This is a How-To for changing a timing belt and water pump on a 3.5HO. The car is a 2004 Chrysler 300M with just over 90,000 miles.
Remember to be safe and use car ramps and jack stands when having the car in the air. Plus having it up made it easier to work on, easier on the back IMO.
YOU WILL BE MESSING WITH THE TIMING ON YOUR MOTOR. IF YOU DO THIS WRONG AND MESS SOMETHING UP, I ASSUME NO LIABILITY. This is the 3rd one I have done the exact same way and have never had the slightest issue.
Parts needed are water pump for 3.5. timing belt for 3.5, and antifreeze
Tools used most often. 10MM (short and deep), 13MM, 15MM sockets. Flex-head 3/8 drive ratchet, rigid 3/8drive ratchet. Then a few other random things like plyers and screwdrivers.
Jumping right in here, start by removing Upper Radiator Support
Next the fans come out. This is optional as I have done this job without removing them due to rust reasons, but when removed, creates wayyyy more room. Absolutely worth doing. Four 10MM bolts, one in each corner
This little bracket on the left side needs to go. One 10MM bolt. Also removed upper radiator hose and turned to the side.
Take off the tensioner for the main belt. Three 13MM bolts. Then remover bolts belts. (serp and a/c)
Next take out the 15, 10MM bolts that hold on the timing covers. The 3 on the way bottom are tricky and may require turning the crank, which is done with a 15MM socket/ratchet.
This is what you will see
Once the covers were removed I checked out the timing marks which were as follows. Remember the line on the cam gear has to be within the 2 dots, on both gears, while the crank pulley is a TDC (top dead center)
TDC on crank pulley^^^^^^
All timing marks were where they belonged
Next step is to remove the tensioneron the lower left side. This is two, 13MM bolts on the bottom. With the fans out, and a flex-head ratchet, I was easily able to take these out from the top side. Last time I did it with the fans in the car, I had to go from the bottom due to lack of room.
After removing the tensioner, I cut the old belt out with a razor knife.
The water pump, located in the center of everything, is held on with six 10MM bolts
There is a longer bolt then all the rest in the top left corner. It WILL ONLY fit in that top left, in case you forget.
Old pump (right) plastic fins. New pump (left) some kind of white metal or aluminum. New one seems way tougher.
Water pump hole
This next step is probably the hardest. Sliding the belt in between the crank pulley and block. First time I did this took over 2 hours, 2nd time took 45 minutes and this time took no more then 5 minutes. The trick is hard to explain, but the best way for me is to slide the belt, on edge, straight up from the bottom untill it touches the crank pulley. Then bend, push, pull (CAREFULLY, WITHOUT TOOLS...use your fingers) on the sides to get them around and into the small slot where it belongs. It is a peice of work for sure but with enough time and patience will go in.
Once you get the belt in, take a break, wipe the sweat off and continue on. Now we are back to the tensioner. The plunger on top needs to be pushed back in. This can only be done with a vice or press. You will see why in the picture of the 2 bent peices of steel under the press I used. Once you press the plunger flush, the little holes on the side will line up. Something of considerable strenght needs to be inserted here. I use a small allen wrench. A piece of coat hanger usually works also.
MAKE SURE whatever you put in there, does not stick out the back of the tensioner hole on the back, otherwise the tensioner will not slide through the hole. As you can see in my above picture, the allen wrench is sticking just a bit through the back (left) side. That was enough to make it not fit. IT HAS TO BE FLUSH ON THAT SIDE.
Now put the belt on the cam gears starting with the drivers side. Hold it fairly tight as you wind it around the first gear, then the water pump, then passenger side gear and finally the tensioner pulley. Your going to want to take a 15MM and turn the cam gears to the right just a fuzz because when you put tension back on the belt it rolls the gears a little. So if you put them dead on and then let the tensioner go, it will roll them out of time. The drivers side one is not as big of deal as the passenger one. Here is how I had them set.
Next I pulled the allen wrench out of the tensioner, which is kindof a pain, but with twisting and pulling can be done. Be careful not to slip and jam something into the radiator. I almost did
This is where the gears rolled to with the tension back on
MAKE DAMN SURE YOUR TIMING MARKS ARE WHERE THEY NEED TO BE BY USING A 15MM SOCKET AND TURNING OVER THE ENGINE (using the crank pulley) TWICE. Watch for the the little arrow on the crank to go around twice, and then line it back up perfect at TDC and check to make sure the line on each cam gear is in between the dots.
I always briefly start the engine now, and watch everything go around. Its pretty cool. If you, for some reason, didnt line up all the timing marks, you will know right away with the sound of valves smashing.
Now time to start putting it back together!!
Slide the large timing cover back down where it belongs. Now back to that little piece on the bottom. This goes ON TOP of the large cover, with the three 10MM bolts going through both pieces. This is very tricky. A steady hand reaching through the crank pulley is the way to go.
Then just run in all the 10MM bolts around the covers
Reinstall the belts, upper radiator hose, and this little fella
Slide the fans back in
And finally upper radiator support
Top off the radiator and your done!!
Hope you enjoyed the How-To and hope it helps!! The fastest time ive done this is just under 5 hours.