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2004 AWD Base Astro - DCsleeper

12516 Views 99 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  sixsix
New to me today.
Been reading since March. Many thanks to all the previous posters and the admins for keeping this going. I've done several builds and this is a nice site with alot of info. Makes it easy, and convinces gullible individuals to buy a vehicle that don't need, just to f**k with it.
I've worked on Astros before and always said "remind me not to buy one of these".
But I had a stroke last August, and somebody posted about AWD and I fell for it. :doh:
So after looking online everywhere I could think of, and several false starts, I bought an Astro in my tiny NC town.

2004 Astro base but AWD.

My plan is a mild lift 235-75-15s
4472 all the time transfer case replacement
some kind of v8 replacement, maybe 350 CPI, maybe 6.0 :shock:

It was fleet bought by the Red Cross. Hopefully well maintained, but nope, the wipers don't even work....I think I remember how to fix that.

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dcsleeper said:
just ordered: assault racing alum trans pan
Hey dcsleeper, I know that you were acquiring parts when the best prices pop up, but did you happen to get around to installing that pan yet? Or do you have a plan for which filter to put in? I don't know how to search for a compatible filter.
I was ready to have the #A8493 pan thrown in with an order and I've hit a wall due to my inexperience.
The aluminum pan's about 1/8'' shallower than most of ours (I think). Not many reviews for this pan, but a very similar one has the same depth of only 2 7/8'' and an Astro owner had sent theirs back because of it. That Astro owner already had the longer tranny filter and was scared that it wouldn't fit in the shallower pan. Most of the cheap aluminum pan reviews say that the pan's description is only accurate if talking about a 700-R4 tranny and that it needs to say more about how it'd be on a 4160E. It does fit 4160E, but it's assumed depth (or lack of it) is their complaint.
Both my vans have what I think is the regular deep pan (look like a child's step stool flipped upside down) and seem 3''s deep.
*I don't know if the deeper/longer trans. filter has any wiggle room on the shaft/tube to slide up an extra 1/8'' to fit properly in this pan. Shorter trans. filter is prolly too short? I dunno if the male shaft on the longer filter can just be trimmed down 1/8'' or if modding the shorter filter to be longer is the ticket.
I've seen some members give links to a Dorman pan they call a ''deep pan'' and on the same thread folks link a REALLY DEEP ''extra capacity pan'' only calling it a ''deep pan'' as well - there's a 5/8''s difference between the two. Maybe they use a different filter for each of those pans or maybe deep pan filters are adjustable and I'm just overthinking things?
I like this pan and it is cheap, but I don't know what filter to order for it or if I'm painting myself into a corner. I've searched the forum and didn't see any install of this pan. Figured asking here may help both of us if you haven't swapped it in yet.
*Basically, I just need someone to tell me that I won't have any problem finding a filter for the pan so that I can order it.
Which filter that would be is just bonus points.
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Thanks dcsleeper, especially for the word ''shallow'' as opposed to short/shorter.
It all started when I'd noticed Assault Racing has free shipping for purchases of $100 or more when buying directly from them. Their distributors are only in the high $40s, buying two didn't quite hit the $100 mark. Then I saw that this pan was only 30-ish, has a plug and cools better - but it's 2 7/8'' depth spooked me. So I just grabbed a cheap bag of nuts & bolts to get the free ship. You've already got a dizzy but maybe the info helps another member save. IF they're shopping for the Skip ****** kind and don't mind buying two, it's way less per unit compared to buying from their Amazon listing.
I looked into the pan a good bit since posting, info varies wildly. The happy go lucky reviews & the asked/answered questions for these types of pans didn't address it enough to ease my mind. If just one person had broke it down by saying: worst case scenario the shallow filter could drop down a 1/4'' after install but it would not effect the seal - I'd have felt better about it. There's definitely not enough room in this pan for it to fall completely off.
Almost all comments were from 700-R4 buyers who's shallow filter couldn't possibly be resting on the bottom of the pan. I'd bet that most are unaware of that and maybe the others think (or know) it doesn't matter if the filter fell down a bit later on - it's only 1/4'' difference max. One buyer from another seller stood out, he claimed that his pan came with a ''filter extension and a filter.'' The most solid comment regarding filters was a man who'd said that he'd ''made a spacer for the pan.'' But he gave no details of if he put a spacer on the shallow filter itself, under it or very unlikely in the pan's gasket to fit a deeper/longer filter.
If it was me, I'd wrap a piece of stainless wire out of the way on the shallow filter and shape it to have 3-4 little raised bumps for tiny legs. Those legs would flex/bend when tightening down the pan. Prolly overboard but I'm only a professional cheapskate, not a mechanic.
Just sharing what I did or didn't learn from researching it.
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:D Haha, keep those eyes glazed Sixer.
That's the best way to make it through one of my comments.
Spark up as soon as you see my user name pop up.
I'm long winded and my writing/posting skills are as poor as my car repair knowledge.
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