Is anyone able to tell me if these two vehicles have the same
transmission in them? We have a 91 Astro with a nice tight engine and
transmission but the body has been crunched beyond reasonable repair
(it's my husbands van and I crunched it while he was away so I'm
feeling a bit guilty and trying to find inexpensive options).
There's a (95 or 96) Safari (VIN below) that has a blown engine and the
body is in very good condition. If its worth my while I will proceed,
but first I need to know if the two are compatible.
Any other things I should be checking before purchasing the vehicle? I
contacted the engine shops and they said to make sure the tranmissions
were the same but when I contacted the service department at the GM
dealership here they treated me not so great. Maybe they don't give
this information out about the VIN's? Does anyone know a website that
would decode the VIN with enough detail to list the transmission?
The 1991 has a THM 700 R4 (MD8) transmission, while the 1995 has a 4L60E
(M30) transmission. The engines are different as well. The 1995 has an L35
4.3L CPI, while the 1991 has a 4.3L FI engine. Depending on what is wrong
with the engine in the 1995, you could just strip them down to the block and
put all the parts from the 1995 on the 1991 block. That being said, you
might as well just pick up an engine from the junk yard for a couple extra
hundred bucks. Go here, www.car-parts.com and find a yard near you with one.
It would not be that hard of swap to put the 91 engine in the 95.
Worst case senerio, you could take the 91 engine and use 95 heads and
intake on it and drop it in and it will bolt right up to 95 tranny and
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One engine's a W code (port injected) and the other's a Z code
(throttle body injected) so the engines are dissimilar where computer
controls are concerned, without regard to the transmissions being the
same or not.
I'd guess the Z code would be likely to have a lot less power than
the engine in there.
If the camshaft specs are the same you could swap the top end of the W
onto the Z, if the transmissions are compatible.
Thanks for all this useful information. We have decided not to get the
96 as chances are, even if we can make it fit it would be a hassle.
Sooooooo we are looking for other Astro's or Safari's and keeping our
91 as a parts vehicle. Does anyone know the years (91 and newer) of
Astro's and Safari's we should be considering? I will check the VIN
once we go, but if I know ahead of time a 94 Safari engine won't fit,
no sense in even going to look at it.
There's a 93 Safari with high mileage that's pretty cheap, we may
consider that one if chances are decent we can use the engine if need
be from our 91 Astro.
We may go look at the Hayne's manuals, or buy one so we have it around
as it's useful anyways. But it's always nice to have a few opinions as
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