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Old 09-11-2003, 01:13 PM   #15
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
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I'll post when done

Hi all, all post pics of the 350 installed in about two months time. I plan on doing the install myself.... wish me luck! For those with the stock v6's, I really would suggest around 3500 pounds for the van's durability and your own comfort. As I said, the Astro does just great with my boat as is (4.3, 3.43 gears, 3rd gear, 235/60's - which are just a tad shorter/wider than stock). Great little workhorse, just not as refined as the foreign vans. I wish Toyota would scale up the Scion bbx and put the Tundra v8 (with rear wheel drive) in - THAT would be a true tow van.
Marc
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Old 07-02-2004, 01:49 PM   #16
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well - it's done

Well, it took me longer than expected, but I finished my V8 Astro. Goes VERY well. I upgraded the brakes as well. I'll let you know how it tows soon, but I'm expecting that it'll be fine. Here's some building shots. First is me (about one horsepower) where the engine should be. Last one is it all installed - hard to tell anything has been changed.
Marc
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Old 07-02-2004, 04:58 PM   #17
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Nice lets see some more pics I also have an Astro it's a 1995 w 240k does not burn a drop of oil and tows my 24 '& 26 Argosy very well accept the steep hills (And not at the same time)
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:18 PM   #18
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very cool

Nice work, should be a really competent tow vehicle. Have you beefed up the tranny?
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:11 PM   #19
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WOW!...what more can I say...nice job!
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:11 AM   #20
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more to come

I'll post more pics after I hook up the trailer. As far as the tranny, I did put a big B&M tranny cooler on it, and change the fluid with the synthetic stuff. I was going to put a bigger servo in it, but the garage that did my final tune-up stuff told me that the v8 prom chip that I have will increase the line pressure in my 4l60E (electronically controlled). I'll watch the tranny temps closely though. The 4l60E is about the same as in the 1500 series trucks, so I think I'll be o.k.

I also put a high flow water cooler in, new radiator, and new heavy duty clutch fan. The van runs cooler now than before the swap. Just about everything is new. Again, I'd have loved to start with a Buick Roadmaster or other B body, but 1) the wife wasn't diggin it 2) my van was paid for. However, I did put a nice sum into it, but WAY less than a new car (or even a decent used one).

Thanks for the complements!
Marc
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Old 07-03-2004, 08:21 AM   #21
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Def. on the right track! Although I haven't replaced or modded my enginebay as you have, I have been messing with the 4L60Es cooling, gauges, etc for over a year now.

A few ideas that you may or may not have considered. One add the deep pan trans and filter kit (the same that is/was found on the 2000 Silverado). If you need the part numbers for the pan and the deep pan filter kit, let me know. The GM pan does come with a plug, though it is darn near impossible to remove. The reason I mention this is because it made sense to me to have a bit more volume of tranny fluid on call to help curtail some of the possible flash heat. It seems to have worked as I recently towed the Safari (fully loaded--6300lbs approx) up a steep one mile grade. The trans barely got to 200 degrees only after I got to the top.

Also there is a torque converter shroud that replaced the metal one that I had. It should fit on any 4L60E. What it does is simple, it has a "ram air" scoop that captures air coming from the front and circulates it around the torque converter and then out the side. It's made by Neal. It's not expensive by any means and you can see a pic of it here:

http://www.clearimageautomotive.com/...Drivetrain.htm

Click on the Neal Torque Converter Cover link on the page above...costs $59.

I can't say that these two are the sole reason my trans temps stick around 175 degrees when towing our 25' Safari, but I am happy to have them. I also recently added Water Wetter to my cooling system (one bottle). I swear between that and the LT1 160 degree thermostat, the engine while towing, even in 85 degree heat, stays plenty cool! Of course if your truck does not have reverse cooling, I might not install a 160 degree thermostat.
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:33 PM   #22
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Now THAT's a sanitary install! Well Done! Looking forward to seeing more photos.

Roger
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