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Old 11-03-2007, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Mopar Gearheads - Attn - 97 Sebring JXi 2.5L V6 Help

Now I have a good idea about what most of these problems would be on a 3800, but this is a whole new ballgame to me.

1997 Chrysler Sebring JXi Convertible - 2.5L V6 - 135k - A604 Transmission - Former Rental

Few Problems:

LOUD ticking at hot idle. Usually only when in gear, but happens once in a while in neutral/park as well. Goes away once above ~1200 RPMs

Oil pressure light comes on at hot idle in gear.

Intermittent battery light, no rhyme or reason, comes on, stays on for a bit, then goes off..its almost like a joke light.

Seatbelts lock up whenever they feel like it, you can just be sitting in the car, with it off, and hear them click lock, and unlock, and lock, and unlock.

SES light, horrible mileage, rich exhaust, and a common failure on these is apparently EGR and Oxygen is due for a change as well. Can these EGRs be cleaned out pretty easily? And for the o2, every 100k right?

Has pretty bad wheel shimmy on the road at around 45-50 around long bends. Common mileages for wheel bearings/tie rods/ball joints on these cars?

Anyone who knows these engines, please give me a rundown on maintenance required to help them run their best. This one runs and doesn't really falter, but has the tick, a horrible miss at idle (you can feel it), exhaust is...noticeable,
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Old 11-03-2007, 02:31 AM   #2
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I don't know what to tell you there John... Usually by that mileage those motors are pretty well shot if they wren't takes care of by an anal person...

I'd at least change the oil and see if that helps the tick.. Not sure if that engine will develop any valve lash..

Now the question is, is this the SOHC 24V or a DOHC 24V? I haven't seen a 97 in a while so I need a little refresher course

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Old 11-03-2007, 03:09 AM   #3
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Without having asked questions or looked this up, I can give you these tips:
Check the ohms of resistance for the ignition coils/distributor. Any repair manual, even the very flammable generic auto parts $20 manual, would have these specs. Check to see if you need to replace those.

Have you done timing belts? Take your engine out of your car because Chrysler engine bays suck, and then replace the belt(*) for the cam(*) at the top of the engine. That'* not really a performance thing, but you need to do this so that these fixes are not in vain.

If the 02 sensors are reporting strangely or not at all, have a dealer scan your car and tell you if anything leading to and/or from your 02 in the circuitry of the car is bad. See if you can find an SAE-certified mechanic who works in a chain auto place that can get a good deal on an entire new rack and pinion, which should end up costing about $120 wholesale, and he can put the whole thing in your car in a short time.

Good luck with your Chrysler, but if you can fix it, sell it, and get to some GMs, Nissans, and the like. Those are awesome brands. Or Alfa Romeo. Oh yes.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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That loud ticking is a bad thing, especially with the low oil pressure. It means that something that needs to be lubed isn't, and I'm taking a guess that it'* one of the lifters on the rear bank of cylinders. It'* a problem on all of the SOHC versions of Mitsubishi'* 6G series motors. The low oil pressure is most likely a worn-out oil pump, and means that it'* rebuild time. The EGR valve and O2 sensors aren't HARD to replace, but the EGR is expensive, and there are either 3 or 4 O2 sensors, depending on the year.

Check the battery terminals, they have a habit of corroding oddly. They have a terminal with a seperate sort of sleeve that goes over the actual battery post, and that sleeve will corrode away, but you can't tell by just looking at it, you have to pull the terminal off.

Is the shimmy accompanied by a growling noise? That'd be wheel bearings, otherwise it'* most likely a ball joint starting to go.


www.allpar.com is a pretty good place as far as support and info goes, but www.aseclub.net is better IMO.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:39 PM   #5
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Well lets see here...the problem with the front end is it vibrates/grinds/shakes when going around a bend and continues when going straight. No noise.

Oil was just changed, tick remained the same.

Just looking to get the damn SES light off, oil light off, and ticking gone and get this car the hell OUT of here. Already got an 04 Avalanche on deck to replace it with.

So what about the battery light? easy fix?
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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Thinking of doing seafoam in the crankcase and some more new oil to see if that helps any. Maybe some through the vac lines too., should wake it up a little.

Any other maint suggestions? Clean maf? Do these have a maf? Any other sensors to clean?

I wish I could get a video of this noise, its awful. No cam here.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:31 PM   #7
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Oooh, if it'* really loud, it'* probably something terminal. That low oil pressure is a REALLY bad sign, assuming it really is low and not part of the electrical problems. If there is any way for you to get out of the car, I'd do so. Alternatively, the long block is the same in the verts, the cloud cars, and the Avenger/Sebring coupes, and they are pretty easy to find for cheap. It isn't a HARD job to pull the motor, but figure on it taking a full weekend to remove and replace, if that'* the way you go.
The front end sounds more like bad ball joints now, when they get REALLY bad the car goes all over the road....until they fail completely, then the wheel and spindle whip back under the car, which hooks hard right or left. I'm assuming you have swapped wheels or at least checked the lugs, to make sure it isn't simply a loose or out of balance wheel.

As far as replacing the battery terminals, it'* a crimp on connector to the vehicle harness. Remove the old crimp, put a new connector on the end of the wire, and re-crimp. With all the electrical problems, there may be some ECM issues. Does it do the keydance diagnostic?
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:53 PM   #8
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Ok...this is dad'* car...i've never done ANY work on it. All I know is GMs. This is a totally new ballgame. I have no IDEA about any of it, just how it drives. It also has a bad MC, but I don't need to ask to see what THAT is.

Walk me through some diagnostic steps if possible
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:38 AM   #9
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Well, for the motor and front end problems, it'* pretty much the same across all the manufacturers. Low oil pressure is pretty much a diagnostic that the motor is worn out, or at least that the oil pump is worn out. With 135k on the clock, the motor is pretty old, and being a former rental means that it was likely flogged on and not maintained.
The shimmy is usually balljoints, the test is the same as for a GM, jack it up, grab the top and bottom of the wheel, and see if it moves much when you push in with one arm, and pull out with the other. To test for bad tie rods, put one hand at 3 oclock, the other at 9, and do the same push/pull while somebody holds the steering wheel, or turn the steering until it'* against the column lock first. If you feel excessive motion, more than about 3/8 inch, the rods are likely bad. Wheel bearings can be checked by pulling with both hands on the wheel, you'll feel it move if they are bad. Bad wheel bearings are usually accompanied by a LOUD growling noise, but not always. BE CAREFUL doing this, don't pull the car off the jackstands!
The electrical stuff is pretty similar as well. I always check the simple stuff first, people never grease their battery terminals, and maybe 50% of the electrical problems I've seen can be traced BACK to a poor connection at the beginning, regardless of what actually FAILED later.

Has the vehicle been in an accident of any kind that you know of, even a parking lot hit? That could have faulted the SRS system, which SHOULD cause the light to come on(does it light up on startup), and the belts to lock up (the Sebrings had controlled tensioners, not just the mechanical type.) You have to access the computer with a DRB tool to fix that, by resetting the airbag system.

You are most likely right about the EGR and O2s being bad, the poor mileage is the indicator there.Here'* how to pull diagnostic codes, which should tell you if the computer thinks they are bad too: http://www.allpar.com/fix/codes.html The codes for the older, 80s to 90s cars SHOULD be what works for you, but the car may have left the factory with a DRB2 system. 1997 was a weird year for Mopar, some models got OBD2 that year, some didn't, some transitioned partway through the year, some only got it when certain options were ordered......For instance, a friends 97 short Caravan has DRB2, solely becuase he ordered the upgraded radio on a non-E85 California model. No upgrade radio, no DRB2 for the exact same van.
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