1997 Strut Tower Repair Illustrated



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Thread: 1997 Strut Tower Repair Illustrated

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    1997 Strut Tower Repair Illustrated

    As a thank you for the advice I received on this forum, I though I would post some pictures of my strut tower repair I completed this week.

    First a picture of the damaged towers. The holes were not this prevalent, but were typical "blistered" rust. We hammered them down so that the repair caps would fit correctly, and this is what was left after that process. The material that remains is fairly solid. I painted it with primer, not that it will slow any future rust by any appreciable amount, but I felt better!

    I can't help but wonder what was keeping that left strut from coming right through the cowl whenever we went over a set of RR tracks!

    The spots where the paint is ground away is in preparation for the welds. I did not buy the install kits, or the glue... but rather chose to weld them in since I have the equipment to do so.

    Right side



    Left side



    Here is a picture of my brother in law, Mike... welding in the right side repair cap. The Miller mig welder worked great! The extra piece of flat iron you see the ground clamp on was tacked to the repair cap in order to get a good ground. It was of course removed after the cap was welded in place.



    A picture of the cap after is was welded in...



    ... and after it was painted!



    And the left side after the same process...



    The caps came from my local Chrysler dealer. Total cost was about $30 a side, or less that $70 after tax.

    The repair was fairly easy for me, after I figured out how to get the cowl assembly off (darn Haynes manual... nothing on removal in there) and no instructions came with the kit.

    The van has 170,000 miles on it, but it still runs like new. That all being said, we will probably replace it before it get 200,000... so if the repair holds it together that long, I'll be happy.

    Should anyone have any questions about this repair, I will be happy to share what I know. I will stay subscribed to this thread and answer any questions posted.
    Mark


    2005 Chrysler Town and Country Touring 3.8L

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    That rust is similar to what I had on my T&C, only my rust was closer to the center of the tower, where the two pieces are sandwiched together. i blasted out all of the rust (yielding a similar sized hole) then carefully welded in new metal. After doing this, I welded all the seams together, epoxy primed, seam sealed, epoxy primed again and undercoated the repair. More time has elapsed between the repair and now than between when the van was new and the repair was done. So far, no more rust.

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    Mark.
    I have alot of people e-mail me about the front strut tower repair. May I send them the information and pictures you posted? I will copy it with your name and postings all included. I will not do so unless you ok me sending it. Mark, if you want to see what it would look like, e-mail me and I will send the article back to you in an e-mail.

    trdstr2000@sbcglobal.net
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSMLVR View Post
    Mark.
    I have alot of people e-mail me about the front strut tower repair. May I send them the information and pictures you posted? I will copy it with your name and postings all included. I will not do so unless you ok me sending it. Mark, if you want to see what it would look like, e-mail me and I will send the article back to you in an e-mail.

    trdstr2000@sbcglobal.net
    No problem... Happy to help.

    I would like to see what you are going to send. I will send you my e-mail address as per your instructions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DASander View Post
    After doing this, I welded all the seams together, epoxy primed, seam sealed, epoxy primed again and undercoated the repair.
    I like the idea of the undercoating. I think I will finish the project off with your idea!
    Last edited by mbkerk; 09-05-2008 at 01:33 PM.
    Mark


    2005 Chrysler Town and Country Touring 3.8L

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    Hi good information-looks like a job very well done regards ===tony==

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    DMSLVR - for your email inquiries, you could just reply with the tiny link to mbkerk's excellent post here (just cut/paste)...

    http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/sho...0639#post80639
    -Jim

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    Good idea Jim.
    However I have 4 other packs of information I send out also so to bundle that with those ,it is just as easy to download another file and send it from my MINIVAN STRUTS folder.
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
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    Do you have to remove the 3 bolts that stick-up near the center and remove the strut before you start this, or can you leave those alone since the plate goes around the 3 holes/bolts/nuts?
    Last edited by johnnyelectron; 09-06-2008 at 03:31 PM. Reason: clarify
    99 Expresso 3.3L, 169K miles & transmission died! My van is now gone , but I will help answer what I can.

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    the strut should be removed first.

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    In addition to restoring structural integrety to the strut tower, it is as important to fix the epic engeneering disaster and also make the strut tower water tight. You need to weld the seams, then seam seal them to ensure that water does not seep, wick, or flow between the pieces of metal. If this is not done correctly the repair will be short lived, as the problem will start again.
    Owners of gen 3 vans should keep an eye on the strut tower, reguardless of how much rust is on the vehicle, and keep it clean. If ignored this can become a major problem quite quickly.

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