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2004 AWD Base Astro - DCsleeper

12537 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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1988-1991 1500 truck 4x4 wheels 16x7 6lugs
I fixed the wipers by soldering the board. Bought a new board also, cause it was only 10 bux.

Bought some GMC alloys for spare tires, etc

My van has a strange weird rumble strip type of noise occasionally, and it doesn't seem to want to go over about 65 mph.
Seemed like a good enough reason to buy a 223 C Transfer Case and plan for a manual shifted swap. Right?

Does anyone in North Carolina have a tow hitch for sale?

I need a white fuel door too...
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After days of math and reading the web, I bought a set of 225/70-16 tires.
Totally for the price.
Kumho KH16 for 244 for the set. Shipped. :banana:
wheels don't fit, they don't clear the front brake calipers.


The garage guys were all these wheels only fit 4x4, the have too much back spacing, they will rub. No they won't.

[email protected]#%R#^&%&)^)*(*+ hand me a beer will ya?
I did get a 233c tc, but it's not in yet. It's been done before. 2 people on here have done it, that I know of.
I won't be transplanting all the electronics, I'll be making a manual shift lever, like turnnburn did. If I got it right, it's a bolt in, in place of my 2004 np136.
I'm aware of backspacing, I just assumed that the Chevy trucks of the same era/family would fit. They do fit and have the right backspacing, that's just what the garage guys said. But who would think that a 16" wheel that fit, would not clear the caliper. Just that much older it seems.
Yeah, a typo that I can't edit now.
Yes MMusicMan, your thread and others led me to this TC. When I saw a ridiculous deal on ebay for one of them I jumped on it.
I received the switch for the TC today, to replace the vacuum switch for the front axle.
It will be used to switch the PCM to 4LO as shown in other threads.

I would love to have all the options, but I think I have an issue w/ the AWD, so I used that as an excuse to get a different TC.
I'll probably get the fluid changed before I swap it out. Just to see.

I used to live in Franklin, but I'm now near Roanoke Rapids 95. It does snow a little around here, but it's ruler flat too.

I'm gonna marshmallow mine all out w/ body color grille and headlight buckets and perforated vinyl wrap on the windows!
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There's a thread explaining it all. I'm sure you've seen it, it is my talking.

The cam attached behind the actuator rod/shaft pushes directly on the switch.
You need to modify the cam to only engage for 4LO. Stock it actuates for 4wd Hi and 4wd Lo.
Did I confuse you by mentioning the front axle? That's not where it is, that's what it's for. Actually it could be used in that location too, but no mind.

yes, reading this forum prepared me for when I saw the auction. I knew what I was looking at, and that it would physically fit in place of the 136.
when I came upon the auction and it was $100 including shipping, I had the knowledge to jump on it.Thanks to you, and others. :hurray:

The issue is:
driving around, you might hear a "brappp" a second long. Sounds like a rumble strip.
But, if the rear diff was bad, I woulda broken it already.
If the tranny was bad, I don't think torque converter shudder would sound like that.

Additionally, I have done mechanic work for years. I cannot imagine what this is, and what would make this noise.
So I believe what it is, is this:
Some numbnuts put ATF in the transfer case.
I've driven it 50 miles or more. It ain't broke, but it is sick.
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This is the switch above

The matching plug connector is here:

Pay attention to the sex of the pins, not just the housings when you assemble the connections. The pictures I see of these are sexed incorrectly to mate with the switch. The switch is female/female so you need to assemble the connector with male pins inside the male housing. male/male

In the picture on the Amazon listing, the housing on the right will have to be used to mate with the switch, but the male pins need to be used shown on the left.Don't get confused!

Originally this switch is spec'd for the front axle engaged or 4WD position on the front axle. So in our discussion above, "Actually it could be used in that location too," it IS used in that location!

@Leeann93 I'm definitely gonna change the fluid because I am not sure if this is the source of the rumble strip noise. Plus I want to be able to say that the TC is definitely good or bad.

This thread seems to have the best explanation of which pin to ground on the PCM for which era Astro. ... o#p1484310

The vacuum switch in the pic below is what will be replaced by this electric switch. ... &mode=view
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I went to WallyWorld this AM. I got synth oil and filters and white paint for my next trick.
It's about a 25 minute drive each way.
I got to use the time for diagnosis.
My rumble strip noise/feeling is usually around 55 mph.
Touching the brake will cause it to stop.
Already ordered the magical goo Lube Guard Instant Shudder fix.
Thankful cause this is basically why I got my Astro so cheap.
It's an annoyance to the dealer cuzs they can't sell it that way, but it doesn't really affect me. I could drive it this way for years.
And that's exactly how I saw the situation when I was looking it over.
We need this :thu::thu:
Not very happy with my paint job. I shoulda used a brush. I shouldn't rushed. I shoulda prep'd better. I know all this and still didn't. It's literally a 20 footer.

I also found that contrary to a post I read here, Rustoleum blah blah number is not a direct match for GM Summit White. So now I can't paint my gas door. That would be an obvious mismatch.

but you get the idea...

I only painted the grill. This paint is glossy and stark white. It would really stand out if I painted the fuel door only. I took it off to do just that.

Now I've decided to use a totally different fuel door.

The grill is really growing on me, even though my paint job is amateur hour. It was almost deteriorating and chalky, now it looks more smooth.
6 buck fix

lube guard instant shudder fix

took it for a drive, it did it once in the first few minutes of a 20 minute ride

imma call it all good!

grille painted
received yesterday and today
Underdrive pulleys - saw a post here and it got me looking. Well, looking leads to buying. That's how I wound up in an Astro in the first place!
Fog lights - well cause. They just keep getting better and cheaper. And we have seriously dark roads around here.
Vinyl perforated wrap - love the look on Astrowill's, and it'll look good mine. Almost like a windowless van. And hopefully cut down on heat and give some privacy.
LubeGuard Instant Shudder Fix - best goo fix ever! Made it possible to buy a 4K van for 1k. The dealer didn't know what was wrong with it.
Seafoam Trans Tune - for later when I have all the other trans stuff
All that talk earilier about the switch and the 4LO indicator.

I learned all that from this thread: ... 0#p1026002
kudos to Hotwire!
My gas door was replaced with a poorly painted, floppy black one. Not as desired.
That's it under this one. It is almost the same size.

I'm gonna attach this one to the truck, without that door.

Round peg in a square hole.

That's better

new wheels and tires

sixsix said:
Nice new to you wheels - did you get the center caps too - or do they have them for them?

Not sparing any expense on photo size n' quality... are ya?
The wheels were cheap and didn't come with caps, but I found a set for also cheap on ebay this morning. Cheaper for all of it than any whole set I've found so far. so, win! I'm cheap. 85 for the wheels, 250 for tires.

Is the photo quality too good or too bad?
I just use my phone and then upload to the gallery.
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