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Discussion Starter #1
daughter wrecked the 04 intrepid (its in central PA if anyone wants a good parts car, 3.5L)

Anyway. looking for a replacement. I see alot of PT cruisers with bad or recently replaced front end components. Since the neon and caliber were cousins to the PT, did they have the same issues? and did they upgrade them? It looks like 06 and new has fewer reportings of suspension issues than the pre 06.

I also see alot of PTs with "recently" changed head gaskets. Did they (neon, PT, caliver) have issues with the head gaskets.

As always, thanks for your inputs!

Looking at Stratus/sebrings too. Like the intrepids but not as many 3.5's left around.
 

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Vaguely badass...
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I would think that a head gasket replacement would be part of a timing belt and water pump change on the 2.4L - I know it was on my Stratus.

Yes, the 2.0 and 2.4 in the Neon and Stratus had head gasket issues - they should have been resolved with the PT...but that doesn't mean a gasket can't fail ever.

Caliber has nothing to do with Neon or PT - almost positive no parts are shared in the front suspension.
 

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Suspension parts are a wear item and they're probably reaching the end of their lifespan on these older vehicles.
Have you considered getting an Intrepid with a blown engine, swapping parts (engine/drivetrain, interior, etc.) into it, and selling the wrecked car and the other bits for junk/spares? That might be more cost-effective than buying a fully functional car, an old car with a blown engine isn't worth much.
 
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The rubber bushings were softer to reduce NVH, but they tend to wear out. Even the Dakota had these same issues so I've been through it with FWD Neons and a RWD truck. Energy Suspension makes some nice replacements for the factory soft rubber for the Neon and PT. Not sure about the Caliber.
 

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The first year Caibers had known front end issues, but they don't share the same platform with the Neon or PT Crusiers. The Caliber and Jeep Patriot/Compass share the same platform. I had an 08 Caliber that I loved. No problems with it and it got 30 mpg with the 2.0 and CVT. It got killed on April 23rd, 2011 in a head on collision. My son and I walked away with minor injuries.
 

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The lower control arm bushings have been an issue. I replaced mine on my 04 PT with Energy Suspension bushings. No problem since, over 100,00 miles later. My wife has an 07 PT and my daughter an 08, and their control arm bushings are fine.

Front wheel bearings can be an issue as well on the PT. I replaced mine at around 138,000, and no issues since (on the 04 PT).

As far as I know, the head gasket is not an issue on the 2.4L. I've got over 266,500 miles on my PT, and its the original head gasket.

They are really good cars, fun and the storage potential can really come in handy.
 

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Radioactive
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+1

I replaced my control arm bushings with Energy Suspension early on... and kept them until retirement at 329 000 km.

Doug in Florida said:
The lower control arm bushings have been an issue. I replaced mine on my 04 PT with Energy Suspension bushings. No problem since, over 100,00 miles later. My wife has an 07 PT and my daughter an 08, and their control arm bushings are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the inputs.

B10* I would seriously consider rebuilding and or putting the good 3.5 L in another intreipid/concorde as they are pretty easy to find but my car is 12 hours away and the insurance buy-back + shipping (even Gas and a tow dolly & tow myself) would be about $1000. JUst isn't worth 1000 for a wrecked car. If it was near home it would be a no brainer. At least to pull a few parts for the 02 intrepid (rusty)

I do like the thoughts of the PT (or Caliber). good fuel mileage and room/flexibility to haul her college stuff around the country. For the most part the PTs are pretty reasonable. Have even seen a caliber or 2 in the price range.
 
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