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General Discussions about the 300M

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 #380268  by Sneke_Eyez
 August 12th, 2019, 11:00 am
Fixed the Pro Am, finally.
Got a new harmonic balancer and got it installed on Saturday, belts are quiet now.
Guess that was the problem all along.

I also pulled a set of OEM fans from a 76k mile 02 M in my favorite local yard, then pulled the rust free moonroof glass and the nice condition sunroof shade as well for my Special.
Kicking myself for not pulling a few additional small pieces from that car and may go back next weekend for them.

This week I am hoping to get the OEM fans installed into my Special to see if it resolves the overheating problem I have, then get the Pro Am's AC charged with UV-dye r134 to see if I can figure out where it is leaking from.
I assume it is probably the evaporator.
I may put the 79k mile AC compressor I purchased in the car too while I'm working on the AC system.
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 #380269  by EasyRider300M
 August 12th, 2019, 11:12 am
My hood wouldn't open when pulling the under dash hood handle. With help of a friend he pulled the handle as I tried to lift the still jammed but after a harder tug, it opened 2 inches where the under hood lever holds it. Pulled up on the under hood lever and it wouldn't open further. Reached underneath the hood and was able to finally get it open . I used emery paper to smooth the latch bar. I then used lithium grease to lube the latch area and had to bend the under hood lever downward to the proper position. I thought I was going to have to replace the cable, but it turns out the cable is fine...the latch just needed some adjusting and some lube.
Recommendation: smooth the hood release bar and grease the latch area to prevent this from happening to you.

And miraculously my windshield washer pump started working properly again. It had stopped working for a couple of months. Every so often I would hit the windshield washer button on the stalk repeatedly hoping it would start working again. Well a couple days ago it suddenly started working again. Perhaps it was a dirty contact in the steering wheel stalk lever.

I love easy fixes.
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 #380306  by adu1982
 August 14th, 2019, 3:52 pm
Checked the car after it's 6k mile trip. Awesome, oil as at a bit over full so I guess maybe 1qt for 2 to 2.5k miles. Not bad as after all these miles there is one oil drop on the swaybar. Even though I didn't see anything I guess I should have replaced the rear main seal (it has 200k) ...but oh well.

Coolant leak loss was about 3/4 of a water bottle (250ml) in those 6k so it could be just at the top hose. Got to grab a bunch of top hose OEM clamps as the stupid screw type clamp does leak (visible at the hose end). Only thing I have to grab and replace before the short trip for the long weekend trip is the atc (I think what broke it was the double din pushing down on it, my double din bezel design ).
This weekend I might go to Tallahassee to grab that stuff.

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 #380326  by Alex Funkhouser
 August 15th, 2019, 9:20 pm
Finally had enough time to remove the rear bumper and deal with some rust.

Heading off to college in a few days, and I knew I would never have time to hit it head on.

Washed the rear end, wire brushed all the bad rust and flaking paint, and coated it liberally with rust reformer paint. Then finished it all off with a rubberized undercoating.

Hopefully it at least buys me two years or so, I didn't get any great pictures of the rust, but both ends of the bumpers were pretty bad. Just want to hit it as hard as I can as early as I can.

I've seen cars get eaten alive by rust before it could be stopped, can't afford that to happen to mine!ImageImageImage

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 #380332  by Sneke_Eyez
 August 16th, 2019, 7:34 am
Looking good, Alex.
Good thinking on battling it when you have the time.

I am already losing the rust battle on my Special.
In the next couple of years I will either need to get it fixed or move on.
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 #380333  by adu1982
 August 16th, 2019, 8:51 am
Or visit Florida and get a rust free lh

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 #380355  by ggariepy
 August 17th, 2019, 5:07 pm
The last week has been a busy one for project Joyce The 300M.

You may recall I bought the car for my son as a first car a few months ago. Cosmetically on the top side it is not in bad shape, but there are some minor rust holes in the floorboards, as I've come to discover. It needed the headlamps polished up, and, as it turned out, a host of minor-to-medium sized repairs.

I chased after an issue where the interior lights would not turn off for a couple of weeks. I traced every circuit, both signal and ground, from the door ajar switches in each door to the main ground stud under the front seats and also to the body controller tucked up under the dash.

After a LOT of disassembly, testing, and reassembly, I finally noticed that even when the doors were all shut and the switches were open, I would briefly see continuity between the body controller and ground on the sense wires. It was there and gone in a second as soon as I touched the meter probe to the backprobe pin I had in the connector. I was testing all of this with the vehicle's battery disconnected. Since the sense wires pull the pins on the BCM low when the doors open and the door ajar switches close, a brief, momentary ground at those pins apparently is all it takes to make the thing think a door is open. So I yanked another BCM out of the yard from a 300M, plugged it in, and voila! I've got properly working interior lights again. Oh, and my odometer mileage went from 167K to 98K! :D

Moving on...the car had a rough idle and it did not appear the battery was being charged by the alternator. The rough idle smoothed out when the car warmed up, however it was bad enough it would stall several times before it got warm enough. Spraying starting fluid at the mating surface between the upper intake plenum and the lower intake made the idle smooth out instantly, so I decided to replace the intake manifold gaskets. I also didn't know how long it had been since the timing belt had been changed, so I added a new timing belt/water pump/idler pulley/tensioner to the list of tasks.

Late last week I finally wrapped up the timing belt job. I have done timing belts now on three LH cars: an Intrepid ES 3.2L, a Concorde LXi 3.2L, and this 300M. For the Intrepid and the Concorde, I had no problem fitting my impact wrench in to get the crank pulley bolt loose with the fans and radiator removed. With the M I had to lift up on the condenser in order to get a mini impact gun in. Methinks the nose of the M is just a tiny bit shorter than the other cars, although I was under the impression that it wasn't supposed to be. The timing belt job, although tedious, was relatively uneventful. It took me a couple of tries to get it timed right because I screwed up at first and put the tensioner in place (with the pin in) before attempting to put in the belt. My memory of how to do the job must be faulty. Once I figured out what I was doing wrong, and had the camshafts sproing! out of time a couple of times, I finally got the timing set dead on and buttoned up the front of the motor. A quick start-up confirmed that everything was good, and then I moved right on to the upper/lower intake cleanup and reseal.

My water pipe under the lower intake was crusty, but still solid. I wire brushed it on my grinder and got it more or less shiny again, and treated it to a fresh coat of high temp engine paint. I reinstalled it with a seal that came in the Felpro kit; the factory install was just a press fit with no seal!? Either that, or someone had been there before me and didn't install the seal.

After cleaning all of the carbon out of the lower intake ports, I reinstalled it early this week. I then made up a gizmo that let me pulse the injectors while I forced carburetor cleaner through them. Unfortunately I broke one of the retaining rings on the top of one injector removing the O-ring. I picked up three of them (in order to hopefully get one good one) at the pick-n-pull for $10 each. All three tested good and cleaned up well, so I have a couple extras. Maybe I'll megasquirt my lawn tractor, LOL!

Did you know the stealer wants $12 for two O-rings per injector? I walked out in disgust, and paid a buck and a half a pair at O'Reilly's. I'm all about using OEM parts wherever possible, but at those prices they'll have to come out of the junkyard!

Lower intake reassembled, resealed (found a torn gasket on the driver's side head, thus confirming part of my diagnosis), and properly torqued down, I moved on to cleaning the throttle body, IAC passage, draining as much oil as possible from the upper intake plenum, and then putting on a new gasket and reassembling all of it. I also removed all of the carbon from the EGR tubes and replaced the PCV valve.

When I got that all back together on Monday of this week, I reinstalled the radiator, put in the new hoses, reusing the cleaned up and freshly painted factory spring clamps, and refilled the engine with coolant...and got a leak from the vicinity of the water outlet. It was mildly rusty, and of course it's in an impossible spot to see clearly, much less remove easily, so I dropped the $35 on a new one and set about removing the alternator again to do the reinstall.

God I hate LH car thermostats! They're just awful to get to!

When I got it apart, I discovered that my problem was I had somehow bent the thermostat during the installation the previous time! :oops: I'd like to say I don't know how that happened, but I do: it's just such a clumsy place to work, and I must have gotten the thermostat in cockeyed and attempted to bolt it down like that. Of course, it wouldn't seal. The water outlet was probably fine, but seeing visible rust through the paint, and also seeing the mating surface not exactly looking smooth, I decided to replace it anyway along with a fresh gasket and new thermostat. It sealed and held water this time!

Did you know that when you fill your cooling system slowly over the space of several days (because you goofed up the thermostat install) that you benefit from a cooling system which has all of the trapped air at the top of the motor? As soon as I finished putting the second gallon of Zerex G-05 into the recovery tank, it started coming out of the bleeder screw perfectly. I closed the screw and called it good. This was Tuesday or so.

After finishing reassembling the engine compartment, I started it up. It lit off immediately, and then started idling roughly again. Dammit!

So reading around on the web I discovered that it's supposed to have to re-learn its idle strategy. I let it sit idling in the driveway while I puttered around on other things and sure enough, it smoothed out and ran OK. I drove it 15 miles that night and thought I had it in good shape for my son to start using the car. This was Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, I started the car, and went right back into a rough idle again. But...this time there was a Check Engine light, and thus a code. P0123: throttle position sensor circuit high.

I spent the rest of Thursday in between working and doing other stuff researching the code and watching YouTube videos on how to test a TPS. It got repetitive fast, but then I dug out my powertrain service manual and looked at the steps there too, which except for the fact that I don't have a DRB-III, were more or less the same: check the voltages at the sensor, check for continuity between the sensor and the PCM, use a scan tool to watch the sensor as you open and close it.

The sensor never got higher than 70% at WOT, and the minimum opening was about 9-10% throttle. I ohmed out all of the connections and did not come up with anything conclusive, but I had pretty solid evidence that the wiring was not the problem.

$7 at the pick and pull isn't too much to risk on a TPS sensor out of a 98 Concorde 3.2L with about 105K miles. I yanked it out, got the IAC motor while I was at it, grabbed a replacement coil for the one I had that was cracked near the connector, and nipped off all of the coil connection plugs from the donor car as mine were a collection of broken tabs and missing parts.

Tonight I swapped out the TPS for the junkyard unit, replaced 5 out of 6 of the ignition coil connectors, and started the car up.

Smoooooooth! Really high idle in park -- 12-1,300 RPM, but no hunting, stalling, bucking, etc. I took it for a ride tonight, and the car drove well. I stopped a few miles away from home to run into the grocery store, and when I came out and restarted the car the high idle was gone.

We shall see how it runs after a cold start in the morning. I may have the driveability issues cleared up. I cleared the codes tonight using Torque for Android, and they did not return, so we shall see.

Next up, if the idle problem is resolved: brakes.
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 #380357  by adu1982
 August 17th, 2019, 5:46 pm
Call us crazy huh......
Friday after work , I get out early some days, driver 2.5 hrs to Tallahassee and grabbed the stuff I saw on the way back from vacation. With gas, soda spent about 250$ for a new dash , seats and a center console top.

Driver seat is not perfect , but it's the best I've seen in the past 2 years and I got to the yards often enough (even have membership for free entry at one for the past two years).
They came out of a gold, 2003 M, that had only 100k miles. Didn't have time or energy to grab other stuff. The wheel was decent too (wood) and door covers. They have a sale towards the end of the month so , who knows maybe.

Have to install them soon as I don't want to have them get destroyed like the stuff I got 2 years ago (I ruined the dash I had as backup , as I had it on top somewhere and it got cut and the Pro-Am seats got ruined by critters in the shed ) .....if I ever find another dash or seats to kee0 as backup I will keep them wrapped and sealed in the attic.
Took the Buick and it did fine , but I did realize that either the bcm, relay or fans don't go to high speed , hence why sometimes it overheats. The water pump obviously didn't help, but the OEM one was leaking a tiny bit (or so I thought when I replaced the transmission). I will need to grab some Buick relays and maybe a fan.... I can really use it better than my base M , but the fact that it breaks every month is getting really old real quick.....
They need a good cleàning (and my specials seats too) then I will treat them both with the letherique pack I got a few months ago. Hope they come out good ,Image
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 #380362  by adu1982
 August 17th, 2019, 10:15 pm
After a few hours at work this morning, came home got some rest, worked a bit across the street to get the rental house readier, and then came in the garage, turned my portable ac and started , so I don't keep postponing, cleaning the seats I grabbed Friday and the dash. Only have passenger seat left , pics don't show it that much , but driver seat is cleaner now than passenger seat (pass seat looked a lot cleaner before ).....
3hr into it it takes a bit. Thanks to the post here, magic eraser with plenty of water+leather cleaner, and finish it with leather conditioner..... Tomorrow I think I will actually start the dash swap. Once I put the seats in I'm gonna do another light magic eraser cleaning, then letherique treatment .....
Have to say thought, dirt and grime hide alot of imperfections....,Image


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 #380364  by TrepKing95
 August 18th, 2019, 9:24 am
Managed to come across mint condition fender gap fillers for both sides at the junkyard last time. Need to get to a craft store and get some similar foam and copy them because I don't think my chances of finding another set in this condition are very high. Might also install the new trunk wiring harness I picked up at the same time.
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 #380368  by LUNAT1C
 August 18th, 2019, 8:49 pm
Got the suction line swapped out, and so far the system appears to be holding vacuu. May be a while yet before I can recharge it though, as it appears the mode door actuator and evap temperature probe have failed. Guess they got damaged in all the work needed to replace the evaporator core. Unfortunately the mode door actuator appears to be rather pricey for new mopar, no idea how new aftermarket is. Temp probe has no aftermarket, and is totally MIA for OEM. I’ll have to raid a salvage yard. Since I work typically 9-7 M-F, it’ll have to wait until the weekend. Might skip a charity car show on Sunday just so I can get this last bit taken care of. Don’t think I can recharge the system with those two parts broken.
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 #380369  by adu1982
 August 18th, 2019, 10:16 pm
When my probe went bad (I broke it almost at halfway when installing it in the new evap, it was still attached slightly so I pushed it in like that and it worked for another 1.5 years) mine was still cooling but very slightly , maybe 75 on full ac with 80-85 outside temps.

The door is annoying to replace but doable, you'll be on your back in an uncomfortable position but..... I just bought a new one because I knew from reading here it is a bit of a pain to replace.

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 #380376  by adu1982
 August 19th, 2019, 11:41 am
Didn't get to start on the dash/seat swap but I noticed 2 things. On pass side I overdid it with the magic eraser in one spot a bit, BUT the seats even before letherique look so much cleaner......couldn't tell Saturday night but in the daylight.....woooow....I mean the dirty water that was coming off the magic erasers I went through should have been a good enough sign. Must finish the swap quick and do my special and then even the base....

I was impressed...well worth the 3+ hrs spent cleaning them

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 #380378  by coatsy
 August 19th, 2019, 6:05 pm
Nice job on the seats.
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 #380379  by EasyRider300M
 August 19th, 2019, 8:05 pm
you say you overdid the magic eraser cleaning in one spot....what do you mean by that...did it remove dye?
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