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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    The Astro 2wd with standard 3.42 differential is rated at 5200 Lb. tow rating. The 1875 lbs. should not be any problem at all. Of course, you should have trailer brakes and an equalizer hitch. I tow a 30' Award RV trailer at around 4000 lbs. with a 97 Astro. My Astro has 3.73 ratio differential.
  • Hey all, I need to know the general variances of the later model Astro's and what to look for.

    For example, I understand at some point the AWD system went from permanent to 'real time' or similar where it's normally RWD. I don't want that.

    Also how about the best engine power? Brakes?

    I've got my eye on a 98 AWD LT for 7500, or possibly an 01 LS AWD at about 9900. Is mileage a real concern on these?
  • johnson3johnson3 Posts: 5
    I;ve been told that we might have legal recourse about this and hope that someone here can help me better understand the brake process. We just returned from a vacation to Florida (we drove our 93 Astro Van.) In Georgia we heard some squeaking coming from the left front, took it to a 'nationwide reputable chain' at which time it was confirmed we did need a front brake job. Fine, break job was completed. When they went to lower our van down off the alignment rack it dropped from approx. 4 ft. in the air. One tire punctured, and they said they check it and we were 'okay' to go. Approx. 400 miles later we enter another state, hear squeaking in the same front area, bring it into ANOTHER dealer from the same chain and we are told that our left hub nut is loose. They tightened the hub nut and said all was fine.
    On our return trip home 3 days ago, we were on an interstate going about 70 mph and instantly the left front tire freezes. State trooper advised as she helped us 'force' the van to the side of the interstate that she saw our left front tire being dragged as we got to the side.
    We were towed to a THIRD dealer of the same chain and were told we needed a new hub assembly - $840. questions are, Does the hub nut need at all to be loosened on a astro van when dealer #1 did the break job?
    If so, who would be to blame - dealer #1 for not re-tightening it or dealer #2 for not checking the origin of the problem instead of just tightening it and telling us all was ok?
    Also, when our van was dropped, what should they have checked to confirm we were safe to continue our trip?
    We have had no problems with this van until this trip and then all problems began when the brake job was done. We are safe - but I'll never forget the sound of our 3 daughters crying in the van when we locked up on the interstate in the middle lane with cars going around us at 75 mph. We had no way to get out of the van because of the fast moving traffic on both sides of us and more than once in waiting for the trooper were almost hit from behind. Some people tell me one dealer is negligent - others say 1 and 2 are....PLEASE ADVISE!!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    johnson3, I'm sorry to hear about the problem you experienced, and I'm sure it was very scary for you and your family.

    However, you really need expert legal advise, and we can't provide that for you. If you choose to pursue action in this matter, you will need to contact an attorney who will be able to get the full details of your situation, and help with expert advice.

    If you want to ask a question about the braking process in general, the best place is in our topic titled Stop here! Let's talk about brakes.

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  • cobramancobraman Posts: 3
    First off, let me say I'm glad no one got hurt when the hub seized. Second, I would be on the phone with my lawyer if I were you. And the Attorneys General from all the states where the shops were located. File claims wherever possible. Also, I would have the van inspected by a QUALIFIED shop locally. Tell them what happened. I would be concerned about damage to spindles, shocks, and motor mounts after a four foot fall. I busted both motor mounts on my 94 one time going too fast over a covered-up old railroad crossing. Astros aren't made for landing, if you know what I mean...

    Coonhound -- Your Astro will tow that trailer fine, just make sure it has brakes as already stated. Also, the factory receiver hitch is worth the price and very easy to install yourself. Mine took me less than 2 hours and 2 beers :) Remove the bumper, mount the hitch, and re-attach the bumper. All in factory holes.
  • I've got a 1998 Astro and lost the Original Keyless entry remote. Bought 2 off of e-bay, with the original part and FCC #'s on them. Need to find out how to program them to the truck. Dealer wants about $50 to do it. Can't see why I should pay that for 5 min of work. Programed the remote for my Grand Am in 5 min but that program doesn't work for this van.
    Somebody help!!
  • johnson3johnson3 Posts: 5
    Cobraman thanks so much for your advice! We just returned from our 'trip from hell' on Sunday but I'm already getting all papers, invoices, etc..ready to go for the attorney. GREAT advice about reporting to the attorney general also. (Sorry to hear about your starsky and hutch jump over the railroad tracks!)
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    It's a little more than 5 minutes to program remotes, but you might try a dealer with a lower labor rate. They should charge about .3 hours labor (roughly 15 minutes).
  • bungybungy Posts: 2
    I am about to obtain a 1994 Astro Starcraft. I have been told that the electric rear seat that folds down to a bed is inoperative at this time. Apparently there are 4 nylon runners that traverse the threaded links and they are completely worn. Can somebody please give me a link as to where I can obtain replacements.

    Many thanks

  • robcarobca Posts: 1
    Hi everybody. I just bought a 1994 Astro cargo van. Plenty of dings and blemishes, but the mechanical components are in good order (used to be a fleet van for NAPA, the parts store)

    I would like to buy a maintenance/repair book, to take care of the non working things myself (mostly doors sticking, lights not turning on, etc). I saw manuals from Chilton and Haynes.

    What manual would you suggest? Is there anything online that I can use (resources, forums, etc)? I tried searching around, but didn't find much on the Astro beyond this forum...

    Many thanks in advance, Rob
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Either van you're looking at will be fine. If you don't mind me asking why you want AWD. These systems are not the great advancements that are out there today. You basically get a reworked version of the old S-Blazer 4WD. If you can steer clear, go the 2WD route. Just my 2 cents but could you spend a little more and get a '03 model- getting you disc brakes all around, better power and emissions from the motor, and tie rod end links a little stronger (a common weak link).

    As far as problems with the years you're looking at, as long as there are some service records, you should be safe. The are the few common threads with power window motors, tie rods, but those are not too expensive even at the dealer.

    With your repair books, I always used Chiltons. They are also the group that writes the repair and time logs for mechanics. Unfortunately, being the SafAstros are not overly popular, ther are not too many references to use. Good luck
  • frmn8575frmn8575 Posts: 2
    Hi, you were almost on the problem. When you have slow battery drains and periodic non starts, it is a typically corrosion build up, majority of the time it is a "green" color. The wire that typically gets bad is the one ON the starter itself, the main battery wire. You should take it off, take a wire brush to the connector and the stud and this should fix the problem.

    Friend of mine had the SAME exact issue, even down to an argument at Wal-Mart cause he swore the battery was bad...We looked at the starter connection as I stated and whala, problem solved.
  • frmn8575frmn8575 Posts: 2
    Go with airbags, Firestone and AirLift both make 1000# bags for the Astro/Safari. You can run them at a minimum of 10lbs, giving the exact stock ride or up to about 100 lbs for maximum capacity!!

    Little spendy, $200-$300 depending on brand/features you get, but much better than leaf type helpers.
  • stan7stan7 Posts: 7
    2000 Chevy Astro Van. Driver side door handle just broke at the top hinge. Easy to replace myself? Will removing door panel give easy access for replacement? I know if I go thru dealer, they'll charge me plenty, although the window motor needs replacing too.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    Piece of cake. But instead of the panel holders popping out, the door panel lifts upward off the mounting clips. However it is a good idea to purchase some new plastic mounting plugs, clips, or whatever you call em. They are not very expensive. The window motor is a Bosch available at Auto Zone. Now let me back up a little. I really don't know how the door handle hinge is mounted, but probably with rivets the same as the window motor. But screws and nuts are used for replacement of the window motor. And possibly for the door handle.

    My rear door handle broke and the dealer wanted $45.00 or so for a new one. I rebuilt the broken one for about a dollar and made it so that it wouldn't break again like the original piece of junk. GM makes that junk out of pot metal so as to help with the dealer and GM income.
  • stan7stan7 Posts: 7
    I had to have it done within one day (business trip). Found a guy who replaced the door handle for $100 installed. Would've done it myself but ran outta time. Thanks.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    I also have a 93 astro van. Left window in up position Right window in the down position. Switch on both sides do not work l Took apart switch from left door . With key on , no power at that switch . Window breaker is good in fuse box. Are there relays for the windows ? If so, where ? Left window switch is new.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    Windows not working . No power to switch at left door. Breaker in fuse box is good. Do the windows have a relay somewhere ? left switch is new.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    I checked right door switch, there is power to switch, only got it to move slightly in down position then stopped working again. Still no power to left door switch tried with jumper lead from fuse box to power post on switch, motor for window still wont run . Ground problem ? Or bad motors.?
  • carl4carl4 Posts: 1
    I have been the owner of a 1992 Astro for about 10 years. I just upgraded to a 2002 and, to my surprize, it seems to get worse milage. The old van had a 3.42 rear end while the newer one has a 3.73 ratio, which apparently yeilds a higher towing capacity. Would this make a big difference in milage??? I havn't yet actually calculated the milage but it seems like the fuel gauge moves toward 'Empty' a lot quicker. Does anyone know what would be involved in changing out the rear end to the 3.42 to get better milage? Thanks.
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