Start of My 1 Ton Chevy Astro Project


So I have had my Astro for long enough I decided what I wanted to do with it. I use it to haul a lot of stuff around and am wanting to make it able to haul and tow anything I need. The easiest way is to put a 6.5L diesel in it and the rest of the 1 ton drivetrain under it. With a reinforced frame it should be a pretty good van by the time I am done with it.

Today was spent taking the G30 van apart. I already stripped the dashboard out on it to get the extra wiring out of it that isn’t needed for the swap. So all I needed to do was drop the engine out the bottom. I figure since I wanted to keep the front suspension I might as well leave it all together and just lift the van off the front suspension. That was easier said than done but by the end of the day the motor was sitting free and away from the van.


The rest of this weekend will be just removing the last of the junk from the G30. I still need to pull the gas tank out and the fuel lines. I also need to drop the rear end and the suspension off it. I don’t have much use for the rest of the body so after I get the drivetrain out I will just haul the rest in for scrap.

The plan is to build this thing in stages. First step is get the diesel engine in it and the 4l80e. Once I get it wired up and all the dash and stuff back to normal I will probably drive it like that till spring. While I am driving it I can work on narrowing the G30 front suspension and rear axle. When I get them sized right I will put the rear under the Astro and modify the subframe to fit the G30 front under it. After they are in place I can reinforce the frame. I am not settled on what I am going to do for the frame but I am thinking of adding a 2x4 square steel tube along side the stock unibody frame. I won’t know for sure until I get the G30 parts closer to fitting in there.