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AUTOSTYL 370BHP GRUMMAN POSTAL VAN

AUTOSTYL 370BHP GRUMMAN POSTAL VAN – You may remember a couple of years back we featured a GT30R Boosted Mini from our friends from @speedingtube based out of the UK. Our buddy Tom reached out and asked if we were interested in featuring a Grumman Postal Van. Now I know stateside minitruckers and automotive customizers are always discussing modifying, bagging and hooking up a Grumman. Well, here is a Autostyl 370BHP custom Grumman Postal Van build to check out. Now I want one as a CarShowz “shop truck”.

I asked Tom to give us the deets and here is what they have provided…

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AUTOSTYL 370BHP GRUMMAN POSTAL VAN Details

So, where to start…. its an addiction, an affliction, I love a challenge, and I hate the mundane.

We build cool hot rods and custom cars day in day out at my shop – Autostyl, so you could say in many ways they have become the norm for us. So when it’s time to build something for myself it’s no wonder that things go in a slightly random direction!

Initially the plan was only to buy a quirky shop van to use for running errands picking up parts etc. Having missed out on a Grumman LLV US mail van years ago, when I saw this one on ebay here in the UK, I had to have it – it was an itch I’d never scratched.

Deal done, and a lift to Durham from Cornwall sorted, the long journey began, in more ways than one. The drive back was awful – the stock mail vans are shockingly bad, especially on a longer drive and 10 hours behind the wheel was enough time for all plans to go out the window, and generate a new plan….

The idea was simple – fast, low and lairy!

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The LLV is built on a Chevy S10 chassis which is easily LS swapped, so naturally I went a totally different route! Not one to mess around, I ditched the S10 frame in favour of building a chassis – mounting not only a Mercedes OM606 superturbodiesel engine, but also Mercedes running gear throughout. I Jigged all the relevant mounts, and drew them up in CAD, CNC plasma cutting the necessary tabs, brackets and mounts. The ride height and body position was then set for optimum geometry and fit, and we got it welded together.

There was no way I wanted any of the wallowing, or body roll experienced in the stock vehicle, so whilst the truck is bagged, custom Gaz adjustable gas shocks, retaining the anti roll bars and using the best bags from Slam Specialties, coupled with the Mercedes suspension make for an awesome handling set up.

We built a custom cage throughout that connects the chassis and body together to create a totally rigid assembly which massively adds to the overall rigidity.

The Nankang NS-2R semi slicks wrapped on the staggered 18” Ispiri CSRD TF’s not only look the part, but help stick the power down and keep the van planted round the corners. The hippo on stilts is long gone… this mail truck rips!

The legendary OM606 engine with a 7.7mm IP and HX35 turbo, paired with a paddle shift controlled 722.6 trans packs quite a punch, with revs more akin to a petrol motor, but torque in spades! Mishimoto radiator and fan, top mount intercooler, and trans cooler keep things under control in the heat department, while HEL Performance brake hoses, bias valve, oil lines and cooler, power steering hoses etc keep the other fluids in check.

Inside the cab, Sparco Grid 2’s and STR 5-point harnesses mounted on the cage continue the balance between comfort, function and aesthetics. The tube work in the cab recreates all the structure for a dash and centre console type arrangement, with minimalist aluminium fascias, to mount the gauges and switch gear. The only thing left of the original vehicle is the bodyshell!

LED light upgraded throughout, drilled and Cerakoted handles, mirror mounts etc. complete the functional and cosmetic upgrades.

Roll it low, slide the doors back and feel the breeze, then down change, spool it up and smash it round the twisty’s, whatever you’re doing this van never fails to put a smile on your face, and draws a crowd everywhere it goes. You won’t see another like it, thats for sure – Anthony@Autostyl

Photos – AUTOSTYL 370BHP GRUMMAN POSTAL VAN

Specifications – AUTOSTYL 370BHP GRUMMAN POSTAL VAN

Running gear:

  • Mercedes OM606 turbo Diesel engine
  • 7.7mm DPUK injector pump
  • Holset HX35 turbo on billet manifold adapter
  • 3in stainless exhaust through to 6in teardrop/slash cut outlet, PU hangers and V band clamp joints.
  • Block cooling mod
  • EGR removed
  • Rebuilt injectors, new shields etc
  • Cerakoted manifolds, pulleys etc
  • Mocal remote oil cooler, HEL performance AN fittings/hoses.
  • Mishimoto s14 radiator and twin fans
  • Mishimoto expansion tank
  • Another Mishimoto expansion tank used for washer fluid
  • Mishimoto intercooler – top mounted
  • Mishimoto trans cooler
  • Mercedes power steering, custom lines/return cooler.
  • 722.633 transmission (from s500/v8) has strongest internals, most friction packs etc
  • Flare mod undertaken,full trans service, new connector plug etc.
  • E300 torque converter and bell housing
  • Ofgear TCU with custom TPS, 5bar map sensor, external speed sensor.
  • Sparco steering wheel with quick release boss and paddle shift controls.
  • Firow propshaft.
  • Drilled and vented discs with road pads
  • HEL performance stainless brake hoses with pink PVC outer sheathing.
  • All new CuNi hardlines and flared fittings
  • HEL performance Bias valve
  • Front line lock for staging/burn outs!
  • Mercedes’ servo

Suspension:

Front and rear suspension was jigged from the e-class merc and replicated with CNC plasma cut mounts onto the chassis, and converted to airbags in the process. This means alignment/geometry is spot on, handles well, and gives a great ride quality. 

  • Slam Specialities bags
  • Airlift 3H management
  • Twin 444c black Viair compressors
  • FLO billet tank
  • 1/4 aluminium hardline throughout the system.
  • All new suspension arms and bushes.
  • Gaz adjustable dampers

Still runs anti roll bars unlike lots of bagged cars.

Wheels

Ispiri CSRD-TF’s staggered Fitment, wrapped with Nankang NS2R road legal semi slicks which are super sticky in the dry, it’s great fun! 

Interior

Custom fabricated cage, gussets and tie ins, incorporating body, chassis and strut top mounts for maximum rigidity- makes for a very stiff chassis/cage arrangement, so handles brilliantly.

  • Solid mounted body.
  • Sparco grid 2 buckets mounted to the cage
  • Pink 5-point STR 3inch harnesses mounted to the cage.
  • Custom centre console also part of the cage with custom aluminum console fascia panels.
  • Stack EGT gauge
  • Stack water temp gauge
  • Ofgear controller display
  • Accessory switch gear etc all mounted in the centre console.
  • Combo Rev counter and Speedo unit/display showing fuel level, lights, indicators etc.
  • Custom steering column and bearings
  • Ribbed rubber floor mat throughout.
  • Fuel cell mounted under the load bed, between chassis rails in the rear with access hatch.
  • HEL performance AN fittings and braided fuel hose and aluminium hardlines throughout.
  • Extended door latches to clear the cage
  • Exterior, interior handles and mirror brackets drilled
  • Handles, mirror housings and dash fascia panels cerakoted.
  • Full LED light upgrade, including all side markers, rear lights and headlights, drl’s etc.

Credit / Tags:

@autostyl, @air_lift_performance, @floairride, @slam_specialties, @mishimoto, @helperformance, @nankangtyreuk, @iwautomotive, @dimakinltd, @cerakoteik, @cerakote, @sparco_official, @stackltd, @opieoils

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An enthusiast, a Father, a Husband, and a U.S. Navy Veteran. The Creator of CarShowz a hobby gone mad and a passion for anything on wheels. Armed with a camera who knows where this journey will take me but, stay tuned, it's going to be an exciting ride!

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