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Old 03-03-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
ammonm
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Question Grand Caravan Transmisson or PTU problem?

I have a 2001 Grand Caravan AWD. It has just under 75,000 miles on it.

Last weekend, the wife was driving it on a long trip with the youth in our church when all of the sudden it started making horrible clanking noises and it would lurch forward. We had it towed home so I could take a further look at it.

It is still drivable at VERY low speeds (1-2 mph), but about every 10 or 15 feet it makes a horrible clank like something is binding up and then brakes free. I watched, and when it makes the loud CLANK the entire engine is jerked back a couple inches. (note - this happens driving straight in both drive and reverse) When going slow enough, only a slight clank is heard. But anything near 1-2 mph and the clank is REALLY loud!

I took out both the front axles and the CV joins seem to work fine and there isn't anything I can see that would cause the binding. (boots are still in perfect shape) But the noise is definitely coming from up front.

I'm guessing it is either the tranny or the PTU (power transfer unit) for the all wheel drive. Anyone have any idea?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
losthawk
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Re: Grand Caravan Transmisson or PTU problem?

having same problem with my 2002 grand caravan its awd, when i put it in drive from neutral i get this clunk noise from the ptu flange and the propeller shaft. i know the engine was just replaced I'm wondering if they didn't tighten the bolts. hope someone has an answer
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
ammonm
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Re: Grand Caravan Transmisson or PTU problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by losthawk View Post
having same problem with my 2002 grand caravan its awd, when i put it in drive from neutral i get this clunk noise from the ptu flange and the propeller shaft. i know the engine was just replaced I'm wondering if they didn't tighten the bolts. hope someone has an answer
Mine ended up being the main gear in the PTU. (which cannot be replaced on it's own). We had to replace the entire PTU, which cost around $2,500 installed. We've since put on about 20,000 miles with the new PTU and everything is still great.

I did find out that the AWD systems on these vans are very picky. Having one tire with even 1/16th inch less thread, or running at a couple PSI lower than the others can significantly increase the wear on the PTU. Always replace all the tires together, rotate them regularly and keep the PSI the same. Of course this will only help extend the life of the PTU. But once it's shot, the only option is to replace it.

Good luck!
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