Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by ihatemybike » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:13 am

I have a feeling the Astro will end up a bit like the old cab-foward vans made by the big three, there will be people that really dig them and keep them going. Unfortunately not as many as those keeping the VW buses/vans going.
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1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by Mr_Roboto » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:10 am

I don't think that many other vans will ever approach the cult following of a microbus. That's like the holy grail of cult vans in some regards.

I think that these being able to take a V8 Chevy engine easily coupled with the ease and availibility of other GM powertrain options are what will keep their following going long term.

IMO the cool vans are the early shorties. I like some redeeming points of the later vans but keep coming back to the light weight and looks of the earlier vans. I know the later is a matter of opinion, but that's how I opine. I also think that the earlier vans will be a lot rarer if only because of the sheet metal rot that the early years have issues with.

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by doyoulikeithere » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:05 am

Mr_Roboto wrote:I don't think that many other vans will ever approach the cult following of a microbus. That's like the holy grail of cult vans in some regards.

I think that these being able to take a V8 Chevy engine easily coupled with the ease and availibility of other GM powertrain options are what will keep their following going long term.

IMO the cool vans are the early shorties. I like some redeeming points of the later vans but keep coming back to the light weight and looks of the earlier vans. I know the later is a matter of opinion, but that's how I opine. I also think that the earlier vans will be a lot rarer if only because of the sheet metal rot that the early years have issues with.
I agree about the earliest models of the Stofari. They are the best, and getting rarer!
I have 3 rot free shorties. :) But Honestly, of the gen 1s, I prefer the ones that were 87-89 over the 90+ Years.
The outside is the same but the dash and engine bay layouts are different from 90 up.
My Pre 90 vans dont have that horrible Vacuum operated heater controls. Ahhh.
I often pondered getting a 2003-2005 subframe and 6 bolt rear axle for a V8 shortie though..
Someday....
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 - Red.
1990 Astro - AWD
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd.

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by Meterpig » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:54 pm

I agree with you...vacuum hoses for heaters are the devil. My Accord uses electricity (the concept!) to change vent controls and is working to this day (from 1992). Yet...the astro is the gremlin king. Thanks Gm!

If it were not for the tranny and engine...along with the occasionally working AWD, the astro would have gone the way of the K car.

doyoulikeithere wrote:
Mr_Roboto wrote:I don't think that many other vans will ever approach the cult following of a microbus. That's like the holy grail of cult vans in some regards.

I think that these being able to take a V8 Chevy engine easily coupled with the ease and availibility of other GM powertrain options are what will keep their following going long term.

IMO the cool vans are the early shorties. I like some redeeming points of the later vans but keep coming back to the light weight and looks of the earlier vans. I know the later is a matter of opinion, but that's how I opine. I also think that the earlier vans will be a lot rarer if only because of the sheet metal rot that the early years have issues with.
I agree about the earliest models of the Stofari. They are the best, and getting rarer!
I have 3 rot free shorties. :) But Honestly, of the gen 1s, I prefer the ones that were 87-89 over the 90+ Years.
The outside is the same but the dash and engine bay layouts are different from 90 up.
My Pre 90 vans dont have that horrible Vacuum operated heater controls. Ahhh.
I often pondered getting a 2003-2005 subframe and 6 bolt rear axle for a V8 shortie though..
Someday....
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: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by Meterpig » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:24 pm

Meterpig wrote:I have been quiet on the two forums (this one and the sell out one)...and have noticed a drop in overall traffic. When I got the van 3 years ago..lots of activity..now not soo much. Is this a trend? Am I wrong on this?

Apparently there was so much traffic that the other site was sold...so maybe it's just me.

I just wanted to jump in here and say the other forum has improved a lot and actually has a bit of traffic. Just a correction! Sorry for talking smack about it.
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: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by WoodButcher » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:29 pm

The other site has advertisements and the new owners are owners of other sites as well. It would not surprise me to find they have people working with the search engines to bring in more hits to the site.
With increased traffic and more posts come more search hits and members.
'97 Safari, 290,000 miles,,, retired
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap
'02 Astro, my new work van

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by doyoulikeithere » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:57 am

And with the people like 'ChevyMaher' and 'GrandAmLe' on there spewing forth huge piles of horse manure, its gonna send a lot of people down the wrong trail too.
And, if you should try to prove to them that are wrong, by showing proof, they boot you off thier BS site. Dumba$$e$ !
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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by arlon » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:20 am

I was here a lot more when I was trying to figure out how I wanted to set up my van for some weekend escapes. Once I got that figured out I was really done and then didn't have time to use the van so I retired from posting. now I just did RETIRE from work and hope to use the van a lot more, maybe at least make some reports in the camping section.

I tried to start a camper van group on FB and never got a single visit. Maybe everyone is too busy using their vans to talk about them!

Broke a front shock this morning and did post about that.. )-:}
2004 AWD Astro 2" lift, overnight-able
2003 Dodge/Cummins Quad cab
2006 Nissan X-terra MT
1985 LTD LX 5.0 HO
Plus wife's and kid's cars to take care of...

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by deeiche » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:26 pm

Howdy

I'm a long time lurker, decided to register after reading this thread. Forums ebb and flow, I agree the age of vehicles and no current production will diminish interest. Now you get the hard core folks.

I bought a 2000 in 2008 after reading this forum. It started life as a passenger van, but the State of Colorado stripped out the rear seats and used it to service lottery retail locations, it was sagging pretty bad. Within a year it had a 6" Overland lift on it along with a complete refresh of suspension and brakes. Since then it has gone on many fishn' trips around New Mexico besides being a daily driver.

Last year we bought an aging Provan Tiger GT out of northern NM, it is a long term project. I have dreams of a solid axle 4x4 with a diesel swap, to tow behind a larger RV to take it to remote trout lakes during retirement. On eBay a couple weeks ago an early year Tiger GT in pristine condition with solid axle 4x4 sold for just under $20k. I considered bidding on it, but it was a little rich for me. Now if they had put a diesel in it I would have been all over it. I don't care if a diesel is slow, you don't go fast up two tracks.

Anyway, thought I post to let y'all know there are people who appreciate all the info and work y'all have done. I just donated US$25.

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:07 pm

Thanks for the donation!

I like your SAS and diesel swap choices! :supz:
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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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by deeiche » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:25 pm

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:Thanks for the donation!

I like your SAS and diesel swap choices! :supz:
Instead of starting from scratch I am on the lookout for an Astro with a SAS already done to use as a template. There was a 1989 for sale on Armslist last May for $1200 but I was to late, conversion was done by Advanced 4x4 in Salt Lake City.

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by markinnh » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:54 am

I am a long time member of both sites as well as a few other sites I go on for technical stuff such as V8 TBI stuff. As for the other site I left for a long time back when it was sold the first time then went on there a few years ago to ask a question. And liked the chat room idea. Anyway my point is that all forums seem to have certain people that many do not care for. I had a little problem with a person and I PM'd him and he appologised. Anyone online can say what ever they want to me or about me and i could care less but when someone in a position of power of any kind abuses it I let them know he is doing more harm then good in the forum and I am certainly not the only one that see's it. On this site a spoke of an engine idea I had in open forum and a member told me I was wrong and in so many words stupid for my idea. The person is/was not anything other then a basic member so I just ignored him, however if that was done to a new member that member may never come back. I am the kind of man that has always set goals for myself and completed them even though I have been disabled since the mid 90's due to combat so I don't let anyone take that away by saying bad things. Live and let live enjoy your van/hobby and keep on truckin"!

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by okie1 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:32 pm

I have been around here for quite a while & I read the forum almost daily. I do not post often as my van has not given me a second of trouble but I still post some. Retired a few years back & I am enjoying life. :supz: :supz:

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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by Wiley » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:11 am

Had been meaning to work on the van, then busted up my arm and lost all use of it for 6 months, now the van has probably sat for 8-9 sigh. Arm is good again so need to get her back up and running. Paying way too much for a 2 bedroom apartment, so now thinking rather than look for something smaller I may move into the van to save some cash for a RTW trip on a motorcycle. I don't know what happened, I went from looking at transfer cases to convert to a 4x4, to being over it and wanting nothing but two wheels.
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Re: Astro van and their owner's retirements..kinda quiet

Post by bowtie262 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:38 pm

Hi,
I can only speak from my own perspective, south-west of London, England.
But it seems to me the Astro/safari forums (U.S & U.K.) are all quieter than a few years ago.
I think many 'general' members may have moved on to other, more recent vehicles.

This leaves Astrosafari quieter, but with more of a 'genuine hardcore' selection of true enthusiasts keen to maintain and drive these wonderful vans as they move into 'Classic' territory.

I've been hooked on Astro's after seeing one near Alconbury U.S. airbase in Cambridgeshire in 1985.
My first chance to drive one was on vacation in 1990 from Lindo's rental at LAX. I drove it three thousand miles in 3 weeks before returning to L.A.
Two years later I had collected enough money to fly to Florida to search for a used Astro. I found a nice 1985 4.3 carb Astro at a very pretty garage near Hudson Fl & drove it to the exporters based in Dunbar.
Lovely van, I sold it 7 or 8 years later,,, and immediately regretted the sale.
Since then I've owned a hi-top, 1995 Astro, very plush, with leather & mood lighting etc.
But it never was as light and manoeuvrable as the original 1985 shorty.
So now I'm the proud owner of my 1988 ASTRO shorty bought on Ebay by pressing 'buy it now' !!!

I'll probably never own any other type of van for the rest of my life. If I ever have enough money to even consider an SUV, I'd much prefer to spend it on a full Overhaulin' style restoration / rebuild.

Keep up all the good work and these Astro Safari van will last forever.
Still Vannin' after all this Time !

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