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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the Intrepid new in 2004. It has not been a daily driver, so the miles accumulated slowly. 18 years later it has reached 133,000 miles. I knew that I should have already replaced the timing chain, but I hadn't. In March this year the engine started making a dreadful noise one day and left us stranded when it died. Since then I've accumulated repair and replacement parts and disassembled the portions of the engine necessary to replace the timing chain and water pump. I've also replaced the thermostat and intend to replace the radiator before all this is put back together. During this work I removed the oil pan to inspect the crankshaft bearings. Today, I intended to replace the oil pan. First in this process was to inspect the oil pickup tube by blowing air through it in reverse. Out of that tube came numerous flakes of shiny metal. I no longer have the oil filter which was on the engine at failure so I cannot inspect the filter. It was a K&N HP filter.
In all my disassembly and inspection, I've found no evidence of anything being worn out or broke down other than the primary timing chain tensioner. It was 3 mm beyond its replacement mark.
There was no water in the oil. There was no loss of oil pressure during the failure. The old water pump is in perfect condition. The crankshaft bearings are stable. I tried to move them with my hand and they would not move. The oil was not shiny and the oil pan doesn't have glittery crud in it.

My hope is that the loose timing chain was slapping something and shaving flakes and particles of metal off, which then fell into the oil pan and were sucked up by the pickup tube. I haven't found evidence of that in the form of a clearly worked surface somewhere near the path of the chain.

With the only good evidence I have being that the chain and tensioner must be replaced with new, I plan to buy a new pickup tube and continue re-assembling the engine. I'll use a new Mobil One oil filter with the reassembly. If the engine runs well, I'll be thrilled. The two photos below are the collection of shavings on a shop towel.
Wood Tints and shades Stain Chemical compound Concrete
Wood Tints and shades Stain Chemical compound Concrete
 

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I bought the Intrepid new in 2004. It has not been a daily driver, so the miles accumulated slowly. 18 years later it has reached 133,000 miles. I knew that I should have already replaced the timing chain, but I hadn't. In March this year the engine started making a dreadful noise one day and left us stranded when it died. Since then I've accumulated repair and replacement parts and disassembled the portions of the engine necessary to replace the timing chain and water pump. I've also replaced the thermostat and intend to replace the radiator before all this is put back together. During this work I removed the oil pan to inspect the crankshaft bearings. Today, I intended to replace the oil pan. First in this process was to inspect the oil pickup tube by blowing air through it in reverse. Out of that tube came numerous flakes of shiny metal. I no longer have the oil filter which was on the engine at failure so I cannot inspect the filter. It was a K&N HP filter.
In all my disassembly and inspection, I've found no evidence of anything being worn out or broke down other than the primary timing chain tensioner. It was 3 mm beyond its replacement mark.
There was no water in the oil. There was no loss of oil pressure during the failure. The old water pump is in perfect condition. The crankshaft bearings are stable. I tried to move them with my hand and they would not move. The oil was not shiny and the oil pan doesn't have glittery crud in it.

My hope is that the loose timing chain was slapping something and shaving flakes and particles of metal off, which then fell into the oil pan and were sucked up by the pickup tube. I haven't found evidence of that in the form of a clearly worked surface somewhere near the path of the chain.

With the only good evidence I have being that the chain and tensioner must be replaced with new, I plan to buy a new pickup tube and continue re-assembling the engine. I'll use a new Mobil One oil filter with the reassembly. If the engine runs well, I'll be thrilled. The two photos below are the collection of shavings on a shop towel.
View attachment 42527 View attachment 42527
Was the water pump replaced with the updated design or has it been replaced at all?
 

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Even though it’s in good shape, I think it would be a “while you’re in there” type of job. The original water pumps on these engines are prone to pre mature failure and they did update the design for the 2005 generation of 2.7s. It’ll bolt right up to your engine.
 

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Did you remove a couple main/rod bearing caps and inspect the actual bearings? Especially the ones farthest from the oil pump. That looks like bearing material; hard to say 100%.

If not that, what was the cause of the noise and engine shutdown?

If the chain was riding loose it could have been rubbing somewhere or those may have been pieces of the chain rollers coming out while it was loose.

Absolutely replace the water pump with the updated one; if you havent already, no matter how good the old water pump looks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Even though it’s in good shape, I think it would be a “while you’re in there” type of job. The original water pumps on these engines are prone to pre mature failure and they did update the design for the 2005 generation of 2.7s. It’ll bolt right up to your engine.
Precisely. A new Mopar water pump is already installed in this project. The flakes above informed my decision to remove and inspect the oil pump. This has been done today. I've drained the small amount of old oil from the oil pump onto a white porcelain dish and see small particles that could fit through the screen of the pick-up tube. This is bad news.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe it's not such bad news. The particle from the oil pump is black, not flaky or shiny. Two of the piston heads are caked with carbon. Prior to the failure I had run Marvel Mystery Oil 20% with my motor oil for 3000 miles. I had changed the oil with 100% synthetic Royal Purple 3 days before the fail. This particle could very well be carbon. I'll give the engine a rinsing of kerosene to see if any more shiny flakes come out.
 

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Maybe it's not such bad news. The particle from the oil pump is black, not flaky or shiny. Two of the piston heads are caked with carbon. Prior to the failure I had run Marvel Mystery Oil 20% with my motor oil for 3000 miles. I had changed the oil with 100% synthetic Royal Purple 3 days before the fail. This particle could very well be carbon. I'll give the engine a rinsing of kerosene to see if any more shiny flakes come out.
I would change the oil in your car every 3000-3500 miles. It's good to use a full synthetic like you are. I personally run Mobil 1 full synthetic and a Mopar oil filter. Also even though my car only has 120k in comparison to your 133k, it burns oil at high rpms so if you drive it hard, check the oil frequently as well as keep an extra quart or 2 handy just in case.
 

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Two comments about putting MMO in the crankcase:

• You don't want to do too "sudden" a cleanout in case things are really gunked up and could release too much crap too quickly.

• MMO is very thin compared to 10W-30 oil. Even when using relatively small amounts of MMO in the crankcase, you should bump the viscosity of the oil up to compensate for the thin MMO so you maintain the oil film thickness between bearing surfaces.

When I used to run my 2.7 with MMO in the crankcase (before I eventually switched over to full synth to extend my oil change interval a little as I got older), I put in about 8 ounces of MMO, and mixed the oil 50/50 of 10W30 and 20W-50 to keep the viscosity up. That's about 5% MMO-to-motor oil. You said you mixed yours about 20%, and with no compensation for thin MMO. Yowza!! That's some thin oil!

See the next-to-last paragraph of post number 2 in the following thread for typical advice I used to give on putting MMO in the crankcase:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would change the oil in your car every 3000-3500 miles. It's good to use a full synthetic like you are. I personally run Mobil 1 full synthetic and a Mopar oil filter. Also even though my car only has 120k in comparison to your 133k, it burns oil at high rpms so if you drive it hard, check the oil frequently as well as keep an extra quart or 2 handy just in case.
I thought that my car was burning oil. When I was taking it apart I found oil in in the spark plug holes. With the age of the car, the spark plug seals had deteriorated and allowed the oil to splash out. Perhaps it had been burning oil also. In that last 3000 miles with the MMO, I measured frequently and saw that the oil level had not declined.
 

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I thought that my car was burning oil. When I was taking it apart I found oil in in the spark plug holes. With the age of the car, the spark plug seals had deteriorated and allowed the oil to splash out. Perhaps it had been burning oil also. In that last 3000 miles with the MMO, I measured frequently and saw that the oil level had not declined.
"Perhaps it had been burning oil also. In that last 3000 miles with the MMO, I measured frequently and saw that the oil level had not declined:"

The two most common causes of high oil usage in the 2.7 are the PCV system needing attention or the valve stem seals needing replacing - and the oil usage can vary greatly depending on type of driving for both problems. Not saying you have either problem, but consider them if you start seeing high oil usage again.

The 2.7 valve stems seals (particularly the exhaust ones) typically go out somewhere north of 100k miles due to the high head temperatures around the valve stems.

A good test of the valve stem seals is to simulate a tight passing situation (with engine at normal operating temperature) by accelerating rapidly from, say, 40 to 60 or 65 mph, and then suddenly removing your foot from the accelerator pedal to decelerate (without using the brakes). If valve stem seals are bad, there will be a big cloud of smoke from the exhaust during the deceleration. (The smoke comes from creating a high vacuum situation which pulls oil past the bad seals into the combustion chambers.) You may also see a cloud of smoke from the exhaust at cold startup depending on conditions just before engine was shut off. You (the driver) may not see the smoke due to poor rearward visibility in these cars. In the simulated passing situation, you might have a friend follow you (or you could actually pass them). If it's blowing smoke, it will be unmistakable to them.
 

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Having blown a 2.7 once in my lifetime, almost 20 years ago (2000 SE that was totally neglected prior to me, blew at 64,000 miles), if I was working on one today and saw that I would do two things. 1 - get my eyes on the rod and main bearings. Assuming they appear to be OK, 2 - replace the oil pump while everything is already apart. at 133k it doesn't owe you anything, no need to save it unless finding a new Mopar replacement is obscenely difficult (like finding a NOS Mopar water pump on the 3.2/3.5 was until a new OEM part number came out recently).
 
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