'06 3.8L engine removal



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Thread: '06 3.8L engine removal

  1. #1
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    '06 3.8L engine removal

    I have a 2006 Town and Country Touring edition. While I knew it was using oil, apparently it used faster than I replaced. The other day, the wife was driving it and it suddenly started making a loud clacking noise from the engine. (louder than a clicking valve, not as loud as a thrown rod).
    Short story is that the dealer says an engine replacement is needed. Has anyone pulled an engine from an 06? Can the engine come out upwards, or does the body get lifted away from the engine? I have an alternate vehicle, so I have some time to get this job done. Is it a DIY?

    I looked through the forums and couldn't find this specific question, so I apologize if this has been covered already.

    Thanks

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    Just out of curiosity, how many miles did it have, and how much oil was it using?

    I was looking on car-part.com the other day, they had plenty of used motors for sale. I just got one put in by my dealer from Mill-Iron Recycling. They got it for ~$900 w/60K miles on it.

    Personally, if I had time and another vehicle, I would take a crack at it. How much worse can it get??? :P
    2012 Chrysler T&C Touring 3.6 - Family Hauler
    2005 Chrysler T&C Touring 3.8 - RETIRED (Traded at 97K miles)

    "Every tyrant in history has known you can't control an armed population. That is why Hitler, Stalin and Mao were strongly against an armed citizenry, while Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams were for it."

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    The van has about 50k miles on it. The oil would get about 2 quarts low between oil changes (every 3-4k miles). I admit that I and the wife were not super diligent about checking the oil, but with most vehicles we haven't had to be. Also, no dripping on garage floor or smoking or other usual tell-tale signs. I guess this implies that the oil is seeping past the rings and getting burned off?

    I was looking through the Haynes repair manual and it says that a vehicle hoist is necessary. That could be the show stopper of doing the repair myself unless someone has some alternatives. The manual also says that the drive axles have to be pulled from the transmission?

    The auto shops have rebuilt long blocks for around $2000 (3yr warrenty).

    The other alternative would be to replaces just the heads (to address the sudden onset clacking noise) and hope the lower end isn't too messed up? I really don't like that alternative, but could buy me some time to get through a financial tough spell.

    Any other thoughts or ideas out there?
    Thanks

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    My mechanic said they had a van come in burning about 1qt/700 miles, and they did a valve job on the heads, which fixed it (1 qt/2-3K miles).

    Since you're not sure about having to drop the motor, and maybe trying to avoid that, I would buy a used motor for about $900. Pull the heads from yours, put the ones from the used motor on it, and see if that fixes it. If not, you still have your spare block.

    I'm thinking you should be able to do the head work with the motor still in, although you may need to loosen a motor mount or two to allow movement of the motor to get to a bolt or two. It will be a PITA tho, cause you'll have to pull off the exhaust manifolds, and that rear one will be a pain.
    2012 Chrysler T&C Touring 3.6 - Family Hauler
    2005 Chrysler T&C Touring 3.8 - RETIRED (Traded at 97K miles)

    "Every tyrant in history has known you can't control an armed population. That is why Hitler, Stalin and Mao were strongly against an armed citizenry, while Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams were for it."

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    Qnen:

    WOW......................50k miles and that kind of oil usage. Our 05 at 61k uses 1 qt. roughly every 3k. I run Mobil 1 which has been known to burn in some motors, and not in others.

    Consider this:

    Several folks have had valve train issues such as failed rocker arms and valve springs with the 3.8. If I were you, I would pull the valve covers to be sure you don't have a much simpler repair that can be done without engine removal.

    Its also a shame that the 06s did not have the 7/70 power train warranty, as your bill would not exceed $100.

    These Chrysler engines including the 3.8 are pretty tough for the most part if you keep enough oil in them and don't run them like the Indy 500.

    I just bet you might have an easier repair that you think. If not, with that low of mileage you will want to spend enough to put a good motor back in there so it will last you a good long time..




    Don
    05 Linen Gold Pearl Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L (hers)

    04 Flame Red Hemi 5.7L Dodge Durango SLT
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    I have taken the advice on the thread and opted to just tear into the engine with it still in the vehicle. So far I've removed the hood, front bumper cover, windshield wiper/cowling to gain decent access to the engine bay. So far so good. I've gotten the intake manifolds off and hopefully by tomorrow will have time to get the heads off.

    One thing I noticed is that there seems to be a lot of oil residue in the intake manifolds. Is this normal? Again 3.8L 2006 with 50k miles.
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    That seems pretty wet, but for the most part, it's normal. Check the PCV system for correct operation. If what's in the intake system is excessive, the PCV system may be overwhelmed and causing increased oil consumption. I would pull the valve covers first, and see what's in there. You may find a broken valve or broken valve spring. From the sounds of it, there may be a problem with a lifter, in which case the lower intake manifold would have to come out to gain access.
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    I would say that is a little too wet. Also from the looks of it, the egr was dumping lots of soot into the intake. But that really depends on your fuel, I always buy "better" fuels (shell or BP) and my intake is very clean with light oil residue.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

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    Qnen:

    Here is to hoping that you find a simpler cause/repair than an engine replacement. Since I can't be there in the flesh as it were, I will be there in spirit.

    The front valve cover should come off without too much fuss, but the rear one is a different story. Murphy's law says you will find the issue back there.

    These engines hold 4.5 quarts of oil, and I think that is ridiculous. I always put in 5 quarts with the mindset that an extra half quart won't hurt. That reasoning has not come back to haunt me YET!

    Even if your engine was two quarts down, I don't think you would hurt it unless you were towing or running 90mph.

    Good luck and keep us informed on what you find! Don
    05 Linen Gold Pearl Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L (hers)

    04 Flame Red Hemi 5.7L Dodge Durango SLT
    (Mine)

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    Well, the heads are off. By the way, the exhaust manifolds are indeed a pain to get off. Had to get out the dremel tool and cut two nuts off the rear manifold. At least they were easy to get to (NOT).

    Unfortunately no major smoking gun to be found. Some signs of wear on the rocker arm shaft, even less signs of wear on the lifters. I even took some of the lifters apart to see if there was anything amiss inside them. They all look good.

    I didn't see any signs of leaking at any of the gaskets, so I guess that is good. There was a little carbon build up in all the combustion chambers, but it looked pretty even for all 6. I can still see the cross hatch pattern on the cylinder walls. I would have thought after 50k miles, those would have worn down more.

    Tomorrow, I will take off the oil pan and see if there are any issues down there.

    Is it worth putting new lifters and rocker arm shafts in since I have it all apart? I can't imagine that the wear I'm seeing is the cause of the noise, but I can't find anything else... What are the thoughts regarding taking the heads to a shop to have the valve guides and seats checked out? I don't have the tools to mess with those springs.

    Any other ideas of what to check?

    Thanks
    Michael

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