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AWD Astros generally have more issues?

932 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  snobird60
Looking to purchase my first Astro van, and have located one fairly close. It is an AWD with ~130,000mi.
My plan is to lift it with larger tires. It will be an occasional family mover, not an exploration vehicle. I understand AWD is not needed for my application.
I have heard the AWD vans have more issues - this makes sense as there are more components.
If this is true, are the issues usually big deals or small things? This specific van is a ‘99 model. I like the idea of having AWD because it opens up options if I ever do get adventurous. Small chance, but we also have the occasional brutal ice storm in my area. Again, small chance. Just sharing ideas that I like the sound of an AWD, but would like to hear if this is hundreds more per year to maintain, or usually just smaller items.
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I have a 95 AWD with 106K. I bought it with 101K, and even though everything looked and operated fine, I immediately went for rear & front differential inspection/refill (no signs of any problems) and transfer case drain and refill (also no signs of metal or burning.) With that done, I just stopped worrying about it. From what I know, there aren't any aftermarket options for the transfer case, so that's kinda important.

Yes, you have an extra driveshaft, CV-axles, and different front bearings. Aftermarket seems to have a pretty good handle on those parts. I believe there are differences between my Gen1 and your Gen 2 transfer case and tranny, but someone with more experience will have to explain.

130K is relatively nothing for a well-cared-for Astro. Pics would be helpful in getting informed opinions here.

Now for my opinion as an OE kind of guy. If you're looking for a daily driver, skip the taller tires, the clearance with stock config is already pretty impressive, and your drivetrain will surely last longer as designed.
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