Car Repair Advise

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BigRedMachine
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Car Repair Advise

Post by BigRedMachine » Mon May 12, 2008 2:09 pm

Last weekend my 19 year old boy decided it would be fun to run the '96 Plymouth Grand Voyager that we had given him a year and a half ago through large puddles. The van conked out in the middle, but were able to restart and very noisily limp its way home. I have since taken it to a Chrysler dealer who reported that water entered the cylinder causing one of the connecting rods to bend. They came back with a $5300 estimate to replace the engine with a rebuilt.

I then tried Dr Google and learned that dealers tend to replace engines rather than repair when something internal happens. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to check with some locale rebuild shops to see if it could be repaired cheaper. I realize that it may not be cost effective to repair it but we've owned it for 10 years and have kept it in very good mechanical shape including brand new tires in the last couple of weeks so if I can get the work done for $2-3K it might be worth saving as opposed to rolling the dice on another used car. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. :cross:
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bluto
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by bluto » Mon May 12, 2008 2:43 pm

Check PM box, BRM.
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Solar Max
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by Solar Max » Mon May 12, 2008 3:50 pm

BigRedMachine wrote: I have since taken it to a Chrysler dealer who reported that water entered the cylinder causing one of the connecting rods to bend. They came back with a $5300 estimate to replace the engine with a rebuilt.
bluto likely told you this, but the chances of water getting INSIDE a cylinder are as likely as a Rider fan admiring the Esks or Lions. It could happen, but not in my lifetime. And there is no way for water to bend a rod that I know of.

The issue is far more likely electrical, as in distributor, wires, cap, plugs, etc., given that water is involved.

This is a normal type recommendation from a dealer. Get an opinion from a reputable mechanic before spemding $5000 that you may not need to.
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bluto
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by bluto » Mon May 12, 2008 5:35 pm

Solar Max wrote:
BigRedMachine wrote: I have since taken it to a Chrysler dealer who reported that water entered the cylinder causing one of the connecting rods to bend. They came back with a $5300 estimate to replace the engine with a rebuilt.
bluto likely told you this, but the chances of water getting INSIDE a cylinder are as likely as a Rider fan admiring the Esks or Lions. It could happen, but not in my lifetime. And there is no way for water to bend a rod that I know of.

The issue is far more likely electrical, as in distributor, wires, cap, plugs, etc., given that water is involved.

This is a normal type recommendation from a dealer. Get an opinion from a reputable mechanic before spemding $5000 that you may not need to.
Well...hate to differ...but it can get in there...and i've seen it in my shop several times.

It gets sucked in through the air-box. And since water can't compress...something has to give. Either the rods (usually) or the heads crack (less frequently) or both (time for tears).

One important thing i should have mentioned to ya BRM...be sure to pull the dipstick on your transmission (while engine running and in park). If the fluid looks like strawberry milkshake...the transmission has become water contaminated and is going to go on you sooner than later too. The chrysler 41TE (which i presume your Caravan has...is it a 3 or 4 speed?) has a vent on top by the shifter...if water was deep enough to get sucked in the engine...the transmission very likely could have got some too. If that has happened, flushing/draining won't do much good...the clutch material in automatic transmissions hates water and sheds in big flakes right off of its rings.
So i guess if it's just an engine or just a transmission...it's worth it to fix as long as you think the rest of the van will give you at least 2 years...
But if it's both...then it's time to move on. (and ground your kid).
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Mark
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:21 am

Back in the day pre standard fuel injection I had old 76 F150 Ford in thier wisdom put the distributor in fron the engine..spent many a hour drying that out to get home
I never bent a rod going through mud,water etc..but did stall sputter and run rough..its moisture in the electrical system...if and if some got bent..its a valve ..I would change the plugs and wires costly yes but cheaper than a rebuild...more than likely the water was the last straw for a plug wire or coil or coils ..
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by woody » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:23 pm

Are you kidding??? :hmm: Spend more than $2000.00 on a vehicle that isn't even worth that??? :smackhead: If you "Gold Plate" it, it's still a 1996 Voyageur.

Take it to the junk yard and get what they will pay you for scrap... consider it a lesson well learned.

Let him buy his own car next time and perhaps you will find that he has a little more common sense with something that he put his own money out for!

Good Luck...perhaps this lesson might not be as expensive as you think and in the end he will be better off. :beauty:
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by Bobbyp » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:52 pm

So what did you do to your son?
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Sir Purrcival
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Re: Car Repair Advise

Post by Sir Purrcival » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:56 pm

If you really want to save the van, and the repairs required are as indicated, why not purchase another used one and just do an engine and tranny? swap? God knows there are millions of Caravan's out there. If yours is in good shape otherwise, you should be able to pick up a parts donor for far less than the suggested $5000.00. Dock your kid his allowance for the next 20 years and make him pay for it too.
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