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2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2008 Sebring 4dr 2.4L that I am in the process of fixing, and there is just nothing going on in the Chrysler forums. For anyone unawares, the Avenger and the Sebring (and the Lancer) are the exact same car, or at same chassis.

I say fixing, because before I can do anything fun, I really have to address some things. The car just passed 200,000 miles and is leaking coolant something awesome. Apparently thermostat housings are common problem for the 2.4 engines. So, I ordered the updated housing and newer style heater hoses. Also ordered a new coolant temperature sensor for the sake of being thorough.

When the aforementioned housing showed up, I learned there are TWO thermostats. So, I ordered TWO different Mishimoto thermostats... a 160° primary, and 180° secondary. Part numbers:
MMTS-NEO-97L (160°)
MMTS-WRA-03L (180°)
We will see how that goes...

Brakes on this thing are bad, really bad. Rears are drums, and I refuse to put money into them... so I am slowing getting all the factory parts to install the rear BRF disc brakes. It will take a while to get all the parts and master cylinder and emergency brake BS put together, so that will happen when it happens.

To immediately address the stopping problem, I got some cyro-treated StopTech slotted rotors and Hawk HPS pads for the front. Heard good things about Genuine Ford brake fluid, so I decided to give that a try while I'm in there. I will get similar cyro/slotted rotors for the rear, when that time comes... rear pads can be no-name generic stock replacement BS for all I care. Part numbers:
StopTech cyro & slotted rotors
Front
126.63067CSR
126.63067CSL
Rear (BRF/302mm)
126.63069CSR
126.63069CSL

Hawk HPS
Front
HB435F.622

I don't think replacing broken brakes counts as cool or fun modifications, but I wasn't going to stick stock nonsense back in there.

Ordered a Blackstone oil analysis kit, because I want to know what condition my condition is in. Lol. Also ordered 5L of Pennzoil Ultra 5w-20, and a Ford Racing oil filter. Why Pennzoil Ultra? Because in several tests I read, it was never last in any single catagory. It was never first, either, but always average or above average in every metric tested. I'll take it. I was going to try the 5w-40 "Euro" spec Ultra, but literally just didn't. No actual reason other than I seen the 5w-20 Ultra first and pulled the trigger on impulse. Ford Racing filter because I heard good things about them, it holds extra oil/has more filter media, and I was already ordering Genuine Ford brake fluid so screw it (literally). Again, we will see how that goes.

It will probably be end of this month/early next month when all the parts finish showing up and I have the time off to do this. I will try take some pictures for whatever phone pictures are worth. I will report back if anything goes wrong during install, or after the Rapid Learning Mode (or whatever) test drive/brake bedding drive. Probably give it a ~100 mile cruise when I get everything buttoned up, reconnect the battery, and reset the computer.

After the rear brakes are finally done, I will move on the the suspension and bushings. I will use Whiteline poly bushings wherever possible, and SuperPro for the bushings Whiteline doesn't offer. I am hoping the Whiteline 26mm/24mm sway bars for the Lancer fit my Sebring, we will burn that bridge when we get there. That sway kit uses the exact same end links Whiteline lists for the Avenger/Lancer/Sebring/200, which I find somewhat encouraging.

Speaking of Whiteline, I am also hoping their rear strut tower brace for the Lancer fits (or can be made to fit) my Sebring. The Mopar front strut tower brace will be installed, and probably the convertible "X-brace" (assuming it bolts up to the sedan chassis).

Eventually, I want to convert the 40TES to 2wd LSD... possibly pirating parts from a 41AE to get power to the other wheel. Either way, rebuilding it with a TransGo shift kit and Sonnax "sure cure" kit will be happening at some point. Circle D says it's not worth the expense on my end or the effort on their end to re-stall a factory torque convertor, so there's that. Lol.

Once the transmission is all situated, I want to convert the engine to flex fuel using the flex fuel Sebring gas pump and lines. Need to figure out injectors, eventually. I really need to figure out the maximum amount I can shave a factory head in order to get better dynamic compression for E85/premium mix, before all that.

It's a process...
 

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Sounds like a real process for sure! Yes the Sebring is very similar to the Avenger so our goals to keep them running is definitely the same.
 

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2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keeping it running is, indeed, the goal. I would like to have everything converted to flex fuel and otherwise completely done in the next couple years, so I can give it to my daughter.

I figure that corn-based fuels are probably the future for internal combustion engines, so if I want the Sebring to stay remotely relevant... it needs to be able to use said corn-based fuels.

And, I honestly look at making it quicker/more responsive as an improvement to its safety. I know I can improve its handling/traction... which will also make it safer. Not trying to make it necessarily faster on the top end, just want it to accelerate to the speed limit in less time. Lol.
 

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2013 Avenger SXT 3.6L
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I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of switching it over to Flex fuel. Now, this is just my opinion, understand. I did a LOT of research on E85 since my Avenger is a Flex Fuel car. Your mileage is going to more than offset the savings in price of the two different fuel types - E85 and regular unleaded. You'll be getting considerably worse mileage with the E85. I calculated it more than once using the mileage I got and the difference in price at the pump. It actually cost me to run the E85. Secondly, ethanol fuels, or ethanol blends, suffer phase separation problems. Phase separation is when the ethanol molecules attach themselves to water droplets in the fuel, then fall to the bottom of the tank. The result is two, very obvious, layers in the tank. One being a gasoline only layer at the top and one being an ethanol-water cocktail on the bottom. This will actually occur even with normal 5% to 10% ethanol blends. I run Amsoil fuel additives to combat this problem, even though I only put regular unleaded in now.
 

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2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not necessarily converting the car to flex fuel for gas mileage or costs or performance... I simply think it is only a matter of time before burning corn is essentially all that will be available. Preparing for that as a possibility now ensures the Sebring will be ok regardless of what fuel is available at the pump. Eventually big oil companies will realize they can get the hippies' money too if they just put Monsanto's poisonous corn into a car's fuel tank. Then big oil company money buys politicians, and laws change... same way we got all the emissions crap that makes us get worse fuel economy... so out environmentally friendly vehicles will still require the same or more fuel. Lol.
 

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2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Things have a way of snowballing... if I had just been smarter, I could have just done one order to Mishimoto with four items... instead I made four orders, each with one item. Lol. Latest item is a 2-port baffled catch can. Figured I am already changing the oil, and don't want any of that nice new oil ending up in the intake... don't even know if that was a problem before, but it won't be anymore (if it ever was).

Ordered a new PVC valve, too, but obviously not from Mishimoto. This is what we call scope creep. Lol. Whatever, it will be good to have it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The saga continues...

I have two Mishimoto thermostats, but they both are the same size. Just different opening temps. The problem is, the two thermostats I need are different sizes. Whatever, I am sure the spare will be used for something. Anyways, I emailed Mishimoto to see which of their 160° thermostats will fit the primary location in the housing. I think I narrowed it down to between the 2007 Patriot and the EVO 10, but didn't want to gamble (again).

Not used to the dual thermostat arrangement. And, honestly, it's not even if my car... I'm just fixing it.

Another possible blunder is the oil filter I bought. As impressive as it is, I don't think there is landing pad to seat the outside radius of it. I am pretty sure it will physically fit in the available space, but it is larger in diameter... which would leave it overhanging the available extrusion where the filter sits.

The seal would be fully seated, which technically should be enough to keep it from leaking oil... the metal to metal contact between the filter body and engine a dubious seal makes. But only like 45% of the filter's rim would have metal to metal contact with the engine... I don't know if that is relied on to keep the filter from spinning loose, or not. Or if that is purely based on how well the filter is torqued on the threads. Either way, I have found a possible replacement that is the same diameter as OEM, just taller. So I know it will fit completely on the landing pad available.

Like I said, it's a process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mishimoto got back to me with the quickness, said it was probably their Jeep Patriot thermostat that I wanted, so that is on the way.

Ordered the Mopar front shock tower brace, because I need a convenient spot to mount my catch can. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Still waiting on the shock tower brace, so the catch can install did not happen with the oil change. I did get the oil changed today, though.

Went with a WIX 57045XP filter and Pennzoil Ultra 5w-20. Have no idea what was in there, but I took a sample to send off to Blackstone with their little kit. Threw in the Mishimoto M14x1.5 magnetic drain plug while I was at it.

What came out was black as sin, but still ran like water. Gross. I don't trust 5w-20 as real lubricant, but whatever. Might try the Pennzoil Ultra "euro" 5w-40 next time... who knows? We'll see what Blackstone says about the p!ss that was in there.
 

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2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did the front rotors and pads today. What a difference. Really highlights how terrible it was before... and these new brakes are only going to get better after a few good heat cycles. StopTech cyro/slotted rotors and Hawk HPS pads... should hold me over while I collect everything necessary to convert the rear drums to discs.

One more thing off the list...
 
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