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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just closed a deal on my first van- a 2000 Astro with about 130K on the clock, AWD with the auto-locking diff, the "dutch doors", a hitch, and a bunch of new parts. Going to pick it up Sunday.
I try to use my motorcycle whenever I can (even for 100+ mile commuting runs, often in inclement weather), but a guy needs a winter beater around here, and this particular guy just got tired of trying to haul stuff, pull a trailer, or sleep inside his otherwise-beloved '94 Suzuki Sidekick.
I've owned a 2-door Tracker, 4-door Tracker, and 4-door 'kick over the years... love them, especially in snow, but I need just a little bit more space and power. Also, the current 'kick has started rotting spectacularly in the two years I've owned it, and the auto trans with 305K on it is probably going to give up the ghost any day now.
That Sidekick will be up for sale shortly, BTW... comes with two sets of wheels and everything needed to convert to manual (5-spd trans/transfer case, pedals, and drive shaft).
I was initially thinking Honda Odyssey, but the ground clearance is too low for getting in/out of my garage (long story), and I just don't trust a FWD vehicle in snow. Great mpg rating, and it's a Honda... but. Kind of a 4WD/AWD purist when it comes to winter driving, although my '71 Volvo 164E was, hands-down, the best winter-driving vehicle I've ever owned (can't really say why; it just was). Anyway,I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone here.
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1999 AWD Safari, 1995 Astro 5-speed
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Welcome!
Make sure to check your front body to subframe mounts, one of the most common rust points on these vans if it came from any salt areas

Looks like a nice example!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome!
Make sure to check your front body to subframe mounts, one of the most common rust points on these vans if it came from any salt areas

Looks like a nice example!
Yeah I will give it a more thorough looking-over this summer... my cursory inspection showed very little rust underneath. The rockers are clean, and there is only one bit of surface funkiness in front of the right rear wheel well, but it was "adressed" at some point, and shouldn't be a big deal. It took a hit of some kind on the front right corner- upper control arm was replaced, as well as the fender (which is blue but I don't care), so I don't need to worry about that area for a while.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Van are GREAT multi-purpose vehicles and always a pleasure to drive.

Welcome from South Florida
 

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Welcome! Just so you k ow what you are getting into search the forum for “radiator core support rust”. The front subframe mounts (just behind the bumper) mount to the radiator core support. This is a common rust area, and can be difficult to repair.

Looking at the pictures you posted the bumper cover is bending slightly where it touches the turn signal housing…. This (can be) a sign of serious trouble lurking.
Not to be a buzz kill…. Just hoping you get into the right van. 👍🏼
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome! Just so you k ow what you are getting into search the forum for “radiator core support rust”. The front subframe mounts (just behind the bumper) mount to the radiator core support. This is a common rust area, and can be difficult to repair.

Looking at the pictures you posted the bumper cover is bending slightly where it touches the turn signal housing…. This (can be) a sign of serious trouble lurking.
Not to be a buzz kill…. Just hoping you get into the right van. 👍🏼
Yeah, there was some collision damage to the right corner (upper control arm and the fender sheet metal were replaced), and as far as I can tell, the bumper cover was removed and reinstalled. Didn't see significant rust in the area you mention, and the subframe looks OK- my guess is that the cover was deformed and/or reinstalled improperly. There is quite a bit of Bondo or something on that cover, also.
 

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Welcome....I bought my 2005 AWD in Pennsylvania with 131k on the clock....and while these things hold up pretty well, there are some rust issues you will have to look out for eventually. There's a ton of info available here...and lots of inspiration as well. Welcome!
 
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