How to Replace the Muffler on a Dodge Caravanby Contributor
The Dodge Caravan is one of the popular family vans. Sold as part of Chrysler's first mini van series, the Caravan along with the Plymouth Voyager gave families the room they needed and it became almost an overnight success. To save money on maintaining your Caravan, do easier repairs such as replacing a bad muffler yourself.
Determine if you need a new muffler on your Dodge Caravan by looking under the van towards the back to see if there are any small or large holes in the muffler or to determine if it has fallen off partially or completely. Severe rust spots that are wearing through to form holes is another sign you should replace the muffler.
Purchase a muffler for a Dodge Caravan. It should have a 5 inch inlet/outlet, 24 inch body, and be 31 inches overall. You can purchase either a new muffler or a used muffler; however, new mufflers are more reliable than used mufflers.
Place an old blanket or a large piece of cardboard on the ground beneath the rear part of the Caravan. You can also put the van on jack stands if desired. This often makes it much easier to remove the muffler and work more comfortably.
Examine the old muffler. Spray the fasteners and nuts generously with a penetrating lubricant before you loosen them. Also spray lube on all clamp bolts and connecting points of the exhaust system. The penetrating lubricant will help you to remove the screws and bolts with ease.
Disconnect the tail pipe from the muffler assembly. Then, take off all nuts and clamps connecting the exhaust pipe to the muffler to remove the muffler.
Clean the exhaust and tail pipes where they will connect to the new muffler with a wire brush. Replace broken insulators and any that look worn. You'll also look for worn supports or other attaching parts and replace those as well.
Assemble the muffler loosely, but wait to tighten the clamps and bolts until you're sure it's aligned correctly. Make sure all tabs are securely in place. Tighten the nuts on the clamps that connect the muffler to the tail pipe with 28 ft-lb torque. Tighten the nuts on the clamps that connect the muffler to the exhaust pipe with 25 ft-lb torque.
Lower the van, start the engine and check the new muffler for any leaks or loud sounds. If there are leaks or loud sounds, then you may need to tighten the clamps more
- Write down the mileage and date of the muffler change and keep this information with the muffler warranty. You may need it for future reference if the muffler breaks or malfunctions.
- Dispose of the old muffler properly by breaking it down into small parts. Put the small parts in a trash bag and throw away.