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07 Grand Caravan (3.3L), 14 Dart SXT (2.0L)
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello yall! I've found an 02 caravan for sale for $800 with 132K miles. Sounds like a good deal to me and a great car to daily. The owner says it drives fine but the water pump needs to be replaced. The reason for not repairing is that one of the bolts is broken.

I want to take a look at the van and determine if I can fix the broken bolt for the water pump change.

My question is how would I check the condition of the van without taking it for a test drive? Can I run the engine for a couple seconds and hear how it sounds/idles without a water pump? How would I test the transmission? Just pop it into each gear real quick? Again I cannot test drive it as it has no water pump, so what should I look for?

What should I look for on this van that I cannot test drive? And are there any major problems with the 2002 caravans(non grand)? Thanks everyone
 

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Hello yall! I've found an 02 caravan for sale for $800 with 132K miles. Sounds like a good deal to me and a great car to daily. The owner says it drives fine but the water pump needs to be replaced. The reason for not repairing is that one of the bolts is broken.

I want to take a look at the van and determine if I can fix the broken bolt for the water pump change.

My question is how would I check the condition of the van without taking it for a test drive? Can I run the engine for a couple seconds and hear how it sounds/idles without a water pump? How would I test the transmission? Just pop it into each gear real quick? Again I cannot test drive it as it has no water pump, so what should I look for?

What should I look for on this van that I cannot test drive? And are there any major problems with the 2002 caravans(non grand)? Thanks everyone
Walk away your 800.00 dollar van is really a 2500.00 dollar van. Save your self the time and aggravation and find one that is in better condition

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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If the water pump is installed you can run the engine for a minute without coolant. The missing bolt will cause a leak tho'

There are Topics here about replacing water pumps and mentioning the broken bolts, you should be able to find an answer. Assume its a 3.3L or 3.8L?

Otherwise, RUST is the big thing. Look in the rockers and around the rear wheel arches. Another possible issue is the injector wiring harness, shorted one take out the PCM.
 
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2006 Dodge Caravan SXE
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Hello yall! I've found an 02 caravan for sale for $800 with 132K miles. Sounds like a good deal to me and a great car to daily. The owner says it drives fine but the water pump needs to be replaced. The reason for not repairing is that one of the bolts is broken.

I want to take a look at the van and determine if I can fix the broken bolt for the water pump change.

My question is how would I check the condition of the van without taking it for a test drive? Can I run the engine for a couple seconds and hear how it sounds/idles without a water pump? How would I test the transmission? Just pop it into each gear real quick? Again I cannot test drive it as it has no water pump, so what should I look for?

What should I look for on this van that I cannot test drive? And are there any major problems with the 2002 caravans(non grand)? Thanks everyone
Save $800 for a running van. And when you are ready to buy the next one, WATCH THIS - - - >
 
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3rd gen > all others
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See where the broken bolt is, and if a small clamp can be placed there instead. To repair it properly though, you'd likely need to remove the oil pan, harmonic balancer, alternator, and the whole front timing cover to extract/rethread the holes. If you do it yourself it saves a lot of money, but requires a decent work space and time.
 

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07 Grand Caravan (3.3L), 14 Dart SXT (2.0L)
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Discussion Starter #7
Can I run the engine for a couple of seconds without having the water pump installed? The accessories won't run but that's fine if I'm just checking the engine, right?
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
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Can I run the engine for a couple of seconds without having the water pump installed? The accessories won't run but that's fine if I'm just checking the engine, right?
Yes, it won't really hurt anything to run the engine for a minute or two. I have done it.

At the body shop I worked at, we moved vehicles around the building with the cooling system disconnected / empty when we needed to.
 

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Can I run the engine for a couple of seconds without having the water pump installed? The accessories won't run but that's fine if I'm just checking the engine, right?
running the engine for such a short time may not reveal serious long-term problems that could be present from overheating

you can find a running van for 800 dollars, no need to buy one with a relatively major problem
 

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running the engine for such a short time may not reveal serious long-term problems that could be present from overheating

you can find a running van for 800 dollars, no need to buy one with a relatively major problem
How about front end parts,brakes, transmission,?

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07 Grand Caravan (3.3L), 14 Dart SXT (2.0L)
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Discussion Starter #12
I'm highly doubtful the car was overheated. These vans have mechanical water pumps and I don't see any way they could stop turning, right? Asking the owner as many questions as possible before I go take a look, but I suspect the water pump started leaking through the weep hole, tried to replace it, broke the bolt, and called it quits.

Taking a look at the transmission fluid/brake fluid should tell me in how good condition they're in. And the engine I'll run for a couple of seconds and the owner says it runs great. I highly doubt the engine or transmission is bad with 132K.

telltale signs of bad maintenance would be the air filter, oil cap/dipstick, transmission fluid smell/color, brake fluid color, interior condition, anything else?

I believe the owner tried to replace the water pump and broke the bolt. He will send me a picture of it, hopefully, today.
Breaking water pump bolts on these vans is easy as that is a place where the bolts tend to corrode(i mean i broke mine when replacing lol).
 

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I'm highly doubtful the car was overheated. These vans have mechanical water pumps and I don't see any way they could stop turning, right? Asking the owner as many questions as possible before I go take a look, but I suspect the water pump started leaking through the weep hole, tried to replace it, broke the bolt, and called it quits.

Taking a look at the transmission fluid/brake fluid should tell me in how good condition they're in. And the engine I'll run for a couple of seconds and the owner says it runs great. I highly doubt the engine or transmission is bad with 132K.

telltale signs of bad maintenance would be the air filter, oil cap/dipstick, transmission fluid smell/color, brake fluid color, interior condition, anything else?

I believe the owner tried to replace the water pump and broke the bolt. He will send me a picture of it, hopefully, today.
Breaking water pump bolts on these vans is easy as that is a place where the bolts tend to corrode(i mean i broke mine when replacing lol).

Problem with people buying what they think it is a super good deal is, they only listen to people who tell them it is a good deal.

Bolts doesn't suddenly break by themselves. That pump failed, who knows if engine overheated or not. Believing it didn't doesn't help.

That pump wasn't replaced for a reason, it will be very, very hard ro remove that broken bolt. You may break more bolts in the process.

And yes, you can buy a nice running vehicle for $800.00 + whatever it cost to fix this one.

Good luck.
 

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Is the water pump removed or is it still in place with a broken bolt ? ?

These water pumps seal with an oring. So if the water pump is in its hole, it is not necessarily going to leak for sure. It is not like a gasket and flange type seal, more like a cork in a bottle.

The thing with a broken bolt is the structure concern for me. Afterall, it is a high speed pulley in the belt line. If the bolt is on the outside of the belt driveline, it would be more of a concern for me than if the belt tension were pulling towards the missing fastener.

My 2002 water pump failure was that the impeller was spinning on the shaft and therefore not pumping water. No leak, no other indication, other that the overheat.

I drove that vehicle home 20+ miles in short 1-2 mile runs. Ran it until it alarmed and then parked and took a nap. Shutting the engine off at stop lights. I even started getting up to 50 mph on deserted (straight) road, popping the transmission into neutral, shutting the engine off and coasting down to 15-20mph (unless it look like I was drunk / erratic driving to a passing motorist or the sheriff )...

So, myself, yes, I would run the engine for a minute or two. IF the waterpump is in place and the block filled with at least water. OTHERWISE, if the engine is dry, I would not run it very long at all, a minute at most (you may not get an overheat alarm with a dry / low coolant level)

Tire wear is even, rust, dents, smelly cabin, A/C (needs belt, need not say)
Take / post pictures, let us know how it goes....

Us resourceful folks, we can see a diamond in the rough. It may be WAY undervalued at that. I can't wait to hear!
 

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07 Grand Caravan (3.3L), 14 Dart SXT (2.0L)
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Discussion Starter #15
The water pump is removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Maybe I should take a look at the old broken water pump?
 

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Maybe I should take a look at the old broken water pump?
Sure, I would...
Grab the front pulley and the impeller blades and twist see if they securely fastened to the shaft.

With the pump removed, you'll at least be able to assess the bolt extraction possibility (and the canibalistic attempts that were made)

You (I) could perhaps remove the bolt without having to remove the timing cover....
Nothing is impossible for the man that doesn't have to do it...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Problem with people buying what they think it is a super good deal is, they only listen to people who tell them it is a good deal.

Bolts doesn't suddenly break by themselves. That pump failed, who knows if engine overheated or not. Believing it didn't doesn't help.

That pump wasn't replaced for a reason, it will be very, very hard ro remove that broken bolt. You may break more bolts in the process.

And yes, you can buy a nice running vehicle for $800.00 + whatever it cost to fix this one.

Good luck.
Over here you ain't buyin' no van under $2000 with such low mileage.
And yes I don't care what someone says, I wanna look at this van because it's such a good deal, for my area atleast. I'm asking for advice on what to look out for; not comments saying I shouldn't take a look.
 

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Over here you ain't buyin' no van under $2000 with such low mileage.
And yes I don't care what someone says, I wanna look at this van because it's such a good deal, for my area atleast. I'm asking for advice on what to look out for; not comments saying I shouldn't take a look.
I think you should take a look at another van

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... I don't care what someone says, I wanna look at this van because it's such a good deal, for my area atleast. I'm asking for advice on what to look out for; not comments saying I shouldn't take a look.
You came here for opinions and Levy took the time to give you his honest opinion.

I agree with both Levy and Baron. Running a vehicle without any coolant for a minute will not tell you much other than the fact the engine isn’t ceased. When I bought my 2006 Caravan I took it for a good 25 minute run and it still didn’t reveal everything. I would listen to Baron, Levy ,mikespainting291, Mopar-Mofun and everyone else telling you walk away...
 
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