Astro Van with LD28

This is where we can post about our rigs, specs, ongoing plans, etc., links to pics.

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asavage
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#16

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

MT. Doesn't care about inclination, I imagine. At least, nothing under 10°.

An AT would have to be more or less level, or modify the pan & pickup.

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
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Location: Oracle, AZ

Differential ratio

#17

Post by dieseldorf » 12 years ago

Currently my project is suspended due to weather however I am already planning my next steps. While driving a few test drives I realized that my Astro has a short rear end ratio, most likely 4.11 :1 For highway cruising that is unacceptable. Now, the Astros came with many ratios, some as tall as 2.73 and I can basically choose anything I want. Here is a list:
http://www.astrosafari.net/axleinfo.htm
My concern is, what would be the most optimal ratio for fuel consumption, hill climbing, engine wear. Mean highway speed would be 65 MPH. Tire diameter is 26.5" (15" rims) and my transmission is a 4-speed manual (720 Pick-up).
I could not find my exact curb weight, the label is not readable but this is a three door cargo van with short wheelbase. After extensive internet search I came up with 3200 lbs for a van with V6 engine. I will appreciate any input from you guys. Thanks :lol:
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

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asavage
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#18

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

While I can't answer your Q, two points:

a) 3200 lbs for the Astro in stock trim seems awfully low. The Gen1 Maxima weighs within 100 lbs of that. I suspect maybe . . . 3700 ?

b) Merely swapping in a very-common 5-spd transmission, (should be pretty much the same length and shifter location) would give you overdrive, which might make your 4.11:1 rear axle ratio seem more palatable.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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dieseldorf
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Location: Oracle, AZ

Battery Install

#19

Post by dieseldorf » 12 years ago

Finally last week I installed the battery under the floor behind the passenger seat. I made a pair of new 2Ga cables. First, I was looking for ready-made cables but could not locate the right length of 49".
Image
Napa could supply me all the parts needed. It was not cheap:
Belden 2Ga Cable Red PN:736119 $3.99/FT
Image

Connector/Copper/Solder PN:728036 $1.69ea
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Battery Clamp/Solder PN:728017 $9.39ea
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Solder Pellets PN:728123 $1.84ea
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They run out of the black cable.
Not listed here is 1/2" dia shrink tubing which I had in my tool box. I assembled the cables with the help of a propane torch. Later, I went to the True Value Hardware store and saw 1Ga welding cable. This is a much better cable since it is more flexible. They also had all the hardware needed for my job. I am ready for the license plates. Next month I am doing the emission test.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

plenzen
Posts: 867
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Location: Cochrane Alberta Canada

#20

Post by plenzen » 12 years ago

I used an old pair of booster cables once for a remote battery installation. They had a messed up clip on them and the cable itself was certainly big enough ( at least 2ga.) Just bought the terminal ends and soldered them on. They were also the ones that were joined together so it was easy to tie them out of the way. They worked just fine and were cheaper than buying the cable by the foot. This part of the world you can go to any JY and find booster cables in the trunks of nearly all the wrecks. If the JY has removed them, usually if the clips are still good, then you can buy a set from them for around $5.00.

FWIW

Paul
Retired Pauly
Problem with being retired is that you never get a day off.
1987 D21-J SD25 KC
KJLGD21FN

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dieseldorf
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Location: Oracle, AZ

Wheepee!!! The Astro is street legal!

#21

Post by dieseldorf » 12 years ago

Today I got the license plates from the DMV. This trip worried me for some time. First I went to the emission test and passed with flying colors. Did not need to fill out any forms. They asked me only one question: "what's the engine displacement?". Did not even open the hood. They do not care about any EGR or anything else. What they test is the "exhaust opacity under load", read "black smoke". Once I had the certificate, it was smooth sailing. :lol:
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

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asavage
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#22

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

dieseldorf wrote:Decided to replace the 4.11 ratio differential with a 3.27 differential I got off craigslist. Combined with a set of new, smaller tires 205/70-15, as opposed to 205-75-15, it is a prefect match. Having 3.27 rear-end ratio combined with a 4 speed tranny has the benefit of keeping the drive-shaft RPM low as opposed to a taller rear-end ratio and a 5-speed tranny with over-drive.
According to the calculations I have done here:
http://www.csgnetwork.com/gearratcalc.html
and here
http://www.1010tires.com/tiresizecalculator.asp
my engine speed at 60MPH will be 2510 RPM and 2720 RPM at 65MPH respectively.
Today, I tested my new set-up. Big difference, now I can cruise in the city up to 50MPH in the third gear.

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dieseldorf
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Location: Oracle, AZ

July Update

#23

Post by dieseldorf » 12 years ago

Replaced the sliding door and two rear swing doors. Installed doors (from a Safari) have now hinged windows and tinted glass.
The van went to paint last week.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

jp litch
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Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Everywhere

#24

Post by jp litch » 12 years ago

83_maxima wrote:Nice work. Thanks for the thread.

I plan on dropping my spare LD28 into an old Jeep of some sort or a Scout. I don't want to use the Nissan tranny. Would like to mate it to a different trans that will be compatible with the 4WD.

Waiting for someone to do a swap but with an adapter plate. :D
you could use a p/u 4wd trans from a nissan

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
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Location: Oracle, AZ

ENGINE BREATHER/OIL-CATCH CAN

#25

Post by dieseldorf » 11 years ago

I looked at some air compressor oil filters but decided to build it from scratch. I was not satisfied with the throughput. It was somewhat restricted even with the inner micro-filter removed. The least expensive new filter was on sale at Harbor Freight tools for $19.90 including an oiler and pressure regulating valve. A good deal if one needs the oiler and valve. Since I have both, being cheap :D, I did not want to over-spent. I buit one from scratch. I used a 1qt laquer can that I had on hand. The rest of the parts I bought from Home Depot:
1pc. 1/2" Brass Pex Coupling SKU: 084169484352 $1.21
1pc. 1/2" Male Sweat Adapter Coupling SKU: 084169484796 $1.31
1pc. 1/4" Barb Splicer SKU: 048643071018 $2.18
They have also new emtpty 1qt cans for $2.48
Image
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This bottom drain outlet I will eventually connect to the vacuum pump oil return hose. A check valve must be used. Otherwise the catch can will fill with engine oil really fast.
Image
Image
The other parts, 90deg copper coupling and 4" pipe I had on hand.
No more intake grunge. :?
Last edited by dieseldorf 11 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Oracle, AZ

Differential Gear Ratio

#26

Post by dieseldorf » 11 years ago

During test drives around town and country it was apparent, that the 3.27 differential gear ratio was to low. Uphill drive-on was difficult, there was not enough torque. Same thing with Freeway driving. The speed would drop even on light inclines. The original 4.11 was the other extreme. So I looked at the factory differential gear ratios and taking the different tire size and vehicle weight into account, calculated a most optimal ratio of 3.73
I bought the ring & pinion off Ebay for $91.00, original GM.
The installation was done at Paden Drivetrain in Portland for $275.00, just labor.
At the same time, swaped out the 4-speed MT for a 5-speed from a ZX. However, after warm-up I hear some noise coming from the MT. But only at idle in neutral. When I press the clutch it goes away. Is it the throw-out bearing or input shaft bearing? I did use a new throw-out (chinese). Filled with Mobil1 synthetic gear oil.
b) Merely swapping in a very-common 5-spd transmission, (should be pretty much the same length and shifter location) would give you overdrive, which might make your 4.11:1 rear axle ratio seem more palatable.
Al, after all, you were right on the mark with that.
Final setup here:
Last edited by dieseldorf 5 years ago, edited 2 times in total.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

rlaggren
Posts: 541
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Location: San Francisco

#27

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

Thanks for the info. Handy w/a torch, I see. <g>

?? : What check valve you talking about? Did you mean that you must keep the existing valve (near top of the valve cover) in the circuit or that you need to add another check valve? (Didn't see one in the pics.) Or did you mean put a check valve into the drain line if you connect it to the drain from the v-pump?

Edit: Re-read it, figured it out (I think) - check valve on the drain line. You're figuring the check valve will close during running conditions to keep the PCV (generic term) flow working normally? It sorta makes sense, but check valves aren't always that reliable or sensitive. 1/2" brass gravity valves _can_ operate well and seal real tight but they depend to a great extent on the reverse pressure to do that. Possibly by mounting one with "reverse slope" so the swing gate is biased closed, you could achieve a decent seal and still have it drain when the can got a little full; I don't think you could get a spring loaded valve to open reliably to keep the can level low. But it remains to be seen what happens when it gets a little age on it and maybe gums up.

Another approach: If the can easily held, say, 6 hours of WOT running (to take a maximum time-of-use), you could run the drain through a normally open solenoid valve hooked to the "ignition" wire. The can would close while engine ran, open and drain when engine shut off.

Thanks, Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
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Location: Oracle, AZ

#28

Post by dieseldorf » 11 years ago

rlaggren wrote:Thanks for the info. Handy w/a torch, I see. <g> 1/2" brass gravity valves _can_ operate well and seal real tight but they depend to a great extent on the reverse pressure to do that. Possibly by mounting one with "reverse slope" so the swing gate is biased closed, you could achieve a decent seal and still have it drain when the can got a little full; I don't think you could get a spring loaded valve to open reliably to keep the can level low. But it remains to be seen what happens when it gets a little age on it and maybe gums up.
The drain outlet is only 1/4" dia. I had a small check-valve in mind that is often used in emission vacuum lines. However,
Another approach: If the can easily held, say, 6 hours of WOT running (to take a maximum time-of-use), you could run the drain through a normally open solenoid valve hooked to the "ignition" wire. The can would close while engine ran, open and drain when engine shut off.
this is an excellent idea. I have some Maxima solenoid valves handy.
I am working on a smaller version of that can. It is O.K for the Maxima where there is plenty of space. In my Astro is getting little crowded.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#29

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

> 1/4" check valve...

I just mentioned the 1/2" stuff because that's what I've actually worked with; also it's the most common.

You know, _maybe_ the drain and the inlet connect to (functionally pressure-wise) the same space in the engine... Might depend on which side of the control valve you put the can on. In that case you wouldn't have to worry about any check valve.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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dieseldorf
Posts: 190
Joined: 13 years ago
Location: Oracle, AZ

Catch-Can take two

#30

Post by dieseldorf » 11 years ago

I have made the catch-can much smaller, out of a spray-can. Used 1/2" copper pipe nipples and a 3/8" brass outlet.
Inlet, outlet and drain visible:
Image
oil outlet:
Image
can installed:
Image
Back view:
Image
It is light enough to be supported just by the rubber hoses.

THAT SETUP IS NOW OBSOLETE. I WENT WITH THE PREVIOUS VERSION!
Last edited by dieseldorf 8 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Astro Van with LD28 propulsion
'84 Mercedes 190D 2.2L 5-Speed Manual purchased 06/12 SOLD 06/13
'86 Ford Escort Wagon Diesel MT Sold 07-17-08

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