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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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2.7L head gasket replacement

Hey everyone this weekend ill be working on a friends 2000 intrepid 2.7L, I have the Repair Manual for it, and have outlined the whole job in there, i just did this job on an 2000 Audi but my question is on the dodge is it possible to remove the head as a whole without removing cams, rocker arms, and lasher? I didnt have to do this in my Audi's 2.7L but every manufacturers engine is different so i need to know if i need to remove the rocker arms/lashers on the dodge in order to get the head out. I have searched on this issue and only found it an issue in the dodge trucks where the push rods come off if you pull head without taking rockers off first. Is this the case on the intrepid 2.7l?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:01 PM
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You do, in order to get to the head bolts......you also have to remove the chain, rockers, and front cover etc...also, make sure it isnt the water pump causing the problem, that is the case in 2.7's 99% of the time...will get water into the oil just like a headgasket can do.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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thanx Daytrepper, I am aware of the water pump issue where the shaft seal goes and leaks coolant into the block and out of the weep hole. if this is the same issue you are speaking of, my friend just had it happen the coolant wasnt even mixed in his oil yet so he may be in luck, if i need to get a new water pump so be it, but he has a gasket kit with head,intake,exhaust,thermostat gaskets along with many seals and such. Can i tell if he water pump needs to be replaced simply by checking the weep hole or should i just take the pump out and check? oh one other thing, reason we think it is the head is it has never overheated,nor has it had a visible coolant leak. has about 123k on it

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dallanar View Post
thanx Daytrepper, I am aware of the water pump issue where the shaft seal goes and leaks coolant into the block and out of the weep hole. if this is the same issue you are speaking of, my friend just had it happen the coolant wasnt even mixed in his oil yet so he may be in luck, if i need to get a new water pump so be it, but he has a gasket kit with head,intake,exhaust,thermostat gaskets along with many seals and such. Can i tell if he water pump needs to be replaced simply by checking the weep hole or should i just take the pump out and check? oh one other thing, reason we think it is the head is it has never overheated,nor has it had a visible coolant leak. has about 123k on it
Still sounds like the water pump. (2.7 is a different animal than your used to lol)....Check the weep hole for coolant, it is down next to the thermostat housing.

I'd disassemble that area first (you'll have to anyways for the heads) and have a look at the water pump.

Just letting you know b/c I have ran across several people that have swapped head gaskets and spent a ton of money, only to go thru the same issue again and find out the water pump was it the whole time....check my thread "info for 2.7 owners" at the top of this forum for more info on the subject. Sometimes the symptoms can be very similar to that of a headgasket, unexplained coolant loss, etc...usually, the w/p either leaks into the oil, or only when the car is running, and your flying down the road, you never see it...esp if it goes into the oil instead of out the weep hole. If left alone most of the time it will end up going thru the weep hole, but sometimes that gets plugged with sludge.

Even if you do find out it is the headgasket for sure (can be verified with a block test), change the water pump and timing chain/tensioners anyway. It will save you future headache, and you will be right there where it is easily done.


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Last edited by Daytrepper; 05-18-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Still sounds like the water pump. (2.7 is a different animal than your used to lol)....Check the weep hole for coolant, it is down next to the thermostat housing.

I'd disassemble that area first (you'll have to anyways for the heads) and have a look at the water pump.

Just letting you know b/c I have ran across several people that have swapped head gaskets and spent a ton of money, only to go thru the same issue again and find out the water pump was it the whole time....check my thread "info for 2.7 owners" at the top of this forum for more info on the subject. Sometimes the symptoms can be very similar to that of a headgasket, unexplained coolant loss, etc...usually, the w/p either leaks into the oil, or only when the car is running, and your flying down the road, you never see it...esp if it goes into the oil instead of out the weep hole. If left alone most of the time it will end up going thru the weep hole, but sometimes that gets plugged with sludge.

Even if you do find out it is the headgasket for sure (can be verified with a block test), change the water pump and timing chain/tensioners anyway. It will save you future headache, and you will be right there where it is easily done.
I will read your Sticky on the subject if it is indeed his water pump ill replace everything while im there anyway hes just short on money and im doing this for free as im the only mechanical one around thats capable of the job. he already bought the gaskets and such for 95$ for the whole kit i mentioned including the new head bolts. so i may as well do that job as well even if its just the WP, how much the waterpump and tensioner gonna run him, like 60$ for the pump im sure.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dallanar View Post
I will read your Sticky on the subject if it is indeed his water pump ill replace everything while im there anyway hes just short on money and im doing this for free as im the only mechanical one around thats capable of the job. he already bought the gaskets and such for 95$ for the whole kit i mentioned including the new head bolts. so i may as well do that job as well even if its just the WP, how much the waterpump and tensioner gonna run him, like 60$ for the pump im sure.
You may have to upgrade to the new style water pump and timing chain if it hasnt already been done. That is all that is available now. You'll see once you get it apart. Due to the issues with them they upgraded the pump and chain several years back.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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You may have to upgrade to the new style water pump and timing chain if it hasnt already been done. That is all that is available now. You'll see once you get it apart. Due to the issues with them they upgraded the pump and chain several years back.
Just read your writeup, excellent information there if his car has to be down for another week or so until he can get the parts for the pump and such so be it, he really needs the car running as its his only transportation. if i pull the WP and there isnt any play or leaks evident, and i put it back together and do his head job i would be willing to take it back apart for WP chain/tensioner replacement when he got the parts thats not an issue. The car sounded great b4 this happened to him, no knocking/ticking no timing chain rubbing or anything, ill have to ask him about the coolant loss and such. I will have the car friday so that will give me a chance to look at it, if need be ill have him go get parts saturday for the pump and such maybe do the job all then. Thanx again.

Also had his WP been leaking into his oil wouldn't that cause his oil lvl to be high? I'm just wondering as his oil lvl was about 1/2Q down beforehand and when he drained it.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 10:53 PM
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Just read your writeup, excellent information there if his car has to be down for another week or so until he can get the parts for the pump and such so be it, he really needs the car running as its his only transportation. if i pull the WP and there isnt any play or leaks evident, and i put it back together and do his head job i would be willing to take it back apart for WP chain/tensioner replacement when he got the parts thats not an issue. The car sounded great b4 this happened to him, no knocking/ticking no timing chain rubbing or anything, ill have to ask him about the coolant loss and such. I will have the car friday so that will give me a chance to look at it, if need be ill have him go get parts saturday for the pump and such maybe do the job all then. Thanx again.

Also had his WP been leaking into his oil wouldn't that cause his oil lvl to be high? I'm just wondering as his oil lvl was about 1/2Q down beforehand and when he drained it.
They dont leak much into the oil. It takes some time to raise the level when it first starts. Once you see milkshake, then the pump has really started blowing into the oil. Then you will see levels raise. If you have a ton of sludge, oil will seem to "disappear" because it will stick up in the heads...due to clogged passages...takes forever to get back into the pan and raise the level on the dipstick...

2.7's have another issue with valve seals and the PCV system, which can cause slow oil loss, and quicker oil loss if it is thinned by coolant....but by the time it is that bad, you usually have sludge, and milkshake going on....


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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They dont leak much into the oil. It takes some time to raise the level when it first starts. Once you see milkshake, then the pump has really started blowing into the oil. Then you will see levels raise. If you have a ton of sludge, oil will seem to "disappear" because it will stick up in the heads...due to clogged passages...takes forever to get back into the pan and raise the level on the dipstick...

2.7's have another issue with valve seals and the PCV system, which can cause slow oil loss, and quicker oil loss if it is thinned by coolant....but by the time it is that bad, you usually have sludge, and milkshake going on....
Hmm interesting he got new viton valve seals as well with that kit, i will stick with the WP and HG for now and see but do you think it would be ok for a few weeks if the WP wasnt actually leaking and had no play until he could get parts to replace them?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:22 PM
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Hmm interesting he got new viton valve seals as well with that kit, i will stick with the WP and HG for now and see but do you think it would be ok for a few weeks if the WP wasnt actually leaking and had no play until he could get parts to replace them?
Yeah, if it isnt spewing coolant you'd be ok for a bit. The way it sounds, its not.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:39 PM
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How many miles are on that 2.7L? If it's anywhere over 100k...then it would be wise to change the water pump and timing chains. Otherwise it's not going to be long before the wp goes. If it's your buddy's only wheels then that makes it even more important. What do you think Dan?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 11:42 PM
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How many miles are on that 2.7L? If it's anywhere over 100k...then it would be wise to change the water pump and timing chains. Otherwise it's not going to be long before the wp goes. If it's your buddy's only wheels then that makes it even more important. What do you think Dan?
I agree.....circumstances might limit that possibility. If it were me, I'd be all over the w/p and chain first, then headgasket.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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I agree.....circumstances might limit that possibility. If it were me, I'd be all over the w/p and chain first, then headgasket.
I believe it has 123k on it not completely sure somewhere in there, i did go ahead an order him a WP out of my own pocket, why do the timing chain though? if i were able to get ahold of one of the older model WP would it be the same teeth count and size? or are you speaking just from the chain stretching? My buddy is the only one in his house working and has 3 kids money is short this is why i ask, he already owes me 300$ as im the one that paid for all his gaskets and everything else this week he cant afford another 200 for the chains and tensioner

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 12:45 AM
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I believe it has 123k on it not completely sure somewhere in there, i did go ahead an order him a WP out of my own pocket, why do the timing chain though? if i were able to get ahold of one of the older model WP would it be the same teeth count and size? or are you speaking just from the chain stretching? My buddy is the only one in his house working and has 3 kids money is short this is why i ask, he already owes me 300$ as im the one that paid for all his gaskets and everything else this week he cant afford another 200 for the chains and tensioner
If you cant get the old style WP, you are forced to do the chain, not 100% on aftermarket, but OEM its NLA due to the updates, you must change chain, WP, and tensioners, which are sold in a kit with all sprockets, less the water pump. New style is a heavier chain, and heavier w/p sprocket and bearings. Old style will not fit new style, and vise versa.

01 ish plus has the updated chain already, but with a 2000, likely you've got the old style.



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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 12:56 AM
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Another good write up on this subject:

http://www.foobert.com/blog/2006/12/...er-27l-engine/
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