I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

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SilverBullet1997
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by SilverBullet1997 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:05 pm

Thanks for sharing the link Tom.

You are a great guy, I relish the fact that I have had the chance to meet you in real life and share Image and Image with you. Even though I haven't had a chance to get to know you very well, you hold a place in my :heart: as a true friend. Image we will be able to spend more time together in the future :D
Here is a couple videos of my first van offroading at Tahuya WA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkFaZXo2KL4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1zn5ppLI6g
R.I.P 1997 Astro AWD SilverBullet 4-9-1997 to 2-17-2015 - Cause of death: Rear-ended
1999 Astro AWD SilverBullet II 1-4-1999 - Present

5" lift, 31x1050r15 tires. 7 inches over stock

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T.Low
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by T.Low » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:29 pm

That's pretty big, Kevin, thanks a lot.

Thanks again for letting me barrow your bench seat, it really came in handy while my family was visiting
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by Meterpig » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:07 am

Hi Tom,
We haven't exchanged directly here...but I have enjoyed many of your posts and pictures. I am sorry for your situation and can't imagine what it is like. I wish the best for you and your family.

Umm...so because this is the Astro site....without hopefully sounding like a big jerk...do you mind if I ask what you plan to do with the best looking Safari (2003-2005)?

Thanks!
Chris
T.Low wrote:Sad and sorry to say that i'll probably be spending more time there than here, although of course I'll never quit coming here.

I've been diagnosed with a rare form of muscular neuron disease similar to Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). Not much research on it. We are searching for specialists amongst the nurologists.

If it were just my legs, then atleast I could still drive the trusty AstroLander thru the mountains and even camp. But unfortunately , AHCD usually takes the hands and arms first, as seeming in my case so far.

Already sold my racing kayaks, and 2 outta my three mountain bikes. I'll ride my 5" full suspension bike as long as I can. Can't quite get myself to let go of my sea kayaks and white water boats yet...stupid, I know. My 2010 Gas Gas is too snappy for me too handle with the lack of precision control of my hands, so I'll put it up for sale too. The '05 is not quite as responsive so I can still get some rides in this winter and we'll see how that continues to go. The rides will be short because the colder it is, the quicker I lose function my right hand. And my right forearm has already atrophied to the point of getting a lot of arm pump and burning when riding ruff and fast terrain.

Building my van thru the wisdom of ASV was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. It's taken Jen and I to some incredible places we didn't even know existed, we met many wonderful people along the way, and made some great lasting friendships . With AHCD, the body goes to Hell, but the mind stays relatively sharp for the duration, so i'll always be able to have and cherish the memories we made with the AstroLander.

Cheers to my friends here at ASV. See ya round... :cheers:
What do you think of my quest to swap transfer cases to the venerable BW4472?
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=9962

Photos including tear down for intake gaskets (PITA)
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-xSjRG/i-bHzD6cz

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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by T.Low » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:53 pm

Not a jerk at all, no worries, it's a legitimate question.

I may post more about it later when I have more energy, but the short answer is I think I'll need to get high dollar for it.

'01 VW Eurovan pop top Weekenders ( folding bed, jump seats and table, but no kitchen or cabinets) 2wd with 150,000 miles are consistently going for $20,000 in my neck of the woods. So what should I ask for mine? (119,000 miles)


Kelly blue books the base model Eurovan for $1500 more than base model Astro, iirc.
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by Stroverlander » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:12 pm

T.Low wrote:Not a jerk at all, no worries, it's a legitimate question.

I may post more about it later when I have more energy, but the short answer is I think I'll need to get high dollar for it.

'01 VW Eurovan pop top Weekenders ( folding bed, jump seats and table, but no kitchen or cabinets) 2wd with 150,000 miles are consistently going for $20,000 in my neck of the woods. So what should I ask for mine? (119,000 miles)


Kelly blue books the base model Eurovan for $1500 more than base model Astro, iirc.
I concur. For those who may think it would be too much...

Find/buy a decent used Astro/Safari AWD of unknown mechanical condition (5-6k?), spend 1k++ on mechanical reliability - suspension/steering/brakes/fuel/cooling system/etc, more if you're not doing the labor, 2k lift/tires, then 6-8-10k to pop-top plus whatever it costs for electronic two-speed t-case swap, factor in all the downtime to perform said work and you might have a van similar to T.Low's.

The good news is you'll be in an even more exclusive club than the VW poptop crowd and should have less maintenance/repair costs. Of course, yours won't have been to all the cool places T.Low's has been... :D
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by doyoulikeithere » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:07 am

And just try to find anything for that kinda money that even comes close to being half as good of a rig.
Twenty grand doesnt buy jack $*** in my neck of the woods.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by T.Low » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:00 am

I'm not saying id ask that much, but it does beg the question what it's worth if they're are getting 20 for a less reliable, less versatile, similar size rig?
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by Herbie » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:25 pm

I agree on the value, Tom. I'd like to think yours is worth AT LEAST that much, especially considering the current prices of a GTRV installation...
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by Herbie » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:21 pm

I'm very sorry to report that it appears T.Low has passed away.

"Railvan", aka Brian, was Tom's neighbor and frequent trip partner in Bellingham, and has posted a brief message on the Expedition Portal today.
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/thre ... st-2541872

As I posted in that thread, it's no secret my Astro was built to directly copy T.Low's. He was kind, and generous with his time and energy about sharing his experiences and advice. About 10 years ago, I first cold-emailed him a huge mess of questions and he patiently and diligently answered them all. Since that time, he and his wife Jen (then pregnant with their first kid) hosted me at their home during my odyssey to pick up a GTRV Safari van in Vancouver and drive it back to San Diego. My wife and I were also lucky enough to return the favor when they visited San Diego.

I don't have any more information, and out of respect for Jen I will not be pestering the family anytime soon, but I hope we can all take a few moments to remember Tom and his contribution to this community, and to reflect on those we love.

Godspeed, Tom.
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by Stroverlander » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:40 pm

Aw shoot, T.Low was a great guy and his van the inspiration for my van as well.

While not knowing him personally, my experiences on the forums mirrored yours Mike. Such a terrible disease, I feel for his family and what they are going through. Godspeed T.Low, fellow Astrofarian. [-o<
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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by astrozam » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:38 pm

Thanks for that info Herbie, I've often checked in to see if Tom had posted or if there were any updates on his health, he was a credit to this community and seemed liked a really good guy, very sad to hear he has passed

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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by timelessbeing » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:14 pm

Tom was a very smart and kind guy, and had a passion for these vans. There are few guys who innovate and build on the same level that he did. We were enriched by his presence.
:(

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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by mdmead » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:24 am

Wow, I'd actually searched obits in the Bellingham area in the past, figuring Tom had passed. Having had another friend pass from ALS, it seems Tom lived longer than many. Such a terrible disease. Unfair.

I met Tom twice. Once he showed up on my doorstep out of the blue. He was good friends with a family here in Selah and while visiting them, he looked me up. I was glad he did, although he didn't have much time and was headed back to the Bellingham area that afternoon.

The second time I met up with Tom was on a trip to Gallagher Lake in the Cle Elum area. He'd sent me an e-mail about mid week and basically told me to get in my Bronco and meet him and some guys on Saturday morning. When I arrived, I found out it was actually a group of Northwest Overlanders making the trek. Overall we had a great day and it was impressive watching Tom's van in action. Sadly, Tom didn't have the best day as he was already taking meds for ALS and they weren't quite agreeing with him. You can find the write-up on that trip here: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/thre ... 099/page-5

RIP Tom. You lived a full life in too short of a time.

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Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

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Re: I'm now a registered member of ALS forum

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:09 am

It's been a while for me....

So sad to see Tom has passed. I never got the chance to meet him but remember his build well and I remember all the trip reports he posted. I always loved reading them. Sucks that he had to leave us so early in life but God needed him more than we did. RIP buddy!
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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