1992 Dodge Caravan, Coolant Leak, Vibration at 35 - 40 mph

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  #1  
Old 05-27-04, 07:12 PM
cburn665
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1992 Dodge Caravan, Coolant Leak, Vibration at 35 - 40 mph

First, I searched forum for similiar problems.

1992 Dodge Caravan; 3.3; 94, 000 miles according to prev. owner

I will try to be brief.

Coolant leaks from the Water Pump area, and within minutes, coolant runs down from underneath the manifold on the driver side can be seen streaming down on top of the transmission.

A "Clank" can be heard when I put the van in reverse.

Recently, the van developed a vibration that is felt in the steering wheel happens between 35 & 40 mph felt sometimes when van is both "cold" and "hot."

I suspended both front tires and shook tires and hardly felt any"play" in the wheels.

No noises were heard when I tested the van during "short"-angle turns.

Brakes intermittently "grabs" and van skids.

Please advise.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-04, 03:37 AM
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sounds like you have quite a few problems sounds like you have more than one coolant leak if you know the water pump is leaking and also leaking onto transmission on the drivers side suggest having the cooling system pressure tested to determine what all is leaking could just be a heater hose or could be more serious like a head gasket, as per the waterpump very easy repair on the 3.3 engine.
suggest checking engine and transmission mounts that may be bad causing the noise when you place in reverse, also check your cv joints and cv boots for leakage as excessive play in a cv joint could cause a noise and vibration if bad enough vibration could also be a tire or alignment problem.
it likely is in need of some rear brake work at that mileage and may need new wheel cylinders and hardware, suggest having brakes inspected all the way around to see whats needed.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-04, 03:42 AM
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If I remember correctly, that 3.3 is set up like the 3.0 so it has a water pipe running from the water pump, under the manifold, to the upper rad hose. You need to examine that very closely with a small mirror to determine the origin. It may be the pipe or it may be the water pump or even the "O" ring connecting the 2.
The vibration is likely coming from one of the front tires. Have them balanced and examined closely while on the balancer for trueness.
They can look at the brakes at the same time.
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-04, 02:36 PM
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[QUOTE=Desi501]If I remember correctly, that 3.3 is set up like the 3.0 so it has a water pipe running from the water pump, under the manifold, to the upper rad hose. You need to examine that very closely with a small mirror to determine the origin.

Actually, they're completely different. The 3.3 water pump is down at the RF of the engine, right behind the fenderwell cover. It's an easy swap, as long as extreme care is taken removing the bolts, as they tend to break easily. From the description though, I have to wonder of it really is the 3.0, and not the 3.3. No way is a 3.3 water pump leak related to anything near the intake.

Clank in reverse is likely as bejay stated, a motor mount. Possible causes of the vibration have been well covered too.
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-04, 03:19 PM
cburn665
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Correction: engine size is "3.0"

You guys really know your stuff! I took the car to a local mech that I have dealt with for years and he said everything that you guys described.

With the right tools, do you think a "Do-it-Yourselfer" could replace the water pump?

Thanks a bunch!
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-04, 03:33 PM
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yes if you have the basic hand tools, a jack and jackstands and at the very least a manual for atleast the timing belt procedure, suggest picking up a new timing belt when you buy the waterpump and expect to make it a day project as an experienced mechanic can usually do this job in about 4 hours on this engine using airtools.
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-04, 07:32 AM
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cburn665:
I'd probably go against advising a do-it-yourself fix on the 3.0 water pump for a first-timer. They can be an adventuresome undertaking for even one who is experienced at it and owns the air tools. Haynes, Chilton's, and even Mitchell manuals are pretty lean when it comes to written instructions. If a DIY operation is your only option, e-mail me and I can at least get you a good timing belt diagram and possibly walk you through the rest. If you do end up attacking it yourself, plan on a couple of days minimum to avoid any rushing.
 
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