Another new owner of an older Astro

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Another new owner of an older Astro

Post by WE7X »

I am a lurker from a while ago, and have finally made a purchase. I went cheap knowing I would need to put money and effort into what ever I found. After looking for several months, I finally found a green 1998 LS AWD van with 212k miles on the ODO. With a rebuild front end, good tires, good interior and a good body ( except the right front fender ) I drove it a couple of hundred miles home. The main issue might be the steering box, which seems a bit loose. Hopefully I can get more life out of it with a minor adjustment. It does appear to be a real pain to get to. I am into the van for considerably less than a grand, and I am hoping to get several years of occasional use from it.
I spent many years in my younger days, working on vehicles for a living, and have most of the tools needed for most common repairs. Hopefully that experience will not be required too often, with the Astro van.
I plan to use the vehicle as a base for portable ham radio operations which entails the occasional excursion into the higher elevations that can be driven in the Great pacific Northwest, and into the more desert areas that are more often the domain of the Jeep crowd. I have a lot of experience with a Subaru BRAT, and with the exception of a need for interior space, I probably would still be using it. i have been many places where the Jeep guys could not believe I copuld be comfortable with that vehicle.
I do not plan on taking the Astro van to some of those spots, but I do plan to get off the beaten path with some regularity the next few years.
My plans are pretty simple... get a couple more inches of lift, add batteries and wiring for a significant amateur radio installation, a bed and operating table, a roof rack for portable antennas and masts, and some arrangement for an awning of some sort over the sliding door and/or the rear dutch doors.

Issaquah, WA
WE7X aka Rod Johnson
Forest Green Metallic '98 LS AWD
Issaquah, WA

I sleep in my van
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Re: Another new owner of an older Astro

Post by Astrophysics »


Yes, the 2" body lift is a great kit from Overland Vans.

My 2003 AWD has the 2" lift and it is fairly easy to install yourself.

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