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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    My 99 Sport is coming up to a brake job with about 74k miles. I would be interested in assessing this further. Any pictures Shipo?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I can make some real quick, what would you like to see? I'll be doing the brakes on our 2003 this weekend, and it would be no big deal to snap a few shots of whatever you need. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I was interested in seeing the new 2003 rotor as it compared to the older 98/99 rotor. Thanks for your offer!

    PS I am working this weekend, otherwise I'd drive over to your house for a cool one while you changed the brakes!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Tehe...

    VCheng, I'm shocked that you would think that I of all people would imbibe whilst slaving away on a car under the hot sun. ;) Then again, "Maybe this once."

    Regarding the pics, I'll get a shot of them and post them in my Yahoo! gallery (I'll post the link after I post the pictures.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • oilersoilers Posts: 1
    After about ten minutes from starting my 97 caravan sport, the engine sometimes dies. If I am stopped, I simply have to restart and no more problems usually occur -- no problem starting the car. If I am going more than 15 MPH, the car usually restarts after about three to five seconds. If I am in cruise control, the cruise light goes off and if I want to restart the system I must punch the acceperate button rather than the start button (this may or may not be related). This has been happening at random for over a year and my mechanic cannot find any indication on the electronic diagnosis system he uses. It can happen under any weather conditions. Any suggestions?
  • top3guntop3gun Posts: 4
    Hello. I have a '00 Caravan, 2.4L. 70k miles. I've owned tha van for only 6 months now. No problems til today, when it shook in the "lower gears". Took it to Aamoco and they said that it probably just needs a tune up.

    I'm about to do a tune up on it for the first time. Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor, pvc, fuel filter. Any tips on which brand I should get for those parts and from where? Also, tips on how to perform it would be helpful. Thanks!
  • the van was bought new in july 1999 and it has 56k on it. Does the factory warranty cover such repair?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    The only fly in the ointment of your investigation into brake rotor design is that you are buying new NAPA aftermarket rotors, so are not looking at the OEM rotor design for either van, not the original OEM design.

    Our 1996 Caravan didn't have any brake work required until we were well past 70K miles. It did have a tiny bit of warped rotor vibration probably for the last 10-15K, but since I knew what it was and it was at fairly low levels, we lived with it. When we had a front brake job done and replaced the rotors as well, as corrosion was taking its toll on the rotors at that point. Rear drums are still original and we have about 81K on the van now.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "The only fly in the ointment of your investigation into brake rotor design is that you are buying new NAPA aftermarket rotors, so are not looking at the OEM rotor design for either van, not the original OEM design."

    Well sort of. The thing is that this is the first time that I've bought NAPA rotors, meaning that the set that I just took off the 1998 and the set that is still on the 2003 are OEM rotors. FWIW, the NAPA rotors appear to be an exact replacement for the OEM rotors. Having said that, I do find it interesting that for our 2003, NAPA only carries one rotor (UBP-880049 @ $27.45), however, for the 1998 they carry two rotors (UTS-4886646 @ $24.99 and UBP-86646 @ $56.99). I bought the more expensive UBP-86646 rotors for the 1998 hoping that they would resist the heat better than the OEM rotors.

    FWIW (again), I used to work for a NAPA jobber back when I was in college nearly 30 years ago, the "United Brake Parts" (which is what the "UBP" probably stands for) aftermarket rotors were always exact replacement parts for the OEM parts, at least from a dimensional perspective that is. What I don't know is if they have somehow improved the metallurgy of the rotors, hence their higher cost (higher than even buying OEM rotors directly from Dodge).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    For longer front brake and rotor life, make sure rear drums are working properly and adjusted. Many fwd vehicles have non-working or need rear brakes adjusted. The auto slack adjusters frequently do not work properly when a vehicle has higher mileage.
  • I need to do a tune up on my van too. Mine is 1 year older but has got less millage (56k). I have looked at the spark plugs and they seem to be difficult to get out. Please let us know how it went after you have done it. Thanks!
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    I'm really not sure. You can check with your local Dodge/Chrysler Dealer. :shades:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think you'll find that most disc brake "vibration" problems today are more likely to be caused by hard spots on the rotor surface, or scuz build up, then actually being out of radial roundness from warping.

    Also, in most cases regardless of where or who's name is on the box a replacement rotor comes in, the rotor will be a factory ( OEM ) blank. The casting numbers may be different, but on Chrysler's especially you will often find the Chrysler part number on them. In some cases there might be an aftermarket manufacturers number or identification, but in all likelihood the blank was cast by the OEM.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I think you'll find that most disc brake "vibration" problems today are more likely to be caused by hard spots on the rotor surface, or scuz build up, then actually being out of radial roundness from warping."

    Hmmm, "Hard Spots", we might be saying the same thing here, I believe I called them "Hot Spots", which is the term that the old gray beards that I learned to turn a wrench from used to use (of course that was something like 30 years ago). According to what I remember, the description of a hot spot is where a rotor was heated up enough to re-temper some of the metal so that it was either harder or softer than the surrounding metal. As such when the rotor surface with the hot/hard spot area slides past the pads, it has a different amount of friction in that one spot, hence the pulsing.

    Regarding the "Scuz Build-up", I don't think that's too likely as I use semi-metallic pads.

    Regarding being out of radial roundness or warping, while I admittedly have not mic-ed the rotors, I've seen no evidence of such a situation.

    "Also, in most cases regardless of where or who's name is on the box a replacement rotor comes in, the rotor will be a factory ( OEM ) blank. The casting numbers may be different, but on Chrysler's especially you will often find the Chrysler part number on them. In some cases there might be an aftermarket manufacturers number or identification, but in all likelihood the blank was cast by the OEM."

    Fair enough, however, the rotors that I took off of the 1998 were clearly stamped with the ChryCo pentagon, while the NAPA rotors that I replaced them with came from NAPA's United Brake Parts affiliate/subsidiary, and while my information is once again about 30 years old, back then at least, UBP was making their own replacement parts. Also, unlike the 2003, for which NAPA only lists one part number for the front rotors, they carry a "Tru-Stop" brand, which if I'm not mistaken is made in China. Additionally, if the OEM was casting rotors for other non-ChryCo distribution channels, would they really cast in different part numbers on the back of the hat? I ask because while I didn't check the rotors that I put on the other day, I did just check the set for our 2003, and there are clearly non-ChryCo identifiers cast into the back of the hat. It will be interesting to see if said casted identifiers match up with the rotors that I take off this weekend.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • chuckgchuckg Posts: 69
    Here is a procedure for "bedding" new pads and rotors. Maybe this would help with your hot spots:

    http://www.zeckhausen.com/bedding_in_brakes.htm
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Thanks Chuck. I don't think it is a "bedding" issue as I have "bedded" pads on dozens of cars including my 328i and my 530i. I also don't think that this is a bedding issue since the problem doesn't start to manifest itself until about 20,000-25,000 miles after the brake job. Thanks just the same. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I've got a 99 plymouth minivan that had a similar problem, as well as a 1990 dodge dynasty that did the same thing. What is happening is the computer is detecting a transmission error and going into "limp in" mode. What this basically means is that the transmission shifts into 2nd gear and stays there. The transmission is electronically controlled transmission, controlled by 2 shift sensors. I'm not exactly sure where they're located, but if you change them, it probably will eliminate the problem. The shift sensors run about $25 - $30 a piece.

    Good luck..
  • I had the same thing I found when I took the assembly off that the wire clip that hooks into the circuit board was burnt on one of the wires that in case you have to get a new clip and a new assembly
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Okay VCheng, I've added a few shots of rotor details to my "Caravan Stuff" directory on my Yahoo! Photos site. Said photos can be seen at:

    http://photos.yahoo.com/shipo

    The first four shots titled "RotorDetail01-RotorDetail04" show various angles of the new 1998 rotor mounted with the new 2003 rotor resting on the ground leaning on the 1998. The last two shots titled "RotorDetail05-RotorDetail06" show two slightly different angles of the new 2003 rotor laying flush with a used 1998 rotor.

    One thing that I didn't notice until looking at these pictures is the difference in the hat height. That alone would preclude using the 2003 rotors on an older van because the calipers wouldn't be properly centered, and might possibly rub on the inside of the wheel.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    To get the full resolution of the details, you need to "Download" the Yahoo! photos to your local computer and view them from there.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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