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    Thread: 1st-gen Caravan / Voyager

    1. Member rains's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 02:23 AM #26
      the 1st gen Caravans are neat ... but personally I like the older Chevy Astros. The 4.3 vortex was a decent motor, and if you needed more power, a smallblock swap was quite easy. That, and rear wheel drive made for something that could be modded to be a lot of fun

      my 2 cents
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      Things I learned today: You don't have to pass grade 12 English to Manage a Honda dealership.

    2. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 08:25 AM #27
      I had a couple of refreshed ones. The first was my favorite. A 1994 Chrysler T&C. It was white with the gold package and those sweet fluffy leather seats, a digital dash and a towing package. I bought it for $350 needing a master cylinder and I drove it all over the place. In town, it only got about 17 mpg, but on the highway I could nail down a regular 25. I sold it with 177k miles on it and found it about 2 years later on CL needing a transmission with 225k.

      My second was a 95 Caravan sport with the 3.3 litre. That engine felt taxed and got worse fuel economy than the 3.8. It had 280k miles on it when I sold it, and the guy I sold it to (just over 3 years ago) is using it to haul lawn mowers for his summer business. It has well over 350k on it. I paid something like $200 for it, and I sold it for $650. Great vans. They look great, run great and have a ton of room in them for a relatively small footprint. Oh, and they are absolute animals in the snow.

      Chris
      | 2015 Chevy Sonic | 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan | 1990 Ford F-150 | 2014 Prius |

    3. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:09 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by turbo_nine View Post
      1990 was the old body style. Maybe yours was a '91.
      Pretty sure it was a 1990. It looked just like this except white.

      It was refreshed from the original double decker lights

      and it didn't have the slimmed lights of the next generation

    4. Member Troike's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:09 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Omnilith View Post
      Avoid the 2.6L Mitsubishi from the early vans as well.
      well shoot, the one I was about to look at has the 2.6L 4-cyl. (SE, 1987, 3-speed automatic, 142K miles)
      What specifically is bad about them, other than burning oil?

      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      I love TCL. We go about hating on new, fast cars, for not having backseats and then salivate over 25 year old minivans.


      Never been a big fan of the Astro, perhaps because I drove a beater one at work once and had multiple friends who drove Astros we lovingly referred to as the "ghetto van."

      The 2nd-Gen is OK, I prefer the styling and size of the original though. If I were going to get a newer Van it would be a Ram 1500, tint it out + throw some beefy tires on it
      Last edited by Troike; 10-11-2012 at 03:46 PM.
      << so it Hz >>

      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      for every good post in this thread there are 10 illiterate people mashing buttons on their keyboard
      NASOC 2014

    5. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:12 PM #30
      I'm having a much harder time since I'm really just looking for a Mini Ram. If I were to get an old minivan I'd get an Astro for the same reasons said earlier.

    6. Banned Chris Stack's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:16 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      Pretty sure it was a 1990. It looked just like this except white.

      It was refreshed from the original double decker lights

      and it didn't have the slimmed lights of the next generation
      Pretty sure you'll get herpes and crabs and hep C for just sitting in any one of those three.

    7. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:22 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      Pretty sure you'll get herpes and crabs and hep C for just sitting in any one of those three.
      :barf:

    8. 10-11-2012 03:51 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Troike View Post
      well shoot, the one I was about to look at has the 2.6L 4-cyl. (SE, 1987, 3-speed automatic, 142K miles)
      What specifically is bad about them, other than burning oil?
      Every chrysler (and mitsu for that matter) product with that 2.6L eventually ends up sounding like an old sewing machine due to the timing chain stretching. My parents had an '85 with this motor and by 1990 it sounded like ass.

      The motor also just isn't that robust as others. By 1994 or so I forget how many miles the van had on it, but the motor was so worn and weak that a highway grade (think I-8 east of San Diego county or I-15 between Barstow and Vegas) would relegate you to being screaming along in 2nd gear at 45mph just to keep up to not be run over by a semi.

      Carburetors I think I heard are rather difficult to tune as well. The aforementioned Barstow to Vegas grade killed our '85...due to having to rev so hard just to keep 45mph, it overheated and blew a head gasket. After the rebuild (my parents should have just scrapped that car right then and there), the mechanic could never quite get the carb right and the car would stall when warm (tended to run too lean).

      Expect the interior to be thrashed; it just doesn't hold up. Ours lived in SoCal and by the time it was 5 years old, the headliner was falling down (glue for the fabric didn't last) and the front seats looked like a cat used them for a scratching post. My '93 Eurovan by comparison lived for 17 years in NM and AZ heat and sun and has a nearly pristine interior by comparison.
      Last edited by gti_matt; 10-11-2012 at 03:54 PM.

    9. 10-11-2012 03:53 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      Pretty sure it was a 1990. It looked just like this except white.
      In that case it was a '90, but I don't think that generation ever got the 3.3 V6. Only the Mitsubishi 3.0.
      call it potatography

    10. Member clutchrider's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 03:55 PM #35
      F logic. Here is my submission




      I had the matchbox version as a kid

    11. 10-11-2012 03:56 PM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by turbo_nine View Post
      In that case it was a '90, but I don't think that generation ever got the 3.3 V6. Only the Mitsubishi 3.0.
      It did get the 3.3 in the first gen for 1990 only (assuming wiki is right).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Caravan#Engines

    12. 10-11-2012 04:01 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      It did get the 3.3 in the first gen for 1990 only (assuming wiki is right).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Caravan#Engines
      In that case, I'd recommend a 1990 with the 3.3 if it also has the older 3-speed auto. That would be a reasonably reliable combination.
      call it potatography

    13. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 05:53 PM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by turbo_nine View Post
      In that case, I'd recommend a 1990 with the 3.3 if it also has the older 3-speed auto. That would be a reasonably reliable combination.
      Nope it had the 4spd "ultradrive", which like I said earlier, we went through 3 of them. It was smooth when it worked. I was driving it one of the times it failed, stuck in 2nd gear "limp mode". I think my parents finally got rid of it soon after the last transmission was replaced. Engine = good (relatively), transmission = no good.

    14. Member Omnilith's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 06:16 PM #39
      An alternative if somebody wanted a six with more fun... You can dig up an A543 transaxle from a P or G body and easily build yourself a five-speed 3.0L van.

      Really though, if you love to drive, you need to find or build a van with a stick. You can forgive a lack of horsepower when you can pick your own ratio.

    15. Member konigwheels's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 06:43 PM #40
      Arent the 2.4 Turbo motors out of the SRT-4 and PT turbo a fairly straightforward swap into the generation of FWD Chryslers? If so that's the only motor/tranny I would concern myself with.

    16. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 07:22 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by konigwheels View Post
      Arent the 2.4 Turbo motors out of the SRT-4 and PT turbo a fairly straightforward swap into the generation of FWD Chryslers? If so that's the only motor/tranny I would concern myself with.
      Good question...
      That reminds me of a more modern version of this, the car and driver Mazdaspeed5

      http://www.caranddriver.com/features/boss-wagon-vi
      http://www.caranddriver.com/features...n-mazdaspeed-5


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      10-11-2012 08:43 PM #42
      Go TMNT or go home:

    18. Member Fe2O3's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 08:52 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      Pretty sure you'll get herpes and crabs and hep C for just sitting in any one of those three.
      x2. The few I've seen still on the road, I don't want to be the next owner...
      Quote Originally Posted by phryxis View Post
      sprayed it on, waited some time, and proceeded to go at it with a scraper, some pliers, and a lot of f-ing hard work.

    19. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 08:54 PM #44
      Way back in the late 80's when I was in High School , I had a friend who drove her parent's white ChryCo minivan. We loved it because it carried a lot of people. It was white. We called it Moby.

      That's all I've got.

    20. Member HerrGolf's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 10:29 PM #45
      I never understood why Chrysler Co. tachometers of that era never rested at zero when the engines were shut off. They always sat at about idle speed.

      This thread has me confused as to whether I really like or really despise the Chrysler minivans. They were very honestly styled, unpretentious and classless vehicles but it got old eventually. I think part of the magic, though, was the ability to order them as stripped or as loaded as you damn well pleased. Each one was different: some were extremely luxurious (for the time) and some were very spartan.

      As a child in the late '80s, I got a kick out of seeing who had a base, SE or LE version and whether or not they'd ordered it with captains chairs, privacy glass, power rear vent windows, power seat, full length overhead console, complete instrumentation etc etc etc. Some disappointed with 5 passenger seating, a speedo/gas gauge, no rear wiper/defroster and vinyl seats, sans headrests. Most were pretty plush, though, and I loved having my friends' parents cart me around in a car with so many buttons and cubbies, the hideous engine noises and general shoddiness notwithstanding. It was a lot more fun than fighting over the armrest in the back my parents' '86 Accord, at the time.
      Last edited by HerrGolf; 10-11-2012 at 10:34 PM.

    21. Member Troike's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 10:31 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      It did get the 3.3 in the first gen for 1990 only (assuming wiki is right).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Caravan#Engines
      Here's a local one .. way too red for me

      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      Every chrysler (and mitsu for that matter) product with that 2.6L eventually ends up sounding like an old sewing machine due to the timing chain stretching. My parents had an '85 with this motor and by 1990 it sounded like ass.

      The motor also just isn't that robust as others. By 1994 or so I forget how many miles the van had on it, but the motor was so worn and weak that a highway grade (think I-8 east of San Diego county or I-15 between Barstow and Vegas) would relegate you to being screaming along in 2nd gear at 45mph just to keep up to not be run over by a semi.

      Carburetors I think I heard are rather difficult to tune as well. The aforementioned Barstow to Vegas grade killed our '85...due to having to rev so hard just to keep 45mph, it overheated and blew a head gasket. After the rebuild (my parents should have just scrapped that car right then and there), the mechanic could never quite get the carb right and the car would stall when warm (tended to run too lean).

      Expect the interior to be thrashed; it just doesn't hold up. Ours lived in SoCal and by the time it was 5 years old, the headliner was falling down (glue for the fabric didn't last) and the front seats looked like a cat used them for a scratching post. My '93 Eurovan by comparison lived for 17 years in NM and AZ heat and sun and has a nearly pristine interior by comparison.

      Well my SAAB sounds like a Husqvarna
      I did not realize the 2.6L was 4cyls or carbd .. 1984-1987 motor apparently. Probably a reason there are not so many on the roads. Most decades-old Vans are likely thrased & trashed by now..
      no other SWB Caravans for sale anywhere on regional Craigslists, perhaps I'll hold off for an elusive manual/better motor. Though a quick Winter beater would be nice since my Saab does not like starting in freezing weather
      << so it Hz >>

      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      for every good post in this thread there are 10 illiterate people mashing buttons on their keyboard
      NASOC 2014

    22. Member wat's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 10:42 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by konigwheels View Post
      Arent the 2.4 Turbo motors out of the SRT-4 and PT turbo a fairly straightforward swap into the generation of FWD Chryslers? If so that's the only motor/tranny I would concern myself with.
      Wondering about this too, I hear bits here and there about these engines plugging and playing in just about anything that's had a 2.4L option, but I can never find any real swap info. Obviously not an impossible swap b/c there's plenty of them on YT, but itd be nice to see what's involved.

      I'm especially curious because my 96 Caravan (3rd gen) had its Mitsu 3L and transmission fail spectacularly recently and I want to bring it back. With no wrecked SRT4's in my area anymore I'm looking at PT Loser GT (high output versions would be nice)... hoping that buying a complete car would make the swap less of a PITA.

    23. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 01:25 AM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by Troike View Post
      Here's a local one .. way too red for me
      Yup that engine looks mighty familiar.

      Except that's a fancy LE. We had an SE with A/C option. We had cloth seats, no faux wood trim, no roof rack, no tint, no fancy cassette/radio (I spot that joystick fader), I think I also spot the power rear window vent (we had the manual one).

    24. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 02:01 AM #49
      Love them..brings back so many awesome childhood memories.

    25. 10-12-2012 09:47 AM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      Love them..brings back so many awesome childhood memories.
      Seriously. I had a '90 turbo manual. Was quite disappointed that it didn't have a third row seat just because of the time I spent in my aunt's Caravan back when they were new.
      call it potatography

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