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Thread Like Summary
ah64pilot, Dyno_Dave, frscke1, Rusty Pancelode
Total Likes: 21
Original Post (Thread Starter)
"Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781876 09/08/2021 5:17 AM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Hello everyone! I'm new to the site, and to vans, but I'm not new to tinkering with automobiles. In fact my first love is my 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, the car I learned how to drive on and just never let go of. It's under a major renovation right now so we weren't really looking for another project but, with our second baby on the way, we needed a larger vehicle. After looking at a new Palisade we thought it might be better to get something more... Comfortable... Not to mention cheaper!

"Buckeye" is named in honor of it's original owner, now in his late 80's and unable to drive. It was originally bought as a retirement gift to himself so that he and his wife could travel to all of the Ohio State Buckeye games and to Florida for the winters. I'm glad it was garage kept and fairly well maintained, though with 101,379 miles it does have a few "needs." Here it is parked outside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky on our way home from picking it up.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

That's a story in and of itself. We found it on Friday night, August 13, 2021. I saw it on Facebook marketplace for $9800. My heart jumped and I showed my wife. Her reaction said it all, and we weren't even contemplating a van! I messaged the seller and anxiously waited for a response. At one point I even thought it was a scam... But by Saturday morning I had paid a deposit and booked flights for zero-dark-thirty Sunday morning to go get it and drive it back to Austin. What a whirlwind, but what an exciting and fun trip! We took 3 days getting back, getting to know our new van, falling in love mile after mile.

Stay tuned as I try to get caught up with everything I've already done to it... We've had it almost a month and I think I've put about 2 months work into it. You'll see ;)
Liked Replies
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #785868 4 hours ago
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Originally Posted by SDMickey
Looking good brother. I'm so far away with my powertrain swap in my 1974 G10 Shorty. Pretty sure I'm going to go with power steering pump recommendation. chevy

Steering gearbox? If you do you will love it!

It's been a while, life has taken some crazy turns lately. We went to St. Louis for my wife to audition for the St. Louis symphony. She didn't win the job, but we got a nice vacation / road trip out of it. Some pretty cool pictures too!

St. Louis Arch

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Union Station

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Hotel parking lot 😂

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
2 members like this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #783818 Oct 17th a 03:53 AM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Passing through Tulsa on our way to St. Louis and stopped for dinner. When we came out we found that Buckeye had already made a friend. Vanners are so cool!

I wish I could've met the owner, I love these sliding door conversions!

P.S. Holy shite this thing is driving great! Handles really well, low fatigue, steering is perfect for one hand or a knee... It's awesome! 8.5 hours of driving today and the little one did really well for a 17 month old. I think she complained less than mommy 😂

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
2 members like this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781897 Sep 8th a 12:41 PM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Originally Posted by kursed
Good grief, the TX hoodlums are taking over the forum! lol

I just made three trips down there over the past year myself, love visiting TX. Wife is deployed down there, and I'm disabled vet, so I got to play Mr. Mommy for 13 months. Just thankful we got to go see her some on this deployment.

Gorgeous van and looks like it's in good hands. Thanks for sharing and make sure to keep us posted on future fun and travels.

Hey thanks for your service! I'm a disabled vet as well, retired CW3, former AH64D Longbow pilot. Killeen isn't too far from us, we're in Round Rock (North Austin). If you ever need anything lmk, I love helping out fellow veterans.

There's plenty more to come as I am in the middle of the brakes overhaul and suspension overhaul. After those I'll have to cool it for a bit with the baby on the way 😅

When do I tell my wife about the LS swap? It's that a good push present? 🤣
2 members like this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782599 Sep 21st a 02:26 PM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Took it to get aligned yesterday right before our road trip to Dallas and wow! It's so much better!

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

While it was in the air I did notice the clip on weights were boogered up from hitting the control arms at lock (the guy aligning it wasn't as careful at lock as I was) so while my wife was auditioning for the Dallas symphony my daughter and I ran to discount tire to have the front wheels balanced yet again, this time with sticky weights placed in the middle of the wheel - worked like a charm.

While we were there we checked in getting a new spare tire and I'm glad we did, the pull off was dated 1994 - older than the van and only a year younger than my wife. No pics, sorry, we were in a rush to pick up momma.

But she did let us run to Mecca to grab poly upper bump stops. Overall I'm very happy with the way it turned out and am super happy with the way it drives, better than a new car. There is a little more road feel, so it ruined the cushy conversion van ride but I like it better, I'm more used to that feeling than the sloppy floating feeling from before.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
2 members like this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782221 Sep 15th a 08:46 PM
by Rusty Pancelode
Rusty Pancelode
Originally Posted by ah64pilot
Originally Posted by SDMickey
Nice van . So many nice upgrades in such a short time.
Thank you! It's hard to draw the line at what should and shouldn't get fixed / improved so I generally redo entire systems at one time. In this case it was brakes and front suspension. Looking forward to enjoying it for a while after this is done.

I hear that...
I get lost in the fun of it sometimes.
I bought a cheap Subaru to tinker with at the first of the year.
I pulled the front wheels off to check the brake pads, and by the time the wheels went back on, it had Brembo drilled rotors, Brembo pads, and sandblasted and painted caliper brackets.
Oh, and the wheels that went back on were new Sparcos.
lol
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #783786 Oct 16th a 03:33 AM
by SDMickey
SDMickey
Awesome pic Bro. The van is looking cherry, ( no joke intended ) grin
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #783806 Oct 16th a 08:56 PM
by lukester
lukester
Looks great.
1 member likes this
Re: Just spent $700 on a steering gearbox - ask me anything! #783780 Oct 16th a 12:52 AM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Went to look at a stainless roof rack yesterday, turned out to be a turd. Decided last night that I didn't need a roof rack at all and so I set out to clean up the look of Buckeye.

Before with morning dew:

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Removed roof rack and ladder. Filled bottom ladder holes by tapping them to 10-32 and installing stainless pan head bolts with rubber flat washers and a dab of ultra black.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

I also got rid of the IBS emblem (integrated belting system) cuz ain't nobody needa be riding down the road advertising IBS.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

For the top holes I just got a new strip of reflective tape and covered them after covering the bare metal with touch up paint. It wasn't too bad getting all the old stuff off but the new tape is a tad wider than the factory stuff. It looks ok I guess. Good enough until I get it painted.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Then I tapped the 7/16" holes on the roof to 7/16 - 20 and filled them with some stainless hex bolts I had laying around. I cut the bolts to 1/2" long and put a 3/8" O-ring on the bolt and a dab of ultra black. This will last until I get some 7/16" pan head bolts to make it look a little cleaner... And that should last until I get it painted in a few years and have the holes welded up.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

I'm pretty happy with the way it looks without all the jewelry.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

And how about that Central Texas sunset?

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
1 member likes this
Re: Just spent $700 on a steering gearbox - ask me anything! #783714 Oct 14th a 04:23 AM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Just had windshield replaced with old style gasket. Looks like that did the trick. I do have a drop of water on a fuse block bolt, might need to check the firewall sealing areas 😩.

Also just ordered this to deal the pop out windows in back and passenger side rear:

TRIM-LOK - 6100B3X1/8A-25 Trim-Lok Trim Seal with Side Bulb – Fits 1/8” Edge, 5/8” Bulb Seal Diameter, 25’ Length – PVC Plastic Trim with EPDM Rubber Seal, Easy to Install for Cars, Boats, RVs, Trucks, and Home Applications https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NL44VUC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apan_glt_fabc_Z754YEME2AFN86NM8GBP

And also saving this for later when I fix the rust spots at the big windows out back. Will replace with solid glass instead of T sliders: http://www.dcmco.com/dcmvangl.htm

And last but not least, got this installed today and all I can say is holy shit Batman! I feel like I'm driving a sports car. Steering is tight like you wouldn't believe, the wheel is now straight, and the feel is unbelievable. Best single improvement I've done so far. Lee Power Steering isn't cheap but they're the best in the business and I'm so happy I got one!

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782803 Sep 25th a 08:16 PM
by SDMickey
SDMickey
" The Good Ol' Days " !! lol
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782184 Sep 15th a 02:42 AM
by kursed
kursed
Gotta love frustrating junk tools. The kiddo loosing the spring in the street is hilarious though. Not to laugh at your misfortune, glad you found it, just funny because I have totally been in similar situations with mine many times. Good times man.
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782054 Sep 11th a 05:16 PM
by frscke1
frscke1
Originally Posted by ah64pilot
Well, I got some lenses in the mail and was so excited I threw them on for pics but I've got to take them off and glue the chrome trim on with some epoxy...I keep being told that they will fall off because the glue used in manufacturing isn't durable enough. So these will be coming off tomorrow to get epoxied.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

And this took all day, cutting, sanding, painting, finding fasteners at 2 different hardware stores... I'll save you the details. The grille is done:

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Goodnight smile

Love those side markers ... part of a Nomad package. again KUDO'S on the work !
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #782036 Sep 11th a 05:32 AM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Well, I got some lenses in the mail and was so excited I threw them on for pics but I've got to take them off and glue the chrome trim on with some epoxy...I keep being told that they will fall off because the glue used in manufacturing isn't durable enough. So these will be coming off tomorrow to get epoxied.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

And this took all day, cutting, sanding, painting, finding fasteners at 2 different hardware stores... I'll save you the details. The grille is done:

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Goodnight smile
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781986 Sep 10th a 04:24 AM
by Rusty Pancelode
Rusty Pancelode
Originally Posted by kursed
Good grief, the TX hoodlums are taking over the forum!... lol

Easy there, Tiger.
lol

Man, Ah64pilot...
You need to slow down a little on your van.
You're going to fix it all up in just a couple of days.
lol

Looks like it's coming along really well.
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781916 Sep 8th a 07:55 PM
by frscke1
frscke1
VAN ON ! !
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781915 Sep 8th a 07:42 PM
by ah64pilot
ah64pilot
Originally Posted by frscke1
They help keep the long wheel base in line ... no wondering, you can take your hands off the wheel and you still go the same direction, NO drifting .... unless you you want to .... lol ... so you want a 454 in your van ? Ive driven a few vans with a 350 and then drive my BBC and there is no comparison ... NOTHING like when you put your foot down and you instantantly move .
Well it sounds like I should order a set and see for myself. As for engine, I'm particular to big block Oldsmobiles... Wild Bill has a 468 that makes a measly (by today's standards) 600 hp. For the van I'm actually thinking about a turbo LS... Maybe a 5.3L. I really just wanna cruise and try to get above 20 mpg, so I would build it to do that, or come close.

If I don't do a turbo engine it'll probably be an LS3 crate motor and 6L80 or something. The sky is the limit really, just want it to be unique and fun. It's our daily family car though so I can't do THAT big of a change just yet. Gonna drive for a while and enjoy the new suspension.
1 member likes this
Re: "Buckeye" - '95 G2500 StarCraft Conversion #781900 Sep 8th a 02:27 PM
by frscke1
frscke1
What a NICE van ! ! work well done ... love that color . KUDO'S on the work preformed ..
1 member likes this
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