Sludge motors

Messages
1,571
Location
Thousand Oaks, CA
The April 18th issue of Automotive News has a lengthly article about sludge engines. Unfortunately I don't have any way to post it. There is a chart that shows the engines of most concern. Chrysler 2.7 from 98 to 02 has 1,000,000 high risk engines. Saab 2.0 and 2.3 from 98 to 03 has 135,000 high risk engines. Toyota 2.2 and 3.0 has 3,300,000 high risk engines. VW 1.8 from 97 to 04 has 426,000 high risk engines. Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety is pushing to get the automakers to have recalls. He was quoted as saying "Oil sludge is our No. 1 priority this year." Some automakers have been more helpful than others. Toyota now has an extended warranty for this problem but they generated a lot of bad will before doing it. Saab has also extended the warranty on the engines they say are at risk. Chrysler still is generating bad will and so far has taken a pretty hard line. Evidently the internet is ablaze with tales of refused claims. I have a feeling that we will be hearing even more about this very soon.
 
Messages
1,895
Location
Indiana
Thanks for posting this Big Jim.This is a topic I am very interested in since my wife drives an 04 Concorde we purchased last year new.We really like the car, it has more interior room than my Crown Vic but trying to find answers about this engine is impossible. The best I can determine is that Chrysler changed the design after the 02 model year but nobody can really verify this.This is discussed on Allpar.com but without any agreement. I've sent Chrysler e-mails asking for details but get the usual form letter response.They are recomending 5-20 in the 05 2.7L. I would like to try it in mine if it would be any better than the recomended 5-30 but I cannot find out if there are any changes to the 05 or if they simply changed the recomended viscosity.Chryslers response when I emailed them was to stick with what the owners manual said.Right now I'm running M1 5-30 and would like to go the full 6 months (warranty required)OCI before changing it but then I read about these nightmare warranty fights when the engine sludges so I wonder if I should go with the 3k/3mos severe schedule with Havoline or Pennzoil dino.This is a frustrating situation because the car is fun to drive and is big enough for our needs and it's paid for.Thanks again.
 
Messages
260
Location
Mount Joy, PA
Just use a good synthetic like Amsoil, mobil1, GC. Use 5-6000 mile intervels and maybe a bypass filter if you are so inclined. You will have no problems with sludge. And just to be sure about every 50,000 miles do an auto rx treatment.
 
Messages
11
Location
Hamilton, Canada
I wonder about the root cause of the sludge on these engines, if not poor maintenance by the owners. Almost a year ago I got a 2001 Sebring with the 2.7. It had about 48K miles on it when I bought it, not knowing about the potential sludge issue at the time. When I found out about the sludge, I did panic [freaknout] and considered a trade in, but settled on an ARX treatment. However, a look down the filler hole of my engine reveals nothing but very slightly varnished aluminum. I've run M1 since I got the car, but now I'm half way through the ARX cleaning phase and the Esso dino is still so clean you can barely see it on the dipstick. I guess we'll see what happens during the rinse phase, but so far I'm not expecting much. I'm just waiting on the results of a UOA from the last batch of M1 I had in there. I'm quite interested to check for antifreeze as these engines do have a timing chain driven water pump, located behind the timing cover. I think that a leak there could sludge things up pretty badly if left unchecked. There are several theories out there as to the cause of sludge in the 2.7, but I'm leaning towards the water pump being a prime culprit. Anyway, my plan for the sludge monster is to just keep up my current oil routine and also do a periodic UOA to check for antifreeze. No more panic or thoughts of trade in for me, unless a visible reason arises.
 
Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
The Chrysler 2.7L problem is intriguing to me. From all the stories I have read it appears most of them were changing their oil more frequently then 5000 miles (which should be fine for any dino) and still had problems with sludge. Most of the failure modes were in the timing chain area and engine failure seemed to always consist of a snapped timing chain. However no one seems to really have come up with a reason why the 2.7 has been problematic. Chrysler should have just kept using Mitsubishi 3.0's.
 
Messages
1,895
Location
Indiana
DREAMDEALER is the engine in your Sebring mounted transversely (I think thats the right word) or the traditional front to back? One theory I've read s that Chrysler started mounting the 2.7 front to back for better cooling but thats another one of those theories nobody can verify. [I dont know] The engine in my wifes Concorde is mounted front to back.
 

VNT

Messages
258
Location
Maine
The sebrings are mounted transverse, LH's N-S. I think real theory is quite a number of these cars were Fleet sales/rentals and we all know how they are taken care of:( I believethe 3.2 and 3.5's also have the water pump driven off the timing chain. I would simply run a good synthetic. I would also pull a valve cover and take a peak in and see what condition they are in. I think most of the sludge prone cars are fleet units where the oil is never changed.
 
Messages
11
Location
Hamilton, Canada
Yup, as VNT said, the Sebring/Stratus have the engines mounted transverse and the LH car are North-South. In the transverse case I would think it would lead to more heat in the rear bank of cylinders. I do believe that the 3.2 and 3.5 have external, accessory belt driven water pumps though. Anyway I got my UOA back and the results are posted. Other than a non sludge related issue, things look good!
 
Messages
873
Location
Fredericton
quote:
Originally posted by DreamDealer: Yup, as VNT said, the Sebring/Stratus have the engines mounted transverse and the LH car are North-South. In the transverse case I would think it would lead to more heat in the rear bank of cylinders. I do believe that the 3.2 and 3.5 have external, accessory belt driven water pumps though. Anyway I got my UOA back and the results are posted. Other than a non sludge related issue, things look good!
I cannot see how an engine with a properly designed and functioning liquid cooling system would have the rear bank of a transversly mounted engine overheating... John.
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
I found this part VERY interesting:
quote:
After fighting Toyota for six months about a sludged 2003 Corolla with 26,000 miles, Mazie Passeri vowed to picket the local dealership and drive the car with the words "Toyota Sludgemobile" painted on it.
I've never heard of a Corolla with a sludge problem. I hope the Corolla doesn't turn into a "41MPG sludgebucket"!! Is there something brewing with the 1.8L engine that has yet to come to fruition?
 
Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
ToyotaNSaturn: There is no known sludge problems with the 1ZZFE that I am aware of, and to tell you the truth it is one fine piece of machinery. We have a '02 Celica GT with the same engine (tuned differently from Corolla - makes 140HP instead of 130). Before I started taking care of it (at 120,000 miles) the oil changes were anywhere from 7500-10000 miles with one going out to 13,000 miles. This was on bulk Castrol GTX 5W-30 [Eek!] . Anyways while there was some evidence of the beginnings of sludge it was still running fine - the idle was a bit rough, but it still gets 38 MPG on the freeway, burns no oil and still has plenty of power. In the process of cleaning it up though (Shell Rotella T 5W-40 and going to double AutoRX it soon.
 
Messages
44
Location
sunny Carolinas
In defense of the Chrysler powertrain design team, to my knowledge, the innovative 2.7L V-6 had been initially designed wholly by computer to be as horsepower, fuel and emissions efficient as possible. In order to keep emissions low as possible and from running cold-rich in the closed loop only the shortest amount of time, the cyber driven design team had moved the catalytic converters on this transverse motor as close as possible to the motor block, almost touching. Evidently in the factory lab tests this motor shined with the output numbers. But in hindsight, these guys forgot to take into account that the continued factory recommended dino oil and 5000 mile OCI could not withstand the frying torture of the additional cat-con heat which became slow but sure lubricant death. As a result, predictable sludge formed and the timing chains/ interference valvetrain were the first to give up their hardworking lives. Boo on Chrysler corporate for taking an ignorant swine's attitude and not offering the tens of thousands of broken 2.7L owners a satisfactory solution and in turn losing them forever to another auto maker brand.
 
Messages
16
Location
North Jersey
I have an Intrepid, but not a 2.7. It seems that folks running Mobil 1 are avoiding this problem. So this begs the question, WHY WON'T CHRYSLER SPEC MOBIL 1 FOR THE 2.7L ENGINE. Sure, it costs a bit more, but I'd rather spend an extra $10 per oil change over $5,000 for a new motor.
 
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
At this point can Chrysler now ask for synthetic without admitting there is a problem? They really don't care what happens to the engines as long as they can deny that it's their fault. It would cost a lot of money to fix them. You can solve the problem by switching to a good synthetic like Mobil 1, but Chrysler can't. If you follow the information on the Internet no matter what you believe, you have to think there is a problem in the middle of all this. Who cares if they designed their engine on a computer, someone still has to point the computer in the right direction. People that think and design still have to run things and engineers do that better than bean counters. The mesage from Chrysler appears to be if you're a thinking customer with questions and want answers then you're not the customer Chrysler wants. Chrysler wants you to buy a Toyota. Let Toyota have all those troublesome customers. Toyota is stupid enough to fix engines even when the customer can't come up with receipts. This kind of policy is going to back-fire for Toyota. Every time one of these Chrysler people show up at a Toyota dealer they are going to buy car. Chrysler will finally gain their success. All those picky customers will be gone forever. Use synthetic oil....
 
Messages
10,910
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by LarryL: Who cares if they designed their engine on a computer, someone still has to point the computer in the right direction.
This is known as "Garbage In, Garbage Out". Feed a computer bad data and you get bad data out.
 
Messages
285
Location
Minn/Wis
interesting thread, so what is the deal with the mopar 2.7 V6, Junk? or not? I have noticed that when you start some of them up when there cold and have sat for a few days the timimg chain makes a lot noise for a few seconds untill oil gets to it, do they all do that?
 
Messages
1,895
Location
Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by MillerMan: interesting thread, so what is the deal with the mopar 2.7 V6, Junk? or not? I have noticed that when you start some of them up when there cold and have sat for a few days the timimg chain makes a lot noise for a few seconds untill oil gets to it, do they all do that?
Mine (04 Concorde) is relatively new, purchased last year and now has 7,300 miles on it. It has always been extremely quiet at startup. I have M1 5-30 in it now.It runs and handles really good and has plenty of power for the type of driving my wife typically does.Gets decent gas mileage too for it's size. This whole sludge issue has me so spooked we are going today to look at new Chrysler and Dodge vans.Probably take a beating on trade in but I don't need the aggravation of worrying about engine trouble. buddy-lee makes a good point about the cat-con location. On mine it is right there in the engine compartment on the passenger side. We have noticed the "rotten egg" smell on occasion after driving the car for a long time.I'm wondering if it's getting sucked into the ventilation system somehow.
 
Messages
285
Location
Minn/Wis
well not a good sign, was looking at used dodge stratus's for my sister, every one of the 2.7's made timing chain howl at start up, there was 40 to 60k miles on them. they appeared to be no sludge in the engines from what I could see with the oil filler cap off those newer LH cars are nice, but in the long run it's very ???able, I don't know if the newer ones have all the auto tranny problems like the older onces do
 
Messages
239
Location
California
My neighbor across the street just finished swaping a "new" used engine in his mid 90s Camry. Engine had really bad rod knock. It sounded like a tin can full of rocks. He is a very experienced mechanic and he swears he changed the oil every 3k miles since new. Well I guess its not often enough. On the plus side, he can swap a motor in a day with basic tools and a lift. I'm impressed. I took these photos when he pulled the valve cover on the old engine. Sorry they are out of focus but you get the picture. Photo 1 Photo 2
 
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