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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in shock and it still hasn't sunk in yet. 1994 Plymouth Voyager SE #2P4GH45R5RR788200 has lost the battle against rust and mother nature.
In for inspection today and I know it needed tires and I spotted the center high mount rear brake light out. But got bad news. Front right wheel bearing loose, no problem as I have one on the shelf. Then came the bad news. The area above the front mount for leaf springs has failed on left side and right side is catching up fast. Should be parked or throw another few hundred at it and have a spring shop look at it and 'maybe' they fix it. But for how long then. It sat for awhile and wasn't properly cared for early on except for an initial rust proofing.

I have parts and is there an interest or need for anything off mine before it goes.
Not going tomorrow so there's no rush. As mentioned I have a Timken front wheel bearing unused, just put a catalytic converter on I could yank, she has nice anti-roll bars front and rear and I even bought a few bushings and the links in back. What's worth pulling?

Man, I am bummed!!! Anyone know anybody selling a 95 Dodge Grand Caravan for a reasonable price? THen again it would just rust away soon.
 

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Fix it.
I just fixed the driver's strut tower on mine along with fixing the rear shackles.
Hood Automotive tire Gas Automotive exterior Bumper
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive wheel system
Water Water resources Liquid Automotive lighting Fluid
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Rim
Grey Gas Electric blue Auto part Metal
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Automotive exterior

I intend to fix the remaining rust on the inner rockers, rebuild the outer rockers again, and fix it up one last time to keep it on the road.
Tire Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Wheel Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really do want to but..... no fuze!!!! Fix the darn thing!!
My older Brother and the mechanic almost got me with the rust talk and I was under the impression the metal the leaf spring mounts attached to wasn't solid. Should post pictures but turned iPhone off as sister is bombarding me with texts about the upcoming eviction, which is another complicating issue. Have to post a few later.
I crawled under and got a good look. It is actually just the leaf spring that has rusted but it is bad. The front of the spring comes forward under the bushing and bends up around and back sort of circulating around that bushing. On drivers side the top of that loop is pretty much theoretically there. Passenger side is still intact but well rusted, of course.
If it was body work and stuff I think that would be above my skill set but I can turn a nut or bolt. It could use a bunch of body work. The side of the van where the side body panels tuck under and continue for 5 or 6 inches to keep water, slush, salt and winter crap from getting between body and interior is long gone.
Another thing just to make it difficult is being a 1994 the 1983 to 1995 Haynes manual has the earlier version of the front leaf spring mount. Have to check if the cd service manual has the correct information.
RockAuto does sell 5 leaf leaf springs and if my axle is solid, new bushings of course but looking at the BIG picture what else would I have to be wary of reusing. Those big U-bolts seem reusable unless they show excess rust or wear on removal.
Looking at RockAuto leaf Springs they don't look like mine { insert swear word!! } Mine seems to have bushings at both ends similar to the larger rear ones not just a round bushing and nut going through it. It is a short wheelbase version SE and I wonder if a Grand Voyager one would look appropriate. Negative, grand and regular look the same.
argh...... I can feel my bald spot getting bigger
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
General Spring carries leaf springs for our vans. These are the HD springs, which is what I had on mine for a long time: 1984 - 1995 Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager without all wheel drive rear leaf spring, 5 leaf, 1430 lbs capacity

Springs aren't the issue, it's getting the bushings that is.

U bolts get replaced, but parts stores like Napa carry replacements or can make them.

If the body is that far gone though, it's likely not worth sticking into.
Apologies, I'm a marOOn!! Getting my fronts and backs mixed up regarding the leaf spring bushings, the RockAuto ones do look similar. Pictures worth a thousand words.
Danka shane [sp?] for links.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, here's 4 thousand words on the state of the body. Wait, how about 4 pictures....
Bad spot first, can't see the underneath is all missing opposed to right side under sliding door with it mostly intact, how strong is a question. So worth it or not...




fingers crossed you can see them, even this was an argh Lo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Should have added this, how does one tell the weight load or is it pure personal preference.
At one point I did deliver Sunday papers and filled it up a few times delivering phone books, those were HEAVY loads, but I'm pretty sure those days are long gone.
Before the bad news and watching 'Camping with Steve' on YT, I did get a hankering to go overnight camping in it to get away from this place while the sister 'cleans.'
1430 sounds to much and 950 to light with 1100 and 1250 in the middle but that 1250 is noticeably more $$$.
Older brother has a lift but stOOpid me may try it in driveway, unless you smarter folk convince me otherwise.

EDIT and adding:
this the correct bushing? seems like it by name but $$ looks to good to be true with others around $10.
 

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I had the 1430s in mine and they are stiff, but I was towing heavy at the time, so I needed it. You have to watch to make sure the springs are for SWB models, Grand springs DO NOT work on SWB vans.
IIRC 950s are the factory spring for the SWB vans, so new 950s would be better than your worn factory springs.

I did mine in my driveway, it's not terrible. I took the springs and mounts out as a unit, the separated them out on the ground where I had space. The rear shackles will likely be terrible, the front should come apart easy. You'll likely have to break off the U-bolts to get them out.

My new springs came with new bushings and my upper shackle bushings were still good, so I didn't have to find them.

As to your rust, the passenger side looks perfectly fixable. The driver's side is questionable as it looks like the inner rocker is gone, which isn't something you can just buy a panel for.
If it was mine and I intended to fix it, I'd source a clean driver's door, clean slider, then order new panels from 1994 Plymouth Voyager Repair Parts | Mill Supply, Inc. for the rockers. I'd then cut the rusty metal out on the driver's side, rebuild the inner rocker, then install the new outer rocker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My head still hurts from all this LoL Thoughts of doing body work brings back high school memories and my 1966 Plymouth Fury II, the first car.Neighbor and I slapped a ton of bondo and riveted sheet metal but made it look 'OK' but that was then and now I'm 64+ and crotchety. Spent the morning watching YT videos on bodywork, one foot in the rabbit hole. She's my only vehicle and it sounds like taking it all off and reconnoitering the area might be destructive to the point where it's parked.
Is it feasible to loosen stuff up and just drop axle and front of leaf springs maybe 6' for inspection?
And regarding the bushings I now also realize why the TRW set came in 8 packs.That's how many you need, DOH!! Used to work for Tired Rundown and Weary servicing banking equipment and I pass by Moog on the way to the cat food pantry, and am inclined to buy one of those brands, maybe better quality too.
Local spring shop kind of chuckled when I asked them if they could do better than General Spring.
Another rabbit hole is the front right wheel hub. I have a Timken as mentioned but that wheel also has a bad counter ring thing for the ABS and would be the perfect opportunity to replace that and get ABS working in my snowy winters.
Only air tools I have is a torque wrench and newly bought sockets for it. Do have a compressor but wouldn't let it run and walk away as the safety valve isn't too safe at the monemt.
And I have to remember, this isn't going to SEMA or any car shows and I just want to extend it's life as its still a baby with only 111,000 or so.
Thanks a bunch for your replies many of which I could have probably found something similar to with a search.
Back to reality, I have litter boxes to clean.....
 
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I rebuilt my 94's rockers while still daily driving it. I'd just do one section at a time after work. Cut it out, clean it, add new metal. Took me a couple weeks to get everything cleaned up and another week or so to fill/smooth everything.

I'm surprised your 94 has ABS and that the ABS hasn't failed a left you without brakes if it does. I don't buy these vans with ABS, the systems are terrible and leave the stranded when they fail.

Honestly, chances your spring mounts/mounting points are bad is pretty low. Those are pretty solid points on these vans. I have had the leafs themselves fail though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
{ WARNING - BAD HUMOR ALERT }
Did you use a welder for the body work? That adds another level of expense and edjumication. I see they have glue on panels now. Anyway..
Called General Spring and Maggie was HELPFUL to say the least. I may be stuck with the 1430's if I buy theirs as lower weights not used so not stocked. Makes sense.
RA has some lower weight for more $$$ though. Local spring shop laughed at the prices I asked them to beat.

I just have to measure from front center bushing to middle nut, then middle nut to center of back bushing. That's the determinant. I may have to lie and say my u-bolts are longer then they are,
Mine are 3 3/4 from top of leaf spring pack to bottom of threads, the C measurement on their chart and she says they should be 5 or 6" long.
Tough when women demand your thing be longer!!!

Shackles in back seem to be structural sound but bushing worn as the ones on sway bar, bad.
 

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I personally welded my panels in, but they could be panel bonded.

I went to my local Napa for the U bolts, they had them in stock on the shelf in the universal trailer parts area (Joys of a vehicle that is basically a trailer axle in the back)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I was under van and measured twice. Almost more confused, if that's possible, but I can make things that way.
My springs on van from center front mount and measuring to center nut is 27 1/2" and center nut to center of back hanger is 24 1/2" which is what she mentioned.
From top of spring to bottom of threads is 3 3/4" as measured first and she says they should be longer, oh well.

Now compare 33=385 33-401
# of leafs 5 [4/1] 5
Capacity 1430 1150 <<<<<<<
length 24.5 x 27.5 24.5 x 27.75 <<<<<<<<<<<
width 2.5" 2/5"
driveline not AWD AWD
Besides the weight limit being closer to what I think I need would like the only other difference is 1/4" longer length.

Columns didn't come out as I spaced them.

AFTERNOON EDIT- I called again and inquired about this matter. If I buy and think the 1430s keep the van too high a suggestion was to remove a leaf
They did say however the AWD 33-401s would fit.

Now there's a huge rabbit hole a rich, insane guy would jump into, convert it to AWD.
What was that ole song.... " They're coming to take me away HaHa "
Those nice young men in their clean white coats are going to pay me a visit with their special van.
 

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AWD SWB springs will "fit", but due to the axle design they will lower it substantially as well.....

I'm running on the 1430 springs with the 3/4" bottom leaf removed on my 94 currently with custom shackles. It's a smooth ride, but it can't handle much load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
AWD SWB springs will "fit", but due to the axle design they will lower it substantially as well.....

I'm running on the 1430 springs with the 3/4" bottom leaf removed on my 94 currently with custom shackles. It's a smooth ride, but it can't handle much load.
argh. I ordered awd ones hope I didn’t screw myself up. Wasn't aware you removed a leaf.
Time to buy bigger boots, getting deep!
 

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Perfect opportunity for a Mustang II front end, a complete rear subframe and suspension out of something fast, and a roll cage to beef up the chassis stiffness.

Go find yourself a rolled over Audi Quattro or something, rip the front and rear subframe assemblies out, and weld them up under your van.

At the end of the day, it's just a fancy box with wheels under it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I’ll drop it off. Let me know when it’s done.

I’m petfectly happy with a 1994 fairly stock Voyager. A working radio would be a nice touch…..
Time to search cv axle. There actually is a sticker on this side and the boots don’t look like any of the Haynes manual pictures. Has SPAIN written on it.
451144 448. Off to reconnoiter and see what I can find.
 
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