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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good morning all,
I have a bit of a strange situation with my 2006 Chrysler 300c SRT8 with the 6.1. I recently changed the intake manifold gaskets and plenum (I used no RTV on either). I changed them because of oil seepage from the intake area and a major leak on both sides of the intake. After everything was taken apart I noticed that this had been done before. How could I tell? A very sloppy silicone job and weird black spacers with gaskets on both sides gave it away. I attached a photo of the spacers to this post. I've never seen spacers like this, or at all on these motors for that matter. I solved the majority of my problems and made a huge difference in the way the car runs and drives with this work however I do still have some small issues. At idle, I noticed that I have a very small (and seems to be random) misfire and some variation in the RPMs when under load at low RPMs. I notice this because when in any drive gear, it seems to bounce a little and cause my dash lights to flicker slightly. When in park and cold I can place my hand on the intake and feel the motor shake slightly more than what seems to be normal. I used water in a spray bottle to check for vacuum and gasket leaks, especially around the plenum (where i could reach) and where the intake meets the head. I made sure all of my torque specs were as perfect as I could get them with a duralast torque ratchet and made sure to do them in the correct sequence. I can only think of is a VERY small exhaust leak between the manifold and cat, however there are no codes given. Could I have accidentally dragged the manifold across the heads when placing it causing a leak? I would think if i had done that, I would be getting a much worse misfire and noticed a leak when using my spray bottle. Any suggestions?
EDIT: Just thought I would add: I have replaced all 16 plugs with Autolite XP iridium

EDIT 2: It doesn't looks like this thread is getting as much traction as my car does in the snow... But i wanted to add a few things. Something I noticed today when letting the car warm up is the strong smell of raw gas under the hood close to the rear of the motor over the passenger wheel well. (Close to the evap purge valve. However it doesn't smell like its coming from the valve itself or vacuum lines connected to it.) What is down there that could cause this strong of a smell? I haven't noticed any spots on the driveway from the car whatsoever and the last time it was in a shop on a lift, the bottom of the car was dry except for some extremely small seepage around the transmission pan gasket (this is being solved next week with a filter/fluid change)

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I have a set of spacers similar to those, What I don't know is why anyone would put them between the heads and intake on a stock 6.1. The ones I have are for port adapting from a 6.1 intake onto a 5.7 engine. How did you line up the crappy intake gasket (my take on them) and keep it in place when installing the intake? When I did my 6.1, the port sealing o-rings on the gaskets were almost all missing, (probably went through the combustion tract), broken or not completely in tact., When putting it back together (no sealant or RTV), to keep everything properly lined up, I picked up some 2 in. bolts, the size that would screw into the head, cut the heads off them and then used them as guides when installing the gasket and manifold. It kept everything properly lined up during the assembly and It has worked great so far with no problems.

If you think you have leaks around the intake, soap bubbles (a little Dawn and water shaken up) in a small squirt (squeeze) bottle (I use my wife's little hair coloring bottles) around all the ports will easily show you if something is leaking. Obviously, you won't be able to check the inside of the ports under the plenum, but it should give you a pretty good idea if everything is properly sealed. When you torqued the intake, did you go back over all of them a second time? If not, do it, as the first ones you torque will likely need to be retorqued again so they're all spot on.

On the fuel smell near the purge valve, double check the rubber boot connections on the lines that go to the valve. You may want to try unplugging the valve and capping the elbow at the intake, and then running it for a bit to see if the smell goes away. This should take the purge valve out of the equation, but it will also probably generate a DTC which will have to be reset after your test. If you have an exhaust leak on that side with the stock 6.1 headers, someone has probably messed with it somewhere down the line. The 3/8 in. flanges shouldn't warp and about the only thing that could cause this is loose bolts. When I put mine back together, after installing a performance cam and new lifters, I used Percy's Seal-4-Good dead soft aluminum gaskets, new flange head bolts and Nord Lock Wedge Washers.
This way, they'll never come loose unless I loosen them. I use this same setup on all three of my Hemi's with headers.

Have you put a high end diagnostic scanner on it and checked fuel trims, O2 Sensor voltages, fuel injector pulse widths, etc? You may also want to stick an "old fashioned" vacuum gauge on it and check the readings at idle (in gear and out of gear), at cruise and on deceleration. If you're not familiar with the readings, you can do an internet search on what the various readings should be under all of those circumstance.

Did you check the spark plug gaps before you installed them? Did you torque them properly without using any anti-seize compound? Just curious, why Autolite instead of NGK?
 

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If you're not familiar with vacuum gauge readings and what they mean, here's a good reference:

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have a set of spacers similar to those, What I don't know is why anyone would put them between the heads and intake on a stock 6.1. The ones I have are for port adapting from a 6.1 intake onto a 5.7 engine. How did you line up the crappy intake gasket (my take on them) and keep it in place when installing the intake? When I did my 6.1, the port sealing o-rings on the gaskets were almost all missing, (probably went through the combustion tract), broken or not completely in tact., When putting it back together (no sealant or RTV), to keep everything properly lined up, I picked up some 2 in. bolts, the size that would screw into the head, cut the heads off them and then used them as guides when installing the gasket and manifold. It kept everything properly lined up during the assembly and It has worked great so far with no problems.

If you think you have leaks around the intake, soap bubbles (a little Dawn and water shaken up) in a small squirt (squeeze) bottle (I use my wife's little hair coloring bottles) around all the ports will easily show you if something is leaking. Obviously, you won't be able to check the inside of the ports under the plenum, but it should give you a pretty good idea if everything is properly sealed. When you torqued the intake, did you go back over all of them a second time? If not, do it, as the first ones you torque will likely need to be retorqued again so they're all spot on.

On the fuel smell near the purge valve, double check the rubber boot connections on the lines that go to the valve. You may want to try unplugging the valve and capping the elbow at the intake, and then running it for a bit to see if the smell goes away. This should take the purge valve out of the equation, but it will also probably generate a DTC which will have to be reset after your test. If you have an exhaust leak on that side with the stock 6.1 headers, someone has probably messed with it somewhere down the line. The 3/8 in. flanges shouldn't warp and about the only thing that could cause this is loose bolts. When I put mine back together, after installing a performance cam and new lifters, I used Percy's Seal-4-Good dead soft aluminum gaskets, new flange head bolts and Nord Lock Wedge Washers.
This way, they'll never come loose unless I loosen them. I use this same setup on all three of my Hemi's with headers.

Have you put a high end diagnostic scanner on it and checked fuel trims, O2 Sensor voltages, fuel injector pulse widths, etc? You may also want to stick an "old fashioned" vacuum gauge on it and check the readings at idle (in gear and out of gear), at cruise and on deceleration. If you're not familiar with the readings, you can do an internet search on what the various readings should be under all of those circumstance.

Did you check the spark plug gaps before you installed them? Did you torque them properly without using any anti-seize compound? Just curious, why Autolite instead of NGK?
Okay, there is so much information here and I don't have too much time to answer this morning so forgive me for the layout of my answers and if I forget anything.
  1. That is really scary considering we purchased the car used, the gauge cluster had been replaced with one that has lower miles, it had trans issues when we bought it, there is a sensor disconnected on the driver side, lower on the block, only noticeable when you have the car on a lift....Hopefully this thing is actually a 6.1) (What are some of the defining features of the 6.1 block/heads over the 5.7?) However, I took them off, and replaced the intake with no silicone. To hold the gaskets in place when replacing the intake I had no means of keeping the gaskets lined up. Honestly I was just super careful so there was plenty of room for error, and wouldn't put it past myself to have scooted to bumped a gasket in the process, however I am confident that the gaskets did stay aligned.
  2. I used the soap-water method and didn't find any leaks on the outside. (Prior to the gasket replacement it was leaking so bad that the soap water would kill the car completely) I did re-torque them a second time.
  3. I was able to check all the connections to the valve and didn't notice any leaking (used more soap water on the boots and re-seated the electrical plug) However I may give capping the elbow a try. However I did notice that I only smells like raw fuel while the car is running cold on the outside of the car and the RPMs only start to vary once the car is warm.
  4. The exhaust has definitely been tampered with. We we bought the car, the previous owner removed the cats, put Thrush mufflers on (of all crappy mufflers....) and cleared the codes before selling it to us. Unfortunately we didn't know this until we had the car inspected by a dealership near us. We took it to a local exhaust shop and asked them to put some nice, close to stock size, high flow cats on it. They did this but really did a crappy weld job. This is where the leak came into play. Fortunately I have an appointment with them next week to get it taken care of free of charge since it was their oversite.
  5. I have a high end scanner capable of this but i'm a back yard mechanic and have no idea what I'm looking at when it comes to voltages and such to be completely honest. I f you have any suggestions on what everything should be around while the car is hot/cold please let me know.
  6. I didnt use NGK because the nearest auto parts store didn't have them to be completely honest. And no I didn't use any antisieze solution but I did check the gap before installing them.
 

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Okay, there is so much information here and I don't have too much time to answer this morning so forgive me for the layout of my answers and if I forget anything.
  1. That is really scary considering we purchased the car used, the gauge cluster had been replaced with one that has lower miles, it had trans issues when we bought it, there is a sensor disconnected on the driver side, lower on the block, only noticeable when you have the car on a lift....Hopefully this thing is actually a 6.1) (What are some of the defining features of the 6.1 block/heads over the 5.7?) However, I took them off, and replaced the intake with no silicone. To hold the gaskets in place when replacing the intake I had no means of keeping the gaskets lined up. Honestly I was just super careful so there was plenty of room for error, and wouldn't put it past myself to have scooted to bumped a gasket in the process, however I am confident that the gaskets did stay aligned.
  2. I used the soap-water method and didn't find any leaks on the outside. (Prior to the gasket replacement it was leaking so bad that the soap water would kill the car completely) I did re-torque them a second time.
  3. I was able to check all the connections to the valve and didn't notice any leaking (used more soap water on the boots and re-seated the electrical plug) However I may give capping the elbow a try. However I did notice that I only smells like raw fuel while the car is running cold on the outside of the car and the RPMs only start to vary once the car is warm.
  4. The exhaust has definitely been tampered with. We we bought the car, the previous owner removed the cats, put Thrush mufflers on (of all crappy mufflers....) and cleared the codes before selling it to us. Unfortunately we didn't know this until we had the car inspected by a dealership near us. We took it to a local exhaust shop and asked them to put some nice, close to stock size, high flow cats on it. They did this but really did a crappy weld job. This is where the leak came into play. Fortunately I have an appointment with them next week to get it taken care of free of charge since it was their oversite.
  5. I have a high end scanner capable of this but i'm a back yard mechanic and have no idea what I'm looking at when it comes to voltages and such to be completely honest. I f you have any suggestions on what everything should be around while the car is hot/cold please let me know.
  6. I didnt use NGK because the nearest auto parts store didn't have them to be completely honest. And no I didn't use any antisieze solution but I did check the gap before installing them.

This should be interesting. First, what was wrong with the transmission and what was done to fix it? On the sensor that is disconnected on the lower driver's side....is it in the front middle or back? Is it just the wire/plug, or is it a sensor that does not have anything plugged into it. About the only thing on the driver's side down low are the air conditioner compressor wires/plug up front, and the bank No. 1 knock sensor and it's wiring/plug in the lower middle, and the No. 1 bank upstream oxygen sensor and its wiring/plug in the lower aft, on the intermediate (mid) pipe.

Some identifying things on the 6.1 engine are as follows and should give you a pretty good idea if it's a true SRT8, an attempted "wanna be" clone, or an outright fraud.:There is also a way to tell by the VIN number, but I don't remember the number/letter positions and characters that represent the SRT8.
---All 6.1 engine blocks are painted "Hemi Orange".
---There is no Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve. This valve is located on the front of the passenger side cylinder head. The 6.1 head has the hole (about 1/2 in. diameter) for it partially drilled into the front of the head.
---The stock exhaust manifolds are double walled tubular headers.
---The stock exhaust tubing is 2 1/2 in. The 5.7 RT's stock exhaust tubing is 2 1/4 in.
---The valve covers should have coil covers that say, "Hemi 6.1L" on the passenger side cover and "Hemi" on the driver's side cover.
---The intake manifold should be made of aluminum, not plastic. If you had trouble with the gasket on the reinstall of the intake manifold, you probably have at least the 6.1 intake manifold......possibly a 6.1 intake on a 5.7.....hence the need for the spacers.
---There would be no engine cover. The 5.7's have one that says, "Hemi" over each valve cover and "5.7 L" and the vehicle emblem (Chrysler or Dodge) centered in the front.
---When in the driver's seat, when you turn the key on, the EVIC readout on the dash should momentariy say, "SRT 8".
---The driver's and passenger seats should be high side and bottom bolster Racaro seats that say, SRT 8" on the seat backs.
---It should have 20 in. wheels of some sort on it (the stock RT 18 in. wheels won't fit over the big rotors and Brembo Brakes.
---It should have drilled and slotted rotors with Brembo calipers. There are other calipers that interchange, so it's possible they've been replaced with some aftermarket calipers.

When the engine is cold, it will be running rich, but should not be rich enough that you would smell it, unless there is an exhaust leak or ???? In my experience, there aren't a whole lot of run of the mill muffler shops that have good welders. Most now use MIG welders and their welds look like snot or something worse. To get better results, you'd need to go to a shop that does a lot of custom and/or performance exhaust systems. There aren't a whole lot of them around anymore though.

What scanner do you have? Can it read all electronic modules in the vehicle. My 6.1 SRT has something like 25 different modules. My lesser equipped 5.7 RT only has something like 18 different modules. Will it do functional checks and calibrations/relearns/synchroniztions/resets of various components? Can it read the O2 voltages and crosscounts? Can it read the pulse rates of the fuel injectors? Can it read fuel trims and timing? Does it do freeze frame and live data? I hear you on not knowing what you're looking at on some of the scanner readouts. I have that problem too with some of the stuff, mostly non engine/transmission stuff though. It's even a lot worse when trying to use my HP Tuner......a lot of Greek there, at least for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This should be interesting. First, what was wrong with the transmission and what was done to fix it? On the sensor that is disconnected on the lower driver's side....is it in the front middle or back? Is it just the wire/plug, or is it a sensor that does not have anything plugged into it. About the only thing on the driver's side down low are the air conditioner compressor wires/plug up front, and the bank No. 1 knock sensor and it's wiring/plug in the lower middle, and the No. 1 bank upstream oxygen sensor and its wiring/plug in the lower aft, on the intermediate (mid) pipe.

Some identifying things on the 6.1 engine are as follows and should give you a pretty good idea if it's a true SRT8, an attempted "wanna be" clone, or an outright fraud.:There is also a way to tell by the VIN number, but I don't remember the number/letter positions and characters that represent the SRT8.
---All 6.1 engine blocks are painted "Hemi Orange".
---There is no Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve. This valve is located on the front of the passenger side cylinder head. The 6.1 head has the hole (about 1/2 in. diameter) for it partially drilled into the front of the head.
---The stock exhaust manifolds are double walled tubular headers.
---The stock exhaust tubing is 2 1/2 in. The 5.7 RT's stock exhaust tubing is 2 1/4 in.
---The valve covers should have coil covers that say, "Hemi 6.1L" on the passenger side cover and "Hemi" on the driver's side cover.
---The intake manifold should be made of aluminum, not plastic. If you had trouble with the gasket on the reinstall of the intake manifold, you probably have at least the 6.1 intake manifold......possibly a 6.1 intake on a 5.7.....hence the need for the spacers.
---There would be no engine cover. The 5.7's have one that says, "Hemi" over each valve cover and "5.7 L" and the vehicle emblem (Chrysler or Dodge) centered in the front.
---When in the driver's seat, when you turn the key on, the EVIC readout on the dash should momentariy say, "SRT 8".
---The driver's and passenger seats should be high side and bottom bolster Racaro seats that say, SRT 8" on the seat backs.
---It should have 20 in. wheels of some sort on it (the stock RT 18 in. wheels won't fit over the big rotors and Brembo Brakes.
---It should have drilled and slotted rotors with Brembo calipers. There are other calipers that interchange, so it's possible they've been replaced with some aftermarket calipers.

When the engine is cold, it will be running rich, but should not be rich enough that you would smell it, unless there is an exhaust leak or ???? In my experience, there aren't a whole lot of run of the mill muffler shops that have good welders. Most now use MIG welders and their welds look like snot or something worse. To get better results, you'd need to go to a shop that does a lot of custom and/or performance exhaust systems. There aren't a whole lot of them around anymore though.

What scanner do you have? Can it read all electronic modules in the vehicle. My 6.1 SRT has something like 25 different modules. My lesser equipped 5.7 RT only has something like 18 different modules. Will it do functional checks and calibrations/relearns/synchroniztions/resets of various components? Can it read the O2 voltages and crosscounts? Can it read the pulse rates of the fuel injectors? Can it read fuel trims and timing? Does it do freeze frame and live data? I hear you on not knowing what you're looking at on some of the scanner readouts. I have that problem too with some of the stuff, mostly non engine/transmission stuff though. It's even a lot worse when trying to use my HP Tuner......a lot of Greek there, at least for me.
So I will be picking the car up after the girlfriend gets home from work tonight and I will be able to check the things I can't remember off the top of my head.
  1. The transmission issue - It shifts a little hard while cold but softens up a mile down the road. The last owner had the fluid "flushed" at valvoline. They don't change the filter at our local valvolines so that definetely needed to be done.
  2. According to the VIN lookup on EVERY SINGLY SITE and my local dealership refer to the car as the SRT8 with the 6.1, plus the gague cluster reads SRT8, the seats are stitched with SRT8 where it should be, at least 3 of the 4 wheels are original and not reproductions (one was much more clean and is less nicked up than the others), has all 4 brembo calipers, the badge is SRT8, etc, etc. I have no doubt that this car was at LEAST manufactured as an SRT8.
  3. The sensor is on the driver side mounted to the block low/mid way and the wires are CUT. Part of me thinks that it is the knock sensor. IF it was intentionally cut, I can confirm that the car seemed to have spark knock which was solved after replacing all the plugs and changing the intake gasket and has no signs of bad internal bearings or unusual ware however the car doesnt give any knock codes.
  4. I will have to check on the paint (while i am 90% sure that the block is orange from what I remember) and the exhaust tubing. But I looked back at the photos that I forgot I had when I pulled the intake off (i'll post them below) and the heads definitely do look like 6.1 intake ports, has the 6.1 hemi valve cover...covers, and It is the aluminum 6.1 intake manifold.
  5. I am leaning towards the exhaust leak causing the raw fuel smell while cold since its before the cats and only while cold. I am taking it back to them to get rewelded free of charge since it was their screw up anyways....
  6. I have the BOSCH OBD 1300. As far as I'm aware, i can measure everything above with this scanner. I know for a fact it can measure O2 voltages.
    174418
    174419
 

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So I will be picking the car up after the girlfriend gets home from work tonight and I will be able to check the things I can't remember off the top of my head.
  1. The transmission issue - It shifts a little hard while cold but softens up a mile down the road. The last owner had the fluid "flushed" at valvoline. They don't change the filter at our local valvolines so that definetely needed to be done.
  2. According to the VIN lookup on EVERY SINGLY SITE and my local dealership refer to the car as the SRT8 with the 6.1, plus the gague cluster reads SRT8, the seats are stitched with SRT8 where it should be, at least 3 of the 4 wheels are original and not reproductions (one was much more clean and is less nicked up than the others), has all 4 brembo calipers, the badge is SRT8, etc, etc. I have no doubt that this car was at LEAST manufactured as an SRT8.
  3. The sensor is on the driver side mounted to the block low/mid way and the wires are CUT. Part of me thinks that it is the knock sensor. IF it was intentionally cut, I can confirm that the car seemed to have spark knock which was solved after replacing all the plugs and changing the intake gasket and has no signs of bad internal bearings or unusual ware however the car doesnt give any knock codes.
  4. I will have to check on the paint (while i am 90% sure that the block is orange from what I remember) and the exhaust tubing. But I looked back at the photos that I forgot I had when I pulled the intake off (i'll post them below) and the heads definitely do look like 6.1 intake ports, has the 6.1 hemi valve cover...covers, and It is the aluminum 6.1 intake manifold.
  5. I am leaning towards the exhaust leak causing the raw fuel smell while cold since its before the cats and only while cold. I am taking it back to them to get rewelded free of charge since it was their screw up anyways....
  6. I have the BOSCH OBD 1300. As far as I'm aware, i can measure everything above with this scanner. I know for a fact it can measure O2 voltages. View attachment 174418 View attachment 174419
Well, it's good that it is indeed an SRT8. Flushing the transmission is not good, as, especially on high mileage vehicles it can loosen any debris and circulate it through the transmission. Just a fluid/filter change is what is recommended, using a quality filter and a good synthetic ATF+4 fluid. Do you know FOR SURE what type fluid they put into it? A lot of the quicky joints will use bulk "whatever they have" fluids....usually Dexron or something like that. If this is done, it can end up ruining your transmission. That's about a a $3000-4000 bill.

If the cut wire is for the No. 1 bank knock sensor and it is no longer hooked up, you should be getting a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) indicating this. If this is what is going on, that is another problem that needs to be addressed. The knock sensor on Bank 2 should still work though and, usually if you get spark knock, you'll get it on both banks. It definitely should be fixed though. You can buy new knock sensor plugs (maybe with pigtail wiring on them) from the stealer and there are other places on line you can pick them up for less, but you'll have to know exactly what you need.

When you pulled the intake, was there a lot of oil in the plenum? If so, you should consider changing and adding a catch can to catch most of it. The PCV system on the 6.1 is not nearly as bad as the one on the 5.7's. I have catch cans on both of my 5.7's, but not yet on my SRT. I'll just keep an eye on the amount of oil in the plenum and if it gets much more than it has been, I'll pick one up.

It sounds like your scanner should be able to do everything you'll need for diagnosing your problems. Only other thing you should probably have is a vacuum gauge. That may help more than the scanner for your slight misfire at idle issue.
 
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