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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I recently bought a 2006 Grand Caravan with the 3.8L. It has a spun rod bearing. I am interested in which model year crankshafts I can replace my damaged one with. Can I replace my damaged one with say one from a 2001 3.8L. If anyone has specific experience rebuilding these engines, I would appreciate the information. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I recommend simply pulling the crank out, take it to a local machine shop and have the journals turned, then get matching bearings. At the same time, recommend replacing the oil pump and checking the oil pickup screen, not too many of these engines are reported as failures like this, so something must have gotten into the oil or the pump itself is not keeping proper oil pressure (hard to over-rev engines with computer controlled rev limiters and all like in the old days).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, lack of maintenance (oil changes) was the cause of this problem. The crank is pretty bad. I didn't measure the wear, but I would estimate about .050" on the #6 journal. Do you think the crank would be repairable at that point? I have noticed excessive bearing wear in other 3.8L engines especially in the '06 and '07 model years that don't have regular oil changes or are run with low oil.

dana44 said:
Welcome to the forum. I recommend simply pulling the crank out, take it to a local machine shop and have the journals turned, then get matching bearings. At the same time, recommend replacing the oil pump and checking the oil pickup screen, not too many of these engines are reported as failures like this, so something must have gotten into the oil or the pump itself is not keeping proper oil pressure (hard to over-rev engines with computer controlled rev limiters and all like in the old days).
 

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If there was .050 wear on a journal you almost couldn't drive it from the noise of the knocking rod and fear of blowing up or throwing a rod.

There is quite a bit of difference from the 3.8 having a common problem and a 3.8 having a problem from neglect and abuse, of which both of the latter are preventable, whereas, for example, a gasket leaking or a valve stem seal leaking at say 100K miles regularly is prevented through repair. 3.8s, on here anyway, has had only one other 3.8 rebuild in the past two years, based on unknown history and not running when purchased, to which a crank kit was done.

Basically, until a micrometer is placed on the journal to determine its amount of wear, an eyeball is not accurate enough to tell, but at the same time a machine shop that does do crankshaft turning should be able to get a replacement one, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, it is not driveable due to the noise and fear of throwing the rod. Getting back to my original question, do you have any idea of the forward compatability of the crankshaft from the earlier 3.8L engine into my 2006? I know there are some different part numbers for different model year cranks and I know the part number of mine supercedes to a new number. I would like to be able to replace mine with one from the junkyard and need to know which ones are compatable. Otherwise, I can get a reman crank for about $150, but I would prefer the junkyard option. I am pretty sure my crank is too far gone to repair.

dana44 said:
If there was .050 wear on a journal you almost couldn't drive it from the noise of the knocking rod and fear of blowing up or throwing a rod.

There is quite a bit of difference from the 3.8 having a common problem and a 3.8 having a problem from neglect and abuse, of which both of the latter are preventable, whereas, for example, a gasket leaking or a valve stem seal leaking at say 100K miles regularly is prevented through repair. 3.8s, on here anyway, has had only one other 3.8 rebuild in the past two years, based on unknown history and not running when purchased, to which a crank kit was done.

Basically, until a micrometer is placed on the journal to determine its amount of wear, an eyeball is not accurate enough to tell, but at the same time a machine shop that does do crankshaft turning should be able to get a replacement one, too.
 

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Sorry, don't know if they changed anything that would be different over the years.
 

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I looked at crank kits from Autozone for 1996 through 2006. They all show the same part # of 13360 at $182.97 with a $20.00 core charge. So, it appears that the answer to your original question would be yes. Of course if that crank is that damaged, you'd have to eat the core charge. It won't be repairable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the repiles guys. I had them run the part number of the crank that came in my 2006 at work today and it came back with an in date of 2001 and an out date of 2009, so I am going to try to find a used one in that range. It looks like if I get an older crank I will have to swap over my crank sprocket. I think they changed the design sometime around when they made the switch from SBEC to NGC.
 
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