2000 Concorde LXi Interference Engines

Discussion in 'Concorde' started by John Gregory, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Although I was cautioned about buying one of these, I couldn't pass up the
    deal; I now own one with 37,500 mile. The engine oil was black so I changed
    it. There's no record of warranty replacements. The original owner for all
    but the last year, said the car was in excellent condition and well
    maintained. (It was repoed for the last owner). It runs smoothly. The
    coolant was down about a cup and the reservoir has a residue in it (not
    thick and probably not what would be unusual for a 4 year old car). Anything
    in particular I should be concerned about or should look for? Although it's
    belt driven, I remember someone saying the belts are pretty good now. Is
    there some way to test these things? I see the maintenance manual often
    speaks of adjusting tension; something I suppose I'll have to have a dealer
    do? Is this tension adjustment procedure expensive? Should I really be
    concerned that this is an interference engine? (Why in the hell would these
    continue to be made if they're such a risk of major damage? The probability
    HAS to be low or the public would be up in arms. No?)
    John Gregory, Nov 25, 2003
  2. John Gregory

    Steve Guest

    What engine do you have? The 3.2 and 3.5L engines are belt-timed, have
    an AUTOMATIC tensioner, and (although there are conflicting sources) I
    believe they are NON-interference engines. The original (93-98) 3.5
    engine was definitely a non-interference design, and the newer
    aluminum-block 3.2 and 3.5 are very heavily based on the older iron 3.5.
    Check the Gates belt website for info. The 2.7 engine is *chain* timed,
    *is* an interference engine, and has a reputation for jumping time and
    trashing itself if the chain tensioner snubber loses oil pressure for an
    extended period. I don't care for the 2.7L engine at all, personally,
    and would avoid it.

    <Should I really be
    Well, look at it this way: practically EVERY Honda and Toyota on the
    market is an interference engine, and people think they're just
    wonderful. It leaves me scratching my head too, and yet I've heard Honda
    owners continue to brag about how great their car WAS, even after a
    broken belt trashed the engine. <shrug>

    Aside from that, the Chrysler belt timed v6es are not known to be hard
    on their timing belts. You very rarely hear of one breaking, and when
    you do its *usually* because the water pump locked up and chewed the
    timing belt in half. Furthermore, every time I've heard of this
    happening a new belt and water pump was all that was required to get
    back on the road. Some engines are much, much harder on timing belts
    than others, but the Chrysler v6 seems very well designed in that
    regard. In addition, its a *VERY* easy belt to change compared to most
    other (transverse engine) front-drive cars). Change it at 80-100k miles,
    change the water pump at the same time, and don't worry.
    Steve, Nov 25, 2003
  3. John Gregory

    Art Begun Guest

    Honda's are indeed interference engines. The Toyota's I've owned (4
    of them) were/are not.
    Art Begun, Nov 25, 2003

  4. Whoa whoa whoa slow down there buddy lol slow down there some.

    Your average citizen wouldn't know how a gasoline engine works much
    less what is the difference between 87 and 92 octane at the pump.
    None of them except for a select few would know what the heck an
    interference engine is.

    If you want issues to be resolved you first need public awareness and
    most people could care less how their engines are designed so long as
    they run and do what they are made to do.

    Things like faulty safety equipment attract the spin spin news media
    but nothing so technical as the inner workings of interference
    Eastward Bound, Nov 25, 2003
  5. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Steve - Thanks. That's comforting. I did phone Chrysler this morning and was
    told my 3.2 engine is an interference engine.
    John Gregory, Nov 25, 2003
  6. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Eastwood - Sorry. My fingers fly when I see dollars potentially traveling
    outta' my pocket.

    Safety issues aren't at stake here. I no mechanic.... just a consumer who
    tries hard to understand what the hell he's getting and what he may be in
    for when he makes a major purchase.

    This isn't Chrysler's first car and won't be their last. Apparently they
    still make interference engines. Obviously, there are some advantages
    somewhere. At this point, I'm simply trying to assess the probability of a
    failure that would result in a major expense. My understanding is that if a
    belt were to break on an non-interference engine, that engine wouldn't end
    up with a major expense (the pistons wouldn't hit the valves). But... maybe
    the reliability of these belts in 2000 Concorde LXi 3.2 engines is high
    enough not to loose sleep over. I'm hopeful that's the case here. Steve
    seems to think so.
    John Gregory, Nov 25, 2003
  7. Yes. Remove the belt and bend it so the 2 outside sides are towards each
    other, then look carefully at the base of the ridges and in between the
    Worn belts will show a fine cracking there. When the belts get really awful
    you can see this without even removing them.

    Of course with belts as cheap as they are it's cheaper to just simply change
    the timing belt at the appropriate mileage interval.
    By designing the engine as interference the valves can be made larger and
    be made to open further, thus improving flow. However, the problem can
    be mitigated by machining divots into the piston top that coorespond with
    the edge
    of the valve. Of course, this increases the expense of the piston. It's
    to ask about if you ever have to get the engine rebuilt.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Nov 26, 2003
  8. John Gregory

    Geoff Guest

    I would be. The change interval is 105K miles, and my experience has been
    that Chrysler timing belts in general last longer than the change interval.
    We're starting to see the earlier examples of this 3.2L motor getting up
    into some high mileage, and there hasn't been a rash of complaints as far as
    I'm aware.

    If your engine gets noisy pay attention! And if/when you have the
    opportunity to check the condition of the belt, do so! I haven't peeked at
    my 3.2L's belt yet, but on my other vehicle, a '95 3.0L, it was easy to
    remove part of the timing cover and discover that it indeed needed changing.
    I'd guess -- but I am *guessing* here -- that checking the condition on a
    3.2L certainly wouldn't be any more difficult, if not easier.

    Geoff, Nov 26, 2003
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