642,000 mile Intrepid - parting ways - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Notice 642,000 mile Intrepid - parting ways

I am finally parting ways with my 1999 Dodge Intrepid ES that has 642,000 miles on it and is the only vehicle to have been to all 3,108 counties in the lower 48 of the US, also including most of Canada-equivalents and half of Alaska-equivalents. I am trying to find a cool place to donate my vehicle so that it does not end up in the scrap yard.

The reason for getting rid of it finally near it's 20th birthday, and my 16th year of ownership - my first car at 70k in 2002, is that I finally blew the head gasket on the original engine, and I am not planning to repair it. The transmission is also original, but has been rebuilt (around 370k) and re-manufactured (around 500k). The engine has never been opened beyond basic maintenance.

So far I have considered museums mostly, but am open to other ideas. Before blowing the head gasket, I thought she was destined for a demo derby. Anyhow, I figure fellow Intrepid owners are the best group to discuss this with as you all care about these vehicles.

Should a museum exhibit be created, I envision an exhibit that talks about the mileage of the car, highlights places itís been, etc. Itís more of an Americana exhibit than a pure auto exhibit, but I think it would have value to a wide range of folks.

I am willing to donate the car to any cause as long as it's legacy can live on and inspire other drivers to seek whatever their goals may be. Parting ways with the old girl is like a dying relative to me - although I'm not quite at the level of Bundy burying the Dodge in the back yard.

I am not allowed to post URLs, but if you Google "Dodge Intrepid counties" you will find stories of our county completion in 2015 when the car was ferried to Nantucket, MA.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:16 PM
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you need to link post some pictures of the odometer!!!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:10 PM
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Wow! That's some serious miles and dedication!

Maybe write to Chrysler, with photos. They may not give a crap. Maybe at a million miles, they'd give you a new car to use it in advertising. I don't think car companies do stuff like that anymore. Seems I heard of someone years ago with a Volvo or something with 3 or 4 million miles on it that that happened with.

Years ago, I used to hang out on a Subaru forum. The weak link on the old Subarus was rusted frames. The main frame members would literally rust in two and would no longer pass state inspections. There was a "Flying Subaru Club". To join, you'd build a ramp in a field somewhere to launch you're Subaru a few feet in the air, and when it landed, the frame would fold like a cheap suit with the car shaped like a 'V', then you'd drive it around the yard or field like that for a few minutes. Of course you had someone video the whole thing, and you posted it on one of the Subaru forums. That was long before You Tube - I couldn't find any such videos including the collapsed front end on there now.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Odometer Photos

Below are pictures of the odometer at 500,000 miles, 600,000 miles, and 621,371 miles (1,000,000 km or 1 Gm). These are from February 2014 in Manitoba, September 2016 in Labrador, and May 2017 in Wisconsin, respectively.

Note the addition on the second two pictures. When my odometer hit 536,870 in February 6, 2015, the mileage actually stopped counting! After many attempts to fix the problem at different dealers and mechanics, we decided to replace the BCM. When Chrysler engineers tried to set the mileage at 571,478 (the mileage I was at with meticulous mile-keeping during up until November 3, 2015 when I replaced the BCM), they realized they could not set the mileage that high. As in, the odometer actually stops counting at 536,870 for some designed-in reason. I tried figuring out with powers of 2, metric conversions, etc. and could not figure out why. Anyhow, that is why there is a sticker in there with 571,478 + a number. The number was 0'ed out on the new BCM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 09:36 PM
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Maybe I missed it but what engine is in this car? Can't believe a water pump would last that long in any car.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Engine

The engine is the 3.2L. No way the 2.7L would have been able to do this. I've been through 3 or 4 water pumps, but on the 3.2L these didn't kill the engine.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riehlj View Post
The engine is the 3.2L. No way the 2.7L would have been able to do this. I've been through 3 or 4 water pumps, but on the 3.2L these didn't kill the engine.
I disagree on the bolded.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, how about replacing the bolded sentence with: "The only way the 2.7L would have been able to do this would have been to preemptively change the water pump before failure every time. With how I treated the car, there is no way I would have been able to do this with the 2.7L."
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 08:02 PM
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Okay, how about replacing the bolded sentence with: "The only way the 2.7L would have been able to do this would have been to preemptively change the water pump before failure every time. With how I treated the car, there is no way I would have been able to do this with the 2.7L."
I have over 280kmiles on my 2.7. Replaced the factory water pump at 207kmiles with the improved design pump and gasket. I know that many 2.7 owners were not so lucky.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 01:13 PM
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I have several 2.7's. One we bought new water pump bearing failed at around 122k and dumped coolant into oil. Lucky I was at the gas station after long freeway trip. Shut it off quickly. Installed new pump and runs like new. Bought one with bad bearing at 126k. Put in new pump, oil pump, timing etc., now at 149k with no issues. Sample of two pump failure around 120k. Two others one broken timing chain, don't know why but all sludged up and another froze motor. The sludged motor now has 24k miles since repair, total 102k, but has burned oil since fixed. Faster you go the more it burns. I have so many I could drive these for the next 20 years as I can't kill them. Cooling system sucks on these cars as gage changes with heat load. Buick Lesabre needle never moves at any outside temperature as thermostat regulates to keep engine at same temp as it should be. Aftermarket thermostats are junk and will overheat. Water pump and main tensioner also iffy along with cam sensor. High maintenance car but they will last as long as any if failures are caught early. I use synthetic oil and change 3k to 5k for piece of mind and no sludge.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:47 PM
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@riehlj WOW! That's amazing, man! Congrats! What an incredible journey with your Intrepid! That's odd how the odometer stops counting at 536,870 miles though. I had no idea. But I can only assume there aren't too many LH car owners that have hit that limit! lol Some questions for you though:

1. What engine oil did you use, and what were your oil change intervals?
2. Was there anything special you did to get it to last all that time?
3. Do you have any specific suggestions for Intrepid owners to help maintain their car for high mileage?
4. What caused you to want to visit all the counties in North America? That's pretty cool!

About the car though, are you sure you want, or need to part with it? A blown head gasket actually isn't that big of a repair. Unless the engine severely overheated due to a loss of coolant or something, replacing the head gasket might be well worth keeping it on the road. I know personally, if I had logged all those miles and made all those memories with that car, I'd do that in a heartbeat. Especially if it had been that good to me. I'm not sure if there is a museum that would take a 1999 Intrepid with 642,000 miles on it, but at 1 million, they would, no questions asked. I don't know what the current condition of your Intrepid is in, but I'd say it's well worth replacing the head gaskets to try getting that next 368,000 miles out of her!

Those 3.2s are great engines though. I'd probably prefer the 3.2L over the 3.5L, but I'd certainly never snuff at a 3.5, that's for sure! But this is a testament to just how good those 3.2s are when someone like yourself takes great care of it. Good on you and thanks for sharing!

Cheers.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:50 PM
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Also, if you get the head gasket replaced, you'll have to take it over to Hawai'i to do the counties over there too! ;)
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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@PlumCraziness Thanks for your enthusiasm about my Intrepid!

1) I used Penzoil 5W-30 and changed about every 6,000-9,000 miles, depending.
2) Nothing special, unless you count driving it very frequently.
3) The single biggest problem I had was with the engine keeping itself cool. Even in it's early days, I had problems with engine overheating, which would kill the thermostat, and then cause instant overheating until fixed. Essentially driving it at 90 degrees or more, especially in traffic, always posed problems. So keep an eye on your temperature gauge.
4) This is a tough question that could take way too long to answer. I'll say that I've always loved traveling and it was a good excuse to travel to places I hadn't been and enjoy driving the car. Then when the Intrepid was in about 500 of the 3142 counties, people told me there was no way the car could do it, so that just added fuel to the fire to make it happen.

I'd love to keep the car, but it's just not financially responsible at this point. It has a transmission issue that no one could figure out either where it jumps to limp mode when too hot until it restarts. Had been running it like that for over a year. It's in okay shape, but just not something I have the time nor money to dump into. I am completely open to a dedicated do-it-yourselfer taking her over and continuing her journey. I will give the car away for $1 to anyone interested.

As for Hawaii, we had a plan to ship it over there and then ship inter-island. Was much cheaper than you'd think (comparable to flight price). Just never came to fruition.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riehlj View Post
@PlumCraziness Thanks for your enthusiasm about my Intrepid!

1) I used Penzoil 5W-30 and changed about every 6,000-9,000 miles, depending.
2) Nothing special, unless you count driving it very frequently.
3) The single biggest problem I had was with the engine keeping itself cool. Even in it's early days, I had problems with engine overheating, which would kill the thermostat, and then cause instant overheating until fixed. Essentially driving it at 90 degrees or more, especially in traffic, always posed problems. So keep an eye on your temperature gauge.
4) This is a tough question that could take way too long to answer. I'll say that I've always loved traveling and it was a good excuse to travel to places I hadn't been and enjoy driving the car. Then when the Intrepid was in about 500 of the 3142 counties, people told me there was no way the car could do it, so that just added fuel to the fire to make it happen.

I'd love to keep the car, but it's just not financially responsible at this point. It has a transmission issue that no one could figure out either where it jumps to limp mode when too hot until it restarts. Had been running it like that for over a year. It's in okay shape, but just not something I have the time nor money to dump into. I am completely open to a dedicated do-it-yourselfer taking her over and continuing her journey. I will give the car away for $1 to anyone interested.

As for Hawaii, we had a plan to ship it over there and then ship inter-island. Was much cheaper than you'd think (comparable to flight price). Just never came to fruition.
1. Wow! The oil was changed at 6,000-9,000 mile intervals? That's more than I would have thought! Again, that's a testament to just how good those 3.2L engines are.
2. Yep. I am a firm believer that irregular use is a killer of most vehicles. Cars are made to be used frequently to keep them going. You are a testament to that! Your use really kept your Intrepid going!
3. Very interesting about the overheating issues. In a way, I am kind of surprised it lasted that long, given it has been overheating since your early ownership of it. I guess it goes without saying you've had the cooling system flushed before?
4. Haha! Yeah, loving to travel is a good enough excuse. You'd certainly need to, to get it to 642,000 miles! What an amazing adventure! Too bad about Hawai'i though. But you sure showed all the naysayers who said it wouldn't last!

As for the car, I'd buy your car in a heartbeat! However, getting to you to pick it up is, sadly, not in the cards right now. :( I live far enough away (a two day drive, one way) that getting the time to pick it up would be a challenge right now. Unfortunately, I am in the process of getting ready to move, as well as finding work/residence in the town I am moving to (4 hours away), so my time is pretty tied up right now. That, and I also don't have the room (yet) to keep another car. lol I'd be honoured and would LOVE to own your car, and get all the bugs ironed out of it to try to get it to 1,000,000 miles, but unfortunately my free time and space is tied up at the moment. Again, I'd take it in a heartbeat and take good care of it. I love both your and the car's story/history. Ugh! I wish I could take it! :(

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