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Old 03-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Quick car question.

Alrighty, so today I went and looked at a nice black 2002 Dodge Intrepid. The price had been reduced to $1100, and the owner was willing to take $800. It looked really nice, no scratches or dents.

Now on to the $800 side.

It has a 2.7L V6 with a bad timing belt. Estimated cost to fix is $400-$500 if its all nice and good.

BUT, a couple things i have heard about timing belts, sometimes they come clean and all you need to replace is the belt and the water pump. Or you have burnt valves and metal shards n crap in the cylenders.

Is the 2.7L known for having any weird crap with the timing belt or can I slap one on(i make it sound simple lol, it isn't) and be fine?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Quick car question.

I think it is difficult to say at this point. It depends on whether the timing belt (when broken) caused any damage with the engine, e.g., the valves.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Quick car question.

The story the owner told me is that he was driving down the road, it made a squealing noise, and didn't start. The car has 180k mi. on it.

My dad said that its not worth it besides the fact that the KBB on a *fair* one is little over $3k, surely a entire new motor cant cost that much.

If it turns out the 2.7 has a bad history with destructiveness, theres a '93 wranger about 800' up the road from it that looks pretty decent, I'll have a lookey tomorrow.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quick car question.

Good luck tomorrow, hope you find something nice!
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quick car question.

I would be wary of the $800 price tag. Most cars that sell for that are usually sold as parts cars to be stripped down or as a shell that needs a new motor (and possibly a new transmission) in order to become a viable vehicle. As far as timing belts go, if they break while the engine is running there could be all kinds of damage due to mistiming of the cams and valves.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Quick car question.

You do the oil dipstick test right? If you don't here's now it works. You'll need a small but strong magnet.
Pull the stick out and run your thumb and index finger down the entire lenght of the stick getting all deposits on those two digits. Rub them together. Feel any grit? If yes run the magnet over the oil on your hand. Did it pick anything up?
If yes to both or either one for that matter, thank the man for his time and walk away.
The grit indicates the oil is dirty. Too long between changes. If the filter clogs up the pressure bypass opens and allows unfiltered oil to circulate. You might as well have dumped a bag of sand in the oil pan.
The magnet will pick up magnetic debris. Depending on how much you see is an indication of the wear level. Also refer back to the statement above.
Show me the carfax...
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Quick car question.

Don't bother with the oil dipstick test. Drain the oil, and check it there. Cut the filter open as well. It's $20 for fresh oil and a filter.

Now, if he blew a timing belt, it's likely that valves are bent. A squealing noise while driving could be something completely different. Could have spun a bearing... I would walk away. For one thing, it's an intrepid, and they are not very good cars. I would say, there is a good chance that motor is shot. Turn it by hand and see what happens.

I would walk away though. If you want a cheap and reliable car, look at crown vics. They run forever, and you can pick up an early 2000s for under $2000.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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The 2.7l is an interference motor which means that if you break a timing belt the valves will contact the piston resulting in bent valves and in turn requiring a valve job or complete head replacement.

Don't bother with it, the motor is probably done. That's why when the manufacturer says that at a certain mileage you need to replace the timing belt, you ALWAYS should.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Quick car question.

If the timing belt snapped and he tried cranking the car over (which he probably did), he pretty much had a game of pinball going on in his motor. Avoid it at all costs. It will cost a couple thousand in proper machine work and a rebuild kit consisting of rings, gaskets, etc.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quick car question.

Its been sold for $900 for about 3 weeks now, its still sitting in his driveway though XD
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