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Astro van ease of maintenance? #5236650 10/11/19 07:36 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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I want to buy another car when I graduate, but I want to keep my CR-V, mainly because 1) It's my first car and has too many memories tied to it and 2) I've put almost $6K into it in parts so if I sold it it would be a loss.

I still plan to lease a Regal TourX as I have mentioned in previous posts, but I also want to get a cheap beater vehicle to move my competition sound system equipment into, something to have solely for an audio build platform, so I can have the cargo space in my CR-V back and keep it as a backup vehicle.

I was thinking of an Astro / Safari van, I've seen tons of neat audio builds done with them, and they're fairly plentiful and cheap, around $1,500 a pop on CarGurus.

Can anyone tell me what I'd be getting myself into with trying to own and maintain one, or problems to look for or expect in one?

I can tell from pictures their engine bays are fairly cramped but I'm no stranger to that, since owning the CR-V, I don't think I've ever worked on my car and *not* drawn blood at some point.

Last edited by cwilliamsws6; 10/11/19 07:50 AM.

2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236653 10/11/19 07:48 AM
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SteveSRT8 Offline
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Like all vans they are a bit of a challenge to work on, but the vehicle is very reliable and parts are relatively cheap.

Excellent choice IMO...


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Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: SteveSRT8] #5236656 10/11/19 07:52 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SteveSRT8
Like all vans they are a bit of a challenge to work on, but the vehicle is very reliable and parts are relatively cheap.

Excellent choice IMO...

I was looking at the AstroSafari forums and I saw a lot of good things about them.


2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236661 10/11/19 07:55 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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I had one, if the Joplin tornado had not got it I will still be driving i. It is not hard to remove the engine cover, then access is pretty good. I did not even need raps to change the oil. There are like 14 grease zerks in the front suspension. Most do not get greased, so they wear, check it and catch up on maintenance. If you take care of it 500K miles is common. In 250K I never needed to replace a suspension part other than shocks. It uses normal shocks so cheap and easy. One radiator, one set front pads, one intake cleaning.due to bad gas, and one fuel pump. All were pretty easy Check for fuel in the harness connector on the intake, pass if you find any. Some of these had defective injectors that leaked fuel on the electrical side, the connector seals were so good it could full the harness and ECM with fuel. Basically totaled then. Rare but happens.

Rod

Last edited by ragtoplvr; 10/11/19 07:57 AM.
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236663 10/11/19 07:56 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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Considering how cramped the engine bay looks in pics, hearing that is a bit of a relief.

Thanks


2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236670 10/11/19 08:02 AM
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JC1 Offline
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Do you need van just to haul stuff around? It may be hard to find a used one that wasn't abused, especially in the rust belt.


Last edited by JC1; 10/11/19 08:04 AM.

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Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: JC1] #5236674 10/11/19 08:06 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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I just want a van solely for an audio build platform to work with. My subwoofer box for my 15s in my CR-V takes up literally the whole trunk. Anytime I haul anything it has to go on my passenger floorboard or on the back seats. The speaker box weighs enough it took 3 of us to lift it and slide it into my trunk. My spare tire is laying on my back seat floorboard in case I do need it at some point lol. I effectively turned a family car into a 2-seater...

If I get an Astro / Safari I would move all my audio gear into it and restore the CR-V pretty much to stock condition.

For example, here's DJ Billy-E's "Orion Astro"
[Linked Image from i.ytimg.com]

Last edited by cwilliamsws6; 10/11/19 08:15 AM.

2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236686 10/11/19 08:18 AM
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supton Offline
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I have memories of changing sparkplugs in my parents... that I'd like to forget.

I suppose it's not that bad, all vehicles can be a challenge to work on.

I want to say, on my parents, the 4.3 didn't make 100k before it suddenly started drinking oil--overnight it seemed. Then again, it was an '87 and it hauled around a family of six and their travel trailer. Hard life I guess. A TBI 4.3 isn't much of a powerhouse, I believe the later Vortecs made more power but have poppet valves (?) that have their own issues. The 700R4 is hit or miss; I want to say the early generations had a problem with the goveneror getting hung up and it would wind out in first gear (ours didn't do that but a friend in college had one that did). All generations of that trans are hit or miss, but luckily they are cheap to get. Axle seals went out, and eventually the pinion bearing went, but that rearend was well past 250k when the bearing got loose.

Not a lot of space in the footwells, it's a bit cramped for the front passengers. Steering column can get loose if people grab the wheel to climb in (we managed to loosen it doing that, the mechanic who fixed it said not to do that). Parts store idler arms don't last long I guess, seemed like at the end it was a yearly replacement item. Ours had a broken driver's door handle, on the outside, for years--not sure how it managed to hold on, but it did.

The later models can have 3 doors on the rear, a liftgate and two smaller ones? I know ours didn't have that and the doors did interfere with rear vision. Still, it worked ok. I've read good things about the AWD models, but, the transfer case is bit rare I guess, not used elsewhere. Our RWD could get stuck quite easily but we managed (throw some weight in the rear).

I'd say it'd probably be hard to get one in good shape.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 191k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 154k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 213k, his
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236700 10/11/19 08:27 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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I ran 250K with the 4.3, and it never used oil. Your folks was some kind of anomaly. Most all of them go 400K minimum with proper maintenance.

Changing plugs is quite easy, with the cover off they are out in the open. If you do not want to remove the cover, most of them change easier from under the van. I did it 3 times while I had mine, it is easier and faster to remove the cover. Besides in 250 K pulg wires and a cap rotor are a good idea and the cover has to be off for that.

Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236703 10/11/19 08:29 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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3 vehicles ? Are you single ? You ever add up what 3 vehicles are going to cost per year ? Considering you can not drive but 1 at a time ?

Insurance
Registration
Replacement parts ( tires , belts , hoses , batteries , brakes , fluids , filters , wiper blades , etc. )


Wyr
God bless
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: WyrTwister] #5236739 10/11/19 09:03 AM
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AZjeff Offline
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Originally Posted by WyrTwister
3 vehicles ? Are you single ? You ever add up what 3 vehicles are going to cost per year ? Considering you can not drive but 1 at a time ?

Insurance
Registration
Replacement parts ( tires , belts , hoses , batteries , brakes , fluids , filters , wiper blades , etc. )


Jeez dad....

He's young and into competition audio so what's another car?? Keeping a car for the memories or keeping it just because you've put money into are both losing propositions and he's got both going on with the CR-V. We've all done dumb things when it comes to cars I bet.


86 Samurai 1.3 leftovers
14 RAV4 2.5 5W-20 PP
18 Nissan Titan 5.6 DI, QSUD

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236753 10/11/19 09:16 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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price competition audio gear. He can easily have over 20K in equipment if he builds a lot of it himself.

He could have some expensive hobby like motorcycles or boats. ( I have both . duh )

Obviously he has some income and something he enjoys.

Rod

Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236792 10/11/19 09:49 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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My subs (American Bass XFL 15s) were only $100 each because I got them used from a guy on Marketplace. The box I built myself out of MDF and my amplifier (Orion HCCA 3.5K) I got at a flea market for like $80 IIRC. Guy thought it was blown but just had bad fuses.

The most expensive thing in my entire setup was the alternator actually, at $379. Bangin' on a budget!

My box is tuned down to 28hz and I hit around 120dB. Not too bad.

Last edited by cwilliamsws6; 10/11/19 09:49 AM.

2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5236810 10/11/19 10:13 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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120 db is not competitive 180 or maybe 190 now is. That takes thousands of watts and multiple subs. Big $$$$$. I agree a great sounding system does not need to cost much.

Rod

Re: Astro van ease of maintenance? [Re: ragtoplvr] #5236823 10/11/19 10:24 AM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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Most comp builds I've seen at local shows here are around 150-170dB. 120 is still a lot for the average person, I don't go to shows often with my car, it's more for my own personal enjoyment.

I've set off car alarms and rattled off interior trim pieces with what I have now, I need to cut a larger port on my box, I currently have 2 6" PVC aero ports but I'm gonna step them up to 8" sometime.


2002 Trans-Am WS6, auto + LS6 "Me Fastr" (sold)
2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
Carquest conventional 5W-20, Carquest Premium 84356 filter
"Bad decisions make good stories."
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