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    Thread: 1st-gen Caravan / Voyager

    1. 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

    2. 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

    3. 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.

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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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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:

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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
      my SAAB 99

    12. 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.

    13. 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).

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

    15. 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

    16. 10-12-2012 10:22 AM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by turbo_nine View Post
      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.
      I had one of the other ES Turbo manuals out there, and mine had the 3rd row.

      The seats combined weighed about 250 lbs. It was a huge amount of weight that you could really feel when you removed them.
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      10-12-2012 11:20 AM #52
      We had an '84 with the Mitsu 2.6 liter for 8 years till my dad bought a brand new '94 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the 3.8. this thing had overhaed console and the back windows opened with a switch. i was mind blown.

      I remember my dad burried the needle on the 84 once...he was like lets see if we can do this...i remember looking at that needle for a long time until it finally hit 140 (km/hr) until my dad and I cheered. Yeah...the 80's rocked!
      Easy like Sunday Morning.

    18. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 11:59 AM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by Volvo_D View Post
      all i know is i had a black matchbox one WITH A SLIDING DOOR. i thought that was pretty cool...then of course i smashed it years later.
      I did too. The sliding door was pretty sweet.
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      10-12-2012 12:28 PM #54
      I hung around with a girl in the early 90s that drove her parents Caravan around...many good times were had in the back of that thing... Party machine.

      My first job out of college was for a company that supported two way radios, towers and pagers for Fire/Cops/EMT/etc...My field service van was a crappy Caravan (89?). I was depressed when I saw it.
      I was low man on the totem pole, so I got the CV...other guys had the newer Astros.

      The first time I fired it up I heard a low whistle....interesting....got it out on the road and floored it...
      grrrrrrrrrr....WHOOOOSH! Turbo time! I was happy after that. Best service van ever.
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    20. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      10-12-2012 01:49 PM #55
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      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

      I still REALLY want to do this when my brother in law flips his MS3... toss that right into the wife's Mazda5

    21. Member Troike's Avatar
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      10-24-2012 08:49 PM #56
      Quote Originally Posted by Omnilith View Post
      I know this is a second gen, but it is the same vehicle in a mildly revised wrapper.

      This factory five speed 2.5L was purchased for $100:



      I love Caravans/Voyagers. Every time I spot an SWB van, I shout "race car!!!"
      That is pretty damn awesome.
      I do not like the 2nd-gen styling as much, but there are definately many more still on the road (or at least on CL)

      Per Wiki, 3 of the 4 engines were V6 (I only drive 4-cyls, tho the 6s might haul), but a manual was still available, as was AWD. Wonder how hard those are to locate.
      Last edited by Troike; 10-24-2012 at 08:55 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
      my SAAB 99

    22. 10-24-2012 09:46 PM #57
      For the second gen, I don't think the AWD option (or even the V6) was available with the manual transmission. But I've already been wrong in this thread once.

      I drove a manual 2nd gen with accessibility fittings for driver's ed. Pretty sure it was a four. Also pretty sure I got some awful bruises from those fittings.
      Last edited by turbo_nine; 10-24-2012 at 10:08 PM.
      call it potatography

    23. Member BeBop!'s Avatar
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      10-24-2012 09:51 PM #58
      Got to drive one as a company car ... yay .... not particularly exciting, the one I drove broke down and left me on the side of the road because my employer didn't give a crap about it.

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      10-24-2012 10:59 PM #59
      Here's a nice '84 found on Flickr:



      I would call that a classic by now, in that condition. The early two-tiered front end looks so odd.

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      10-25-2012 05:35 AM #60
      Mom bought one when they first came out. '84 Caravan with the middle trim package and the 4 cylinder.

      Looked just like this.

    26. Member Troike's Avatar
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      11-01-2012 12:36 AM #61
      Damn, here is a clean turbo van for $1500. Too bad I owe property tax next week.
      << 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
      my SAAB 99

    27. Member wraithkl626's Avatar
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      11-01-2012 12:57 AM #62
      I know its the wrong generation, but here is a 3rd gen with a srt4 swap.




    28. 11-01-2012 06:30 PM #63
      Very cool tread! My parents used to have a 1990 Grand Caravan LE, 3.3L, 4speed automatic. Great van with unique decals. Sadly rust claimed it.

    29. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      11-01-2012 06:34 PM #64
      Quote Originally Posted by 21v00 View Post
      Very cool tread! My parents used to have a 1990 Grand Caravan LE, 3.3L, 4speed automatic. Great van with unique decals. Sadly rust claimed it.
      I think that's one of the only drawbacks to these, besides only having 1 sliding door

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