1997 Chevrolet Astro AWD Conversion 4.3 Vortec V6 from North America
A truly powerful and impressive machine
As much as I love this machine, it's had bad days.
1. The biggest thing was my engine went at 180466. Not sure what happened, as I got rid of the old engine before I got a chance to look at it.
2. When I bought it, the window motors didn't work.
3. The radiator wasn't in good shape (dented).
4. It's had various leaks, and still has some; coolant once, oil twice, and power steering once.
5. Wipers were bad (fixed).
There were also some small things like interior lights, hydraulics for lift gate, etc.
Besides that, just regular maintenance.
Everything I listed above I fixed myself, except for that blasted power steering leak, which I'm still hunting for.
A couple things I'd just like to say; first off, for anybody who is planning on swapping an engine in these - GOOD LUCK! It was very difficult and time consuming, but worth it if your car's body is good. A couple tips, go through the front unless you have a garage with a great big lift. Another thing, take out as much as you can. The only thing I recommend you don't take out is the AC system (except for the pump). It's not worth the hassle. I got the engine out and in without touching it.
I have the top of the line conversion, and it's just fantastic. The cushion seats are truly amazing; it's like sitting on a couch while driving, and is great for long distances.
I have power everything, and besides the windows and a couple of bulbs, everything still works after all these years.
My favorite feature is the All Wheel Drive. It's great in the snow, have never slid or got stuck (and I deal with those New York winters), and for mild off roading, unlike newer all wheel drive systems, which only activate when a loss of traction is detected, this is on all the time, and combined with the powerful famous Vortec V6, it's just a terrific combo.
Gas mileage is exceptional for its size; with some slight adjustments, I get about 19-20 highway and 16 city.
All in all, I love this vehicle, and will continue to keep it until there's nothing left of it.
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th February, 2012