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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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I'm on the low trim springs. The R/T trim springs are stiffer.

To stiffen my back end I installed Monroe Sensa-Trac spring assisted shocks, which have mixed reviews on here. Some of us love them, others swear they are cursed. Or you could go with the factory HD shocks, the Nivomats. (If you get the Nivomats, get the matching springs.)

I've seen people talk about a bump stop replacement called Timbren SES, but no one ever installed them and reported back to my knowledge.
 

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I did the Timbrens and reported back, some others chimed in too.


Sorry my pic links are broken... TinyPic did me dirty.
 

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2008 Chrysler Grand Voyager
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tow a 3300 pound caravan sometimes, and find the rear a bit soft, especially with 6 people onboard. I love the soft ride, but I often use the Chrysler to tow.
 

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Hi I have an armoured 2010 TC here in Brazil.
The kevlar and thicker windows adds 368kg.
The total weight is 2410kg = 5313 lbs (Curb weight without a driver).
I have the same problem as you describe and tried the monroe with coils
More Information for MONROE 58648
but they did not work.
SInce we have a lot of armoured cars in Brazil there is a Bilstein reseller that modify shocks to suit armoured cars.
I have purchased a pair of rear shocks last year and it solved my problem, the van is a lot more stable and people do not get sick on the back seats on long trips.
The front shocks are standard kayaba shocks but I will replace them in the future for those modified ones for armoured cars to add more stability.
 

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In time, before replacing the rear shocks for the modified ones, I tried to replace the standard coils (not the monroe shock coils, the coils next to the shock) to stiffer coils since the cost was lower but it did not help.
 

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On my parent's 2009 4.0L it had the touring springs. I changed the rears to R/T (cargo) springs as my mom keeps a couple of hundred pounds of dog crate stuff. Rides so much better now. She blew a shock which stressed the spring as well causing it to droop to that side so had to replace with something so went with the R/T ones. Fronts have KYB ready struts as I could not find an RT version and didn't want to assemble them this with front R/T springs. Rears are KYB shocks as well. Also replaced bump stops since I was in there as one was rotted and the blown side was destroyed.

Easy to replace rear springs. Just jack and support the van. Remove tire and disconnect rear shock and brake line at frame. THen push down on the hub and slip old one out and new one back in. bump stop was one bolt. Took like an hour doing it slowly.
 

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For my 2017 SXT with DIY towing parts upgrades, I installed Timbren SES bump stops and found they were good (but not perfect). Afterwards, I installed DIY 1/2" hockey puck (could have used 1/2" spacers from etailer) as well. Now, Timbrens are the perfect ride comfort for my heavy weight cargo & towing needs. Talk about towing, I'm in the midst of replacing my steel 6x10 utility trailer with a "aluminum" 6x12 utility trailer. Modified Timbrens SES will be great for my future larger size trailer and its onboard SXS as well.... Smiles....
 

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Also wanted to advise that many folks are very pleased with Timbren SES units in their DGC without a "gap" spacer. Since I do heavy weight towing and often have my son's wheel chair in the rear cargo area, I like to have a stronger rear suspension feeling. Suggestion: Install Timbren SES units "as is" and drive around for a few weeks. If you like it, then leave them. If you feel the rear suspension needs to be a little more stiffer (like me), then install a 1/2" thickness spacer (to have less contact gap). For next time for my needs, I would install 1/2" spacer from etrailer. For example: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmIbuzvTvC-7mZ6nH7ZdqHt5kubJKFVsXySw&usqp=CAU

For visual of my 2017 DGC SXT van, see below pics...

Rectangle Font Parallel Circle Electric blue
Tire Automotive tire White Light Motor vehicle
Automotive tire Gas Automotive wheel system Auto part Tints and shades
 

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I installed tuff truck extra heavy duty rear coil springs in my 2017 set and kyb excel shocks. It raises the rear but not noiticeably while driving. I carry about 700 lbs of dogs and gear. Over the course of a year I haul 4-5 cords of firewood, 1/3 of a cord at a time.
Previously I have autocrossed with stiff suspension and feel with these springs I believe unloaded this van surprises traffic behind me. It is stiff.
The springs were pricey but I feel, for my application, well worth it.
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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I installed tuff truck extra heavy duty rear coil springs in my 2017 set and kyb excel shocks. It raises the rear but not noiticeably while driving. I carry about 700 lbs of dogs and gear. Over the course of a year I haul 4-5 cords of firewood, 1/3 of a cord at a time.
Previously I have autocrossed with stiff suspension and feel with these springs I believe unloaded this van surprises traffic behind me. It is stiff.
The springs were pricey but I feel, for my application, well worth it.
Autocrossed in a Caravan? Any other suspension mods to support that, or just the rear? GT or R/T trim, or one of the others with the basic suspension?

Even with wider tires I have a hard time holding some corners that I know I could hold in a sedan. Could be that body roll is the culprit. I'm stock aside from wide tires up front, but on the rear I have Monroe Sensa-tracs (coil over shocks) also. All this on the base suspension.
 

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1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
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Autocrossed in a Caravan? Any other suspension mods to support that, or just the rear? GT or R/T trim, or one of the others with the basic suspension?

Even with wider tires I have a hard time holding some corners that I know I could hold in a sedan. Could be that body roll is the culprit. I'm stock aside from wide tires up front, but on the rear I have Monroe Sensa-tracs (coil over shocks) also. All this on the base suspension.
Yikes, autocross in a mostly stock van. The third and fourth gens were mostly missing rear sway bars, so they understeer like crazy. I don't know as much about the fifth gen setup, but I'd bet they are deliberately designed to have massive oversteer so as to be safer to inexperienced driver's. The stiffer rear springs should actually greatly balance the handling, since stiffening the rear springs makes them less compliant, which increases oversteer potential, which would dial it closer to balanced.

Thicker sway bars front and rear would probably get the biggest improvement, and probably you'd want to increase the size/rate of the rear sway bar more to once again balance the van closer to the center of oversteer/understeer.

Minivans are super sloppy too. The chassis, and all of the bushings everywhere are compliant and flexible, which makes the van ride much nicer but handle worse. One of the next things I'm doing on my van is adding crossbars to the front and rear to keep the chassis from flexing, and eventually I'll get around to casting poly bushings to go around the van.

Wider tires won't give you any additional benefit over a narrow tire on wheel spacers or a lower offset wheel. All the wider tires do is push the track width out which lowers the roll center. But the wider tires, wheel spacers, or lower offset wheels also increase the scrub radius which makes the steering a little bit more sketchy and unpredictable.
The big benefit with tires only comes in tire compound. Your best bet is to get a set of stock size summer tires, and another set of winter tires. Winter and summer tires will vastly outperform All Seasons at any temperature other then 32° ~ 40°F, summer and winter tires are also vastly superior in the rain at any temperature compared to All Seasons. Amontons' Second Law of Friction states that the force of friction (grip or traction) is independent from area of contact, or in other words a tire 1 inch wide has the same traction as a tire 1 mile wide, supposing they're made of the same compound and have the same weight on them.
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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5th gens still understeer, probably less than previous gens. I went from 1st to 5th, so can't say much about the others. Can't get too wild in customer cars. :p

I primarily went to the bigger tires to compensate for the lack of cushion the tire gives on 17" wheels compared to my original 16" wheels. I could tell if I ran over a nickel before. Paving creases felt like potholes. Now I'm riding on clouds.
 
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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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If you know the current specs of the factory style springs, you can source springs with spring rates you think you will need.-- then it's R&D depending on your situation (which will be different for everyone)..

Just for example: in-putting the diameter (guessing on 5") , resting length of the Monroe spring- but cranking it up to 700lb springs: yields one result

 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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If you know the current specs of the factory style springs, you can source springs with spring rates you think you will need.-- then it's R&D depending on your situation (which will be different for everyone)..

Just for example: in-putting the diameter (guessing on 5") , resting length of the Monroe spring- but cranking it up to 700lb springs: yields one result

Buying prepackaged units with brand names is often a crapshoot, because they promise a performance improvement but don't know your specific use. Lot's of brand names get thrown around (Koni, Sachs, Magnetech, Bilstein.. blah, blah.) without people knowing what the numbers on the suspension are or what it specifically does - just seat of the pants opinions (placebo effect depending on costs of the system).

For performance suspension tuning, you need to target what the car is doing in the corners, and down the straights- just going stiffer is not the answer. For load carry, and towing, you have to do the math on the weights involved. You might want to see what comparable trucks (and other armored vehicles), that do the same service, have - so to not reinvent the wheel.
 

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my bad...I previously autocrossed, prior to the van in a 98 Jetta tdi that was tuned and sitting in the weeds. I mentioned autocrossing to have a comparison that my sxt van was holding its own in turns (without dogs on board) all things considered
 

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Its on factory 17's with Firestone destination le2's, 225/65/17, psi F39 R41
Just did kyb strut plus up front. It raised it but I've yet to measure it. Im happy with the ride as a "sport workish van".
I do not tow anything besides a log splitter. However, it has a yakima backswing with a 32"x50" aluminum tray when extended down carrying a 55lb dryland cart (dog training) it extends about 40" off the vans bumper. I am guessing that, 300lbs of dog, 3 adults, and gear warrants the stiffer springs. I didn't do any math, maybe I should've, but it rides gooder then when it was stock.
 
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