Is my engine good?

  • 109,112 MILES
My question is there any way to determine the quality of a motor/engine etc, without starting it up? What I am referring to is I have all parts needed.

I have all the parts needed to rebuild a 1997 Dodge Intrepid Sport with 109,112 miles on it. It has been in a accident. I was thinking of rebuilding it. I have never heard it run. And, I need to make to many repairs before I am able to turn the motor over.

Some repairs include: the whole front part of the chassis that holds the headlights and all of the cylinders that hold the brake fluid, the windshield washer fluid, the blinkers and the grill; everything including the new radiator etc. Like I said I do have all the parts needed.

My question is do you think this is a project worth attempting seeing that I have no idea as to the quality of the motor/engine! Also, is there any possible way to determine the quality of a engine/motor without hearing it run, or without driving it? Thank you for your time in this matter.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, March 4th, 2012 AT 10:35 PM

1 Reply

As far as the motor there are a few things you can check. You can do a compression/leakdown test. If you go to any Advance Auto or Auto Zone they will loan you the tool to test the compression. The 3.3L has a minimum compression pressure of 100PSI and the 3.5L is the same. The maximum pressure difference between the highest and lowest pressure cylinders should be 25%. It should take a little while, at least 10 minutes or so for the compression to leak off. The longer it holds pressure the better. The main thing is that the pressure does not leak off immediately.
You can also look at the engine oil in the sunlight or a bright light and look for specs of metal. If you see little silver pieces of metal it is going to need a rebuild in a while. If you see Brass or Copper colored pieces in the oiol it needs a rebuild now. The metal will settle out in the bottom of the oil.
The same goes for the transmission except you will just be looking for silver specs of metal. The larger the piece of metal the worse the shape of the tranny. Also the fluid should not look dark or smell burnt. That means it needs a rebuild.
If you can, you can seal off the coolant ports on the engine and get a coolant system pressure tester to check the system. However doing a compression test is at least a way to tell if the head gasket is leaking in or out of the combusiton chamber which would affect performance if anti-freeze is getting into the combustion area.
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Sunday, March 4th, 2012 AT 10:50 PM

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