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2005 Astro passenger 2WD, 2004 Astro passenger AWD, 2005 Astro cargo AWD (organ donor)
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My name is Doug and as you can see I'm not too creative when it comes to user names. I've had Astros for years and have used this forum many times over the years and I finally have a couple projects going that I thought would be worth sharing so I thought I'd join.

First I want to thank you all for the wealth of knowledge on this forum. There are two in particular that stick out in my mind. The first is fixing the ABS light by resoldering some connections in the ABS controller. The second one, and it's a few years ago now so I can't find the thread again, helped me fix a problem on a 2003 that I had. It had a problem where the fuse that powers the MAF kept blowing. I ran across a thread on here which basically said, "the bracket that holds the engine harness on the right rear corner of the engine chafes through this particular wire and shorts it to ground." I dug into my van and sure enough that was my problem. This post saved me hours of diagnostic time so again, thank you all very much.

I've had 6 Astros total and currently have 3. I'm trying to get back down to 1 but they keep multiplying. I'm sure you know how it goes. I've had the same problem with other cars in the past, particularly Fieros and Miatas. And motorcycles - IT200s and IT490s.

My first Astro was a '90 2WD passenger van. I got this one back in about 2000 or 2001 with 140k miles on it. I fell in love with it because for me it's the perfect balance of usefulness and size - it has enough interior space that I can haul lots of people or tons of stuff, and I can stretch out and sleep in it when I'm on a road trip. It's powerful enough and big enough that I can tow a car across the country with it (it's not fast, but I'm patient), and yet it's not so big that I have to do a 3 point turn to park it at the grocery store.

Ten years later after I had put ANOTHER 140k miles on my '90 I realized that at 280k it was starting to wear out and I needed to find another one because they weren't making them any more! In 2011 I picked up a perfect condition 2005 2WD with 103k miles on it. It had been government owned and maintained and was a van pool van, so it had perfect maintenance and just driven to work and back by boring adults. Here's my '90 and my '05 back in 2011:


Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Vehicle


The first thing I did was remove the running boards because they prevented me from putting the van on my 2-post lift. After that I told myself at the time that the '05 Astro was NOT going to be a project. I have enough project cars as it is and the Astro needed to be something that stayed stock and just got driven. It remained that way for about 11 years and now it's finally time to become a project.

To be continued (if anybody cares)...

I'll get to my other 4 Astros eventually but I already feel like I've written a novel here so I'm going to stop and get back to work.
 

· Registered
1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
Joined
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1,581 Posts
Hi All,

My name is Doug and as you can see I'm not too creative when it comes to user names. I've had Astros for years and have used this forum many times over the years and I finally have a couple projects going that I thought would be worth sharing so I thought I'd join.

First I want to thank you all for the wealth of knowledge on this forum. There are two in particular that stick out in my mind. The first is fixing the ABS light by resoldering some connections in the ABS controller. The second one, and it's a few years ago now so I can't find the thread again, helped me fix a problem on a 2003 that I had. It had a problem where the fuse that powers the MAF kept blowing. I ran across a thread on here which basically said, "the bracket that holds the engine harness on the right rear corner of the engine chafes through this particular wire and shorts it to ground." I dug into my van and sure enough that was my problem. This post saved me hours of diagnostic time so again, thank you all very much.

I've had 6 Astros total and currently have 3. I'm trying to get back down to 1 but they keep multiplying. I'm sure you know how it goes. I've had the same problem with other cars in the past, particularly Fieros and Miatas. And motorcycles - IT200s and IT490s.

My first Astro was a '90 2WD passenger van. I got this one back in about 2000 or 2001 with 140k miles on it. I fell in love with it because for me it's the perfect balance of usefulness and size - it has enough interior space that I can haul lots of people or tons of stuff, and I can stretch out and sleep in it when I'm on a road trip. It's powerful enough and big enough that I can tow a car across the country with it (it's not fast, but I'm patient), and yet it's not so big that I have to do a 3 point turn to park it at the grocery store.

Ten years later after I had put ANOTHER 140k miles on my '90 I realized that at 280k it was starting to wear out and I needed to find another one because they weren't making them any more! In 2011 I picked up a perfect condition 2005 2WD with 103k miles on it. It had been government owned and maintained and was a van pool van, so it had perfect maintenance and just driven to work and back by boring adults. Here's my '90 and my '05 back in 2011:


View attachment 288117

The first thing I did was remove the running boards because they prevented me from putting the van on my 2-post lift. After that I told myself at the time that the '05 Astro was NOT going to be a project. I have enough project cars as it is and the Astro needed to be something that stayed stock and just got driven. It remained that way for about 11 years and now it's finally time to become a project.

To be continued (if anybody cares)...

I'll get to my other 4 Astros eventually but I already feel like I've written a novel here so I'm going to stop and get back to work.
Welcome Doug from Duvall, from Rod from Issaquah.
I will watch for more, and for seeing your vans as I drive thru your town.
Rod J
 

· Registered
92' ASTRO EXT AERO LEISURE TOURING model 4.3 L V6 RWD Barn Doors @ 402,500 + miles org motor/tran
Joined
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64 Posts
WELCOME DOUG 😃 with not 1 but 3 😄
I SEE U have sweet kissin' cuzins here in your photo & OWN " more" then" ONE ASTRO 😁 😄
HOLY MOLEY !!! U live north of where I "usually" live ( Renton) & so does Rod J 😆
UR absolutely 💯 RIGHT about the fellas & this INCREDIBLE site 👏 I have been the lucky & BLESSED owner of "only one" .... my 92' ASTRO ❤ since 98' when I bought her from family who drove her out here from West Virginia @ 140,000 & currently she has 402,528 miles 🤩 & she still purrs like a kitten 😸 MEOW ! I can't imagine driving "anything" else but I know I "should" have a " spare" but hard to find ASTROS out in our neck of the woods.
My " RUTHIE" has much sentimental value 4 me so I have kept her well loved ❤ & this site as U know helps KEEP us & our beloved rides goin 😀 😊
Would U ever B interested in " mayB" parting with one of your " other " Astros down the road as in " selling" 🤔? Just a thought 2 ponder? EVERYTHING U mention about them is RIGHT ON as they & my ole girl has been the BEST sent of wheels I have " ever owned!" I never even knew about this site & all the AMAZING DIY FELLAS that do SO MUCH but it is & they R truely the BEST!!
Will LOOK 4 WARD in seeing " more" of your ASTRO FAMILY 😂 & all U have 2 " share" with us 😃
 

· Registered
92' ASTRO EXT AERO LEISURE TOURING model 4.3 L V6 RWD Barn Doors @ 402,500 + miles org motor/tran
Joined
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64 Posts
I SHALL do just that 😆
THANKS " tungtie"!
What kinda miles U got on " your " wheels?!
This site makes "honorable mentions" to who has the "most relies" & so on BUT would it NOT B FUN 🤔 2 have one 4
WHO'S GOT THE MOST MILES both for
"original " & if U fellas have " swapped" out your motors 😉 & still drivin' your perspective ASTROS/ SAFARIS 😃
BET'CHA MY RUTHIE would " win!" ❤ Ha! Ha! 😄 🤩 ... . just saying!
MAYB mention that 2 ASTROWILL 😂
DANG! U fellas could think up all kinds of " honorable mentions cus U have certainly DONE it ALL 😁!!
 

· Registered
2004 Astro V6
Joined
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233 Posts
..Sorry I'm late to the party..another PNWer..but I'm closer, in Lynnwood..Appears we have similar tastes in Astros..My "camperfied " red 90 is AWD Extended and I have a 2004 RWD in blue as the daily driver.Many moons ago,I had an '86 white cargo van as my first.. WELCOME!

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Automotive side marker light Car

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle
 

· Registered
92' ASTRO EXT AERO LEISURE TOURING model 4.3 L V6 RWD Barn Doors @ 402,500 + miles org motor/tran
Joined
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64 Posts
WOW 😁 "realityguy" WHAT a BEAUTIFUL pair of ASTRO " BABES" U have here 😍 💙 ❤ & its OK 2 B late to the party 🥳 🤣
R these the " original " colors" & HOW have U kept them SO LOVE-A-LEE considering the 🌧 us PNWers must contend with 😲
I do " spy" a cover next 2 your BLUE 💙 or do U keep them in a garage ?
Whats your mileage & give us all a little " history" on your GORGEOUS GALS here !!
Whats your " camperfied" red ❤ one " look" like inside BTW? GO AHEAD ....SHOW OFF your handy work 😆
 

· Registered
2004 Astro V6
Joined
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233 Posts
The paint jobs..are not so great.The red one sat in the yard for 15 years.1990s seem to have had really bad paint for the ones I've seen .especially on the roofs and hood. I had to repaint the back doors,trim strips above the windows and the front hood a couple times,but the hood needs to be redone because of Mother Nature" peeing" on my clear coat as I was trying to finish it this spring(She was mean...You remember all the rain?)The roof is repainted to a rustoleum's satin silver(no longer available) with clear coat to match the graphics and wheels.The blue one is original paint but you can see the old "CARPOOL" faintly thorugh that on the back doors.. was DOT. I can't seem to lightly buff it off.
The red has 141K and the blue about 180K.


No interior pics now..Once I get it finished this spring,I'll sit down and do a build thread..The bench seats move around for bed mode,all cabinets can come up.out..thetford toilet cabinet,12 volt system cabinet,Kitchen area cabinet w. drawers,solar..etc..etc..I"M NOT DONE! I think a couple quick pics are in other spots about '90 astros or safaris?..maybe a couple in..What did I do with my van today?..somewhere.

FOR Doug..If you need some '91 RED ASTRO parts for a shortie(AWD)..there are some left on one at P-N-P (Lynnwood)_.I spent a couple hundred $+ on parts I've pulled off it.It appears someone maintained it using the better quality sensors and parts(GM,AC Delco)and other parts to keep it maintained.I don't know why it was donated??? I think it had 250K?*odometer? there) but it might have had a newer engine or trans(we'll never know).I made 3 trips down there since its less than a mile from my house. The front AWD is gone but the AWD half shafts/hubs are there..I grabbed a whole lot of sensors,the abs wiring harness(to the four SS connectors),a RR speed sensor(needed..GD! light on),GM distributor,-cap-rotor-AC delco SP wires, and unmarked? alternator(both looked new).Someone left the doghouse bolted on(SWEET FOR ME,,first picks under there!)..radiator and that is gone..fan portion is there,tbi/injector parts look intact)I grabbed the new air cleaner filter(kept forgetting to buy one).water pump looks old(no thanks..)..4.3engine Z I believe..like mine ..and transmission-transfer case is there.Appears to have had a recent brake job and FULL electrical tuneup..good drums/shoes,discs,etc..I grabbed the new short front rubber hoses to the AWD hubs(not even dusty).. Interior is red not gray but kind of shot.I grabbed the slide-on-seam weather stripping for the barndoor back and side doors(glued on strips still there..had some similar corner flaws as mine...door handles look good(driver's rear?,,side door is gone but they left the bottom roller for me already out..(Gee Thanks!).Good black(PPG?) edged windshield intact(Damn I need that!),back door glass?Think one was busted).I think the interior plastic pieces are black not gray also..Some parts sitting in the van already taken out..Doghouse carpet is "off the dog".. roll-up windows not electric.carpet and headliner is bad(backing might be okay..sagging cover..RED..like naugahide) I can't remember the seats other than red..The gas tank is dented(looks like it was forklifted).. I think the gas door cable was intact as was the door,inlet tube..Cap?). Interior plastic floor trim pieces..say for the side door and back door are black as are the inner door plastic I think..(remember crank windows..I don't think the panels jhave been removed..speakers are crap.it had after market radio and speakers,,front speakers looked old and bad..black colored grills.Hmm..shocks looked okay..motor mounts weren't..
Bear in mind it is "PNW..no rust!". .as far as I could tell.It's sitting on a DRY clean, gravel area..on welded stands,easy to crawl all around under it.Outside the sides I used one of the front mats(so-so).Mud flaps no good..and not Astro anyway)
I haven't been there for a week or so..so that list might have changed(I never saw anyone else looking..the only Astro listed there on the website!.. I'm trying not to go back down there..keeps costing me money for my parts pile.I do need a set of ASTRO horse-type blinders!..LOL!
 

· Registered
2005 Astro passenger 2WD, 2004 Astro passenger AWD, 2005 Astro cargo AWD (organ donor)
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey all,

Thanks for the warm welcome. Pretty cool to see that there are a handful of us here in western Washington. Hi Rod, Pam, and Realityguy! Hope to meet you all in person some time.

Realityguy, thanks for the tip on the Lynwood pick and pull, but the '90 in my photo above is long gone. I sold it around 2013 and it was replaced by the white '05 in the same photo.

Continuing my Astro story, I picked up Astro #3 in January of 2020. I found an '04 AWD at a dealer in Seattle. The transmission was out (it had 1-2 & R, no 3-4) but I picked it up for $1500 out the door! Score! Here's how I got it home:

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Land vehicle


Two days later it snowed and I got to drive it around in the snow. I was instantly sold on AWD. Even though I'd been driving 2WD Astros in the snow just fine for 20 years, one drive in AWD and there was no going back.

This one had a pretty rough interior. The previous owner was a drywall contractor and it showed. I call this one the drywall van. Believe it or not the interior looks a lot cleaner in this photo than it actually was.

Motor vehicle Vehicle Trunk Automotive tire Automotive lighting


My plan was to part this van out and use the AWD parts to convert my '05 to AWD since the shell and interior on my '05 are perfect. The first thing I did was put a new transmission in it because I needed that for the AWD swap anyway. The problem is that over the past 3 years I've been fixing it up and driving it and now it's too nice to part out. I've managed to replace most of the interior bits for free from people who were converting their Astros to campers, and the couple other parts I needed (front carpet, etc) I found in decent shape at a pick and pull. I've got good carpet and good seats in it now and this has been a great van!

I now have a new organ donor for my '05, so this '04 AWD will be for sale when I complete that project. Pam, I'll let you know. Could be 6 months, could be 2 years. We'll see how the other project goes.
 
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