NEW MEMBER - CAPE COD (local owner help?)

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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:50 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA, USA

NEW MEMBER - CAPE COD (local owner help?)

Post by Rein » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:13 pm


I’ve been on this forum since 2013 but never posted - just a lurker searching for answers. As you can see from my signature lines I’m a third-time AstroSafari owner. Coming down from two Dodge B250’s in construction my needs changed and I wanted the largest van smaller than a fullsize I could find. After months of research - pulling up to AS owners on the street and asking them their opinions - I finally opted for the AS instead of all other choices out there at the time - all smaller and with shorter lifespans and less-happy owners. :) I love the 4 x 8 cargo area, small turning radius, guts when you floor that 4.3 V6, driver visibility. Still hate that small left leg footroom for the driver but life’s a tradeoff, right?

I’ve never been a gearhead (I hate to get hands so dirty I can’t clean up with a nailbrush at the end of the day - what can I tell ya?) but I’ve done basic and some more-than-basic repairs (valve job ’66 MGB at Camp Lejeune 1969) with guidance/tools over the years. I’d still prefer to earn a living some other way and be able to afford to pay a good, honest mechanic to do the dirty work. Nowadays, however, at 71 and with an extremely limited income (still working fulltime to survive) I’m forced to do as much work as I can on my own. My finances changed drastically after my ex and I went our separate ways about 3 years ago so now taking care of the entire mortage and bills - baking out of my home kitchen - forces me to teach myself diagnostics and repair what I can on my own.

My previous Safari finally died (it was on it’s last legs for at least a year and finally blew a brake line on my way to a gig a month ago) and I had to replace it fast. I’d been hunting around for a new vehicle for at least the last year and had to settle for what looked like the best condition and mileage within my budget. Unfortunately, that vehicle choice turned out to be a mistake, as the number of things wrong with it at the beginning made it all but undriveable as soon as I got it home. D’oh!!! I’ve been online for the last couple weeks learning diagnostics, trying to work out best solutions for the codes I’m getting on my FIXD device (which I now know was maybe not the best choice for an OBDII reader but that’s all I knew when I purchased it). It’s a case of doing my research but not knowing the questions to ask due to not knowing enough basic information to start with. Oi! :)

Some of the negative changes from first to second gen AS’s I’ve already discovered: doghouse attachment much less efficient, wheels 16 vs previous 15 (and I had aluminum rims and matching rubber in great shape, darn it!). Am going to miss my AWD a lot, as well as all the bells and whistles on the SLE missing on this Base van. Oh well - I rarely used anything on the overhead console except the map light, I guess. That one was also already fitted with a remote start I really appreciated on winter days when I was frantically prepping for a farmer’s market or event and got Safari warmed up and ready to go while I was still inside.

Anyhow, I’m at a place right now where I could really use some on-the-ground help, ideally another AS owner in the area who would like to assist me when i need it, give me a ride to the autoparts store when Astro refuses to idle at a stopsign or even run well enough to get out of the driveway, someone who I can reciprocate with whenever needed, etc. I’ve got basic mechanic’s tools, floor jack/jackstands, a pair of driveup ramps, Fluke multimeter, etc. Don’t have an empty garage, although that would change if I could get the junk out of it! ;-)

Sooo, if you know of someone in the Upper Cape/Mid-Cape area who’s an AS owner and might be willing to help or needs help please let me know. Also, moderators, where I should post that specific question most appropriately in case current members don’t monitor this particular section of the forum.

All photos taken by previous owner, posted in the CL ad.
2004 RWD Astro Base purchased late 2018 - 3rd time’s a charm?
2000 AWD Safari SLE purchased 2011 - hanging onto for parts and possible rebuild.
1988 AWD Safari purchased very used; replaced engine w/rebuilt; scrapped at 23 years.

Falmouth, Cape Cod, USA

I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:55 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: NEW MEMBER - CAPE COD (local owner help?)

Post by fasted48 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:11 am

Here on the south shore,Whitman. Just wanted to say hello.also a astro van nut. I,ve had four vans 93, two 96 and presently a 1985 short wheelbase base commercial. my little hot rod. Small block chevy 350 turbo 400, 2" dropped front spindles, 3" flip kit in rear. Repainted two tone, 55 chevy colors. Still a project in the woks. I'm 74 and still a gearhead. Try do do all my work that i can.

Ed Carye

my email
astro dropped.JPG

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