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July 7, 2013

Dodge Caravan NipponDenso Starter Motor Contact Repair

I’ve now seen the same starter motor failure in three different vehicles, a 1996 Plymouth Vogager (same as Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan), 1988 Toyota van, and 1987 Toyota Tercel, over the past 15 years, in what looks to be the same model starter motor. The motor appears to be made by NipponDenso. Essentially, the copper contacts inside the high current switch that turns the motor on erode (possibly by spark erosion) to the point that contact across them is no longer made by a solenoid-driven plunger, and as a result the starter motor gets no power and won’t crank the engine. Typically, these contacts can be easily and cheaply replaced. Here’s how I did this repair in my 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE (3.8L V6) (more…)

January 13, 2013

How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a 1996 Dodge Caravan / Plymouth Vogager 3.8L V6

Recently I had to replace the serpentine belt in my 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE. These belts used to be called “fan belts” in olden times when they used to mainly drive the fan, and sometimes are also called “accessory belts”. This same van. Pretty much the same vehicle as a Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan of the same era. Mine has the 3.8L V6 engine. Belt replacement procedure is apparently similar to what is needed for the 3.0L but the 2.4L version will be different due to a different belt tensioner and different accessory pulley layout. “Serpentine” is a good adjective for the belt in the 3.8L since it takes a tortuous path around no less than 7 pulleys. And yes, the first three people aware of this repair all immediately thought of this great flick, re Serpentine! Serpentine!. (more…)

December 24, 2011

How To Change The Fuel Pump In A Dodge Caravan

fuel pump

fuel pump

Recently, I needed to replace the fuel pump in my 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan. (Well actually, mine is a Plymouth Grand Voyager, same van but “Plymouth” no longer exists thanks to the Chrysler finance debacle and subsequent brand elimination. Pretty much the same vehicle also exists as a Chrysler Town and Country, another triumph of marketing, or something). Mine is the LE version, 3.8L V6 engine, but the procedure for other related models should be just about the same.

In these vans, the fuel pump sits in the fuel tank, and is mounted there via a port at the top-front of the tank. You’ll need to raise the back of the van and then lower the tank, to get at the pump and do the repair. (more…)

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