Can An 04 Intrepid Engine Actually Be Worked On?

intrepid
alternators

#1

I am trying to get at my Daughter’s 04 Dodge Intrepid 2.7L thermostat housing which has coolant streaming out of it. The Haynes book doesn’t seem to be very realistic in it’s instructions. I have moved the radiator aside as much as I could, but still can’t get at the alternator to get it out of the way of the stat housing. Looks like I’d have to remove the huge sheet metal shroud in front of the engine, with it’s many bolts and plastic rivets, to even have a chance at getting at the idlers and belts and alternator. The Haynes book, though, makes no mention of removing this shroud, but makes like the engine is out of the car on a test stand, with access to everything! So we’re wondering, how does one get at these components on this engine?


#2

You Can Take That Huge Metal “Shroud” Off If You’d Like. It’s Not That Big Of A Deal. The Few Minutes It Takes (lots of screws) Is Worth It. The Plastic Rivets Have A Center Pin That Comes Up To Release The Rivet.

Move the metal plate out of the way, but leave the hood release cable hooked up and be very careful with it. You don’t want to replace one, trust me.

Loosen the accesory drive belt tensioner pulley and loosen the adjusting bolt. The belt comes off.

Move the transmission cooler out of the way. My information says to remove the lower radiator crossmember support and support the radiator.

The alternator comes off and there you are, ready to remove the housing.

Look at it and see if that makes sense.

CSA


#3

I feel your pain. I swear that one job I looked at in a Haynes/Chiltons manual began thusly:

Step 1: Remove Engine.
Step 2: . . .


#4

Holy crap! All for a thermostat housing? You can sure tell that engineers don’t work on cars. Rocketman


#5

Your absolute best bet here is to run as far away from the 2.7v6 as possible…really!
A car nut friend of mine described them as “Throwaway” engines

especially in a intrepid, the car is too big for the little engine…but if you want to keep the car and or make it better resale value someday the thing to do is to to swap in a 3.2 or 3.5. reason being is that they are more plentiful and cheaper to repair & typically less problematic.

FACT…this engine has the water pump internal inside the engine…so if or when the water pump leaks or fails…coolant is unrestricted to the oil which leads to sludge. other interesting info
http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/chrysler-27-liter-v6-engine-class-action-lawsuits-consolidated-2755/

yes it is A LOT of work to get to the Tstat…removing the cover is just one hurtle…then remove the Alternator (at least I did on a Stratus) not to mention radiator hose…& the Haynes don’t always fill you in on ALL the details but you already discovered that


#6

Are you sure the T-stat housing is leaking? Next to the T-stat housing is a hole in the block. This hole is the weep hole for the water pump. If coolant is leaking from this hole the water pump requires replacing.

Tester


#7

God Bless the Ford Motor Company and the Crown Vics they once produced…Hopefully, mine will last as long as I will…


#8

The info about the Chrysler 2.7 is baseless; much like most class action lawsuits. Have a car problem for whatever reason? It’s always somebody else’s fault.

I’m in total agreement with Caddyman about the Crown Vics and you might be interested in a few CV notes from the latest issue of Car Craft. One of the editors has an ongoing project based on an ex-Santa Barbara, CA cop car. The city of SB purchased 39 brand new CVs from Ford and has mothballed them in a warehouse.
They state they are doing this for 2 reasons. One is so the current crop of cop stuff can be used on the new cars and the other is because the CVs have proven to be so reliable they hate to give them up.

They’re adopting a wait and see attitude on the current crop of potential new cop cars including the Taurus as they want to make sure they’re going to hold up as well as Ole Reliable.

According to CC the CVs were done in by the Feds because of roll-over and side impact concerns. Ford says it’s cheaper to come up with a new car than re-engineer the old one and that’s a rotten shame because I consider the CVs to be one of the safest cars on the road today.

Just a couple of days ago in OK a couple of sheriff’s deputies in a CV were rammed by a suspect from behind at about 100 MPH. The car was pretty well mangled but both guys came out with just a few bruises and nicks. The CV also did not go up in a fireball either… :slight_smile:


#9

How can law suits in at least 4 states be baseless?? Do they hand them (law suits) out before you go to “The Box Mart” stores?? “Hey we got a open Law suit just in case you need one”?? Engines fail true, for what reasons is not always known. I certainly can understand how they (this particular engine), could be flawed after working on my son-in-laws. Baseless…doubtful! A co-worker has this same car as the original poster…after 2 failed replacement engines, from coolant in the oil…he swapped in a larger v6 and has been much happier. The reason for the swap as stated by his mechanic was that “Good parts are hard to find for the 2.7 and very expensive”…it was cheaper to swap in different engine that is less prone to issues & easier to work on, than to keep the 2.7. This coming from real world folks that earn their living off repairs and see this trend. And understand customer relations. Baseless…doubtful!

the original poster wanted to know if they could be worked on…they can…but be warned, they are very expensive to work on because of the design, which is labor intensive to do relatively simple repairs…like change a thermostat and replacement parts that you might go through 3-4 before getting a good one.


#10

Enriched, A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing !
“FACT…this engine has the water pump internal inside the engine…so if or when the water pump leaks or fails…coolant is unrestricted to the oil which leads to sludge. other interesting info”

Most car engines made in the past decade or two have “the water pump internal inside the engine” . I know because I can read and also I have replaced them. Failure of the pump DOES NOT lead to “unrestricted” coolant entering the engine oil.

" . . . especially in a intrepid, the car is too big for the little engine . . . "
More BS ! My daughter is now driving my wife’s 2.7L Interpid with 305,000 miles on it. The engine has always run extremely smoothly and trust me, it develops plenty of power to propel this car down the road. It’s just loafing at highway speed.

The suit, like other sludge suits, basically involves a class of people who don’t maintain their cars. Some cars are more susceptible to the resulting problems, but these folks are going to have problems, anyhow.

Ignorance is one thing when kept a secret, but is dangerous when you publish it.

My wife still misses her Intrepid. I will agree that the 3.5L (except for a timing belt) was one nice engine. I’ve got one in my Intrepid.

CSA


#11

Tester’s Got It Figured Out.

That comment about the leaking housing had me scratching my head too, but the question was how to remove it . . .

Reconsidering not persuing this, my Factory Manual says, “It is normal for the water pump to weep a small amount of coolant from the weep hole (black stain on water pump body-3.2/3.5L, or at the weep passage below the thermostat housing-2.7L).

CSA


#12

Most car engines made in the past decade or two have “the water pump internal inside the engine” . I know because I can read and also I have replaced them. Failure of the pump DOES NOT lead to “unrestricted” coolant entering the engine oil.

As you mention, yes most or all water pumps have the driven or the water pump impeller, the mechanism that physically moves coolant, is internal to the water jacket and subsequent engine…this is true.
this particular engine has both driven and drive ends sealed interior to the engine. and a weep hole that can handle the occasional weep…not a gush.

Yes, no doubt, that there are those who are fortunate to get very high miles out of their 2.7, & that is very good…no disputing that…there are those also whom have not.

the lawsuits are part of public record…just sharing, as you are sharing your success with your 2.7.


#13

You flat don’t get it. Filing a lawsuit means nothing other than that someone is upset and ambulance chasing attorneys (Lord knows there are enough of them; TV is glutted with trolling lawyers) are very eager to go after deep pockets.

Oil sludging is caused by failure to change the oil often enough and/or other factors; chronic poorly maintained engine, dilution of engine oil with coolant, etc, etc, etc.
Per your prior comments what are you going to file a class-action over? Special tools requried, integral water pumps, dual overhead camshafts, or what?

Your comments show that your mechanical skills are almost nil so you are simply upset over your inability to breeze through over repairs that used to be much easier.

Even your comment about the engine being too small for the car is way offbase. Maybe you’re not familiar with Ford’s bulletproof 2.3 4 banger in the Ford Taurus or SAAB’s equally bulletproof 2.0 in the 900; all cars of about the same weight with much smaller engines.


#14

And apparently you can’t stand to have anyone with opposing view or opinion.

I do get it…you feel that these engine are note worthy, and you entitled to that. Why can’t I be entitled to my opinion?

I didn’t get in on these Lawsuits, nor have I created them, others have…because I presented information that is contrary to what you believe…no one else can have their own thoughts or point of view. AND Agreed, there are those less scrupulous folks that are willing to chase after other with deep pockets, so to speak, on a legal perspective. TV roll models, do not do much for hedging off these events.

I’m merely saying from the design perspective…I can see how and why they have had issues, which in turn has apparently led to legal entanglements.

I agree that sludge build is a problem from lack of maintenance…for any engine.

Yes I get frustrated with a repair that should be simple and has been…they, the designers/manufactures have over complicated it, making for over expensive for repairs and open the door premature failure. Which drive up the cost of maintenance for everyone needlessly.

In the end we agree with more than we disagree with.


#15

Chrysler did not go bankrupt because they were building the worlds finest automobiles…Obtaining parts or winning a lawsuit against a bankrupt company is usually an exercise in futility…Time to move on…


#16

fair enough


#17

I’m in agreement with you that many, even most, jobs on modern cars can be a royal pain in the neck. I changed the engine oil/filter on my Lincoln this afternoon and as per the usual, got a gashed hand and learned new words while wrestling the oil filter in and out. The thermostat on this car is also a royal pain in the neck.

Here’s a blurb from a Chrysler service manager. He’s overboard with the caps but it was probably out of sheer frustration. This guy was also absolutely vilified by mechanically ignorant (not meaning stupid) people for this although he is as dead on as one can be on issues like this.

As A Daimler Chrysler Certified Service Manager With 28 Years Experience On Chrysler/dodge/plymouth Vehicles At 4 Different Dealerships From Montana To Florida I Can Sum Up The So Called Sludge Problem With All Engines I Have Seen Including 2.7, 4.7, 3.9, 5.9, 5.2, 3.7 225 Slant Six, 2.2, 2.5, 3.0, 2.6, 2.4 Etc. As Far Back As The Mid Seventies In One Statement. Lack Of Proper Maintenance! Oil Changes At Regular Intervals For A Starter Is The Biggest Cause Of Sludge Build Up In Motors. In Every Case I Have Been Involved With That A Engine Failed During Or After The Powertrain Warranty Period The Current Owner Was Not Able To Come Up With Any Legal Documents Confirming His Claim Of “i Change Or Have The Oil Changed Every 3000 Miles”. I Have Seen Many Attempts To Produce Bogus Or Fraudulent Records From Independent Shops Until The The Shop Owner Or Manager Is Advised He Or She May Have To Go To Court. In Most Cases The Victim Of Oil Sludging Is The Second Owner Who Purchased The Vehicle From A Used Car Lot, Auction Or Private Owner And Have No Knowledge Of The Previous Owners Maintenance Habits. You Can Blame The Problem On Everything From The Manufacturer To The Engineers That Designed The Engines To The Brand Of Oil Used. But It All Boils Down To Regular Oil Changes. Every Owner I Have Interviewed That Can Produce Documents Or Has Records In Our Computers Confirming Regular Oil Changes And Some Have Milages In Excess Of 100,000 Miles And A Variety Of All Engines Do Not Have And Have Never Had A Sludge Problem. I Myself And My Family Have Had More Chrysler/dodge Vehicles Than I Can Possibly Remember But I Can Not Remember A Single Incident Of Any Sludged Motor Problem.

I Find It Amusing The Statement " I Shut The Engine Off As Soon As I Lost Oil Pressure". Anybody With Any Mechanical Knowledge Knows The Damage To This Engine, From The Pictures, Had Been Occurring Long Before He Shut The Engine Off. I Am Tired Of Hearing The Whining And Crying Over Sludged Motors From Owners. Either Admit Your Poor Maintenance Habits Or That You Got Stuck With A Vehicle That Somebody Else Sludged Up And Fix It Or Sell It To Somebody Else And Stick Them With The Problem. Like I Always Say Pay Me Now Or Pay Me Later.

(Back to me and speaking as a mechanic and shop foreman I’ve been in the middle of more than one incident where a car owner blamed the mechanic, the dealer, the factory, or all of us for their oil sludge problems or any one of a number of other issues.
In every single instance, and I mean EVERY single one, the car owner never, ever told the factory rep the entire story. Never. The point could be made they “forgot the details” or were flat lying but inadvertent it’s not. It’s not a design issue; it’s a lack of maintenance issue.)


#18

I did get at the stat housing, hoping it was cracked to account for the coolant leaked, but to my shock and horror, grief and agony, the coolant was coming from the WEEP HOLE!!! I know you all know what that means…internally mounted water pump, tragically mounted behind the timing mechanisms. The only shop that will do this job for me is a Chrysler dealer, for a base price of $1200 with any other faulty parts besides the water pump extra. And the service department regards this job as very difficult in addition to the other shops I contacted that wanted nothing to do with a water pump job on this engine. The guy that sold me this car a few years ago
"saw me coming," as they say…


#19

The Water Pump Wore Out On Your 7 To 8 Year Old Car And Started Leaking As Water Pumps Sometimes Do.
" I know you all know what that means…internally mounted water pump, tragically mounted behind the timing mechanisms."

Tragically mounted behind the timing mechanism ? You mean the way water pumps are tragically mounted behind the timing mechanism on almost all modern cars that have timing belts ? You mean the way they were mounted on my 2 cars that have timing belts ?

The 2.7L has three chains. Only the primary chain has to be removed while servicing the pump (it drives the pump) and this whole operation is very similar to doing a pump on another vehicle that has a timing belt instead of a chain. I have a factory manual and I’m looking at it. It’s not that difficult at all. I have replaced water pumps and timing belts and wouldn’t hesitate to replace the water pump on my own 2.7L. The longitudinal engine design makes these jobs fairly easy from above. There’s plenty of working room.

“The only shop that will do this job for me is a Chrysler dealer, for a base price of $1200 with any other faulty parts besides the water pump extra. And the service department regards this job as very difficult in addition to the other shops I contacted that wanted nothing to do with a water pump job on this engine.”

You need to do a little more checking. This is not rocket science. You should be able to get it done for way less than $1200. You are making too big a deal out of worn out or defective water pump on a 7 - 8 year-old car. How many miles on this vehicle ?

CSA


#20

Hmmm…if you got a few years out of it before a water pump bearing failure, or even just one, I wouldn’t think he “saw you coming”…there’s no real way to guess at when these things will fail…unless it’s been leaking the whole time you owned it, then yes…he saw you coming.

You could dedicate a weekend to it, and just do it yourself. You’re comfortable enough working on your Century, and modifying your previous Regal to make your driveway accessible for your trailer, and you already have a manual, so I imagine you can do this.

Time an patience.

Chase

Edit: Got to agree with CSA here…they’re mostly that way now. I always just change the pump when I do the belt, if it’s a plastic (rubber, whatever) belt. Having to change one with a chain shouldn’t be that much more difficult, just a couple gaskets. Access to this thing doesn’t seem that impossible. If you can’t move the alternator out of the way, simply remove it. A shroud should also be fairly simply to remove. Just don’t lose the screws and clips to put it back in. Again, time and patience will win the day.