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ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek New Reader
2/29/16 4:24 p.m.
Mezzanine wrote: Please tell me you have or will take the G6 for a drive like that... You have to. Do it for us.

Well, Mrs. ShawneeCreek (who reads this thread) just texted me

Mrs. ShawneeCreek said:

...and SWMBO says you are not allowed to drive the g6 in it's current state

So no luck there Oh, well.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/18/16 7:16 a.m.

More progress has been made. We got the front of the van on jack stands and pulled the wheels.

Then we started dissembling the front end. Bumper cover, bumper, AC condenser, radiator, battery, and anything else that was in the way.

Have I mentioned that I looked through the owner's manual and discovered that the van was originally purchased five days before Christmas 1995 in Flint Michigan? All of about 10 miles from where I purchased it. The twenty years in Michigan rust belt country really starts to show when you look under the body. Take this front strut tower for example.

There are already three significant holes and I haven't really picked at it yet. This is another reason for the change to a body swap. The G6 was from Kentucky and is 10 years newer. Very little rust on it. We also picked up the metal shelving material for the van body gantry system and started assembling it.

The cross braces are 72" wide, are rated to support 2,000 pounds per shelf. Between pulling the doors and some of the interior to lighten the body and having a gantry at the front and rear of the van I feel it will be reasonably safe. Those 72" cross braces were _just_ wide enough to clear the van. 0.75" on one side

And 1.0" on the other

Next steps are continuing to pull parts from the van body and attaching the it to the gantries. Until next time.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
3/18/16 7:27 a.m.

The gantry is giving me flashbacks. Be safe out there, keep in mind that with the body suspended over the chassis you will be working in guillotine mode a lot. I was lucky and nothing got hurt or damaged, but I did conjure up some safety measures after this.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/18/16 8:35 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: The gantry is giving me flashbacks.

It should. Your setup was the inspiration.

NOHOME wrote: Be safe out there, keep in mind that with the body suspended over the chassis you will be working in guillotine mode a lot. I was lucky and nothing got hurt or damaged, but I did conjure up some safety measures after this.

Agreed. That 1,000-1,500 pounds of suspended weight will be treated with the utmost respect. I plan to put in jack stands and secondary safety chains whenever possible. What safety measures did you conjure up?

java230
java230 HalfDork
3/18/16 10:06 a.m.

Oh how did I just see this?! Fantastic!

Carry on

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
3/18/16 10:32 a.m.

Is there a chance you can make it a flopper? No real reason...but if you're skinning the van and attaching it to the pontiac...

Ashyukun
Ashyukun SuperDork
3/18/16 11:04 a.m.

Going to have to watch this, it looks rather interesting. If I weren't already planning on using it for the DMC I'd potentially have offered to sell you the PAU's L67.

I'm curious- who/what service did you use when buying the GTP from Copart? I've never seriously looked at using them, but while the boosted L67 seems like it would be a ton of fun in the DMC there are some newer motors (like the LS4) that would put out as much power out of the box as I could make with modding it, and with the Copart being right here in town it might not be a bad place to look...

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
3/18/16 12:46 p.m.
ShawneeCreek wrote:
NOHOME wrote: The gantry is giving me flashbacks.

It should. Your setup was the inspiration.

NOHOME wrote: Be safe out there, keep in mind that with the body suspended over the chassis you will be working in guillotine mode a lot. I was lucky and nothing got hurt or damaged, but I did conjure up some safety measures after this.

Agreed. That 1,000-1,500 pounds of suspended weight will be treated with the utmost respect. I plan to put in jack stands and secondary safety chains whenever possible. What safety measures did you conjure up?

I had some lengths of roll bar tube that I would put across either the gantry or on top/through the Miata chassis and then lower the Body until some of the weight was off the lift cable. I became very self conscious of when I was working in guillotine mode.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/18/16 2:31 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun:

I found the car through Copart. Unfortunately, because the car was in Kentucky (a state that requires a dealer's license to purchase the auction cars) I had to go through a broker to purchase it. I ended up using A Better Bid. The downside is the added cost of going through both Copart and the Broker. I going from memory here, but I won the G6 for ~$650, plus ~$300 in fees from Copart, plus another ~$300 in fees from the broker. Fortunately, there are other states that Copart is in where you don't need a dealer's licence to buy their cars. See summary of requirements here by state.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun SuperDork
3/18/16 11:21 p.m.

In reply to ShawneeCreek:

Yeah, I unfortunately know you need a broker to buy from them here, that's why I was asking about what you'd used. I may have a friend from church hose husband has a dealer's license and could help me out, but I've yet to find anything that I want that badly.

grafmiata
grafmiata SuperDork
3/19/16 11:30 a.m.

Hey Shawnee, I have some rollbar tubing at my shop outside of Wayne. If you think you can use it for your gantry, let me know. I can measure the length tomorrow afternoon, if you're interested.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/19/16 4:55 p.m.

In reply to grafmiata:

I appreciate the offer, but I've got some roll bar tube in the back of the garage that I can use. It was for a roll bar for the Challenge BMW. Thank you though.

grafmiata
grafmiata SuperDork
3/19/16 9:08 p.m.

In reply to ShawneeCreek:

No problem.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/23/16 7:48 p.m.

Disassembly continues. The van no longer has seats, center console, radio, HVAC controls, steering column, or gas and brake pedals.

Until next time.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/28/16 6:08 p.m.

I had good Friday off of work and was able to work in the garage most of the day. I started by pulling the front section of the carpet. More rust was discovered:

The carpet padding was soaked with water. So this is a bit more than surface rust. I continued pulling apart the dashboard and the engineer in me nerded out a little bit. For one, the speakers in the dash had two mounting locations so that the same dashboard base could be used with different interiors in the Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette sister vans. 

Or this last bit of the windshield defroster vents. It has a rectangular chamber just before the exhaust (it's horizontal in this picture) that has two ports on it. These ports are connected by a flexible tube that loops around the vent. I'm assuming that it exists to quiet some resonant frequency or something.

And finally the blend doors in the HVAC system are all vacuum operated. The whole thing was plumbed up with multiple colors of tube that ran to this electrically controlled manifold.

Some of these might be old news to other people, but I'm a mechanical engineer at heart. I love tearing apart things to see how they work and seeing the different solutions that other engineers create to solve the same problem. Anyways, after finding all of the hidden screws I managed to pull out the dashboard and the HVAC system. This left me with a gaping hole in the firewall.

It gave me some really handy access to the pinch bolt on the steering shaft. That was the last bolt that I needed to remove before dropping the subframe. Since I don't have a car lift I had to get creative with how to drop the whole engine/transmission/subframe/suspension assembly. I started by hooking the engine crane up and supporting the assembly.

Then I pulled the four bolts holding the subframe and dropped the assembly down onto the legs of the engine crane.

Next I got the floor jack under the engine, lifted it off of the crane, and put the front tires under the subframe so that I could get my jack back out.

I was able to slowly jack up the body of the van up off of the engine.

It just barely cleared after I pulled the engine cover and the alternator.

I then woke the lawn mower from it's slumber to yank the whole thing out from under the van. It's old, but keeps on ticking.

I managed to pull the engine far enough forward that I can drop the van body back down, but not so far forward that I can't close the garage door.

Until next time.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
3/28/16 6:13 p.m.

It's a challenge car getting a chassis swap. Why wasn't the big red wrench used? Would be much quicker and easier.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
3/29/16 5:02 a.m.

Yes, a blowtorch or plasma cutter would have been a lot faster. Unfortunately, I don't have either.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
3/29/16 5:41 a.m.

Fair enough. I have to borrow oxy-acetalyne from dad.

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
3/29/16 8:05 a.m.

Looks like the Space Shuttle getting ready to launch!

Great to see I'm not the only one that uses a riding lawn mower to move car stuff around

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
4/16/16 8:37 p.m.

Disassembly of the van continues. I pulled the remainder of the wiring harness from the front of the van and bagged it up for later.

Next, I turned my attention to the back of the van. All that remained was the carpet, seatbelts, and the interior panels on the sides.

This is what I found behind everything on the passenger side. A couple of holes big enough to stick a fist through. Some other structural rust between the wheel well and floor. Also, that big collection of black is the mechanism for the electric sliding door. Not much worse than I was expecting, honestly.

Then we move to the driver's side. I removed this big, one-piece panel over the wheel well:

And discovered this:

Let me be clear, I didn't remove any metal, just the plastic interior. Almost the entire inner wheel well is gone, along with the shock tower and shock. Impressive. This led us to officially name the van: Russell (or Rusty for short). Now that the entire interior is out I can total up all of the change found in the two vehicles. $0.59 I'll take it.

The weather today was exceptional, so Mrs. ShawneeCreek came out and helped. The gas tank and the remainder of the exhaust were removed.

Then we got the back of the van up on jack stands and pulled the wheels and tires. They are less than a year old. I'll add them to the re-sell pile to make some more money back into the budget. (again, more impressive structural rust)

Overall, large sections of the underbody primarily have surface rust.

Then you look in other areas, and entire sections of metal are simply...gone. This is the inside of the driver's rocker panel under the front door. I've seen rusty cars before, but never any as bad as this. I can't believe that someone was actually driving this van like this.

Until next time.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
7/19/16 7:56 p.m.

A mere 3 months later (man time really flies when you're having fun) let's get this back up to date. I posted the engine and transmission on Craigslist and got no takers. No surprise really. 200,000 miles and 20 years old. Plan B: disassemble into like metals and sell for scrap.

Between the steel block, crankshaft, camshaft, and subframe and the aluminum heads, pistons, and (surprisingly) structural oil pan we've gotten $108 back into the budget.

We continued disassembly of the van by removing the back hatch, front doors and rear suspension. I moved one of the shop lights from the ceiling to inside to van to get some more light in the interior. You can also see the front gantry (shelf) set up in the doors.

I've also kept busy tearing down the G6 some more. The upper cap and passenger air bag have been removed. And I've trimmed down the extra sheet metal from the rear chassis.

That's enough for tonight. I'll finish catching everyone up tomorrow. Until next time.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
7/19/16 8:26 p.m.

So freaking awesome. Please feel free to lay down on us some of what you've learned as we try to build/unbuild the Ghettocet in the parking lot the night before The Challenge.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
7/19/16 8:36 p.m.

I'll be bringing a van too but not nearly as impressive.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette SuperDork
7/19/16 8:40 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: I'll be bringing a van too but not nearly as impressive.

Yeah, same. Wow.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek Reader
7/20/16 4:47 p.m.
vwcorvette wrote:
JohnRW1621 wrote: I'll be bringing a van too but not nearly as impressive.
Yeah, same. Wow.

Thanks guys. :) Sometimes I forget just how crazy this is. It sometimes just seems like that project in the garage that needs finished.

Now that most of the components have been removed from the body I began building the cross braces to lift it from. In the back I have a 1.25", 1/8" gauge square tube bolted to the latch pins for the hatch.

I test lifted the back with the chain hoist and was not happy with the bar deflecting more than an inch. So I added a reinforcing plate in the middle. Problem solved.

You might also notice the safety chains next to the pillars. They are 1/4" G-70 chains, so they are rated to a working load of 3,150 lbs with a 4 factor of safety. That should be plenty safe for a body that weighs less than 2,000 lbs in its current state (more likely less than 1,500 lbs) split between the four chains (one at each corner).

Now let's break out the reciprocating saw again! I decided to start by removing the engine bay (strut towers, frame rails, and fire wall).

Next up I finalized the cross bracing for the front gantry. Each side bolts into the upper hinge mount and latch pin. Then a cross bar is welded between the bars on either side.

I jacked up the front and pulled the front jack stands. The chains support the front well, but the body swings a little bit. I'll have to secure it when I need to get inside the body.

That's it for now. I'm off to grab a quick dinner then cut some more out of the van. The floor pan and frame rails from the B-pillar forward should be on the ground tonight. Until next time.

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