Experimental 1991 Caravan

Messages
29
Location
Spokane WA
My Dad has a 91 dodge grand caravan that he bought brand new and has been the family truckster since then. We have gone on many roadtrips and that thing has been to **** and back. During the winter it takes the whole tribe up to the ski hill every weekend. There has been very little maintnance done on this car my dad just doesn't really care [No no] Back when I was younger and didn't know a thing about cars he went 7,000-10,000 miles on an oil with just whatever oil was the cheapest. For about the last 3 years I've been doing oil changes for him becuase I got my license and started learning about cars. But before then oil changes were not a priority. Now this car is twelve years old with 128K and about a year ago we were told that the engine was on its last legs(oil pressure was low). I put 20w-50 weight oil in to try and bring the oil pressure up and we've been running for over a year like that. We have bets between me and all my brothers as to how long the van is going to last. About a year ago I predicted 132,322(hey you gotta be exact) [Big Grin] I was gone working for the summer and of course the oil didn't get changed, he put about 5000 on castrol GTX. When I went to change it I noticed lots of sparkles in the oil. Later when I poured the used oil out at the recycle place I saw lots of little pieces of metal about the size of sand [Duh!] So what do you guys think? Is it terminal? By the way its the 3.3 motor and it uses about a quart every 2k. Dads theory is to run this van until it blows up and then worry about it later. I'll keep you guys posted on how long a severly abused motor can keep going with the wrong weight oil in it.
 

goatman

Thread starter
Messages
29
Location
Spokane WA
People have been saying its gonna blow up for the last two years and it keeps on going [I dont know] The oil pressure is low because I guess when the main bearings get worn out the oil pressure gets lower? I don't really know why I was just told this. Another fun thing that I'm remembering is that the tranny fluid has never been changed, ever! But the original tranny went out at 20K so the one in it has about 100K.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
I was just curious if it was something "user reparable" or not...something like an oil pump that could be easily replaced. Yes, over time, the bearings will become worn (or worn at an accelerated pace in this vehicle), and the clearances with thus increase, and the resistance to flow will be less, thus oil pressure will decrease. Obviously, running a thicker oil will increase pressure in a situation like this. If you want to experiment, then go right ahead... [ October 20, 2003, 02:16 AM: Message edited by: Jelly ]
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
By the way, at this point, an oil filter could have a greater impact on engine longevity than whether you chose 15w-40, SAE 30, 20w-50, etc, etc... Did some quick looking, and it seems like the stock size filter is a L14670 (Purolator #). If you can, I'd suggest oversizing to a L30001.
 
Messages
211
Location
CMH
How's that exactly?
quote:
Originally posted by Jelly: By the way, at this point, an oil filter could have a greater impact on engine longevity than whether you chose 15w-40, SAE 30, 20w-50, etc, etc... Did some quick looking, and it seems like the stock size filter is a L14670 (Purolator #). If you can, I'd suggest oversizing to a L30001.
 
Messages
612
Location
Joplin
The oil pressure gauges on these vans isn't very reliable. Your pressure may be OK even if you run a 10w-30/40. I find it hard to believe that you could see particles like sand in the old oil. How about springing for an oil analysis next time then you will have a better idea? The 3.3l has shown to be a strong performer.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by got boost?: How's that exactly?
My logic is that at this point, there is a great deal of "stuff" in this engine, be it slugdge, deposits, or actual wear particles from the engine itself. Letting all of this float around in the engine would not help it's longetivity much, thus my reasoning to run a nice, large filter. Hey, that's just my two cents
 
Messages
453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by goatman: My Dad has a 91 dodge grand caravan that he bought brand new and has been the family truckster since then. We have gone on many roadtrips and that thing has been to **** and back....... Now this car is twelve years old with 128K and about a year ago we were told that the engine was on its last legs(oil pressure was low). I put 20w-50 weight oil in to try and bring the oil pressure up and we've been running for over a year like that. We have bets between me and all my brothers as to how long the van is going to last........
I had a neighbor that I used to speak with in July 2002, this guy had a Dodge grand caravan and he was always doing his black Grease Monkey act over, in, under, and around that Unlucky vehicle. It had a never-ending sequence or train of Bad Luck. Electrical problems, hydraulic problems, transmission problems, clutch problems, engine problems. This is an Oil Forum, so I will only talk about his oil woes. He went from 10w-30 to 10w-40 and eventually 20w-50, all in Castrol GTX, but _____nothing_____ would stop that Mutha from burning up all the oil like some Saddam oilfield in Desert Storm no.1 (1990's). I said to him, ditch it, man, or else the thing will get you stranded in some marginal Inner City neighborhood like 5th ward at Midnight, and it will cost you your life. Eventually, he moved away, I don't know where he is now, but I sure hope he wised up, sent it to the Crusher, and is astride some nice, clean Rice Burner like all the smart people out there. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
508
Location
milwaukee
Jelly, you may be on to something. Like Groucho said, run some Auto-RX in there a few times. That might just clean out some of that silver sparkles along with the sludge, plus it could bring the oil pressure back. I have the same engine with 100k, so I would be interested in the results.
 
Messages
1,533
Location
Ephraim
quote:
Originally posted by goatman: *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- So what do you guys think? Is it terminal? By the way its the 3.3 motor and it uses about a quart every 2k. Dads theory is to run this van until it blows up and then worry about it later. I'll keep you guys posted on how long a severly abused motor can keep going with the wrong weight oil in it.
Maybe ! It may fall apart with a good cleaning, but since you don't care, that is what I'd do. Several. If it were my problem (for starters): I'd get some thick say Delo 400, buy it in the bucket, youre gonna need it, heck Shell Rotella etc... a good HD or DHD-1 Global "SL" rated or if not around an "SJ" rated Fleet oil in bulk... Also, buy a case of filters as per Jelly's post. 1. Run maybe two short drains / and filter changes of say several hundred miles or maybe every tank of gas for the next few tanks. 2. Run a cleaner, maybe the Rx treatment, maybe the Neutra, maybe something else, in the following changes. 3. I would try, since it's bad and I have had luck long time ago: some RESTORE in there, and then flush and keep changing the oil/filter OFTEN. In fact with this much visible stuff coming out, I'd change filters every K or 1/2K for awhile anyway. This is a horse with one leg broken; the question is, can you save it? And if you can't how much effort do you want to put into saving her? I'd be buying BULK diesel/Gasoline rated oil, and change it regular, even if you are not going to flush, etc... She's got bullets in her and you gotta flush them all out or she will die soon, and after the bullets are removed you have to treat the wounds and try to seal them up, if not expect to keep her on iv until she dies...
 
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2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by Robbie Alexander: She's got bullets in her and you gotta flush them all out or she will die soon, and after the bullets are removed you have to treat the wounds and try to seal them up, if not expect to keep her on iv until she dies...
Good line... [Cheers!]
 
Messages
656
Location
Massachusetts
If I saw metal particles in the pan, I'd fill it with some cheap oil (any grade, any brand), take it out to a country road, drop it in 1st and go for the land speed record. I've always wanted to see a piston/rod combo fly through a hood. [Big Grin]
 

SoF

Messages
4
Location
Arlington, WA
"My SWAG on the metal particles would be that the timing chain has developed a lot of slack and is eating itself up. I would not wind it up over 3K rpm." That sounds about right to me. My wifes Saturn recently broke a timing chain, when the chain cover was pulled there were large grooves worn on the cover and on the cover attach lugs on the front of the block. It had been making a bit of a rattling sound for a while, but I could never pinpoint the source of the sound. This condition was terminal, by the way (interference engine) SoF
 

goatman

Thread starter
Messages
29
Location
Spokane WA
Thanks for all the helpful hints, I don't think I will be doing any autoRX or any other cleaner. Will probably change the oil again here in the next couple weeks if it lasts that long. You see my Mom graduates from nursing school here in less then a month... Then my parents are planning on getting a new car so it would be awesome if the van lasted until then, otherwise I will be forced to drive my car up to the ski hill every weekend.
 
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