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Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

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Old 07-10-2018, 09:41 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

That's good to hear cc 82Z-28.


Does it seem to transmit any power steering pump noise up through the column? That seems to be one of the big concerns with the M-van piece.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:45 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Originally Posted by DynoDave43 View Post
That's good to hear cc 82Z-28.


Does it seem to transmit any power steering pump noise up through the column? That seems to be one of the big concerns with the M-van piece.
No, I don't feel or hear anything and the one joint has damper built into it which probably keeps that from happening. I just got back from a road trip to a show and car ran great and steering was so much better.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:10 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Originally Posted by cc 82Z-28 View Post
No, I don't feel or hear anything and the one joint has damper built into it which probably keeps that from happening. I just got back from a road trip to a show and car ran great and steering was so much better.
Good to know. I hated that pump noise.

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Old 07-18-2018, 09:12 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

After not driving the 3rd gen for a while (one cylinder now has low compression on the new engine... sigh), I fired it up to move it around and found the pump noise through the steering wheel really obnoxious. Maybe it was just some Stockholm syndrome when I said it was fine. Or the exhaust isn't loud enough.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:07 AM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

The earlier non-booted Astro van shafts have the rubber damper. These are the ones to use as there is no pump noise. But they aren't a direct bolt in, they need some work to be used.

The jeep shafts are the same way. Rubber damper and no noise. These are a direct bolt in (IIRC).

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Old 07-21-2018, 04:54 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Ive got at least 13 years on my Astro van dealeo & not one single issue with it.Worst problem i ever had was the bearing caps sliding out a bit (as seen in the vid JamesC refers to in the link).At the 20 sec mark you can see only one side of the u-joint moving side/side.Mostl likely the bearing cap/s have slid out some.Or were never pressed all the way in.

This happened to mine a couple weeks after i made it.Initially i only re-center punched the caps, but they slide out anyway.After pressing them back in, i spot welded them, problem solved.You have to really snug them up, so there is no slack whatsoever, without binding of course.

Also there is a small flat spring (looks like a tiny mono leaf spring) on a flat spot on the main shaft, near its end.This spring keeps the shaft under tension once inserted in the outer tube.If you leave that spring out you will have slack between the two parts.Especially as you extend the shaft (no pun) after its installed.Since at this point the main shaft is close to "slipping out" of the outer tube.

Ive always had the damper end installed, so cant complain about pump noise either.

Last edited by 84 1LE; 11-05-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:07 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Well , as much as this thread discouraged me , I ended up installing the Astro shaft I had bought some time ago (Bought it before I read this thread) . The rag joint in my original shaft was loose and having the Astro shaft with no play I went for it . I've only driven it once since I installed it and I did notice less play in the steering wheel in comparison with the loose original , and I did not hear any weird noises coming from the steering wheel .

I'll update this when I've driven it more , and I'll be listening closely for any new sounds/vibrations .
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:25 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

my unit works great
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:33 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Just a thought; because of the, "mine works good with no noise", and, "mine generates noise and vibration", maybe it's the pump itself that's the problem. I rebuilt my pump when i was having a different steering issue, but my pump didn't make any noise before or after i rebuilt the pump, so i didn't get any noise before and after i replaced my steering shaft.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:42 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Originally Posted by red rock View Post
Just a thought; because of the, "mine works good with no noise", and, "mine generates noise and vibration", maybe it's the pump itself that's the problem.
No pump noise before the swap to the Astro Van shaft, no pump noise after replacing it.

JamesC

Last edited by JamesC; 09-09-2018 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:49 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Seems like some days I notice it more than others. But really the only time it really sticks out is with windows up and no radio, at least for me. Not annoying enough to bother changing back yet.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OrangeBird View Post
Well , as much as this thread discouraged me , I ended up installing the Astro shaft I had bought some time ago (Bought it before I read this thread) . The rag joint in my original shaft was loose and having the Astro shaft with no play I went for it . I've only driven it once since I installed it and I did notice less play in the steering wheel in comparison with the loose original , and I did not hear any weird noises coming from the steering wheel .

I'll update this when I've driven it more , and I'll be listening closely for any new sounds/vibrations .
Well , it's been four days now , and I've driven it maybe 75 or so miles . At first because I had either the windows open or the A/C on I couldn't hear it and of course that led me to close the windows and not run the A/C as a test . It turns out that very faintly on hard corners where I'm not stepping on the gas I can barely hear a hydraulic pump whine sound , if I'm stepping on the gas during a hard corner the engine noise completely blocks it out . Moderate to sedate cornering produces no sound I can hear . So , yes if I go specifically listening for it I can hear it , but it's otherwise so barely there that I can't call it any kind of detriment .

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Old 09-13-2018, 05:24 AM
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Anyone else with real experiences? Have got an Astro shaft ready to fit but nervous now...
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:40 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Originally Posted by ZZ42Fast View Post
Anyone else with real experiences? Have got an Astro shaft ready to fit but nervous now...
Just try it, you'll like it.

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Old 11-05-2018, 04:48 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Yeah it really just boils down to whether or not you notice the noise and if it even bothers you. I hardly notice it anymore really. If the noise is very excessive, it's possible there's an issue with the pump/box or some air trapped somewhere.

And really it's not like it's that hard to swap out. You already have it, might as well try it! The most annoying part is wiggling the factory one off of the steering wheel shaft if it's a tight fit like mine.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:02 AM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

I have to remove a supercharger to get at the steering shaft It's something I'd only really like to do as little as possible. My car makes loads of noise at idle, so not sure the noise would bother me. The question is: is the upside worth it?
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:43 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Originally Posted by ZZ42Fast View Post
I have to remove a supercharger to get at the steering shaft It's something I'd only really like to do as little as possible. My car makes loads of noise at idle, so not sure the noise would bother me. The question is: is the upside worth it?
My answer would be , if you have a worn factory rag joint that is creating play in the steering by all means consider the Astro shaft if you have to take it apart . But if your factory rag joint is tight , and since in your case there is a lot of additional work required , I can't see the benefit other than not having a rag joint to eventually get sloppy (If yours is presently tight , that is) .

PS , not any kinds of a dealbreaker , but it's only a 99.5% bolt in , there is a small notch required to be filed into the steering shaft that exits the firewall to provide clearance for the Astro shaft's pinch bolt . Takes about 2 minutes with a Dremel tool and the right bit and is easy as can be to do , but deserved mention anyway because the stock shaft has no such slight machined groove for it's bolt ......
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:06 PM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

I can totally see where everyone is coming from. There is a noticeable whine amplified through the shaft being there’s no rubber to isolate it from the top side of the shaft. Its pretty much like the effect of listening to a fuel injector though a screw driver. Anyway, yea if your car is relatively stock with a stock exhaust, I would just stick to the stock shaft. It seems like alot of the guys, including myself, with more modified cars seem to not mind the most. I mean with the semi solid motor mounts, cam, and slp loudmouth I cant hear any whine. I also upgraded all the other bushings and steering parts on the car, so getting rid of the archaic rag joint wasn’t a bad idea.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:41 AM
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Re: Abandoning the Astro Van Shaft

Thanks guys. The noise definitely won't bother me, I just want a nice precise driving machine. Will all my suspension mods, I think this could be a good idea for me still.
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