Last post on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM
You are in the GMC Safari & Chevy Astro
What is this discussion about?
GMC Safari, Chevrolet Astro, GMC Safari Cargo, Van
#135 of 170 Re: Problems with my 99' Chevy Astro [bigsteve7]
Jun 03, 2009 (6:40 pm)
The "factory" transmisisons in the Astro/Safaris vans are known to blow and need a rebuild. If wondering, the tranny in my previous 2003 AWD Safari with only 74,000 miles blow. Blew while driving normally and pulling away from a stop light. It needed a complete rebuild (using factory torque convertor). After rebuild, my van's tranny was better then factory. It shifted properly, it felt firm shifting across its different grears and it never slipped again. And, it handled the colder weather much better as well. As a suggestion, do "shop around" for tranny rebuild prices in your region. If you do higher then normal use, you may want to install a transmisison HD shift kit instead. And/or a better then factory torque convertor. For my needs, factory torque convertor with normal rebuild was needed. In the end, I'm glad I got my van's tranny rebuilt. Didn't like its $1,000 cost but afterwards, my van's tranny was great.
If wondering, my tranny specialist told me to install a HD transmission cooler in my van as well. A cooler that is rated to pull a 5,000 lbs trailer. Even if only used for "soccer mom" driving conditions (which was 98% of my family's driving conditions), the factory tranny's do NOT like heat. re: Hot day, stuck in stop / slow traffic while also driving up a hill is very bad combination. A tranny Aux Cooler keeps its tranny ATF oil cooler and thus, its transmission lasts much longer. As a suggestion, do install http://www.makcotransmissionparts.com/OC-1678.html (or simular company with 5,000 lbs rating) Aux Transmission Cooler as well. This upgrade is "well worth it" - even for normal "soccer mom" driving conditions.
Hope this helps....
#136 of 170 Re: Problems with my 99' Chevy Astro [bigsteve7]
Jun 03, 2009 (9:11 pm)
For more details on 4L60E transmission Rebuild kit (assuming 4L60E was installed in your van's factory build) surf:
Note: Labor to drop the transmission, install the kit, re-install the transmission and add new fluids is the costly part. The Rebuild kit (without Torque Convertor upgrade) parts isn't every expensive.
Hope this helps as well.
#137 of 170 Would You buy this Safari? (is tranny whine normal?)
Jun 20, 2009 (11:15 am)
I'm looking at buying a 2001 state owned Safari Cargo today. It's in great shape with 150k. The engine and tranny look real clean, so I think they have been replaced. The car is in amazing condition. (looks like 25-50k max, no abuse)
problem: tranny is whining, ( sound (pitch) goes up and down with gear shift) the whine seems a bit louder in lower gears (1,2), but never goes away. (maybe in 4th not sure)
The sound is not too loud, almost "acceptable range". In other words, If a little whine with this tranny is o.k. then this one is probably within range. If ANY whine at all is sign of trouble, than trouble is here, cause it's audible, but not overwhelming at all.
The van is 2WD, no tow hitch, trans. fluid is clean,fresh. Van shifts fine, revs SLIGHTLY going into 2nd or 3rd, but doesnt feel like slip.
I really can't afford down time and repairs at this time. Otherwise, even with a replacement this van would be an o.k. buy.
#138 of 170 Re: Would You buy this Safari? (is tranny whine normal?) [scdesign]
Jun 20, 2009 (9:39 pm)
Being a 2WD van and it appears to be clean, I'd take this van to "your" certified auto mechanics and get them to "check it out". Might cost you 1-2 hours of shop time but in the end, vehicle inspection before buying is we'll worth it.
If I bought this 2WD van, I'd immediatly install a tranni cooler (rated to tow 5,000 lbs trailer) and add can of Lucus Transmission fix. For more details, surf:
If wondering, my local auto mechanic recommends tranny coolers in all Astro/Safari vans - even if used for "soccer parent" driving conditions.
I'd also replace its Main RAD cooling fluid, its rear axle fluid (with HD 90 gear oil) and ensure its engine oil cooling pipes don't leak either. If leaking, replace with 3rd party pipes - which can be created at many pipe fitting / steel fabrication shops. GM wants way too much dollars for "their" replacement pipes.
If wondering, the factory 460LE transmission in Safari/Astro vans is known to whine. My 2001 AWD Safari's van always had a whine - even after its transmisison was rebuilt. Rebuilt because it lacked a transmission cooler the day it rolled off its factory assembly line - as per my local transmission specialist. With new transmission cooler installed, its tranny fluid ran much cooler. Which equals much longer transmission life.
If this specific van passes your auto certified mechanic's inspections, I'd buy it (assuming its selling price was good as well). I've always had great luck with 2wd Safari/Astro vans. And being 2WD, its wear/tear replacement parts are less expensive as well. AWD replacement parts (like ABS sensors, steering - idler arms, suspension, etc. etc.) seem to cost twice as much.
#139 of 170 Re: Would You buy this Safari? tranny and fuel pump whine.
Jun 21, 2009 (8:22 pm)
Thank You! great to hear back on that! The deal was sealed late sat. eve. I didn't want to wait and lose a chance on this vehicle so I gambled on it. It's inagural 40 mile drive revealed no rough 1st to 2nd shift problem after hwy I've been reading about. "Whew!" "Hey wait... what's that loud whine I'm hearing ?" (at stop now). Yup, the fuel pump is buzzing like a ciccaeda. Seems thatthis is part of the expected routine, so I'm going to cut a nice access panel in the floor tommorow. I'm assuming it must be replaced as it wasnt' making the sound a day before. The engine runs very strong and starts on first crank immediately, so I'm almost wondering if the pump is o.k. and just (very) loud. This has nothing to do with the tranny noise discussed earlier.
I saw a posting somewhere that another pump brand supplies AC Delco and can be bought cheaper but can't find it now. The AC sticker was covering over the (cheaper) manufacturers sticker!
As for the tranny, it seems tight, however at fast take off, there is a small bit of a growl or low rumble, and it seems to be struggling a (tiny) bit perhaps( only maybe here). Not sure if it's the diff or transmission. Mostly it's the sound that catches my attention. A kind of a low rumbly take off, but with plenty of power and all that. There is a very slight rev when going into 3rd under load (foot down).Have the other vehicles out there had similar performance? The engine is very strong and starts.
#140 of 170 Tranny problem- Moisture related?
Jul 23, 2009 (7:03 am)
I have a 97 Safari with 190,000 KM on it and for the past 2 years it has problems shifting from 1st to seccond. I have read the other posts but this does not happen when the van is over heated. It first occurred last spring and I took it to a garage and they couldn't see anything wrong with it. They changed the oil and I had no problems until this spring. It started to go away as the summer has heated up and it is not a problem on the highway. It seems to "act up" after driving in the rain or launching my boat. This is why I think it may be moisture related. May be the melt after winter or exposing the van to rain or the lake is introducing moisture into the transmission? I would appreciate any help you can provide.
#141 of 170 2000 Safari cargo 'bucks' after stops after distance driving
Jul 27, 2009 (4:17 pm)
recently replaced the torque converter clutch when it threw that code, and still getting a code for an O2 sensor my mechanic who replaced the TCC checked and said its fine.
he replaced tranny fluids n filter n said transmission looks fine.
so here's the problem- starts up fine, no fluid leaks, no fluids burning. after driving distance, 45 min + on freeway without problems, and then coming to a stop (say an off ramp), when I accelerate I get this hard buck or jerk from the rear. if i stop again soon afterwards and accelerate (stop lights), same thing. if i drop it to D2 AT the stop and pull off, then shift up to D3 then D, its fine. or if I pull over, kill the engine, wait a minute or two and get back on the road, it stops.
this is driving me nuts.
mech says there's nothing wrong with my transmission that he can tell, and having him drive it for awhile didn't produce the problem. he probably didn't go far enough or stay at 65-70 mph for any length of time
around town there is no problem. there's no coolant in the oil or vice versa or any other indication fluids are mixed. regular oil changes. all gauges read normal.
I was told it may be a PCV valve, something about a vapor build up or blockage. ideas, insights? thanks in advance!!!!
#142 of 170 2003 Astro Van will not back up
Sep 21, 2009 (6:03 am)
All- I have a 2003 Astro Conversion Van that has given me great service. I had to rescue the wife from the local Walley Word parking lot where she could not get the van to move in revese, but slightly and then it felt like it was binding.
I got it home replaced the fluid, filter, and substituted a quart for some lucas Transmission fix thinking that something might be sticking. I still have no reverse unless you REALLY force it, now the van will drive in neutral, but slip. I still get normal shift and can run highway speeds in drive and while doing this I tried to engage/disengage the overdrive/tow button on the shifter, but got no noticeable change in RPM.
Thanks to all for you time to read and relpy!
#143 of 170 Re: 2000 GMC Safari Passenger Van [safarifan]
Nov 06, 2009 (11:01 am)
Sounds like your radiator is leaking water into the trans cooler side of radiator.
I can't be sure because I haven't seen your radiator.Just an ideal to look at!
#144 of 170 Re: WTB Astro w manual trans... [gl0650]
Nov 13, 2009 (3:33 pm)
Does your transmission come in any other chevy model?
If so,which one?