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Some Voyager Brake & Strut/Spring Questions

437 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  turbovanman
Okay, I'm weird. I'm doing a RWD conversion on an '89 Voyager Turbo, swapping a 440, 727 auto trans, & 8-3/4 rear axle in.
My original plan was to replace the front subframe with an old M-body subframe, converting to tranverse torsion bars & typical Chrysler RWD upper/lower control arms.

After looking the little van over, it seems that the front end swap would be a waste of time that added a buttload of weight over the stock setup, which seems to be more than adequate for my needs with a few upgrades, which brings us to my questions:

1. What is the largest diameter front disc setup available for the mini's and what year/model parts do I need to get together to add 'em to my '89? While I'm being picky, I should also mention that I'd like to have the large (5 on 4.5") lug pattern to stay matched to the new rear axle.

2. With the big-block and tranny being set to the rear of the K-frame rather than ahead of it as in FWD, I should be seeing about the same weight on the front wheels as a stock V-6 van. What year/models used the "best" springs & struts from a handling viewpoint, and will they work with the brakes from question 1?

3. A power steering pump is going to be VERY hard to fit with my engine mounting configuration, and I'd like to lose the bulk of the P/S rack anyway. Was there a manual rack available for the mini's, and if so will it work with the parts from the two previous questions, and with my auto column?

4. Finally, I plan to use the stock FWD front hubs, replacing the CV stub axle with an appropriate length/diameter bolt to hold things together. Anyone see any potential problems with this?

Thanks in advance for any help..I really don't know too much about FWD mopars (been racing RWD ones for years, though!) and any help at all is much appreciated!
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1) The Grand Mini's and some of the minis came with 15 inch wheels, they came with the 11 inch big brakes and its just a bolt on! If you use 91 and up, you must swap over the k-member as they use the cast control arms and the required 91 and up knuckles.
2) Minis had the beefier control arms and thicker springs so I would stay with the mini stuff. Other models fit but they will lower the van 3-4 inches!
3) They didn't make manual racks and mini racks are mini only so I would just leave the p/s pump off and drive it like that!
4) I would simply get some used axles, take the end joints apart and just use the empty joint as the nut needs to be around 160 ft/lbs otherwise the bearing comes apart!
Cool, that all sounds pretty much as expected..two more questions, now:
1. Are the cast control arms considered an upgrade, or should I just stick with the current (rust free & like new) stamped ones on my '89? The salvage yard I frequent has mucho minivans to choose from, and it wouldn't be a major ordeal to grab a complete k-frame & suspension while I'm big-brake & heavy-duty spring shopping..I only ask because I see this project as having some outright scary accelleration potential, and I'd like it to have the ability to stop without bending parts as well.

2. Are ya POSITIVE about that "no manual rack available on a mini" thing? I've looked up reman manual racks at a couple different sources, and they list 'em for the first-generation vans. The only thing is, they want an arm & a leg for 'em compared to the power units, and I'd hate to invest that much in a part that didn't interchange to my modelyear.
I could be wrong about the manual rack thing but I have never seen one and my rebuilder hasn't either???????? Could be an American option only??

The stock stamped control arms are strong but the cast are stronger. If you do swap to cast though, which would be 91 and up Mini's, then you need to change the knuckles and brakes too! Also, the cast are about 1 pound heavier each. You will want to replace all the bushings while you have it apart, see Johnny at www.polybushings.com
Excellent help, man! I searched the salvage yard today and found a couple donors ('93 Voyager & '92 Grand Caravan) with all the goodies, just as you described.
Total cost, about 165 bucks for the K, control arms, struts, springs, hub/knuckles, calipers & rotors. And a few hours of my time to pull 'em. The Voyager's struts are aftermarket & still shiny, no less..
The K is a direct swap from the later years to my '89, right? Just wanna be clear on that before I go blow an afternoon in the dirt..
K-frame direct bolt in!

Another thing I did is use a larger master cylinder, I will dig up the part # tomorrow, its 1 1/18 bore and it hauls my stock brakes down now. I will be adding the 11 inch brakes when I put my new engine in. All you need to do to mount this m/c is buy some brass adapter so you don't cut up the stock brake lines then finish it off with TU's or FWD performance braided lines!
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