Re: trailering stuff
Thu, 19 Aug 1999 05:38:49 EDT

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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In a message dated 8/18/99 8:10:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time,

> Before you go crazy... Some Caravans have 3 speed transmissions. In which
> case their 2 is sligtly equal to your D but gearing is somewhere between
> high
> and midrange... Sometimes they compensate with tire size...

To All:

Adding a little more to the fire here. I, too, drive a Chrysler Town and
Country. Mine is a '91. Some minor differences. Mine is the AWD model. I do
not have the towing package. The stock AWD transmission is rated at 2,000
pounds towing with 200 pounds tongue weight. I would have to guess by the
effort of lifting the tongue that the tongue weighs about 50 pounds with the
motor on the transom and about 75 pounds with it off. My only concessions to
towing were to install heavier shocks and a hitch. I am towing a P-15 rather
than the P-19. This is the same boat shown on the Potter brochure as being
towed by a Mazda RX7, I think. I know last year Subaru showed a small four
banger Subaru pulling a Potter.

Anyway, I bought the Town and Country when it was one year old and due to the
fact that Consumers Reports said this particular model was deemed
"undependable" I purchased an extended warranty on the drive train. Good
thing. At 60,000 miles the tranny crapped out. Chrysler replaced all the
tranny seals without nary a balk. It would have cost me about $2,000. They
explained to me that the seals are one of the weak points of this
transmission. The mechanic who did the work on my tranny said that all the
seals where as hard as a rock. He also explained that with all the problems,
they now replace them with a seal of a different material. The newer Town
and Country's, such as Judy's, come with the better transmission. Still, I
believe, should you have any problem, they are quick to repair it without any
complaint. When I brought the van in for the transmission work, they never
asked what gear I tow in. I don't think they really care. Chrysler
reimburses the dealer for the work and all the dealer is concerned about is
getting paid. I'll bet that's a surprise.

When I had the transmission work done, they considered adding another
transmission cooler since I pull the boat. They decided that was unnecessary
since there was already a transmission cooler on the transmission. Also
since Chrysler wouldn't reimburse them for adding a second transmission

I am of the "leave it in D unless there is undue shifting camp." The
transmission is computer controlled and seems to be pretty good at selecting
a gear that keeps the transmission in an efficient RPM range. There is a tach
on my van so that I can see where it's at. As a point of interest, the
computer on the transmission was so smart that it detected when the
transmission was failing and automatically shifted into what Chrysler told me
was "limp mode." I had never heard of such a thing. The transmission, when
failing, selects a relatively low gear, 2nd, and locks the transmission in
that gear. That gives you the ability to drive the vehicle to service. From
here that was about a 40 mile drive to Carson City. I drove the van for
about 100 miles before getting it in because it took a few days before they
could give me an appointment for such a major job.

It shifts as smooth as the lake at sunrise now.

My biggest prayer, or at least one that's up there in importance, is that if
the transmission where to fail again, it will be while that extended warranty
is still in effect.

I don't know what all this has to do with the continuing thread, other than
the transmission is a weak link on the Town and Country, not so much as on
the shorter wheel base Caravans. The AWD is great on ramps, etc. and
mandatory here in snot, er, I mean snow country.

P-15 Lollipop
N. Lake Tahoe, NV