1997 Dodge Caravan

Tiny
MORRIS2010
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE CARAVAN
Shakes or Wobbles problem
1997 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

97 grand caravan shakes violently when accelerating levels out when take foot off gas keeps slinging s-belt off; replaced motor mounts, stabilizer bushings & tires; axles, wheel bearings, tie rods all good was told torque convertor was bad; has anyone else had this problem? Trans rebuilt 3 years ago
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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 AT 12:00 PM

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Tiny
CH112063
  • MEMBER
Hundreds os transaxle repairs, but not once did this ever happen on a 97. It won't hurt to remove the inspection cover to look at the flex plate and converter to see if there is any looseness or any of the balance weights fell off. If you find anything let me know, if the transmission was out beware. Good luck though. If I hear of anything I'll get back to you for sure. I would really need to feel, hear, and try to locate the source. Unhook the converter to see if it still does it, this will tell you if its the engine or trans. It's very possible the converter is bad, but I honestly never saw one vibrate enough to throw a belt. Take it off and check the pulleys for any runout or accessories for looseness.
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Thursday, April 15th, 2010 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
MORRIS2010
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Ch112063, I have replaced the alternator, tensioner assembley, water pump, & the belt. It didn't come off until van started shaking, should there be any play in the idler pulley?
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Friday, April 16th, 2010 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
CH112063
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The idler pulleys should have the tiniest back and forth movement, they have a preset preload so they may move a couple thousands of an inch. But here is what I would do. Take it out and since this is a steady vibration, your going to do a few things for me so we can get this taken care of. I'll ask a few questions, you try it and get back to me, I can't relax until I know your sure you'll be fine with this.
Trans, as it is vibrating and your accelerating, try dropping it into nuetral, or low, does it ever shake in reverse? Then try taking the belt completely off and let me knoww, it won't hurt anything on a quick testdrive. It is constant so do a short stretch. It's gonna be up to you to locate it by trying these things out. No belts, then try the different gears, is it RPM(engine) related, in other words can you get this standing still, I take it not, or watch your rpm's, in low, try it, as it vibrates tell me the RPM's, then D2, D3, OD, or low instead of 1. Then reverse. Is the steering wheel shaking? If you have to disconnect the torque converter, I doubt if you'll need to go that far, if the engine, while standing still never vibrates, its in the drive line, each seperate gear selection applys a different hydraulic, so I can tell you if it's in the trans, shut the car off as its vibrating and see what happens, it takes alot for the whole car to vibrate the way you say, not just an out of balance converter. But since it was done, anything is possible. I just want to rule the engine and pulley system out. And pinpoint the transaxle. Get back to me with as much info as possible. Drive line will vibrate with everything off. Trans will change with the gear selections and well the converter is always turning so if it was so bad you could feel it shake in any rpm at any gear, it is bolted to the crankshaft, we will go slow and safe, this is the key, safely, don't lock your steering when you bring the key back from run. We'll get it, this I promise. Ok
thanks for the reply. You may have excessive input shaft end play, or the pump may be bad. Or the differential area.
Is this a 3.0L or 3.3L?
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Friday, April 16th, 2010 AT 2:30 PM
Tiny
MORRIS2010
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Joe, great news! Just wanted to say thank you for all your advice. We found the problem. It was the inner bearings on the drivers side front axle. They were completely gone. The axle didn't give when you moved it by hand. We put the van on jack stands and put it in drive and you could see it wobble. New axle installed already, she runs smooth as ever. Thank you so much.
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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 AT 10:29 AM
Tiny
CH112063
  • MEMBER
It's really tough to find any problem you have while driving when the van is on the ground. I don't know how I helped you but am sure glad it's ok. Good luck and thanks for taking the time to let me know.
Your quite welcome. Anytime.
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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 AT 5:16 PM

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