I just bought a 51,000 mile 97 intrepid from a convent. - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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New here. I had a car crash and the insurance payout covered the nut on this clean 97 intrepid sport. I bought it through a corner lot that acquired it as a dollar car through an auction. The title had the name of a local convent as the registered owner, so I called their office and they were all too happy to provide me with a complete service history dating to their purchase in 2005 at 13,000 miles. It's almost $14,000 in receipts. The most recent service was last year when the heads were serviced, the gaskets replaced and the timing belt and water pump put in. I put a new battery and alternator and I have a mopar voltage regulator in transit as we speak. I am open to your suggestions on things to look for and keep after. I've been over under and around it and it seems like a very clean, literally Nun driven, original car. I live less than a mile from the ocean and we have snow clearance in winter and I see no signs of body rot or cancer on the frame. I'm hopeful this will be a good running little turnabout for me. I'm used to putting hundreds of thousands of miles on Fords, but my first car was a k car and my favorite car ever was my WK2 Grand Cherokee. Thanks for reading!!
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Last edited by Jb97; 08-03-2018 at 06:15 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 08:45 PM
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51,000 damn... it's just broken in. Definitely looks clean. My upper manifold is all dirty carboned up at almost 130K. Lots of plastic parts broke or missing from the Florida heat. Cam seal leaking, valve cover leaking but going to fix it pretty soon.

First thing I'd so is type in the VIN here https://www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehic...ls/search.html
See if there are any recalls that haven't been done and take it to a dealer, they'll do what needs to be done for free.

Weird the heads were worked on with such young miles. Possibly overheated and busted the head gaskets which is hard to do on a 3.5. But since they did all that, I'm guessing the entire top end of the motor is good to go for a long time. Not really sure what else there would be to look at. Maybe a tranny fluid + filter change if it hasn't been done in the service receipts. Fuel filter as well. Power steering fluid and brake fluid if it hasn't been done.

Lots of knowledgeable people here can help you with whatever you want to do. Nice to see another 1st gen still alive because we are a dying breed for sure.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 01:10 AM
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Those Crazy Nuns! Did they tear up the front bumper cover? Looks like cracks around the fog lights on both sides but that could be scuff marks or something else. Did you buy it like that.

Still a 20+ year old car with 51k miles is nice.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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@Ronbo I think some small animal must have met its end at the bumper. Theres a repair order in the pile for the lenses. Looks like theres some stress cracks in the paint on the opposite side from the impact + time and theres a bit of cowling missing from around the wipers that's consistent with the damage to the fog light but that's about it.

Last edited by Jb97; 08-03-2018 at 06:13 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks @codyj . No open recalls or campaigns. I should have mentioned the carfax came back really clean before i bought it. I am definitely going to have the transmission serviced and change the filters. I also think I should drop the oil pan and swap the gasket. Looks like it needs doing. I'm showing work done to the intake manifold and PCV system, the valve cover gaskets have been done, as well as a bunch of other seemingly preventative maintenance measures. I appreciate everyone's help and well wishes!

Last edited by Jb97; 08-03-2018 at 07:12 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 08:14 PM
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If I recall correctly, there were two absolutely critical recalls on first gens:

Fuel injector O rings have a tendency to crack. This can cause a pressure fed fuel fire. I'd replace these just due to the age of the car if you don't have documentation of replacement.

The bolts that attach the inner tie rod ends to the rack and pinion unit may back out causing a loss of steering. A lock plate with tabs bent inward to keep the bolts from turning will be installed per the recall and on all later LH models (all the way to 2004!). This fault has already caused fatalities! Verify the lock plate is present by looking inward toward the inner tie rods from the wheel well. If you service the inner tie rods, the new bushings will include a replacement lock plate.

2004 300M Special...257K miles. Original powertrain!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 01:14 AM
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what a find!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 07:50 AM
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You mentioned Voltage regulator. This is driven via the PCM and not serviceable beyond replacing entire unit.
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