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Discussion Starter #1
I do not have the tow package on my '11 Crew, and supposedly for 2011 it came with heavy duty radiator, transmission cooler, and engine oil cooler, (along with the hitch, load-leveling suspension and wiring). For 2012, according to the brochures, the heavy duty radiator, transmission cooler, and engine oil cooler are all standard features.

It is my belief that all 2011 and 2012 vans have the same radiator, transmission cooler, and engine oil cooler -- regardless of whether they have the tow package or not. In talking with the local Chrysler parts manager, I had him look up radiator and transmission cooler for my '11 Crew and there are no optional part numbers listed. Just one part number for the radiator and one part number for the transmission cooler/AC condensor.

All the 3.6 VVT engines have an oil cooler - it's built into the engine design according to http://www.pentastars.com/engines/tech.php "Oil pressure and temperature sensors are on the oil filter housing assembly, which is mounted on top, between the heads; the oil cooler (a plate-style coolant to oil heat exchanger) is mounted to the oil filter housing as well."

I would like to confirm the radiator and transmission coolers are all the same - on my '11 Crew without the tow package, the radiator core measures 1-1/4" thick, 24" wide, and 22" tall (not including plastic side tanks).

Looking through the grille, I can see that the top part of the AC condensor is in fact a transmission cooler with two lines coming from transmission. The trans cooler portion measures 3" high and 26" wide including the side tanks. The solid portions between the fins are thicker on the trans cooler than the AC condensor portion.

The lines from the transmission as seen through the grille:

What the trans cooler/AC condensor looks like on mine:


If someone WITH the tow package could measure their radiator and trans cooler (and possibly post pictures), we could confirm whether or not they are in fact different parts.


Next, I would like to figure out which parts are different on the load-leveling suspension. The parts guy says there are different numbers listed for shocks and springs for sure. I would like to figure out if there is more to it than that, as I'd like to have the load-leveling suspension on mine if at all possible.

Here's what my rear suspension looks like:




Could someone WITH load-leveling suspension post a couple pics?

Thanks in advance for the discussion and (hopefully) pics!
 

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tow package

I haven't measured the actual diameter of the shocks but the self-leveling shocks are probably twice the diameter of the standard shock. The parts dep't at the dealership should be able to supply #'s for the radiator and if there is any difference between the regular and tow package components
 

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Could someone WITH load-leveling suspension post a couple pics?

Thanks in advance for the discussion and (hopefully) pics!
I know you want 2011 and 2012 but yours looks identical to the Nivomats that are on our 2010 Routan WITH the Tow Package. Look for the label on the shock. It should be a SACHS shock with possibly the part# of 52830 on it. There are also two other numbers 610AB and 89-4104-000-504. I have googled the 52830 number and it came back on challengertalk.com about guys lowering their challengers that have the load leveling rear suspension, so that would lead me to believe that the Nivo's are the same for a T&C or Challenger, based off the 52830. But your shock looks like mine. Maybe you lucked out and got the tow package! Sorry for the cell phone pics, it was faster! And yes, we have the HD Rad and trans cooler.



20120319_105129.jpg 20120319_105024.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mine is a 2011 GC Crew with the towing package...
The rad core are the same dimensions and the tranny cooler appears to be the top 6 rows.
Thanks for posting pics! Could you look what part numbers are stamped on your shocks and if there are numbers stamped into the springs?

I know you want 2011 and 2012 but yours looks identical to the Nivomats that are on our 2010 Routan WITH the Tow Package. Look for the label on the shock. It should be a SACHS shock with possibly the part# of 52830 on it. There are also two other numbers 610AB and 89-4104-000-504. I have googled the 52830 number and it came back on challengertalk.com about guys lowering their challengers that have the load leveling rear suspension, so that would lead me to believe that the Nivo's are the same for a T&C or Challenger, based off the 52830. But your shock looks like mine. Maybe you lucked out and got the tow package!
My shocks have 63816 stamped on them, no sticker and appear to be smaller diameter than the Nivomats you posted pics of (there are more numbers I can get later). Is that a part number stamped into your spring? If so, could you post it?

I confirmed on a couple of 2012 Grand Caravans at a dealer today that the radiator and trans cooler are the same as my '11 -- confirming my suspicion that ALL '11 and '12 got the so-called "heavy-duty" cooling. This is also confirmed with what banger68 posted above.
 

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Damn Banger, them crazy Duke boys get ahold of your ride and toss it thru the dirt? J/K:biggrin:


Ok, here goes:

The lower shock body measures 2.842" or 72.20 mm (depending on where you live, eh). The upper shock body on MY Nivomats is plastic. There is a tag that is wrapped around my spring that is marked 05151313AA, and on the top is just 313AA. I have attached some pics.Also keep in mind that SUPPOSEDLY VW tweaked the suspension on the Routans for a firmer ride---which I think Chrysler has borrowed in the refinements---remember, SUPPOSEDLY. Sorry I measured my shocks with a pair of my disposable verniers, my good ones don't go near this stuff. If you need to measure your bodies just use a seamstress's tape(cloth tape measure, or a piece of string) and wrap it around the body, get your circumfrence dimension and divide by Pi (3.14) and that will give you the diameter. My Rad and cooler seem to be the same as yours, just by looks. I don't want to measure it and drop the hood tonight and get the dog riled up.

EDIT: Also if you look the top shock body cover, it seems to be longer than the NON-Nivo's as seen in Bangers pics.
 

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Question for you owners with the tow package------do you experience a harsher ride on rough roads? My T&C rides nice and smooth and quiet on decent roads,but the ride is terribly harsh on poor roadways. Are the springs stiffer(front or rear),or is this from the self-leveling system components?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Question for you owners with the tow package------do you experience a harsher ride on rough roads? My T&C rides nice and smooth and quiet on decent roads,but the ride is terribly harsh on poor roadways. Are the springs stiffer(front or rear),or is this from the self-leveling system components?
The '11 (no tow pack) is definitaly a "firmer" ride than the '97... I wouldn't call it harsh, but it's quite a bit more firm than any other minivan I've been in...
 

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Over on our Routan forums several guys complained that the tow prepped vans felt like they bellied while driving if I remember correctly. As for how our's rides, Pennsylvania is known for the worst roads in America--I agree 100%. So to me it just rides "normal" as I did not test drive a non tow prepped van, normal to me is a nice ride, I like it. I also drove a 01 Ram 2500 Cummins Turbo for about 175K, so this thing is a pleasure to me. It's no slot car, but I'm also not afraid to toss it into a corner either. I don't want to get sea sick either while I'm driving.

Heck, I'd drive a brick if it looked good!
 

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Some Answers

Your post in regards to exactly what you get in the tow package option got me thinking and searching. My 2009 is rated to tow 1800 lbs w/o tow package and 3600 w/tow group. The new vans are all rated to tow 3600. I have found that the self-leveling shocks on the rear have the same springs as the regular suspension (at least on the 2012 models) but the tow package also gets you special spring bumpers that mount on top of the springs. Chrysler-PartsCenter.com sells original equipment Chrysler parts and has a great illustrated parts breakdown. Its worth a look. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The new vans are all rated to tow 3600.
Not without the tow package:
My owner's manual (2011 Crew) states that to get the full 3600 lb tow capacity you MUST have a weight-distributing hitch system and tow package. Here's some more info from my manual:
3.6 auto without tow pack: max GCW is 7000 lbs, trailer frontal area not to exceed 22 square feet, passenger and driver max tongue weight 180 lbs (trailer total weight 1800 lbs)

WITH tow pack: max GCW is 8750 lbs, trailer frontal area not to exceed 40 square feet, passenger and drive max tongue weight 360 lbs (trailer total weight 3600 lbs)
Manual also states that any trailer over 1000 lbs should be equipped with its own braking system.


I have found that the self-leveling shocks on the rear have the same springs as the regular suspension (at least on the 2012 models) but the tow package also gets you special spring bumpers that mount on top of the springs. Chrysler-PartsCenter.com sells original equipment Chrysler parts and has a great illustrated parts breakdown. Its worth a look. Hope this helps.
THANK YOU for the parts website - it is very helpful!

Looking at the parts diagram for a 2011 Grand Caravan Crew on dodgepartscenter.com shows that there are SIX different shock absorbers available!
1.) w/o Height Control; Touring Susp.
2.) w/o Height Control; Performance Susp.
3.) w/Height Control; All; Touring Susp.
4.) w/Height Control; All; Performance Susp.; 17" Wheels
5.) w/Height Control; All; Performance Susp.; 16" Wheels
6.) w/Height Control; All; Commercial Susp

Only 1 coil spring, and 2 different strut bumpers (overload bumpers) --- one WITH touring tires and one WITHOUT touring tires. Also shows that there is only 1 bracket/mount for the shock absorbers... so it would be possible to put the load-leveling shocks on a van not originally equipped as such. Unfortunately the load-leveling shocks are around $275 each!

Also on dodgepartscenter.com there is only 1 radiator, and 1 AC Condensor/Trans cooler listed confirming that everyone gets "heavy duty" cooling.

Thanks for all the help! Hopefully this will keep things cleared up for people in the future!
 

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Have taken pictures of my 2012 equipped with towing package, depicting the engine radiator location and surrounding area, if this would be of any help. Also took pictures of the rear suspension assembly which may be on some help as well

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have taken pictures of my 2012 equipped with towing package, depicting the engine radiator location and surrounding area, if this would be of any help. Also took pictures of the rear suspension assembly which may be on some help as well

Don
Yes, this would help, please post them!
 
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