Question about 2002 Dodge Caravan

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Starter installation 2002 Grand caravan

Can you give me an explanation and maybe a picture of how to remove and install a starter on a 2002 Grand Caravan?

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1) disconnect battery cables and push them out of the way
2) underneath the van unbolt (13mm) large cable assembly from starter
3) push red clip forward on small starter connection and push in on clip to remove (sometimes these clips are a pain to get to release)
4) still underneath the van locate and remove bottom starter bolt (15mm) - the bolt is on the transmission side of the engine near the front motor mount bracket, the large wire assembly in front of the transmission sometimes hides it)
5) now you can work up top of the engine - located a stud above where you removed the bottom starter bolt. It will have two wires attached to it. I think the bolt size is a 13mm. Remove the two wires.
6) This stud is really a long starter bolt. If follow the stud to the engine block you will discover it has a 15mm nut on it. You will need a deep 15mm socket and extension to get this bolt out. Mine was really tight! I ended up removing the battery tray and loosening the coolant tank to get enough leverage.
7) Now you can go underneath and pull the starter towards the passenger side. I had to move a few wires to the side and tilt it to snake it out.
8) Installation is just a reversal of removal.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

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First off, a huge THANK YOU to kmr16442 - their advice is spot-on. But after having gone through this myself, I would like to add a few words.

Let's start with a quick discussion of your tools. There are two basic types of sockets / box wrenches, each of which has its advantages. The 12-point is often easier to get onto a bolt due to the fact that it simply has more points of contact, but that also makes it more prone to slipping, and to stripping out the bolt. So if you need to put any significant amount of torque onto a bolt, you will want to go with a 6-point, which may be more difficult to deal with in tight spots, but also provides a much better "grip" on the bolt.

With that in mind, I *strongly* recommend you get yourself a good 6-point 15mm deep well socket before you even think about starting this project. When kmr16442 says that top bolt is difficult, well... that may be just about the biggest understatement ever! I also went with a 1/2" drive wrench to get more leverage, and even then it took a massive amount of effort - and a short length of pipe on the handle - to break it free.

Also, kmr16442 doesn't mention the battery tray until his point #6, but I discovered the hard way that you're better off if you get that out of the way right off the bat. I suggest you start by completely removing the battery, the tray (two 13mm nuts and one bolt), and loosen up the plastic coolant tank (three 10mm bolts) until you can pull it out of the way. Trust me, that will save you some bruised and bloodied knuckles!

Other than that, follow kmr16442's instructions, and you should be off and running!

Posted on Jun 20, 2010

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