing to help with advise, parts and ideas.
Then the body and suspension mods began and at one point I thought would never come to an end. If Darren had posted one more mod I liked I had planned on hiring a hit man to reduce the left side population by one. LOL
The first major change was installing an aluminum independent rear suspension from and 84 Corvette. This was by far the biggest challenge of the entire project but thanks to many here and to my Engineer friend, Steve Godfrey in Ohio who made all the Vette brackets the structural issues were solved.
Other changes made were improving the interior appearance, Frenched the gas filler in driver door post, shaved all the way around, installed Cad. Tails, Rollpan with LED light strip on each end, filled slider door for a smoother look and Frenched the radio antenna.
The last mod came from my friend Skip when he posted his Mustang rack install. Knew I had to have one of those for sure so thanks to his fab skills, it happened.
Thanks to all who offered ideas on how to solve the IRS, wiring, lockup and many other question I had during this build. Without you guys I'd still be trying to figure out how many degrees I could be off on my driveshaft when installing the Vette rear. Man that was along time ago. Thanks again to all. Great site and even greater people.