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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a few questions.... no, I'm not ignorant about the car, but, I love to be well... a bit more "intimate" with my vehicles than most people dream of being. I drove ONLY Mopars. Nothing else. Never. EVER. I refuse to own anything designed by Germans, either, so most new stuff is out.

If i have to drive my 65 Power Wagon, or my 93 diesel until 2048, when I get too old to drive, I'll do so. No way, NO HOW will I ever own anything but a real Mopar...

I was quite impressed back in the day, when the LH platform was introduced, and wanted one, but... kids, family, bills... You know, the "you don't buy new cars, that's way down the priority list" thing. Anyway, 1st gen Intrepids (or, if God smiles on me, an Eagle Vision TSI in black...) are about the speed right now for the family beater. Iv'e driven a few, both new and old, and have a few questions...

1. Do the doors become sprung when the car ages? I seem to find a lot of used LH cars with a single door having a lot of wind noise, and I'm not seeing torn weatherstripping.

2. What paint / colors should be avoided for the mid 90's?

3. Do the wheel / bolt patterns change through the years?

4. What are the common little bits to break or fail? Every car's got them...

5. Any common reasons for engine failure on the 3.5?

If someone or more than one, of you more knowledgeable types can answer those questions, I'd be most appreciative...

BTW, the car I'm most interested in, is a 3.5 ES, or Vision TSI with 3.5. Nothing like the family barge that you can autocross on a whim :)


EDIT:

One last thing... Those headlights are horrible. How do you improve them?
 

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Deutsche Technik ist das beste!

-GB49 :anon:
 

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1. I don't know about others, but my car has a lot of wind noise. Also, the doors creak a lot when opening and closing. I suppose i should grease them one of these days...

2. I don't think there are any notoriously bad colors. Al the LHs I've seen have had pretty good paint.

3. No. 93-04 are all 5x114.3

4. Transmission & tie-rods. (maybe some others too, but I can't think of them right now)

5. Don't know, as I own a 3.3

And as for your edit, if you figure that out you'd be a VERY rich man.
 

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Have a 93 E/S with 185,000 miles. If you don't have the service records assume that and 3.5 with over 80,000 on the clock needs a timing belt. I overlooked this and it cost me several weekends putting in a new motor. While your at it have a water pump and timing belt adjuster put in as well.
Trans can be a pain. Before you buy let the car idle in one spot for at least 10 minutes, then if you see ant drops of fluid on the bell housing pass on the car or deal yourself about $600 for repairs.
So far as paint, mines a dark green ( i think they call it Teal ) no problems with fading or peeling, but I live in Oregon and sun damage isn't much of a problem. I drive all over the country for a living and from what I've seen I would stay away from any white Mopar from the late 80s thru mid 90s. At least check the paint carefully.
Lest I scare you away, I really enjoy the car and would buy another, at least untill the new Challenger come. out
 

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Get a 98 or later. Much tighter body build. Transmissions are weak, need to keep fresh fluids. If fluids freah, they should last. AC units (evaporator) go up. 2.7 engines prone to water pump / sludge / premature death. Some people maintain them well and they last forever. Many do not, and they go early. 3.2 possibly best engine, low internal stresses, very possible long life. 3.5 strong also.
 

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93-97 3.5 L engines are notorious for their rod bearings going, if you hear any ticking/knocking from the engine, that's a bad sign, but if not, buy it and stick some synthetic oil in there
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Apcsox said:
93-97 3.5 L engines are notorious for their rod bearings going, if you hear any ticking/knocking from the engine, that's a bad sign, but if not, buy it and stick some synthetic oil in there

Ok, so why do the rods fail? It's a close enough relative to the 3.3, which seems dang near impossible to kill. Are they marginal size for the horsepower / rpm / loading, or is there some oiling issue with the block?

Instant, catastrophic failure is usually attributable to part failure of some kind - be it oil pump or some other such. But if they commonly start rattling and then eventually spin after a few thousand miles, it seems more like a stress-related type of failure, in which case perhaps putting in full groove mains might be a permanent type of fix.

Is the crank forged or cast?
 
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Not rods, rod bearings. At Crankshaft.
Lack of oil, dirty oil, improper oil for temps, generally poor maintenance, lack of knowledge, lack of frequent oil changes.
Crank is forged. Both generations.

1993 3.5L with many miles.
Still taking 600 mile trips more confidently than any other of my cars..

Other than that, I keep my oil clean, never will there be a problem.
[knockin on wood right about now.]

Door come out of alignement, hence wind noise.
Take them off, realign, At 100 mph I don't hear anything but air over the mirrors whooshing by. I know what you're talking about though, It's the upper part of the door seems bent outwards a little.. I had the same problem on my 97 LH.
It's cuz I let my stupid ass friends hang on the door while it's open, while talking to someone.

EGR valve over 100K, and timing belt/water pump is a must. Nothing else ever..
1st Generation (93-1997) 3.5L is a NON-INTERFERENCE engine, hence you don't need a new engine when the timing belt blows up. 2nd Generation (97 and up) IT IS AN INTERFERENCE engine, that will damage if Timing Belt blows up. Main difference, besides it being aluminum, lighter, more powerful, different cams and uppers.
Never had problems with paint.. both of my LHs shiny still. Must be some carwashing and waxing every couple of months. That's the first I hear, peeling paint problem I mean..
Wheels are interchangeable all years, all models. 93-2003. Even Chrysler 300Ms wheels and a lot of interior parts.. still interchangeable. Interior parts are interchangeable with minor mods between generations. Can you say LEGOs?
Parts are cheap, junkyards are full of them.
Tranny - weakest point. 2nd Gens have better tranny, but when my 1st Gen tranny blew up, I put in the 2nd Gen, much better and more reliable, so I got that problem solved too..

Hmm.. If mine ever got totalled I'd be looking for another 3.5L, 1st or Second Gen, as long as it's 3.5L. :)

Rather Annoyances than grievances:
Headlights, headlight brackets, leaky sunroofs (fixable), frame bushings, inner and outter tierods, suspension and steering bushings and mounts, cheap things like that that will annoy you.
Other than that, no complaints here.

That's the analogy: I feel like I have a 15 year-old that is both on Top Ten Students list and Top Ten Security's list. BAd ass, but excellent student. hehe. I love it.
 

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Definatley ask if the water pump and timing belt have been changed, on the 3.5. Its about $115 in parts at mechanic prices from napa and about double from a mechanic. As well as a full day project or a few more hundered to get it put in.

As for headlights i run silverstars and they light everything up real nice, which is important because where i'm from i drive slower because i'm more worried about hitting deer than getting tickets.

As for little parts that break. the black plastic hood cowl...if you see that it is cracked it won't be long till parts of it are missing.

I have the autostick transmission which makes the car just a little more fun and a little safer for winter driving sinch you can downshift and break w/ the engine.

Its been an overall good first car for me, the only major problems i have had are lower intake gaskets needed replaced and the waterpump/timingbelt. My fuel rail also got messed up but that was the result of a mechanics error while replacing my intake gasket.
 
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