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 Promaster is a eurovan based on the Fiat Ducato platform. It is the most popular RV platform in Europe.2)
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, with 136” and 159“ wheelbases 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 gas version has a 3.6L Pentastar and 62TE 6 speed transmission6). Brian P explains how this transmission works.
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 180A or an optional 220A alternator; they are traditional and not of the modern “smart” variety. This VIN decoder will indicate which alternator a van was built with.
The diesel may have a 225A unit.
This post on the Promaster forum shares official load estimates for various accessories.
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.11)
This 6-speed auto is used in gas models. It uses ATF+4 and/or Chrysler MS-9602 spec fluid.41)
Note: the trans technically has 7 forward speeds but 4th prime is only used during downshifts.
One rebuilder recommends full trans service (with synthetic) every 25k miles.42) 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.43)
There is a possibility P0734 & P0792 transmission codes can be caused by a faulty TRS(Transmission Range Sensor), an inexpensive part.44)
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.45)
It is possible that transmission temperature can be monitored with ScanGauge using the following settings:46)
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.47)
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.48)
In either case a shackle of some sort will be required to attach loop-ended recovery straps.
The Promaster has only two roof heights so identification is easy. The roofline is compared to the top of the van's cab.
Wheelbase can be identifed by looking at the amount of body beyond the sliding door track.