The 6.5L Diesel Astro is Now Complete.

Today was a pretty easy day of working on the van. Just finishing up and putting the last things together.

First thing was getting the fans on it and the final tweaks to the radiator position. Once the position was figured out and the last bits of metal that were in the way were cut and nothing was going to rub against the radiator then it was just a matter of bolting the fans into place. After that the two transmission coolers and the engine oil cooler could be mounted and the grille put back on.

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There is plenty of space between the fan and the water pump. At least if you consider a half inch plenty of space.

The shifter rod needed a bit of adjustment with a sledgehammer to bend the bracket an inch or so back. It would bind when going lower than OD and it was impossible to get it in 1st gear before bending it. The doghouse took a little bit of effort but it was mainly just get the side that needed bent a little bit back to the right shape so it would slide over it. The problem with the battery isolator was found and fixed so now it charges all three batteries but when it is on accessory it just runs off the deep cycle battery in the back. It starts on the two primary batteries like any other diesel.

It is pretty much ready to drive now. I need to make a shield for the battery under the body to keep road spray off it and put the spring expanders on the front springs to get it sitting level again. Other than that it is complete and just needs washed and vacuumed out. If I can find a truck water neck to make the upper hose lay in the right place it will even look totally stock..


If the weather gets a bit better I will clean it up and get some final pictures of everything as well as some videos of it driving. So far the forecast calls for a nice day Thursday. We tried making a video tonight of it but the rain was making so much noise on the metal roof it was hard to hear anything other than the rain.

2 Responses to “The 6.5L Diesel Astro is Now Complete.”

  1. hi, I was wondering what your 6.5l diesel astro gets for fuel milage? I did have a tpi 350 powered astro for a while

  2. Normal driving keeping it around 65mph or so gets me about 25mpg. If I would drive it easy and really try to get good mileage I bet I could get 30mpg. I hauled a 2500lb car with an 1800lb trailer 500 miles and got 19mpg for the trip with speed limits mostly at 55.

    So considering the 4.3 it had only usually got around 20mpg I ended up being about the same cost per mile unloaded since diesel is more expensive. But, I have way more power now than any astro really should ever have. I managed to tear the rear suspension clamshell mounts apart trying to do a 0-60 time in it. 🙂