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Looks like the van is pretty clean underneath, you can get a good idea the condition of the frame rails by looking at where the front rail Y's toward the front bumper, that is most likely the first place it will start to rust. Rusted frames rails are the weak spot on Dodge vans.

I have owned several Dodge vans, for the most part they are pretty reliable, and you can usually tell when something is starting to go bad, I would definitely snag a spare ECM for the van while they are still available (if you can get one now, they are becoming harder and harder to find) and keep it in the van in case the one that is in it now goes bad, along with a spare spark coil, crank sensor and pick-up coil, especially if you are going on camping trips or regardless. It is low mileage but one thing to keep an eye on is metal shavings accumulating on the crankshaft sensor causing a rough idle or misfire. Also, be sure keep the door hinges well lubricated / oiled, especially the sides and back, I am to the point now that I try and keep everything lubricated ( locks, door hinges, locking mechanism, ignition mechanism, hood latch, steering column, anything that moves ... WD makes a variety of lubricants now a days including a Dry Lubricant and a nice Gel Lubricant, trim parts are harder and harder to find, keep everything well lubricated and you should be fine, these vans are not built cheap ). If the engine ever runs significantly low on water to where the water pump starts squeaking then I would anticipate the water pump to start leaking shortly after. Also, leaky gear boxes are not uncommon in Dodge vans, I recently flushed my power steering pump and gear box in my '98 to hopefully extend their life, replaced the supply and return hoses as well, gear boxes are getting harder to find as well.

It is normal for the oil pressure gauge to move up and down along with engine RPM's, just nothing abnormally low.

Sure is a nice step bumper you have. : )
 

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Much cheaper than you'd think, especially for an 8-lug hunk like this Dana 60 one. I had to pay $60 up front for the yard to pull it, then a couple of days later I picked it up and paid for the actual item; $138 for the axle plus $30 core charge, plus tax. I get the core back if I return my old one, and even though it would cost me more in gas and hassle I have no use for it once it's out of the van. It would only be in my way.

It is a pull-it yard, Southside Auto Parts, the truck and van location for Chesterfield Auto Parts.
That is a really good price. Did you happen to catch how many miles were on the van that it came out of ? Did you double check and make sure it had fluid in it ?

Those pull it yourself junkyards are pretty nice, make it a lot easier to get random parts for your vehicle.
 

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Did George Washington wait for 3 days of warmish days to cross the Delaware ? Throw on some long johns and an extra pair of socks and get this done, you are keeping us in suspense !
 

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Now you're making me feel bad. I'm not trying to drag this out. I'd like to be done and driving this thing.
Joking, it gets done when it gets done. Working in warmer weather has its advantages, nuts and bolts mover freer, less " stings " when you bang your hands or fingers.

Are you planning on replacing the U - bolts, or re-using the old ones ? Figure the old ones will come loose ?
 

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Dear old George didn't have to grow the boat himself. Give the man a break.
That's the problem with the internet, it never crossed my mind that would have been taken for anything other than a joke. The man is doing a fantastic job with the van and the thread the last thing would want to do is ruin that. I completely apologize if that was taken any other way.
 

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I can't imagine them designing the rear axle so it would have to be removed in order for the brake drum to be removed, could just be slightly rusted onto the axle and looks like it is one piece, but I could be wrong.

Could be possible that the replacement rear axle is a different year with different sized lugs and rims, or maybe the replacement rear axle calls for different sized lugs and rims altogether, but I have no idea.

Sorry to see you sell it.
 

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Just to follow up on this with some different pix, the replacement (Dana #2) looks like every other full floater I've seen. Once the wheel is off you can slip the brake drum off since there is nothing holding the drum onto the drum.

The axle on the van (Dana #1) has the axle flange outside the face of the brake drum so there is no way to remove the drum without removing the axle, from what I was able to determine.

Dana #1 on the van. Note the obvious flange blocking the movement of the drum toward the outside.
View attachment 86363


Dana #2 replacement axle. This brake drum slipped off and on several times, as did the other one on this axle. Nothing to it, but there's no such flange in the way.
View attachment 86364

Let me stress that I never got any deeper into any Dana axle so I do not KNOW the intricacies but it sure looks that way to me.

I have pix of the underhood stickers from both vans and I believe one states 6500# for the axle while the other states #5500, but I found nothing in the Dana literature to explain this obvious visual difference between the two.
Sure does look like the flange needs to be removed to remove the brake drum on axle #1.

One thing for sure, these vans are definitely going to be harder and harder to keep on the road as time goes by, especially for us Northerners as replacement body and trim parts become rarer and rarer at the bone yards.
 
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