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Old 06-18-2019, 07:32 PM
 
5,704 posts, read 4,278,576 times
Reputation: 11698

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr78609 View Post
The 94 to 97 aerostars are much better if you can find one. The 3.0 engine is one of the best Ford has ever made.

Don't they have transmission problems? It might have been later models I'm thinking of.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:00 PM
 
5,704 posts, read 4,278,576 times
Reputation: 11698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Hauler View Post
They are solid vans. I've seen a few examples go beyond 250k with relative ease. They had an AWD version as well... great combo vehicle.

And this is the one I want to hear more about. What kind of mpg do they get? Does that AWD do any good on bad forest roads and such? I've always driven awd Previas as my personal camper and they are plenty big enough and practically unstoppable but decent ones at a good price are getting very scarce.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:39 PM
 
Location: NYC
802 posts, read 1,366,118 times
Reputation: 621
They are very reliable and tough.
I still see them almost every day. you dont see many cars from that period on the road anymore.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:06 AM
 
272 posts, read 270,442 times
Reputation: 482
Fuel pump (on 96 and newer)
Intake manifold gasket (96+)
Ignition control mode (95 and older)
Front differential (AWD)
Transmission failure is hit/miss (700R4)

Those are the common problems, but they're otherwise reliable.

I don't understand the popularity of those vans because outside of it's smaller size, they really don't have much going for them. When used as a work van, they tend to get loaded up with a ton of weight and people think the V6 gets better fuel economy, but if you put 1500 pounds of cargo in a V6 Astro van and 1500 pounds in a V8 Express van, you're most likely going to get better fuel efficiency and reliability out of the V8 because it's not going to be operating under as much stress.

Unless you're hauling light loads or need a smaller van, then what's the point?
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:21 AM
 
2,486 posts, read 1,416,730 times
Reputation: 3118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
Don't they have transmission problems? It might have been later models I'm thinking of.
The ones made before 1993 had the tranny issues. The 94/97 had rock solid trannys.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,772,406 times
Reputation: 39453
The astro can be a great van. Do your research though - for a few years they had a dangerous design defect. The way they crushed in an accident was likely to kill the driver. They fixed it pretty quickly.

There are a few available in AWD. We really wanted one, but could not find any in decent condition (except the overpriced one). We found one with over 300,000 miles and another that had been in an accident and repaired (no, the driver was not killed).

They are kind of the ideal middle ground between a hulking "drive your living room around" full size conversion and a tiny, "everyone do yoga to get in and leave most of your luggage (and the dogs) behind" minivan. the cargo space even with seven passengers is remarkable. However seven passengers is tight. Six is more reasonable. They are not wide enough for a reasonable middle seat.

We looked and drove at quite a number of them before deciding to just go with a full sized conversion van because we could not find what we wanted. A few had replaced or rebuilt transmissions. Several had serious rust problems. All had a lot of miles on them. There were some really super nice conversions. Most needed suspension work (tie rods or control arms ) evidenced by uneven wear on the tires. But this is Michigan, if you find a used car that does not need some suspension (alignment) work, then it has not been driven much at all.

We did find one that was perfect. AWD, low miles (70K), beautiful conversion, not the crush the driver years. They wanted over $20 K for it. That was an absurd price for such an old vehicle. It did not have an eight track tape player, but the electronics and luxury features were considerably out of date. Seats had some visible wear. 70K miles mean some costs are needed and of course, the suspension needed work. Also it needed brake pads, but that is no big deal. For a while I frequently wished we had just manned up and paid the $20K plus, or at least tried to negoiate a mroe reasonable price, especially when the big van got stuck in the snow.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:06 AM
 
599 posts, read 498,230 times
Reputation: 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joewy View Post
I own 22 post 2000 astrovans.They all have more than 300,000 miles on them. The only real problem I had with them was the distributor wears out and needs to be replaced and the Aftermarket distributor caps are junk. The transmissions have a small problem. A valve that gets stuck and causes it to shift hard into 2nd when its hot. But its only a $250 fix from a non crook transmission shop.
I was at one of my jobsites, and noticed that the heating contractor had a van in my way. I asked him to move it, and he asked if I could just jump in and do it? I jumped into the nastiest van on the road. Due to being constantly saturated with heating oil and other nasty stuff, the steering wheel was down to a big round steel rod in most places, with the cover and padding long gone. The seat was missing most of the bottom cushion, and a lot of the factory cover. The shifter felt like a big spoon, wallowing around in a bowl of mashed potatoes. I looked at the mileage as I found reverse. It had 477,000 on it. I asked the owner what the story was? He said he was hard on vans (really? I wouldn't of ever guessed) and his Astro van is simply unkillable, rarely broke or needed much in the way of repairs. I was impressed. OTOH, I owned it's bigger brother, a 1500 Express with the 4.3, and I would take that in a heartbeat, over any Astro. Astros can be reliable, but even though I'm very biased, my Express was one of the best trucks I ever owned.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:09 AM
 
3,861 posts, read 3,149,628 times
Reputation: 4237
Astrovans should have never stopped production.
Great van,good layout. I owned a mark3 conversion model, had great times with .

Reliable as most other Chevy 4.3 rwd vehicles.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
20,292 posts, read 37,164,114 times
Reputation: 16397
Lots of Astro minivans in the fleet of the place I work at. They seem to be very reliable, but all are the AWD version (none FWD).
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:26 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
12,350 posts, read 9,712,992 times
Reputation: 13892
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
Lots of Astro minivans in the fleet of the place I work at. They seem to be very reliable, but all are the AWD version (none FWD).
There were no FWD Astros - probably the biggest factor in their being such a hardy and durable platform. They were introduced as a RWD chassis and the AWD option was added later.
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