There is nothing, I repeat nothing, special or complicated or expensive or proprietary about the Promaster. The drivetrain, transmission, fuel system, cats, computer, hvac, braking, suspension, steering, etc are all almost EXACTLY the same as ANY Chrysler built from 2011 till today. As such, ANY decent mechanic can work on these things. There's nothing magical in there. – Kip On Trucking1)
The PM is a front-wheel drive platform with nearly straight sides, tight turning circle, low cargo deck height, and a wide (74“) cargo area.
It comes in low (65” standing room) and high roof (76“ standing room) models, and beginning in 2023 there was the introduction of the “Super High” roof (86” standing room). Wheelbase options are either 136“ or 159”, yielding 10' and 12' cargo areas respectively. There is also an extended body on the 159“ wheelbase; this option has a 13.33' cargo area and is only available on the 3500 model.3)
The 1500/2500/3500 badges are ambiguous.4) The 159” wheelbase is offered on the 2500 and up.. The 159“ Extended model is available only on the 3500. The only confirmed difference between the 2500 and 3500 is a sway bar added on the 3500.5)
The diesel version has a 3.0L turbo diesel, the Fiat industrial F1C engine used in the Mitsubishi Fuso and IVECO Daily.7) It is mated with an M40 automated manual transmission (AMT); this is a manual transmission which is shifted automatically. It is the same combination found in the Ducato.8)
Promasters have an Electronic Brake Control System (EBCS) which allows independent operation of each wheel's brake. The system is comprised of:
In certain wheelspin situations at low forward speeds it can help to set ESC “partially off”. This reduces ESC intervention also turns off TCS' engine torque management. This allows the tires to spin up faster than TCS would normally allow. To do this press the ESC OFF button. In general, ESC should remain ON anytime the vehicle is moving faster than “parking lot speeds”.
TCS may not work with the transmission in reverse.
Note that immoderate use of brake-based controls can result in overheating or premature wear of brake components. [ie, don't turn off ESC then keep your foot in it for 3 miles of muddy road – secessus]
Also see FCA's description of a similar system in the Jeep line.
The gasoline PM has either a 180A11) or an optional 220A Denso-type alternator12); they are traditional “fixed voltage” and not of the modern “smart” variety. This VIN decoder will indicate which alternator a van was built with. In either case the six-groove pulley ratio is 2.84:1.13) Output when cold is ~14.3v; voltage may be regulated down to ~13.8v when hot.
The diesel may have a 225A unit.
the ECM controls the field circuit, so now a computer has replaced the relatively inexpensive, stand-alone voltage regulator. Fourth, Chrysler gradually changed over to B-circuit control; this means the ECM switches the hot side of the field circuit instead of the ground side. – source
Using 28A as the idle draw14), 750rpm as the idle speed, 2.84 as the pulley ratio, 50% as the continuous duty rating, and the hot rating output curves linked below:
Note that the radiator fans can add 65A when they come on, reducing excess capacity to zero.
Data on fuelly suggests the gasser averages ~15mpg. The large frontal area of the van means that reducing cruising speed may affect MPG greatly.
Experiments on the Promaster forum suggest idling consumption is between 0.4-0.6 GPH based on ambient temps:
.6gph in winter (below 38f kicks in the high idle) and .4gph summer.15)
Additional loads (HVAC fans, aux battery charging) would increase gph somewhat.
See the Promaster entry on the All Vans Have Issues page.
Bluebonnet Chrysler in San Marcos, Tx has a good reputation with out of state buyers.16)
Newer gas models have the 9-speed ZF transmission.
One rebuilder recommends full trans service (with synthetic) every 25k miles.47) Frequent service and correct fluids appear to be critical:
Many problems with Chrysler automatic transmissions are started when the automatic transmission fluid or “ATF” is replaced or topped-up with standard, more common fluids like DEXRON or MERCON type fluids. Chrysler transmissions need to use their own fluid, designated as ATF+4 Synthetic type 9602 fluid from Chrysler, not any other or any other plus an additive. If any quantity of other type of fluid is added to the transmission, a complete drain, flush and replacement with the correct ATF+4 will be needed. When properly serviced (periodic fluid and filter changes with the required ATF+4 fluid), the transmission performs correctly.48)
A whine from the transmission that sounds like a power steering pump may be from foamy ATF. This could be caused by low AT fluid level.50)
It is possible that transmission temperature can be monitored with ScanGauge using the following settings:51)
Tow/Haul is off by default. See this post about adding a 12v timer to automate the process of turning it on.
The PM roof is quite wide at the top and larger, higher-voltage residential/commercial panels can be mounted. If large panels are fitted across the whole width taller z-bracket or spacers may be need to allow for the PM's roof curve.52)
The roof of the 136” PM can fit 600w (2x300w) with sufficient room for a roof vent.
The 159“ can fit about 900w (3x300w) + roof vent.
Hein makes custom hardware for mounting panels to the Promaster roof.
The Promaster has a raised roof vent pad near the cab. Parts of it have no ribbing to make waterproofing easier.
There is a rear tow point on the passenger side. The front tow point is hidden behind an access port in the front bumper. A tow loop found in the jack kit screws into the port.53)
In either case a shackle of some sort will be required to attach loop-ended recovery straps.