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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Im asking because I'm in the market. What do I need to know? Brampton vs. Newark, 3.3 v. 3.5 etc etc.
 

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Hi all.

Im asking because I'm in the market. What do I need to know? Brampton vs. Newark, 3.3 v. 3.5 etc etc.

From my memories of my '94 Intrepid 3.3: I ran the car up to 140K. During that time, the transmission was replaced twice, steering rack once. When I sold it, the A/C was out and it needed motor mounts, and the door bottoms were starting to rust. I also had the usual problems with the crank position sensor.

The 3.3L was totally bullet proof and never even burned a quart of oil the entire time I had it. The original 3.5L in the LH's didn't seem to have such a long life span; the way it was explained to me is that the water pump often leaked onto the timing belt, causing it to break catastrophically. Since it was an interference motor, this turned the valve train to shrapnel. If you can find a 3.5L that was properly maintained and the water pump and belt were replaced when they were supposed to be, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be as reliable as the 3.3L. I just looked at a 3.5L Gen 1 Intrepid a few weeks ago with 179K miles on it, but the body was somewhat beat up.

I owned the 3.3L Intrepid and a 3.5L 300M at the same time. The 3.3L seemed to have a little more low end torque, but it also ran out of breath sooner. Obviously the 3.3L in the lighter Intrepid got better gas mileage.

I still have the 300M (a second gen LH) with the 3.5L engine and it's been a fantastic car. It's getting close to 100K miles, so its time to change the belt and water pump.

I hope this helps.
 

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The 1st generation 3.5 is not an interference engine. The 2nd generation 3.5 is an interference engine.
 

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My 97 intrepid 3.5L was awesome. I had the tranny rebuilt around 160,000 miles ant the rack and pinion at around 120,000 miles, but the first few years I owned it I lived about 5 miles down an unmaintained gravel road. I gave it to my dad with 2XX,XXX miles on it because it seemed to have an electrical bug and the vacuum hoses kept breaking apart. When dad put a new battery in it the electrical bugs went away.
Mick
 

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My 93 was a beautiful car, rust free, perfect interior (meaning no airbag cover warp), and paint was perfect the day I sold it at 13 years old with 85K on the clock, but it was a mechanical nightmare. 3.5L ES

Water pump went out
A/C failed---Condenser
Blend door under dash started failing so would make a "clicking" noise for about 5 seconds each time the car was started
We had issues with the front calipers so those were replaced
Struts
Intake gasket started to leak
EGR was on the fritz
Valve cover gaskets started to leak
Fuel Pump went south
Cam position sensor went out twice
Rear window motor went out
Rear main seal was leaking when I finally decided to sell it.





Look ma! No clouded headlights. (After 13 years)




Oddly enough, I never replaced a headlight bulb, or tail-light bulb. Only thing I ever replaced was one of the running lights on the drivers side tail-light.

Transmission was still good too, I believe mine was built in Brampton.

At some point the waterpump design was changed from I believe 3 bolts to 4 or 5 on the 3.5L I don't recall off the top of my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys! I think I'm going to wait and save my money. Thinking something newer, but still a Chrysler or Dodge.
 
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Hi Fellas:

Don't have the sophistication of most posters, but have had my eye on a 2000 Chrysler 300M with 64,000 miles on it. Had driven one previously and really liked the way it drove as well as the overall look of the car. Would have probably bought the car next week until I found myself on Edmond's Forum for same and saw a slew of comments about bizarre starting problems. Think the forum ran to 140 plus comments. It was not one or two. The years - 1999-2004. I see where a number of you have owned the car and am curious as to whether or not you experienced or had heard of such problems? Out of work and can ill afford to buy a car with inherent problems. Thanks for your candor.

Paul
 

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I owned a 1993 Intrepid with 3.5. It had just gone over 100K miles when totalled in accident. I owned a 1997 Intrepid with 3.5. I sold it at 180K miles. Neither car ever had an engine of trans problem. They were wonderful cars. I changed water pump/timing belt at 100K miles. I never had a belt or water pump problem. Just so you know: It is an extreme error to use a rebuilt water pump on a 3.5 car. I don't know if rebuilt is even an option, but if it is it should be avoided like the plague.
 

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As the former owner of a 95 LHS, I would suggest that anyone thinking about a LH car purchase look at the Intrepid site, www.dodgeintrepid.net. There isn't anything these guys haven't tried to do to these cars. Just my $0.02.

FredB
 

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My 93 was a beautiful car, rust free, perfect interior (meaning no airbag cover warp), and paint was perfect the day I sold it at 13 years old with 85K on the clock, but it was a mechanical nightmare. 3.5L ES

Water pump went out
A/C failed---Condenser
Blend door under dash started failing so would make a "clicking" noise for about 5 seconds each time the car was started
We had issues with the front calipers so those were replaced
Struts
Intake gasket started to leak
EGR was on the fritz
Valve cover gaskets started to leak
Fuel Pump went south
Cam position sensor went out twice
Rear window motor went out
Rear main seal was leaking when I finally decided to sell it.





Look ma! No clouded headlights. (After 13 years)




Oddly enough, I never replaced a headlight bulb, or tail-light bulb. Only thing I ever replaced was one of the running lights on the drivers side tail-light.

Transmission was still good too, I believe mine was built in Brampton.

At some point the waterpump design was changed from I believe 3 bolts to 4 or 5 on the 3.5L I don't recall off the top of my head.
HOLY COW!! Never yet seen something like that! I wish I had your car!!

I am aware that this is an old thread, but the only thing that I know of is that you need to replace the water pump occasionally, and the evaporator core for the A/C is not very good.
 

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My 95 Intrepid is a great car - although certainly has needed repairs over the years - but then its at 380,000km so you have to expect some. The only chronic thing is the transmission - for that reason I would look to late 96 or newer if buying another - many upgrades in the transmission in 1996 - some engineering changes in Jan 96 so later models. I have had the tranny out of the car twice - once for a full rebuild (although main fault was a plastic 2-4 accumulator piston failure) and second for a new front planet set (spline stripped - hardened in 96+). I have gone through 2 water pumps over 235,000 km I have driven - so that's not unexpected to me - just minor leaks. Speedo quit a couple years ago. Replaced the fuel pump around 300,000 km - but the original one was still working - I did it as a preventative measure as I drive a 1 hour commute. Oh yes the steering rack developed a leak and I replaced it with a reman - then replaced the reman under warranty due to a regulator issue - good since then. One tie rod end, front main seal, rear main seal when the tranny was out second time as preventative, couple wheel bearings (rears came apart on a brake job). Most surprising - other than the recharge of R134 due to some o-ring leaks near the firewall - I have not touched the A/C system in the car - which they were supposedly known for troubles (touch wood). Overall one of my best buys I would say - $4500 paid in 2003 with 145,000 km on it. Body is still in excellent condition - rust treated annually since 2003 - and the 3.3l runs great at 380,000 km. There is a small exhaust leak currently - I think it may be a small hole in the right front catalytic - cannot see it under the heat shield - plan to drive it as is for the winter then decide if I'll try to fix that. Breezed through emission test this summer too.
 

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My mother bought a '95 New Yorker (split bench rather than the LHS buckets and console) in late '95. It was the dealer's wife's car. My mother does not like "stick shifts", so the column shift of the NY fit right in.

When it was about 6 years old, the dealer's service mgr (small dealer) recommended a timing belt. At first I questioned it, but then knowing about how tires can't be warrantied after 6 years of age, I considered it "insurance". Don't recall about the water pump, though.

Under light throttle, going up slight hills, the trans would jerk as the lock-up converter would lock and then unlock, then shudden. I told her to just back out of the throttle a little and then give it more to get it past that 27mph speed range. Later, there was a TSB about that, which really minimized that tendency.

Had to do tie rod ends. Driving it, it sounded like a "shock rattle", but was happy it was what it was.

A/C outside air mode door actuator clicks, as noted above, BUT if you keep it on outside air, it doesn't need to move from its default position. The dealer recommended letting it be as it was, as you have to take the lower part of the instrument panel off to get to it.

Cooling fan temp sensor went out, which caused the fans to not run. In hot weather, it would let the a/c head pressure get too high and the compressor would cut off. When the dealer replaced the sensor, they did something which put the trans in "limp-in" mode. But a later re-start cleared that situation up. I did contact a local trans shop and they did a fluid change and such, plus used the diagnostics to check for trans clutch pack wear. In about 100K miles of normal use, the apply times indicated there was very little wear in the trans. Had no trouble passing emissions at 90K miles, either!

Had to replace the radiator. Lack of maintenance, it seems.

Right now, it's side-lined for BCM issues. Although the security system would be armed, it would re-arm itself and turn the interior lights on. When it'd do that, the normal horn chirp was about twice as long in duration. Power locks didn't work right, either. Instrument cluster stopped working, as did the hvac control. I thought a new battery might do it, but it didn't. I had to unhook the battery to keep it from being run down, too.

MPG will be better on the Concorde than on the NY/LHS. I documented that when they were new, with rent cars I'd get from Dollar. When newer, the LHS would average 26mph on highway runs, but the Concorde I rented did 27.5mpg. Look at the body shape from the side and it's obvious that the Gen 1 Concorde has a more aerodynamic front and roof line, almost as good as the Intrepid.

To me, the 3.3L is a decent "drive-around" motor, but it has a lack of low-end torque under about 3000rpm. But when you get to that point, it comes alive. If you happen to be at a road speed where a WOT downshift will hit that powerband, it'll take off big-time. To get better performance at lower rpms, you have to learn the throttle response curve and use it well . . . otherwise it'll come off as "GUTLESS". Have to learn how to best use the equipment!

The Gen 1 3.5L is a great engine. LOTS of high performance items in it, too. With time, the mpg improves on the highway, to more like the Gen 2 3.5L gets when newer. PLUS, I know the 3.5L and 3.3L get basically the same average fuel economy . . . again, from rental car vehicles I rented back then. So, that makes the 3.5 the better choice for power/economy to me. AND, the spark plugs go down into the valve cover like the earlier HEMIs did! One PLUS on the Gen 1 LH cars is the battery is under the hood, rather than behind the lower front fender.

Read the service FAQs on this website, too. They might be a little dated by now, but still have some good information.

Happy shopping!
CBODY67
 

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My 1994 Trep 3.3L No timing belt to change as you do with 3.5. 350,000+ miles A/C still works. Built in Brampton. Only real problem is that the driver seat is manual. I'm putting in an electric in this week. Why you ask? I'm 6'1" and my head hits the headliner and the manual doesn't adjust down. (No sunroof either). I love it on the highway. The headlights are a very poor design. When you change them smear some anti-seize compound on the mounting bolts. Nice big trunk, lots of interior room, pulls my 17' boat. Just get yours rustproofed every year. I use Rustcheck.
 

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Miles11 said:
The original 3.5L in the LH's didn't seem to have such a long life span; the way it was explained to me is that the water pump often leaked onto the timing belt, causing it to break catastrophically.
You're thinking of the 2nd generation engines. Only the 1st generation 3.5s were NON interference, so when my belt broke, I just coasted off to the side of the road, got towed back to the house, re-aligned the marks, and put a new belt on. They are very powerful engines too.
 

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Not to mention if you do the required 100K/7 year timing belt/water pump service the 2nd Gen 3.5 will run forever if properly maintained....
 

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Well having had both the concorde and Intrepid 1st gen with 3.3's and then trading for latter 97's with 3.5's, if I had to do it all over I would have stayed with the underpowered 3.3's, they ran great for over 200K with almost no maitnance but a tuneup and oil changes. I assumed that if the 3.3 was good the 3.5 was better power wise it was all I could ask for, I was beating every GM and Ford v6 car at the light and on the highway except for the supercharged cars and the newer altima 3.5. The downside, I replaced harmonic balancer after losing 2 serpentine belts on the highway in 2 weeks time, replaced water pump, timing belt was a pita to keep the marks from moving, you tube has some good videos now of a few tricks when aligning these marks, replaced the coil pack wires, plugs due to a bad misfire, coil pack went bad really but the wires seen better days, and plugs well why not 1 month latter the mis was back again with a vengence, a few of the champion plugs went bad not sure why when they were new. oh well then a couple freeze plugs went costly job, was due to antifreeze neglect though, not dodges fault, then 3 months latter intake gasket, and fuel rail gasket took a crap on me and the car was sounding like a subaru wrx, and had no power thought the motor was going, my buddy and I thought to regasket the whole top because he told me cylinder 5 headgasket goes bad on 3.5's as well it wasn't there yet but there was some breakdown in that gasket there. Added new crank and cam seals did the water pump again why not it all had to come off anyway. 2 months after 2 injectors leaked, well that was bad o-rings from the gasket kit I bought but I was mad as heck having to pull the plenum again 3rd times a charm. Radiator cracked on me 1 year latter. Replaced countless climate control units, used ones, new one costs 900, its stupid that chrysler would charge that but they do I missed the manual control in the previous cars, paying 30 bucks a pop in the junkyard x4 blows. still cheaper than 900. inner tie rod bushings next, and heat was barely warm on 20 degree or less days, hate climate control with a passion on these cars. Never happened on my 3.3 with manual heat controls. Infinity cd player went to garbage but any aftermarket unit works as long as you hook the power antenna wire to the remote on wire to the aftermarket radio with the wiring kit, or else you get no sound. Sounds good though with the kenwood I put in didn't regret that replacement. It has been a love hate relationship with me and this car, so my older brother is using it till it will quit but it may take awhile now since I put so many parts in it. I hope. Don't worry about the transmission they are nearly bullet proof to be honest, but check the cooler lines because they leak and you wont even know it till your trans is out of fluid and its too late then, best thing replace the transcooler lines it probably needs it anyway use atf+4 unless you like measuring friction modifiers with regualar ATF I am no chemist so I used the +4. They are good cars, the 3.5 is a powerful motor and makes the car fun to drive, but it comes with a cost, stay away from climate control vehicles, the units have too many issues they suck period. Manual unless you hate heat or love replacing them they are not hard to replace but you get tired of it real quick. follow these rules 3.3 basic heat controls, and no foglamps, forgot the foglamps run thought the headlight switch and it gets hot and melts the connector on the multifunction switch, they look nice but troublesome or dont use them. its up to you.
 

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Ray....how many miles on that 3.5 when you bought it?? Sound to me like it wasn't properly maintained to have all those issues...


I could post testimonials of dozens of owners that have 2-3-4-8 thousand miles on there 300Ms with very little more than normal maintenance
 

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Ray....how many miles on that 3.5 when you bought it?? Sound to me like it wasn't properly maintained to have all those issues...


I could post testimonials of dozens of owners that have 2-3-4-8 thousand miles on there 300Ms with very little more than normal maintenance

Not to burst your bubble, but the 300M was a 2nd gen car. Could you be thinking of the Eagle Vision?
 

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It was 114,000 miles exactly on the odometer and I would say the car was somewhat maintained but not up the standards I would have liked to see at the time I needed a car, my girlfriends concorde got hit by a semi on the highway totaling the car out was the semi drivers fault, the car spun after being hit from behind and got hit by 3 other cars coming at highway speeds and went face first into the wall, yeah she was fine car looked like a demo derby special, still ran and drove though had all 4 gears as if nothing happened 3.3 ran great car had 180K on it at the time(was bought with 90K on it), these LH cars are strong in an accident, and my 93 Intrepid ES had just been sold to my brother in law not far from that(bought with 140K, sold with 230K miles), so I was in a bind and that Intrepid was close and the price was alright, the sucker ran good, even better than the LHS I test drove that was next door to it. So I bought it, never knew it was going to be that way, I still hung on to it and unlike most people that would have junked it I made sure it got fixed properly, my brother has in now with over 160K miles, doing inner tierod bushings and am backflushing the heater core tomorrow to see if the heat improves I got a good solution that breaks up the junk inside of them and of course using hot water is a must, worked on my 95 Ram so I hope it works on the Trep, blend doors function ok under the test mode from the climate unit no errors occured so we will see. The problems I listed some are common with these cars the 3.5 does need intake gasket replacement after time, and the EGR transducers go bad, they don't cost much, the foglights can burn out the multifunction switch in the column if you use them, I went through 2 of these and boy you can smell them when they go bad it smells like burning plastic inside the car. I converted the cloth to leather seats and made the passenger side power loved the difference leather cleans up the interior so nicely. The inner tie rod ends are common to replace too, timing belt and water pump aren't bad to do it takes patients to get the cams and crank all lined up while putting on the belt, the gears like to move on you. If you go into the Junkyard you can see in almost every Intrepid, Concorde, and LHS the climate control units are gone, those fail a lot I can tell you that, my girls 97 concorde was owned by an older couple that a shade tree mechanic jacked them on so bad, so they became scared and sold me the car for 400.00 with a perfect body and Interior, just higher miles almost 175K on it now another 3.5. so I know these cars well worked on them, loved them, hated them, the 3.3 much underpowered can't even pass a minivan under full throttle with one, but durable and will run with no problem all day(dumb move that Chrysler let it go in favor of the 2.7). 3.5 will blow the doors off competitors cars of equal size for acceleration, but unless you know how to work on it, it will cost you money a lot of money in labor, parts were not bad, I did almost all the labor myself with help at times because I am entry level tech, and this car is pretty advanced for its time, real easy to screw up if you are unsure of yourself. My friend that helped me has an Intrepid police interceptor, and it hauls, he bought it after the police dept trashed it and replaced the valve train and rebuilt the motor himself at home.(if not for him I might have just junked my 97 seriously) I love the R/T Intrepids but don't know if I want to go through more abuse in my wallet to own one. The engines will last for hundreds of thousands of miles, but more 3.5's get junked because they are expensive in labor and require a lot more than a 3.3 to keep running, and I wouldn't recomend anyone without tech school training in the least to even work on one. They are not simple not at all. So some of the same problems occured in the Concorde too and it was way better maintained than the Intrepid, so in a nutshell no not everything will fail like the Intrepid, but I swear to own a 3.5 you better be ready for anything, its worth fixing and keeping one if you know how, mine can still beat some of the new impalas for being older and high mileage thats real good, but if I was just a kid in high school no way would I have been able to keep this car going like my 3.3 models i was really happy with those ones miss them but oh well. I love Mopar they are always forever getting bashed by many but to the people that know them they have many advantages over their competition.
 

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95Intrepid99Kid said:
Ray....how many miles on that 3.5 when you bought it?? Sound to me like it wasn't properly maintained to have all those issues...


I could post testimonials of dozens of owners that have 2-3-4-8 thousand miles on there 300Ms with very little more than normal maintenance

Not to burst your bubble, but the 300M was a 2nd gen car. Could you be thinking of the Eagle Vision?
Nah...I just misread his post where he mentioned '97 3.5s. I ASSumed he meant 2nd Gen 3.5.
 
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