hi bob - it was a 1993 dodge caravan.
we were the largest mini van dealer in the area. i've sold a lot of
areostars, windstars, apv's, and caravans.
the areostar transmission is basically same as the ranger transmission
but is has more load on it due to bigger body.
jasper engine and transmission plant is just down the road. and when
they did the rebuild on a transmission, they usually stayed fixed. that
is were i got the numbers 80k and up because they see them come in.
the windstars had transmission problems when they came out. one
transmission repairman just came back from school and said that ford has
safety switches and limiters on the transmission to prevent damage to
the unit in drive, but when you put it in reverse, the transmission
bypasses all the safety switches and it will let the internal pressures
build up too great and blow the transmission in reverse if you do over
30 mph in reverse. i said, "ok, that makes sense. how many drive 30
mph in reverse?"
he looked at me and said, "when you get stuck in snow and are rocking
the vehicle out of the drift going from low to reverse, they blow the
transmission. we got three of them in this morning alone"
the apv's held up usually very well. sold 42 to one company and we had
reports that some of them had over 200,000 miles on them without a
wrench put on either the engine or transmission. these were the 3.1
units. didn't get enough in to comment about the 3.8 units, other than
to say they had more power. i'm not saying that all of them do that,
but we had good service reports from our customers.
never had a complaint about the transmission after we sold the unit.
the caravans would give us a lot of transmission problems. the 1993 was
the worse. and the person who rebuilt the transmission was the head
shop foreman in the jasper transmission shop with over 30 years
experience. and as i said, the transmission didn't hold up that long.
i've had a customer that brought a caravan in with 152,000 miles on it
and wanted to trade it in. they had put 4 transmissions in it and spent
1100 on the last repair. the mechanic that repaired it told them to get
rid of the van before it had 11,000 miles on it. they had drove it
12,000 miles and it was acting up, which is why they were wanting to
trade it in.
speaking on the other side, i've known of a person who has had two
caravans that they bought new, drove 200,000 miles and never had any
problems with the transmission.
it also seems that the 4 cly transmission unit held up longer than the 6
i had a full size dodge van that the transmission started shifting
strange and took it to the transmission shop. i was informed at that
time that it wasn't just the front wheel drive transmissions that have
problems, that the rear wheel do to and at about the same mileage. and
the cost of the repair for a rear wheel drive transmission was the same
as the front wheel drive - 1600 dollars.
i will put a STRONG disclaimer on the post. i am NOT promoting one
brand over the other. i presented the facts as i've experienced them.
i'm sure that there are good units of all brands out there. i encourage
others can join in and maybe the reader can get a more overall picture
of what they have.
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional