The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2001 T&C 3.8L 182,000 miles
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I got my 2001 T&C going again. With the part-time job I have in delivery I have to drive the van very very hard. My previous car was a Prius and I did a lot of passing a lot of flooring. I want to get this van ready for severe use. It will stay on for 8 to 12 hours a day.I have a small time window to complete deliveries and have to go on steep hills and do A LOT of passing. I'm surprised this car can even pass So today I hit WOT about 6 times.The engine has been good but I'm a bit worried about the rest of the car. The transmission does not feel right if I shift over 3,500 RPM. I turn off the AC if I know I'm going to go over a 4,000 RPM just to make sure it doesn't blow up. I also hit 3/4 throttle after second gear to avoid ware. The van was not used like this before. I'm using full synthetic oil. Is there anything I can do to not blow the car up? This car has a power steering and oil filter cooler. It will burn oil fast when I drive hard. I'm am getting a better transmission later so any good brands you recommend would be appreciated. I'm open to looking at better tires with better grip. The ABS is not working on this car at the moment. Does anyone have any experience with taxi service/ fleet use or some kind of severe driving with this van?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,547 Posts
"handle" is subjective. if you're planning on treating the vehicle that way, i would get a higher performance transmission cooler and plan to change the fluid often, heat is the real enemy

keep in mind that 4th and reverse are the "weakest" gears in this transmission in an over-torque situation

the 3.8 will burn oil whether you're hard on it or not, top it off and consider changing the oil earlier than normal intervals

taxi service and fleet vans do last a long time, but they follow the most intensive service intervals from chrysler and aren't usually pushing that hard on the vehicles, it's just a lot of miles, a lot of stop and go traffic, and a lot of idling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,535 Posts
Be aware that all your flooring and WOT is going to save you about 37 seconds every day.

That said, use third on the trans, and leave it in third unless you're on the highway. On highway hills, anticipate and drop it into third.

Finally, it sounds like you're going to tear up any vehicle you buy, and, as such, I'd start looking for a replacement van now before you actually need one.
 

·
Registered
2001 T&C 3.8L 182,000 miles
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Be aware that all your flooring and WOT is going to save you about 37 seconds every day.

That said, use third on the trans, and leave it in third unless you're on the highway. On highway hills, anticipate and drop it into third.

Finally, it sounds like you're going to tear up any vehicle you buy, and, as such, I'd start looking for a replacement van now before you actually need one.
I really hate wide open throttle but there's so many semis out here and lots of two-way Lane roads.
Using 3rd is a good idea on hills. I actually considered buying a Grand caravan as a beater but I think it would be better to put in a reman transmission with a 3 year gaurentee. I'm pretty sure used cars a little bit sketchy. I was looking into a reman transmission from Autozone. I'm going to see if I can post a video here of the engine sound to evaluate the health. I think this car came with a tow package so I'm going to double check if I can upgrade those accessories
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,535 Posts
Reyada, if you want to save the trans, use third around town, and save drive for the highway.

Also, call around to recycling yards, as the larger ones work with local installers, where the yard will guarantee the trans and the installation. Nothing wrong with a good used transmission.
 

·
Registered
2002 Chrysler Town & Country Limited AWD 3.8L
Joined
·
127 Posts
Trans cooler: Tru-Cool Max LPD47391
Trans filter kit: Derale 13090 (use with the highest efficiency synthetic media filter you can find, and a magnet)
Wilwood replacement brake pads are the best I’ve ever used on any vehicle.
Quality major brand tires with a higher load rating than stock eliminated the tire-squat and heavy shoulder wear in the front I was getting.
Reducing muffler-back exhaust and intake restrictions might help with all the heavy throttle driving. Just make sure to keep a high efficiency air filter like Wix or Mopar.
I like to use big oil filters for the extra oil capacity on hard use engines. (EAO15 gets me about 0.7qt extra)
 

·
3rd Gen Plebeian
1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
Definitely the transmission cooler would be the number 1 upgrade. install a decently sized aftermarket cooler between the stock cooler(probably in the left radiator tank), and the return line to the transmission.

OEM, there is a torque management request wire between your transmission controller and engine controller. The transmission should be derating the engine output during a shift without you needing to lift off of the throttle.

4th is the weakest point in the transmissions, specifically the torque converter lockup clutch. After that, the underdrive/overdrive input clutch hubs, so going from 2nd to 3rd or vice-versa.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Road Ripper

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
I really hate wide open throttle but there's so many semis out here and lots of two-way Lane roads.
Using 3rd is a good idea on hills. I actually considered buying a Grand caravan as a beater but I think it would be better to put in a reman transmission with a 3 year gaurentee. I'm pretty sure used cars a little bit sketchy. I was looking into a reman transmission from Autozone. I'm going to see if I can post a video here of the engine sound to evaluate the health. I think this car came with a tow package so I'm going to double check if I can upgrade those accessories
StreetSmart Transmission. I had previously bought it on Amazon of all places and with my Amazon store credit card, they were going to let me have 18 or 24 months 0% financing.

Let us know what you do...
 
  • Like
Reactions: reyada476

·
3rd Gen Plebeian
1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
There's also the Autostick transmission. I pulled a 4th gen Autostick setup for @Crapavan

Don't know if he ever installed it, but all you need is the instrument cluster, shifter, and possibly adding one wire between the TCM and shifter if your wiring harness doesn't have it.
Receipt Product Font Tree Label




Autostick makes it manumatic, you can upshift or downshift with a rocker switch on the shift lever. If you are in Autostick mode instead of Drive, it will hold whatever gear you tell it to unless you hit 5500rpm or are about to stall it creeping along in a high gear.


The Plymouth Prowler TCM would also probably extend the life of your transmission. It has a more aggressive shift strategy with performance prioritized over comfort. Harsher transmission shifts do less wear to the transmission than comfortable smooth shifts do.

I did a lot of drilling on my valve body when I had my transmission apart to firm up the shifting for durability, but the Prowler TCM would achieve the same results. It's still on my list, unless I find a V6 T850 5 speed first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,994 Posts
Amazon? Crazy. Pretty soon they will have kidneys lol
Yeah, I just looked and they are no longer offering them on Amazingzong.

Here is the link to them direct. https://streetsmarttransmission.com/
Have your VIN ready

Price includes shipping round trip (core return) torque converter and fluid. 3 year/100,000 mile warranty and they supposedly have a dyno that they run them on for testing before they ship.

All in all it may be a pretty good deal and they have local shops that will do the install or you can do it yourself.

Let us know what you find out and choose to do. I'd be curious what their quote is these days.
You tell us first and I'll tell you what it was back a few (5) years ago.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top