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#80471 - January 15th 2006 8:40 pm thinking about buying an awd
gypsy Offline

Registered: October 04th 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 12
Loc: Western NY
I've been out looking at vans and I found a 2003 Astro AWD. Anything I should be looking for (problem areas,etc)? Any help or comments appreciated.

#80472 - March 08th 2006 2:52 pm Re: thinking about buying an awd
phrog Offline
Hoavc Chairman 2006-2009

Registered: February 14th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 2224
Loc: Kansas City, Mo
Problem in later AWDs 95 and newer is electronic motor that triggers awd action is weak link. Cost $150 to replace

#80473 - April 16th 2006 10:47 pm Re: thinking about buying an awd
VanVida_Israel Offline

Registered: December 21st 2002 12:00 pm
Posts: 3571
Loc: KS
not bad cost repair...we have a 2000 awd astro & 92 gmc safari awd...really like them to purchase is a 2005 awd astro,not sure when

#331775 - October 06th 2009 7:54 pm Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: VanVida_Israel]
Bullet Offline
old hand

Registered: September 10th 2009 9:14 pm
Posts: 1016
Loc: Bristol, TN
We've had our '99 AWD for about 5 years now, wouldn't want to be without it. It did seem sluggish compared to the 2wd versions I assume because of the extra rotating mass, recently the transmission took a powder thanks to pulling our camper up a long mountain grade. I put another in with this kit the difference is almost overwhelming. It does shift hard, probably too hard on 1-2 for most people but since this van sees a good bit of towing, I can live with it. The performance is a HUGE difference and picked up 2-3 mpg in the process. It is getting tons more power to the ground and pulls hard and steady, the shift points are perfect for everyday driving as well. I would highly recommend a tranny cooler after you get the van, the transmissions work hard in the little Astros. I put a 30k gvw cooler in it and it runs 70-80 mph pulling 2500 lbs of camper and gear and the tranny runs around 200 degrees all the time. It's a great family workhorse and still strong after 160k miles.
'85 GMC Shorty
'99 AWD Astro
'55 Chevy 150 ex-racer
"I thought you weren't allowed to talk to guys with vans??"

#543118 - February 27th 2012 6:44 am Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: gypsy]
astro_ruhroh Offline

Registered: February 27th 2012 6:14 am
Posts: 1
Loc: New Hampshire
the only issues i have had with my 2000 astro is the heater vent selector diddnt work cause of a couple of bad vacuum lines (one across the engine to the pcv valve connection, and the other to the vacuum resivoir) and the transfer case binding cause of old fluid there is a tsb on the fluid use in your 96-05's where you use GM's AUTO-TRAK II fluid, other then those i have had no trouble

#543123 - February 27th 2012 7:51 am Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: astro_ruhroh]
MrHoney Offline

Registered: September 30th 2011 12:11 pm
Posts: 2993
I say go for it if its your everyday ride its best to have a 4X4 in WNY.

#543170 - February 27th 2012 12:04 pm Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: MrHoney]
HighwayStar Offline

Registered: June 11th 2010 9:39 am
Posts: 12018
Loc: Burton, Ohio "Cleveland suburb...
AWD astro's make excellent daily drivers ,,, smile

Proud member: Shenandoah Valley Vans

............" REALITY IS JUST AN ELABORATE ILLUSION"..................

#543513 - February 28th 2012 3:54 am Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: gypsy]
Uncle_Fester Offline
Festerus Vannimus

Registered: May 26th 2007 10:41 pm
Posts: 9005
Loc: On Route 66 in Bethany Oklahom...
I almost wish my Astro was a AWD, specially when the snow/ice flies around here. . . . . Would make me feel a bit safer, you know?

Just to tease you, check THIS GUY OUT
My vans,

1)The 1991 Dodge B250, J.Y.D.

Founder & President of Sooner or Later United Truckers and PROUD TO BE A S.L.U.T. ! !

#543536 - February 28th 2012 7:51 am Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: gypsy]
Doc 2% of Canada, EH!!!! Offline

Registered: June 10th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 12709
Loc: Burlington, On, Canada Eh !!!!
Phrog had one and the engine went south on him.....scrapped it as that particular engine was problematic and the hard to find in the wreckers
I don't need to be honoured by Vanning, I am honoured to be Vanning !
Supporting Vanning, by going Vanning In A Van !
I hate it, when real life interferes with Vanning !
Van Clan Plus One, Vanning since 1977 !
Ontario Federation Of Truckers (Vanner's)
Ottawa Valley Vans
Founder,Mixed Bag Truckers

#543895 - February 29th 2012 9:07 am Re: thinking about buying an awd [Re: gypsy]
Bullet Offline
old hand

Registered: September 10th 2009 9:14 pm
Posts: 1016
Loc: Bristol, TN
I saw one over on one of the Astro Safari channels that lifted his and put a 502 Ramjet in it with a 4L80E. Just goes to show you, if you stand back and throw enough $100 bills at it, you can do anything. With the lift which lowered the front subframe, he put the stock doghouse right back on it. Very cool van.

I too had vent issues, the heat made the hard plastic vacuum tubing pop like a toothpick.
'85 GMC Shorty
'99 AWD Astro
'55 Chevy 150 ex-racer
"I thought you weren't allowed to talk to guys with vans??"

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