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I bought this Town & Country as a future replacement for my PT Cruiser to use as a tow vehicle and general commuter car. I wanted a second generation Chrysler minivan and narrowed it down to the 1994 and 1995 model year. These are the last years of the original minivan platform and the best of the bunch. They have an improved interior and reliable ABS system. I knew I wanted a long wheelbase van with a leather interior so that meant getting the top Dodge Grand Caravan trim levels or getting a Town & Country. The Town & Country in these years came fully loaded. The only options in 1995 were CD player, tow package and integrated child seats. There was also an AWD model. I wanted one with the towing package but they don't seem to be that common. I can get the parts from the junkyard to convert it. The main them will be the rear leaf springs. The standard springs on the Town & Country are a single leaf for a cushy ride. The towing springs are multi-leaf with an overload leaf at the bottom.
This van was listed on craigslist locally and was the first one I looked at and drove. It had a few issues which put me off originally. While it looks nice in the pictures, the paint job on it isn't that great. They did a sloppy job of it but at least it is the right color and not all peeling. We'll see how long it lasts. Anyone that knows this vintage of Chrysler, or really any car, knows that they paint did not hold up. You see these things with bad clear coat or even the paint coming off in sheets. The other thing is that the airbag light was on. I later found out that it was cause by a blown fuse for the rear wiper. The van showed 106,000 miles on the odometer which is suspiciously low for that vintage. I spent 3 more weeks looking at vans and almost bought a '94 Grand Caravan ES for $1300 with 209,000 miles. The day I went to buy it, the transmission was stuck in second gear but that was most likely caused by the battery being dead. They were supposed to have their mechanic check it out but they never called back. Also found a white Town & Country for sale that the owner said only had a few chips in the paint. Turns out the paint was peeling off in big chunks and the roof was rusty from being exposed.
In the end, I took a chance on the first van. The interior was in good shape other than damage to the carpet. I was able to get a carfax report on it to verify the mileage. Of course after I got it, the check engine light came on. Had a code for the battery being disconnected and an O2 sensor code. Obviously the seller had disconnected the battery to clear the code. Pretty shady but I already knew that from what they had in their listing and what the reality was. After I got it, I changed the plugs and wires and fixed the O2 sensor and now it drives great. Just about everything works on it including the front and rear A/C. Need to fix a few other small things and put a hitch on it. It has a 3.8L V6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. The carfax report showed that it was originally sold in Texas and then owned by a local church which put very few miles on it. The transmission was replaced at 61,000 miles.
Update 9/18/12: Since I got the van I've added a heavy duty hitch and also added the trailer towing package parts from a van in the junkyard. This includes heavy duty rear leaf springs, radiator and transmission cooler. My van already had the larger alternator. I used the van to tow my 1947 Ken-Skill teardrop trailer to a vintage trailer rally and it worked great.
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