Tips doing suspension work in phases due to tight budget for '94 Astro Van?

Asked by May 06, 2015 at 08:16 PM about the 1994 Chevrolet Astro RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I bought an old Astro Van a couple months ago and while I'm not a car guy, it's
obvious when driving it that it needs suspension work bad including at least shocks.  I
don't even understand all the parts of the suspension system, but a little searching
shows things commonly done with that include: springs, struts, and balancing.

I found a local mobile mechanic cheaper than shops, but it's still expensive for me.  
I'm thinking about investing some time studying how to replace shocks myself.  I'm
wondering if once I have $ for 4 shocks if I should replace just those and do other work
when I have more money if I get it verified the work is needed.  I currently know very
little, but at least was happy to find a howto webpage from someone explaining
replacing shocks was really simple at least.

3 Answers

9,740

Theres a tool for the front ones, and a certain tool arrangement needed for the rears. If you know nothing it will take all day. If you went to a muffler shop, they could finish before you could get the paperwork filled out............But since you have not had it inspected for anything unsafe or out of spec, you cannot decide what is first for your budget. Take an experienced tech for a road teat and get recommendations. If you dislike their findings, ask elsewhere. When you find a shop that really cares, you would begin to feel it by talking it over with them in my experience.

9,740

When a customer was like you and I worked at the GM garage, If they wanted advice, and had your circumstances, we sent them to a tire store we knew that handled our light work. Since safety was paramount and money was the motivator, we sent them to those we trusted implicitly. That's good money well spent. If it was something simple, but grave need, we repaired and aligned their vehicle.

Also, the local 2 year college may have an auto mechanics program that can inspect it and give you an idea of what to do with it. Or, if you have the time, take the class and learn to do it yourself!

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