01 Intrepid 2.7L - Diagnosing Timing Chain Failure - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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01 Intrepid 2.7L - Diagnosing Timing Chain Failure

Hello everyone! I'm the new proud owner of a 01 Intrepid ES (75,681 miles) with a 2.7L that has just started making extreme timing chain rattling noise. I have read plenty of horror stories regarding this motor from water pump failure to the engine clogging so bad oil pressure drops and so does the hyd tensioner. I pulled the valve covers off to check if that was indeed what i was hearing and sure enough i felt the chain and it had plenty of slop on the driver side. I haven't managed to remove the timing cover yet to check the crank marks to verify if its skipped time or not because it looks like i need to remove the front bumper but ill get to it soon. Either way bent valves or not i'm aware of the problem. What i can't seem to figure out is how it happened and the underlying problem. When i removed the valve covers the cams look relatively clean andthere is no sludge on the underside of the valve covers. With the mileage and lack of sludge buildup it seems hard to believe it failed from low oil pressure. Also when it was running and the chain was slapping around it had no CEL or OIL warning indicators. I'm not sure how long the hydraulic tensioner is suppose to be but it doesn't look colapsed (at least i dont think it is). If anything it looks extended to me. Is it possible at all that my tensioner is actually full extended and my chain is elongated to a point it would slap and make noise and also hasn't skipped time yet either? Or is that the most insane wishful thinking you have ever heard.... Any opinions and advise are more then welcome, thanks! pics will be added soon.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:18 PM
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I think the tensioner has a couple of lines on it to gauge how far it is extended. Verify water pump shaft is not flopping around (bearing failure). And yes - could be worn chain.

If tensioner is dry, its internal spring can extend it, but the spring is not strong enough to stay extended against camshaft valve spring torque. It has to fill with oil to be stiff.

It’s not oil pump pressure per-se that stiffens the tensioner, rather it takes in oil supplied to it thru it’s ball check valve port and pumps itself up exactly like a lash adjuster (AKA valve lifter) does.


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Last edited by peva; 07-02-2019 at 11:31 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peva View Post
I think the tensioner has a couple of lines on it to gauge how far it is extended. Verify water pump shaft is not flopping around (bearing failure). And yes - could be worn chain.

If tensioner is dry, its internal spring can extend it, but the spring is not strong enough to stay extended against camshaft valve spring torque. It has to fill with oil to be stiff.

It’s not oil pump pressure per-se that stiffens the tensioner, rather it takes in oil supplied to it thru it’s ball check valve port and pumps itself up exactly like a lash adjuster (AKA valve lifter) does.
In your opinion does this tensioner appear to be collapsed or extended? I want to say it might be at one of the extension marks but i can't really tell. Also i put a pry bar on the back of the guide and it doesn't appear it wants to extend much further, maybe a 1/8th inch. Could the water pump issue you described cause the chain to be loose? If the bearing in the WP failed would i have a coolant/oil mix situation?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tensioner.jpg (36.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg VC.jpg (21.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg cams.jpg (29.3 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by SkyWil; 07-03-2019 at 12:51 AM.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Back with an update. I removed the front brace to get at the front of the engine. Removed the radiator fans and drive belts. Just need to get the crank pulley off etc and im there. Rain started so i had to stop. Anyways i was turning the engine over by hand a few revolutions to see if the gold timing chain teeth would at least line up with the cam timing marks and they do whether that means anything or not (easily could still not line up with crank i know) but it didnt feel or sound like that valves were hitting. Also the one thing i do notice which i would like someones opinion on. It seems every 1 revolution of the crank or so in the same spot the timing tensioner is retracting and making a click sound and when i turn the crank a little bit further it pops back out and extends. Is this normal....should the tensioner rectract in a certain position of the crank each revolution? Also facing the drive belt side of the engine is turning it clockwise the correct rotation to turn it? Thanks in advance!
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 07:24 PM
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The tensioner has a check valve in it. Once it's pumped full of oil it won't retract unless it's defective. Sounds like you need a new tensioner. Dealer only on that item or you're making an expensive mistake going aftermarket.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 07:32 PM
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Part number is: 04792443AB

Again....get it from the dealer only. Looks pretty pricey nowadays! Looks to be over $200. Check with your local dealer.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWil View Post
Back with an update. I removed the front brace to get at the front of the engine. Removed the radiator fans and drive belts. Just need to get the crank pulley off etc and im there. Rain started so i had to stop. Anyways i was turning the engine over by hand a few revolutions to see if the gold timing chain teeth would at least line up with the cam timing marks and they do whether that means anything or not (easily could still not line up with crank i know) but it didnt feel or sound like that valves were hitting. Also the one thing i do notice which i would like someones opinion on. It seems every 1 revolution of the crank or so in the same spot the timing tensioner is retracting and making a click sound and when i turn the crank a little bit further it pops back out and extends. Is this normal....should the tensioner rectract in a certain position of the crank each revolution? Also facing the drive belt side of the engine is turning it clockwise the correct rotation to turn it? Thanks in advance!
This is normal with no oil pressure; the tensioner is spring loaded without oil pressure to keep chain tension. It will retract and extend a little bit.

From your pictures looks like it is extended a bit more than normal.

Remove the front cover and inspect. Replace water pump with updated water pump (heavier body and updated gasket) from Dodge dealer only (DO NOT buy aftermarket crap!). Replace the tensioner. Make sure you activate new tensioner correctly.

Without looking myself my guess is the bearings are out in the water pump. Check your guides and chain for damage as well. If it nothing has came apart and the chain did not hit anything from being loose, it is likely OK, and the tensioner is at fault. Replace the water pump either way. If there is any question, replace the chain and guides as well.

See my water pump and 2.7 threads too;

https://www.dodgeintrepid.net/18-gen...procedure.html

https://www.dodgeintrepid.net/18-gen...-7-owners.html


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 08:27 PM
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You might be able to find the OEM tensioner on eBay and save a little. As Ron said: Do not use aftermarket for this part. If you go eBay only use sellers that have high 90’s feedback and explicitly say it is the OEM part. I see that Rock Auto has the OEM part, so eBay, Rock Auto, or dealer - lowest price of the three if cost is important.

Go with the part number Ron posted (try all searches with and without the leading zero). They changed the tensioner with new part number - the other part number will not fit your car.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ok everyone im back with my last update for the night. I made a quick run to the parts store to loan a harmonic balancer puller and i have the timing chain cover off now so i can check the water pump etc as suggested. I don't quite now what i'm looking for on that....It doesn't visibly appear to have any leaks and if i grab ahold of the gear it doesn't seem to have any play. I could use some suggestions on how to check that out properly.

Anyways.... lining up the crank up with the timing mark on the block (Under Gold Tooth) the cam marks are facing north and right under their designated gold tooth so it looks like its still in time ya? And if thats the case then what exactly is my issue here? I was under the impression if you have complete tensioner failure etc and the chain gets loose its almost guaranteed to go out of time.

Earlier when i was turning the crank over i would notice that when the tensioner was actually extended the chain was pretty tight and when it would retract in that certain spot in the rotation then it would have a bit of slack. i definitely will replace the tensioner and waterpump as suggested but im a bit hesitant to pull the trigger until i completely understand what happened here. Is there a way to bench test the tensioner? If i take it off should it function a certain way that would tell me if working? Or is there something else that could be wrong. Like i said it had no warning lights i was just hearing that loud driver side upper engine knock/slap metal on metal sound.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 66089288_858258764532378_8363749167377416192_n.jpg (157.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 66026522_345290036400801_7719801409268350976_n.jpg (170.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 65657954_483229682486918_2530266805755183104_n.jpg (139.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 65821403_455157971966453_3526822312189886464_n.jpg (141.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 66127709_728673400883645_961855082670850048_n.jpg (177.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 65738351_2286963591621690_7620600523862835200_n.jpg (165.4 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by SkyWil; 07-04-2019 at 12:46 AM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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I decided since i paid 250$ for this car and it broke before i even got home with it. Spending 180$ + on a mopar chain tensioner and whatever a water pump cost doesn't seem worth it. I checked the WP for leaks, it spins freely and has no wobble. Its getting reused and i put a CLOYES 95422 {#4792443AB} tensioner in it. I activated it, buttoned up the cover and when i finish putting it back together tomorrow ill follow their priming procedure and see if it works. The tensioner was 70$ and the cover gasket and seal was 30$. Im in this car for 350$ so if it starts clanking its ass off when i start it up im going to strip all the small parts i can sell on ebay and tow the remains to the recycling center for 80$ a ton scrap prices.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Glad i didn't spend the money on a OEM because it made no difference. It still clanks its ass off, still not enough slack that it will skip time, The tensioner is extended and the water pump shaft has no updown/sideside movement. What the hell could possibly be causing the chain to have slack?
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 06:24 AM
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sliders could be excessively worn out. that's the plastic guides the chain slides in on the sides.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 11:04 AM
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Thought you were going to scrap it?
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
...Is it possible at all that my tensioner is actually full extended and my chain is elongated to a point it would slap and make noise and also hasn't skipped time yet either?...
As others have suggested, that is a possibility, as well as chain guide issues. With tensioner being well extended and no play in water pump, it would appear that those are the only two possibilities left.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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sliders could be excessively worn out. that's the plastic guides the chain slides in on the sides.
They look good as far as i can see. They are about 1/4 inch thick and don't appear to have much if any wear.

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Thought you were going to scrap it?
I really don't want to destroy a straight clean car that has 75k miles but i can only let a non running car sit around so long before it has to go. I'm going to try and give it another shot but just on general principal i'll probably give up after this just because it consumes so much time every time i have to assemble/disassemble. At this point i'm starting to think the chain is the problem. Although i cant understand how it would bad at the mileage unless the last owner never changed the oil. And out of the 3 (water pump, tensioner and chain) i would think that would be least suspect.
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