Finally got an Astro

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Finally got an Astro

Postby safariari [OP] » June 18th 2017, 9:24pm

Been frantically searching for an AWD astro since my wrx died earlier this month. Finally scored a vehicle in decent condition and have already embarked on my first journey. It's a 1999 with 80k and everything seems to work, although I haven't had a mechanic check things out yet. I suspect there is a coolant leak and there is some weird crunching/sound when turning the steering wheel hard left, but the car made it over sonora pass without issue so I think I have a decent base to work with.

I'm planning to road trip for the summer to a bunch of remote spots, so I'm interested in figuring out what I should do to make this thing as reliable as possible. Any ideas? Essential upgrades or things I should look into? I also want to get the overland lift once I find someone to install it need to start figuring out my camper buildout. Stoked!
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Leeann_93 » June 18th 2017, 9:49pm

Welcome!

You certainly have chosen the best vehicle around as your base, but I might be a wee bit biased ;)

Now more pics are kinda required here. We love pics. Lots of pics.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby safariari [OP] » June 18th 2017, 9:52pm

I just bought it last night and skied this morning. Will take some more pics!
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Leeann_93 » June 18th 2017, 9:54pm

Now that's how you break in an AWD 8-)
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Big_kid » June 18th 2017, 9:56pm

Welcome!
95 Astro Conversion of unknown lineage
We have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart?
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Wimpazz » June 18th 2017, 10:08pm

Welcome to the big show!

My advice to all newbies... learn how to do the work yourself or the repair bills will eat you alive. Plenty of knowledge on here to guide you, and is very satisfying too.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Mmusicman » June 19th 2017, 1:16am

Congrats! Welcome from South Florida! 8-)
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Rockridge » June 19th 2017, 1:50am

Welcome. Great looking van and low miles to boot.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby srdragonusa » June 19th 2017, 3:20am

Welcome from So Cal! I suggest you park yourself in the Project/Build Forum and have some fun reading!
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby 1lowcab » June 19th 2017, 3:48am

Welcome to the forums! Good looking van. If you are handy with tools at all you can do the lift yourself, its a lot easier then it sounds.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby markmitch » June 19th 2017, 4:53am

Welcome to the forum!
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby five10freak » June 19th 2017, 5:44am

Welcome to the crew from the Bronx,NY!!
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Astro Pop » June 19th 2017, 7:19am

Welcome to the mayhem from North Cal.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby WoodButcher » June 19th 2017, 12:13pm

safariari wrote: I suspect there is a coolant leak and there is some weird crunching/sound when turning the steering wheel hard left, but the car made it over sonora pass without issue so I think I have a decent base to work with.

I'm planning to road trip for the summer to a bunch of remote spots, so I'm interested in figuring out what I should do to make this thing as reliable as possible.



Get this "leak" squared away before you do any more trips. If it's the lower intake manifold gasket and if it's leaking in the right place it could ruin your day motor. The LIM is pita to do, will cost a few beans if you pay someone else, but is a one time deal.
Do it,
forget it,,

and they lived happily ever after...

That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

oh yeah,,,
Welcome! :lol:
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby sixsix » June 19th 2017, 2:07pm

Welcome to you - Good Luck with your plans.



Mike
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby 1lowcab » June 19th 2017, 2:38pm

If it is the LIM gasket and you do it yourself (if you are handy with tools it can be done in a weekend taking your time) make sure you get the the Fel-Pro MS 98002 gasket set with the metal in it, don't replace plastic with plastic!

I did my LIM gasket in an afternoon, pretty straight forward job. There are tons of videos on youtube about doing them, watch, read, watch again, read some more and then tackle it.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby safariari [OP] » June 19th 2017, 4:42pm

Thanks for the warm welcome! Getting the LIM checked as we speak. I've never done any work on my car in the past but I am pretty handy, so might as well start learning now. Will probably start with an oil change and go from there.
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby safariari [OP] » June 19th 2017, 4:45pm

Got the roof box on, getting things checked out today.
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Original Poster [OP]
safariari
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Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby safariari [OP] » June 19th 2017, 4:52pm

More shots from yesterday. My current buildout consists of a sleeping pad over the folded down seats and trying to not fall through the hole while sleeping. Will improve this when I get home.
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Original Poster [OP]
safariari
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Year: 1999
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Re: Finally got an Astro

Postby Don1806 » June 19th 2017, 5:51pm

The 99 had a plastic intake manifold gasket. Make sure that's not the source of your coolant leak and get it replaced with a FelPro gasket if it hasn't already been done. Those plastic gaskets warped. When mine went I ended up having to replace the engine as my first indication was the steam coming from the tail pipe.

Nice looking van!
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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