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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Mark's 2001 Concorde LXi

Was putting pictures in my introduction post but will go ahead and move everything here (and will get these ridiculously large pictures reduced in size asap so loading times aren't so ridiculous).

Picked up a 2001 Concorde LXi with the 3.2 for $900. Engine ran great, trans felt great, but the water pump leaked bad so there was no coolant. Had it towed home, started working on it, and eventually found out that there was more than just the water pump leaking unfortunately. No way for the previous owner to know that there were more leaks so definitely no problems there, seller was very cool, just more work for me.

So, here's the progression of the car. Hoping to get it running today or over the weekend and then just getting it looking good and all that.


Current state of the car:










Last edited by MachZ; 07-19-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Getting it running. Was told the water pump was leaking and it was in definite need of replacement so I went ahead and did that as well as the timing belt and tensioner pulley. Got it all back together and filled with straight water to flush it out a bit and check for leaks.

Oh was there indeed a leak. Looked under the car and it was nearly pouring from the middle of the engine. Jumped online and found that a common issue appeared to be the o-ring under the lower manifold so starting tearing everything apart to check that out. As it turns out the o-ring was in surprisingly decent shape though I decided to replace it anyway to be on the safe side. After further inspection I figured it was the lower intake manifold gaskets that were leaking. They seemed to have separated from the metal slightly and were hardening a slight bit. Not 100% sure if they were but was replacing anyway so it didn't really matter.

Was planning on using an HNBR A/C o-ring as I have a couple kits but checked with the dealer anyway to see pricing and whatnot. Turns out they're currently on back order. No problem, HNBR here I come! I used a ~17.49mm (can't remember this measurement exactly) x 2.5mm o-ring as a replacement. It isn't a 100% match with the stock o-ring but fit quite well and with some Permatex The Right Stuff (which should be called the best stuff, its amazing) it shouldn't ever have a chance of leaking.

Got everything all cleaned up:








I was JUST about to install the lower manifold and by absolute chance I noticed this:




Considered my options and my dad recommended just brazing it, which was definitely the easiest route to go. He used to do it a lot, been forever since I'd done it, so he got me back up to speed. They still looked terrible but work.


Got that all finished then happened to find yet another one so decided to just take the tube out of the lower manifold... which turned out to be a good thing. Accidentally pinched the o-ring a bit. Had enough silicone to not matter but would rather not risk it. Brazed the second hole, installed the pipe and o-ring differently assuring proper seal and added silicone to be on the safe side.




They did end up leaking ever, so very slightly after an hour of letting it sit at 30 psi so I just slathered them with some Right Stuff and called it good. Not likely it will ever leak again unless a new hole develops.


Now just need to reassemble everything:



Absolute favorite, best "tool" ever purchased :



Next up will be changing the factory head unit for a cheap Sony that I kind of, for some odd reason, really enjoy. Possibly adding a mild subwoofer as I so miss having good bass in a car (not loud thumping but deep, rich bass). Then adding the Eibach springs. Then fixing the exterior and cleaning it up a bit. Then of course whatever other things I can think of doing as the mod bug didn't simply bite me so many years ago but has created a seemingly never ending symbiotic relationship with me... mmm... maybe even parasitic... not sure.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Even after the fixes above it was still leaking coolant and pretty significantly too. Noticed some steam on the exhaust manifold then shortly thereafter heard a loud sound of air pressure forcing its way out of the engine.

Searched and searched and couldn't see the leak and worse still it was on the right (passenger's) side where no coolant lines run to my knowledge. Thinking the worst, that it might be a head gasket, first asked on hear and got some ideas. Pressure tested the system and eventually found that it was actually a freeze plug that rusted through... oh joy! Pictures below:


Since I didn't have a pressure testing radiator cap I bent a little piece of aluminum to hold open the cap while hooking up the air compressor to the nipple for the overflow (only ran 14 psi or so through it, don't want to blow anything out anywhere )





Up on the lift ready to work on the freeze plug, but first inspecting below... a bit rusty aaaannnnddd missing some rubber on the cross member mounts... looks like some more work.

http://machzracing.com/Concorde/Repa...718_170516.jpg









Factory mandrel bent exhaust?! Yes please!




And finally the culprit...




More to come!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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Alright... finally got it running again tonight. 3 freeze plugs were completely bad, 4th was intact but replaced anyway. The metal tube that connects to the thermostat housing did have a hole in it so got that patched up. So far there are no leaks. Running straight water for the moment to make sure no leaks spring up and if not will run some cleaning stuff through it, then fill it with the proper G-05. Taking a small trip tomorrow so hopefully nothing goes wrong and it works good all the way there and back.

While taking it all apart I did find another issue so fixed that on both sides:



I apparently was unable to weld yesterday so they look horrible. Will likely have to fix some leaks (think I already heard one pop up) but that's ok... I completely screwed up and failed to consider using a small flex section like I should have so will be going back in there to add those later. For now it works pretty good and with a couple non-foulers on each side no CEL yet.


I also had to replace the crank pulley. Either I screwed it up when I pulled it off wrong the first time (most likely, didn't realize there were slots for a 3 jaw puller in middle so grabbed the outside) or it was bad already but either way it was quite wobbly so just put on a new one.

I did try putting the Eibach springs on but kind of got stuck attempting to get the sway bar links off so just gave up as I wanted to drive the car. Going to grab some tools to finish that later. For now, it runs... I'm happy... and tired.

Last edited by MachZ; 07-29-2013 at 04:24 AM.
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