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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two vans, 1998 Caravan and 1997 Grand Voyager.
The Voyager has been sitting for about a year, the transmission leaked around the trans axles and the power steering system leaked.
Last winter I hit a deer with the Caravan, caved in the front end and destroyed the radiator. Too much frame damage I think to take parts from the Voyager and rebuild it. So the plan is to take parts off the Caravan and rebuilt the Voyager. Both have 3.3 engines, both have 4 spd transmissions, everything I have found so far is the same in both, except the length and the Voyager has rear AC.
I replaced the transmission in the Caravan 4 years ago, and put in a new solenoid, it has run just great. I think swapping them will be straight up. I'll change transmission fluid and filter.
I have two questions or concerns.
First, power steering. I have the trans axles out, so I can get to it from below. I think from the way it was leaking that I just need to replace the lines. But it looks like only one unscrews from the pump. I never found the exact spot it leaked, it come down from inside the heat shield wrapped around the lines. Sound like the pump? Or seals somewhere? Am I better off just buying all new rather than trying to swap the old one?
My second question concerns the engine itself. It has over 230k miles on it. At some point in the past I replaced the valve cover gasket on the front, but didn't take time to get to the back one, so while I have everything tore down, I'll try to get that. Are there other things I should consider replacing while I'm in there? I don't want to totally rebuild it. At one point, I was putting 130 miles a day on it, but now it will be used as a cargo van to haul things, and as a second car when we need two. The Transmission I put in 60k miles ago. And yes, I'll probably keep and drive this baby until it dies a final death.
I am not even sure what to consider, besides timing belt/chain, and oil pump. Is a valve job worth the investment?
One thing I have not done is pressure check each cylinder. Might be a good idea.
Thoughts? Comments?
And thanks in advance. I love this site
 

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For the power steering system there is a pressure line which threads into the pump and goes to the rack. The return line is just a rubber hose.
On a friend's PT Crusier the O ring needed to be replaced for the pressure line which mounts on the back of the pump, and the pressure line had to come off the pump to replace the O ring that was leaking.
What is the condition of the pressure line to the rack? It could be leaking. Maybe the return line. Is the front of the pump dry or like mine where the pump is leaking out the front seal? Also what about the rack itself?

Try placing a piece of cardboard under the vehicle to see where the leaks or drips are coming from.

My 92 Grand Voyager LE has the same as yours 3.3 Liter with the 4 speed trans. The engine has been great with 326,000 miles. Three water pumps, two belt tensioners, and a timing chain by the mileage since I had the timing chain cover off and it was at the machine shop extracting broken bolts that hold the water pump. So I put in a new timing chain. Oh and watch it with those little 10mm bolts the break easy. If you do a water pump I suggest using some anti-seize on the threads. Will make it easier the next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. It has been a while, but the fluid ran down the heat sleeve. It was not from the pump itself, and it was not from the steering unit. And it would just gush when you turned the wheels, and if left over night, the sump would be dry in the morning.
I replaced the tensioner a while back, and put on a double sided serpentine belt, the other one kept jumping off, another issue I'm sure.
I haven't done the timing chain yet, but did a water pump on one of them. Not sure which.
 

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How old is the tensioner? I have had one start leaning outward which will put the tensioner pulley on an angle that can throw the belt off. And I have had one just explode while trying to flex it against the internal spring to put the belt on.
Check the idler pulley for the condition of the bearing. Also check to make sure all the pulleys line up. I have had an old belt stay on with the tensioner leaning while it would throw a new belt off.

It sounds like the power steering pressure hose ruptured.
 

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You can wipe things off with a shop rag and use a can of brake cleaner to quickly degrease the pump, fitting and line where the leak appears to be coming from. If the high-pressure line is leaking, I would replace it with a new one.
If the belt is wet with p/s fluid, that would increase the likelihood of it jumping. The belt path must be true. Tensioners did wear or bind causing belt-jumps. Stick with an OEM for replacement.
41TE transaxles should be the same. Are both vans 15" wheels? If not the speedometer may be off even if the differential ratios are the same. The pinion factor is in the TCM and can be changed by scan tool. Service with ATF+4 and an OEM filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tensioners are a completely separate issue. On that note, not sure if I replaced the tensioner itself, or just the a new pulley. Might be worth changing. This was long before the power steering problem. I think the drain hose on the passenger side from the top drained onto the belt. Saw another post about that. I solved that by getting a short section of hose to route past the alternator. And the belt path appears to be true, but that is really an old problem that's been solved.
On the power steering, there is a heat shield type covering on the hoses, so it is difficult to determine exactly where the leak it. I have hesitated simply cutting the material off, but with it being soaked repeatedly by power steering fluid, will it still have any shielding properties left? Should I cut the shielding to look for the leak? Take it apart and hope I find an obvious hole in the line? Or a damaged O-ring? Guess that is one area I'm not sure how to proceed with, actually locating the exact leak, so I can solve it.
And the other issue or question is what work should I do/consider doing to the engine while I have it stripped down.
Yes, both vehicles are 15 " wheels, so that is simple.
The old transmission I'm taking out needs new seals around the trans axles. I have debated trying to get those replaced, or just swapping transmissions. If I do just swap transmissions, I plan to set the other aside in the event I need it at a later point.
 

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On my 92 Grand Voyager I need to replace the power steering pump because it is leaking quite a bit of fluid out the front seal, and it is getting on the pulley and being slung around. It has never thrown the belt off except in the winter when at speed I hit a pile on snow left by a plow.

As for the power steering line that is leaking, it could be leaking where the rubber hose connects to the metal line. The O rings are to seal the connections to the pump and rack.

The 3.3 Liter is a very good engine I have 326,000 miles on my 1992. If the timing chain has never been replaced I would consider replacing it. And replacing any gaskets, valve covers, oil pan that might be leaking.

Replacing the seals to the CV joints on the side of the transmission might be somewhat difficult. I have had a trans shop tell me they might not want to come out easy. If you have to remove the cover on the side of the trans too get the seals out, then you will need to reset the preload on the differential. Which replacing the seals might be best to have a trans shop replace the seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All those seals are things I am thinking of, wanting to make sure they are advisable, and I don't leave anything out.
If and when I fix the other transmission, I will definitely take it to a shop to have done. Wasn't sure if just any old shop with a press could put them in, hadn't really considered getting them OUT. If I need to use the transmission, will certainly be cheaper than any other route.
Thanks again
 

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When I had the trans in my 92 Grand Voyager rebuilt the first time around 90,000 miles I went to the Chrysler Plymouth dealer where I bought the van. The second and third rebuilds I took it to Kerry Brothers Trans shop in Waukegan Illinois they have been around since 1951.
I would suggest finding a reputable shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you suggesting I avoid the dealership if I need a transmission rebuilt? Not that it really matters, but my plan would be a reputable transmission shop. Thanks for the advice.
 

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I doubt there is a heavy duty gear set. Depending how old the trans is they will either put in the updates or if it is old enough just give you another trans that has already been rebuilt with all the updates.
 
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