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Old 09-06-2020, 10:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
AWD Astro 2000 -- 3" lift, ruggedized, BFG, cruise, rear AC, fantastic engine, decent

Second owner, no rust (has always been in the West). Original engine and transmission. Only 117,594 miles!!! Silver color, navy interior.

Location: Oregon, Willamette Valley.

Great camping rig! I put a bed and a fridge in the back, and went on several long trips, up and down the west coast. Very cozy and comfortable, and very stealthy. It drives like a car, looks like a work or soccer vehicle, and will go anywhere.

I got 25 MPG on the highway, fully loaded with 3/4 ton of camping gear, through mountain passes.

Famously sturdy Vortec engine has never given me a lick of trouble, and has more power than I could ever want.

Custom leaf springs (for heavy cargo and about 3" lift)
Helwig sway bar
Tru-Cool trans cooler (changed the ATF, so you will never have to)
BFG TA KO LT tires (about 3000 miles on them)
Full-sized spare, plus factory donut for a 2nd spare
Wiring for utility and travel trailers
Coil-over shocks
Custom interior switch for rear hatch

Other recent maintenance:
Flushed radiator
New brakes
New windshield

Original features:
Rear heat and AC
Cruise control
Roof rack
Power windows and door locks
Keyless entry
Overhead console with primitive computer that tells you things like moment-to-moment MPG, outside temperature, etc.

The upgrades (springs, shocks, sway bar, LT tires) provide great stability when the van is carrying its rated load of 3/4 ton. I like rock steady handling! They mean a very stiff ride when unloaded, though. If you like softer, you could change the shocks and/or tires.

I have the original rear seats, which fold down flat, in storage and can dig them out if you want them, but I figure a buyer is most likely to want this van as an expedition rig. They are in great shape. This site has good pictures of the type of seats:

Rear and rear-side windows are tinted. I replaced the middle side windows with clear ones, more suitable for the PNW. I do have the original tinted side windows if you want them. All windows tilt to open. I used clear silicone to adhere some small magnets to the side windows, to hold privacy curtains. Easy to remove if you don't like.

Hood paint is showing some sun damage. Not peeling or anything but kind of orange skin looking. (I took some of these photos in dappled shade, so if you see light and dark patches in the paint, that is just the sunlight. Not a paint problem.)
7" wide dent on passenger side front corner, repaired and repainted, but not to perfection. Hard to get it to show up in a picture, but you can see it in person if you look.
Scratches on the front bumper cover are inexpertly painted. The paint matches, but is sloppy. Some tiny scratches elsewhere patched more neatly. There are probably other tiny scratches and dimples in various places, consistent with use. I have a picture of a dimple on the hood which is probably the worst one.
The hood is sometimes fiddly to open.
Travel cat clawed the carpet on the inside of the sliding door. Don't worry, he did not ever pee in the van!
1 rear shoulder belt doesn't want to unroll. Another one is frayed.
Missing the trim that goes under the steering wheel, above your knees. I had a knee injury (unrelated to the van), and had a temporary hand control installed. The installer threw out that piece of trim. (This was years ago and the hand control is no longer there.)
Missing a tiny piece of trim from the inside of the passenger door, and one of the rear AC vent covers. I suspect I have both of these in my house somewhere, and will keep looking for them.
One of the side tilt windows has tan latches instead of navy. I think they look fine.

More info as I get time. Feel free to ask questions!

Comes with original owners manual, plus a set of 1999 shop manuals I got used on eBay.

The only comps I could find in the west are a dealer near here, who has two stock AWD Astros of similar age and mileage, asking $13,000 for one and $15,000 for the other. $12000/ offer for this one.

(A note on prices: I'm open to discussion of price if you can find other AWD Astros on the west coast. The only ones I have found are listed above. RWD ones out west sell for about 8,000. And of course, east of the Rockies, where rust happens, they sell for less!)
Attached Thumbnails
driver side.jpg   pass side.jpg   pass front corner (1).jpg   pass open.jpg   rear edit.jpg  

rear open.jpg   driver open.jpg   dash.jpg   front driver (1).jpg   rear AC vents (1).jpg  


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Old 09-07-2020, 12:24 PM   #2
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Original engine and transmission. I can't believe I forgot to say that! It is the first question I ask sellers.

BTW, I looked at every AWD Astro that came on the market for a year, before I chose this one. And that was back when there were a lot of them around!

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Old 09-07-2020, 04:15 PM   #3
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Location: TN
Posts: 8,623
Great van. So are you asking for pricing opinions? I don't see a direct price listing or mileage. Kelly Blue Book prices it at $3k retail with $1100 trade in. I used the auto-filled mileage based on it's age at 159k. I don't know how they figure that.

I can see that it's a survivor but not sure how anyone would justify $13-15k for one in any condition. Around here they generally go for about $1500 these days, even in great condition.

I drove one of these for about 100k before our company switched over to Sprinters. It was a great work van that would go about anywhere.

Good luck but I think you'll have it awhile if you are truly looking for 13-15k for this.
Currently vanless. Weird.
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:45 PM   #4
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Hi Scotty :-).

Sounds like you might be comparing it to rusty rigs east of the Rockies, or to front wheel drive rigs. They have very different prices.

I added some more pricing detail to the listing. I'm definitely open to discussing prices if people are comparing apples to apples.

I had no idea what was a reasonable price, that's why I looked at comps. Of course Blue Book is useless on the west coast.
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:36 PM   #5
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Astros are great. Kind of under appreciated if you ask me. There are a lot of them, and that keeps the price down. They are rear wheel drive, or AWD like yours.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thank you for the correction! I will fix that.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:46 AM   #7
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Well, Iím not but certainly get whatever you can for it. How many miles are on it?

BTW, rust is only a northeast/Midwest problem. Decent but aging AWD Astro/Safaris are all over the place over here for pennies.
Currently vanless. Weird.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:09 AM   #8
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:44 PM   #9
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Posts: 158
I've seen a couple of really clean Astros, each with a lot of great after-market upgrades (true 4wd conversions, lifts, interior build-outs, etc), come up on expo portal for sale in the past few months. They were all listed between $20k-$30k IIRC. To my knowledge I never saw any of these actually sell... they all seemed to devolve in to people commenting that the price was too high and the seller justifying it based on all the work and parts.

It seems to me that the astros unfortunately fill a niche without much demand... most people willing to spend $10k+ on a van are going to want to go with a larger E-series or even the newer promaster/transit/sprinter realm. I considered Astros for a while, but ultimately decided that they simply too small for my needs. You've got a great rig... but I think you'll have to search for a while for the right person that will pay what you're looking to get for it. It's a shame, because they are super cool and capable.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:25 PM   #10
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Like I keep saying, I'm flexible on the price. I really had no idea what I should price it at, so I just looked at what other people were asking.

I spent 3 hours searching, eBay, searchTempest for Craigslist for the whole west coast, etc., and I only found the two.

The first day my ad was up, a guy emailed me and offered $8,000 sight unseen. He said he buys and sells a lot of Astros, so I guess that means at that price he thinks he can make it profit off it. I told him I would do that if I don't find somebody else. RWD Astros seem to all be around $8,000, locally.

So I guess that means the market price is somewhere above $8,000 and somewhere below $15,000.

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