You've done your homework.
• That's *excellent* news that coolant came out the weep hole. That doesn't always happen.
Yeah, I was absolutely amazed at my luck! When I pulled off the oil filler cap I could tell there was some sludge in there, but when I started it, after the initial second of chain rattle, it sounded so quiet I knew I had a chance to make it work. At the time I figured maybe someone flushed the coolant out and just started putting water in it and the engine had run hot enough to boil most of it not not doing significant damage to the oil, but upon finding NO water in the pan and no "milkshake" (and with water POURING out the weep hole all the way home), then upon inspection of the "gasket" (notice how I put that in "quotes?") it became obvious that the impossible happened and the gasket leak luckily just happened right next to the weep hole passageway. A 1 in 100 possibility I'd say!
• Hopefully your new water pump body is of the improved design (beefed up bearings and seals). Be aware that it is *very* common in aftermarket to use the old-design body (bearings, seals) made slightly thicker to make up the space for the new-design (thin) gasket. If it were me, I'd get from the dealer. YMMV.
I normally would but I'm really on a budget on this. Also the dealer couldn't tell me if they were going to be providing the steel gasket or the fiber one (and it would have to be ordered and take some significant amount of time I don't have). Since I don't have a lot into the car, my plan is to see if its manageable on a budget and I guess if it blows up, I'll just take it apart and post-mortem it. I was thinking about using the HOAT anti-freeze with a big bottle of the Bars Leak pellets/sealer/waterpump lube (after I'm pretty sure its NOT leaking anywhere) just for good measure. Hopefully soon I'll have plenty of money and I plan on sticking to the Chrysler 2.7's for a while and master they as they are so cheap, nice drivers, and usually in excellent condition otherwise. Hell, I might start picking them up and reconditioning them to give them away to my friends for presents!
The water pump just came in and it ALSO has the steel/silicone gasket (and NOT the fiber one shown in the ad). What I'm wondering is do I need to use the steel one to get the spacing right so the timing chain will be aligned properly? Maybe I need to put several fiber ones in (or make my own out of some thicker material. I'm not exactly sure how to tell if this thing is "aligned" with the other sprockets.
• *Usually* the factory gasket fails due to the over-molded rubber rotting away over time.
Yeah, this one looked like it'd been smashed/split, which is a good trick considering that the steel plate is there to prevent one from torquing too far.
• I *strongly* suggest the stop block - very good insurance against the unpredictable for less than $30.
Yeah, normally I probably would, but time and budget right now dictate otherwise. You read the thing about my other car only going 4 miles before overheating, right?
• I'd consider re-using the old tensioner, but only with a stop block. Again - you really can't predict, and for <$30 . . .
Well, I've got a fair bit of experience with lifters and they're pretty reliable as long as they get CLEAN oil and are properly primed. I'm not too worried. But I'm going to proceed cautiously. My goal is not so much to get a transportation car (although over the short term, that is a consideration) but mastery over and demystifying of these engines. I love a challenge and to make stuff work well that other people just throw up their hands over! It's a personality defect I have!
• If I were going with a new tensioner, again, I'd definitely *only* go with OEM (way too many reports of failures on this forum with failed aftermarkets right out of the box or within a couple thousand miles).
I find that very strange considering what a simple device it is. My suspicion would be that the tensioner is actually taken out by "the blob" (i.e. some sludge that got dislodged and stuck in a critical oil passageway by changing oil and not including enough chemtool to actually dissolve it).
Regardless, my local junkyard is filled with these things and I also have an '04 Sebring convt with this mill so I'm up to my eyeballs in them for the foreseeable future (unless I get too busy with this new venture, and then I'll probably just hire someone to do them for me with my specific instruction/supervision until they get the knack).
I see most of the failure of these cars is the use of improper fluids and not changing them frequently enough. I saw a guy on youtube who was changing a waterpump where the car had always had mobil 1 0-40 and it had 100k miles on it and was as clean as a whistle inside. Almost all waterpumps die every 80k or so. Its just the placement of it in THIS car that makes that such a devastating event. I don't really think that having to invest a long weekend into your car every 8-10 years is such a burden! It seems so simple to me. When you start loosing coolant that you can't account for, its time to switch to plain water and figure out if it's ending up in your oil! That seems to be the major significant difference between this engine and most of the rest. And I think if the proper gasket is used and installed properly, and the right oil used/changed, the chances of that are extremely slim! Honestly, how often does it happen on cars with an external pump?
• If I were to go with a new tensioner, I'd also use the stop block because risk with a new OEM part is not zero. (Also, what if a piece of grit that you broke loose in the cleanout doesn't get flushed and jams in the check valve or between plunger and cylinder wall of the tensioner?)
Well, that's where I'm definitely going to keep on top of my filter changes so they don't bypass.
• Did I mention that I'd use a stop block no matter which way I went? Did I mention it's less than $30?
Yes, I know. Do you have stock in that company?
• Good call on re-using the chain and arms. Amazing how little the plastic rub surfaces of the arms wear.
I'm thinking with the proper oil and changes this chain and guides will be good to almost 300k
• Never read of anyone re-locating the temp. sensor, but I understand the sentiment. You may have read of my radiator side tank suddenly cracking and dumping all the coolant without my noticing, and the temp. gage reading normal even though the engine got hot enough that it wouldn't restart a few minutes after I shut it off (restarted, sputtered for 2 seconds, and ran and continues to run great after it cooled off - phew!!). I would watch the fan operation if you re-locate it. They are precisely controlled by the PCM's reading of the same temp. sensor. You never know the dynamics that may come into play with moving it to an "arbitrary" other point.
Well, I was also thinking of perhaps making some kind of custom freeze plug that contains it. I know its going to read a little under temp at a lower spot which may make the fans kick in a little late, but seems to me that's a safer bet than to just be toodling on down the road with hardly a care in the world and have the engine CATCH FIRE! (a common complaint about these, and if one is lucky enough to be running one's heater at the time, one *might* notice that it starts blowing cold merely minutes beforehand)
• Use your own judgement on replacing the oil pump. Probably low risk on that. I replaced mine because it's a '99 and sometime in that model year they increased the capacity on the pump. Otherwise, I probably would have re-used the old one.
I'm going to proceed with caution here as well, test running it until I'm satisfied that the oil pressure problem is solved!
• And - yes - I *am* a self-proclaimed know-it-all. Just ask anybody here.
Hey, so am I! We ought to get along just fine (or kill each other)!
I believe that you're just crazy enough to make it work - and I mean that in a *good* way.
Seriously - the 2.7 is a good engine if the water pump doesn't leak into the engine or the water pump bearings don't lock up and destroy the chain and everything around it - that was often infant mortality failures in the 70-100k mile range years ago - all those have been long since culled from the herd (though of course a crappy aftermarket pump could do the same thing). Mine has got 270k on it and runs like a top - you'd never know I severely overheated it that one time (other people did the same thing with no known after-effects - must have good head gasket design!).
Well, that's good to hear. Sadly my Sebring didn't fair so well, the previous owners got it so hot it actually melted off the plastic part of the oil sending unit! Now I've got a couple low cyls, even on the wet test, so its up for an overhaul (but the internals are clear of sludge so hopefully it's a good candidate).
One more thing: Be sure to exactly follow the tightening/torqueing procedure on the structural collar (at the back of the oil pan). It is a stiffener between the engine and the tranny. It has bolts at 90° from each other, and if tightened willy-nilly, you will build up stresses, and the weak link is the cast aluminum oil pan that it attaches to - could crack under load of the mighty 2.7.
Excellent, thanks! Yeah, I had no idea about that, but just as a matter of course, I strive to always tighten things evenly and moderately even when there's no specific instructions. I can't stand overtightened stuff because I'm usually the poor fool that has to come along behind it and get it all apart again!