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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy, I currently have an 03 Concorde Limited, but with kiddo #3 in the works I'm going to need more room. Currently, the financially smartest move is to buy my grandmother's 02 T&C LX with 97,800 miles on it and sell my car. It has the 3.3L motor. I know it recently had struts and a few other things done and has been well maintained. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks.
 

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I have a 2002 T&C with 3.8 motor and only 72,000 miles. It has been absolutely trouble-free since I bought it used about 7 years ago except for the ECM module going out around three years ago. This is a very rare occurence and should in no way be considered a defect. I replaced the ECU with a rebuilt/upgraded unit that has resulted in the van running better than before. I maintain the vehicle meticulously and plan on putting at least 70,000 more miles on it. It's not uncommon for these vans to go 200,000 miles if they're well maintained. I would recommend a full fluid service if you buy the van, especially a trans oil change. The motor is bullet-proof and should still be running when the sheet metal has rusted away.

73chargerse said:
Howdy, I currently have an 03 Concorde Limited, but with kiddo #3 in the works I'm going to need more room. Currently, the financially smartest move is to buy my grandmother's 02 T&C LX with 97,800 miles on it and sell my car. It has the 3.3L motor. I know it recently had struts and a few other things done and has been well maintained. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks.
 

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Cass is right about these vans. I have a 99 Grand Caravan with the 3.3 in it with 197,000 miles on it. It still runs great and I get between 22 and 24 mpg out of it on the highway. If you go the route of changing the transmission fluid and filter, just remember that ATF+4 is the ONLY type of fluid you should use. If you take it somewhere to have it done and they tell you that they use Dexron with an additive, walk away and find a shop that uses the ATF+4. If you let someone use the wrong fluid, then you're going to ruin the transmission. That's the key to keeping these vans going. ATF+4 is a MUST.
 

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416,000 miles!
Wow, that is one of the highest mileage mini's that I hear of around here. I haven't been on the 200,000 mile page in quite a while to check and I suspect that there are a few in that category. I guess I never saw the tiny print in your signature line before (until now) :)

Nice job keeping it going!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's the kind of stuff I wanted to hear guys! Thanks! As I said before, I know it's been regularly maintained, but I would guess that it hasn't had a full tranny service done. I will doulbe check, but that will probably be the first thing on my list after I get it. I'll be sure to check back in after I've gotten it. Since I know it isn't going anywhere, I will probably wait until tax season is over so I can go back home and give it a good once over.
 

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Sounds good. Keep us posted. I've replaced the shocks and struts on mine, along with sway bar bushings, end links and all of the brakes and hardware, but I consider that regular maintenance stuff. Other than plugs, wires, belt, belt tensioner, and thermostat and hoses, I have done absolutely nothing to the drive train other than fluid and filter changes. The shock strut towers are something you need to take a close look at for rust. If you live anywhere that they salt the roads, this can be a weak point that needs special attention. There are repair kits out there, but thank God, I've never had to do it. You can find posts here related to that repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, the timing belt is the other issue I was figuring would need taken care of before too long. That's the one thing on my Concorde that I'm trying to decide if I should do before I sell it.
 

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73chargerse said:
Yeah, the timing belt is the other issue I was figuring would need taken care of before too long. That's the one thing on my Concorde that I'm trying to decide if I should do before I sell it.
You wouldn't need to do the timing belt on the T&C... The 3.3 and 3.8 have a timing chain...
 

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One additional thought - you might want to check to see if it has Nivomat shocks (rear). They ride great, but can be expensive to replace -dealer price is $400+ (per shock), but they can be found in the aftermarket for about ~$250. Nivomats are about 2-3x thicker than the normal shock. Though I doubt an LX trim level has these. Our '00 T&C Ltd AWD was the highest trim level that year and did have them. And yes, I had to replace them. Took me a few months to find them at anyplace except a dealer for a good price. Ended up paying $450 for a pair and another $65 to have them installed.
 

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I believe the '02 T&C LX is a short-wheelbase model - did those even have Nivomats available?

Shock tower rust was much less of an issue on the 01-07 models compared to the 96-00 models. Hood rust at the leading edge is the biggest issue on my '02.
 

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Check end cover of tranmsission. They can rust throught resulting in a transmission fluid leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay guys, I'm probably going to call my Gramdma today to tell her I'll be taking it and asking her if it has had a transmission service done. On the chance that it has, is there a way to tell if it had Dexron or ATF+4 without having the paperwork handy?
 

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Not that I'm aware of. If it has been service and they're not sure what's in it, I'd change it as a precautionary measure, if it were me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's kind of what I figured. Whether it's had one or not, I'm probably going to get it done just to be safe. Unless it's been done, and I can be sure it's ATF+4.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well guys, I now have the van in my possession and have been driving it the last couple days. From what I've been able to find, it hasn't ever had a tranny service. Everything feels good and runs good with the possible exception of the noisy a/c compressor and the funny noise that comes when I shut it off. Beyond those two things I'moving it so far. I do notice the lack in power compared to my 3.5 HO Concorde, but I expected that. It also seems to get a bit better gas mileage than I've been getting so that's a decent trade off.
 
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