Bring Back The Astro Van?? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Bring Back The Astro Van??

No. Not just no, but hell no. This vehicle was such a poorly engineered piece of crap - hard to work on, no reliability, and constant rattles when driving.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a3...evy-astro-van/

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 11:31 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

They'd just bring back the name with something totally different and bloated with all the electronic gadgets they could fit in there.

Look at the new "Blazer". Just the name, fwd pos unibody turd.

Imagine working on a fwd astro..
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotwire View Post

Imagine working on a fwd astro..

The article states that they are petitioning for a front engine, rear wheel/all wheel drive Astro. But, even with rear wheel drive, the old Astro vans are a pain to work on. I absolutely despise my mother's Astro, but I have to keep it running, as she can not afford any car payments at all. That thing is the bane of my existence.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 12:01 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

I liked the one I had. I bought it to use as a canvas and to haul things to work on the house. Painted some graphics and used it. Liked the fact things stayed dry inside. I had no issues with it while I owned it.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryAT View Post
I liked the one I had. I bought it to use as a canvas and to haul things to work on the house. Painted some graphics and used it. Liked the fact things stayed dry inside. I had no issues with it while I owned it.
Attachment 614052
Well, you are one of the lucky ones. Both of the Astro vans that my mother has owned have been pieces of crap. The '89 had to have head gaskets done around 80,000 miles - real quality there, GM.

The list of things that have been done to her 2000 is much longer. P.O.S.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 12:11 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

I hated working on those vans when I was at GM. Fuel pumps. CMFI's and idler arms, every week, every day. Those vans were a POS. One good thing, I was going to get a panel astro van and dump a good SBC in it to race unsuspecting car owners. Would have been a great sleeper.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

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Originally Posted by 68Chevele View Post
I hated working on those vans when I was at GM. Fuel pumps. CMFI's and idler arms, every week, every day. Those vans were a POS. One good thing, I was going to get a panel astro van and dump a good SBC in it to race unsuspecting car owners. Would have been a great sleeper.
I just replaced both idler arms last year with the Moog Problem Solver units. They should stop the issues with tire wear and idler arm failure.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 3:35 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

I have three of them, all short length. Two have factory 5 speed sticks, one is a GMC Safari 4 cylinder, the other a V6 Astro. The 3rd is modified, 350 V8, 6 speed stick, air, power everything, 4 wheel disks, A/C, the works.

The 4 cylinder has over 200K on it, no problems, the other 5 speed is right at 249K miles, and nothing but a timing chain replacement, not because it broke, just mileage. NOT ONE PROBLEM WITH EITHER ONE OF THEM.

The 3rd came to me very owner and mechanic abused, no engine, nor trans, because previous owner managed to blow them up.

After this 4rd one, I want another one, so I can build a nice Corvair looking pickup truck from one, with all power, V6, 5 speed. Then, maybe a last one, V8, auto, flat bed, maybe a dually as well.

Any of you have these vans and have destroyed them, want to just get rid of them for free, aim them my way, I like 'em.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 4:01 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

So, we have Astro devotees up here in the wintery north. Car guys to boot. So I dont know why the hate. Like most really good cars, GM no longer makes them.

Hey IGNITIONMAN... I actually stopped by to say NICE! to see you posting again here sir. Good day Mr Ray!
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 4:13 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WakkoWarner View Post
Well, you are one of the lucky ones. Both of the Astro vans that my mother has owned have been pieces of crap. The '89 had to have head gaskets done around 80,000 miles - real quality there, GM.

The list of things that have been done to her 2000 is much longer. P.O.S.
sheesh tell us all how you really feel.........time to move on already. many others have made POS cars not just GM. I had a 2002 version and it made it to 247000 before popping the head gasket. No disrespect to anyone but many failures on any car are due to owner inflicted neglect. My company exclusively used the astro van all over the country and routinely took them to 250000 plus miles and meticulously maintaining them.

Marc S


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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 4:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971ss454Elco View Post
sheesh tell us all how you really feel.........time to move on already. many others have made POS cars not just GM. I had a 2002 version and it made it to 247000 before popping the head gasket. No disrespect to anyone but many failures on any car are due to owner inflicted neglect. My company exclusively used the astro van all over the country and routinely took them to 250000 plus miles and meticulously maintaining them.
Let's see: Distributor failed around 50,000 miles (composite garbage), water pump failed around 50,000 miles, alternator failed around 40,000 miles, radiator failed around 50,000 miles, AC compressor leaked badly around 40,000 miles and had to be replaced, interior plastics are utter and complete disintegrating trash, transmission had to be rebuilt at 34,000 miles (luckily still under warranty) - then had to be rebuilt again around 70,000, had to replace intake manifold gaskets somewhere between 40,000 & 50,000 miles (gaskets were made of plastic - great material choice there - new gaskets are made of aluminum), & engine mounts had to be replaced around 50,000 miles. Not one of those failures can be attributed to lack of maintenance.

The biggest problem is that these vehicles required WAY too much maintenance. Nothing on them was engineered to last. Let the Astro name die forever.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 5:12 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WakkoWarner View Post
Let's see: Distributor failed around 50,000 miles (composite garbage), water pump failed around 50,000 miles, alternator failed around 40,000 miles, radiator failed around 50,000 miles, AC compressor leaked badly around 40,000 miles and had to be replaced, interior plastics are utter and complete disintegrating trash, transmission had to be rebuilt at 34,000 miles (luckily still under warranty) - then had to be rebuilt again around 70,000, had to replace intake manifold gaskets somewhere between 40,000 & 50,000 miles (gaskets were made of plastic - great material choice there - new gaskets are made of aluminum), & engine mounts had to be replaced around 50,000 miles. Not one of those failures can be attributed to lack of maintenance.

The biggest problem is that these vehicles required WAY too much maintenance. Nothing on them was engineered to last. Let the Astro name die forever.
Look we respct your opion and its not worth arguing about but suffice it to say our fleet dept never replaced the engine mounts, radiator, transmissions, intake gaskets, etc........ever in the vehicles lifetime. I know this because Im the fleet guy.

That said,
Alternator, water pump and the rest of what you speak of are wear items but they were not replaced in the intervals your speaking of other than the ac compressor which did fail at about 67000 on a couple. My 2002 never had a trans or radiator or engine mount or intake fail.

Now one of GM real POS is the Buick based 90 degree 3.8 V6 and front drive transnissions in cars like the grand prix, etc but not in the astro/safari siblings. Those used the 4.3/700r4 combo.

Im not talking about the GNX 3.8 as that was a killer engine. Im talking about the "dumbed" down versions in all the corporate clone cars.
Im also talking about the POS 2.8, 3.1, 3.4, etc 60 degree v6 POS.


My folks has a 84 S10 with the 2.8 V6/aut trans=POS. They aslo has a 99 Corsica with the 3.1 and 440T4 trans=POS. They also had a 99 grand pris with the Buick 3.8/auto trans=POS. all of these cars experienced exactly what you mentioned above in about the same time lines and mileage.

Marc S


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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 5:37 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WakkoWarner View Post
Let's see: Distributor failed around 50,000 miles (composite garbage), water pump failed around 50,000 miles, alternator failed around 40,000 miles, radiator failed around 50,000 miles, AC compressor leaked badly around 40,000 miles and had to be replaced, interior plastics are utter and complete disintegrating trash, transmission had to be rebuilt at 34,000 miles (luckily still under warranty) - then had to be rebuilt again around 70,000, had to replace intake manifold gaskets somewhere between 40,000 & 50,000 miles (gaskets were made of plastic - great material choice there - new gaskets are made of aluminum), & engine mounts had to be replaced around 50,000 miles. Not one of those failures can be attributed to lack of maintenance.

The biggest problem is that these vehicles required WAY too much maintenance. Nothing on them was engineered to last. Let the Astro name die forever.
My 2004 Astro is my daily driver.

350K mile original motor runs like brand new.

Except for the limited leg room on the left, I like it.

Best $20K I ever spent.

Time to move on if you got issues, Wakko.

Clean it up, get it running good, it'll sell easy.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 6:03 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

I had a AWD Astro panel with the 4.3 as a work van for a little while. An colleague/competitor retired, and was hurting for money, so I bought it with a bunch of tools for a great price. Hed ordered it new, and it had a rear aux heater and some built in cabinets.

Was a pretty nice place to work, but more cramped than the Sprinter high roof and E350s we also had. It was comparatively great on gas and was an absolute tank in the snow. Ultimately, I sold it off because it was just too small for my 63 220 pound self to comfortably work in.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 20, 6:12 PM
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Re: Bring Back The Astro Van??

Not to mention 2 of the greatest 80's muscle trucks/cars ever... the GMC typhoon and cyclone were turbo 4.3/700r4 based.

Marc S


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