The Routan was designed to offer a firmer suspension for a more fun driving experience. Another fail. When compared to Kia and Honda used minivans, the firmer suspension makes for a clumsier experience all around. These shortcomings put a lot of pressure on the powertrain to offer a glimmer of hope for this used minivan. Nope, nope, nope.
Surely you’re aware of the C7 Corvette. You know it’s a huge leap for Corvettes. You know that valets go joyriding in them. You know a manual Z06 did the Nurburgring in 7:13.9, making it the fastest factory Corvette to ever lap that track. You know that with a little fiddling the C7 Z06 can exceed 200 mph. But did you know you can buy the beating heart of a C7 Z06 and put it in any car you want?
It has 113-cc intake ports, 2.25-inch intake valves and 1.88-inch exhaust valves, a massive 1150cfm carb (yes, a carb), a solid-roller cam with 0.714 inches of lift, 12:1 compression, and it requires 110 octane fuel. Here’s GM’s succinct English translation of those stats:
Volkswagen took a Chrysler Town & Country platform and offered the world the Volkswagen Routan for the 2008 through 2013 model years. Few buyers were impressed. Even fewer used minivan buyers should be.
A crate engine or crate motor is a factory-built engine that arrives at your doorstep perfectly timed, balanced, and blueprinted, and ready to provide motive power for any project you have laying around. Included parts are a fully assembled block consisting of crank, rods, and pistons, a fully assembled head consisting of valves, cams, and associated parts, and often a carburetor for fuel delivery.
The Highboy was available with a 360 V-8 or the less powerful six-cylinder. A C6 automatic transmission was a common choice on the Highboy. Its tough look makes these trucks pretty collectible so they can be hard to find and sort of pricey for a fully restored version but if you have the budget, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a cool old ford truck.
The Kia Sedona can stand toe-to-toe with any of the used minivans on the market. The current models are powered by a 3.3L V6 paired to a smooth shifting six-speed automatic gearbox. The engine has an output of 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. Most owners describe the engine’s acceleration as quick and its response as immediate. The Sedona outshines its competitors by offering a lower price point and more options for every dollar spent.
That’s right, in the GM Performance Catalog of crate engines an 8-liter V8 is considered “small”. With max revs set at just 4500rpm, the Vortec 488 is a mill designed not to power the car you’re racing, but the truck you’re hauling it with. With 375 horsepower and 475 lb-feet of torque on tap at only 3200rpm, the 488 can tow that high-dollar enclosed trailer without breaking a sweat. Or it could pull your boat, your cattle, your neighbor’s house, or the grandstands at your local dragstrip. You get the idea.
The price gap between a complete C7 Z06 and its engine says a lot about what it takes to make a car perform that well. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that all of the engines from this point forward are absolutely insane. They’re bonkers. They’re nuts. They have no business going into any car that isn’t equally advanced in the suspension, chassis, and safety departments. If you so much as look at them the wrong way, you should probably see a doctor. Here we go.
This may be a no-brainer to some but those who forget this in their Jeep mods often regret it later. There’s nothing like a good winch when it comes to getting yourself out of a sticky situation. Whether you’re stuck in a swampy mud pit or have found a slope you can’t crawl up, these can save the day.
The Stow ‘n Go seating is standard equipment in the Town & Country and there are more creature comfort options available than you will find in the Dodge Grand caravan. For buyers who really want to stick with a Dodge or Chrysler product, the Town & Country is a better offering than the Dodge. It still falls short of used minivans built by Kia, Toyota, and Honda.
It also favors a hydraulic roller camshaft instead of the original’s flat-tappet cam. It makes a few extra ponies over the old model, too: 480 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque will melt any tires this engine’s hooked up to.
There’s nothing like a quick and dirty slapdash lift job with some pucks to get the lifted look. However, this won’t hold up when push comes to shove on choppy surfaces or hard slopes. You will need suspension travel as well as flexibility and rigidness at the right times. When starting your Jeep mods, hard plastic pucks won’t give you the response and dependability you need.