Last post on Oct 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM
You are in the GMC Safari & Chevy Astro
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GMC Safari, Chevrolet Astro, Van
#349 of 1973 timely subject.............
Mar 28, 2002 (1:58 pm)
My 2001 Astro just got back from the Chevrolet dealer today with roters turned and new pads. It now brakes just like it did off the showroom. Interesting, the service advisor pulled me aside and told me the next time that I might try a set of carbon metalic pads. He suggested buying them myself and having them install them or even going somewhere that will do the whole job with those pads. He said that they will stand a lot more heat and that they dissapate the heat faster and don't tear up the rotors as well.
I got 31,000 out of these originals but I have been getting a shimmy for the last few thousand miles. I rotate tires every 5000 miles and Les Schwab torques the lug nuts every time. So the rotors just wear unevenly or I guess they may warp over time.
Oh, the price for the front brake job? It's here in my hand: $230.76.
#350 of 1973 Astro-Specific front issues
Mar 29, 2002 (12:28 pm)
Ditto on the brakes on our 2000 AWD. At 23K miles, one local dealer wanted to go the $200+ route while the other said turning the rotors would be covered until 24K miles. Took the later route. The original pads remain on the van at 30K. My limited research indicates reduced mass in the rotors which retains heat evenly is the cause of warpage. I think driving patterns have a lot to do with it. Perhap$ $taying with $oft pads and replacing them frequently would be the be$t $olution.
The AWD has a different brake assembly to accommodate the drive hubs. Does the RWD have the same issue? This and maintaining alignment of the the rather complex geometry of the old tech steering system (idler arms) seem to be common problems.
#351 of 1973 Maintaining Alignment?
Mar 29, 2002 (9:22 pm)
My '95 RWD Safari has never had an alignment. I replaced the idler arm at 60K and had the alignment checked. It was within a half degree of perfect and the mechie said that considering the tires had even wear at 30K miles of driving, he wouldn't touch it. All I have done to the suspension on the van is the idler arm, shocks, and rotate the tires every 5k or so.
I have been told that when replacing the idler arm to go with the replacement part made by TRW. Seems their design is beefier than the original. Unfortunately, at the time I did the replacement no one had the TRW in stock. BTW, replacing the idler on a Safarstro takes about 10 minutes using common hand tools. And, no, you do not need to "re-align" the front end after the repair no matter what the guy who sells alignments says. If you can screw up the alignment while changing the idler arm you shouldn't have been under the van in the first place.
#352 of 1973 More on alignment
Mar 29, 2002 (11:21 pm)
Jim, Glad to learn of your good experience and expertise with idler arms.
When we got our 2000AWD w/18K miles on it took it to dealer for the transfer case fluid issue, The service dept. brought to my attention unusual wear on front tires, said the cords are breaking down internaly and referred me to Uniroyal. Where it was determined the toe-in was set incorrrectly. They rotated tires set toe-in. When I changed to new set of winter tires, about 8K miles later, the left front had excessive inside wear. The right showed no wear. Had dealership do an alignment. Practiclay every angle was out of spec requiring adjustmenet. It now seems to wander and doesn't feel quite right. 30K miles original Idler arms. Previous post seem to pattern their needing replacement. Wish you were here, I'd let you crawl under it.
#353 of 1973 One way to spot a bad idler arm
Mar 30, 2002 (7:54 pm)
Drive the vehicle about 20-30 mph on a road with those little half dome markers glued down the center stripe. With no one oncoming (very important) drive with the drivers side tires hitting those markers. The sharp jolt to the steering linkage will cause a worn idler arm to "clunk" quite loudly. The noise will occur long before the idler is worn enough to be dangerous, but if you hear the clunk you can usually get under the vehicle and feel the play in the arm when pulling back and forth. Like I said earlier, a very easy repair.
#355 of 1973 97 SAFARI ENGINE LIGHT
Apr 02, 2002 (7:26 pm)
I just bought a 97 safari it is a month old. driving home from work my engine light came on what could this mean
#358 of 1973 Roommate obsessed with the Astro
Apr 05, 2002 (9:42 am)
Yes, this is the only vechile he will buy. He says no minivan or SUV has the cargo carrying capability of these Vans. I've had absolutely no luck trying to get him to buy a Golf TDI(42/49mpg) or Passat wagon. Anyway we too read in CR that this would be the last year for the Astro. Does anyone know if there is going to be a replacement for it?
On a side note my roommate has this really weird obsession with manual, i.e. windup, windows. He won't buy a vechile with them because he says they are death traps and that going within 200 miles of any body of water is just asking for a watery grave. He has a PHD, but he pays the rent on time and......