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  • General Discussions about the 300M
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General Discussions about the 300M

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 #261559  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 12:17 pm
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This is my '02 300M Special, black-on-black.

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This is my second 300M, my first was totalled in a car accident. After I was cut a check from my insurance, I went after this particular rust-free car. It was a corporate car in TX for the first 60K miles of it's existance, and had several owners before it was bought in an auction and shipped to PA, where I bought it in early '08.

This past winter, the car sat for a few months, and it needed some work. I recently had the timing belt and water pump done by a local shop, and thought that they had mis-sealed the pump, I was leaking coolant. I topped the coolant off and took my girl for a drive in the car - it started hard, threw a misfire code, then settled down - and I later noticed that the engine was making a tick-tick-tick sound. I parked the car until I could take a better look at it.

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^ everybody's hungry!

It was around this time that I met Matt (mlasms08) at my local Chrysler dealership. I asked for a "guy that knew LH body cars" and they immediately thought of Matt! He agreed to stop by and take a look at the car. We thought it could have been the stuck lifter condition, so off came the valve covers.

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Well... it wasn't a leaky water pump.
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Couldn't believe what we found...

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Sludge. Thick, black, brownie-mix sludge.
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I sent the remaining oil out for analysis. The return letter wasn't very promising.

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Ruh roh! So off come the bearing caps.
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And... yep.
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That is the source of the knocking... a scored crankshaft, pic doesn't show much more than a 1/8" notch, but it was quite deep.

FML. Now what? This engine, if it wasn't so completely gunked up, was eminently worth saving. But, with the amount of goo we found everywhere, we knew she was toast. So, we did what any red-blooded American would do, and drove to the partsyard. :P
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 #261560  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 12:17 pm
With a little help from a work van and a buddies' engine crane...
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It's so clean. It really is.
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LIM and injectors all look great. Plus I have spares, too.
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No leaky gaskets here.
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TB looks to be in great shape.
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A new wall hanging. ;)
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Very happy with the new engine, we pulled the pan off and there was nothing in there, and I mean nothing - no goo, gunk, shavings, sediment, magnetic particles. Coolant passages are free and clear. It had around 85K when the car it was in was totalled. Junkard engines are often hit or miss, and until it's been in and running for a while, you won't definitively know what you got. But, we're pretty confident we can work with this mill.
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 #261561  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 12:18 pm
So, in for a penny, in for a pound. Car's finally getting the upgrades and attention it should. Now to address rolling stock...
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These are stock 19" SRT-4 Caliber wheels that a very good friend of mine gave me for fitment. The bolt pattern is the same, but the hub diameter beetween the two is different. That same great friend of mine also happens to be a mechanical draftsman that has access to lathes.

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Note that this is a hubcentric design, the adaptor / spacer rides both bores.

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We're still playing with the bore depths, and it is possible that these wheels just may not be in the cards. Time (and some measurements that I need to get off my lazy a** and confirm) will tell.
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 #261562  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 12:18 pm
Now to get that old lump out. We need to level-up the garage. Mid-range compressor and a nice impact gun will help.
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I began cleaning up the mix of old and "new" engine parts (whichever was in the better condition) for paint. Rags soaked in undiluted Purple Power (safe for AL), varying-bristle scrub brushes, dishwashing detergent, and compressed air.
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High-temp primer was laid, two coats, then hit with 220, then a high-temp silver base coat. Block will be black.
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Valve covers are a vibrant red.
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Hoping for this subtle, Audi-like effect:
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 #261563  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 12:19 pm
Meanwhile, Matt and I prepare the dead engine. Matt's been awesome throughout this whole ordeal, top notch mechanic and fast becoming a good friend.
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"Hurry up, man! We're getting sunburnt."
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And the moment of truth:
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Going...
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Going...
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Gone. Where we sit as of July 10th - old engine getting cannabalized for more good-condition parts, new engine getting the fresh timing belt, water pump, and tensioner. Also doing the tie-rod bushings and the heater hoses while we're in there.
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Just some of the new parts that will be going back into reviving this elegant and sexy girl.
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 #261571  by 300maximilien
 July 11th, 2011, 1:07 pm
wow...can't wait to see the rest! Love that garage of yours ever since your first post of it.


FYI that dead horse is worth about $150 in AL scrap. Depending on how much you tear it down.....or about $80 in mixed metal scrap
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 #261572  by grayslater
 July 11th, 2011, 1:12 pm
Can't wait to see you get this back on the road! A lot of work involved there. Doing a great job.
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 #261573  by TrueBlue
 July 11th, 2011, 1:20 pm
Craig, Cory, thanks guys. Labor of love, for sure. I almost wanted to get rid of her before this, but I remembered how much I loved this car on road trips, just eating the miles up.

$150 in scrap? Oh, I'll seperate it for that!
 #261580  by isrb710
 July 11th, 2011, 2:27 pm
Thanks for your great pics! I like the red for the valve covers! Very nice work!!!
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 #261639  by M-Pressive
 July 12th, 2011, 9:19 am
Great pictures of the project!

I like the red covers as well.

Keep us updated as you continue to put it back together.
 #261646  by tinman
 July 12th, 2011, 10:19 am
Great writeup is true! Excellent. Keep it up and you are almost there. I, too, love the red accent.
 #261795  by Tarheel
 July 13th, 2011, 4:26 pm
Excellent documentation! Very obviously you know what you are doing and I know you will have excellent results.
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 #263315  by TrueBlue
 August 1st, 2011, 10:11 am
Bump. Been on vacation, but home now and determined to get this project finished soon.

The day of my flight out I grabbed a new lower radiator brace, mine looked like someone used it as a jack point and it was collapsed centrally with no scuff marks (i.e. impact marks).
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 #263322  by Bill Putney
 August 1st, 2011, 11:23 am
TrueBlue wrote:Bump. Been on vacation, but home now and determined to get this project finished soon.

The day of my flight out I grabbed a new lower radiator brace, mine looked like someone used it as a jack point and it was collapsed centrally with no scuff marks (i.e. impact marks).
Mine is slightly dented in the center from when I used to use it to jack up the complete front end. I don't do that anymore - not enough surface area - too many psi. :) You probably remember a few years ago when someone here was using that as a jacking point, and it slipped off the jack - ripping upward thru a lot of stuff. Horrifying, yet I laugh when i think about it. I worry about myself sometimes. :)
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 #263354  by TrueBlue
 August 1st, 2011, 3:28 pm
I remember that guy. Ugh... if it slipped off the jack I think next stop would be the oil pan, and I doubt that little chunk o' aluminum is gonna hold much.
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