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  1. #1
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    Caddiac's Avatar
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    Default Ford and Dodge test drives

    Took a little trip where I had to drive a Ford E-series 15 passenger van and a Dodge Caravan. So I thought I would share my opinion on these two vehicles.

    Ford E Series Van I nicked named "The Pig" because of the slop in the steering wheel among other notable characteristics. The air conditioner could cause heat stroke if you spent much time at idle on a hot day. There was an odd sound that reminded me of the tapping valves on a buddies old late 60's Econoline van. I don't think it was the engine but I am not sure of what else it could have been. The carpet seemed to show the wear rather quickly for a van designed to carry a large number of passengers. The was not step or running board to make access easy. God have mercy on the mechanic that has to work on it. The engine compartment is pretty tight. On the positive note, it did not break down.

    The Dodge Caravan had an impressive air conditioner and very nice entertainment center. Too bad they were installed in an under powered POS with a transmission and cruise control unit that do not cooperate in the mountains. The van did get decent mileage: 20 ~ 22 all around. Unfortunately, even at today's high gas prices, the transmission overhaul at 40K (if it gets that far) will cost more than the money saved on gas. Overall the Dodge performed very well as long as you sat in it with the ac on and played with the entertainment center. As for maintenance access, the Dodge is a cut above the Ford. The engine and transmission looked tiny in the engine compartment. Hey, that explains why it can't pull an old lady off a toilet. Like the Ford, the Dodge did not break down. Though, admittedly, I half expected the transmission to tank on me before we got home.

  2. #2
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    Enkeiavalanche's Avatar
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    Had a Caravan one time as a Co van we called it the Crappavan... Trans mounts every 6 months, Trans every 2 years..and so on...
    08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X

  3. #3

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    Never owned a caravan but we did rent one for 7 days last year for a road trip. I know exactly what you mean about the trans. The motor seems to have plenty of power for a such a vehicle but the trans felt like it was about to fail at every hill. Interior wise, we were completely happy with the caravan.

    2009 Silverado 1500
    5.3L / 3.73 G80 / 4spd / 4x4 / LWB/ Ext Cab / HD Tow-Haul
    2.25in ReadyLift Level Kit / 3in blocks/ 3500lb HellWig / 265x65x17 Wrangler AT
    K&N Filter / AirRaid MIT / MagnaFlow 2.25" Dual Exhaust / HyperTech MaxEnergy

  4. #4
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    I owned a Town & Country LXI when my daughter was born. It had leather interior the works. Very good looking, mechanically. unreliable POS. You could pull the seats and slide 4x8 sheets of plywood in the back. If you were lucky, it would not breakdown on you before you got home.

  5. #5
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    I drove a fully loaded Uhaul E-450, we had a loaded weight with trailer just over 19K lbs. it had the V-10, and 5spd auto. I drove it from Ga to MN. I got a best tank of 7mpg and worst tank of 5.5mpg. And the 5th gear was never used i dont think. It didnt have as bad of steering as you mentioned Caddi.
    I will in its defense say that the Ford E-series hasnt been updated much since 1978 litterally. Though im not a van type of guy so i stick with a truck or a car.. lol
    Mike

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  6. #6
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    Hey Caddie, do they issue barf bags with those Fords & Dodges? Inquiring minds want to know.
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol


  7. #7
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    Personally, I don't think it's a fair comparison with a mini van vs. a heavy duty work van since it's kind of like comparing organic fuji apples to organic cow manure. Of course the E-Series is going to have slop: it's based off of a pickup, and last I checked all the Ford pickups have horrible slop (no offense to any Ford owners, I also own one, lol).
    2005 Chevy Silverado W/T
    4X4|4.8 with some mods (has only slightly more pull than a 5.3)|Auto|4 door ex cab|Cooper Discoverer AT/3's in 285-75/17's on Helo 842's|Cooper Discover M+S 265-75/17's on Devino DV349's|Flowmaster 40 Single in Dual out with custom bent pipe from the end of the cats back|2" Procomp leveling kit|Custom made center console|Custom dyno tunes|Air Raid CAI|Air Raid Throttle Body Spacer|Apex brand topper|Kenwood Head Unit with Kenwood speakers|Painted mirrors/grille|Debadged except front emblem|Bilsteins front and rear
    Planned mods not in order
    2 inch lift|Custom front/rear bumper|hitch tire carrier|roof basket on topper, bars on cab|finish center console build|install Midland CB|Power options|Tint|Custom made raised bed in the bed of the truck|Lund LunarVisor
    Also have a 1992 Ford Ranger with a lot of stuff done to it. Currently waiting for a bit of a rebuild.


    "The only woman I'm pimping from now on is Sweet Lady Propane. And I'm tricking her out all over this town."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephan View Post
    Hey Caddie, do they issue barf bags with those Fords & Dodges? Inquiring minds want to know.
    No barf bags. Both had power windows LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmeh View Post
    Personally, I don't think it's a fair comparison with a mini van vs. a heavy duty work van since it's kind of like comparing organic fuji apples to organic cow manure. Of course the E-Series is going to have slop: it's based off of a pickup, and last I checked all the Ford pickups have horrible slop (no offense to any Ford owners, I also own one, lol).
    Not comparing them to each other. I just commented on the performance and handling of the two. For what it was designed to do, the Ford is tolerable as long as you were on the highway. The Chrysler is best sitting in the drive way or if you are going somewhere that does not have hills or mountains.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caddiac View Post
    No barf bags. Both had power windows LOL
    And if the power windows don't work??????
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephan View Post
    And if the power windows don't work??????
    Aim for the badge!

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