98 Caravan Power Window fix?


Old 10-18-03, 06:58 AM
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98 Caravan Power Window fix?

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan that had the power window on the drivers side stop working. I took the door panel off and pulled back the insulation.

The cables appeared to have popped off the silver cover of the motor and were kinda kinked up a little. Am I able to just rewind the cables? It doesn't appear any strands have broken, so I think it should work, but am not sure if I can do that and have it work properly.

Any thoughts?h
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Old 10-18-03, 07:08 AM
darrell McCoy
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You already have the panel off. Sure I would try and repair the wires. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I would see why the wires were getting kinked and twisted. Might have been the cause for original failure.
Old 10-18-03, 07:30 AM
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I'm not afraid to give it a go - are there diagrams or instructions somewhere that will help me to reassemble this? I've looked at the haynes manuals and they really were no help with this.

It also seems to have some sort of lubricant - I am assuming I will need to also relube it but not sure what kinda it is.
Old 10-18-03, 10:04 AM
mike from nj
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you can certainly try to rewrap those cables, it won't be easy though. the reason why they pop off is usually that a cable guide or a track piece broke and let them pop off.

i think you can only get it as a whole assembly, including the motor, one part number and one price (it's not that bad) it seems like a waste to replace a good motor, but that's the way it is. you can try parts from the aftermarket, as i only speak on a dealership level.

it's a bit tight working in the door, and you might have trouble with the motor mounting bolts---they get pried out of the frame, if the rubber nut spins(and they usually do). you also need to remove the glass first, then play the concentration game on how to get the regulator assembly out----it will fit out.

kindly ask the parts department for a wholesale discount, because you're going to become such a good customer in the future(it's worth a try)

let us know how it goes
Old 10-18-03, 10:06 AM
mike from nj
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and when your done, lube the side tracks for the glass on all your doors, with a good silicone type spray, your regulator cables will love you
Old 10-18-03, 07:30 PM
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Good idea about the silicone spray. Bummer that I have the whole door back together.

I found a dealer here in the city that sold me the whole regulator assembly (of course including the motor) for $100. It was easy to take out the broken stuff but like a puzzle to get the new one back in. Got it in, and only took me two tries to get it to attach to the window properly.

Wanna buy a probably working motor?

The current problem is when I was replacing the PCV valve later this afternoon I cracked the hose coming from the top of the engine. Assuming I can find one tommorrow, how can I get the old hose off the top of the engine? There's not a lot of room in there to get tools in. I'm assuming I'll need to get a blade to cut it off..

Oh woe is me...
Old 10-18-03, 07:34 PM
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Which engine size? Have a look in autolibrary.org.
Old 10-18-03, 07:56 PM
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That hose is a common problem on these vehicles. We keep some in stock just for that reason. They get hot, cold, hot, cold and get hard and brittle. The hose is actually guite easy to install. It is about 12-14 inches long and only has the one bend at the end where the PCV valve is. If you have big hands like I do it is a little more difficult, but not impossible to do without tools. The only place to get it is at the dealer however.
Hope this is helpful to ya,
Old 10-18-03, 10:24 PM
mike from nj
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i'm assuming it's a 3.3/3.8L, as a 3.0L pcv hose is only two inches long and a 'grand' would never have a 4cyl.

yes, these hoses have a habit of cracking at over 100,000 miles.

when you buy the new hose, you'll see what is on the other end, usually all that needs to be done is to take out the four 10mm bolts holding the ignition coil on. this will give you enough room to get to the other end of the hose. if you should take 3 plug wires off the coil pack, remember where they went(there are small numbers stamped on it if you forget)

it's good that you're doing maintenance, don't forget the air filter and at 100,000 miles it's time for plugs and wires, and don't use cheap ones, use that same discount you got at the dealer. original parts are way better than stuff you can get slightly cheaper at discount stores.

you still can lube the windows, put the window down, then just spray the tracks/slides and add a little extra at the bottom, it will work it's way down there and will help out in the long run(like all maintenace)

just make sure to use a 'silicone' spray, not a 'rust penetrating' spray
Old 10-19-03, 10:37 AM
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All parts places around here are telling me 'dealer part' so I'll have to trudge over there and get this tommorrow. Screws up my day but alas, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

It's a 3.3 engine, and there are actually 2 PCV hoses, one on each end. It's the long one that is cracked. And you're right about the maintenance. The air filter was the first, this is the second and the plugs/wires were next.

Thanks for the hint on the lubricant for the window and unbolting the coil. Getting that out of the way will make it a lot easier to get to the hose.

So, while I've got your ears.... (you guys will be glad to get rid of me lol)

The other repairs I need to get done are rear main oil seal (which I will have someone else do for me) and figure out why my dashboard goes off every once in a while. The airbag light comes on and everything just drops down. I have not been able to pinpoint the source, and it's not the clockspring recall (which has been done). Everything still works and mileage is counted, etc - it just goes out. When I had the car emission tested a week ago they noted the OBD computer wasn't responding - I assume it's related.

Thoughts on that one? I did have an aftermarket alarm system installed - could that be effecting the dashboard this way?
Old 10-19-03, 10:17 PM
mike from nj
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rear main seals rarely leak, but when they do, it's because they've popped out. this can easily be seen with a trained eye, just remove 3 bolts, and pull out the splash shield for the torque converter(two 10mm and a 18mm), with a flashlight, you can see the seal out where it shouldn't be. whoever puts in the new one, it's a good idea to seal the 'outer' edge with a little bit of silicone sealer, it will keep the seal in the housing permanently. also, the bolts for the flexplate need to be sealed too, as they go into the oil part of the engine.

while you're at it (i hate those words) you might inquire into having the transmission front pump seal replaced, as it will already be out and on the bench. this is only if you're very close to 100,000 miles or over. there shouldn't be too much more labor involved, as the hard work is already done, i'm thinking not more than 1/2 hour extra labor.

keep in mind: the one i'm talking about is NOT the small lip seal in the middle/front of the pump. the one that leaks most often is the o-ring behind the pump, meaning, the trans front pump has to come out. this is considered (the most basic of) trans dissassembly. if the shop or garage is not comfortable doing this, find one that is, as a LOT can go wrong if it isn't done correctly. if one clutch or needle bearing slips out of place while the pump is out, you will have a very quick failure of the trans. what needs to be done, is the trans stood up, pump facing up, hold down on the input shaft as the pump is pulled out. this keeps everything seated. a new o-ring, new paper gasket, and a new lip seal+ some fresh fluid in the trans and you'll be good for years to come. i suspect that the o-ring is made out of a similiar material as your pcv hose as they both crack at high mileage, and both due to heat.

for the dash: i've replaced a few printed circuit boards for that problem, of all the gauges dropping to zero. it even happened to me on a van i borrowed, and it only happened on the bumpiest of roads(the belt pkwy). i'm suspecting that there is a loose solder joint somewhere, as the ones i'm replacing usually jump to life just as i'm unbolting them from the dash and they get jostled. there usually is a code stored in the system, and the test basically has me check for power and ground to the connector, but the only test i need is making it jump back to life. maybe try banging on the dash or the guages lightly(or harder until you get a result). i would get it looked at professionally before replacing parts, but the 'fist' test is pretty accurate if you can make it happen repeatedly. the replacement is a very DIY repair, just a few phillips screws and definitely easier than your window regulator.

just thought i'd let you know what you're up against.

ps. get a few estimates from different 'kinds' of shops, i've seen independant shops much cheaper and much, much more expensive than the dealer.
Old 10-20-03, 09:20 AM
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Hose is replaced (4.00, thanks Mr Dodge), car is back together and running. yay!

I will ask the place I choose to replace that seal also. Better safe than sorry.

With regards to the dashboard, it is intermittent and while I can't recreate it by bashing the dashboard or panle, bumps can cause it to happen. Or nothing can cause it to happen.

Which circuit board are you talking that you have had to replace? I am more than willing to try to get everything working again. Should i attempt to get this at an Auto Salvage yard or is it even worth trying to get a used one?

Thanks for your help up till now!

Old 10-20-03, 07:25 PM
mike from nj
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it's right behind the instrument cluster, bolted on to the back, it's a little more than a printed circuit board, as it has a few microchips on it, it's technically a "module' and someone can communicate with it with a scan tool. the only thing you can't do however, is do the final gauge calibration. there is room for adjustment, and the last step of replacement is to center all the gauges on zero with a scan tool, which means a trip to the dealer's service department, i really don't know if the aftermarket is capable of doing this, i would imagine someone with a high-end tool can access this function. sorry.

i forget where mileage is stored, either in the inst. cluster or the body controller, it could be either, as it depends on year and model where it is(it always changes), you might luck out and find a low mileage unit and still be under warranty. sshhhh!

you might look into seeing if someone somewhere repairs these, it might be cheaper, almost anything electronic can be repaired, i don't know who though.

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