Astro Van V-8 Conversions
V-8 Astro Van Swap
The Astro Van V-8 swap is probably the easiest V-8 swap around. For example, there is plenty of room in front of the V-8 to run a clutch fan. The radiator and its position can remain stock. The transmission position remains stock. The driveshaft remains stock. The shift linkage remains stock. The "doghouse" over the engine remains stock. There is plenty of room around the engine so that a number of different exhaust manifolds can be used. About the only things that are not stock for this swap are the motor mounts. Stealth Conversions has designed appropriate mounts.
The easiest way to do the swap is to remove the Astro Van engine/transmission/subframe assembly as a unit. We have seen people remove the engine/transmission through the front of the van, but the engine nearly needs to be disassembled for this procedure. Follow the instructions in the factory service manual (available from Helm) for the removal procedure.
All-Wheel-Drive V-8 Swap
The 2WD Astro Van V8 mounts will not work with the All-Wheel Drive Astro Van. The All-Wheel-Drive Astro Van uses a Borg-Warner 4472 transfer case. It is a full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case that is also used in Oldsmobile Bravada, and in the All-Wheel-Drive S-10 Blazers. It was also used in the GMC Syclone and Typhoon Sport Trucks, which had 280 horsepower turbocharged and intercooled 4.3 V-6 engines. The transfer case will handle the power of 350 V-8. See our mounts.
The All-Wheel-Drive Astro Van uses the same front differential as a 4x4 S-10 Truck. To clear the front differential, the oil pan must be modified.
The simplest way to modify the pan is to use two 4.3 V6 4x4 oil pans and cut and splice them together to make it as long as a V8 pan as shown here.
More details about this swap are available in our conversion manual Chevrolet TPI/TBI Engine Swapping.