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 Post subject: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:13 am 
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I am smitten with my van

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:02 am
Posts: 26
When I start up my '96 Rav4 or my '87 CRX Si they run so quietly; seemingly breathing like living things. I know that they are two cylinders short of my Astro Van not to mention the displacement differences... but I was really curious as to how quiet the 4.3 liter in my Astro Van could be. I used to have a 6 cylinder 530i ( from 1978 ) and that was quiet as well and wasn't shy on power. At the unintentional risk of offending some of the members, does it really just come down to build quality? I was wondering if some of you visiting this post would mind adding your suggestions for achieving the goal of making the 4.3 run as quiet as possible without impeding on stock performance specs. Is it even possible? My van is stock and has not been modified. I've looked through a couple of the forums and it certainly seems more popular to make the vans louder but I'm looking to go in the other direction. Your comments are welcomed.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:56 am 
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Sure you can make the engine quieter. Remove the factory clutch fan and install an electric fan. Once you do this, the 4.3 V6 will be about as quiet as your Rav4 or CRX. Neither of them have an engine driven fan. You could also insulate the engine compartment or at least the underside of the hood.

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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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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:35 am 
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I do like this topic very much and will be watching it closely to see what the other members say.How about cutting in resonators in the exhaust system guys??.

This is a very good question.

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1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY


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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:46 am 
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I sleep in my van

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:35 am
Posts: 918
Lower it. It really does help with noise.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:03 pm 
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I am smitten with my van

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:02 am
Posts: 26
I actually thought that this topic would fill up with suggestions. I suppose it isn't something a lot of van owners think about but what has been suggested so far are really great ideas that I will certainly consider. I appreciate it.

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:: '87 4.3 5spd Astro ::


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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:08 pm 
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I am smitten with my van

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:02 am
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Has anyone ever heard of anyone who had success with the Walker Quiet Flow 3 muffler? Also, has anyone ever heard of using two performance mufflers in-line to suppress the sound and would it be legal to do so?
Thanks for your input...

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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:48 pm 
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If you want better flow without the noise, bump the pipe diameter up and use a larger stock type muffler.
There's nothing illegal about running two mufflers in series. It'd be interesting to see if it worked. It may reduce the exhaust velocity, so the results might be less than stellar. Exhaust scavenging from the cylinders will diminish with reduced velocity, and your low end torque will go with it. If you look at the horsepower / torque graphs the "performance" mufflers manufacturers post on their websites, you'll notice diminished hp and torque in the normal driving RPM ranges for most of them. The only "performance" enhancements appear as RPM approaches 4000 or so.

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'89 Astro, 4.3L, TBI. Minor intake and exhaust mods. Rebuilt 700R4 trans (by me). Corvette servo, 0.5" boost valve, police grade 1-2 accumulator spring (shifts fast and solid). B&M stacked plate trans cooler. Bilstein shocks. Belltech sway bars front and back. New head unit, speakers and subwoofer. Needs paint and a new headliner.

name's Steve
I can't remember all I've forgotten about that....


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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:46 am
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Location: Vancouver B.C.
earplugs in stereo up problem solved. the fan is the best choice and will give you more power.

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1999 Safari Touring edition.
trailer tow pack with a 3:73 posi
Bucket bench seats, Rear heat, Rear Airconditioning.
teal green
300 000 kms
AirRide air bags in the rear to fix soft stock suspension.
Onboard aircompressor to make it all work nice.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:29 am 
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I get chills without my van.
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:05 pm
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Location: Chilhowie,Va......I know you've never heard of it...
I would also agree with Gary and install a resonator in line after the muffler , there is plenty of room to do so . I have a Flowmaster crossflow muffler for a Camaro on mine behind the rear diff and I am gonna install a resonator before the diff to bring the volume down a bit . Kinda draws a bit too much attention , if ya know what I mean . :guitar:

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 Post subject: Re: How Do I Make An '87 Astro Van "Breathe" Quietly...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:07 am 
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I sleep in my van
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 356
is it the factory 87 exhaust? that could be your main problem...

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99 SLT Safari AWD, G80/GT4 rear, Burgundy, 196,000 and counting (strictly AMSOIL) flowmaster 40series muffler no more cat, K&N Kone Filter, roll pan, 255/60/15 rubbers mounted to 15x8.5 inch American Racing Tailgunner wheels, billet grille, CB Radio, Alpine Deck, Shag carpet, the list goes on....
03 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, LB7 Duramax Diesel, 5 speed Allison Tranny, Crew Cab Long Bed, no muffler or cat, 4 inch turbo back and side piped. not too many other mods yet, also addicted to AMSOIL.


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