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New-to-us '05 GC fraternal twin - headlight and seat questions

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by Stephen, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Four years ago we bought a red '05 GC SXT with grey Stow N' Go interior, 132K miles and a 2" receiver hitch. It has done a lot of hauling and utility trailer towing in that time but was needing a lot of little things and my bride purely hates putting money into repairing old vehicles so encouraged me to replace it. Luckily, we found a blue '05 GC SXT with grey Stow N' Go interior, 121K miles and a 2" receiver hitch. If this sounds like a bad van habit, let me say that my first two Mopars were consecutive white '95 vans, a shorty Caravan and then a GV.

    Anyway, the blue van has a couple of issues I hope to correct before donating the red van. One headlight is fogged and the red van can be a donor because the side the blue van needs was replaced on the red van after a deer strike early on. So, I have a nice clear lens on each van on different sides and hope to swap the good one to one van and the bad to the other. I will be buying a Haynes manual today (last one got lent and vanished) but meanwhile need some hints on replacement procedures.

    Also, the blue van's power driver's seat adjusts in all but one setting; the front up-and-down does not work, although I can hear the motor. The seat moves fore-and-aft, the rear up-and-down works and the seatback tilts. It's just the front lift that does not, and since we two drivers are of different sizes and preferences full adjustment capability is a requirement. Blue's upholstery is slightly better than Red's so I don't want to move the whole seat, just fix the blue lift issue.

    We've only driven Blue on the test drive and then home yesterday, so we have effectively no miles in this machine but it actually seems to drive better than Red.

    More as we discover it.

    Thanks in advance for the tips!
     
  2. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Well, the lights were a breeze. Every other vehicle since my '85 Nissan pickup has been a total pain to work on but this was simple. Three bolts down through the sheetmetal of the radiator support hold the headlight nacelle in position. Remove those and pull out the light assemply, then unplug the headlight and unplug the parking/turn light. Repeat on other vehicle and swap pieces, then reinstall.

    The seat may be more difficult, but at least it's easy to see the problem. The motor nearest the left front of the seat is the one that controls the lift of the front edge. Motor runs at right angle to a shaft with a thread on it. When the motor runs the shaft screws itself in or out of the bracket at the front which tips fore or aft to raise or lower the front of the seat. My motor appears to be getting power but is not turning that shaft, so no seat movement. Looks like I'll have to remove the seat anchor nuts from beneath the van to remove the seat assembly (dropping the spare to reach for one of the ones on the right side). If I can fix it I will but I might have to swap out motor/shaft/something from Red to get Blue working properly.

    Went for a quick spin around the 'hood and Blue appears to ride very smoothly, indeed. Also appears to have about an inch more dump in the front than Red when photographed nose-to-nose.
     
  3. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    I managed to isolate the malfuntion, as we used to say in electronics troubleshooting, and it comes down to goddam plastic gears. Don't know why they managed to break but they did. They always do. Removed the seat without too much difficulty and it gave me the chance to air up the temporary spare, which may never have seen the light of day before now.

    Getting the seat apart and the motor out was an entirely different challenge but it's done. Easiest fix (but likely not the cheapest) is to buy the part new if it's available. Next easiest is to put it all back together and swap seats (okay if donating the Red but that leaves me with the less good upholstery--and leaving the seat disassembled in Red when donating would be easier yet but very poor form). Next easiest would be swapping the bad motor in Blue for the known good one from Red but that will be at least twice and probably three times the work. I'll probably find a junkyard seat and pull the motor from that but the (remote) risk is another bad motor. On the plus side, the junkyard seat would have other motors in it (four are utilized; one for front tilt, one for back tilt, one for fore-and-aft, and one for seatback tilt, maybe not all containing the parts I need but I only need the two) and one of those might have the gears I need. It's getting complicated. We shall see.

    If anyone has a spare part motor GEN II B, VERTICAL E, 8-82494, 5709790 now's the time to speak up.

    seat broken gear.JPG seat worm gear.JPG seat motor.JPG
     
    #3 Stephen, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  4. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Hooray for Pop's Pick and Pay in Mechanicsville VA! They had five eligible vans in the yard, three of them with power seats. Of those three, all with crappy and greasy junkyard upholstery, two were full of junk and resting in puddles or on a tangle of rebar and working underneath to unbolt would have been terribly unpleasant, so there was only one logical donor. $30 + tax and I'm back. Now for the fun part, extracting the motor so I can use it in my seat, then getting everything back together. Incidentally, the motor for the rear lift appears to be identical, so my odds for success are doubled.

    Posted a sale ad for the red van and received one response but no reply to my reply.
     
    somber likes this.
  5. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Fixed it!

    Got the motor out of the junkyard seat and, since I know my motor is good but only the drive gears are bad and do not know the condition of the junk motor, I simply switched out the gears and used my original motor. Once I plugged in and knew it moved the plunger properly I went to the trouble to reinstall. If you ever need to do this job you will need to find or make some special tools. The problem is access to the various fasteners. This motor is held in place by two pins; at the front by a thickish silver pin with splines and a head and at the back by a typical roll pin. Both are hard to reach.

    The critical tool for me was the curved prybar. I have never used this thing before but it was absolutely perfect for this job and I do not know what else would have worked had I not had this tool. I used the curved part along the seat frame with the tip positioned against the ends of each of the pins to push them out, which in this case is toward the center of the van seat. Once the end of a pin was flush to the metal holding it I needed a short drift to press against it and made a graduated set from aluminum nails, using each one in turn to press the pin a bit further.
    motor tools1.JPG

    Here you can see the tip of the prybar pressing against one of the drift nails to push the roll pin out.
    motor tools2.JPG

    The splined (front) pin was removed completely in each case but I left the (rear) roll pin stuck in its inner bracket since it would have been too hard to get it re-started had it come out completely.
    motor tools3.JPG

    I used Channel Locks to press the roll pin back into position, adjusting it to smaller and smaller openings as pin insertion progressed. For the splined pin I tapped with a ball peen hammer. It was necessary to run the motor in each direction to get the screw and clevis to move fore and aft to get the holes positioned correctly for the splined pin. Hope the documentation with photos is of use to someone with similar power seat problems.
    motor tools4.JPG
     
    #5 Stephen, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Fixed it!

    Got the motor out of the junkyard seat and, since I know my motor is good but only the drive gears are bad and do not know the condition of the junk motor, I simply switched out the gears and used my original motor. Once I plugged in and knew it moved the plunger properly I went to the trouble to reinstall. If you ever need to do this job you will need to find or make some special tools. The problem is access to the various fasteners. This motor is held in place by two pins; at the front by a thickish silver pin with splines and a head and at the back by a typical roll pin. Both are hard to reach.

    The critical tool for me was the curved prybar. I have never used this thing before but it was absolutely perfect for this job and I do not know what else would have worked had I not had this tool. I used the curved part along the seat frame with the tip positioned against the ends of each of the pins to push them out, which in this case is toward the center of the van seat. Once the end of a pin was flush to the metal holding it I needed a short drift to press against it and made a graduated set from aluminum nails, using each one in turn to press the pin a bit further.
    motor tools1.JPG

    Here you can see the tip of the prybar pressing against one of the drift nails to push the roll pin out.
    motor tools2.JPG

    The splined (front) pin was removed completely in each case but I left the (rear) roll pin stuck in its inner bracket since it would have been too hard to get it re-started had it come out completely.
    motor tools3.JPG

    I used Channel Locks to press the roll pin back into position, adjusting it to smaller and smaller openings as pin insertion progressed. For the splined pin I tapped with a ball peen hammer. It was necessary to run the motor in each direction to get the screw and clevis to move fore and aft to get the holes positioned correctly for the splined pin. Hope the documentation with photos is of use to someone with similar power seat problems.
    motor tools4.JPG
     
  7. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    Congrats! I went through something similar years ago with the power seat on my 91 Grand Voyager. My repair process was much like yours.
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Here's a pic of the old and the new together. Note the difference in front ride height between the two vans; the red is probably two full inches higher. I'll have to measure tomorrow. Both vans are on 215/65R-16 tires (Uniroyal on Red and Goodyear on Blue) so there might be some actual dimensional difference between the two but not enough to account for that difference.
    R&B.JPG
     
    #8 Stephen, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  9. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Are the suspensions the same? Perhaps one has Nivomat shocks (rear)? Nivomats are the self leveling shocks - they are 2-3x bigger in diameter.
     
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Nope, conventional on both vans. Red has Monroes that I installed a couple of years ago and Blue has KYB gas shocks.

    I was right on the ride height, confirmed by measuring. I went by the process agreed upon in Vanagon circles (we also have an '87 Westy) to avoid confusion of terms; you measure up from the center of a given wheel to the bottom of the sheetmetal wheel arch above it. This way everyone is comparing apples and you avoid problems caused by differing wheel/tire sizes or other conditions. Good for comparing lifts.

    Red = Front 17 1/2, Rear 16 1/2
    Blue = Front 16 1/2, Rear 17 1/2

    So, an inch difference front-to-rear per van in opposite directions gives a relative two inches of dump on Blue versus a level aspect when viewing Red in profile. Red also has aftermarket airbags on the rear, installed by the PO who used to trailer a lot for work, but I leave them at atmospheric except when pulling my trailer full of oak or a similar load. They will actually boost the rear up by about 3" when fully inflated and I've only used them a few times.

    I'll wait until I get a few miles on it to decide but might be interested in lifting the front on Blue if that is reasonably doable.

    Anyway, I vacuumed out Red today in preparation for presentation to interested parties and took the opportunity to shift over all the personal items to Blue, which today becomes the official River Dog van. Even switched car keys on my keychain.
     
  11. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Interesting discovery on my first night drive. Blue, like Red, has driving lights in the lower fascia but because of the dump in the front you can barely tell when they're switched on. That makes them useless as they are now so I hope they're adjustable. Not a make-or-break issue but I use the lights occasionally so that front lift mentioned above might be actively sought if the driving lights can't be aimed.
     
  12. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Did my first fillup in the new van last night at 121,259 miles. I always reset the trip to 0 and the mileage readout on the overhead console after recording what the van tells me is the fuel economy it's getting. On the red van it consistently show about 1-2 MPG optimistic compared to the math calculation based on the trip distance divided by gallons purchased, so it will be interesting to see how this one does. After my previous 3.3 Grand Voyager and 3.0 Caravan I was disappointed by the 3.8's thirst and I hope it was that specific van and not all of this type.

    Interestingly, it appears the PO did not reset the trip, maybe not for the last year or so. Trip odometer was at 9892.1 miles and if he never reset the mileage readout either then the van got an indicated 18.0 MPG over the last almost 10K miles. Judging by the driving today (insufficient sample, I know) it looks like this one gets better fuel economy for the driving I normally do. That would be a pleasant surprise.
     
  13. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    The fuel mileage display on my '06 Ram 1500 was on average 1.5 mpg optimistic compared to my fuel log whereas the display in our previous '00 T&C Ltd 3.8L was only 0.1-0.5 mpg difference. Yes, the 3.8L can be thirsty (usually in city type driving) - our T&C would average around 16 mpg in local driving, but on the highway it usually averaged over 24 mpg.
     
  14. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Sounds like my red van, but I'm hoping the blue will do a little better.
     
  15. KOG

    KOG KOG
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    Those are fog lights, not driving lights and only people who are in a fog themselves use them to blind other people when there's no fog out.

    That's quite a job swapping seat parts. I've always just swapped the entire assembly with motors and all.
     
  16. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    These won't blind anyone.

    If I'd found a decent seat I'd have done that.
     
  17. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Well, it's been a week and a half and a full tank of gas, so time for a brief review. I found driving Blue to be very enjoyable, with fewer clunks and clanks, no rattles and less slamming of the rear suspension over bumps. Rides very smoothly overall. Filled up today and it appears that Blue gets slightly better mileage than Red did, judging by this inadequate sample. Low fuel light comes on about 30 miles later and the overhead console gas readout is closer to the math mileage, showing 20.1 while math worked out to 19.5 for the tank. I'll have to take it on a road trip and see if it does better on strictly highway driving. Red seldom hit 20 in the mixed driving we do and generally was a full MPG or two less when calculated versus the readout

    Uncovered a few odd things:

    The left slider door lock seems to be immune to remote and driver's armrest control, so it is probably a connector inside the door.

    The rear hatch operates off the remote and the overhead switch but it occasionally from the switch will open then close immediately and not respond further to the switch. If the hatch is unlocked and I attempt to open it manually it will go up and then close itself right away. Also, if it is open and I reach up to close it manually it resists, will not move at all, in fact. I'll have to do some troubleshooting on this. And the hatch probably needs the two support struts replaced they do not seem to hold it up adequately at all times.

    Lastly for this installment, the remote unlocking behaves differently from Red to Blue. Red would unlock only the driver's side with one push and took a second push to do the passenger's side, while Blue unlocks everything (except that recalcitrant slider) with one push.
     
  18. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Check the owner's manual. There should be a procedure listed to change the fob to unlock all doors on the first push and not require a 2nd push to unlock the rest.
     
    UN4GTBL and valiant67 like this.
  19. Stephen

    Stephen Active Member

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    Found out what this prybar is; it's a tire lock ring tool for those split ring truck wheels. Made this discovery while wandering through Harbor Freight. Very handy for this different application.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Whatever works I say. Necessity is the mother of invention.
     

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