New guy looking at 96 concorde LX - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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New guy looking at 96 concorde LX

Hey folks,

I'm Randy, from NC - east and west, depending on the day. Been looking for a car to commute with when weather isn't suitable for motorcycle. Currently own a 96 Chrysler T &C and have owned several Mopars.

Help me out, if you would be so kind. I have found a 96 Concorde LX w 3.5 at a dealer. $1990. Supposed to be 38K miles original. Going to look at tomorrow, 11/9/12. Anything I should check first? I'm looking thru the forums and Edmunds.com isn't real nice to this car. but I have had good Chryslers over the years and am willing to look at this one, at the very least.

Suggestions? Comments? bring em.

Thanks so very much.
Randy
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 11:28 AM
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Welcome Randy! I can share the little bit of information that I have learned so far about these cars with you. You'll want to see if you can find out if the timing belt has been changed.. IIRC the interval is every 100k or 7 years, whichever comes first. If it does break on you it isn't that big of a deal on the first gen 3.5 because it's a non-interference engine. The later 3.5s (like 99+) will destroy the engine if the belt breaks.

Also, you'll want to check the transmission for proper shifting, etc. The trans by far, seems to be the weakest point on these LH cars. My 300M is on it's second trans, although this one had to have a new valve body put last year before I bought it.

Other than that though, these are some of the nicest cars I have ever driven.. I've been a GM guy my whole automotive owning life, and this car blows all the rest out of the water..
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of real world mileage can I expect? In my van, I can get from 19 - 24. been checking this week to see. My family could really use to have the van at home - 3.5 hrs away from where I work, so I'm looking for a vehicle to use for me when I can't ride the m/c.

With this one having 38K, the miles are okay, but the years may not be. That's something I can *hopefully?* do on my own if I buy it. Is that a hard job? Haven't had time to look a lot thru the site yet.

But these sites are the best place to really find out about a vehicle. Warts and all.

We've owned all three majors, GM, Ford, Chrysler, as well as Nissan. Pontiac (2003 Grand Prix GT) and Mopars seem to be pretty good for us.

Thanks
Randy
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rcarlisle View Post
What kind of real world mileage can I expect? In my van, I can get from 19 - 24. been checking this week to see. My family could really use to have the van at home - 3.5 hrs away from where I work, so I'm looking for a vehicle to use for me when I can't ride the m/c.

With this one having 38K, the miles are okay, but the years may not be. That's something I can *hopefully?* do on my own if I buy it. Is that a hard job? Haven't had time to look a lot thru the site yet.

But these sites are the best place to really find out about a vehicle. Warts and all.

We've owned all three majors, GM, Ford, Chrysler, as well as Nissan. Pontiac (2003 Grand Prix GT) and Mopars seem to be pretty good for us.

Thanks
Randy
In my 300M, I usually get about 25 with solely highway driving.. When I mix it with city and highway, I usually get anywhere between 19-22.. Your results may vary though, since a 96 Concorde would have the first gen 3.5, and I'm sure different gearing than my 300M does..

The timing belt isn't really hard if you have any kind of mechanical skill, it's just time consuming.. You have to remove the radiator (but I think some have been able to do it just removing the fans and tilting the radiator), and disassemble the front of the engine.. Getting the cams adjusted back the correct way seems to be a bit of a PITA sometimes, but not hard either.. It's also recommended to change the water pump while you're in there (since it's driven by the timing belt), as well as the tensioner..
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Sounds about like any other vehicle these days. I'll keep investigating

Randy
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 12:22 PM
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If the body is nice and it really only has 38K on it jump on it before someone else does. These pretty easily have 200K in them.

You will have to do the timing belt because if its age but its a simple job and since its not an interference fit motor you can drive it until it goes and the only extra cost will be the tow home, that's not the case with most others.

I have had several of the first gen 3.5 cars and in mixed driving I have seen them get between 18 and 20 MPG. Mileage is not the greatest but they are easy to work on and relatively cheap to maintain and frankly the people on this board rock when it comes to helping you troubleshoot and fix your car.

I'm on my 11th LH Car!

2010 F150 FX4 34k
2004 Impala LS 64K
1997 Intrepid Silver 3.3 186k
1997 Intrepid Sport 3.5 FranknTrep 212K/160K Engine
1995 Intrepid Red 3.5L 108K
1995 Vision TSi 87K
1996 Intrepid Teal 3.3L 69K
1970 GTX 512CI

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, guy. The mileage is a bit concerning, because I do over 600 miles per week. I have 510 on this morning and am not home yet. That's another 190 miles. So probably closer to 700 miles per week for now.

And I'm sure you guys are great - most forums are. I've found forums are the best place to learn to do things - forum ppl can tell you how to do it the easiest way and all the pitfalls you'll encounter along the way.

Thanks
Randy
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2012, 02:15 PM
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i think GTX means combined mpg... while your highway mpg is more around 28-30, i see mine get over 30 more often then not (OTIS ftw!), while my avg will usually show 20 mpg with all the city driving i do.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2012, 02:33 PM
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Randy, welcome from Raleigh!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 07:29 AM
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My wife could get 30 highway out of our cord 3.5

I could get 26 max ...she has little feet!

35k wow you got a lot of years driving left in that .

LHS leather and auto stick would be what i would do.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 11:15 AM
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Welcome aboard!

So, what'd you see when you looked at it?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, but I don;t think that car is correct. At least not for me. If it actually had 37K, then it was a HARD 38K. I wouldn't expect a car with that mileage to have torn leather seats, worn out steering wheel covering, sun-faded signal lever, pass airbag cover curled up. The guy flipped thru the carfax kinda quick, and it's a PA car, which probably means some salt, but cooler temps. the paint was in fairly foul shape. The trunk lid apparently held tap dance classes or parades from the multitude of scuff marks. the side trim was faded/blackened. It just did not convince me that 37K was the correct mileage. Did have good tires on it.

It idled poorly also. I didn't even drive it. It didn't feel right, so I left it at that. It might be a great car for someone, but not for me. The search continues. Am considering doing a blog on the saga of the $2k car hunt, just to let people know how that goes. Might help someone someday. I think it can be done and get a fairly nice car. I've seen several nicer cars for $2k that I would have more faith in, I think.

Thanks again for all your help. Will probably lurk around for a while at any rate - ya'll have some great looking cars.

Randy
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:22 PM
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Everything you described sounds right for a car with 37K miles... especially a 96 or 97 that is stored outside. It doesn't take anything for the signal to fade (first gens signal levers fade if you breath on it), same with the air bag covers and even the steering wheel cover - those break down from sunlight and UV damage. The leather is curious, as that should have stood up better - but if the leather was kept outside under the hot sun and someone large (I'm a big guy myself, not making fun of any one) is rough on the seat, it can easily be worn out by TIME, not by miles driven. The 96 and 97 cars especially suffered from sun damage to the paint, that is not a surprise.

Idling poorly isn't a big surprise for age - but it is a surprise that the dealership would try to sell the car in that condition (both running and cosmetic) for that kinda money... Sounds like a $500 car to me - but hey, I'm a cheap skate.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. But yeah - I agree - it's a $500 car to me. I am a cheapskate also. They bought it at auction, so who knows how much room they have in it. The seat could have been eaten by a dog maybe? I dunno.

I just didn't feel good about it and I am a big fan of Mopar. I've owned several: 71 Dart 318 Swinger; 84 W100 truck - slant six with the heavy duty trans - fun; 92 Dakota Sport that our family outgrew or I'd still probably have it (!); and the current 06 Town & Country. Would have owned more but the wife keeps me in check... so it's not like I was going with the intention of not liking it.

It just didn't suit me. Maybe the next one will... the odometer numbers didn't line up very well either, so I was just too worried about it to take a chance.

Thanks
Randy
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