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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a '97 3.0 Caravan that has been sitting for over a year, 116K miles, had it towed home, changed an axle, motor runs, but does not engage in to gear, although I can move the hand shifter through the gears.

Should I change filter and oil first?

or

Add some lucas oil additive to soften some seals first? :blink:

Good help would be much appreciated.
 

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I bought a '97 3.0 Caravan that has been sitting for over a year, 116K miles, had it towed home, changed an axle, motor runs, but does not engage in to gear, although I can move the hand shifter through the gears.
Should I change filter and oil first?
or
Add some lucas oil additive to soften some seals first? :blink:
Good help would be much appreciated.
I'd first be curious to ask why it was set aside to sit for a year. Then go from there. :ask_wsign
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sat for over a year because the radiator had a leak, the drive axle was bad, previous owner took the axle off, never replaced it. The van just sat there and I bought it from him. Had it towed to my place.
 

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A 1997 3 liter could have either the 31TH or the 41TE transaxle, but initial diagnoses is close to the same. First question is, how is the fluid level? Next, if the level is okay, is the pump working? Here's how to tell. Let it sit for at least 2 or 5 hours without running, then pull the trans dipstick and note the level. NOW, start the engine and recheck the level. If the level goes down, you have verified that the pump is sucking fluid through the filter. If the level DOES NOT go down, before you get oily and dirty, over fill the transmission by a quart or so. That raises the fluid level above the intake port on the valve body, just in case the filter fell off or the gasket or o'ring was missing or damaged. Either way, you are pulling the pan next, so no harm done by adding the extra fluid. Make sure you use the correct fluid! <GRIN>
 
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