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'05 GC front ride height - can struts be tweaked?

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by Stephen, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Yeah, I will check out the part numbers and decide how to proceed. It's not essential that the springs be replaced; the van runs and drives fine and it's just the front ride height that bugs me a bit. At the very least a fix means the trouble and expense of replacing just the front springs once I determine which ones to use. Not a huge deal if I decide I need to do that. Practially speaking, a workaround is that I only need to drive a little more gingerly near certain obstacles and try to re-aim the fog lights in the fascia so they don't point to the ground. In truth, I could live without using those lights.

    Thanks, guys. I'll let you know what else I find out.
     
  2. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    Factory springs are chosen per vehicle depending on trim level and option load, to give the desired ride. Maybe somebody swapped them out? The rear is too high. If that was down, the front would come up a bit.
     
  3. Stationwagonguy

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    I don't know if this has been touched on already, and may not be the issue here at all, but when you buy a "quick strut" assembly (a complete, assembled replacement strut assembly with spring), they *generally* offer only one spring rate per vehicle (sometimes they will change the spring rate depending on motor), it's rarely listed, and it usually sits higher than the originals ever did. I put quick struts on a Fusion, it sat 2 whole inches higher in front- enough that it aimed the headlights in the sky and looks really, tremendously awful. Thought it would go down with time.... a year later, no. Almost bought quickstruts for the rear of my Escort wagon, decided against it when I could only find one strut style available for the rear of any Escort in that generation- which came in 4 body styles and had at least 6 different spring rates, from tremendously base cars to GTs (which had different motors) and wagons (meant to carry loads in the rear), so if you want a height to remain constant, you'd have to swap springs in new struts.

    Another option (though it brings it's own set of other issues, like changing the spring rate and being consistant side to side) is cutting the springs to lower it if needed... or going to a spring shop and having them heat/compress them to shorten them.
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    The best option (though probably not the cheapest) is to order new springs from the dealer using the VIN. As noted in previous posts, the manufacturer has specific spring rates for each model - some are different depending on trim level and/or options. The aftermarket parts are often designed to "fit" several different makes and models.

    Case in point - I recently had the HVAC assemblies replaced in my '06 Ram 1500 (multiple blend door failures). Since Dodge had redesigned the assemblies and there had been slight production changes during the course of the model year, ordering the correct parts depended on the VIN which told them the "birthday" of the vehicle.
     
  5. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    It's sounding more and more like factory springs are the way to go. I'll take myself to the dealer after the 1st and see what the deal is with the springs and their prices. This may be a change do not I leap at right away since it also entails considerable effort and a spring compressor (bought, rented or found on the street). If I could keep the red van around for as long as it takes me to get parts from it that would be great but having it gone, one way or the other, by New Year's Eve is our plan and I'll accept its departure and the resulting hardship and expense as best I can.
     
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    You weren't kidding. I finally got to a desktop with .pdf ability and a printer, so I got those relevant pages printed off for portability and reference. This laptop is good for several things but not all of them. Anyway, I counted 50 (that's right, FIFTY!) separate part numbers for the Caravan front springs. Jeez! Who would have thought there would be that many possibilities? A dozen, maybe. I'll take this to the local dealer parts counter to see what they can tell me about the ones my van would have come with and price them out. That might provide me with another project for the never-ending list.

    Incidentally, the three different suspension codes (SDA, etc.) you mentioned seem to refer to part #1 on those pages which is the strut piece itself and not the springs. The springs all seem to have Zxx codes.

    Great sheet, by the way. I found that my own van is the RS (2001-2007, which I already knew), H series (SXT and LX), K line (Dodge) and 53 body (119" wheelbase). Very helpful stuff to know when it comes to sorting through all this mess.
     
  7. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    The suspension codes (SDx) would have determined which spring (Zxx) was used. The dealer should be able to print out an options report that should list the springs used.
    If you really want factory ride height, I'd also consider using Mopar struts. So you'd need springs, struts, bearing plates, etc. Then installation and an alignment.
     
    Doug D likes this.
  8. ImperialCrown

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  9. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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  10. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    I just noticed your avatar featuring a personalized Virginia plate. There was a similar one I saw years ago here in Richmond that a local guy had on his year 2000 Kawasaki KLR 650 like the one I was riding at the time. It was Y2KLR. I thought that was very clever.

    Finally got an avatar for myself. Saw the imprinted T-shirt years ago when I was still driving one of my '95s (not woodgrain like the one on the shirt) but never bought one. In truth, I'm more of a minivan guy than a Mopar guy.
     
  11. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    I just noticed your avatar featuring a personalized Virginia plate. There was a similar one I saw years ago here in Richmond that a local guy had on his year 2000 Kawasaki KLR 650 like the one I was riding at the time. It was Y2KLR. I thought that was very clever.

    Finally got an avatar for myself. Saw the imprinted T-shirt years ago when I was still driving one of my '95s (not woodgrain like the one on the shirt) but never bought one. In truth, I'm more of a minivan guy than a Mopar guy.
     
  12. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

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    That is the license plate from my 1985 LeBaron convertible which I still have, currently on my 1994 Ford Taurus so when I get my 1986 convertible ready, I can transfer it. If I didn't keep it active there are a few people I know on turbododge and turbo-mopar forums who would probably snag it.
     

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