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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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test of friendship story of 02, 2.7 side job

alternate title where do I draw the line, spending on someone elses car?

this involces a 112K mile 02 Trep with (ugh) a 2.7. I will warn you it could get long (sorry no pix to cheat your way thru with)

IT had set for over a year, before I finally cave and tell him I'd "look" at it (I really wanted nothing to do with it) I told him I "had heard of" peope dropping 3.2s/3.5s in place of 2.7s but tell him I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS SWAP MYSELF
so, he goes to the JY and buys a 3.2 from a '00 that he wants me to install he thought the car was an '00, too) No; the car's a '02! crap ,the motor he got won't work; good riddance (nother story as the engine wasn't as promised from the yard anyway) but it takes him a month or so to get his $$ back for it; the JY was cool about it, especially being his mistake they got him what he had asked for> but they never had enough in the drawer at any given time so Larry had to go back 3-4 times over a period of a couple weeks to get back all but $100 restock fee (that story could have ended much worse than that)
I get it apart and see the water pump sprocket has come loose from its shaft but the engine is clean as a whistle, NO sludge at all; so I figure we have hope of salvaging this thing; knowing we may wind up with the same $$ as the junkyard wanted for that 3.2 but know what we had;
I pulled the heads and sent em in, knowing it had run hot, and timing was off (was worried about valves being bent and heads warped)
I ordered a PILE from Rock auto (chain kit, waterpump, plugs, T stat, belts, hoses and most of the gaskets; $650 worth at their prices all 1st rate recognized name brands, I hate no name crap ) got some leftovers from a dealer buddy (gave me 2 left head gaskets and no rights, didnt know they were different since i'd never worked on a 2.7 before) Slowly, I put it all back together (reluctance/unfamiliarity plus owner "not in hurry")
I had to buy head gaskets, water neck, the correct plugs (thanks for wrong ones, rock auto) an O2 sensor and other odds and ends locally, plus I bought the stop block from "fix2.7.com" I also found burnt apart wires to crank sensor and oil sending unit (extended, soldered/heat shrinked), and had to take the 2.5 yo stone cold dead battery back to Walmart and exchange it on warratty (wouldn't even take a charge) and more that I am probably forgetting;

I got it started the 1st time last nite; the fact that it started immediately and smoothly was a big relief... It did take a lil longer for the lifters to all go quiet than I thought it might; (they finally did) motor is now quiet as a running engine can possibly be; I found a CEL due to that o2 sensor I mentioned above; it too had a cut wire. replaced that today; reset the light and it stayed out. I also went junkyarding in 24*F weather today to get an air cleaner top and all the body bolts/clips I could stuff my pockets with (car previously wrecked and missing pieces from that repair) plus they left the AC lines dangling on the core support (now connected but IDK the cond. of the AC pump etc)
Today I discovered that the ATF looks like Pepto bismol, (condensation from sitting or bad radiator cooler?) and the oil lite winked at me as I took it around the subdivision (about 1-1/4 miles total) I have about 2 hours run time on this engine, since I have had it back together...
No noise from engine at all now I feel bottom end should be fine... I HOPE that its just a sending unit; but since the car was previously wrecked, it wasnlt running when I 1st got it, and the owner had very recently bought it when it broke down, so no real history on the car.... how far do I go? The car itself is VERY clean inside and out;
I am spending some one else's money here, and I did call him last nite to tell him "it runs once again" but that I wasn't done yet as I had to make that JY run and get that O2 sensor from the parts store at least.... and go from there.
When I had drained the oil I got as much antifreeze from the pan as I did oil; but i dont think it could have possibly run long at all that way (maybe not at all, since the pan got filled with antifreeze, between the waterpump failure, the leaky water neck, going outta time, and the crank sensor wires having bene burnt in 2)
I am unfortunately "married" to this car now... I have about $1K in it, not counting my time... owner fronted me $600 when I ordered the bulk from Rock Auto... IF it just needs a sending unit, another oil change and a trans fluid change I'm good; if that doesn't do the tricks, then what.... where do I draw the line?
I didnt want to touch the car but the owner wouldnt let me refuse as he kept asking every time I saw him... he HAS left me alone and not bothered me for a timeline to complete the job. But he also knows that the more I wind up with in it the longer he has to drive it to get his moneys worth out of it; there has been trade in talk and I told him he would get less for it in trade than I will have tied up in it, the only way he can get his value is to drive it a while 1st once he gets it back....

It still has a little bit of "antifreeze in the exhaust" smell'
I hope this wasn't a problem as I ran outta High tack spray (as the factory shop manual suggested) when I realized that I had 2 right side gaskets and no left so I went and bought a proper right and left set and used what I had on hand for a head gasket spray sealer (copper coat) like I said, this was my 1st 2.7 and 1st MLS head gasket experience maybe it just still needs to be run? the abundant smoke on startp is long gone ( as expected; heavy smoke on startup is fairly common when an engine that has been so deeply apart is 1st started) and I wouldn't be surprised if the exh was full of antifreeze from its former problems)

Comments???
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and this isn't Larry's car, but his sister's (he is caught in the middle as she has NO automotive knowledge and so he is dealing with getting it fixed for her) We aren't talking teenagers, but people in their 50's) His sister bought the car shortly before it broke down and went back to the lot about 3-4 times with it, saying "something isn't right" and I guess they did "something" with it each time but gave up> as the last time ther put their arms up and said "your problem; what do you want us to do about it" Larry and his sister didn't even know the car had been wrecked, til I pointed out the peeling paint on the underside of the hood, and some of the missing bolts clips and such to him.... I dont think it was a terrible bad wreck, mild front end hit, but previously wrecked and half assed fixed, all the same.
thoughts on the pepto bismol trannny fluid or the wink-y oil lite with such a smooth and quiet engine? Are these typical issues with these cars? I am more familiar with Dodge trucks Jeeps and older RWD Mopars. The radiator fans are definetly replacement aftermarket parts and looking at the radiator I am guessing that it too is as well; maybe the "old" radiator leaked into the cooler? maybe just condensation from sitting so long?? i have a couple weeks off as I start a new job here soon and want this OUTTA here; but also have a couple more (smaller) side jobs to get done before I start working again....
So far it has been "fix everything I see wrong as needed" deal but IDK where to draw the line, since discovering these other 2 items since actually getting it to run

I would like to get it outta here if only for a few weeks and let them put some miles on it at least enough to clean the rust from the brake rotors LOL... but I dont want them to kill the tranny or wind up with it back with a rod knock in the meantime
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 04:07 AM
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It's hard to say. You know to check the plugs to see if there is another issue. If it had that much coolant in it, I'd think it would be best to put a cleaner like seafoam in the oil and change it again to flush the rest of the coolant and sludge out.

The oil sending unit is probably bad or is plugged with sludge.

Another thing that may have gone bad is the thermostat if you didn't change it. They normally get almost half way up the gauge.

I'm a little hessitant to use rtv on any head gasket. As long as it was only a thin coat it should be fine.

As for the transmission gunk, I've changed the fluid twice in mine and both times it had that moisture gunk in it. I'm not leaking or mixing fluids anywhere. I believe the fluid just absorbs moisture over time. Make sure to use the correct ATF+4 fluid. You'll have slip and shudder issues with dex/merc.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirdy View Post
It's hard to say. You know to check the plugs to see if there is another issue. If it had that much coolant in it, I'd think it would be best to put a cleaner like seafoam in the oil and change it again to flush the rest of the coolant and sludge out.

The oil sending unit is probably bad or is plugged with sludge.

Another thing that may have gone bad is the thermostat if you didn't change it. They normally get almost half way up the gauge.

I'm a little hessitant to use rtv on any head gasket. As long as it was only a thin coat it should be fine.

As for the transmission gunk, I've changed the fluid twice in mine and both times it had that moisture gunk in it. I'm not leaking or mixing fluids anywhere. I believe the fluid just absorbs moisture over time. Make sure to use the correct ATF+4 fluid. You'll have slip and shudder issues with dex/merc.
NO!!! I did NOT use RTV on the head gasket!!!!! this was an aerosol spray...
I got a factory service manual for a Sebring/Avenger (same exact 2.7, closest thing that my buddy that works at the dealer could spare) and though it gave the Mopar part number my dealer buddy said it was Permatex "HI Tack" According to the book, you could use either the can with brush or the spray version, but that you had to coat the head gaskets with this stuff... I substituted a copper based product instead.

I know about the ATF+4 bit.... my 1st go round w/an Intrepid, but not my 1st Dodge, by far.
On the sending unit being plugged with sludge that would be a surprise, as this engine was surprisingly clean! It could be (I hope it is) bad.... as this engine never made a bit of bottom end noise even upon the 1st startup after it had sat nearly 2 years.... I did put dino 5W30 in it, (Shell) but I did figure on changing it out very soon anyway because of the antifreeze that wound up in the pan. If it was gonna give a rod knock ever it would be after sitting so long until oil flow got going again but not a peep from anything but the lifters...

And yes; I did change the T stat; man was that a PITA! Alternator had to come out. I was expecting the T stat in the TOP hose not the lower. Stant brand T stat went in, I was sure to buy all top well known name brand parts for this car, but I was PO'd to see "CHINA" on some of the boxes the parts came in.... long time US brands, even..
As far as where the heat gauge reads, it goes up just the same as the heat gauge does in my Mom's 98 trep w/a 3.2 (Dont confuse this car, Mom's isn't the one I just did all this work on just using it to compare)

Your comments on the tranny are somewhat a relief, I will probably drop the pan and change fluid/filter and suggest that they take it in shortly after they get the car back from me to have one of those tranny flushes done, to get the rest of the crap out....I have owned and worked on many Dodges that call for ATF+4 and never seen this before but IDK that any of my vehicles have ever sat around for 2 years without moving like this Trep has.....
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 11:19 PM
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As far as I understand, copper rtv(in aresole too) is a higher pressure formula. It's described as being used for forced induction engines. I love using it on nearly everything. I use black if its seen and/or isn't a pressured seal.

Unfortunately it's hard to find U.S. made parts. I mainly just go for what I know I've never had problems in the past. Many of the "name brands" have been bought and sold within the last few years. And a lot more manufacturing has moved out of the country. With my 2.7 tear down I was lucky and only had one part that didn't fit. A gates idler pulley was a complete different shape and I had to use a smaller head bolt and washer.

I didn't catch the first read you used the stop block. It's good insurance. I think you'll notice the noise still if the tensioner goes bad, but you can at least make it home and not blow the engine. I made one out of flat stock.

The 2.7 sludge problems are easily avoided with synthetic oil or a good synthetic blend.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirdy View Post
As far as I understand, copper rtv(in aresole too) is a higher pressure formula. It's described as being used for forced induction engines. I love using it on nearly everything. I use black if its seen and/or isn't a pressured seal.

Unfortunately it's hard to find U.S. made parts. I mainly just go for what I know I've never had problems in the past. Many of the "name brands" have been bought and sold within the last few years. And a lot more manufacturing has moved out of the country. With my 2.7 tear down I was lucky and only had one part that didn't fit. A gates idler pulley was a complete different shape and I had to use a smaller head bolt and washer.

I didn't catch the first read you used the stop block. It's good insurance. I think you'll notice the noise still if the tensioner goes bad, but you can at least make it home and not blow the engine. I made one out of flat stock.

The 2.7 sludge problems are easily avoided with synthetic oil or a good synthetic blend.
IDK why everyone is making the connection to "RTV" What I coated the head gaskets with is NOT RTV in the least; the only RTV I used in the entire job was to smear a finger-full onto each of 3 places; one was the O ring on the thermostat housing, another was the water outlet at engine end of upper radiator hose and the 3rd was the O ring on the metal inlet to that housing. that was IT for RTV. By and large I do not believe in it. Typically if there is a "cut" gasket available then that's what I use; If i use anything else with the cut gasket it is something like Indian Head or Permatex Aviation sealer BUT, with the style of gaskets on the 2.7, I did not use any of that on this engine....
the factory service manul SAID to coat the head gaskets with a sealer either spray type or brush on Permatex Hi-Tack, neither of which is anything like RTV.... These sealers have been around way before RTV was dreamed of... so was this copper coat that I used.

the sludge issues won't be an issue even with conventional oil, as long it gets changed regularly, and as long as the water pump doesn't decide to die again; and then be driven with it leaking. This one was caught right as it went bad, and wasn' able to be driven that way, considering how it happened to fail.... In this case I guess you could say it malfunctioned as a "fail safe" but from what I have read this isnt usually how they fail;

This is not my car I will probably turn the owner onto this site I can suggest anything I want but not being my car doesnt mean that they will follow thru. (meaning my suggesting synthetic oil vs regular oil when they have them changed) I have already told them that 3K miles means 3K miles on interval if they have any hope of keeping this car alive.
sounds like they are planning on trying to get around 50K miles from it then "dump" it.... with only 112K on the car in total as of now, I would like to hope that this is a realistic goal; if it were a 318 V8 or a 4.0 inline I would expect at least double that number if I had one with as low of miles as this car has on it..... I have plenty of experience with those engines. For my own use I always look for either of those under the hood when I am shopping for a vehicle; I lost count how many 318s I have gotten cheap, basically left for dead, that gave me 50-60K of good service with literally not much more than catching them up on neglected maintenance, tuneup and such.... I only know 2.7s based on reputation alone, have never owned one and this is my 1st adventure tearing one apart to fix what ailed it....

I took a break from it today to work on my utility trailer; I welded some supports on the tongue and mounted an ATV winch to it within an older metal Craftsman hand carry toolbox and cut a window in the back wall of the box just big enough to pass the hook thru and bolted all that to the tongue. being enclosed within this box will keep the weather off of the winch motor so it has a chance to live.... just gotta cut a flap from some old conveyor belt so that I can put over the window I built the trailer myself from scratch 2 years ago....
I start a new job in 2 weeks and gotta take my big Matco box to the new job before then and I ain't gonna be able to just wheel it up the ramp gate.....and I ain't payin a flatbed tow truck $200 to take it there (that may be low; the new job is 40ish miles away and it cost me $50---7 years ago-- to have it brought home that way, a whole 7 miles)

Tomorrow I plan to replace that oil sending unit and change tranny fluid and engine oil again, I may put my remote oil gauge on the engine via the sending unit hole to verify oil pressure if I have the right thread adapter to do so... For now I am putting conventional oil in it as I already told the car owner to have oil changed within a week or so of driving once they get it back from me.... IDK what has been put oil into this car to date other than what was put into it by me 3 days ago. My goal is to have the car back to them by sometime this weekend.

Last edited by volaredon; 01-17-2013 at 02:02 AM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 06:34 AM
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Wonder if lines got cross connected after original accident radiator replacement?

Might double check what connections/lines you have against FSM pics and diagrams.

Wonder why exhause smells antifreeze when you said ATF looks like pepto bismal?? Was the oil also contaminated when you dumped it??

2nd Gen FSM Factory Service Manual and 42LE Transmission service manual
Maybe be helpful.

Last edited by mnitetrain; 01-17-2013 at 06:40 AM.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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huh; even if the radiator trans cooler lines were flipflopped the ATF still shouldnt look lile that;
When I originally dumped the oil,yeah I got 2 layers, one was as much antifreeze as the other was oil;
I have run this engine about 2 hours since getting it all back together, heat gauge never came above 1/3 level since getting it running again. I am gonna be warming the engine and dumping the oil nd ATF later today; theres nothing evident on the oil dipstick yet;

I am hoping that the ATF looking like it does, was a result of being parked for as long as it has been since it broke down and drew condensation from the changes in weather as it has been parked outside part of the time and the rest of the time in an unheated garage; first the owner's mother's and then my own; I know my concrete sweats alot in my garage with weather changes.
The engine did smoke alot the 1st hour or so uopn initially getting it going (more like "steam" and it steadily dissipated as time went on; I have had cars with bad head gaskets that took a good long while to get back to normal--smells steam/smoke etc after finally getting running again after fixing the problems, I am not really worried about that part of it ---yet.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:39 PM
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I haven't read every word posted - pressed for time, but the oil light flicker is almost certainly a bad oil pressure switch - replace it, but use OEM only - aftermarket parts on that are often not correctly calibrated for the trip point and you could have the same problem right out of the box. Don't be surprised if the old one is also leaking. Often, but not always, the flickering goes hand-in-hand with them leaking.

Ditto on the Chinese parts - even the upper level Raybestos brake rotors are made in China now.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
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I haven't read every word posted - pressed for time, but the oil light flicker is almost certainly a bad oil pressure switch - replace it, but use OEM only - aftermarket parts on that are often not correctly calibrated for the trip point and you could have the same problem right out of the box. Don't be surprised if the old one is also leaking. Often, but not always, the flickering goes hand-in-hand with them leaking.

Ditto on the Chinese parts - even the upper level Raybestos brake rotors are made in China now.
Fix that bastard switch. It's what killed my 2.7. Leaked all oil from the motor on a trip, horsed around with some friends with high rev's and checked my oil - nothing. Developed a bit of a clap on warm start-ups, otherwise quiet.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Fix that bastard switch. It's what killed my 2.7. Leaked all oil from the motor on a trip, horsed around with some friends with high rev's and checked my oil - nothing. Developed a bit of a clap on warm start-ups, otherwise quiet.
That is what i am hoping, because this engine is dead quiet when it runs.... I havent screwed my oil pressure gauge into the sending unit hole yet but if the OP was really low enough to trip the light U would expect to hear at least "some" noise
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 12:23 PM
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That is what i am hoping, because this engine is dead quiet when it runs.... I havent screwed my oil pressure gauge into the sending unit hole yet but if the OP was really low enough to trip the light U would expect to hear at least "some" noise
Of all the MANY posts over the years about the light flickering and ultimately being fixed by replacing the switch, I don't think there's been a single case of oil pressure actually being below the 5 psi-at-idle-with-engine-at-normal-operating-temperature spec. Ideally you should have the pressure verified by a known good mecahnical gage, but in reality, the risk is miniscule.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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OK a little update; the sending unit is certainly leaking the terminal came out wet with oil a little bit of relief there, just cant find my sending unit socket right now...
I changed oil again with only a couple of hours run time on it, (car was driven <2 miles during this couple hours, I have just let it sit n run in the garage/driveway) because of how full of antifreeze the pan was when I initially drained it; I saw some antifreeze residue left in the pan while I had the T chain cover off, not all initially came out. the engine was very clean inside meaning it couldnt have run that long with the antifreeze in the pan. if at all Again, the car has sat a long time since it quit running

I think I mentioned above the tranny fluid looked more like peptol Bismol than ATF/ the only time I have seen ATF like this is in a drain pan full of fluid that was drained from a car then not brought inside out of the rain,,,, I hope this was also a result of the car sitting and condensation buildup. I just changed ATF and there was a whitish sludge in the bottom of trans pan... i know that water (or antifreeze) in ATF makes a tranny die in short order there was no cluch material at all in the pan. Otherwise the radiator must be bad (tranny cooler portion leaking and cross contaminating) there was no oily residue in the coolant reserve bottle or in the radiator where the upper/lower hoses go to indicate ATF was getting into there when I had it all apart.

The cars owner wanted me to do this job though I resisted because he knows that I go thru pretty much everything when I work on some one else's car or when I initially buy myself a "new" ride; but I cant remember the last side job I did where I started with a non running car... where I can't tell if there are or arent "other" problems before I dig in. I am just afraid that if something does go bad with the trans I will be blamed for it or for not doing enough..... I have already done alot more than I bargained for with this car.... time to gather reciepts and start tallying them up. check fluids 1 more time tomorrow, clean the windows 1 more time (had to they were BAD, as it is obvious this car sat under a tree for a while before I got it to fix). NOT being my car I will be glad to see it leave.... I will have an Intrepid of my own soon enough... my Mom's '98, that just turned 88K miles....
at least Mom's is a 3.2
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 05:52 AM
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huh; even if the radiator trans cooler lines were flipflopped the ATF still shouldnt look lile that;
When I originally dumped the oil,yeah I got 2 layers, one was as much antifreeze as the other was oil;
I have run this engine about 2 hours since getting it all back together, heat gauge never came above 1/3 level since getting it running again. I am gonna be warming the engine and dumping the oil nd ATF later today; theres nothing evident on the oil dipstick yet;

I am hoping that the ATF looking like it does, was a result of being parked for as long as it has been since it broke down and drew condensation from the changes in weather as it has been parked outside part of the time and the rest of the time in an unheated garage; first the owner's mother's and then my own; I know my concrete sweats alot in my garage with weather changes.
The engine did smoke alot the 1st hour or so uopn initially getting it going (more like "steam" and it steadily dissipated as time went on; I have had cars with bad head gaskets that took a good long while to get back to normal--smells steam/smoke etc after finally getting running again after fixing the problems, I am not really worried about that part of it ---yet.
Isn't there also an internal oil cooler in your radiator??
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Isn't there also an internal oil cooler in your radiator??
yeah that would be the only way that you could get antifreeze in the tranny, if there was just the external cooler there would be no way. I thought I'd said something earlier about being worried about the radiator when I saw the color of the ATF
but I'm hoping that it's just condensation drawn from the car sitting almost 2 years never being started or driven in that time... I changed fluid/filter last nite the car owner will need to do it again and soon then watch the fluid to see if it gets that way again and if so replace the radiator. I'm done with this car

I wonder why you ask this question/ I have never seen a car of any make or model with an auto trans that didn't have a cooler within the radiator other --than those that have been modified by their owner somewhere along the way--- Most do not have the auxiliary coolers... this car does. Though I hear people that run just an external cooler all the time every time I have tried just running an external, the tranny has burnt up; I run the internal cooler within the radiator and the external cooler and all is usually good;
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