What have you done to/with your van today?

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby tungtide » January 11th 2021, 12:08am

Just cleaning parts. Went to Ohio and picked up the cast iron front differential.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Big_kid » January 11th 2021, 12:30am

After wrapping up the CPS install in the Mazda this morning I decided it was time to give the Astro some attention. I pulled the driver seat out so I could wiggle myself up under the dash to replace the brake switch I'd installed for the brake controller. I got that done, then moved on to the controller itself. I could not get it to work on a recent trip. Turns out that shiny controller I bought because it was the same model as the one I had previously is intermittent at best. I had to play with it to get any output to the trailer brake wire (taking into account the delay time). I briefly considered using parts from the pretty one to revive it's predecessor, but soon thought that I had other tings to do with my time than to keep an obsolete brake controller alive. I poked around Amazon a little bit and found a Tekonsha and a pigtail for under $50. Not worth the time to fool with the old one, not to mention the liability should it ever fail when I needed it. I put the seat back in, pushed the tools into the garage and called it a night.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby AstroWill » January 11th 2021, 5:53am

tungtide wrote:Just cleaning parts. Went to Ohio and picked up the cast iron front differential.

Awesome! Hope you didn't have to go too far. Did you use a website to find your differential or just call around to different yards?

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby tungtide » January 11th 2021, 3:38pm

Facebook market place. Seller met me half way. Paid 350 took my old axel to make sure. Had to trust on the ratio. I think if the ratio is incorrect I could use the gears out of my stock aluminum one. Don’t know could be an expensive lesson. Rookies what do we know? Thankful for this site!
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Rockridge » January 12th 2021, 12:00am

Replaced ds upper ball joint on Sunday. Good times.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 12th 2021, 12:52am

Rockridge wrote:Replaced ds upper ball joint on Sunday. Good times.



Upper is a HELLUVA lot easier than lower.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Rockridge » January 12th 2021, 11:13pm

Didn't have to drill rivets, garage replaced the originals with some low quality junk, lasted 11 months +/-18k miles. They put the bolts in from the top down, then cut off the exposed threads, never bent over the cotter pin for the castle nut ( found that right after their install). I need to build a garage with a lift....
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 12th 2021, 11:17pm

Rockridge wrote:Didn't have to drill rivets, garage replaced the originals with some low quality junk, lasted 11 months +/-18k miles. They put the bolts in from the top down, then cut off the exposed threads, never bent over the cotter pin for the castle nut ( found that right after their install). I need to build a garage with a lift....



Good grief.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Mmusicman » January 14th 2021, 3:38am

I drove one of our empty 04 Cargo Astro's to go pick up a big load of communications equipment today.

My Impressions:

Wow! For starters, it's a rocket compared to my 2000! (mine has much higher mileage, as well as a only 3.42 and over-sized tires..it's a dog). Empty, this cargo with stock sized tires and 3.73 gear.. it launches like a bat out of hell! Slams you back in the seat hard. In fact, off the line you punch it and it will easily burn rubber. It felt more like my V8. Even burned rubber passing someone from a rolling start. It has more acceleration in 2nd than my 2000 has in 1st.

On the highway, it blazes on acceleration too, and easily maintained high speeds. It felt strong at easy throttle. In fact, it has significantly more power in 4th gear over-drive than mine does downshifting to 3rd (passing gear). I was simply shocked how easily and well it accelerates! Fresh motor (only 133K).. and good gearing REALLY make a HUGE difference!

Empty it drove like a sports car. Maneuvered easily, held the road, starting and stopping were a breeze. At 80+ it was super smooth and straight. It might have had a slight bit more wobble than mine due to passenger tires and stock shocks.

Stock brakes were amazing!
Turning radius is a little poor (less than mine).. I don't know what's up with that.
PS pump growls a little on low rpms turns, and it has a squeaky pulley...lol
It's got a few dings and bumps.
AM radio works fantastic (way better than mine..strong with no static).. but only has front lower speakers in doors. One luxury.. electric doors! (locks and windows)

We actually have a pair of these 04 cargo vans.. both identical, both about same mileage, both roof racks, both 3.73 gearing. Sadly, one has been abandoned (possible transmission issues) but is dent and rust free (available if I want it).. and the other mostly sits as a backup (the one I drove today). Several other 03's in the lot too, with flat tires (not sure their status).

That's it.. that was my exciting Astro day! :D

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 14th 2021, 4:39am

Mmusicman wrote:Turning radius is a little poor (less than mine).. I don't know what's up with that.



I thought it was my imagination. My ‘02 and ‘99 both turn better than my ‘05.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby icebrrg3rd » January 14th 2021, 7:03pm

Leeann_93 wrote:
Mmusicman wrote:Turning radius is a little poor (less than mine).. I don't know what's up with that.



I thought it was my imagination. My ‘02 and ‘99 both turn better than my ‘05.


Probably that extra lug on the wheels... :confused: :rofl:

MM, too bad you already have two Astros, or you could grab another. Leeann is a bad example you could follow on how many is too many Astros. :think:

Mine is still sitting, almost halfway thru its month of non-driving. It's so hard walking out to the street and having to take the Sebring instead of the Astro. But soon it'll be active again. Tossed a couple of my Christmas presents in it, I got a 13/16" impact socket and a 1/2" drive extension to go with the HF clicking torque wrench I have exclusively for it (for tire changes). That way I always have the tools I need in it in case my toolbag is in another vehicle. Think I might have a pouch made for them like it's an OEM thing. Hmmm, my daughter took some sewing classes, and she's always looking for money...

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby C11MAN » January 15th 2021, 2:01am

Custom bushings done for upper control arms as well as borrowed works part washer to get about 1/4" of baked on grease off the front diff. Getting real excited!ImageImage

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 15th 2021, 3:08am

icebrrg3rd wrote:Leeann is a bad example you could follow on how many is too many Astros. :think:


I thought I was a good example?????
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby AstroWill » January 15th 2021, 5:43am

icebrrg3rd wrote:Leeann is a bad example you could follow on how many is too many Astros. :think:


Is there a such thing as too many? Does 6 count as too many?

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Mmusicman » January 15th 2021, 4:03pm

I'm trying to SIMPLIFY my life... NOT complicate it more! lol
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby markmitch » January 15th 2021, 4:25pm

I dropped the trans fluid pan cleaned it out and replace the filter today, Then added Lucas transmission fluid and topped it off with the type 3 transmission fluid on the 03. Then started work on the remote oil filter for the 89. Seems in my case the stock 5.7 oil filter is so close to the front drive shaft I fear it may hit. S I have to find a location that would not be in the way if I was driving off road.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Mmusicman » January 15th 2021, 8:23pm

markmitch wrote:Seems in my case the stock 5.7 oil filter is so close to the front drive shaft I fear it may hit..

Might not be an issue... BOTH front differential and transfer case are on FIXED locations..
I would think the drive-shaft would never vary much at all.
Of course everything is on rubber mounts (incl engine)..
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby icebrrg3rd » January 15th 2021, 11:45pm

Leeann_93 wrote:
icebrrg3rd wrote:Leeann is a bad example you could follow on how many is too many Astros. :think:


I thought I was a good example?????


Good, bad, it's all semantics. My wife would say you're a good example of a bad example, as in if I tried copying you (and your menagerie of vans), my body would probably not be found...

I'd love to have a fleet of vans and part vans, stored away in a pole barn with a paint booth and a lift. Somewhere where she wouldn't find out about them.

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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 16th 2021, 12:25am

I'd love the pole barn with the lift. Or just the pole barn. Ooh, though, lift and paint booth. That'd be nice.

Move the compressor out there, plumb it up with 2 different feeds - oil for tools and extra drying for paint.



Though if I adopted one more Astro/Safari, I'm not sure my body would ever be found.
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Re: What have you done to/with your van today?

Postby Leeann_93 » January 17th 2021, 2:15am

Drove it. Went up to Pittsburgh to meet my best friend and do the reverse mom swap.

Stopped in Breezewood on the way home and filled up on 90 octane without ethanol. Got 17.5 mpg for the leg with that gas. On 89 octane with 10%, I got 16.3 at best.

But ethanol is good :roll:
'05 Astro AWD vin X
'02 Astro LS AWD vin X
'00 Astro LS AWD - WIP
'99 Safari XLE AWD - broke
'93 AWD EXT vin W - real broke
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Leeann_93
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Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LS AWD

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