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Chrysler Repair/2.5L V-6: camshaft worn?


QUESTION: Hello Ronald. I seek your handy advise again after a few years.

I have a 2000 2.5 Stratus.

I just rebuilt my engine, there was a time i forgot about my car care due to personal issues and the engine broke down, the lack of oil change bit me in the ass as it turned into sticky paste. Compression went adios and the rings ultimately gave in. After 200k miles i decided to tear the engine appart and see what i could do.
I ended up rebuilding it, I have new rings, seals, retainers, piston and main bearings, polished crank, machine heads with machined valves and seats. I got some lashers I found at the yard in great condition and swap ed those with mine that where in bad condition.

I didn't have the camshafts checked at the shop, but here's my question. When I was installing the timing belt I noticed the front head sprocket has a bit of play. If i turn it back and forth theres some play. At first I ignored it and went ahead and built the engine, but when I drove the car the engine felt wrong, with a bit of lack of power like when the timing is off bit just a bit, it backfired a bit on acceleration.
So I checked the belt and positioned the crank and cams at TDC and I noticed they didn't line up perfectly. The play in the front cam moves when installing the belt. You see if I align the cams and place the belt there's too much looseness in the belt tension. But if move the front cam clockwise a tooth it will tension the belt but will also missalign the mark.

I don't know how to tell if it's the cam or the plungers are out of spec, or if it's something else.

Please advise
Many thanks!

ANSWER: Hi Pete,
Very impressive effort you have made to restore this 2.5L. Let me check the manual and get right back with what I can find.

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QUESTION: If you also happen to know the size of each lobe or how much lift they should have it could come in handy.


ANSWER: Hi Pete,
The heights (longer diameter of the cams) are:
Intake side: 37.58 mm (1.48 inches) with a limit of 37.98 mm (1.45 inches)
Exhaust side: 36.95 nee (1,45 inches) with a limit of 36.45 mm (1.44 inches)
Those are the only specs I can find.
Thanks for the rating. If you would do it again, only this time also give me "yes" where it ask about a nomination of me to be "volunteer of the month" I would be most thankful.

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QUESTION: Hello Ronald.

I'm seeking a professional second opinion here.
So i built my car, changed the front camshaft and my car got better, but still has issues. Heres a few symptons:

The idle is just a biterradic. When driving the car, you can feel the car stumbling a bit. The engine doesnt run smooth. When driving uphill this is a bit worse and you feel it also upon accelerating the car. When reaching 50mph+ the car really stumbles and cant go beyond that speed unless going downhill.

There are no error codes.
The EGR is fine and cleaned.
There are no broken hoses or vacuum leaks

A few things come to mind.
The back sided camshaft could also be worn out.
The harness has to be changed, wires are melted and stick together, although i inspected it and didnt find bare wires touching eachother.
The plugs I have in the car are double platinum, I think they're Bosch though i cant remember. I do remember that they're factory recommended.

Thanks for your reply!

Hi Pete,
What compression reading are you now getting on all the cylinders and how do the front bank readings compare to those of the rear bank, which might shed light on your concern about the rear camshaft?
It would be certainly worth the investment to improve the harnesses that show melting has occurred.
Are you certain that you have no codes? That is surprising based upon what you describe. If you are trying via the ignition switch I would suggest that you instead readout the codes with a plugged in code reader.
Thanks for your previous rating and nomination of me. I would appreciated your doing that again for this answer.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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