GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Engine Cover

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Many of the components on your van are serviced in the same way that most conventional passenger cars or trucks are repaired. Raising the hood (to expose the engine compartment), or raising and supporting the vehicle (to expose the underbody) will allow you access to most of the components. However, because of the inherent space-saving design of a van (which moves the dash forward in the chassis (over the motor), some parts of the engine simply cannot be accessed from underhood or under the engine. Many of the mid-to-rear mounted engine components such as the distributor, spark plugs and even the air cleaner (on all carbureted and TBI models) must be accessed in a different way. Some components can be reached through access panels in the wheel wells, but in most cases your will have to remove the Engine Cover from the center of the dash in the passenger compartment. A procedure is provided for engine cover removal in this section, as it is assumed that if you are to properly maintain your vehicle, it is something you will become quite familiar with over time.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1985-89 Vehicles

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 1: On some vehicles, the air intake snorkel must be removed for access to the engine cover retaining screws



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Fig. Fig. 2: A long-handled screwdriver will be necessary to access the 2 upper engine compartment-to-engine cover retaining screws



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Fig. Fig. 3: The extension housing is freed by removing the upper bolts and lower nuts, then the cover latches can be released



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Fig. Fig. 4: Upon installation make sure the cover and rubber seal are properly positioned to isolate the engine compartment

  1. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. With a long-handled screwdriver, loosen the upper left and upper right cover retaining screws at the rear of the engine compartment. Turn the screws counterclockwise until they release the cover, but keep in mind that the screws are not designed to come out of the bracket assembly which is attached to the engine compartment opening.
  4.  

On some vehicles, the air cleaner intake snorkel will interfere with access to the cover retaining screws. On these vehicles, remove the snorkel buy carefully, but firmly, grasping it and pulling it away from the air cleaner, then by pulling it from the front air intake duct.

  1. Walk around the vehicle to the passenger compartment, then slide both front seats to their furthest back positions in order to give yourself more working space.
  2.  
  3. Remove the instrument panel extension housing retainers. There are 2 bolts at the top of the housing (which are accessed by opening the glove box) and there are 2 nuts at the bottom of the housing.
  4.  
  5. Carefully pull the extension housing outward and disengage any wiring connectors, such as the cigarette lighter. Remove the extension housing and position aside, being careful not to scratch the plastic trim.
  6.  
  7. Release the 2 latches at the bottom of the engine cover, then pull the straps off the studs.
  8.  
  9. Remove the engine cover by carefully sliding it backwards, then rotating the top of the cover to the rear and upward. Again, be careful not to damage any of the decorative plastic trim pieces and be careful not to catch any edges on the interior fabric.
  10.  
  11. Inspect the engine cover rubber seal for wear or damage. The seal MUST be replaced if there are any sings of damage which would prevent a proper seal between the engine and passenger compartments.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Lift the engine cover into the vehicle, rotate it backwards and then carefully slide it all the way forward making sure to keep the straps attached to the upper instrument panel bracket clear.
  2.  
  3. Place the cover between the engine cover locators (as shown in the accompanying illustration), then install the 2 screws from the engine compartment.
  4.  


WARNING
Before tightening the engine compartment screws or setting the cover latches, make sure the cover's rubber seal is in place. The seal is necessary to keep harmful fumes (as well as engine heat) from the passenger compartment. It should be replaced if any signs of damage or improper sealing are evident.

  1. With the rubber seal in position over the latches, secure latches at the base of the cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the 2 straps that are attached to the upper instrument panel bracket. Be sure to pull each strap tight before attaching the bracket to the engine cover stud.
  4.  
  5. Position the instrument panel extension, then engage any necessary electrical connectors.
  6.  
  7. Install the extension by carefully spreading and holding the sides while sliding it into position on the 4 locators. Secure the extension using the nuts and bolts removed earlier.
  8.  
  9. If removed earlier, install the air cleaner intake snorkel.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

1990-96 Vehicles

See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21



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Fig. Fig. 5: The instrument panel extension housing is retained by 2 nuts and 2 bolts-1990-95 shown (1996 similar)



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Fig. Fig. 6: Exploded view of the instrument panel extension housing-1990-95 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the instrument panel extension housing-1996 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 8: Loosen and remove the instrument panel extension housing upper retaining bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... then remove the extension housing lower retaining nuts



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Fig. Fig. 10: Carefully pull the extension housing forward, disengage the wiring and remove it from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 11: Engine cover heater and air duct mounting-1990-95 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 12: Engine cover heater and air duct mounting-1996 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 13: On 1990-95 vehicles, the cover heater and air duct is removed by pulling it gently downward



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Fig. Fig. 14: All 1990-96 engine covers are retained by upper brackets



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Fig. Fig. 15: Remove the bolt and loosen the nut from each cover bracket, then rotate the brackets out of the way



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Fig. Fig. 16: The upper cover-to-cowl screws and latches are the final retainers securing the engine cover



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Fig. Fig. 17: Release the engine cover latches



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Fig. Fig. 18: Loosen the captive engine cover-to-cowl retaining screws ...



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Fig. Fig. 19: Exploded view of the engine cover mounting



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Fig. Fig. 20: ... then carefully pull the cover back and remove it from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 21: With the cover removed you have access to almost all of the upper engine components

  1. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. Slide both front seats to their furthest back positions in order to give yourself more working space.
  4.  
  5. Remove the instrument panel extension housing retainers. There are 2 bolts at the top sides of the housing and there are 2 nuts at the bottom of the housing.
  6.  
  7. Carefully grasp the extension housing at the bottom, then rotate it upward and outward for access. Disengage any wiring connectors, such as the cigarette lighter, then remove the extension housing and position aside, being careful not to scratch the plastic trim.
  8.  
  9. Remove the engine cover heating and air duct:
    1. For 1990-95 vehicles, grasp the duct at the top and firmly, but gently, pull downward to release it from the dash and the engine cover studs.
    2.  
    3. Disconnect the engine cover heating and air duct from the air distributor (at the top of the duct). If equipped, remove the nuts retaining the duct to the floor studs and/or disconnect the air outlet from the rear seat ducts. Position the cover heater and air duct aside.
    4.  

  10.  
  11. Remove the bolt and loosen the nut on each of the 2 engine cover brackets, then rotate the brackets out of the way.
  12.  
  13. Release the 2 latches at the bottom of the engine cover.
  14.  
  15. Using a long-handled screwdriver to loosen the 2 engine cover-to-cowl screws (at the sides of the engine cover).
  16.  

The screw on each side of the engine cover is NOT designed to come out of the engine cover. Simply loosen the screw until the cover is free from the cowl.

  1. Remove the engine cover by grasping the bottom and carefully sliding it backwards, then rotating the top of the cover to the rear and upward. Again, be careful not to damage any of the decorative plastic trim pieces and be careful not to catch any edges on the interior fabric.
  2.  


WARNING
Because the engine cover-to-cowl screws remain attached to the engine cover, take extra care during cover removal to make sure they do not scratch and damage the rest of the instrument panel.

  1. Inspect the engine cover rubber seal for wear or damage. The seal MUST be replaced if there are any sings of damage which would prevent a proper seal between the engine and passenger compartments.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Lift the engine cover into the vehicle, then carefully slide it all the way forward making sure the rubber seal is positioned over the latches.
  2.  


WARNING
Before tightening the cowl screws or setting the cover latches, make sure the cover's rubber seal is in place. The seal is necessary to keep harmful fumes (as well as engine heat) from the passenger compartment. It should be replaced if any signs of damage or improper sealing are evident.

  1. Thread the 2 engine cover-to-cowl retaining screws, but do not tighten fully at this time.
  2.  
  3. With the rubber seal in position over the latches, press downward on each of the 2 latch assemblies and secure latches at the base of the cover.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the engine cover-to-cowl screws.
  6.  
  7. At each side of the cover, turn the bracket into position, then install the bolt and tighten the nut at the other end of the bracket.
  8.  
  9. Install the engine cover heater and air duct.
  10.  
  11. Position the instrument panel extension, then engage any necessary electrical connectors.
  12.  
  13. Grasp the bottom of the instrument panel extension then install the top into the groove first and push the bottom into place. Secure the extension using the nuts and bolts removed earlier.
  14.  
  15. Connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  

 
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