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What you found - having more rust challenges toward the rear of the vehicle is the same thing I saw on my 93 T & C. I suspect that this is due to the road salt being thrown toward the back, where as from a foot and a half or so behind the front wheels and forward was pretty solid. (Mine was severely rotted out from there back. The rubber jacking point blocks just a head of the rear wheels had fallen off, and the undersides of the rockers were wide open. So I scrapped it out back in 2010, when it was still a young 17 years old. I grew up in Oklahoma, so 17 years is not old for a vehicle. I've seen cars twice that old that had almost no rust at all, brake lines that you could still loosen w/o rounding off or twisting clear off. Ohio, where we live at least, is a cruel environment for vehicles.)
 

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After reading your latest post, and going back where you mentioned it before, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "weight reduction". I thought you were looking for things you could take out, to reduce the weight of the vehicle (to increase MPG). On that topic, I actually saw a difference in MPG when I removed the third row seats in my 5th Gen (2010) Grand Caravan. Also, when I was stripping out the 93 T & C, when I pulled out the rear carpet - Man, is that ever some weight right there! (Mine was the 3.3. Did I miss where you said what's in this one?)
 

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re: the leaf spring rotted in two
I found the same thing on my 95 T & C. I already sad that it was badly rusted in the rockers. So I decided that I would cut it up and build a trailer out of the rear section. (I built one out of a 68 Dodge Polara back in 82-83, but that was down south of Dallas. Very little rust there.) Then I realized that the rear internal quarters were really bad, so then it was going to be a flat-bed trailer. Then I found that rusted off leaf spring. (And that's spring steel!) So I still have the rear axle, with the drums and wheels on it. It's standing upright in a corner of the garage in my rented space (where I run a small business). Figured I'd build a low flat bed trailer still, w/ no springs, sort of a farm trailer, just for hauling stuff on the back roads here, and to haul our zero turn in to the shop when necessary, or up to my wife's Dad's place to use there. But then my wife said to just buy a "real" trailer, so I got a 4 x 8 open box all aluminum one that tilts (not powered). I did haul a zero turn in it a couple of times, but it's not easy getting it up in there, the low flat bed would be much easier.
 

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Our 93 T&C had the 3.3 in it. One time we were loaded up and ready to leave my parents' house in Oklahoma, to start back to Ohio when the water pump shelled out. Had to hire a tow truck to haul it to a shop to get it done as soon as possible. It was good that I had a service manual, because the shop owner wanted nothing to do with it at all - said he didn't work on Japanese stuff. (He must have accepted a job on a 3.0 at some point, and didn't like it for some reason.) Had to show him in the manual that the 3.3 is/was an American made engine. Later we had a 2000 T&C with the 3.8. More power on the hills through Missouri, but lower MPG to go with it. Now have a 2010 Dodge GC, with the 4.0.
 

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re: compression fittings on brake lines:
Some years ago I bought an off-topic used PU (98 S-10) - one of those deals that I should have left on the car lot right where it sat. But actually was an alright vehicle, after I did some work on it. Some years later it developed a brake fluid leak about half way back on the side. It was rusted through. I saw then that it had compression fittings where someone had already patched that same area before. I didn't think you are supposed to do that, but hey, the parts store guy said it was fine, and it hadn't leaked at the compression fitting. So I did the same thing going back together. Then not long before I sold it, it had rusted in two again. Still, the compression fitting hadn't been leaking. Went back to the parts store, and they wouldn't sell me any compression fittings (once they knew what I was going to do). So I ended up replacing everything from the front to the rear, because every time I tried to loosen a fitting, it just twisted off. It was just all that rusty already. But I'm also waiting for an excuse to buy a good quality flaring kit..... ;)
 
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