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97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

  #1  
Old 11-25-2008, 11:08 AM
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Default 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Oh forum, I am at my wits end.

I have a 97 Chrysler Sebring, V6 2.5L automatic coupe. Bought it used, was ignorant of cars when this whole ordeal started. So it came as a complete surprise to me when it threw a timing belt and everyone said "throw it away".

Being hardheaded I didn't, I paid this old fellow $1500 to do a valve job and re-set the timing belt and replace the crankshaft bearings.
Now, it has
A. no oil pressure
B. won't start.

I took it to a dealership to have it put on the diagnostic machine and looked at. They said that it needed a new battery and (laughably) I would have to buy one from them for $104. Also they say the starter is busted and want me to pay them $800 to replace battery, starter, and hook it up to the machine. That's basically my entire budget.

1. Can I replace the starter myself? How would I do so? I'm half-competent but have never attempted Big Fixes like this.
2. Is this thing worth fixing, or is it time to just call it kaput? Most mechanics refuse when I say "Will you replace the starter and oil pump?" saying that they suspect the whole engine is somehow boogered up and it won't do anything. Are they right? Should I give up?
3. What would it cost to just put a whole new engine in, and would that be worth it?

Thanks all.
 
  #2  
Old 11-25-2008, 11:29 AM
Ram
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Did the engine even run after the "old" fella finished with the valve job and timing belt and crank bearings?

If so he maybe have been albe to do something else for you.

As for the dealer stating several things that they have to replace, battery, starter and the such, they need to know if several things are working properly before they can proceed in trouble shooting. Have they done a diagnostic on the battery to determin if it truely bad or can it take a charge?

The starter acting like its bad and battery combination, I'm sort of suspect. Did it even turn over before taking to the dealership?If it did turn over how does the dealership know the starter is truely bad? Unless they have already put a new battery into it. And if they did put that new battery in already, was it fully charged? And how fast do they think the starter needs to turn over the engine with the new battery if in fact its fully charged?

You could change a starter if in fact its something that does have to be changed. If the motor is not spinning over at alland a new battery is installed, or a good charge is on your old one.

Are all the wires connected up properly from the "old" mechanic?

And what indications have you that the "oil" pressure is gone? It could be as simple as just needing a good charge on the battery, and the oil psi switch is bad or some contact is loose someplace!
 
  #3  
Old 11-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Ram
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Forgot to ask how old is orignal battery?
 
  #4  
Old 11-25-2008, 05:16 PM
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Yes, the engine ran for awhile, but then it came to where it wouldn't start anymore.
I don't know whether the dealer has checked that battery, I was just intending to buy a new one. I know they weren't willing to just swap in a new one for a few minutes, so I told them to just take this big jump battery they were talking about, and hook it direct into the electrodes sans-battery. They did, it worked (of course, he knew that it would), and now they say the starter won't turn over.
The engine isn't locked up- it turns with a wrench- and the PCM (or whatever the abbreviation for "the computer" is) "has no error codes stored or current".
"But we need it to be running at full speed to do a full diagnostic."

Original battery is a year or two old. Wal-mart battery.
I know it had no oil pressure because the guy working on it before put a pressure gauge direct on the oil line- he seemed to know what he was doing- and it showed no oil pressure. He was pretty frustrated.
I cannot say re: the old wire connections.

These crazy people at the dealership had the gall to suggest that I pay them $800 to install a new starter and battery (that's $200 for the battery and $600 for the starter). I of course am not going to do that. My current plan is to go to the junk yard, pick up a starter motor for $45 or so, install it and a new battery, there on their lot.

What should I know in order to do that?
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-2008, 07:05 PM
Ram
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Well if the fella that did the work for you has put a direct oil psi gauge on and found no psi, and you still ran it.... it maybe past hope. I think that I know what you had the crank bearings changed out for now. Hoping to restore some psi, just a guess?

While someone was that far into the engine, it would have been better to change out the oil pump since my be bad when no oil psi was obvious??

Its agood possiablilty that even putting on a new starter will not fix the situation as I think that I understand it. But you may be able to get it to crank over better with the starter installed.

I would focus on whats happened to the oil psi and worry about that before doing very much more. With out any your not going to beable to continue to run it very long.

Do you know if you had any issues with smoking blue smoke from the tail pipe? Or high oil consumption? Have you checked compression? And if so wasa leak down compression check done?

 
  #6  
Old 11-28-2008, 01:41 PM
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

One thing about the 2.5L V6 engine. The oil pump is coaxial on the crankshaft. That means that it isn't driven by the crankshaft or the camshaft like many engines, it is part of the crankshaft assembly. If the bearings were replaced, then the crankshaft must have been removed in order to reach the other have of the bearings mounted in the engine block. If it was removed then the oil pump was "tampered" with during the process. Your "old" man should have had sense enough to at least inspect the pump and check the tolerances before he put the crankshaft back in and sealed it up. You may need to have a long, heartfelt discussion with him or his shop owner....
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-2008, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: 97 Sebring broke, should I even bother?

Starters and batteries are generally simple, but not necessarily easy to replace. The right tools and understanding go a long way toward making the job easier. But ultimately, even if the job is physically difficult, patience will win the battle.

I also recommend that you take your old starter out first to have it bench tested. (A service provided by most parts houses.) Also you may want to find a local old guy who runs an auto electric repair shop. They can save big bucks over buying a rebuilt or new starter, and maybe even less than your junk yard version. Additionally, when they get done you'll have a much better starter than a used one.

Also, before you go tearing things apart in the bottom of the motor to fix the oil pressure problem, get it cranking up to full speed with a repaired/replaced starter and battery. If it cranks, check for spark. If you have spark, check for fuel. Fuel pumps do go out.

Your "no start" problem sound more like they are related to the ignition or fuel system than the cam and oil systems. (though it's possible) After the starter problem is fixed, you might take a compression test. If it is the oil or cam that is the problem, you'll find a compression problem as well.

If you don't have spark, then a crankshaft position sensor for around $75 may solve the problem. They don't always throw codes when they go out and they can be intermittent as well. The camshaft position sensor may also be the problem, but if I'm not mistaken it is included as part of a very pricey distributor replacement only. If you are a trial and error kind of guy, start with the crankshaft sensor.

But if you are going to fix it yourself, you'll need a functioning starter and battery.
 
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