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View Full Version : FINALLY! Got a new U! Southern '95 TP!



SCREECH
01-17-2011, 05:45 AM
YUP YUP YUP!!! I finally was able to find a replacement Trans Sport for my wrecked supercharged '92. I had, of late, been kicking around the notion of taking a trip south of the border and finding a Trans Sport or Silhouette that would be cleaner than what I could find in my neck of the woods. What I found was WAY beyond my expectations, and WAY less than I expected to spend! Here's the short, short version: 1995 Trans Sport, originally from Texas, then Florida, brought into Canada 2 years ago and only driven in winter this year. All power options except for rear air suspension (which I didn't want anyway). Overhead console with temp/compass, and steering wheel radio controls. $700.

I'm tired and want to get to bed, but I was too elated to not post this tonight. Here's a few quick pics:

The first stop when I got the van back home (traveled 100 miles each way to get it) was to take it to a spray booth and hose down the undercarriage:
http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/new01.jpg

The previous owner's claims that the van wasn't winter driven prior to this year are supported by the condition of the underside:
http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/under01.jpg

http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/under02.jpg

http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/under03.jpg

It's currently dark green, but I'll eventually change it to black:
http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/new02.jpg

http://screech.ws/miscpics/95trans_sport/new03.jpg

I am planning on only driving this van in the spring-fall months now, and installing the 4.9L Caddy drivetrain.

SilentWing
01-17-2011, 12:28 PM
Wow congradulations! Looks like you found a really great replacement van, talk about luck! It's a beaut, and I'm glad to hear you'll be keeping it a non-winter car because that underside is in AMAZING condition! I'm really suprised you got it for $700 too... I know you're planning on an engine swap but out of curiosity (I'm not sure if you mentioned it or not, I didn't see it) what mileage does it have on it as-is?

dcjredline
01-17-2011, 01:45 PM
WOw what a cool van for a 4.9 swap!!

occupant
01-17-2011, 02:34 PM
That's slick. I'll be very interested on the details of a 4.9 U-van swap. There's always a sub-$500 van on CL down here in need of either an engine or transmission. Like this vague ad for a $450 Lumina...

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2150231215.html

or even in running shape, a '91 Trans Sport for $700, and there's a few for $750-$900 as well...

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/2105072477.html

Any of those would make a great swap candidate. I'd prefer a Silhouette myself with the power sliding door and 3800, might make the swap easier to have the Buick engine in there to start with.

Then again I've also been toying with the idea of putting a 351W or 302 V8 and an AOD transmission into an Aerostar, or maybe play with one of the Turbo Dodge/Plymouth minivans. That and the Davidsfarm guy on YouTube has a Voyager with a VW diesel and a 5-speed, and that would get well into the 30s for mileage and still pull things around well. I like the idea of to big of an engine in a small vehicle and too small of an engine in a big vehicle. Wonder what an Ecotec and a 5-speed would be like in a plain 90-91 Lumina APV with no power options.

Duke George V
01-17-2011, 05:17 PM
Wonder what an Ecotec and a 5-speed would be like in a plain 90-91 Lumina APV with no power options.
Very unhappy. These vans are light for their size, but they're still quite portly. Curb weight is around 3600 lbs., the same as an older Cadillac Deville. If you can find one, test drive a Saturn Vue with that combination. It'll have you going gray, and the Vue is a bit lighter; weight is anywhere from 3200 to 3500 lbs.

Looks great, SCREECH. If you're not going to keep the stock engine and transmission, I'd be interested in them.

Jr's3800
01-17-2011, 07:01 PM
Screech you have my Van and I want it back.... The color Dark Teal Metallic has grown on me... The running joke at work is that they call my van Kidnapper Green( aka Candy Van ) Gotta love my Coworkers...

I have the same options as you... And for whatever reason I do have the Load Level and it works great..

A few things you should know about that 3800... 95 models only... It uses the 2170 Series II Crank, slightly lighter rods, Powered Metal Forged main caps... Series II oil pan and gasket/tray... Its a bit of a freak of nature... On mine I ported the lower intake and installed 1.8 Yella Terra Roller Rockers... Van was great... At the time due to gas prices I had the 2.97 ratio.. Did 22 MPG in town and 28 On the highway with the AC on...

The Caddy engine you want to use is a good Torque monster and will make the van fun to drive... And with a V8 Exhaust note too...

Duke George V
01-17-2011, 07:33 PM
I keep hearing good things about Yella Terra rockers, but it looks like they're based in Australia. Where did you get them? Did the van still pass emissions?

Jr's3800
01-17-2011, 07:42 PM
I bought my set of YT rockers from Intense-Racing... They still have the rockers listed on their site.. Its for 93-95 Series I Tuned Port 3800's( will also work for the 93-95 SC series I )

Should still pass emissions iirc... No emissions testing here in the Sunshine State

RIPBARNBURNER
01-17-2011, 08:10 PM
groovy! one heckuva deal

Duke George V
01-18-2011, 04:58 AM
I bought my set of YT rockers from Intense-Racing... They still have the rockers listed on their site.. Its for 93-95 Series I Tuned Port 3800's( will also work for the 93-95 SC series I )

Should still pass emissions iirc... No emissions testing here in the Sunshine State
Would they work on a 3.3 also?

SCREECH
01-18-2011, 05:00 AM
what mileage does it have on it as-is?
No, I didn't mention it - the guy had advertised it as having 190,000KM on it, but it's actually 190,000 miles, or just over 300,000km. Runs just fine, though. The guy that followed me home driving it said it had "balls". :) (can I say that on here??)


I'll be very interested on the details of a 4.9 U-van swap...might make the swap easier to have the Buick engine in there to start with.
The 4.9L should be almost a bolt-in installation since I'll be keeping the tranny and PCM from the Caddy. And there's a company called Fiero Addiction (http://www.fieroaddiction.com/store2/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_7) that makes engine mount brackets for the 4.9L so I can bolt the setup to the U-van's cradle. I won't have to fabricate much of anything, except for maybe the exhaust. As for having the 3800 in the bay vs the 3.1L TBI, I don't think it really would matter. The engine harness from the Cadillac will be modified and used for the van's harness. I may have to incorporate the large underhood connectors the van uses to quickly disconnect the engine's wiring to lower the cradle, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


I'd prefer a Silhouette myself with the power sliding door and 3800...
Originally I had my heart set on getting a Silhouette. But I would have had to spend 2-3 times the price I paid for this van, plus find a way to truck it back up from the States, AND import it into Canada myself. I'm not opposed to doing all those things, but when the van I bought came to my attention, it just seemed like the right choice. And with it being a US model, not only did I get the PSD (which many Canadian vans got), I also got the overhead console and wheel-mounted radio controls, which I've NEVER seen on a Canadian van.


Looks great, SCREECH. If you're not going to keep the stock engine and transmission, I'd be interested in them.
Really? All the way down in NV? It's got 190K miles on it ya know...


Screech you have my Van and I want it back.... The color Dark Teal Metallic has grown on me...
Hahahah, sorry. She's mine now! :) I was sorta hoping for a bright red one, but in the absence of that, this will do...until I get it painted black. ;)


The Caddy engine you want to use is a good Torque monster and will make the van fun to drive... And with a V8 Exhaust note too...
That's pretty much my motivation behind this whole fiasco. When I did the L67 in the '92 it began because the van's transmission took a dive, and so I just installed the whole drivetrain from the donor Park Avenue. In this case, I already have the Caddy as I was going to use the 4.9L for another project which I have since decided against. It therefore needs a home, and the van needs a V8. Well, it doesn't have one in it NOW, so I guess you could say it "needs" one. :)

Anyway, thanks all for your replies. I'll keep y'all posted.

Duke George V
01-18-2011, 05:16 AM
Really? All the way down in NV? It's got 190K miles on it ya know...

Yeah, really. Mine is around 181k, so it's not that much of a difference. I'd probably have them rebuilt anyway. My engine sounds like a rod bearing might be going/gone, but in true Buick V6 fashion, it keeps on trucking. I think once it warms up I'll switch to a heavier oil and see if that quiets it down a bit. And the only reason I'm asking you is because I've looked around and can't find any '95 drivetrains. I've heard that '95 is almost unique with regards to the engine, transmission, wiring and computer. Also, it's my understanding that local emissions laws state that you can't install an engine into a vehicle if it's older than the target. I couldn't legally put in a 4.9 like you're intending to, since the newest the engine could be is '94, as an example (GM switched all FWD Cadillacs over to the Northstar starting in '95).

mechanizeddeath
01-19-2011, 12:38 AM
Is it bad that I find these vans more and more attractive the more i look at them? I like my Ciera but it would be nice to have all the room in the back.

Jr's3800
01-19-2011, 12:13 PM
Its perfectly fine... They sure don't make em like this anymore... And the funniest part is the CO of Drag.... Its .30 for the Old U bodies.... I think they are pretty good looking for GM's first attempt at a Mini Van..