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WRAWRRR, BEAR CLAW!
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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering...

What are things to look for on these vans? ie: trouble spots, TSBs, care and feeding, etc.

I had a 98 S10 extended cab auto, but I think the newer gen 4.3s are a tad different. Only problem I had with that truck was the JET chip going out!! (gotta love aftermarket parts...). I also had a 91 GMC Sonoma (same as an S10) with the earlier TBI 4.3L and a 5 speed. Only thing that ever went out on that truck was the alternator, right at 70k miles. (on Xmas Day! lolol)

Not many upgrades for these vans it seems, outside of a CAI (Volant makes one) and a custom-made exhaust. Well, and a $400!!! Crane/Superchips ECU tuner.

Thanks
 

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███████
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2,662 Posts
I have a 1996 Astro and the only thing I've had a problem with is the A/C (I have rear air) The tubes tend to leak over time so I had to replace those tubes. my astro has 106 K on it and it runs GREAT !! GO for it ! and oh BTW the engines in the astro have been unchanged since the introduction of the 1996 (my van) Astro untill the very last astro (2005)
The van also takes about 68.00 to fill up But I get like 400 Miles to a tank (Highway) and 280 City so It's pretty good for being the biggest mini Van on the market


If you want go check this ENTHUSIEST Website out !
www.astrosafari.com
 

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Ho, ho, ho... Green Giant
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4,287 Posts
would this be in lieu of the green wagon?

Mike
 

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WRAWRRR, BEAR CLAW!
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Discussion Starter #4
Nope, still want the wagon.
We're going to trade the truck 'down' for the van.

Thanks for the info. I know the 4.3Ls are guzzlers (they're basically a 350 minus the 3rd and 6th cylinders, same bore & stroke). But a van would be great 'round town and on longer trips.

Especially with a 5/6 slam and rear c-notch.
 

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███████
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lol !! I've wanted to slam my astro for a while, put some budnick wheels (18's) and do a roll pan with an exhaust exit for a while !! It's gonna cost me lots tho....

(I'd rather get my focus supercharged than do the above
)
 

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Think the CA popo will mess with a housewife in a turbocharged Astro?

Think the CA popo will mess with a housewife in a turbocharged (350-v8) Astro?

er just an idea that i've seen on the net...
-bix
 

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WRAWRRR, BEAR CLAW!
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19,258 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
lol !! I've wanted to slam my astro for a while, put some budnick wheels (18's) and do a roll pan with an exhaust exit for a while !! It's gonna cost me lots tho....

(I'd rather get my focus supercharged than do the above
)
While I love billet, I'd rather put some steelies on it for now. 16x8s are only $50 a piece. Can't beat that.




Centers painted red
(van we're looking at is white)

Bix-I'd love a V8 van. I've always wanted a pro-streeted Astro.
(But an earlier model with the square headlamps)
 

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That's what I'm talking about ! Its easy to retrofit a v8 into the astro van, and a turbo system would easily make a 400-500 hp street machine.... Or you could make it a sleeper and leave it just a plane jane mover van white...
-bix
 

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My mom had a 99 and that she sold about six months ago with over 170,000 on the clock. The only two recurring problems were the alternator and the transmission seal. The transmission seal wasn't a huge problem, it just made a mess in the garage. The alternator was such a huge pain to fix when it went out, though. I hate working on mini-vans.
 

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Yeah, huge pain. I had a 97 blazer with the 4.3, exact same engine except for the remote oil filter. That thing was a breeze to work on compared to that damn van.
 

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I Now Post Stupid ****
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Me and buddy drove one of these things for his job all the time. The only complaint I found was that engine (was that the vortech engine?) was so damn weak for it's size. You'd press the gas and downshift and the thing would make tons of noise but it wouldn't be moving anywhere.
 

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The 4.3 Astro's are hands the most popular removal vehicle in the mortuary biz.

My only complaint the stupidly huge turning radius, plan on at least a 5 point turn on a residential street.

Other than that they are about as bulletproof as vans get.

We had 4, being leased we turned 2 in and got full size chevy's (Chevy don't make new astros, you have to get the GMC version) one got totaled, driver walked away (passenger was already deceased).

The one remaining has over 200,000 miles and still goes strong.
 

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Me and buddy drove one of these things for his job all the time. The only complaint I found was that engine (was that the vortech engine?) was so damn weak for it's size. You'd press the gas and downshift and the thing would make tons of noise but it wouldn't be moving anywhere.
Depending on the year, I would say it was not the engine, but the transmission programming. My dad had a 93 Sonoma, that would run like mad. Upon that one being wrecked by the dealership, he got a 94 that was an anemic dog. Same engine, albeit differnt programming on the 4L60E.
 

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WRAWRRR, BEAR CLAW!
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19,258 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Me and buddy drove one of these things for his job all the time. The only complaint I found was that engine (was that the vortech engine?) was so damn weak for it's size. You'd press the gas and downshift and the thing would make tons of noise but it wouldn't be moving anywhere.
Depending on the year, I would say it was not the engine, but the transmission programming. My dad had a 93 Sonoma, that would run like mad. Upon that one being wrecked by the dealership, he got a 94 that was an anemic dog. Same engine, albeit differnt programming on the 4L60E.
Nothing a programmer couldn't fix.
 

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Are you looking at the 2wd or the AWD astro van. The AWD system is very maitence intensive on the front end I think there are around 20 some grease fittings that if ignored can be expensive to fix.

My parents had a late '90s Astro AWD and other problems were fit and finish on the interior and I personally hated the ergonomics for the driver. No place to put your left foot other than on top of the wheel well. And the car was generally unreliable. I can't remember all the problems that we had with it but they were numerous.

I can see it being cool with a nice v8 swap, though I would stick with the 2wd version.
 
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