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3rd Gen Plebeian
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229 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I finally got around to doing this.
I had been planning it for years after reading lyonkster and petet's posts. Heres a link to lyonkster's thread-

I've had a complete front suspension off a 4th gen sitting around waiting to swap into my 97 Grand Voyager for over a year. I've been waiting to put it in because I have a set of 4th gen struts cut apart that I was going to have machined into coilovers so I could put some Koni shocks and 2.5" racing springs in. There were a set of Eibach lowering springs and Koni struts manufactured as a bolt in for our vans, but they have long been discontinued and I couldn't find them in stock anywhere.

Fast forward to last Monday, I was coming home from the gym at 6am and my strut mount ripped apart as I was halfway into my parking spot. It was a KYB strut I had bought 4 years ago, the nut on the top of the strut sheared a hole through the strut mount. The wheel folded over at a 45 degree angle, Back to the Future Delorean style, with the spring and the strut sticking out of the wheel well.

This weekend, I did the 4th gen swap. I bought new lower control arms for the 4th gen, 4th gen struts, 3rd gen strut mounts, 3rd gen spring seats. The 4th gen strut is identical except for the steering knuckle bolt pattern, but you need to use a 3rd gen strut mount and spring. The lower control arms are identical except for the ball joint, so a 4th gen lower control arm bolts onto the 3rd gen subframe and allows you to use the 4th gen spindle. The swaybar endlinks are identical, they are in fact the same part number. The 3rd gen brake hose bolts to the 4th gen brake caliper without issue. The 4th gen wheel bearing is identical to the 3rd gen, I am in fact using a 4th gen on the passenger side and 3rd gen on the driver. 3rd gen outer tie rods do not fit onto the 4th gen knuckle, they kind of work and I've driven about 100 miles with this set up but I will be ordering 4th gen tie rods tomorrow as it's a sketchy setup at best. The 4th gen spindle is significantly lighter than the 3rd gen, about 8 lbs, this is a huge improvement in suspension as it's "unsprung mass". The 4th gen rotor is the same diameter but its much thicker, accounting for the narrower vanes on the 4th gen it is about twice the material. The calipers look almost identical except the 4th gen has a noticeably larger piston diameter, and uses a bracket instead of bolting directly to the spindle. The ABS wheel speed sensor is almost identical, I followed lyonkster's lead and used some air hose as an adapter to make the 3rd gen sensor's centering pin fit into the larger hole on the 4th gen spindle tightly.

I used the junkyard calipers, rotors, and pads馃槉, but I'll get a new set on there soon. I also have a set of rear disks sitting around ready to swap onto my van, I'll probably buy the PowerStop kit for the 4th gen when the time comes; $500 for all 4 wheels, drilled and slotted rotors, carbon ceramic pads, red powder coated calipers.

I think I still have some air in the system, the pedal is slightly spongy. Being a forklift mechanic has given me a very lazy approach to bleeding brakes, just pump the pedal while holding a finger over the opened bleeder valve. But, the ABS definitely kicks in hard while panic stopping on dry pavement now. I can feel the ABS working both front wheels independently, something that never happened before.
 

3rd gen > all others
Joined
2,159 Posts
Yep, it's a great feeling to have good, reliable brakes. I only did the fronts on mine, and that was enough. Be sure to use the front calipers from an ALL DISK BRAKE setup, as those calipers' pistons are the largest. Also, you have to use the BOLTS from the 4th gen that bolt the HUBS to the thicker KNUCKLE; 3rd gen are too short.

The last thing, which I found out later and would do differently, is USE THE 4TH GEN FRONT BRAKE HOSES. They don't have that steel bracket wound around the rubber hose that strangles the hose with rust and seizes your calipers. One less thing to worry about later.

On the opposite side of this, is the brake master cylinder is smaller on the 3rd gen than the 4th gen. Even though my 4th gen has almost the same brakes as my "front swapped" 3rd gen, the pedal effort is harder. Makes me want to swap a 3rd gen master cylinder into my 4th gen!
 

3rd Gen Plebeian
Joined
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking it was you who was the other member that did the swap, I just couldn't find any of the posts with the new forum layout. You too, deserve 1000 kudos and 1001 internet points sir.

You're right, I forgot to mention that I used the longer 4th gen bolts for the bearing/hub assembly, as the spindles are thicker. I also forgot to mention that the stock Plymouth 15" 10 spoke Alloy wheels fit without a spacer. There is maybe 1/16"-1/8" of clearance between the caliper and rim, perfectly matching the curvature of the caliper. It's almost like they were designed to go together. But I'm worried that the caliper will stick farther out once the pads are replaced, and there might be interference. My friend and I spent about 5 minutes turning the wheels in disbelief that the caliper didn't hit them.:LOL:

I'm in Texas, so rust doesn't exist here. You northerners and people on the coasts have my condolences, but at least you don't have to endure our summers.

I was wondering about the different sized master cylinders. It takes a noticeably longer pedal stroke to engage the brakes with the larger pistons in the calipers now, but like I said in the OP it may be a tiny air bubble somewhere in the system. I did make sure to grab the larger calipers from a 4 wheel disc van, this was verified by rebuilding the calipers with a seal kit for the larger pistons.


I put a post over in the 4th gen subforum, before I buy new rotors/pads/calipers I want to see if the Pacifica 2 piston calipers fit.
 

Stuck with a 3rd Gen
Joined
472 Posts
I was thinking it was you who was the other member that did the swap, I just couldn't find any of the posts with the new forum layout. You too, deserve 1000 kudos and 1001 internet points sir.

You're right, I forgot to mention that I used the longer 4th gen bolts for the bearing/hub assembly, as the spindles are thicker. I also forgot to mention that the stock Plymouth 15" 10 spoke Alloy wheels fit without a spacer. There is maybe 1/16"-1/8" of clearance between the caliper and rim, perfectly matching the curvature of the caliper. It's almost like they were designed to go together. But I'm worried that the caliper will stick farther out once the pads are replaced, and there might be interference. My friend and I spent about 5 minutes turning the wheels in disbelief that the caliper didn't hit them.:LOL:

I'm in Texas, so rust doesn't exist here. You northerners and people on the coasts have my condolences, but at least you don't have to endure our summers.

I was wondering about the different sized master cylinders. It takes a noticeably longer pedal stroke to engage the brakes with the larger pistons in the calipers now, but like I said in the OP it may be a tiny air bubble somewhere in the system. I did make sure to grab the larger calipers from a 4 wheel disc van, this was verified by rebuilding the calipers with a seal kit for the larger pistons.


I put a post over in the 4th gen subforum, before I buy new rotors/pads/calipers I want to see if the Pacifica 2 piston calipers fit.
So can anyone comment on this--whether the stock 3rd gen alloy rims fit this swap with brand new brake pads?

My van is a 99 TC Limited. Its stock rims have quite a few spokes. Don't know how many, lol.

I am watching this and other similar threads with interest. There is some significant noise in my van's front suspension. I am seriously thinking about this swap as well.

Are the 4th gen struts stronger, beefier than the 3rd gen?

The challenge is from which van in the yards to pick a donor for the swapping parts.

EDIT: Never mind the 1st question. I read the lyonkster's and Road Ripper's posts and realized that they did use a wheel spacer.
 

3rd Gen Plebeian
Joined
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I didnt need a spacer on the 3rd gen, 10 spoke, 15", Grand Voyager wheels.
I did use a 1/4 spacer on the 18" Dodge Challenger wheels, but I probably only needed a 1/8".

The 4th gen does offer two kinds of control arm bushings, the Heavy Duty(which is identical to the 3rd gen), and the standard one which is supposed to give a gentler ride. I went with the latter.


The front ends are 95% the same, there is nothing beefier about the 4th gen other than the larger pistons in the calipers and thicker rotors. It's worth noting, the 4th gen is roughly 500lbs heavier on average than the 3rd gen, so its front end is more than adequate for a 3rd gen.
 

Stuck with a 3rd Gen
Joined
472 Posts
Where did you get your wheel spacers, Edy?

I did some quick search on eBay. Couldn't find the spacers that fit the 3rd gen Chrysler minis' bolt pattern. 5x114.3?

And RockAuto doesn't sell wheel spacers, either!
 

3rd Gen Plebeian
Joined
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Summit Racing, Jegs, or Speedway Motors. I live 5 miles from Summit Racing so I picked them up WillCall:cool:

Theyre almost always going to be loose, if it bothers you then get a hubcentric ring. IIRC the 3rd gen has a 71.6mm hub, you can buy a metal ring which will fill the gap between the hub and the wheel spacer, centering it.

Technically, you arent supposed to mount wheels to a third gen unless they fit the hub, the wheel studs are not designed to support the weight of the vehicle.
 

3rd Gen Plebeian
Joined
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Question,

Why don't you go all the way to 5 Gen HD brakes and wheels?
Do you know something I dont? Will it fit?:geek:
 

3rd gen > all others
Joined
2,159 Posts
Won't fit a stock 3rd gen. On the 4th gen front suspension/control arms, the swap is possible but Pacifica Wagon brakes are the same thing, and the Pacifica hubs are the only ones that share the same spline/diameter as the 3rd and 4th gen front CV axles. Then you have to swap wheels and tires because of the bolt pattern change, and larger brakes. Also need adapters for the rear so you can run the 5 on 5 pattern all the way around, and swap out your spare wheel.
 
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