New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby IronDookie [OP] » January 10th 2017, 4:53am

So I picked up an Astro I've always wanted to add to the collection.
1st year model 1985 with a four speed T4 transmission...The driving experience is very different from the normal v6 AT Astros.
I was wondering if anyone knows the true production numbers of factory manual trans Astros? I was told by the PO that the numbers were very low for 1985 (around 200 for the 4cyl T5 and about 1000 for the 4cyl T4, these numbers he heard from a GM rep).

These early Astros are very low powered but they are actually quite torquey for being 92HP, 1st gear(4.03:1?) is very tall with 3.42 rearend....He told me he got close to 30mpg highway and I almost believe him considering the gearing. You wouldn't want to shift past third gear until you hit some open road, 1:1 4th seems taller than OD on my old Audi.

Anyone have any more info or experience with these?
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby WoodButcher » January 10th 2017, 1:39pm

I don't know the HP rating for the Audi but I do know it wasn't a 4,000 lb. brick. It doesn't surprise me that a 4 cyl. has difficulties on the highway in our vans.
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby AstroWill » January 10th 2017, 3:09pm

No way would I be able to live with that engine in an Astro.

Compnine.com had lots of production comparisons when you put in your VIN.
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby markmitch » January 10th 2017, 4:40pm

I seen one of them recently in a pick n pull. I wrote about it on this site. it was the second one I had seen in approximately 20 years. Now since its not a Camaro or moostang so it may not go up in value due to there not being many of them produced or left out there in the world. However from a club/forum point of view I for one think they are very cool and I would have jumped at the chance to grab the hard to find parts from the pick n pull van but I neither had the time, the money or the storage space to do so. I wish you luck on yours Great find! Mark
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby IronDookie [OP] » January 10th 2017, 10:52pm

WoodButcher wrote:I don't know the HP rating for the Audi but I do know it wasn't a 4,000 lb. brick. It doesn't surprise me that a 4 cyl. has difficulties on the highway in our vans.


It actually doesn't have difficulty reaching hwy speed, the thing is geared to go 40mph in 1st gear, I think city driving may be the problem..Now I don't have enough experience with it to know it's true capabilities yet, I've never had it loaded, nor pulled a trailer (not recommended).
My Audi had 2,2L 115hp 4:11 final drive, so with a .86 OD = 3:53 overall reduction in 5th. The 85 4 speed Astro which I believe to have the standard 3:43 final drive, would have a 3:43 overall reduction in 4th (plus taller tires than the Audi)
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby IronDookie [OP] » January 10th 2017, 11:07pm

AstroWill wrote:No way would I be able to live with that engine in an Astro.

Compnine.com had lots of production comparisons when you put in your VIN.


You wouldn't want a 25-30mpg Astro van with a Fiero drivetrain? why not? It's not as bad as you think, (once you adjust your state of mind). It has way more torque than my buddy's VW bus, but a passenger van it is not. This was a fleet service vehicle that sold for $8K brand spankin, it was designed to be an unappealing driver experience.
Thanks for the link.
Last edited by IronDookie on January 10th 2017, 11:28pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby IronDookie [OP] » January 10th 2017, 11:25pm

markmitch wrote:I seen one of them recently in a pick n pull. I wrote about it on this site. it was the second one I had seen in approximately 20 years. Now since its not a Camaro or moostang so it may not go up in value due to there not being many of them produced or left out there in the world. However from a club/forum point of view I for one think they are very cool and I would have jumped at the chance to grab the hard to find parts from the pick n pull van but I neither had the time, the money or the storage space to do so. I wish you luck on yours Great find! Mark


But was it an 85' ? I've seen a few of 86-89 5 speeds...and a few years back I was lucky enough to buy a complete 1989 t5 swap for spares(that is still crated in the garage), but I'd never seen an 85' 4 speed. I'd like to find out just how many came like this. I have a feeling it should be preserved regardless of potential value, I can't imagine there are many left that haven't been monkeyed with. It has rocker rust so those will need replace, but it has 50K original miles and the original ZP2 interior.
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby AstroWill » January 11th 2017, 3:08am

Put in the VIN at compnine.com
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby IronDookie [OP] » January 11th 2017, 3:30am

AstroWill wrote:Put in the VIN at compnine.com

It's too rare, they don't recognize the VIN
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Re: New Astro owner, 4 speed manual ?

Postby AstroWill » January 11th 2017, 3:56am

Dealer should be able to hook you up as well. Would be nice if they would just put that kind of stuff on their website somewhere.

Or maybe http://www.vintagevehicleservices.com/options.html
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