The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been searching through old threads on the subject but they all seem to be several years old at best.

I'm looking to replace the front struts with assembled units.

I rebuilt the originals when the strut mount failed in one but it's happened again. My fault for overloading the van. The struts are feeling worn out too so all I'd be keeping is the springs if I rebuilt them again. I'm not 100% against rebuilding these again but I'd rather do something quick.

What I'm looking for is the best quality set that keeps the ride height the same without softening the ride. Stiffer would be better for me. Cost isn't really an issue.

I've been looking at the top offerings from Monroe, Moog and KYB but of course they all say they're great. I was wondering if anyone has experience in these or other brands.

The van is a 2005 that I converted to Nivomat shocks and leaf springs.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
13,363 Posts
I'm looking to replace the front struts with assembled units.

I rebuilt the originals when the strut mount failed in one but it's happened again. My fault for overloading the van. The struts are feeling worn out too so all I'd be keeping is the springs if I rebuilt them again. I'm not 100% against rebuilding these again but I'd rather do something quick.

What I'm looking for is the best quality set that keeps the ride height the same without softening the ride. Stiffer would be better for me. Cost isn't really an issue.

I've been looking at the top offerings from Monroe, Moog and KYB but of course they all say they're great. I was wondering if anyone has experience in these or other brands.

The van is a 2005 that I converted to Nivomat shocks and leaf springs.
How can your struts get damaged by overloading the van?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
How can your struts get damaged by overloading the van?
Practically new upper strut mount failed on a 400 mile trip with the van overloaded and pulling a heavy trailer.
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Practically new upper strut mount failed on a 400 mile trip with the van overloaded and pulling a heavy trailer.
You ain't even ready for his reply. LOL
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
13,363 Posts
Practically new upper strut mount failed on a 400 mile trip with the van overloaded and pulling a heavy trailer.
More likely you have something else wrong.

Heavy trailer = less weight on your front end.

I heard someone who often overload his vehicle and pull heavy trailers and never had that problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
More likely you have something else wrong.

Heavy trailer = less weight on your front end.

I heard someone who often overload his vehicle and pull heavy trailers and never had that problem.
Is there something else that would allow the top nut to move 1/2 inch or more when turning the wheel?

My grandfather smoked from 12 years old into his mid 70s. He died at 93 with no lung issues, heart issues and wasn't even on any medications. YMMV

FWIW, I'm a mechanic and I've rebuilt most of this van over the last few years. The upper mount is bad. Braking and turning on mountain roads will put a lot of stress on the front suspension. I also balanced the load to not squat the van.
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
More likely you have something else wrong.

Heavy trailer = less weight on your front end.

I heard someone who often overload his vehicle and pull heavy trailers and never had that problem.
Not the reply I was thinking of. Thought you were going to break out the photos of that "someone". :p

How overloaded were you? 8k lbs gross? Trailer brake? Takes a lot to tear up a strut that fast. I suppose unreasonably hard braking on an incline could overload the mount if well enough outside of capacity. But if that's the case, your control arms are toast too.

Front suspension needs to be in good shape for towing, and really everyday, but especially towing. It handles the majority of your braking, and all of your steering and power. Sloppy ball joints and control arm bushings can tear struts up quickly by allowing too much movement at the base. Worn sway bar links and bushings don't balance the load and support the springs as they should, putting additional load on the strut at times. If any of that stuff is amiss, you're going to have a bad time towing anything heavy, forget over capacity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LEVY

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,652 Posts
I replaced mine on my '06 Grand Caravan with the Monroe Quick Struts. I think it was just the strut mounts clunking a bit but I just went for the complete units as the van had +/- 230000 kms on it. Van rode well and they were still in great shape when I sold the van. I did need a concentric bolt bolt kit as there was a lot of positive camber after I replaced them. There are probably better options than the Monroes though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Not the reply I was thinking of. Thought you were going to break out the photos of that "someone". :p

How overloaded were you? 8k lbs gross? Trailer brake? Takes a lot to tear up a strut that fast. I suppose unreasonably hard braking on an incline could overload the mount if well enough outside of capacity. But if that's the case, your control arms are toast too.

Front suspension needs to be in good shape for towing, and really everyday, but especially towing. It handles the majority of your braking, and all of your steering and power. Sloppy ball joints and control arm bushings can tear struts up quickly by allowing too much movement at the base. Worn sway bar links and bushings don't balance the load and support the springs as they should, putting additional load on the strut at times. If any of that stuff is amiss, you're going to have a bad time towing anything heavy, forget over capacity.
I didn't weigh it but it was heavy. No trailer brake. No sign of any other suspension damage.

I've recently rebuilt the entire front suspension including the steering rack. It was driving like a dream till I hauled the load from N.Georgia to Fl and the clunk developed.

I practically pulled this van off the scrap heap. Great rust free body but needed a lot. I replaced the head gaskets, front and rear suspension, brakes, swapped the cloth seats for heated leather from a limited edition (and fabed the wiring to make them work with the factory switches), found missing interior parts at the salvage yard, window regulators, all the lock regulators, cooling system, engine accessories, stereo.... At this point it's mine to break and I broke it. Maybe the mount I put in had a defect. Don't know don't care. It's broken and I want to put the best parts in it that I can find.
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Well, I haven't had any issues with my KYB strut. Only have one due to my wife plowing through a deer. Other was replaced by the body shop with a Mopar. Had the KYB on since October of either '15 or '14. Mopar one had been on since July of the same year. Noticed a month or so after leaving the shop that the tracking wandered. Replaced just the strut and mount a couple times with different brands (can't remember which), but still had the wander. Must've been in the spring, because the full assembly got it right.

I'd say you're good with either Monroe or KYB. Moog is a good brand for other suspension parts, but I haven't heard of them making struts before. Not saying they're bad, just that I have no idea either way.

Another thing I'd recommend is a trailer brake since you're doing braking on inclines with heavy loads. That'll help ease stress on the suspension.
 

·
3rd Gen Plebeian
1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
Joined
·
815 Posts
I saw this on FB a few days ago
60913





I had a relatively new strut mount blow apart too, the nut sheared straight through the mount and the strut blew apart. No towing or hard miles. It was a KYB that was only a couple years old.
Replacement parts are either Subpar, or Mopar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Road Ripper

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Dang, Edy! Was it the low tier KYB? I never trust the lowest tier parts for any brand. Can't remember the line name, but mine is the mid tier. A little bit of heavy towing, but not much. I put more stress on mine with high speed turns and hard braking after quarters.
 

·
3rd gen > all others
Joined
·
3,135 Posts
The upper mounts are a bad design with the 3 tiny holes punched through around the strut rod hole. It weakens the plate and the rod breaks it. I think the holes might be for positioning the plate in a mold when the mount is manufactured, or they are simply drain holes for water. It would be nice to find a mount with a solid plate in it.

I once tried sandwiching the plate with washers for extra support, but that didn't allow the strut rod nut to bite enough to keep the rod from moving in the center hole and wallowing it out, allowing caster/camber changes while driving. Only solution would be to take the mount apart and weld a washer to the bottom of the plate, but it would have to be kept cool enough while welding to not damage the rubber-to-metal plate bond.

I suppose one could make their own center part of the mount with a solid plate and put it into a mold, pour in a soft urethane and let it harden. Either the urethane would need to rebound like rubber, or make the urethane part thinner and use rubber sliced from real mounts above and below it to give it a little cushion. It would be sandwiched inside the upper and lower parts of the mount shell.
 

·
3rd Gen Plebeian
1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
Joined
·
815 Posts
The upper mounts are a bad design with the 3 tiny holes punched through around the strut rod hole. It weakens the plate and the rod breaks it. I think the holes might be for positioning the plate in a mold when the mount is manufactured, or they are simply drain holes for water. It would be nice to find a mount with a solid plate in it.

I once tried sandwiching the plate with washers for extra support, but that didn't allow the strut rod nut to bite enough to keep the rod from moving in the center hole and wallowing it out, allowing caster/camber changes while driving. Only solution would be to take the mount apart and weld a washer to the bottom of the plate, but it would have to be kept cool enough while welding to not damage the rubber-to-metal plate bond.

I suppose one could make their own center part of the mount with a solid plate and put it into a mold, pour in a soft urethane and let it harden. Either the urethane would need to rebound like rubber, or make the urethane part thinner and use rubber sliced from real mounts above and below it to give it a little cushion. It would be sandwiched inside the upper and lower parts of the mount shell.
Or fab up some nice pillowball strut mount with adjustable camber and caster...
:unsure:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys, I think I'm going to go with the KYB for now and keep the old units on hand. If the KYBs give me issues I'll rebuild the factory units with new Chrysler parts when I have time.
 

·
3rd Gen Plebeian
1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
Joined
·
815 Posts
This is the one that blew apart and folded my wheel under the van. Lasted ~2 years of light use before catastrophic failure
60953




60954
 

·
Registered
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
This is the one that blew apart and folded my wheel under the van. Lasted ~2 years of light use before catastrophic failure
... KYB SR4020
The one I used is KYB ASR4176 (5 instead of 6 for other side). Around 6 years, 80k miles of mixed heavy and light use - no issues.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
25,834 Posts
Doesn't look broken rto me. :) Pot hole?
This is the one that blew apart and folded my wheel under the van. Lasted ~2 years of light use before catastrophic failure.
Doesn't look broken rto me. :) Pot hole?

What actually failed? the rod? the casing?
 

·
3rd gen > all others
Joined
·
3,135 Posts
As I mentioned before, the plate inside the upper mount that the strut rod tightens onto breaks. The strut then flies apart from the spring pressure. I've seen this failure a number of times in the junkyard, and on this forum/site.

As long as we're on the topic of struts, if OP or anyone else wants to lift the front of the van an inch or so (LWB) use Chrysler Pacifica wagon struts. Same upper mount, same lower bracket to knuckle, but height of the sway bar bracket is a little different and may require different sway bar end links.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Special Edy
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top