Ok, I finally got my hands on a working digital camera and some OK lighting today and took some pics! The page will have more stuff added when I get time....expect more mod pics in the next few days. I also got a friend to help with a few.
I got the car in September 2005 for $9000 TT&L included with 39K miles, book was 12,500 at the time. The reason I got it so cheap was a crack in the front bumper, I am going to replace the bumper one of these days.
That's the short version of the story. The full amusing story on how I got the car is at the bottom!
In front of the huge live oak tree in the yard:
Here it is, in it's usual spot in the driveway:
My ATC came from the factory.... it's not a mod!
Other stock goodies: leather seats, midline sound system, OTIS.
First powertrain mod: JoeKD intake!
You can also see the 1/0 power cable and fuse.
Got rid of this little detuning problem.... note the missing SRV and MTV.
Getting rid of the old plenum.....
I replaced it with this: a nice HO plenum from a police car! It took a while to get the 300M Special badging!
The 300M Special PCM, SKIM module, Sentry key and locks.
Under the hood after mods
3.89 Transfer Sprockets.... SWEET boost in acceleration, and with the 300M Special PCM, the speedometer is correct!
The hardest part of installing the sprockets is getting that darn cross member out.... when we did, we celebrated appropriately!
RBQ in dash 6 disc changer.... the sound quality is quite good.
Automatic Headlight Switch
EVIC + PSI with Instant MPG..... the RARE one!
Welcome to hot Texas! If only this thing could track tornadoes.....
300M Special Rear Stabilizer Bar.... note how much larger the Special is compared to the stock Touring one!
Before the new speakers were installed, the rear deck was turned into a proper speaker box. I used polyester stuffing to dampen the standing waves and I sealed up the holes in the deck lid. It's a true sealed enclosure and it sounds great!
Deck hole plugging plate with sealant ready to install
The Infinity Reference speakers compared to the cheesy midline speaker, front is similar in construction.
Repairs and Maintenance:
Timing belt @ 50K..... waterpump was changed under warranty but not the belt, belt slipped on the new pump and the engine overheated. The pump pulley was also resurfaced. Upper and lower radiator hoses were changed as a precaution. Cost: $345
Radiator flush: in addition to the timing belt not being changed with the water pump, the previous owner decided that tap water was OK.... radiator was 60% clogged. Cost: $145
Solenoid pack: the previous owner was a little lax with transaxle fluid changes and to add insult to injury, they didn't put the dipstick down all the way. The fluid got dirty and the solenoid clogged. Cost: $450 including tranny flush and filter. While it was in, I had the pesky input and output sensors changed.... turns out one was indeed on it's way out! (it was loosing it's magnetization)
Evaporative Canister Purge Solenoid: Intermittent failure, finally got a DTC that pointed a finger at it. Cost: $40.
Transaxle cooling lines: usual slow leak. Cost: $35 for a set.
Brakes were changed out as soon as I got the car. I used ThermoQuiet pads, will be upgrading to Bendix CT3 sometime soon along with some slotted rotors.
Spark plugs were changed out at 65,000 miles.
Oil and filter change every 3000-5000 miles depending on conditions using Mobil 1 10W30 oil and a Mobil 1 or Wix filter. A can of Seafoam Motor Treatment is added just before the change.
Transmission fluid change every 30,000 miles at the dealer. New filter installed as well.
One bottle of Techron Concentrate Plus and Seafoam in the fuel every oil
Everything else is inspected at every oil change and fixed as needed.
Differential oil needs a change.... will be done with some mods at a friend's farm.
To keep the car running well, it is fed a steady diet of Top Tier gasoline.
I keep my throttle body and IAC clean! Here's what a clean TB and a dirty one looks like.
Ok, Here's the long version of how I got my car, two years events crammed into a few paragraphs.
I needed a replacement car very badly as my 1996 Caravan the parents gave me as my first car was having numerous problems. The 3.0L Mitsubishi engine leaked like crazy, I kept chasing seals on it. The transmission was not maintained properly before I got it (owners before the parents were mean to it) and the thing got HIT BY LIGHTNING, so electrical gremlins were running rampant under the hood. It would frequently stall. I kept it running for two years and put 20K on it but at 120K, it was time to get rid of it.
I had no clue what an LH was and had no clue that I wanted one until a friend showed me his 1996 Concorde LXi and my insurance agent told me what it would cost for simple liability on a 1998 Camaro Z28. :p
With the Z28 costing $300/mo for basic liability, the Intrepid was a logical choice after I drove the Concorde. It was quick enough (not the speed I wanted, but a serious improvement from the van), handled very well, looked cool and was comfy. I soon learned how hard finding a 2nd gen with a 3.5 or 3.2 was.
Just for kicks, I also tested the Bonneville SSEi (3800 Series II SC) and the Regal GS (another 3800SC) , I loved the speed but the handling wasn't quite as good as I had hoped. I decided to trade some off the line grunt for agility.
I searched for about 6 months before finding an ES in good shape with low miles. I initially found a 2001 with a 3.2 but it sold out from under me. Just as well, four days later my car showed up on autotrader.com at a Porsche lot in San Antonio.... I saw the damage and was a little nervous but I was able to make a deal (I knew they'd bend over backwards....it's a DODGE on a Porsche lot!) and me and a buddy went down from Abilene to San Antonio to look at it..... oddly enough, the salesman wasn't lying. The damage was just to the bumper and some minor damage to the headlight. After a quick and salesman fear inducing test drive, I bought it.
The van broke down on the way to trade it in. We managed to get it running again but we got beat by a 3 cylinder GEO METRO on the way!
I still remember the short conversation on the hill just 20 miles from San Antonio: Me: Dude! Why are we slowing down?!? John (ExFirstgen35): The tranny is slipping again.... got any ATF+3? Me: Yup.... Oh damn! We just got beat by a 3cyl car! The Intrepid is MINE bumper or not!
The tranny in the van was in bad shape! We had to add over 3 quarts when it decided to pop another seal. The dealer sent it to the auction block the very next morning. May it rest in pieces! That van did one good thing though.... it taught me almost everything I know about cars. I learned how to fix it or I walked to school!