Here you can find information regarding the assembly of the Dodge Caravan front end. In this guide we will cover the
essential repairs for the front end of this vehicle. Included within these repairs
is the inner and outer tie rod removal and change, the front wheel hubs installation, ball joint removal and
installation, the upper and lower control arms, and the front strut installation. Along
with the repair procedures we also include the corresponding bolt torque specs for each fastener involved. These
guides are intended to assist in each procedure to help diyers with the job.
Dodge Caravan Tie Rod Change/Removal
To install a new tie rod on a Dodge Caravan you must first remove the old one from the vehicle. This can be
done by raising the vehicle up by either the use of a floor jack or a vehicle hoist.
Once the vehicle is in the air you can remove the corresponding tire for the side that you want to change the
tie rod on. Once the tire is off you can now access the old tie rod and remove it for replacement. On this vehicle the
tie rod is apart of an entire rod system which controls the steering of the vehicle. If any of the steering rods are loose
be sure to replace them appropiately. The outer tie rod itself connects with another inner portion of the rod through the use
of an inner tie rod. This inner tie rod screws into the power steering rack and can be torqued down to 55 ft-lbs.
Be sure to inspect and measure your old tie rods so that the new ones can be installed
correctly. Whenever steering components are changed I recommend having an alignment done after the job to ensure the vehicle is in good
functional condition. When putting the tie rod onto the vehicle the tie rod end nuts get tightened down to 55 ft-lbs.
Be sure to install new cotter pins to ensure that vehicle safety is maintained.
Dodge Caravan Outer Tie Rod End Torque Spec : 55 ft-lbs
Dodge Caravan Inner Tie Rod Torque Spec : 55 ft-lbs
Front Wheel Hub Installation
The front wheel hub on the Dodge Caravan tightens down to the steering knuckle through the use of 4 bolts. In order to remove the
old part from the vehicle you will need to jack your car up and remove the wheel on the side you are working on. From here we can then begin to
remove the braking system by taking off the caliper and brake rotor and removing the center axle nut which holds the cv axle to the steering
knuckle. With those removed we can now gain access to the wheel hub bolts which will be
on the back side of the steering knuckle and can be accessed by turning the steering wheel one way and then the other. As you move the wheel take the bolts
out as the access becomes easier. Once the 4 bolts have been removed you can remove the old part using a hammer and pry
bar and then clean the surface and put the new part onto the vehicle. With the new wheel hub installed we can begin to hand tighten down the 4 bolts
and then torque them to specs. The 4 bolts which hold it onto the steering knuckle should be torqued down to 37 ft-lbs.
Once all are tight you can then put the center axle nut onto the cv axle and torque it down to 118 ft-lbs. Once both have been torqued you can proceed to
reinstall the braking system and then the wheel.
Dodge Caravan Front Axle Nut Torque Spec : 118 ft-lbs
The Dodge Caravan only has one front ball joint per each side of the vehicle. The lower ball joing connects the lower control arm to the
vehicles steering knuckle. The lower ball joint nut should be slid into the steering knuckle and torqued down to 20 ft-lbs followed by a 180
degree turn. Be sure to install the cotter pin following torqueing down the nut.
On the Dodge Caravan there is a single control arm for each side of the vehicle being the lower control arm.
The lower control arm has 3 total fasteners which hold it to the vehicle. There are 2 bolts that hold the control arm to the vehicle frame.
There is also a ball joint which fastens the control arm to the steering knuckle. The lower control arm front frame bolt can be tightened down to
137 ft-lbs while the rearward bushing retaining bolts can be torqued down to 50 ft-lbs. From here the lower ball joint nut can be torqued down to
20 ft-lbs followed by a 180 degree turn. When tightening up the lower control arm fasteners be sure to set the wheel height
to a level that it would be at during riding or when on the ground. This is best done with a bottle jack under the suspension.
To replace the front struts on the Dodge Caravan you will need to lift the vehicle up into the air and start by removing the tire on the side you want to replace.
With that removed we can now remove the bolts and nuts that hold the strut to the vehicle frame and lower control arm. Starting
with the 2 lower bolts which hold the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Simply remove the nuts from the bolts and then lightly tap the bolts out of
the steering knucle assembly. Be sure not to damage the threads on the bolts as they will need to be reused when installing the new strut into the vehicle.
With the 2 lower bolts removed we can then remove the single nut which holds the stabilizer bar to the front strut. With that remove we can move to
under the hood and remove the 3 nuts which hold the upper portion of the strut to the vehicles frame. With the upper three nuts removed the old strut assembly
should be able to be removed from the car. The new strut assembly can be placed into the location of the old one and the upper nuts can be hand tightened.
Before torqueing down any fasteners be sure that everything is first hand tightened. The 2 lower bolts can then be installed and hand tightened up along with the
stabilizer endlink nut. From here we can torque down the upper nuts to 20 ft-lbs and then the 2 lower strut bolts to 65 ft-lbs plus a 90 degree turn. The stabilizer
endlink can be torqued down to 27 ft-lbs.
The front swaybar on the Dodge Caravan consists of a series of brackets that hold it to the frame of the
vehicle and a couple of endlink nuts that fasten it the the outer side of the car. To remove
the swaybar you will need to jack up the front of the vehicle and remove both the endlink nuts as well as the
brackets. To install the new swaybar you will need to move it back into the place as the old one
and torque the endlink nuts to 15 ft-lbs and then torque the bracket bolts to 27 ft-lbs as well.
Dodge Caravan Front Swaybar Bracket Torque Spec : 27 ft-lbs
Dodge Caravan Front Swaybar Endlinks Torque Spec : 15 ft-lbs