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Hey guys! I have an 88 Daytona Shelby Z as a project car (which is fully functional!) so I know how amazing the Allpar community is!

Anyway, I'm considering getting another car. I need something that looks nice (my Daytona is still without an interior and needing tranny work) and that won't bog me down with issues so I can keep working on my Daytona when I have time. I've found a Sebring that looks pretty good, but I don't know much about Sebrings. My question is, when I go to see the car, what should I look for in terms of common issues? I know most of the issues that tend to appear on the K platform, but this is a little different.


Any and all advice is appreciated!






EDIT:
Never mind the link, looks like it got taken down about the same time that I was writing this.
 

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The 2002 2.7L could still have the dreaded water pump/timing chain failure issue. Quiz the owner about any past repairs and maintenance. Documents like work orders help. If it has had past engine service and it was done competently, then it should no longer be a potential issue.
Of course, anything can happen at anytime on something this old and unknown.
Look under the oil filler cap and check the dipstick for sludge, rust or dirty mayonnaise. Check for soft 'sucked-flat' rubber PCV hoses or hard, cracked rubber hoses. Some Canadian PCV hoses were coolant-heated by an exchanger.
Listen for engine noises. Drive it for shift feel and ride noises.
The aluminum rear upper shock mounts crumbled to oxides in salt belt areas (knocking over bumps). The replacement mounts are now steel.
Generally treat it as any other used car inquiry. If the price and condition are right, consider it.
Almost any 11 year old car needs something done to it and I'm sure that you will need to put some money into it to get it the way you want it.
If something doesn't feel right about the car or the owner, walk away. Usually you can tell right away whether the car was kept-up, cared for or not.
Sebring and Stratus sedans and the Sebring convertible were JR-platforms. These cars were not related to the Sebring/Stratus coupes, which were Mitsubishi/DiamondStar ST-platforms.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great information! If the timing chain/water pump hasn't been done in the past, would changing them fix this issue?

If sludge were a problem with these engines then it would show on the dipstick then, correct? If the car is above 100 000 kms and isn't showing any sludge, should it be safe as long as I keep up on maintenance, or is it still possible for it to come up because of something else?

As for shock mounts, I don't mind replacing those myself if they're not too horrible to get to.
 

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The newer 2.7L's were improved. If this is late 2002, it may be OK.
The internal engine water pumps could start a slow leak and the coolant would mix with the crankcase engine oil. This would make sludge. Some pumps/chains/tensioners came apart catastrophically and would bend valves. If sludge is a problem, the build-up should be visible on the underside of the oil filler cap and possibly higher up on the dipstick away from the oil splash.
Some were bad, some weren't. The earlier ones were worse.
It was common enough to be a potential risk as a used car purchase, especially if the vehicles past history was unknown. There were lawsuits.
The longitudinal engines (1998-2002 LH) had more issues than the transverse engines (2001-2002 JR). Read more about the sludge/chain issues here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_LH_engine
Other than this, the 2.7L was an advanced all-aluminum, DOHC engine, it just should have been developed more in the beginning before coming to market.
 

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I have a 2004 Stratus and while I like the car, I would not buy another. Rear suspension problems multiple times as mentioned. They say they have the problem fixed, but I still have concerns. But I do have almost 184K on it.
 

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I have had a n 02 and still have my 01 Stratus. One had a manual trans(02) other is an auto. No.troubles with the 2.7. Used mobil 1 and use it in the 01. Both had oil leak issues from the oil pan but at 175k miles, the 02 had no engine issues. I recommend checking for.sludge like was said. If you buy it, buy a new OEM PCV valve. I did the spark plugs at 100k miles on both of them and they needed it by then. The 01 with the auto trans ive change the trans fluid every 50k miles, no issues with trans ever. Now at 102k miles. Have had the 01 for ten years so i know that car well. The 02 at 150k miles the rear strut mounts went and they sure made a bang when they did on the highway. Easy thing to look for is if they are going theyll be a sand like substance in the trunk on the top of the mount. If so you know it is only time. I have had good luck with the JR bodies. They have their issues but overall ive been a happy customer. Good luck with you possible purchase.
 

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About JR-bodied 2.7 Sebrings. I have 2003 Sebring 2.7 with engine code R in VIN. Does anyone know how it differs from Flexfuel-versions?
 

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Welcome to Allpar. I have a Chrysler Flex-Fuel book somewhere that detailed the differences.
Mechanically there may be a compression ratio difference, but the big difference is fuel system components that can handle alcohol. The plastic and rubber pieces for FF were green in color to identify them.
The PCM software used a unique advance/mixture calibration depending on alcohol concentration also.
When asked if non-FF cars and trucks could be converted to FF, the answer was no. Besides being emissions tampering issue, it was just far to difficult to do without a FF donor car.
 
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