Check your spare tire mechanism periodically



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Thread: Check your spare tire mechanism periodically

  1. #1
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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    Check your spare tire mechanism periodically

    Yesterday on the way to church I sensed as we turned onto the next road that we had a tire about to go flat on us. I pulled over and sure enough, there was the right front tire flat as could be. I went to the rear of the van, our '01, pulled out the jack, and proceeded to use the socket/tire-iron tool to crank the underfloor-mounted spare down. My wife was watching the progress while I cranked.

    The problem became apparent when Susie said, "the cable's continuing down but the tire's not coming with it." I had some sheet plastic in the back, so with it as a working surface I lay down and slid under the van to see what was going on. While there, pulling and tugging, two bicyclists passed by and offered to help. They both looked to be past retirement age (won't be long for me; I'm 59), and the younger one offered to take a shot at trying to get the tire to drop. No success for him either though.

    I ended up calling a tow truck and having the van carted over to a nearby BP station that had a garage I'd used in the past. When I talked with the mechanic this morning, he said they end up replacing a lot of crank mechanisms on spare tire mounts like this because they rust shut because of disuse and lack of lubrication. By the grace of the Lord, he was able to free mine up, but I wonder how many Chrysler minivan drivers are like me and never have reason to check the spare.

    So check yours if you haven't in a long time. It might save you the trouble we had to deal with.
    John
    Nashville, Tennessee

    2001 Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    1999 Grand Caravan SE 3.3L
    1991 Honda Accord EX Wagon 5-spd 2.2L

    Psalm 19

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  4. #2
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    So check yours (spare tire) if you haven't in a long time. It might save you the trouble we had to deal with.
    Take a look at Post #19 on this thread:
    http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/sho...re+tire&page=2
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 115,600 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 314,240 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 246,430 kms

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    I lubricate my winch assembly with spray never-seize (avalable at NAPA) with good results. When I need it to work, it does.

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    Thanks, Jeepman

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
    Take a look at Post #19 on this thread:
    http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/sho...re+tire&page=2
    You've obviously had your own dealings with this sort of problem, though it sounds like your situation worked out better than mine. I'll get some of that rust stuff you mentioned. I was thinking of using WD-40 or Lock-Ease, but your lubricant is probably better.
    John
    Nashville, Tennessee

    2001 Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    1999 Grand Caravan SE 3.3L
    1991 Honda Accord EX Wagon 5-spd 2.2L

    Psalm 19

  7. #5
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    Don't forget to check your spare for air pressure every so often. It would indeed be double sad to have TWO flat tires, when you thought you only had one!
    2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8L), Light Sandstone Metallic, 125K miles
    2005 Volvo XC70, 160K miles

    Previous van: 2002 Chrysler T&C, eX (3.8L)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgiurleo View Post
    Don't forget to check your spare for air pressure every so often. It would indeed be double sad to have TWO flat tires, when you thought you only had one!
    It happened to me 4 years ago but luckily the spare was not completely flat so I managed to drive very slowly to first gas station to fill it up. More than that when you release the spare it's possible to find there a couple of pounds of stones you collected over the years and the rim being completely rusted...

    Anyway the rusted mechanism which is keeping the spare from coming down must be eliminated altogether it's useless.
    2002 Town and Country LXI - 3.3L - 133,000 miles
    1988 Dodge Grand Caravan LE - 3.0L - 270,000 miles (Gone but never forgotten)

  9. #7
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    I think you could mount it to the roof rack, like the big knobbies you see on the 4x4s sometimes. Monster van!
    2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8L), Light Sandstone Metallic, 125K miles
    2005 Volvo XC70, 160K miles

    Previous van: 2002 Chrysler T&C, eX (3.8L)

  10. #8
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    Additional info for those that require it. Been there done that.http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php?t=7665

    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!

  11. #9
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    Spare Tire

    I own a 2002 and I had the same problem. I was on a trip and had a flat tire. I had never used the spare and had to read directions. Crank turned but tire never came down. Finally after an hour and with my wifes help I got it down. It had to be replaced. Cost me 100 dollars at the dealer so now when I rotate tires I have them grease it.

  12. #10
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    Worst design ever!!

    GC spare tire setup is a extremely bad design. The fact that you can not get to your spare in an emergency because the wench is lock up should be a safety recall. Not to mention that on my 2004 I broke a small clip off the wench when I had to prey the spare off. When I talked to my dealer, I was told that I would have to buy the whole wench mechnism to get the clip. I started another thread about disabling the locking mechanism. I had a 1987 Dakoata with a similar spare tire wench but no locking system. I worked then so I see no reason that it would not work now.
    Vehicles I currently own:
    1996 Honda Accord
    2000 Sable GL 3.0 Liter
    2004 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8 Liter
    2013 Toyota Highlander AWD

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