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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife's 1995 Astro van had almost 200,000 miles so we bought a new van with the intention of selling the old one. The rear end had a lot of play so I replaced it. Two weeks later, before I could advertise it, 3rd and 4th went out in the trans. I'm having it rebuilt. The only way I can recoup my money is to keep the van and drive it. Now my question, should I worry about the engine? It's a 4.3 V6. The oil has been changed every 3,000 miles since it was new. It still holds the same oil pressure as when it was new. It burns about a pint of oil in 3000miles like it did when new. I don't know how accurate the gauge is but it holds 40lb at idle and 55 lbs at 60mph. Should I drop the pan and change the rod bearings? What about the timing chain and gears? I plan on using it mostly for trips of 500miles or more. The largest part of the 200,000 was trips.
Thanks, Jack
 

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Hi,
That's a lot of hours w/out a rebuild. If I were going to keep it I would
replace the bearings, but I don't think I would try & recoup the money for
the trans. & rear, I would just sell it for whatever I could get rather then
throwing good money to bad.
Good luck,
rich
 

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Analog man in a digital world.
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It seems there are two kinds of 4.3's, the ones that blow head gaskets at 100,000 or so and the ones that run forever, sounds like you have a "forever" version. ;) I know of one that had over 330,000 on it before they finally rebuilt it. If it still carries that kind of oil pressure and doesn't use any more than that it's probably going to outlast the rest of the van. You've already spent the money keep driving it, if the body is still decent drop a V-8 in it if the 4.3 ever bites the dust and make it a hot rod. There's one running around here with a healthy small block in it. Talk about a sleeper!!! :eek: You should see peoples faces when he mashes the throttle! :cool: :cool: :cool:
 

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WOODY:

Dave and I had 7 or 8 Astro vans and drove the wheels off them. They were very dependable. Engines were always never any trouble but rear ends and transmissione were the weak link. If we called the local junk yards for replacement.. they said wait in line... There is the weak link.. We bought a Venture... Same problem...next is going to be Jap?? maybe.... THERESA
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone that replied. It looks like the pan will come off with no problem. I think I will check a couple rod bearings and replace them if necessary. Other than that I think I will follow Hippie's advice and just drive it.
Thanks again, Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are correct. I had planned on changing the timing gears and chain even if the rod bearings looked new. Like that's going to happen! I just don't plan on doing a major rebuild.
Thanks, Jack
 

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You've already got money into it, just drive it till it pukes. There's no way for any of us to tell without looking at the guts of this mill. Sounds like it will probably be ok, but it could puke next week. Just keep an eye on your guages and take it easy on the old thing.

K
 

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The only thing that I would do is timing gear set.

I wouldn't do the bearings if the pressure is that good. When you start to hear a tiny main/thrust rattle on start up, then think of bearings. Keep it serviced. Maybe heavier oil.

But understand, at that mileage various things are going to start failing, so every week you will kick out money for something.

As far as tax write off.... NO
If you look into it, you are losing a ton of money.

Drive it a while and see what you can get for it.

I would install a Vega pressure sender somewhere, that activates a light and shuts off the ignition in an oil pressure failure.
 

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xntrik said:
The only thing that I would do is timing gear set.

I wouldn't do the bearings if the pressure is that good. When you start to hear a tiny main/thrust rattle on start up, then think of bearings. Keep it serviced. Maybe heavier oil.
Drive it a while and see what you can get for it.

Ditto............ And dump a can of RESTORE in it. The stuff works! It takes a little longer than the 500 miles it says on the can to see a difference but it WILL make a difference. It will cut oil consumption, quiet the valvetrain and I actually picked up a couple MPG's in my old Lesabre.
 
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