Help with upfitting a Chevy Astro

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
This is for an install on a 2003 Chevy Astro cargo/utility van so aesthetics are slightly secondary. Power requirements are low; one strobe beacon, a Whelen LED arrowstick, and maybe 2-4 LIN3s in the future.


I have no idea where to begin routing power through the firewall for this. There is a grommet behind the battery for the hood release where two narrow gauge wires are run through for the alarm system, but I cannot get anything else through there. The firewall is almost all but inaccessible and I'm thinking of just running power UNDER the vehicle and come up underneath (or just behind) the driver's seat.


I also need help with figuring out where to put the TACTRL1A. While I said aesthetics are secondary, resale value ought to be maintained as much as possible so drilling a huge hole in the dash for the control harness is out of the question. Console is also not an option which makes mounting options limited. I was thinking possibly on the headliner where the cables can be tucked neatly above the driver. Any thoughts?
 

cbpdogboy

Member
May 23, 2010
1,285
Detroit, MI
Make it simple...


6 Haw Strobes/90 watt kit (2 front/4 rear)


4 Tomar Rect 14's (2 in grill/2 rear window or license plate?


1 Headlight flasher


1 Led or Strobe Beacon or Mini Lightbar


1 Handheld Siren/Light Controller (Maybe Code3 H2 Covert or a Carson?


1 Soundoff 100d Speaker


What is your budget and what equipment do you already have?
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
LOL no no, this will be for a contractor working on aerial and buried telecom lines. No siren or outrageous warning power required. Already have the beacon and arrowstick, what I need to know is how to bring the power into the vehicle! :)
 

NJEMT

Member
May 22, 2010
378
Essex County, NJ
I don't understand, u mean the only lights you are using are a single strobe and a TA?????? whaaaaat? That is crazy!


being sarcastic some people here always want more lights for everything
 

unlisted

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
7,333
NA
Solvarex said:
I have no idea where to begin routing power through the firewall for this. There is a grommet behind the battery for the hood release where two narrow gauge wires are run through for the alarm system, but I cannot get anything else through there. The firewall is almost all but inaccessible and I'm thinking of just running power UNDER the vehicle and come up underneath (or just behind) the driver's seat.
I used to have a chevy astro- trust me, I spent a good 3 hours poking around that damn firewall- buy a weatherproof electrical box wire pass through, and drill a 1/2 inch hole in the floor right behind the drivers seat- thats what I did with mine. Make sure you split loom the wires between the batt and the interior.. and use a good grade wire as well. I don't recall what I tied the wires to, but there is something running along that area, which made a excellent "anchor point" for all the added wires. I had no issue with my setup for 3 years, in Ontario weather. (Ontario weather= the worst overall of winters and summers)


For the electrical wires in my van all I did was run them to the back tucked in between the floorboard and the wall- (below the heater) but I had a passenger style interior. I'd say just split loom any wires running to the back, (or front) and get those wire holders where you screw it down to something.. and run it that way either along the ceiling edge, or the floor edge.
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
unlisted said:
I used to have a chevy astro- trust me, I spent a good 3 hours poking around that damn firewall- buy a weatherproof electrical box wire pass through, and drill a 1/2 inch hole in the floor right behind the drivers seat- thats what I did with mine. Make sure you split loom the wires between the batt and the interior.. and use a good grade wire as well. I don't recall what I tied the wires to, but there is something running along that area, which made a excellent "anchor point" for all the added wires. I had no issue with my setup for 3 years, in Ontario weather. (Ontario weather= the worst overall of winters and summers)

For the electrical wires in my van all I did was run them to the back tucked in between the floorboard and the wall- (below the heater) but I had a passenger style interior. I'd say just split loom any wires running to the back, (or front) and get those wire holders where you screw it down to something.. and run it that way either along the ceiling edge, or the floor edge.
Thanks unlisted, I decided today that's going to be the plan. It's just too damn crowded up front and I'm not prepared to start tearing down the dash just to get a freaking wire through. I think I'll do the same thing I did on my Sierra's firewall with the floor of the Astro; I cut the hole and installed a PVC threaded bushing, then threaded a locknut on the opposite end. Better than a grommet and when you're done with the vehicle, take off the locknut and thread on a cap. I think I got the idea from someone here and it is simply awesome. Wires pull through like butter and you just silicone it shut when you're done.


As for the warning power, what I have right now is adequate for the work being performed. That is, stopping at pedestals and cabinets, telephone poles, etc. for a few minutes at a time. The only warning power I need is to the rear as I rarely ever face traffic, though we are starting a FTTH conversion shortly that may see us block roads temporarily. In that case I'll be adding a pair of LIN3s to the sides of the ladder rack when the vehicle is turned sideways blocking the road (driving over fiber optic cable kinda renders it broken). The roads are primarily residential with little traffic. The arrowstick is more for those cabinets that have been placed on a busy route and I have to access it during rush hour.


I've also discovered a new friend in safety that's cheaper than lighting, looks professional, and is extremely effective. I got a roll of 3M high intensity white reflective tape 2" wide and put it across the bottom of the rear doors. It is so bright at night that I plan to ring the rest of the vehicle with it. Those truly interested in protecting themselves in traffic would do well to investigate this option. Use drivers' own lights to warn them back!


Now for my OTHER job, I have more than enough lighting on the truck for that.
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
I also think you should wear a Yellow or Orange saftey vest with proper reflective striping . It could save your life. In my EMS Squad if you go to an MVA without a vest a Suprervisor will get you in trouble. I think it should be state law to wear one. In other contries like Australia they are very strict about it for PD, FD and EMS.
 

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