2003 SE in need of some TLC - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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2003 SE in need of some TLC

Hello to all. Im new to the forum. I have a 2003 blue SE Intrepid. Looking for some help with some things in order to keep her running smooth. I gave her to my son when he went to college and he just graduated. Last week he was hit on the left fender and bumper. Minor damage nothing serious. Since the car is going to be fixed by the insurance company I want to take the opportunity to do a complete paint job and surprise my son as a graduation present. My dilemma is I want to replace the rubber on the front and back windshield because is dry rotted. I went to my dodge dealership to see if I can get them. Almost impossible.....too expensive or not available anymore. Is there an aftermarket replacement? Also the car has a nasty water leak on the driver side. Any time it rains really hard you get a pool under your feet. The carper is completely ruined and I want to replace it. Any ideas???

The coolant reservoir is getting empty after a few months of running. There are no coolant pools under her when she is parked. No coolant residue on the oil. I did notice the rubber seal is gone from the radiator cap. Is it possible that its leaking from there?

I already seen some threads talking about the water pump going bad so I will continue to research the posts.

It needs suspension work. Every time you turn the steering wheel left or right it makes a nasty clunking sound.

Any help will be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 12:17 AM
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How much money do you plan to spend? As in what's your budget? I'm guessing by your descriptions it's going to be at least $1500 in repairs and probably more. That's not factoring in a "Paint Job"!
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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by raptor1680 View Post
I did notice the rubber seal is gone from the radiator cap. Is it possible that its leaking from there?
Not only possible, but just about inevitable. New radiator caps are cheap, get one and see if that stops your slow coolant loss.

(It worked for me, and my rubber seal just looked a little tired....)

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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Good morning guys. Thanks for the posts. The paint job alone is going to be $3200. The shop that is going to do the job is very good. What I am afraid is the suspension work and the engine work. I want to replace the pump, chain and whatever internal components are necessary to keep her running smoothly like she is now.

The rubber seals, where can I find them, what about the carpet. I have searched the internet for the carpet with no luck. My last resort will be a local shop then, which I don't want to. I want to keep her as original as possible.

What about the leak after after some heavy rain, anybody seen that before. Its been happening since I bought her. I took her to the dealer on 2004 and they wanted 1500 dollars just to find the leak with no guarantees. They said they have to drop the entire dash to see....Hahahahahah!!!!
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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 07:36 PM
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Do a search on here for "Water Leaks". Should be something that points you in the right direction.

If you do aftermarket "Quickstruts" with added strut links, etc......that'll probably be $750 for the suspension.
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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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I already did , nothing on water leaks and nothing on carpet replacement. Any ideas?
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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 07:41 PM
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There's no such thing as aftermarket carpet replacement for 2nd gen cars.
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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 04:15 AM
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On rear windshield rubber, if you mean the exposed external molding, you will need to replace the whole glass with one either from a junk yard or have a new aftermarket glass put in (comes with the molding attached). There's nothing I know of that you could cut the old molding loose from the glass and glue in place of it that's not going to "look like ass" as the kids say these days. When I painted my Concorde, that molding was in bad shape, and I cut a complete rear windshield out of a junker and had a top-notch local glass company R&R it. The cost for the R&R was $120. It looks great - looks just like it did from the factory because I selected one that was perfect from the junk yard and the installer did a perfect job. It was a pain cutting it out of the junker (you have to be careful not to damage the defogger grid and antenna connections if your car uses the grid as the antenna) - probably would have been no big deal for someone with the proper tool and skills who does auto glass R&R for a living.

Going the new glass route could be pricey - our rear windows used to cost in the $600 to $700 range just for the part even in aftermarket - that's why I went the junk yard route. Maybe the price has come down over the years - you'd have to check on that with a local glass company.

On the front windshield, you must either be talking about the black adhesive between the glass and the car body *or* the painted molding strips on the left and right A pillars and their black coating is peeling. I doubt if you mean the sealer, which leaves the 2 side molding pieces.

I replaced those moldings on both my Concordes with new parts from the dealer years ago when they started peeling, and the replacements were much better for their coating not coming off - they both still look brand new after many years. If they aren't available anymore (check eBay for new-old stock using the Chrysler part numbers -delete any leading zero, if any, from the part number), you could remove yours and peel all the stuff of and either leave them bare metal (they don't rust), or paint them - maybe spray Plasti-Dip them - if you want them black, which I would prefer.

Ronbo is right about the cost to restore everything. You'll blow right thru the blue book, and then some. Nothing wrong with that as long as you do it with eyes wide open. If you rebuild the front suspension and take care of everything else with TLC, it could almost be like driving a new car. I did it with my '98, and then lost the 3.2 engine a year later (timing belt broke) - so for that one, I transplanted the 2.7 from my '99 with damaged body into it and scrapped the '99 body and '98 3.2 engine, and it's doing fine as my daily driver. My signature photo is the '98 after the restoration.

If you decide to take the plunge to restore it to a reliable and aesthetically good car, check the brake lines and metal power steering lines in the engine compartment along the driver's side fender and the rear brake lines on the driver's side just ahead of the rear wheel for heavy pitted corrosion. If they are, put those on your list of things to replace. If they are heavily pitted, they *will* eventually leak, and the break lines *will* rupture if you have to make a hard stop. Happened to me in my '99 about the same time as the engine went in the '98. Fortunately, when the brake line ruptured during a panic stop, the driver in front of me saw my dilemma and moved forward to give me room to stop with brakes on only two wheels working - a nice little adrenaline rush there! Also, for some reason, the power steering and brake lines only had minor surface corrosion on them, making my decision on what to do with the two cars easy. But my point there is to not ignore those lines. If they are heavily corroded, they can't be ignored - they are a real safety hazard.

So yeah - go for it being aware of what it's going to take time- and money-wise, and even then, there's going to be risk of additional issues after your done (like losing an engine or transmission or whatever). And you'll never come close to recovering the cost by selling it.


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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peva View Post
I replaced those moldings on both my Concordes with new parts from the dealer years ago when they started peeling, and the replacements were much better for their coating not coming off - they both still look brand new after many years. If they aren't available anymore (check eBay for new-old stock using the Chrysler part numbers -delete any leading zero, if any, from the part number), you could remove yours and peel all the stuff of and either leave them bare metal (they don't rust), or paint them - maybe spray Plasti-Dip them - if you want them black, which I would prefer.

Those pieces started off as black coated aluminum. 2002 on up they went to black plastic. They don't peel any more; they just fade.
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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. Taking your time to give me so much information on this endeavor. To PEVA, yes I want to keep the car for many years to go. I bought it new use from car max. I always liked the model. I couldn't afford the more expensive models with the big engine and the fog lights with the rear spoiler, but it is a big , comfortable sedan. Like mi dad always said, "carro grande ande o no ande", which means big car run or don't run. I like big comfortable cars. I was in the army and I used to travel from FT Riley KS to FT Rucker, Al for 2 years to visit my family in Alabama. That was a 18 hour non stop drive, and she took care of me all the time. Of course i returned the favor, no racing with her( that 2.7 is very sluggish... but once she gets going she is ok) full synthetic castor oil, water pump, chain, plugs at 70,000 miles. There was something wrong with the transmission and the dealer in Kansas fixed for me since the dealer here in AL did not look interested at all.

So I plan to keep her and give it to my son, he just finish college and that is going to be his car. So new paint job, plan to do the pump and chain again since I don't know where is the coolant is going lately. Fix that nasty water leak in the driver side, even if that means remove the seat, carpet and whatever parts from under the dash to find it. replace the carpet, new upholstery and the front end. That clunking noise every time you move the steering wheel don't give me a sense of security, plus the front struts are looking corroded and the rubber mounts are completely rotted and mostly gone. Im planning to change them with dealer original parts since I searched that here and read horrible stories with aftermarket parts. It will probably cost me around 5 to 6 grand all together since I don't have tools or know a lot about cars. I can do minor stuff but that internal engine and the front end is too much for me. Even that is better than a newer car payment.

Keep coming with more info. I will keep you guys posted and I will send some pictures of her during the painting process.

Thanks a lot for your time and effort.
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post #11 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Gentlemen, good afternoon to all. Finally she is back. Here are some pictures from her. I think she looks great.
Yesterday, i started working on the water leak. I removed the cover from the bottom part of the windshield to see what it looks like and if there is a possibility of a hole that allows water in the driver side mat. There is a picture of the nasty carpet. I put water with a hose for 10 minutes and not a single drop of water went in. Don't know what to do.
Also I have been looking for a replacement carpet. Cant find a place that has one. Might have to go to a place and make a new one the old fashion way. Talked to a guy, he quoted me around 1000 for the carpet and a grand for the seats. That is crazy!!!!!!. Why no body makes a replacement carpet blows my mind. I am not the only one on line looking for one.

Well here are the photos. What you guys think????

Well I'm trying to drag and drop the photos but it is not working. Help?
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post #12 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:01 PM
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Where are you located?

I didn't have any luck with the "Drag and Drop File Uplad"

I added this photo by editing my post and using the Advanced option, then the
Manage Attachments option under Additional Options.

I asked about your location because I have three sets of seats and one
carpet but, damn, Alabama's quite a ways from Indy.
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Last edited by tgs; 07-11-2017 at 07:53 PM.
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post #13 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in Enterprise, Alabama
Do you know how to post photos? I tried to drag the files and they would not load.
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post #14 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Good morning TGS
sorry for the late posting. Been busy.
What color is the carpet and the seats. What is the condition. Others have mentioned power washing mine but its is nasty. it is completely flattened. Needs replacement. I talked to a person who deals in carpet replacement. He told me it will be more money, 2000 grand after he did research, i figured he increase the price when he saw there is no more factory replacement for the car. He wants another grand to redo the seats and 150 to redo the liner. Thats a lot of money.
Also I am worried about that water leak. Don't know where it is coming from. Put water with a hose for 10 minutes and nothing came in. It only happens when it rains a lot and hard. Any ideas?
And finally, the mystery of the coolant disappearing..... hum... The oil looks fine, the engine runs fine and no pool of coolant in the garage.
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File Type: jpg IMG_2564.JPG (115.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2566.JPG (112.4 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2567.JPG (115.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2568.JPG (101.4 KB, 16 views)
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post #15 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 07:47 PM
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Nice paint, Raptor.

There have been several instances of water leaks on these forums over the years, and for the ones that solved the mystery, hardly any two leaks are from the same place (that's a little of an exaggeration, but not much). I haven't experienced any such leaks, but remember a couple of places: The corrugated rubber tube that covers the wires going from the body to inside the door not sealed to the door or body hole, and some joint I believe near the fender and fire wall inside the engine compartment - needs RTV. Air conditioner condensate if the drain tube (passenger side fire wall) is clogged, but you said it only happens in heavy rain, so probably not it. Also some leak in the sealing of the sunroof - but from your photos, I don't think you have one.

As for phantom coolant leaks, check radiator for cracks in the two plastic end tanks - usually vertical cracks on the rear of the passenger side tank (if your radiator has never been replaced - this can start with small hairline cracks and then suddenly rupture and dump all of your coolant). Also, the coolant reservoir is known to develop hairline cracks that seep coolant, and it evaporates before you can find it. The reservoir also has a habit of suddenly rupturing after a while of that seepage (if it hasn't ever been replaced). If replacing the reservoir, do not get aftermarket - they are crap and will fail in a few weeks or months. Worth the extra $20 or so to get from the dealer (try a dealer on ebay for good pricing). Also - coolant reservoir cap seal develops cracks and coolant seeps into the overflow tank and evaporates without a trace - recommend also from dealer (new ones come with new reservoir).


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Last edited by peva; 07-16-2017 at 08:26 PM.
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