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Old 10-25-2006, 07:35 PM
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1990 Astrovan Transmission

I have a 1990 Astro with the 4.3 and OD transmission. I got the van dirt cheap because the tranny was weak, and shortly after I got it, the tranny "gave". I can still drive, but I only have Park, First, and Third. Second, Fourth, and Reverse do nothing. A friend who took a heavy duty mechanic course, and has (before then, I think) attempted to repair a tranny from a '98 Tahoe, explained his opinion of what the problem is. I have put probably close to a couple thousand miles on it since the failure, and it still drives fine in first and third. Converter locks up fine, also.
So here are my questions:
1. What overdrive transmission was commonly in the American-issue Astro vans of this era, with the 4.3?
2. I know the 700R4 is not a cheap tranny, so if that's the one it is, what transmission is the replacement that fits easiest? I don't particularly care if I lose overdrive.
I did look around on the site somewhat, although when I did a search for "astro", I found nothing relative to my situation.
Thanks in advance!
Bracham

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Old 10-25-2006, 07:44 PM
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well, I think it is a 700 R4, or a 4l60 which is a newer version of the 700 R4
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:12 PM
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1990 astrovan transmission

it is the 700r4.the splines are ripped off the sungear shell.thm350 with a 9 inch ext. housing is a good choice for swap,if I remember correctly with the 9 inch you won't have to change driveshaft length,yoke splines are same[outputshaft].you have to run vacuum to 350,easy swap.
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:19 PM
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1990 astrovan transmission

almost forgot,transmount location is different,but not that big a deal,good luck!
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:35 PM
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Astro trans

Go to <www.astrosafari.com> these Asstro nuts have kept my '92 running for years.
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Old 10-27-2006, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for the replies, guys! I will be looking into getting a TH350. Nine inch extension housing? Sorry I don't know...that's versus what?
Yup slight mods for tranny crossmember...shouldn't be a problem. I had figured that already.
And thanks for the site, butch27! I'd searched Google a little, but I don't think I saw that site at all.
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:16 PM
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1990 astrovan transmission

You would measure the ext. housing where it bolts to the case.The most common 350 would measure 6 inchs,if you could find one that measures 9 inchs you would not have to change driveshaft lenth,but it may be hard to find.Briscoe
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:53 PM
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I would ask if you have an electronic speed-O feed on this 4L60 tranny in the 1990 Astro van? Or is it a cable driven speed-O??


This will require a bit more changes on a t-350 trans for the electronic speed-O to be hooked up. I have not seen too many 9 inch tail housing t-350 trannys with a BOP style speed-O hole that the speed sensor would fit into.

Now....... the 12 inch t-350 tail housing has a BOP sized speed-O hole in it. But that is different still
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:12 PM
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Crosley,
Are you saying it'd be the 4L60 in the van? AFAIK it's the cable-driven speedo. There's only like one or two pairs of wires coming off of the tranny, and IIRC there is a cable for the speedo. I've only crawled under the van once, and not really even that time, as I only had a forklift holding the front end up. From what I do remember, it appeared to be quite simple on the outside.
Thanks for the help, guys! Sorry I don't have more info, and with it being cold out, now, I'll need alot of incentive to crawl underneath and look for numbers, etc. Running boards make it quite low on the sides.
I think next time I can, I will check for model numbers, and measure the transmission. Then I can go from there.
Thanks again!
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:54 PM
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Don't confuse the 4L60 with the 4L60E. The 4L60 was simply a 700r4 with some upgrades internally, but it was functionally still just a 700r4. Almost indistinguishable from a 700r4 from the outside.

The 4L60E came along in 93 or 94 and is all electronic.

Your tranny shouldn't be that expensive to rebuild... no more expensive than any other OD tranny. Until you factor in all the other headaches of a swap, I'll bet you'll be dollars ahead to just rebuild what you have.

Even if you swap, you'll have some issues that you aren't seeing yet, like the fact that the shifter detents are much closer together on the 350. You'll have to figure out a way to swap over the TH350's shift rods so that you get the same spacing at the column. Its a bit more of a headache than just swap it and get a different driveshaft.

Even if rebuilding a 700r4 cost $300 more than a TH 350, I think its worth it to avoid the little headaches if you're not prepared for them.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bracham
Crosley,
Are you saying it'd be the 4L60 in the van?
Thanks again!
yes I am.

a quick look under it will tell you if it is cable speed-O or electronic unit.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosley
yes I am.

a quick look under it will tell you if it is cable speed-O or electronic unit.
Yup, I realize. But we now have snow on the ground and I have no shop to work in...so it's a pain. I will post as soon as I figure out what I have.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bracham
Yup, I realize. But we now have snow on the ground and I have no shop to work in...so it's a pain. I will post as soon as I figure out what I have.

Snow?

I will google that to see what it is......
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