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Chrysler Pacifica Engine Cradle

I own a 2004 Pacifica with 99,950 miles. Recently I had it at my mechanics for an oil change and he showed me how my engine cradle has a 5-6 inch by almost 1 inch wide open rust wound in the engine cradle. I’m not sure how the dealer’s mechanics could have missed this when they did oil changes, brake work, tire rotations, etc. while the car was under a Chrysler Extended Warranty but, gee, I guess they did. My mechanic quoted me about $2500 to replace the frame for parts and labor. I am taking it to a welding shop tomorrow to see if that is a possibility and how much that might cost. My questions are; 1) Would welding be a good and safe bet? I like the car but I’m not sure I want to sink $2500 into a 10 year old vehicle. Don’t you think the dealer’s mechanics should have seen this happening and pointed it out to me when it was still under warranty? Shouldn’t Chrysler stand behind their cars and kick in some coin? I understand they sent out a notice to 2004 Pacifica owners whose vehicles were manufactured between February and the end of March of 2004. The build date for mine was January 2004. Chrysler won’t say why mine was not included and all they tell me is that mine is no longer under warranty and they will not help me out.

Any trans shop can remove a subframe in 1-2 hrs. Get another one from junkyard for $100 or so. Simple job

Junkyard subframe is the common way to repair this. Ignoring it is even better! The likelihood of this rust spot becoming a real problem is pretty slim. There are a lot of rusty cars running around in the world and the only time I have seen a rusted subframe create a serious problem is on a GM front drive car like a Buick Lesabre.

Did you only talk to the local dealer? Or did you kick it up a level? I would kick it up a level. This was/is a widespread, systemic problem. If it was me I would make some noise before rolling over. (Of course, while making noise I’d be searching for a salvage yard part from a non-rust belt state).

If haven’t done it, I would add myself to the pile of complaints:

The engine cradle/sub frame warranty has been extended to 10 years/150,000 miles for perforation. You may be out of warranty by time but a dealer might repair it as a “Goodwill” repair.

Cigroller and Nevada_545

  • I talked to Chrysler “Customer Care” three times and was given the same response each time. "Your car was not included in the extended cradle/sub frame warranty extension because it was not built during the 5 or 6 week window back in 2004 and it is past the extended warranty you purchased when you bought the car.

FYI - I was also told to avoid getting a used sub frame because it may have the same problem.

Anybody with welding skills can can repair the rust hole. Clean the cradle with a grinder to expose bare metal, take a piece of steel plate and weld it onto the cradle over the rust hole.


I had the same issue with my Pacifica. It cost me $1700 for replacement with a good used cradle.

Just got back from local welding shop. $600 to clean the area and weld a plate to it. They have done several Pacificas.

600 still seems like a lot of money for a ten dollar piece of steel and 30 minutes work. Keep shopping.

It is likely not as simple as a piece of steel and 30 minutes of work. I’m thinking there’s a lot more prep time involved. $600 sure beats $2500, as long as they say it will be safe.

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Without seeing it, I’m not surprised at $600. Could require lots of work.

Your on the right track just patching the spot. How big is the perforation? You should get a couple estimates on welding it. $600 sounds just a tad high.
Good luck

I am told that welding a hole that goes completely through both sides of the engine cradle requires a bit more work, hence the $600. It’s a lot but it sounds a lot better than $2500.

Called the dealer where I bought the car to ask if they wanted to help out. They gave me a number to Chrysler to call and said that Chrysler would open a case for me and schedule me to go to the dealer to take a look. They would then work with Chrysler to determine if they would do anything. Just heard back from Chrysler. Jerry was very sorry but they would not be doing anything for me. He understands that I am very frustrated and disappointed in Chrysler but that is all he can do for me. I’ll see if the dealer wants to step up but I have serious doubts.

I am told that welding a hole that goes completely through both sides of the engine cradle requires a bit more work, hence the $600.

This is why I was advised not to bother with welding. The cradle would have to be removed.

FYI - I was also told to avoid getting a used sub frame because it may have the same problem.

I am certain the real reason is that Chrysler would not get any money for the part.

Update - I talked to the dealer - Bolles Motors in Ellington, CT - who said they couldn’t do anything if Chrysler wasn’t doing anything. Right…I then took the car to a welding shop and one day and $600 later the car is fine. I am told that the rest of the car will rust and fall away before the weld fails. Chrysler just lost me as a customer for life. Not only that but anyone who listens will hear this story.

Here it 2019. I just found out mine is totally rusted out, and I mean TOTALLY. They took pictures and showed me. One “good” pothole and my engine will be on the ground. Going to check with Chrysler but I would imagine I’m out of luck. 150,600 miles on 2005 base 3.8 Pacifica. I have no idea if the engine cradle is the same for both the 3.5 and 3.8 liter models, and it makes a difference as to whether I can get one or not. There are very few available out there. I’ve been quoted $1000 labor by the Chrysler dealer to install it, which seems reasonable to me. I’ve also had another mechanic who does work on the side from home that has offered to do it for about 1/2 the labor cost. Not sure what I’m going to do. I’m 63 1/2 yeas old and on Social Security Disability so it is extremely hard to try to save money. At this point I’m thinking how could the mechanic who does work on the side from home hurt - the dang thing is no good as it is.