Any good News about the 2.7L Chrysler Engine

Has anybody driven a 2.7L engine 200,000 to 150,000 miles without any major problems?
Do the timing chains wear out? Have you had to replace the water pump?
The timing chains (1 primary and 2 secondary) cost about $200 to $300 and a complete kit with 3 chains 3 gears, tensioners and guides would cost $650 to $750. Would you replace them or reuse them if you had to change the water pump?
A knowledgeable used car sales said he thought a 2.7L would last but only if it was maintained well. He didn't think it would tolerate abuse such as 15,000 mile oil changes. He thought some engines will let you get away with an occasional 15,000 mile oil change, but not the 2.7L. (A mechanic friend of mine said it is not that uncommon for customers to bring in a car that has gone 9 to 10 months and 15,000 miles since its last oil change; but of course these customers don't plan on driving a car 200,000 miles)
I recently bought a 2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible with the 2.7L. The car had about 45,000 miles on it. I plan to use full synthetic oil and change it every 3000 to 5000 miles, I will change the anti-freeze every 2nd year with the 5 year / 150,000 Prestone antifreeze, change the air filter and PCV valve every 30,000. I will off course change the drive belts and hoses as they age or appear worn and maintain the rest of the car (i.e. transmission, brakes, power steering) but my main concern is the infamous engine.
Any ideas or experience with these engines?
Mark
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You can search this group about problems with the engine. There was a change in the PCV and you will want to make sure your car has the improvement to help prevent sludge.

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See my comments interspersed below.
Mark3571 wrote:

Yes - I currently have 175+k miles on my daily driver (80 miles per day) 2.7L ('99 Concorde). It is running great. No major problems. Little burst of exhaust smoke sometimes (initial startup, decel. followed by accel.) - points to valve stem seals. Starting to get inefficient cat. code every couple of weeks - probably due to oil contaminating cat. Otherwise, no problems.

Probably the timing chains themselves are good for well over 200k miles.

No. Although have read post on LH car forums about sudden pump failure taking out the timing chain. It's unfortunate that some manufacturers made the wise decision to use timing chains instead of belts on interference engines, then they went and screwed that up by driving the water pump with it in the name of tight integration. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" - literally!

Would replace primary chain if the pump needed replacing, and would replace pump if chain needed replacing. I wouldn't worry about the secondary chains - I think it is safe to let them go - have read of no problems with them, and would expect them to last the life of the car, though I haven't priced what the secondary chains themselves would add to the cost (you didn't break it down that way). Would replace the tensioner and guide with primary chain, but probably re-use secondaries (again depending on cost adder).
*IF* I ever do the chain/pump thing, I will consider doing the valve seals. However, my philosophy so far is to keep driving it - if something catastrophic happens, so be it. I reserve the right to panic at any time and replace them pre-empitvely. I do tend to keep cars beyond the point of almost no market value and do alot of my own work (less and less as I get older).
Right now, I am facing replacing the a.c. evaporator - very common failure in the LH cars - not sure about in the Sebring - entire dash has to be reomved to get to it. Parts for that just arrived yesterday.

I agree with that. Also, highway driving (vs. short-trip/stop-and-go) will help prevent the sludging issue. Mine gets driven 80 miles a day; I keep 8 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil in the crankcase at all times; and I change the oil every 3000 to 3500 miles religiously - filter gets changed every time - Purolator Pure One. I can't say for sure which of those three things (highway driving, MMO, oil/filter changes) or their combination explains the longevity of mine, but I'm not changing anything. I use Castrol 10W-30 and 20W-50 (non-synthetic) mixed (more of the former in winter, more of the latter in summer) for approx. 15W-40 (and the MMO has a slight thinning effect).

He's absolutely right - I and others have expressed that same opinion on this ng several times. Unfortunately, DC oil change schedule is stated as 7500 miles. And I have read stories of dealers and DC refusing to honor warranty even if records prove maintenance "by the book". Some dealers claim there is no such thing as "Schedule A" maintenance conditions. To me, that is fraudlent to publish the schedule and then claim it doesn't exist anywhere.
> (A mechanic friend of mine said it is not that uncommon for

Also, it is not uncommon for oil change places AS WELL AS DEALERS to replace neither the oil or the filter even though the customer is charged for same and records show incorrefctly that it was done (otherwise known as fraud). I personally witnessed this on my elderly mother's brand new Concorde (this happpened at the dealer), and on a Jeep I bought used (previous owner had records showing regular oil and filter changes at an Amerilube since purchasing new even though filter was Mopar brand and unpainted base had scale rust all around it.
I have to wonder if a lot of the problems with this engine and others of other manufacturers is not due to the fraudulent oil/filter change (or lack thereof) practices of some dealers and quick change scammers. Actually I don't wonder about it - I know that it accounts for a good bit of it. But as your friend pointed out - some engines are tolerant of the neglect of maintenance, some aren't. This one apparently isn't.
You would think for DC to use the engine as the base engine in the new line, they would have fixed the tendency in the later releases - indications are that they have.

That should have the PCV mod that Art posted about as well as some other unpublicized remedies (I did this mod to my '99 a couple of years ago).

You're probably OK to suddenly change to synthetic at 45k miles - *IF* there is not significant sludge in it. To be safe, I would gradually change over - start with 1 qt. synth to 4 qts. non-synth, then 2 qts. to 3 qts. at 1000 miles, then 3 to 2 at 3000 miles, then 4 to 1 at 3000 miles - without fail, change filter each time during this transition period. Not everyone here agrees that the gradual changeover is necessary, and that's OK. You have to decide who you will listen to and live with the results - good or bad. For every person who has done sudden changeover without problem at high mileage, you will find one who met with disaster - in both cases the information is anecdotal. Normally I'd say at 45k you'd be safe, but with this engine, known for sludging...
Based on my earlier paragraph about oil change fraud (and how common it *really* is), I would take anything the previous owner told you about oil/filter changes with a grain of salt and assume the worst. The previous owner may believe the changes happened, but if they didn't do them themselves, all bets are off.
Select your filter carefully. In general, do not use the bottom end model of any manufacturer. Internal construction and the effectiveness of the anti-drainback valve is generally *much* better for just a couple dollars more. At the other end of the filter scale, do not waste your money on $10 dollar filters to get worthless features like Teflon particles. Many will advise against Fram - I agree for their low end product, but I wouldn't hesitate to use the Tough Guard. Purolator Pure One is good bang for the buck, as well as several others.

No - no - no!! Do not use the Prestone Extended Life (same as DexCool). It has all kinds of problems. That's why Ford and DC do *NOT* use it and GM is transitioning away from it without admitting serious problems and trying to save face.
Absolutely use only G05 coolant in that car - Mopar brand from dealer, or from Frod dealer, or Zerex (not just any Zerex - Zerex makes other kinds - but they also make G05 - not everyone stocks it) from the auto parts store.
I am experimenting with the Prestone "All Makes All Models", and the jury is still out on that. I suspect it is good - can't imagine Prestone making such a disasterous mistake as the DexCool again.
IN ANY CASE - DO NOT USE THE PRESTONE EXTENDED LIFE/DEXCOOL!!!
(FYI - Prestone Extended Life/DexCool is known as "OAT" type. G05 is known as "HOAT" type. In spite of one letter difference, they are *not* the same!)

Sounds good. ALso check PCV hose for clogging and melting (deposits melt the hose walls - turning them into a gooey mess with gaping holes).

See above. :)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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173,000 miles on mine so far (2001 2.7 Intrepid). I'm closing in on Bill Putney quickly.
There are a few over on dodgeintrepid.net that are in the 180K to 200K range with no major maintenance yet. BUT, they (we) seem to be the minority.
Phil T
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Phil T wrote:

I'm at 175,288 to be exact today, Phil. I put 400 miles a week on her - and you? Your valve seals doing OK?
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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