It isn’t often you find a minivan in the pages of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road. But then again, this isn’t your average minivan. Gabe Metzger’s ’98 Astro AWD Van has a V-8, solid axles, and coilovers. Now do we have your attention?
It all started innocently enough when Gabe added a small lift kit for some added ground clearance to get him to remote rock climbing destinations. Gabe has comfortably lived out of his van for weeks at a time, each trip a learning experience regarding which creature comfort or mechanical upgrade to add next. By now he has all of the details worked out and can enjoy his Astro Van wherever, and for however long, his travels take him.
1998 Chevy AWD Astro Van
Engine: 350ci fuel-injected V-8
Transfer case: NP231C
Front Axle: High-pinion Dana 44 with 4.10 gears and TruTrac
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch with 4.10 gears and Trac-Lok
Springs & Such: Fox coilovers and radius arms (front); leaf springs and Fox shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 32x11.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KOs on 15x8 Pro Comp steel wheels
Steering: AGR Saginaw steering box and pump, Bulletproof Steering tie rod and draglink
Other Stuff: Hydroboost, 15-gallon water tank, fridge, futon, 124-watt solar panel