Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

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Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby BBSig [OP] » October 2nd 2012, 4:35pm

So I went through a divorce and have 4 kids. Borrowed an Armada for a while to make it work but then came upon a 02 AWD Astro that just got painted for $3500. It needed a seat belt and was good to go for a few months. So far I have replaced the starter, heater control valve and now I am changing the head gaskets and all that goes with it. I was going to upgrade to the new spider but when I checked into it I found that my 02 already has the new style of spider! The bad news is that the "mechanic" that changed the radiator prior to the sale changed the coolant without flushing the dexcool so now I have the nasty gel in parts of my engine. This also explains why I had a bad head gasket and some of my coolant passages were clogged as well as a few leaky head bolts. I don't think there was any major damage but I did find some very small "cream cheese" deposits in the valve cover and on some of the head bolts. Draining the oil yielded no sludge coming out so I think I caught this in time for only superficial evidence.

I am going ahead a replacing the original water pump, spark plugs, wires and I believe the original cap and rotor. Yes, I believe all of this is original. I could not get the exhaust manifolds out or I would go ahead and paint them. No big loss. Below are the part numbers I am thinking of going with. I might change the plugs to NGK TR55GP. I was going to compare the two of them at the store. The NGK's are almost half price.

Spark Plugs AC Delco 41-993
Plug Wires MSD 5577
Oil Filter Wix 51036 lg/ 51040 sm
Fuel Filter Wix 33481
Distributor Cap Accel 120142
Rotor Accel 130141

I will be flushing the oil and the coolant a few times to get all the crap out of it.

My next step is to change the lubricants to the following next month. I am greasing everything with synthetic hi temp grease. Anything I am missing?

Automatic Trans Dexron III 5 qts
Rear Diff 75W-90 Synthetic 3.5 pts
Brake Fluid DOT-3
Power Steering GM Power Steering

I am not much on pictures as I don't like getting my phone greasy and I hate washing my hands all the time.

If someone can chime in as to why my #1 exhaust valve looks like it may be sticking open or if this is normal. Also, would there be a problem using the Oxalic acid to flush the engine after the change of gaskets or if that will be alright?
IMG_20121001_154754.jpg
#5 Cylinder
IMG_20121001_154805.jpg
#1 Cylinder
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby chevymaher » October 2nd 2012, 6:36pm

Exhaust valve looks good. Nice tan grey color. It running right. If all of them look like that then your set. That engine running good.

I know you didn't just badmouth Dex-Fool. LOL. Just do a good job flushing it out so the passages are not blocked. So you dont have localized overheating.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby Leeann_93 » October 3rd 2012, 12:01am

Go ahead and get the AC Delco 41-993. You won't regret it; they last forever and are really smooth. This is a job you don't want to do more than necessary.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby BBSig [OP] » October 3rd 2012, 3:22am

How many pictures are you seeing? I posted 2 for comparison.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby Corsemoto » October 3rd 2012, 3:48am

Leeann_93 wrote:Go ahead and get the AC Delco 41-993. You won't regret it; they last forever and are really smooth. This is a job you don't want to do more than necessary.


I second the AC Delco 41-993 spark plugs, that's what I've stuck with - good life and no complaints. In the end not worth a couple bucks if you have to change them out again or sooner.

If you're doing fluids, front differential takes the same synthetic 75w90 (2.5 pints) and the transfer case for yours takes GM Auto-Trak II fluid (2 quarts) from dealer or possibly an AC Delco distributor.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby Lumpy » October 3rd 2012, 8:53pm

BBSig wrote:
... I am going ahead a replacing the original water pump...



Consider doing the steering gear box while you're in there.

Whether you do or don't replace the gear box, replace the PS hoses and install a PS filter. It's cheap, small, just clamps inline on the low pressure hose, looks like a fuel filter.

And as long as you're in there, how 'bout replacing the vacuum hoses, PCV valve.

As you're flushing the coolant, add a little RTV around the pipes/hoses that go through the firewall to the interior heater box. Those OEM rubber gaskets get eaten up pretty well with all the heat and fumes in the engine compartment. Prolly examine and dab up the same seals on the rear heat, if you have such a device.

Clean the cup holders.


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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby BBSig [OP] » October 8th 2012, 7:25pm

I bought plugs, wires, cap and rotor today and hope to button it up tomorrow. I'll let you know how she runs.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby BBSig [OP] » October 22nd 2012, 5:10am

Why the steering gear box?

I did the vacuum hoses. Changed the oil pump since I couldn't turn it by hand. Now the engine is idling high and the check engine light is on. Taking it in the morning to get it read for codes.
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What harm can a little deer do?

Postby BBSig [OP] » January 11th 2013, 6:51am

2171 + 2172 = 2174

It looks like we both lost. The world is probably one less Astro. The adjuster told me today that we are already at the threshold and he still hasn't gotten the hood open. I could see the brake master cylinder was out of place by looking through the bend in the hood.

We had a gathering of 2 volunteer firefighters vehicles, 1 VFD ****, 2 sheriff's cars, 1 state troopers car and 2 wreckers all flashing lights! I told the wrecker dispatcher to send a flatbed tow truck and she must have forgot. The wrecker got there and I wouldn't let him hook up and when I told him why, he asked why I didn't tell the dispatcher that. LOL.

I'm not finding any good substitutes so I may have to find an SUV. Going to look in a few close by towns but not looking good.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby icebrrg3rd » January 11th 2013, 4:05pm

OUCH! That's not gonna buff out. Too bad about the van, hope you can find something to replace it. Did you keep the deer?

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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby Maxximum_44 » January 11th 2013, 4:15pm

Sorry for your loss, glad everyone's okay.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby Big_kid » January 13th 2013, 3:47am

X2 what Max said above. Find a van that needs help, and use this one for parts?
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby chevymaher » January 13th 2013, 4:55am

Omg compared to my van that is just a flesh wound. It still got 8.5 lives left.

Kidding hope you get it sorted out.
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Re: Kid Hauler and Camping/Multi-purpose van

Postby BBSig [OP] » January 14th 2013, 7:47am

Finding out today what the adjuster is saying it will cost. The other day he was guessing around $4400 without digging to find hidden damage in the engine. He says there is evidence of internal damage. Not sure what that means but I cannot find a reasonable Astro replacement anywhere around. Everybody is holding on to their good Astros. :cry:
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