Add weight to rear of Caravan?

Has anyone ever tried adding weight into the back end of a front wheel drive vehicle to improve weight distribution and cornering stability? I just traded an '89 Caravan (cargo, long version) for a '94, which is
the shorter one (passenger van). This newer, shorter one is a whole different animal on snow and ice, much less stable, especially on curves and corners, seems like the rear end wants to slide out from behind me. The rear tires aren't great but they're not that bad either, fronts are like new. But it behaves as though it would benefit from additional weight back there for the tires to bite a little better. BTW I'm going to put a new set of tires on in the next couple days anyway, but am still considering securing a couple sand tubes in back. It needs all the help it can get!! I don't even enjoy driving the thing in bad weather, it's difficult and dangerous to drive. Incidentally, when I bought this van I was under the impression that they all had the same length wheelbase, with the long ones having the body extended about 14" in back. I actually measured them once quite awhile ago--but somehow I remembered it wrong--a stupid mistake which really irks me now. It wasn't until after I drove this one a couple of days that I thought it seemed to ride like it had a shorter base, and it does. Had I known it was shorter I wouldn't have bought it, for the exact reasons described above, but now I have to deal with it. So anyway...comments and/or experiences about adding weight to the rear of a front-drive vehicle?
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don't know about stability but it never hurts to do that if you are in bad weather with snowy roads......whether they are driving wheels or not......

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I could be wrong but I think that the 1994 models did not come with front and rear sway bars as standard equipment and this will make a big difference. The "Sport Handling" included this option.
Any way a little weight won't hurt but you should be careful not to over do and get the front end light - that would be a real thrill.
Ed
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Interesting about the anti-sway bars. This is a Caravan ES, though I don't know what that suffix means (anyone else know what all those different letters mean?)--has all the bells and whistles, though; would be surprised if it were lacking in the suspension department. Will check it out whilst installing new tires.
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though;
ES- Euro Sport package. has the sport handling package and the upscaled trim level inside. As someone who ran a Caraven in weather that makes most folks stay home I can tell you that adding weight between the axles with it biased toward the rear will make a BIG difference. With good rubber the Caravan will really go through snow. Oh and FYI all standard Caravans are short wheelbased. The Grand Caravans are the extended version. Later models just used the passenger count.
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"...between the axles...bias toward the rear..." You're saying the optimal placement is not directly over the rear wheels, but rather slightly ahead of them? Why not directly over them?
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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 14:42:34 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (James Goforth) wrote:

You do NOT want the weight over or behoind the rear axle, because IF and WHEN you loose traction, you will spin so fast you won't know what hit you. Polar Moment of inertia and all that. Keep the extra weight between the axles for stability.
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Excellent...I'm glad I posted this question. Thanks.
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.
(James

them?
That is one reason. Another is that by putting the weight between the axles it can be used by both. With it directly over the rear axles the front end gets no benefit. If you place it behind the rear axle you create a fulcrum and remove a percentage of the weight you added from the front end. Remember that those tires drive and steer and you can see why you don't want to take any weight off of them.
Weight wise we carried a LOT of crap with us (State Lottery support) figure 4-5 lottery terminals (56 pounds each) Cases of betslips (about 100 pounds) 3 cases of roll stock (40 pounds each) A-Boards (120 pounds) Spare printers,readers (30-40 pounds) Tools and cabling (40 pounds or so) Kept in the center seats. Add in a laptop and portable desk, plus a power inverter and a marine battery in a box to use to test power equipment. Never had a problem in any snow UNLESS it was slushy crap over ice. The bigger problem was the wipers keeping the huge glass clear when it was really coming down. The later versions with the heater strips and bigger ducts made a big difference with that.
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just exactly how much weight you think he's going to use? more than his engine weighs?
(James

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