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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Hi! 2004 2.7L Intrepid owner

Hi everyone.

Here's a chat I sent a friend describing my car/situation the other day

There's been this car in a tow yard bought at lien sale at another tow yard's auction that was put on c/l for $250 firm probably 6 months ago I've been trying to see but the owner had to coordinate my viewing it with the tow yard owner but he was rarely there so I just started driving by looking to see if I saw the truck. I could have call him and set up something but I wasn't ready for the car yet so I was kind of trying to delay. The other day I saw him there and he let me look at the car. Turns out the owner is a buddy of his and he towed it over and let him keep it there as a favor but his patience was wearing thin and he was going to insist he move the car in the next day or so.

The car is a. 04 dodge intrepid gray sedan that is cosmetically really nice but had a real bad water leak coming out of the water pump weep hole. I went and did a leakdown test to make sure it didn't have a bad valve or blown head gasket then I told him I'd take it. The next morning a friend and I went down there and got it. We put water and a big bottle of bars leak in it, jump started it and drove it around the corner to a us forest service tree farm that has a nice picnic area near a creek.

We gave it a bath cuz it was covered in dirt and pitch from the trees it was parked under.

At the tree farm it wouldn't start again even with a jump so we pushed it out the gate cuz they close at 3 and there was a good parking space till 7 outside we could back in to to hide the tag till we got back from running errands around town for a couple hours

There I was able to disconnect the battery cable on the intrepid and using the other car's battery with both jumpers on the other connection and a pair of vice grips to connect the former cable to its post, start it. Then I reconnected the whole mess and went to leave and it died!

Aaaarrrrggg!

I did it all again a couple more times then said screw it and we went looking for a place to hide the car overnight.

We ended up pushing the car about a mile down the road to a lumber yard parking lot. I thought I should take the intrepid battery so I could see if I could charge it so I got on my phone to watch a video on how to remove it. They bury it under a bunch of stuff in the left front fender

While watching it I realized it was also a top post battery like the car I brought unlike the side post in the convertible I have that is much more similar to the intrepid

So I get the bright idea to swap batteries cuz the intrepid is a 6 cylinder and the other car a 4 cylinder which is much easier to start and doesn't die all the time

The intrepid battery barely fits but it does if you don't fully latch the hood so we fill with water again and start off. Both cars have overheating problems and it's a hot afternoon and we r 15 miles and 3000 feet in elevation away from home.

My friend doesn't have enough gas in her car so we still have to make one stop. We started climbing the hill on this little windy road. No traffic, but where it gets really narrow a couple cars are coming down and I have to let a couple tires leave the paved road to make room. When I do my car dies and won't restart apparently due to overheating.

My friend's car is hot too but we are not far from the top where there is a restaurant where we can stop and buy some cheap Mex food and split a bottomless ice tea

She starts pushing me with her car but we don't make it so we stop to put water in hers

Eventually we get there, the parking lot is crowded but we are able to push it up and roll it back into a shady spot way on the back

When we come back out we lie there in the intrepid (it has a cavernous interior) trying to figure out what to do re getting a trailer to come get it the next morning. I figure might as well try and start it for the hell of it and it starts so we r off 2 the races again

We make it up the hill to a friend's auto repair shop and leave it there

The thing that had me worried was the heat gage doesn't work on these cars when they leak coolant because the sensor is high up and the oil light would come on after a few miles

So the next day I was able to drive it home

So now I've got it all apart and it looks like the water pump gasket was leaking and it was all sludged up in the oil from using the wrong type and leaving it in too long

I've been making a study of these engines for a couple years now. They are amazing and low maintenance but the maintenance MUST be done and done exactly right or they self destruct quickly so the cars can be had in really nice shape super cheap

Since the water pump is inside the engine it's about a $1200 job if u have to pay someone to do it
So I'll have about $600 and about 40 hours into it and it will be around a $4000 car in like new condition. I'm also putting a ultracapacitor battery in it so no more funny biz with that battery

My other car only goes about 4 miles before overheating

So if need to take it out of service for a while
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 05:26 AM
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Congratulations. I hope this works out well for you.

You have the 2.7 engine, and I do wonder what condition the bottom end bearings are in if the water pump gasket was leaking. The bearing babbitts are not at all tolerant of antifreeze with both sitting and run time. With the sludge and possible bearing damage, you may have a serious rebuild on your hands, and if so, the overwhelming concensus here is that it would be more cost and time effective to swap in a good used engine. You should properly assess the bearings before putting that engine back on the road unless you just want to cross your fingers and see how far it takes you.

Ignoring the potential problems with your engine, I would only use a water pump from a dealer as the aftermarket 2.7 pumps are junk (old inferior pump and gasket design). Also, with the history and sludge condition, I would replace the chain tensioner, and definitely with one from a dealer - again, aftermarkets are pretty much all junk. I would put a chain stop block in (aftermarket - ebay). That will prevent engine damage if the tensioner ever fails.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 06:13 AM
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Sludge is not good!

Reman Short Block or good used engine where you change the water pump before install.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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The amazing thing about this is the gasket did fail (the steel/silicon type) however ALL the leakage came out the weep hole!

The sludging I'm seeing is from using an oil not rated for this engine's heat/shearing, not from coolant mixing.

I shopped around a fair bit to find the water pump with a proper fiber gasket.

There was no bottom end noise. I think the oil starvation was due to the head drainbacks being plugged. I've opened them up now with a coathanger.

I'm going to start it and run it for a while without the front cover so I can be sure the oil starvation thing doesn't return (watch to see if the oil level in the pan precipitously drops).

I saw 4 signs that another mechanic was in this car who didn't really know what he was doing:

1. One of the long skinny bolts going down thru the headlights was rounded off

2. One of the water pump bolts had been hammered on on its head (perhaps to force it through the gasket?)

3. The tensioner was missing its O-ring

4. The water pump gasket leaked (looked like due to overtorquing)

I've scraped as much sludge out of it as I can and washed it away with spray chemtool (making sure the drainbacks don't get plugged with the debris). Now I'm going to use cheap oil with a bit of liquid chemtool and marvel mystery oil and cheap PH8A compatible filters, changing them roughly every 500 miles, change the said oil/additives every 1000 miles, and pull one of the cam covers again after about 2000 miles and see where I'm at. When its looking good I'm going with a fresh change of Mobile 1 0-40 and an M1-301 (which I'm going to fabricate a skid plate to protect from road hazards).

While tinkering with my tensioner it actually fell apart on me and I got a good chance to check out the internals of it. There seems to be a lot of voodoo thinking about these tensioners where in fact they are actually quite simple devices. Between the checkvalve in the back there is a long spring with a little plastic "chopstick" looking plastic rod/spacer and a small piston that presses against the bleed hole in the other end. There is a small c-clip that holds it together and one of the two main parts is ribbed which gives it its "ratcheting" effect. I soaked the whole thing in chemtool for a couple of days, made sure all the parts were clean and functional, and put it back together. It seems perfectly fine. There is no scoring nor wear marks on it. The tensioner was only about 1/3 of the 1.5" extended so I'm keeping my chain. My guides were only slightly worn, barely enough to feel a ridge with a fingernail.

My plan is to just reassemble it (with the proper o-ring on the tensioner), release it, pull all the plugs and crank it over a few times to make sure its fully primed, the chain is TIGHT, and there's no springiness in the guide/tensioner. I may leave it like that overnight to see how much it leaks down. If I feel the amount is acceptable I'm going to put it together and use it. NO STOP BLOCK! As, after the initial flushing of the engine to remove sludge, I plan on running only mobil 1 0-40 and do the changes every 5-6k miles, plus annually pull a cam cover and watch my coolant level like a hawk to make sure I'm not developing any sludge problems, I really don't see any significant potential for tensioner failure.

Oh, I also pulled my pan as you can see in the pics so I'm going to be getting as much sludge out of it as humanly possible without a complete tear down before I start it back up again.

The car did make noise occasionally as I was driving it home, but it was clearly timing chain noise (and in fact I could hear it when I was turning the engine over manually, the tensioner guide snapping back and forth as the cams slacked/tightened the chain) because it also disappeared and the engine sounded perfect!

Oh, I also changed those inner tie rod bushings. They were shot, and when I hit a twisty road on the way home I thought I wasn't going to be able to successfully navigate it at any sort of normal speed. There was about 1/2 a turn of the wheel of hysteresis! The ones I bought from a local auto parts store were about 2x the price of the rubber ones I've been hearing about on the net and they were bright blue, so I'm thinking maybe they were urethane. Has anyone ever heard of these being available?

I think I've got a keeper here.

One thing, and I'll probably repost this on the 2nd gen forum, has anyone you know of done any work to relocate the coolant temp sensor? Its insanity that its the first thing to run dry, ergo to quit reading accurately, when the engine starts to loose coolant.

I'm thinking about doing something like putting a tee in my oil sending unit hole and putting both that and the coolant sensor there so I'm actually reading oil temp instead of coolant temp.

What do you think?

I tell you, I'm getting excited about racking up about 100k virtually maintenance free miles on this trep! Hopefully I'll have it together this week.

Last edited by kevinfish; 08-23-2016 at 12:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:06 PM
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You've done your homework.

Some comments:

• That's *excellent* news that coolant came out the weep hole. That doesn't always happen.

• 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.

• *Usually* the factory gasket fails due to the over-molded rubber rotting away over time.

• I *strongly* suggest the stop block - very good insurance against the unpredictable for less than $30.

• I'd consider re-using the old tensioner, but only with a stop block. Again - you really can't predict, and for <$30 . . .

• 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).

• 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?)

• Did I mention that I'd use a stop block no matter which way I went? Did I mention it's less than $30?

• Good call on re-using the chain and arms. Amazing how little the plastic rub surfaces of the arms wear.

• 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.

• 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.

• And - yes - I *am* a self-proclaimed know-it-all. Just ask anybody here.

Quote:
I think I've got a keeper here.
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!).

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.


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Last edited by peva; 08-23-2016 at 01:10 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
You've done your homework.

Some comments:

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!


Quote:
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.

Quote:

*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.

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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!
Quote:
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?
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?
Quote:
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

Quote:
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)


Quote:
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!

Quote:
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)!
Quote:
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).

Quote:

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!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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So now I have a question for you Peva:

The stupid water pump vendor didn't ship the fiber gasket, so how can I go about getting this steel and silicone one to actually work?

Should I just slather it all up with high temp silicone gasket goop (making sure to stay away from the weep holes) and put it on the flange loosely for overnight until the goop hardens up then torque it tomorrow?

Should I make my own gasket out of thick material?

Should I wait for him to send it?

(then if so, I still have to address the previous issues of the overall thickness of the part and changing the alignment of the sprocket)

You "know it all," so here's your chance to PROVE IT!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinfish View Post
...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).
That's the entire reason I suggested getting it from a dealer. They don't sell the old-design pump and the old design gasket - period. You would be guaranteed to get the best pump (better bearings, better seal, thick) and gasket (thin). With aftermarket, you would be almost guaranteed to get the old design pump (bearing- and seal-wise), and 50% chance of getting the new-design gasket depending on the thickness of the old-design pump they were supplying, whichever was cheapest for them to buy that month.

Quote:
...The water pump just came in and it ALSO has the steel/silicone gasket (and NOT the fiber one shown in the ad)...
...confirming absolutely everything I said before you posted this.

Quote:
...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.
The out-of-plane water pump sprocket is not the only potential issue. The distance between the pump mounting surface of the engine block and the inside of the timing cover must exactly match the thickness of pump + gasket (the inside of the timing cover fits exactly flush to the front of the water pump - pulled together and clamped by a couple of the bolts which go thru the cover and water pump). If you get that wrong, the timing cover will be warped out of shape as soon as you tighten the timing cover bolts, and from there it will never seal properly - oil will get out, dirt will get in thru a huge gap between block engine and timing cover. Ask me how I know (rhetorical question - the answer is that I didn't realize the original gasket was a gasket - I though it was part of the block and left it on when installing the new style pump and thin gasket. Just the added thickness of the one extra gasket ruined the brand new timing cover I had bought. Fortunately I noticed the obvious cover warpage before proceeding further with the re-assembly, figured out what I had done, and removed the extra gasket, and re-installed the original timing cover.)

Quote:
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.
They say that the an ordinary man learns by his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. What we on this forum know (about these cars) is very specific to these cars, which goes beyond generalizing from *similar* things that you might otherwise need to rely on due to lack of having the more specific knowledge.

Quote:
...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.
By the time you noticed it, it would be too late (unless it was the rare instance in which it did go out the weep hole).

Quote:
...Honestly, how often does it happen on cars with an external pump?
Except it only takes one time on this engine.


Quote:
...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...
Catching fire has nothing to do with loosing coolant/overheating on these cars. Everything to do with the plastic hard-line fuel line at the back of the engine cracking and dumping fuel on the hot exhaust.


Quote:
...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!
You missed the point about the collar in my previous post. It has to do with the some of the bolts being at 90 to others. Follow the procedure so that the collar can go flush to the mating surfaces with almost no clamping forces so it can freely slip in all directions as it needs to before significant clamping forces are applied so you don't end up with stress in the semi-rigid oil pan-structural collar-transmission system which can crack the oil pan when normal additional operating loads are applied during heavy acceleration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinfish View Post
So now I have a question for you Peva:

The stupid water pump vendor didn't ship the fiber gasket, so how can I go about getting this steel and silicone one to actually work?

Should I just slather it all up with high temp silicone gasket goop (making sure to stay away from the weep holes) and put it on the flange loosely for overnight until the goop hardens up then torque it tomorrow?

Should I make my own gasket out of thick material?

Should I wait for him to send it?

(then if so, I still have to address the previous issues of the overall thickness of the part and changing the alignment of the sprocket)...
Sometimes people give specific advice without having the time to explain all the whys and wherefores and who-shot-johns. I have since given you the *more* detailed reasons why I originally suggested getting the pump and gasket from the dealer. You just learned some of what was behind my advice the hard way. Neither the guy who sold you the pump nor the dealer will know what you're talking about if you start talking about the importance of matching the right gasket with the pump.


'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:11 PM
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At this point, assume the gasket they sent matches the thickness of the pump and use it - chances are it's right and you won't ruin the timing cover. But if it's wrong, what the hey - just get another timing cover out of a junker and do it all over again, maybe make a new gasket out of thin cardboard. You'll be building up that valuable experience before you know it. And the inferior pump will probably fail before the inferior gasket does anyway, so everything will work out absolutely perfectly.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hi! 2004 2.7L Intrepid owner

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Originally Posted by peva View Post
At this point, assume the gasket they sent matches the thickness of the pump and use it - chances are it's right and you won't ruin the timing cover. But if it's wrong, what the hey - just get another timing cover out of a junker and do it all over again, maybe make a new gasket out of thin cardboard. You'll be building up that valuable experience before you know it. And the inferior pump will probably fail before the inferior gasket does anyway, so everything will work out absolutely perfectly.

he he, I love sarcasm!

Well, this one is one for me to learn on. I'll probably only keep it a year or two anyway. I slathered the metal/silicone pump gasket with red RTV and screwed it on finger tight last night then torqued it this morning. Once I get the timing chain set I'm going to drop in the radiator and pressure test the whole system overnight to make sure its holding. Turns out the previous mechanic just installed the tensioner WITHOUT an o-ring NOR a C-clip to prevent it from tensioning its way right on into the block! I replaced both. I'm going to put the (now clean) pan back on, fill it and the filter with fresh oil, and crank the engine over sans plugs and front cover for a bit until I'm satisfied with the chain tension then leave that sit overnight too (perhaps at the same time I do the pressure test) then check it the next day to see if I'm happy with the amount of leakdown. If not I'll find another tensioner. I'm determined to conquer this beast one way or another! I want to know this engine inside and out before I get onto my Sebring (the one I really want to keep forever.

Having completely taken a tensioner apart, cleaned and reassembled it, I'm starting to believe that these tensioner failures are due to contamination and not so much them being factory vs aftermarket. I think if one starts to hear slap (even after its sat for some time), its time to pull it out, take it apart, clean it, reassemble, change oil, and reprime like I said above. I mean, for example, how often do hydraulic lifters fail on most other engines out there? Rarely. Its basically the same thing. It's just this beast gunks up its oil so much, and when it does, its a lot more serious than a ticking lifter so one can't take any noises with a grain of salt like you can with most other powerplants.

I think I can live with that. We'll see.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 12:50 AM
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Good Luck! the 2.7L isn't as forgiving as the 3.2/3.5L !
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