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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 Chrysler T & C and a few more
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While performing my early fall maintenance on our family vehicles I always check the pressure of the spare tires. The Buick was fine and the winter beater 2005 GC (non stow 'n' go) needed a little top up and the lowering mechanism checked. I bought the 2013 T and C last fall from a careful owner who had it Krowned. When I lowered its spare I was surprised to find it completely stuck by rust to the metal ring on the plastic cover! The spring loaded release levers were seized in position and had to be treated with penetrating oil and a sharp tap from a hammer to release. The tire obviously has never been out of the van in nearly 10 years and only had 17 lbs /sq in pressure. After a good clean up and a liberal coating with rust preventer I cut an access hole in the plastic cover and installed a valve extender to enable the tire pressure to be easily checked in the future.
It looked like the Krown shop never treated the visible metal parts on the spare wheel lower cover.
If you do decide to lower and raise your spare tire, remember to protect the radio with a cloth because the handle might pivot and scratch the surface! It's a pity the spare has to be dragged out from the driver's side which is more dangerous when stopped at the side of the road.

Rusty

Rusty
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2007 T&C Touring 3.8L 230k+ mi
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Looks just as bad as the mechanism on my 07 for the spare I removed last year. I left the spare back home before I moved for college since the tire was too old and dry rotted to be used (14 year old original in the salt belt).

I got a call two months ago from my mother that the tire just exploded on its own one morning and woke her and two neighbors! We’ve no idea how it happened from sitting outside but better to explode there than under the van :censored:
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 Chrysler T & C and a few more
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GS21. I was surprised to find it in such bad shape because the rest of the van is in very good condition and only has 110K Kilometers. The van was mainly used by a snowbird who took it to Florida every winter. Perhaps he took a few drives through the waves there! One of my sons has a 2013 GC Stow n' Go and we are going to check his soon.

Rusty.
 

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2014 Ram C/V, black, delete seats, windows, factory hitch
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When I took my spare out of the carrier, the base did not separate like that, instead it is hinged at the front, so only the rear portion hinges down to the ground. I remember it being quite a struggle even with the van up on the ramps to get the tire out over the lip of the carrier and then drag the tire out. needless to say, I never put it back in that thing, but if I have to smuggle anything, that empty carrier seems like a great place to put things! [2014 CV van]
 

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When I took my spare out of the carrier, the base did not separate like that, instead it is hinged at the front, so only the rear portion hinges down to the ground. I remember it being quite a struggle even with the van up on the ramps to get the tire out over the lip of the carrier and then drag the tire out. needless to say, I never put it back in that thing, but if I have to smuggle anything, that empty carrier seems like a great place to put things! [2014 CV van]
I'm with the ATF and my wife with the DEA, duly noted, we'll put you on the list...
 
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Rusty Wheelford, now that you installed the courtesy hole and valve stem extension, now you likely won't exercise the mechanism. In fact you may be even less inclined to lower it because you are so tickled by your ingenuity.
I get it, I appreciate that you shared with the club, I have been following your posts and enjoy reading them.

I can imagine that FCA had a meeting about this and declined for the reason above. We gotta use it or risk losing it.

I also agree that it is pure stupid and scary that while on the side of the road with a flat tire, that someone in that very meeting, thought it was a good idea to have my mom on her belly, trying to fish that heavy wheel out from under the low clearance van, all the while 18 wheelers are barreling past.
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 Chrysler T & C and a few more
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi FabricGATOR, Thanks....I've put a sticky note on my PC to check the mechanism annually. I'm an inspection hole sort of person....;) Been cutting access/maintenance holes in things for over 50 years! I think it goes back to my apprenticeship working on aircraft in the UK and my father owning an Eastern European car that had many little removable plates for roadside repairs in Siberia. BTW...these minivans are safer to drag out the spare wheel in the UK because they drive on "the wrong side" o_O
Rusty Donut Wheel.
 
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