getting my 89 Astro back to New England

getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » October 26th 2020, 3:27am

So when I move to california I moved here with a penske truck and car hauling trailer with my Astro on the trailer. Now it looks like we will be moving back to NH next spring/early summer since we have a buyer for the California home. But Penke does not rent just the trailer and we do not need the truck. I checked with Uhaul and the trailer alone is 1200+ and there website says the total weight to be on there trailer is 5k but my van weighs close to 6k and it says our ford e350 with the 10 cylinder is not (in there book) a good vehicle to tow the trailer and van together. Any ideas? its a 3040 mile trip. Would it be safe to just do it if I can get the trailer? No clue as to why Penske trailers can do it but u- hauls can not?
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby M_a_t_t » October 26th 2020, 3:40am

I would just get the U-haul.

The car trailer I rented didn't have (or atleast didn't require) trailer brakes. I used a 4 pin plug and they were fine with it. Maybe they think the van isn't good enough to pull that much weight without a trailer brake? Not sure. They didn't even have the car I was putting on the trailer in their system (73 Fiat 124) so their system isn't the best to begin with.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby Leeann_93 » October 26th 2020, 3:43am

Uhaul is overcautious.

I towed my Jeep Liberty (4000 lbs) on a Uhaul car trailer (2200 lbs) with my ‘02 Astro from MI to MD. But I had to tell them I was towing my ‘93 Tercel for the rental to go through.

I can’t see the E350 with V10 not being enough tow vehicle for an Astro on a Uhaul trailer. I will say it’s a bit tight for an Astro on the trailer, but it works fine. And my ‘93 Bravada CPI AWD towed my ‘99 AWD on a Uhaul trailer 20+ miles each way for an MVA inspection to remove salvage from the title. The Bravada, as you know, is a lot less vehicle, suspension, trans and engine than that E350 with V10.


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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby SheldonYoung » October 26th 2020, 4:01am

Did you get Transport Quotes? Should be anywhere from $1,500- $2,000.00
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby Leeann_93 » October 26th 2020, 4:03am

The Uhaul trailer has surge brakes; no controller required.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » October 26th 2020, 4:49am

OK cool funny I just searched on penske site and they have a max weight on trailer lower then u-haul and I towed my van across country to get here with one of there trailers no problems at all. My van is also a shorty which is like close to a foot shorter then yours LeeAnn. So i guess I better save some cash up to rent the trailer. Thanks Guys & LeeAnn.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby Leeann_93 » October 26th 2020, 12:51pm

The van is a foot shorter, but the wheelbase is the same. It’s not front to back that’s tight, it’s side to side. What you see at the front is all there is on the other side, so be careful loading.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby AstroWill » November 20th 2020, 11:25pm

markmitch wrote:OK cool funny I just searched on penske site and they have a max weight on trailer lower then u-haul and I towed my van across country to get here with one of there trailers no problems at all. My van is also a shorty which is like close to a foot shorter then yours LeeAnn. So i guess I better save some cash up to rent the trailer. Thanks Guys & LeeAnn.
Mark


A tow bar would work for you, just fab up a mount for the brackets, pull the driveshafts and off you go. Would also be significantly less weight.

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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » November 21st 2020, 12:07am

I looked into that and believe it or not some states have laws against that for vehicles over a certain weight. And most tow bars are rated at 5000 lbs and my van weighs is closer to 6000 lbs.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby sixsix » November 21st 2020, 12:48am

Someone on the Forum here ( I searched, thought it was I 'hatemybike', no luck ) towed an Astro home using the front wheel tow dolly thingamabob ( AWD driveshaft concerns ).

He/She had to first say to the rental boys, it was a "something else" and second, they had to put spacesavers on both front axles to fit the cradle whatsit. But... it worked and they said it was no problem.

And your Van weight is one thing and it full of all your moving stuff is another wgt. altogether.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » November 21st 2020, 1:00am

yeah but to tow it that way 3000 miles is a totally different thing. I would try it but the ford will be full too so all that weight may just be to much for to long a trip.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby Big_kid » November 21st 2020, 2:13am

sixsix wrote:Someone on the Forum here ( I searched, thought it was I 'hatemybike', no luck ) towed an Astro home using the front wheel tow dolly thingamabob ( AWD driveshaft concerns )



Very first post in the "what have you done with your van" thread:

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3299&
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby MechBob » November 21st 2020, 3:41am

"Flat towing" seems to be the thing,Most people do not realize flat towing comes with a whole different set of restrictions,especially among the states.Chances are,you are going to need a supplementary braking system(2k to more) if the vehicle you are flat towing is heavier than a CJ jeep.OH not even the newer CJ crap because the newer won's are so heavier,you should not even consider this. People give bad info,here ,and,seems some prefer to give info that is illegal and dangerous.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » November 21st 2020, 5:15am

yeah here are the laws for flay towing:
https://rvibrake.com/pages/flat-towing-law
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby AstroWill » December 1st 2020, 1:33am

markmitch wrote:I looked into that and believe it or not some states have laws against that for vehicles over a certain weight. And most tow bars are rated at 5000 lbs and my van weighs is closer to 6000 lbs.


There are tow bars that would work, some even have a provision for a cable operated brake that applies the towed vehicle brakes. However, if that isn't your style, can always use a tow dolly, even buy one and make some money. I sold mine in Maine for more than I bought it for. Seems there are a shortage of them up there with hydraulic surge brakes.

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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby MechBob » December 1st 2020, 1:57am

Clue us in.--
"There are tow bars that would work, some even have a provision for a cable operated brake that applies the towed vehicle brakes."
I have only seen 1,and I usually keep up on this stuff,and the "cable" system only works in case of a breakaway,locks up brakes.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby statesblue » December 1st 2020, 2:47am

Did you look at the U-Haul trailer?? Pretty small. They are really made to haul todays jelly bean cars not a van like yours.
As far as your truck I think its plenty big enough to get the job done. I pulled a 16' box trailer from AZ to Pa. with a short box F150. Not the best scenario but I did it. Your trip should be easier.
Have you considered looking for a used car trailer for sale? You might find something reasonable. Once you get back East you might be able to recover all or most of your investment. Seems better than throwing away $1200+....Just a thought..
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » December 1st 2020, 2:48am

I posted the link that shows the laws for flat towing in all us states. My van is over 3000 lbs so it is not legal. My goal is to drive it there but I have a ways to go to get it on the road. Luckily I found out why my transmission was not shifting and replaced the problem part. Engine is mounted on the frame but it appears my paas side exhaust manifold is against the frame and I took the tin cover off the manifold and it still barely touching the frame right in front of the shock mount. The transmission should be back together by Friday (waiting on one part) so I will install that when its done.
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby MechBob » December 1st 2020, 3:20am

Mark,I see you are going with a used valve body,so I will give you some info,to make it last.The early 700's had issues with the valve bodies,especially after being removed,from the factory.Not enough metal support,and weak aluminum.So,after totally stripping it,cleaning it,inspect all bores with a bend-a-light,or other similar flashlight.If you see any ridges(wear) in any of the valve orifices,throw it away."But", if you cannot,develop a sanding stick,to smooth them out,not a perfect fix,but can make it usable,especially with higher line pressure.(think about it,what caused you're valve to break?it jammed), Measure the flatness of the channel section,that bolts to the transmission case,yes the top side,better be very little warp.Install all valves(if you have made it this far), and slam down on a very thick/heavy board,several times.If all valves move freely,and straightedge on the "top" is good,good to go.For a second check,install all valves,and springs,and check free movement,you can use small pick tools to do this.If there is slight drag on a valve,slam on flat board,again,and recheck flatness.The transmission case never warps,so the more prep you do to the valve body,the happier the transmission will be.OH,also,there are 2(Ithink) valves that should have the leading edges "ground off",tapered,but,been too many years,and i cannot remember which ones.You should be able to find out on the net.Best of luck,my friend!!Bob
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Re: getting my 89 Astro back to New England

Postby markmitch [OP] » December 1st 2020, 4:16pm

I cleaned it checked it as you said its in great shape. the truck it came from was a 91 same year as my transmission and from looking at the truck it was involved in a pretty bad accident which is why it was in pnp. T-boned Is what we used to call. Thanks Bob
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