2001 TC engine damage



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Thread: 2001 TC engine damage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    2001 TC engine damage

    Hi everybody. I was given a 2001 TC limited that was running badly and the owner was told the engine had a dead cylinder, and it makes a horrible clattering noise. I pulled the front three plugs and did a compression test. Two looked ok, third was dead, has significant oil contamination and slight mechanical damage to the spark plug. Stuck a bore scope down the spark plug holes and I can see that all three pistons look like they have valve impact damage near their centers, except for the dead cylinder which has significantly more damage near the cylinder wall. Trying to figure if this was caused by jumped timing chain and if this engine can be salvaged. No metal in the oil. Haven't had time to dig into it, yet. Local wrecking yard is having a 50% of sale this weekend and I need to decide if I want to go pull a donor engine for rebuilding instead of this one. I'm mostly concerned about excessive damage to cylinder bores that might prevent rebuilding, and if the heads might be wrecked from bent valves and valve guides. Not sure if engine is original or not, but odometer shows around 220,000 mi. Thanks for any input.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Engines are cheap & plentiful in the junkyard.
    For the 2001, you will want to check the fuel injection harness that goes over the exhaust manifold. (They have a tendency to get hot and melt the connector or wiring.)

    Good luck.

    Here is a good primer on the engine differences for the 4th gen 3.8 engines:

    Rebuilding the Chrysler 3.3L / 3.8L Engine:
    http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2010...3l3-8l-engine/

    or here:
    http://www.enginebuildermag.com/wp-c...0000029832.pdf
    2009 Dodge GC SXT - 3.8
    sold - 2001 Chrysler T&C LXi

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  5. #3
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    The thing to remember is that even if you bought a running 2001, it wouldn't cost very much. You could repair the engine, and then next month need a transmission. If you really, really want to punish yourself with a 16 year old, high mileage van, self flagellation might be the better way to go.

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    fatalalbert(04-03-2017)

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  8. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
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    Hello and welcome to the forum. Your better off buying a used engine instead of spending time trying to repair the current engine. There are to many unknowns as to the damage or even how it happened. If the body and uni-body frame are free from rust, its worth putting a used engine in. Might want to find out how the trans. was serviced too.
    01 DGC EX w/ 3.8L engine w/205K+. Bought used in Sep. 2003 w/36K

    07 Toyota Camry w/2.4L engine w/112K+. Bought used in Nov. 2009 w/36K

  9. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    4


    Van is in decent shape, fully loaded, and everything works (except the engine). I didn't hear of trans issues from the previous owner and the fluid is clean, so time will tell I guess. Currently driving a 2000 Metro beater with 240k miles on it and a failing trans, so the van feels like quite an upgrade. I do have a soft spot for the simplicity of the Metro, which I'm sure I'm going to miss in the very near future after working on this thing. Not much to go wrong with 3 cylinders, a manual trans and no power anything (not even power steering). What years of engine should I be looking out for? I'm new to the 3.3/3.8 and I believe I read that 2001 - 2003 were similar. Could I use other years? I have smog inspections to worry about, so I have to careful with the details or end up with a van I can't register.

  10. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    TEXAS, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzp70 View Post
    Hi everybody. I was given a 2001 TC limited that was running badly and the owner was told the engine had a dead cylinder, and it makes a horrible clattering noise. I pulled the front three plugs and did a compression test. Two looked ok, third was dead, has significant oil contamination and slight mechanical damage to the spark plug. Stuck a bore scope down the spark plug holes and I can see that all three pistons look like they have valve impact damage near their centers, except for the dead cylinder which has significantly more damage near the cylinder wall. Trying to figure if this was caused by jumped timing chain and if this engine can be salvaged. No metal in the oil. Haven't had time to dig into it, yet. Local wrecking yard is having a 50% of sale this weekend and I need to decide if I want to go pull a donor engine for rebuilding instead of this one. I'm mostly concerned about excessive damage to cylinder bores that might prevent rebuilding, and if the heads might be wrecked from bent valves and valve guides. Not sure if engine is original or not, but odometer shows around 220,000 mi. Thanks for any input.


    As suggested above (or bellow, depending on your settings), best thing to do is to buy an used engine, a lot cheaper than rebuild the original.

    Good luck!







    2012 Town & Country
    2006 Dodge Grand Caravan. 317,000 + Miles. -SOLD-
    Current Minivans I own.
    LEVY --UNKNOWN MEMBER--

  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    683


    I don't think I would re-build an engine that has been damaged internally if I had the option of buying a used, running one instead. Might cost more up front, but I would be more confident with my re-build.
    Steve
    1999 Caravan LE, 3.3L, 300,000KM
    2005 Saturn Vue AWD (Honda J35 3.5 V-TEC 260HP) 216,000KM
    1982 Suzuki Katana,(ported/shaved head,11:1,4in1,KNre-cal/filters,cam,120HP)

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    4


    Buying an engine from a junkyard is making me nervous. I'm used to buying a dirt cheap worn out engine and rebuilding it, but I see that used is probably more cost effective. I used car-part.com and found a list of engines within reasonable driving distance. Do these prices look right? Are these mileages ok for the money asked? I don't know any of these junkyards, so do I just go by internet reviews to see if they are trustworthy with their parts? Thanks.

    2001
    Engine Assembly
    Dodge Caravan 3.8L,04/01,FWD,RUNS GOOD 154,370 A 00013176 $600
    2001
    Engine Assembly
    Dodge Caravan 25% RESTOCKING FEE 156,000 A 052015 $500
    2001
    Engine Assembly
    Dodge Caravan 3.8L VIN L HAS EGR 161K-161K 161,000 A 01CARA38 $400
    2002
    Engine Assembly
    Dodge Caravan GREAT COMPRESSION IN ALL CYLINDERS 180LBS 00034953 $700

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    683


    I would make an offer on the running one. Good start for a rebuild.
    Steve
    1999 Caravan LE, 3.3L, 300,000KM
    2005 Saturn Vue AWD (Honda J35 3.5 V-TEC 260HP) 216,000KM
    1982 Suzuki Katana,(ported/shaved head,11:1,4in1,KNre-cal/filters,cam,120HP)

  14. #10
    Join Date
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    Maybe a low mileage trans and engine might be the best deal.

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