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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all,
I'm finally done acquiring parts and fluids and tools and whatever else to accomplish the following:

Cylinder head swap w/rebuilds
New pushrods
New hydro lifters
New manifold bolts
Associated gaskets - intake and exhaust manifolds, isolated valve cover and grommets, egr, cylinder head, plenum
New injectors
New plugs, wires
New tensioner/idler/double sided belt kit
New consumables - pcv, oil and air filters, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses, synthetic oil, hoat

First, is there any glaring omissions?

Second, is there any special tools required? Assuming I have a wealth of basic mechanics tools, open/box wrenches, Allen keys, 1/4 and 3/8ths torque wrenches, all three sizes of sockets and many types of wrenches, torx bits, and so on, but then I just learned that the exhaust manifold has a reverse torx, and now I'm a little less confident.

You see, I live in this van, and any more downtime than the absolute minimum is not acceptable. So, I'd like to walk to the nearest parts store (3 miles away - shrug...but its AutoZone - shudder) as few times as possible.

Oh, and lastly, any advice for breaking in the rebuilt heads?
My plan is to just idle for a half hour and drive slow fr a week. But truthishly I never rev over like 2500.
I've heard tell that it's optimal to run conventional oil at first to somehow add a layer of protection before switching to synthetic. That might sound like nonsense but I remember it being the results of an actual scientific study. Any nuggets like that, well shoot - any information at all, would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Latent car nut
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I would also recommend you buy new head bolts; they are the Torque-to-Yield variety; some folks have gotten away with reusing them, some have not. The safe bet is to buy new bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, shoot, I forgot to include that in the list; I do in fact have new head bolts... and I pulled probably 2 dozen of the isolated valve cover bolts, they are partially threaded, flanged bolts, found some (after a bit of searching) but there is a carrier for the grommet that won't swap over, so I've been pocketing as many as I can find.

I also forgot to add you, shipo, to the list of ppl who make this forum what it is (invaluable), in case you come across that.

There might be one or two others I forgot.

Will amend my list and give it its own post someday.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Man, that would suck if I hadn't heard that, if I hadn't asked the general question and you hadnt said so, and I didn't notice the "neck down" or whatever, and I just threw them back on. And subsequently had to start over shortly thereafter.
 

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While you have access, might as well replace the upper O2 sensor (on top of rear exhaust manifold) if it hasn't been replaced recently. They can get lazy over time and lose optimal gas mileage.

May want to replace the fuel hose connecting the fuel rail to the connector on the frame/feed line. It gets dry and cracks at the bend where it meets the fuel rail, and can actually start spraying gas. It's not a part you can buy, but a few of us have replaced it with the same size fuel injection hose and fuel injection high pressure hose clamps (and reuse the plastic sheath/guard).

When I replaced my fuel rail and O2 sensor, I also replaced the plastic valve covers on my 2000 with the earlier steel valve covers because the gaskets were much cheaper (when I bought the gaskets 10 years ago LOL). I got used valve covers and the bolts at the junkyard. Keeping the respective bolts with the valve covers, it was a straight across swap and everything cleared.

Be careful with the plastic vacuum lines. Clean the throttle body while the plenum is off. Have fun getting the wire harness bolts off the back of the plenum. May want to remove the wiper tray for better access. There are one or two plenum braces back there, that are hard to see. It would be the perfect time to replace the alternator if it hasn't been touched yet and has over 120,000 miles on it (or just replace the brushes in it).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I have previously replaced the rear o2, alternator as well, but that's the (at least) one trip I will def have to make to auuggghhhhtozone, because I skimped and bought the 90 amp alternator, while I have a sport, and I've also put in a dual battery system and a sound system with multiple amplifiers, so it's time to upgrade, and as far as the o2....it must be replaced because

Confession time....

I've been driving with a bad injector number 6 for maybe a year. The head swap is to not have to try to clean them, really, and because they were astonishingly cheap. I am going to have a lot of hydrocarbons to clean out, and I absolutely 100% killed the cat, and I just suck in general for all that.

I just always had one more part to order, or on the way. And, like I said, living in the van, and having to work on it in a park where I'm much much more than tolerated (I'm appreciated even, so I always worry about becoming seen as a nuisance in the front of my mind) makes it so I really feel like I need to do everything thoroughly, once, and all at once.

I am already semi pro as far as removing wiper tray, going to take the opportunity to do the water-cowl-diverter idea, and also affix a downspout to the ac drain, but I was also planning on removing the hood. That WILL help, right?

And I don't suppose you know what the diameter of the fuel line is? The junkyards around here have dozens and dozens of vans with 3.3/3.8, can I just find a nice clean candidate and check back on it in 5 years? That is to say, would you?

And I've never seen a set of plastic valve covers. At least I don't think? I would imagine they wouldn't look too dissimilar. Interestingly, around here, there is the aforementioned TONS of vans at pick-n-pull, but I have a 99 dgc sport in white, with the foglights, and it's the ONLY front bumper I like, so I have alerts set for ANY 99 or 00 DGC or PGV just so I can take a looksie at the picture on the listing (oh forgot to mention that my bumper tabs are ruined, I have kit to epoxy in some heavy galvanized mesh and replacement speed nuts and longer bolts but I'd be thrilled to pay 40$ for a crispy clean bumper and use my setup to reinforce instead), anyway sometimes it will be months between new 99/00s, in a 100 mile radius that counts perhaps 10 junkyards in it's range, so the plastic valve covers could easily be something I just haven't been in front of before.

Man, could you imagine if we all were into a different car, one that had very very few specimens from which to pull donors, that didn't have a crazy thorough knowledge base online, that doesn't interchange with anything besides a 3 year range of itself? Like say an MG, or late model European luxury? That's almost surreal to think about how different an experience any minor repair would be.
 
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