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Anyone familiar with the front struts used on a 1995 Dodge Caravan?

This is in regard to a 1995 Dodge Caravan with the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine.

I was originally going to get rid of this van, but decided to fix it up and keep it instead. One of the things it needs to drive well is new struts. The struts have never been changed, and bounce around too much. I am looking for new struts online, and see that on RockAuto, there are different part numbers depending on build date and engine type. Specifically, it appears that the front struts are identical for both sides through 02/1995, and then go to different part numbers for left and right after that. My van has a build date of 02/1995.

For the 4-cylinder, the choices for a fully assembled strut would be FCS 1332329 or MOOG ST8505. However, if I select a different engine, such as the 3.0 V-6, then several other brands are available, also distinguished by build date. Is there a reason for this, or is it more of an oversight? Also, is anyone here familiar with either of the two models mentioned above?

Why are you confusing yourself with looking at different engine options?

The build date for your vehicle is 02/1995, with the 4 cylinder engine.

Not rocket science!

Tester

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A larger engine changes the vehicle’s weight distribution and the strut design has to accommodate for that so that the vehicle handles safely. Input the correct engine and build date and choose from the ones available. Aftermarket strut quality seems to be an issue these days, so it’s a good idea to ask someone experienced w/current-era struts for ideas what brands are best.

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I hadn’t thought of the fact that the struts might be designed to be stiffer based on the weight of a different engine/transmission combination. I was just looking at the pictures, and the struts for the other engine choices looked physically the same. That makes sense to me.

March 1st 1995 began the production of the next generation minivan, the NS, those struts listed are for the 1996 model year. You can see the stabilizer link mount bracket in the pictures that are not used on the 1991-1995 Caravan.

No 95 caravans left in MN. They rusted away.

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One reason for the limited options-I bet the V6 outsold the 4 by a lot. So there’s much less demand for struts for the 4.

The quick struts complete with springs need a longer, stiffer spring to support the extra weight. The struts damping needs to increase to control all that extra spring and weight.

Changing things in the middle of the production year is not that rare. Some years ago Subaru made a mid year production change in the manual transmission reverse gear sets. They did this in Japan and forgot to tell anyone in the U.S. That led to a number of SNAFUs.

I got involved with one of these and the parts department kept ordering the right parts number but the gear sets were completely different. They finally had to bring in a regional parts rep to sort it out and even then it took him over half a day on the phone to get to the bottom of it.