taking off spare tire ,2001 caravan



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Thread: taking off spare tire ,2001 caravan

  1. #1
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    taking off spare tire ,2001 caravan

    hello, the other day I got a flat tire so I tried to get the spare off by cranking
    the cable which hold up the spare ,the cable came down but the tire & the plastic tee stayed up. after moving it around the tire finally dropped I noticed that there is a second leaver which locks the plastic tee up. Is there a trick to make this leaver come undone or do you just keep unwinding the cable until it reaches it end? Just woundering if anybody else has come across this problem. The van is a 2001 caravan se.
    Thanks Macker

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  3. #2
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    Yeah, I had the same problem with my 02 T&C. The tension on the spring seemed to have given way. The only way I could unlodge my tire was brute force. I tried to lube the latch but to no avail. So I just busted the latch off. I just hope no one is following me to close when the cable rusts out and the tire drops.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasowenm View Post
    Yeah, I had the same problem with my 02 T&C. The tension on the spring seemed to have given way. The only way I could unlodge my tire was brute force. I tried to lube the latch but to no avail. So I just busted the latch off. I just hope no one is following me to close when the cable rusts out and the tire drops.
    I also had the same problem with my 02 T&C and my mechanic did exactly the same thing: just busted the latch off

    Do not worry, this cable will never rust and it is pretty thick. My mechanic said he never saw a rusted or broken one... my Dodge GC 1988 has this cable looking like new
    2002 Town and Country LXI - 3.3L - 133,000 miles
    1988 Dodge Grand Caravan LE - 3.0L - 270,000 miles (Gone but never forgotten)

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    What a coincidence, same thing happened to our 2001 two weeks ago. Some funky little spring for that latch, came apart in my hand after getting tire off. I would like to get an assembly drawing to see how it goes back together, because I would like to have it operating. I think it fails if it gets overtight. Not sure, but I will have to research a little more.
    KC.
    2012 VW Routan Highline w/ 3.6 L, 27,000 km.

    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan ES w/3.3, 250,000 KM and still going somewhere as it has been sold!

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    I busted my "spring clip" in two - not a thing about it in the FSM that I could find...

    -Jim

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    spare

    I would like to thank everybody for there input, a hammer will solve my problem. If a picture off the assembly is wanted before I give it a hit with my hammer just let me know.

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    A picture would be nice before the hammer beating disassembly.
    KC.
    2012 VW Routan Highline w/ 3.6 L, 27,000 km.

    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan ES w/3.3, 250,000 KM and still going somewhere as it has been sold!

  9. #8
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    spare

    The little spring clip that holds the tee up gets rusted in the slots and usually if you can get a screw driver up thru one of the holes in the spare and just pry it back a little it will give way and drop the tee , then lube it up with wd40 or equivalent lube and check it out once a year and drop the tire to check usually in the spring is a good idea after the nice salty winter a lot of us experience , just did this same thing yesterday , tee wouldn't drop .
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    Wife had a flat on the 2001 a few weeks ago. First time I had to drop the spare. Cranked and cranked and the cable came down great but tire stayed up. I reached under and smacked the tire and it fell down. I did the tire change in less then 10 minutes. However, I was home when she called so I put a big roll around jack in my car, with chocks and jack stand and quilt to lay on. Flat on busy highway but got it done safely.
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    The winch design is the same from 1996 up to now, with a possible exception of Stow&Go. It works as follows. The nylon "stem" of the wheel holder has a collar that gets caught by a spring latch in the square tube protruding downward. The latch itself has two "claws" that extend inside the tube through the slots on its rear-facing side. It is attached to the tube by means of a flat spring, whose one end is riveted to the latch and the other one to the tube, some 3" upward. To release the latch, there is a rod which pulls it away from the tube (the claws are hooked on the ends so they cannot completely come out of the tube). The other end of this rod is hooked to a looped flat spring. The spring is shaped like a hose clamp with two long straight "ears", and the round portion is pressed onto the bottom end of the winch's main shaft. So, as you begin to unwind the cable, the clamp/spring should turn together with the shaft and pull on the rod, thus releasing the latch. And this must happen before the weight of the wheel transfers to the latch (which would occur if the latch fails to move on the first few turns of the shaft).
    Apparently, when the latch claws get stuck in their slots due to dirt or rust, the shaft just slips inside the spring. It could be a fail-safe design to prevent things from breaking, but it also easily prevents the latch from releasing.
    Just yesterday, I tested the winch and the wheel was stuck. The previous test was before a camping trip two years ago. Back then, the latch did work and I sprayed it with silicone grease.
    A stuck latch should be easy to release if you lie down and support the weight of the wheel by pushing it up. If you can hold the wheel close to the floor pan, there's enough room to reach the latch with a finger, through the center hole of the wheel.
    This time around, I cleaned the mechanism with WD-40 and then brush-painted the claws and slots with anti-seize, and also applied it between the flat spring and the square tube, to make sure nothing holds it there. Do not lubricate the spring and the machined neck where it is clamped onto the shaft.
    Now I believe that the winch has to be tested and serviced at least annually. Don't forget to pump up the spare at the same time.
    Hope this helps.

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