23 June 2001 - The end of the saga of my dusTBuster. See the bottom of the page.
This is the unofficial and probably only site for those who appreciate GM's 'dustbuster' minivans, the long-nose 'anteaters' that broke out of the boring minivan mold and paid the price of public non-acceptance. Like GM's other orphans, Corvair, Vega, Fiero, Allante, and Reatta, GM stopped production of the APV just when they were getting it right. GM's new minivans look just like Chrysler's and GM will probably sell a bunch of them but they have no character compared to the dustbusters. Ok, I *did* sit in a Montana at GM's Test Track at Epcot and I liked it, just not $25,000 worth.
I purchased my '91 Pontiac TransSport in late 1993 with 40K miles and have put on another 145K since. The minivan was bought to provide a tow vehicle for my motorcycle/pwc and to be alternate transportation to my then on-order Z28 convertible. I never planned to like the minivan, these were the rides of soccer-moms, built to carry inattentive drivers and screaming kids. Somewhere along the way I started to really enjoy my TransSport and appreciate it for what it is, a unique people/stuff carrier with a sporty nature. The windshield pillars reinforce that concept, giving a forward view like that of a Y-wing (play LucasArts X-wing Fighter game). The minivan is slow, durable, and heavily armored, just like a Y-wing. ;)
I added some enhancements to the handling and power of my TransSport, it needed them! The engine has 3 psi higher fuel pressure, +4 degrees timing advance, and a 180 degree thermostat. The power increase is small but allows smoking the tires. Handling improvements are more involved with a rear anti-roll bar, poly-urethane bushings on both bars, negative camber front alignment, and Firehawk tires. My TransSport came with the apparently rare 205-65/15 tire option and handles well. Brakes are a sore spot as they are not up to spirited driving. I go through the 'lifetime' brake pads about every year but Raybestos always gives me new ones with no hassle. Rotors are only $15 so I change them along with the pads.
Problems? What problems, this a GM product! Ok,
there *have* been a few failures. The alternator burned
out and the rebuilds seem to be junk, I went through four of them
before getting one that is quiet and charges the battery.
We'll see how long it lasts!
Other than that, a door handle, power window mechanism, radiator, steering rack, seat belt, water pump, and tie rod end are all I can remember that have failed. Oh yes, the starter quit after only 159K miles, what kind of junk are they turning out? The van has come home on a tow truck twice in it's life, about every 80K miles. At the 240K point I'm gonna' start getting worried!
The drivetrain is similar to the Fiero and there are several Fiero performance houses that will sell engine upgrades once they stop laughing at what you drive. A 3.4 liter upgrade is possible and gives 170 hp.
This page is about as close to a dead-end as you will ever
find on the 'net. I would put a visitation counter on it but one
digit would probably suffice. Most minivan owners are not too
enthusiastic about their vehicles so this is my tribute to the
vehicle that gets me to work and carries (tows) my toys around.
A New Beginning!
Nothing too bad, I just traded it in for a 2001 Montana.