July 6, 2020

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New Guy- Boise ID

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gunther
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New Guy- Boise ID

Post by gunther » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:55 pm

Hello all! Been lurking around here a bit just gathering information on these vans although sadly I am not an owner... yet.

I started yearning for an AWD Astro probably about a year ago and was just about to dig my heels into a search when a local mechanic advised me to steer clear with a laundry list of issues he’d seen them have. I was heart broken. Time passed and I looked for something else that I could learn to like but my eyes just kept falling on Astros. So I started to really do some research and discovered entire communities that love these vans. I decided to go for it but also made a vow to myself that if I were going to get one of these vans, I would learn as much as I could about them and car mechanics in general as I could. Very interesting stuff. Anyway, I’m very excited to be here and look forward to picking y’all’s brains

-gunther in Boise
1993 Awd Astro LT 262 ci V6 4.3L CPI

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timelessbeing
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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:06 pm

Welcome to our community.

Maybe you can post the laundry list here so we can address some of those issues. Like any vehicle, they have their weak spots, but I wouldn't say the issues warrant steering clear. Do steer clear of transition model years though. However, being discontinued for 17 years now, I personally wouldn't consider one unless it was in immaculate condition for a very reasonable price.

gunther
I am merely driving my van
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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by gunther » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:23 pm

Thanks for the welcome!

As far as I can recall he mostly spoke of their transfer cases being shotty so I’ve tried to look into this a lot. I think at this point I’m drawn to a Gen1 because I really like the idea of the mechanical TCs instead of the electronic ones in the later models. Right now I’ve got my eye on a ‘93 awd that’s nearby with about 150,xxx miles on it. It very recently came down with a crank/no start and because of this has dropped the price down to $500. I still want to go look at it but I’m a little skeptical. I’ve done some research on what could cause that and how to work on things like the distributor but I’m still not sure if this van is where I should start.
1993 Awd Astro LT 262 ci V6 4.3L CPI

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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by Captn. Crunch » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:38 pm

Welcome Gunther
GM sold a million of these vans over the years so that tells you something. They are a very easy vehicle to fall in love with. They ride nice, they hauland tow well. You can pack em full of all manner of kids and critters. The 4.3 is a stout hearted engine that will go 300,000 miles with oil changes and a good radiator.
The first gen. AWD’s did use the Borg Warner 4472 transfer case and they were excellent. Unfortunately the heart of the thing-the viscous coupling is no longer available. I would think that an adapter plate, a newer style manual tc such as the np231 could be swapped in giving the Van 2hi/4hi and 4lo in place of AWD
GEN. 2 vans used the np136 electronic tc. There are some drawbacks but they work seamlessly. The 136 can also be swapped out for the 231 for manual control, or you can keep the electronics and upgrade to the np236 or even the 246.
All this can be found in the drive train section under transfer cases. I have more than a few posts there myself in regards to these swaps.
The 4.3 is famous for its no starts. It’s usually the cool or the crank position sensor. Just spend a few minutes reading in the engine section and marvel at all the no start posts. Most are an easy fix once you are familiar with the 4.3.
You can’t really go wrong for $500. Just remember these things are addictive!
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

gunther
I am merely driving my van
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by gunther » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:25 am

I looked into the viscous coupler a few days ago and came across this:

https://cobratransmission.com/bw-1372-b ... 55005039-1

I have no idea about who makes good parts and who doesn’t but this seems like it would work?
1993 Awd Astro LT 262 ci V6 4.3L CPI

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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by timelessbeing » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:25 am

- The viscous couplings do eventually wear out as expected. They are not serviceable. You need to replace the whole unit, as you have discovered.
- On the electric ones, the first thing to go out is the shift(encoder) motors. It's an easy enough job to replace, as long as you can find parts.
Either way, AWD is going to add to your costs/time spent

My 2 cents: $500 is too much for a vehicle that doesn't start. It's a 27 year old vehicle. Expect spending significant time/money on it. At least give yourself a head start with a vehicle that runs. Or maybe it's going to be a toy/ project for you, and you've got money to burn, I don't know.

gunther
I am merely driving my van
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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by gunther » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:11 pm

I’ve been going into this prepared to spend time and money on it. My job is seasonal so my thinking is that I can do a bunch of stuff during my time off. Hopefully I am not an idiot
1993 Awd Astro LT 262 ci V6 4.3L CPI

Captn. Crunch
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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by Captn. Crunch » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:57 am

Nice find on the viscous coupler. I was searching a year or so ago for a forum member and came away empty so I missed it or someone decided to go into production. Either way, you can now rebuild your Borg Warner unit. If you pull the trigger, just about everything you could possibly need to know can be found here. Good luck
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

gunther
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:03 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by gunther » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:13 pm

The guy selling got it started so I went and grabbed it!
784479C9-6176-41CA-A398-AB6133A58CD5.jpeg
It idles like total crap so I’m going to dig into that before I do anything else. It’s also got a small exhaust leak I’ll fix in the process. I think my plan of execution will be:

1- replace fuel pump. I don’t really think that this is what’s causing the low idle but I figure it hasn’t been done before and it will definitely not hurt (plus the tank is basically empty)
2- start looking into the fuel pressure regulator. It seems that this will cause a lot of the symptoms I’m experiencing
3- ?????
4- replace all fluids in differentials and the like
5- hope that the rear tires skipping in tight turns is fixed by changing the fluid in the rear dif and if not take care of that
6- new tires/suspension as needed
7- somewhere in there give it a full tune up
8- paint
1993 Awd Astro LT 262 ci V6 4.3L CPI

Captn. Crunch
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by Captn. Crunch » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:50 pm

Congratulations and welcome to the madness!
A list is a good place to start.
1- Don’t go cheap on the fuel pump. AC Delco is highly reccomended. The others will leave you stranded.
2- fuel filter. New pump won’t last if it’s pushing into a clogged filter
3- wheel hop probably has nothing to do with the rear end. It’s usually the transfer case. The 4472’s use the viscous coupling. If the tires aren’t the same circumference, the slight difference in wheel speed will kill it. So tire pressure is important. The couplings fail after getting so hot and staying hot the material will no longer return to a liquid state so the AWD is constantly engaged.
Anyway you have lots of things to do so have fun. We will be here to help. Read-read -read. It’s all here
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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Re: New Guy- Boise ID

Post by doyoulikeithere » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:16 pm

Welcome Aboard !
I once picked up a 95 AWD for 350.
The lady said it has a blown head gasket.
I said how do you know it is a blown head gasket and she said that when they were driving along the van would fill up with steam and overheat.
I got it started up and let it run for 5 minutes. It purred. I saw a dribble in the passenger footwell. So I offered her 350 and she took it.
I got it home, swapped out the heater core ;) and put many thousands of miles on it after.

Have a nice ride :)
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

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