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Astro Van!!

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Anyone know someone who hauls bikes in an astro van? All I need to do is haul me and the lady, one bike maybe a pit bike sometimes... and my gear. No bed or fridge or anything. Is it worth spending the extra $2000-$2500 for an express or extended? I very rarely take two bikes with me. The astros just look so short I dont even know if one bike would fit!!!

Any advice is appreciated. I found numerous 100-125K astros for $2500 and a lot of Express vans/E-250's with similar miles for $4-$5000

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measure the height of your bars and the height of the van, i remember when my dad had an astro we could fit the xr100's in it but the xr250's and the cr125 were too tall.

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Yes they fit. I have a 97' and have had my 450, a 250 2t, a pit bike and all our gear in there. You do have to compress the forks with a strap to get them in the doors, but once in they can be released. Also mine is a cargo model- gives a little extra height not having a headliner.

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I have had my Astro Cargo van for about 8 years now and you can fir a bike inside if you compress the crap out of the front forks (some slide a bar through the axle tube and use a ratchet type tiedown to compress it) but I never do that, I just use a moto jack rack and have never had any issues, I use the inside for gear and sleep in it when camping.

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Yeah what the others said, watch your handle bar height. We've put older enduros in a friends astro no problem. We could actually do it with the seat in with a smaller pit bike also in addition to supplies for a weekend at a cabin. I'm kinda surprised usually astro's are more expensive. I'm not a big fan of them though because a lot of them were used hard for towing etc. The astro we used was pretty much toast at 130,000 miles, transmission shifted hard in all gears, differential was about to go making grinding sounds when it was retired, consumed a quart of oil every 500 miles, and ran like poo despite having every sensor in the engine bay being replaced. It never left them sit though. My friends family owned it since new and took good care of it but used for towing a lot of those miles. So if you find one without a hitch in good shape, get that one instead of one with a hitch.

Edited by 79yamdt

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Yeah what the others said, watch your handle bar height. We've put older enduros in a friends astro no problem. We could actually do it with the seat in with a smaller pit bike also in addition to supplies for a weekend at a cabin. I'm kinda surprised usually astro's are more expensive. I'm not a big fan of them though because a lot of them were used hard for towing etc. The astro we used was pretty much toast at 130,000 miles, transmission shifted hard in all gears, differential was about to go making grinding sounds when it was retired, consumed a quart of oil every 500 miles, and ran like poo despite having every sensor in the engine bay being replaced. It never left them sit though. My friends family owned it since new and took good care of it but used for towing a lot of those miles. So if you find one without a hitch in good shape, get that one instead of one with a hitch.

WOW, my 98 has almost 300k on it and it still runs, it's a heap now but the motor is still going and I barely change the oil once a year, have been waiting for it to blow for a couple years now so I dont take it far.. I did have the trans rebuilt about 100k ago.

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WOW, my 98 has almost 300k on it and it still runs, it's a heap now but the motor is still going and I barely change the oil once a year, have been waiting for it to blow for a couple years now so I dont take it far.. I did have the trans rebuilt about 100k ago.

Did you tow with it often? The engine was fine minus burning oil. It was an older model '90 or something I beleive he said it was one of the first years that had awd as an option, which it had, and the only year that had digital gauges. It was a safari not an astro but same difference. These had the crappy 4l60e trans didn't they?

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Did you tow with it often? The engine was fine minus burning oil. It was an older model '90 or something I beleive he said it was one of the first years that had awd as an option, which it had, and the only year that had digital gauges. It was a safari not an astro but same difference. These had the crappy 4l60e trans didn't they?

Mine is a '98 2wd, and I did tow for a while but only a small moto trailer with the most 2 bikes, I started using a motojack rack and never went back to a trailer.

The trannys were known for going out even if you didnt tow but when I took mine in for a rebuild the mechanic told me there was an updated heavy duty part that would fix the issue, it cost a bit more but i did it and havent had any problems with the tranny since, have at lease 100k on the rebuilt trans.

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Mine is a '98 2wd, and I did tow for a while but only a small moto trailer with the most 2 bikes, I started using a motojack rack and never went back to a trailer.

The trannys were known for going out even if you didnt tow but when I took mine in for a rebuild the mechanic told me there was an updated heavy duty part that would fix the issue, it cost a bit more but i did it and havent had any problems with the tranny since, have at lease 100k on the rebuilt trans.

Yeah kinda sad that it couldn't handle the massive power of the 4.3 but they still used it with it's big brother the 5.7 also. Having a transmission rebuilt or purchasing a rebuilt one is better than new in many cases because they do replace problematic parts with upgraded ones.

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My parents had 3 different Astro's when I was growing up. First a late 80's 2wd, then a early 90's AWD, then a 98 AWD. All did duty towing 2-3 snomobiles on a trailer and our Starcraft boat. The last one even hauled my Toyota pickup 500 miles down from college without problem.

My wife and I now own a 98 AWD. Averaging 18.8 mpg so far in it, most claim 17-19 mpg. Lots of 2wd guys in the low 20's.

Haven't tried putting the dirt bike in the back, but I've hauled a Buell all over the place for a few weeks, needed to pull the mirrors to get it under the back opening. A sliding door on both sides would make tying down much easier.

Maintenance is the same as about any S-10 or Blazer, same drivetrain (basically). 4L60E trans is known to be a weak link, but I don't read much about them failing in the vans. Smaller tires and generally less abusive usage probably contributes to that. Really, even on the S10 boards not too many people toast the 4L60E, most their bad wrap comes from the fullsize trucks with V8's. Everyone I personally know that has killed one did it with a V8, larger than stock tires, and abusive driving.

The ride isn't the greatest, and the cramped front leg room can be annoying. But overall a decent, reliable vehicle.

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