Thursday, May 25, 2017

lighting up the night.

one of the things I never liked about my astro was the headlights.
they were just standard sealed beam lights, but no matter what brand I tried, I was never satisfied with the amount of light and road coverage.

In 2003 I bought and installed some APC crystal clear lamps that used H4 bulbs.

these looked fantastic and the light coverage on the road at night was 10 times better.

flash forward 14 years..  one of them has yellowed horribly over time, while the other still looks bright white/silver.  the difference between the two really bugged me.

I had looked for another set, but APC parts like these seem to have all dried up.
I tried a couple of different things off of ebay... glass lenses, guaranteed not to yellow... well, the glass didn't, but the plastic chrome reflector inside it did..  and I would put the APCs back in.

I have had a set in a box out in the garage for some time, and finally decided to give them a go, so I installed them yesterday.
they have the LED surrounds on the sides of the lamp, I tied these into my marker lights/turn signals, so they will come on with the parking light, and flash with the signal.

hopefully they won't yellow over time, at least not quickly.

maybe next time I will go with LED headlights.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Cleaning

the astro didn't see a lot of road time last summer.

for the first time ever, I didn't drive it to the nats.. didn't have enough time off from work to drive there and back again, so I rode down with a friend and flew home.

This spring I decided I needed to invest a little time and money into it...

installed a new battery, old one eas 6 years old.

swapped out my rear wheels from 15x8 to 15x10, something I have been wanting to do for years.
I kept the same size tire though, 275/60/

now the tires look right, and fill out the rear wheel wells nicely.

Also upgraded the shocks... I had Tokicos that I had installed 15 years ago, I went with Bilstein this time

I still need to change the spark plugs.. anyone with an astro knows this is a pain, add to that the fact I have headers, it's even more a challenge.  hoping to get that done, as well as a few other much overdue tune-up items soon.

One thing leads to another...

2 weeks ago I swapped out my 15 year old shocks and installed Bilsteins.
I also did my oil change (amsoil) and installed my new 15x10 rear wheels, still running 275/60 tires.

Friday I took the ghost out for it's first official outing, and I discovered that the driver's side door wouldn't unlock, so I put that on my list of things to fix for Saturday.

Saturday comes, I get the door apart, and after a bit of checking, I realize the lock/latch just needs a little lubricant, and it's good as new.

I figured, while I have the doors apart, I should do more troubleshooting on the passenger side power window.  I can open/close it from the driver's side, but not the passenger side. I changed both switches last year because of this with no change in how it was working.  After quite a bit of testing, I'm pretty certain the replacement passenger switch is bad, so I ordered another.

Next, I figure since the panels are off, I should really replace the window sweeps/seals.  (you can use s10/Jimmy sweeps, just have to trim them about 1/8")

Now I really go nuts.... I decide to change the spark plugs.
Anyone with an astro knows this is a pain.  Add to the equation the fact I have headers, it's a royal pain in the ass.  I also replaced the hei module while I was at it.

Since I'm already under the van, I might as well change the transmission filter... Only been 15 years since it was last done. The pan wasn't as dirty as it was the last time, that is a good sign. New filter and 2 gallons of amsoil ATF and I'm back in business.

And lastly, I installed new LED taillights.

Took it out for a 40 mile drive, so far so good!

I had hoped to also drain the rear end and put in new lube, but ran out of time for the day.   That is easy enough that I can do it after work some day this week.

I also need to fix my fog lights, and several other little things still.
It's never ending.