Astro van cat conversion

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Deal made on the little white truck.
Real sweet cab for the kitty.
Well appointed too.
The interior needs nothing more than a very quick vacuum to be ready for prime time....

Power everything...Well almost...Seats are manual....which I like.
Windows, locks and mirrors are power
We need a set of those cool Weather tech floor mats to keep the nice blue carpet from getting skunked up.
Truck has been sitting in this garage since 2009..... Immaculate in and out.....

Need to sort out getting the tach and other gauges working with the 406 engine and old school HEI.

Should be a simple trick.....

Gonna get the rig tomorrow morning......

This is gonna be a really sweet cab for the FrankenCat

Sorting out the wiring that we don't need and want gone will take a bit of burning the "Midnight oil" but I am not worried much.

The computer will bitch....tough....

I briefly considered using the Vortec injection...Butttttttttttttttttttttttttt...I want a simple power plant with old school reliability....
 

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Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Well now.
Went to get the Blazer......
Stinking beast would not budge.

Rear brakes are stuck tighter than a Bulls azz in fly time.
Caliper pistons have skunked up and as soon as ya tough the brakes they lock up again
Both need to be replaced.....We must have brakes to move it out of the garage and his driveway to the street is steep.
So we dissolved the deal and came home.

Arrrrrrgh.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
The deal may not be out of the question.....
Had a talk with the owner last night and offered to change out the calipers.
I found a pair of calipers for $80
Likely not premium quality.....But they will get the thing out of his garage and down the hill onto my trailer.

He is very receptive...
He also decided to pull the calipers off ...thinking that he could clean them up and get them freed up....

That vehicle model has had issues with that style of caliper seazing up......
Sitting since 2009 has likely allowed the pistons to corrode badly.

So at present I am somewhat optimistic that we may move ahead.

Yesterday was not a good day....not even.....

I did not want to leave with the guy holding the $$$$ and the rig and not really having a plan.
Guy seems like a straight up fella.....but I like to be careful......

Thankfully it is only about 30 miles to get there.
If we do move ahead and go with replacing the calipers.... I want to go prepared with all the tools needed......
Everything else seems fine.....so....A quicky bolt on of the fresh calipers ...bleed out the air.....good to go..

Should have info in a day or so......
Until then....we sit tight.....

If time had been on our side we could have done this yesterday.....but..not the case....and the closest parts house only had premium calipers with pads. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Way more $$ than I was willing to cough up.....
Just needs to move the rig less than 100 feet down the drive...onto the street and then square it up with my trailer....

Not a deal where the new parts are going to have any long term benefit....
 
Last edited:

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
The deal may not be out of the question.....
Had a talk with the owner last night and offered to change out the calipers.
I found a pair of calipers for $80
Likely not premium quality.....But they will get the thing out of his garage and down the hill onto my trailer.

He is very receptive...
He also decided to pull the calipers off ...thinking that he could clean them up and get them freed up....

That vehicle model has had issues with that style of caliper seazing up......
Sitting since 2009 has likely allowed the pistons to corrode badly.

So at present I am somewhat optimistic that we may move ahead.

Yesterday was not a good day....not even.....

I did not want to leave with the guy holding the $$$$ and the rig and not really having a plan.
Guy seems like a straight up fella.....but I like to be careful......

Thankfully it is only about 30 miles to get there.
If we do move ahead and go with replacing the calipers.... I want to go prepared with all the tools needed......
Everything else seems fine.....so....A quicky bolt on of the fresh calipers ...bleed out the air.....good to go..

Should have info in a day or so......
Until then....we sit tight.....

If time had been on our side we could have done this yesterday.....but..not the case....and the closest parts house only had premium calipers with pads. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Way more $$ than I was willing to cough up.....
Just needs to move the rig less than 100 feet down the drive...onto the street and then square it up with my trailer....

Not a deal where the new parts are going to have any long term benefit....
Does the emergency brake work? I once drove from SF to LA with and emergency brake because parts were not available. You should be able to get it down the driveway.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
The E brake was stuck on too.....We were able to get that loose...As soon as ya stomped the pedal it would stick again.
We were not getting any help on this one....For sure

I just do not want to take any chances with safety....The drive is steep...Cars parked on the street and slow careful maneuvering is needed.

I am somewhat confident that this deal may still come together......
Just need to let the guy fool around for a day of two and he said he would call me....

AS I mentioned....If this was on flat ground ...we could have shoved it around, stuffed a block under the wheel to hold it....then winch it on the trailer (Come Along)

But that nasty driveway angle just makes it a no go without brakes.....

I have not given up as yet...but the ball is in the owners court for the next couple days.

We shall see.
 
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Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Just got a text from the guy with the S10 BLAZER

He decided to go buy the calipers and get things done.....
We are shooting for a Weds. pickup.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT NUMBER.

Hard to look cool in a nice neighborhood when ya do stuff like that...
I think the old fella would have been pissed if I pulled that stunt and left the black marks down the aggregate drive.

The way it's going will be fine.....Just a tad more traveling..
BUT WORTH IT.
This little rig is so clean....
Soft cushy seats.....nice carpet.
Woooo hoooo
 
Last edited:

western auto

Active member
if its just the rears vice grip the line , open the bleeder and smack them free and roll on front brakes/ either way looks like you got it sorted, should make for a much better and comfortable finished product
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Out here in the sticks....almost anything goes.....Get the tractor and a chain...or the skid steer....

City scapes require a tad more finesses ya know :lmao:

I do not want to booger up the rolling chassis if it can be helped.

The nice clean 4x4 frame with the running gear will bring good $$$$$.....

Yes indeed.
The comfort is gonna be into the 10 scale......I remember the old Spryte I ran....Plastic seats....zero creature comforts.....and noisy.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Well now

I was supposed to hear yesterday about the 98 blazer....Nothing.

Thinking we are going to return to the 85 that's down the road 3 miles. Far less hassle and sooooooo close to home.


I did not burn that bridge....so it's just a text message away and we can get going on that.

Seems the ignition keys are MIA.....Owner found the title.....

Going to have to pop the steering wheel off and pull the ignition lock cylinder out.....New one is $18 at autozone.
Anyway.
Nothing more at present....
When we start this phase I will get pics and info.......
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Well now

I was supposed to hear yesterday about the 98 blazer....Nothing.

Thinking we are going to return to the 85 that's down the road 3 miles. Far less hassle and sooooooo close to home.


I did not burn that bridge....so it's just a text message away and we can get going on that.

Seems the ignition keys are MIA.....Owner found the title.....

Going to have to pop the steering wheel off and pull the ignition lock cylinder out.....New one is $18 at autozone.
Anyway.
Nothing more at present....
When we start this phase I will get pics and info.......
Got free towing with your auto insurance, if not add it on and use it.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
I checked that out...
Vehicle MUST be registered to me...have current license plates .....The ins folks figured this game out.

I have towing, and have had for years.
Ah well.

Not sure wassssup with the owner..
I text him yesterday and asked If he would like me to come over and help with getting the brake calipers on and bled out.

He never responded.

Ah well.

Time to move on....
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
I checked that out...
Vehicle MUST be registered to me...have current license plates .....The ins folks figured this game out.

I have towing, and have had for years.
Ah well.

Not sure wassssup with the owner..
I text him yesterday and asked If he would like me to come over and help with getting the brake calipers on and bled out.

He never responded.

Ah well.

Time to move on....
150' of 1"x1"x1/8" sq tube- $200.00. or so
3- 4'x 8' sheets of 20 ga. aluminum $200.00 or so
1- 4'x 8' sheet of lexan for the windows- $ 200.00 or so
Hinges and handles $200.00 or so.
paint $ 100.00 or so
expendables/ hardware $ 150.00 or so
There you have it for around $1000.00 - $1400.00 guesstimate, you could have already built a cab that matches the machine with the time you have already spent looking for donor vehicles. I know I am harping but believe its your best option.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
YEAH......I KNOW.

Just a gluten for punishment....

Well....We shall see.
I have a couple more possibilities......
If they fall on their butt.....We may well got the fab route.

I just did not want to have to build the cab....

I have time to snoop.....Without a place to build anything indoors.....makes it a summer time thing only....
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
YEAH......I KNOW.

Just a gluten for punishment....

Well....We shall see.
I have a couple more possibilities......
If they fall on their butt.....We may well got the fab route.

I just did not want to have to build the cab....

I have time to snoop.....Without a place to build anything indoors.....makes it a summer time thing only....
The pictures I saw from your shop, a little re arranging and it looks doable over the winter. It would weigh practically nothing until you put the lexan in. Make removable floor plates from some 16 ga. aluminum and you would be styling with something that looks factory. Then over time insulate it etc. I would do a cab over design. good visibility and it leaves room for a rear deck to haul things.
 

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Actually my shop is far smaller than it looks
the rollup door is a 6 footer.
The lathe and mill take up all of the space on the one end.

Welding cant be done inside.
The bulk of the space downstairs is a 1000 sq ft apartment that was my folks and now we rent it out.
Welding would likely set the place on fire.....NOT GOOD

Ahhh yess.

My kingdom for a nice shop.
24' x 36' would be sweet with a 12 foot door.
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Just work on it on nice days and cover it outside. You likely only need 15 nice days over the winter.
 
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