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Discussion Starter #21
I'd been away for awhile as it's been 98 +- 3 degrees for the past 2 months and I can only work on the car between re-doing the kitchen and the heat. I've concluded the cause of the original noise came from the metal pieces that clogged the oil pump pick-up. However I haven't discovered where the metal came from. Those "extra" bolts apparently found a home since they were gone when I put the engine back together, again. BUT after I put back all the OEM parts back in (there was nothing wrong with them) and made triple sure the tensioner was extended and primed it I started it and it still made noise. Note; I'm sorry, I've got a few seconds of audio video of it but I can't figure how to attach it. I do know exactly what one of the sounds is as I can duplicate it by manually turning the crank. It's chain slack that occurs in the chain between the right cam gear (drivers view) and the water pump gear. When I manually turn the crank with the timing cover off I can see the little bit of slack build up and then snap tight as I crank it with a long handle ratchet. It goes away when I have someone apply enough tension to the pivoting chain guide with a long screw driver simulating a properly operating tensioner. The other distinct noise sounds just like a "lifter" except there aren't any "lifters". DOHC engines have those lifter kinda' things that the "rocker arm" pivots on. But they to seem to operate the same way as an old school lifter in that they will make noise w/o enough oil pressure and the noise seems to be coming from the forward part of the right valve cover. Another thing I did was loosen the tensioner cover and turn the engine over w/ the ignition disconnected to get the oil pumping thru the new oil pump. I wanted to see how much oil would spill out of the tensioner cavity to get an idea of how much oil is getting to the tensioner to help extend it. And low' oh' behold there was no oil after at least a total of 15 seconds of cranking it. So now I'm wondering if the oil gallery is blocked somewhere just before a "lifter" or two and the tensioner. I don't have the "sludge" problem other 2.7's have had but I did have the mysterious metal issue. I can't imagine how any pieces could have got past the screen AND filter but we all know s&^t happens. From this forum and other "research" I've done I've found that the tensioner gets it's oil pressure after the right hand cams and "lifters". I've also found that the cam shafts are hollow and when I lift the cam from it's saddle/journal I can see the oil gallery hole. So I'm gonna' make sure those holes aren't blocked or restricted somehow. I know it's getting to the point of desperation, but darn it! the tank was just filled up, it's got new tires, and I like the car. Besides I'm retired and the kitchen is done.
BTW, anyone who noticed the mangled oil drain plug in the previous pics that was because I lost the new drain plug I just bought an hour before. I have since found and installed it.
For anyone still following this madness I appreciate everything offered and suggested. I'll be back much sooner with anything I find. It may be of assistance to someone.
Thanks again all, be safe.
 

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try a little seafoam in the oil to see if it cleans up the channels.
or some valve/lifter cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thanks Yevrah I'm a big fan of Seafoam. I looked up how it got it's name but I forgot. In any case, I'll use it in addition to anything else I find. I'm gonna try again with the video............ was just advised the file is too long and I'm sure there's a way to shorten it but I don't know how. But it's only a few seconds. Must be the audio. Didn't realize it uses so many 0's and 1's.
Tried to post this but it says it's uploading a file. I'll wait, maybe there's hope after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Since I took the front of the engine apart (you can get good at it after six times) to see if there was something obvious that was causing the "lifter"/timing chain noise, I also needed to change the main timing chain guide because, and I'll fess' to it here, while using one of my big screw drivers (the one we all have for things like this) to pry the guide tight against the chain I accidently placed it in between the top of the guide and the plastic "rub strip" on the guide and managed to pry the rub strip away from the guide. That broke one of the tabs that holds it in place so that the rub strip was able to flop around a bit. Luckily I was able to retrieve the small piece of black plastic that broke off and I had an extra guide.
Back to the issue at hand. While in the search for the "lifter" noise I removed the camshafts on the right head (driver's view) to check out the oil passages and the lifters/lash adjusters I discovered two things. One; the oil for the main chain tensioner comes from a oil gallery route that also goes to the two camshaft's chain tensioner. The oil line may divide so that half of the oil goes to the that secondary tensioner and half to the main tensioner. I'm not 100% sure because I only had one free hand to feel the compressed air I was blowing into the oil port for the secondary tensioner (the oil port is exposed when removed). But I did feel air blowing into the main tensioner cavity from it's oiling opening on the inside.
BTW if anyone removes the camshafts tensioner for the smaller chain you can easily compress it again in a vise and put a small length of wire the hole in one of the two plastic "arms" on either side to hold it compressed like they come when new. It is a bit&% to try to put it in extended if you can do it at all.
Just to make sure about something I wondered about with the main chain guide I reviewed past posts from a long, long time ago about the main chain guide's mounting and why the bushing it pivots on seems to have so much side to side play in it when installed. SO in the interest of anyone who may have to deal with it I attaching a couple pics of what it looks like and what was concluded a long, long time ago (why does a 60's song come to mind when I write that?) that that's the way it's supposed to be. Apparently there are no other washers/spacers other than the captive washer for the bolt and the bushing. Although there is a recess IMG_0943.JPG IMG_0940.JPG on the engine side of the guide that makes it look like there should be something there, it was concluded by people we all respect here that there isn't. I must say that in that discussion long ago it was discussed that there could be different configurations of guide's mounting that were change during production. But in this case that's the way it's supposed to be. Who knows what went on in the minds of Dodge engineers.
OK back to the issue at hand. I pulled three "lifters" out from their recesses and realized that of the three, two had to be pulled with some extra effort and one came right out. None of them would compress w/finger pressure though from what I've read here it seems they should. But if most of the noise was coming from them it wouldn't be because they were fully extended. I figure it would be because they were stuck "closed". I'm also guessing that the oil ports on the bottom of their recesses are for oil pressure to cushion them and provide pressure for them to expand.
I've read were some say they should be replaced after 150K miles but I'm going to leave them alone and take Yevrah's advise and use Seafoam oil additive along with the copious amount of WD-40 I'm spraying them with along with the 2-3 oil changes I'm planning to do within 15 miles of it back together again.
The engine is clean inside but there could still be contaminants from it being open so much and exposed to the dusty environment we have here. If it makes noise again I'll at least know nothing is broken and I can drive it 1-3 miles to see if the noise goes away with oil pressure as others have discovered.
I'll post the results tomorrow or wherever I get it running again.
I hope in some of the rambling there might be something someone can find useful. If I did then I'm OK with my wordiness.
Thanks Everyone in Intrepid Land
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Here's something I didn't experience before when putting the timing stuff back together before but that I know others have been confronted with. The right cam gear (drivers view) bolted up to the camshaft just fine with just a little cranking of the camshaft clock-wise that I'm used to, (standing in front of the bumper, it's a 2001 2.7 and the engine is pointing forward) But the other gear to the left camshaft will require a healthy turn clockwise to line up. The turn is much more than if it was turned the other way (counter-clockwise). (Ref: pics of the gear with a image of the camshaft mounting "ears" and bolt holes drawn on the front with a failing Sharpie) I included two other pics to show the alignment of the crank and other cam gear to the chain marks. One; because my the computer is working again with the image attachment stuff and two; it might be beneficial to see it for others. It was easier than trying to get a pic of the back of the gear and cam mounting holes. I'll probably answer my own question watching the Coyle's guy on YouTube and researching here but I don't remember it having to be turned so much IMG_0949.JPG IMG_0954.JPG IMG_0957.JPG to line up the bolt holes and I don't want to turn it counter-clockwise and be WAAAAY off if I'm wrong. Anyone been there?
Thanks as Always,
Rick
BYW, the source of the metal fragments has never been determined. I'm going with the idea that they've been there all along for 150K miles but came "unstuck" for some reason from where ever they lived, probably in the oil pan from initial assembly. The little pieces plugged the oil pump pick-up and caused the oil starvation that made all the "lifter" and chain noise that begat this whole dilemma.
 

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Pay attention to the details (positions of slots on ends of camshafts, positions of sprocket marks, positions of sprocket bolts relative to valve cover mounting planes) in the sketches from the FSM:

41000


41001


41002
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thank You Peva, as always, sometimes it takes a slap to get me to come around. The whole problem I created for myself is I didn't remember if I'd had to turn the left sprocket (drivers view) counter-clockwise a little to line it up w/the bolts holes. And of course, I did have to. Everything is exactly as required as far as alignment is concerned. The tensioner (OEM) popped out just fine and with the temp marks I put on it I know it's extended completely. That was something I wasn't 100% sure had happened before. I know more about the "lifters" so if they don't quiet down after the additives and a few miles I'll replace them. They aren't very expensive for the set.
I've spent waaaaay too much time on this thing up to now so I'm going to button it up and take what I get.
Thanks Again, I have a heathy respect for your patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I just had a feeling something wasn't right. I have discovered that the left (drivers view) camshaft gears have BOTH painted "diamond" shape to indicate where the plated links should line up to AND dimples. Each pair is 12 pins apart but only the dimples are lined up with the dark links. On mine anyway. I didn't notice the difference and had the camshaft gears lined up with the diamonds w/o looking to see where the dark chain links were. They were right were they should be above the dimples and when I turned the shafts so they were pointing up they also are 12 pins apart and don't have to be turned much to line up the bolt holes using them as I had obviously been doing before. Who'd ah' thunk? The right camshaft pair has dimples only. I took pics that will make what I'm trying to say clearer and will post them as soon as I can.
Someone else has had to have had the same issue confusing the heck out of everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
For what it's worth to anyone dealing with the camshaft gear alignment w/the smaller chain. You shouldn't have to mess with it during a water pump, tensioner and /or guide change BUT I found on my 2001 Intrepid 2.7 that there are TWO marks on the camshaft gears on the left head (drivers view). I discovered them after trying to line up the bolts holes to the bigger timing gear and something didn't seem right when I had to crank the left camshaft to line up the bolt holes. I never noticed it before and since the cams weren't disturbed I never had to line them up. I don't know how the ended up turned a little to expose the painted "diamond" marks. But both the dimples and "diamonds are 12 pins apart. They're just kinda' "shifted" over a few teeth. I can't make out the marked chain links yet because they're not as obvious as the right head's cam chain (the smaller one) But when I see them I'll know which marks to use since the engine started fine before the teardown. SO it would behoove anyone to check what you IMG_0963.JPG IMG_0961.JPG have and what marks to use by seeing what it was before you take the main camshaft gear off to remove the chain.
Sorry for the picture set-up. I'm have trouble figuring out the new way my computer decided to "attach" pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
All perspectives are from the drivers view. It took awhile but I found that the colored links for the camshaft chain on the left cylinder head and they were located in-between the triangle mark and the dimple on the camshaft gears. I'm referring to the secondary, or smaller gears and chain common to both pairs of camshafts. After dealing with chain noise for the second time I took it apart and discovered that there are a pair of marks on each of the left head camshaft gears. I hadn't noticed this before and only saw the pair of "dimples" to make sure were lined up with the colored links on the smaller cam chain the last time I removed the cams to check the "lifters" (or lash adjusters). But now the colored chain links are in-between the dimple and triangle marks. I may have installed them incorrectly before this but the engine started fine and I drove it about for about a mile before I parked it again to deal with the noise that hadn't gone away. I didn't drive enough to notice any power differences. So I'm in a dilemma. Did I install them correctly last time I had them out or do the colored chain links belong on the dimples or triangle shape marks. One source says use the dimples. BTW the right camshafts only have dimples and the chain's colored marks are much easier to see. Also each pair of marks are 12 pins apart from each other's respective dimple or triangle and the marks are separated by one link each if looking at the chain laying on them. I just need to be sure where the colored links go and if I had them wrong the last time.
 

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I could be totally missing your point, but the chain's "links of color" don't matter. The relationship between the sprocket pairs is 100% what matters. IOW, 12 pins between the marks on the small sprockets, chain links of color can be anywhere. Those links of color move around from one rotation of the engine to the next. When re-using the old chain, often it's impossible to tell which links started out colored. Doesn't matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Peva, as always, I appreciate your input. You, and others here, manage to use far less words to get your point across (a very valuable skill in itself) than me. I understand completely about the "dark" links. It doesn't matter as long as there's 12 links between from their respective "dots" on the smaller cam gears when installed. I entered another tread to ask here what I'm missing. I've installed the chain a dozen times and this time something is wrong. Ref; Timing Chain. I took the cams out again on the left side (drivers view) and even put the original chain back on. But when installed w/all the primary chain marks in place and the right sprocket bolted, but not torqued, the left sprocket's bolt holes will not line up w/o substantial turning and even then the cam will jump counter-clockwise or clockwise as a lobe rotates over a valve stem and spring . It ain't right. But the smaller cam gear dots are oriented straight up to start. It don't feel like it did before. It's probably right in front of me but I don't see it. I attached another pic of the cams as they are just before I lay them in. The dots at 12:00 and marked.

IMG_0992.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I'm writing today to offer my thanks for the truly knowledgeable folks here who help others take on the 2.7 engine. After installing Cloyes components to my timing system in order to get the chain to tighten up and quiet down I've concluded the problem doesn't lie there. The noises didn't change one bit.
In my efforts to help with "the basics" of auto diagnosis I've made the biggest mistake anyone could make. Don't over think it and don't assume. The most glaring example is my "I still don't know the origin of the metal pieces in the oil pick-up". I blew it off because I didn't want to pull the engine to do it right. I have concluded the metal came (or is still coming) from a head gasket. I've researched the heck out of it and haven't found a similar case but I'm thinking it's the only way it could have happened. The head gasket is thin metal and part of it wraps around the cavities in the heads where the cam gear and chain spin. I'm thinking that somehow a piece of that section cracked and migrated into the mix master of the timing chain action and got chewed up into the small pieces that clogged the oil pick-up. The larger pieces, about 3/4" long and about 1/64" thick just managed to not get caught up in the spinning chain it and fell straight down to the oil pan. It is the only way such large pieces could get into the pan. The bottom line is the engine starved for oil for awhile until it started making the noise.
It's now making a definite rod knock from the area I removed the bearing cap from #5 rod. It was only off long enough to look at it and put it back on. But rod bearings are very sensitive to being disturbed from where they lived. I'm pretty sure the pick-up and filter caught the debris but I'll never be sure until I tear it down.
It's hell getting old, it's not as fun anymore wrenching into stuff. But I'm gonna' pull the heads to check my gasket theory.
Thanks to everyone (I'd name em' but I'm afraid I'll miss someone but everyone knows who they are). I'll press on and be back when I have something to report that might help.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that your issue still isn't found and fixed yet. Whenever I have issues with any of my cars, I'll always cruise the forums as usually someone else has had the same issue I'm experiencing. It's amazing no one else ever reported having this problem. I wish I had an idea but this engine is not in my wheelhouse of knowledge. Thanks for the updates and I hope you find the problem without much more work.
 

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I hear you about getting older. I used to love working on my cars. Now? Not so much.
 
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Discussion Starter #36
Metal in engine solved. I hate it when I'm reading a thread and it stops before issue is concluded so I'm following up here. I knew I had to find the source of the metal and since it's cooled off substantially around here I started digging into the engine again. BTW the car has sat this whole time and only started and run long enough to realize nothing changed even after Cloyes timing parts.
I removed the oil pan and started w/#6 rod and removed the cap. I knew #6 was OK since I had looked at it before but that was the only one I removed at the time. (Note to self; don't assume anything!) I'm attaching a photo of #3 rod bearing cap and what's IMG_1035.JPG left of the #3 bearing.
Anyway, that was the source of the metal. I suspect Peva and some others had an idea but were just being nice. The pieces clogged the oil pick-up screen and the oil for the bearing just poured out and dropped the oil pressure downstream. And the since the timing chain stuff is downstream the tensioner never had the pressure to push hard enough on the guide to keep the chain tight.
BTW The crank/rod journal is undamaged believe it or not. Not even a scratch.
Just wanted to update. Rod bearings, they do fail even in cars driven like the family sedan Intrepid's they are and oil changed religiously. I think I'm getting some of the feeling I used to have wrenching on cars. It feels good to find something like this. You folks know what I mean.
When I find more I'll post it.
Thanks
 

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You give me too much credit. Yourself and others were talking about bearings. 👍
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Just an advisory. If you start hearing engine noise while driving STOP it as soon as it's safe and shut it down. I've read posts where people keep driving their cars while noise is happening. I realize well that many folks have no choice. Nowhere to work on it, only car, little resources, and/or little to no experience wrenching on stuff. My #3 rod bearing disintegrated with pieces clogging the oil pump pick-up screen. But measuring the bearings and journals downstream of #3 I found that, so far, they are within specs. New the rod bearings are .058 thick. I found mine to be .054 +/- .004. Pretty amazing for 160K.
I know this is a pain to do and a reputable shop will charge at least 8hrs. labor plus parts. However it's very doable if one researches it and reads the valuable tips here and elsewhere. The 2.7 is built using mainly 8, 10, 13mm fasteners with and occasional 11mm (rods caps) and a 15mm bolt (one) on the timing cover.
Above all, please everyone take care.
 
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