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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Another Timing Belt How-To

This one is from Mopar Magazine, I just wanted to pass it along to you guys:

Timing Belt Replacement

Words and Photos By: Mark Yanochko

While the quality of timing-belt material has improved significantly over the last 25 years, timing belts are still serviceable items. Today’s Chrysler Group LLC timing-belt engines usually require a belt replacement around 100,000 miles. A quick look at the maintenance schedule, in the vehicle Owner’s Manual, will verify whether the vehicle you’re working on has a timing belt service interval.

Fortunately, many popular Chrysler Group engines use timing chains—which should last the life of the vehicle—and replacement should not be of concern to you. The engines in this group include 3.3L/3.8L V-6s used primarily in minivans, 2.7L V-6, 3.7L/4.7L V-6 and the venerable 5.7L V-8 HEMI.®

Some engines that use timing belts include the 3.0L Mitsubishi V-6, the 4.0L V-6 used in the Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Nitro and late-model minivans, the popular 2.4L 4-cylinder that powers the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the 3.5L V-6 that originated in LH models (300M/Concorde/LHS/Intrepid/New Yorker/Vision) and is currently an available option in the 2005 and later Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and standard in the Dodge Challenger. Of the aforementioned Chrysler Group engines, the 2.4L and 3.5L are the most widely used.

If you have a PT Cruiser and want to do the timing belt job yourself in your garage or driveway, be sure to allow enough time to do the job. The standard time rate for this task is about 8 hours and that assumes that you have a hydraulic lift available. Besides having limited room to work inside the engine compartment with this transverse-mounted engine, two engine mounts must be disconnected and the engine needs to be raised in order to gain access.

The job is much easier on 3.5L V-6 powered LH models as these engines are mounted longitudinal, or front-to-rear, with plenty of room in the front of the engine compartment. It’s almost like working on an old-fashioned rear wheel drive car. Let’s review the removal and installation procedures for the timing belt on this engine. Note: Right and left are viewed from inside the vehicle; for example, the driver side is the left side and the passenger side is the right side.


In order to access the timing belt on LH models, the upper radiator crossmember, A, and upper radiator hose, B, must be removed. After this is done, the timing belt covers, C, can be removed (Figure 1). Next, remove the cooling fan module, accessory drive belts and drive belt pulley. Then, remove the three timing belt covers (right side-stamped, painted black; left side-cast, gray color; lower-stamped). Note: The three bolts that secure the lower timing cover in place can be accessed through the openings between the spokes in the crankshaft damper; also, the lower timing cover should be removed before removing the damper.

Remove the center bolt on the crankshaft damper, then remove the damper, D, using a gear puller, E. Have an assistant hold the damper in place with a large screwdriver, F. Be careful not to damage the radiator, G (Figure 2).

Rotate the crankshaft in order to align (1) the camshaft sprocket timing mark between the rear timing belt cover on both sides of the engine and (2) the TDC mark with the crankshaft mark. After aligning these marks, use a paint marker 
to indicate the exact location of these points. Note: This step can be done before the crankshaft damper is removed; aligning the timing marks is a critical step; failure to do so can result in valve and/or piston damage.

Remove the timing-belt tensioner. Place the tensioner in a vise to compress the plunger. Align the hole in the housing with the hole in the plunger and insert a pin, H, to hold the plunger, J, in place, as shown in Figure 3.

Remove the timing belt, K, as illustrated in Figure 4.


Align the crankshaft sprocket, L, with the TDC mark. Align the camshaft reference marks, M and N, between the marks on the rear cover (Figure 5). Install the timing-belt tensioner, but do not tighten the mounting bolts and do not remove the pin.

Install the timing belt, starting at the crankshaft sprocket and moving in a counterclockwise direction. Be sure to keep the left side, P, free of slack as shown in Figure 6. Maintain tension on the belt as it is positioned around the tensioner pulley. After the belt is installed, tighten the tensioner bolts (be sure that the timing marks are aligned), then remove the pin, Q (Figure 7).

Rotate the crankshaft sprocket, R, two revolutions (Figure 8) and check the timing marks on the camshafts and the crankshaft. The timing marks should line up in the respective locations. If the timing marks do not line up, repeat the belt installation procedure.

Install the timing belt covers and the crankshaft damper. To finish the job, install the accessory drive belts, pulley, upper radiator hose (top off the radiator) and upper radiator crossmember.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 09:39 PM
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Thx for sharing this article. This is really good info.
The Dodge service manual shows the damper being pulled by the garden variety three prong puller which did not work for me. (Set of three from Harbor Freight.)
The hooks kept slipping off the little ridge inside the damper, even after grinding them to make sharp edges. Suggestions anybody? Techniques, tools, etc.

PS: While changing the water pump, I also do the timing belt, Timing belt tension pulley, and front oil seal.

Last edited by Wekeas; 02-03-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 09:41 PM
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Nice article, it will prove very useful.

This sentence in the 1st paragraph did make me lol though:

Fortunately, many popular Chrysler Group engines use timing chains—which should last the life of the vehicle—and replacement should not be of concern to you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 10:07 PM
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i wouldnt want to be the person who has to put a timing belt/water pump in a neon or cruiser. theres like no room there!!!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Daytrepper View Post
Nice article, it will prove very useful.

This sentence in the 1st paragraph did make me lol though:
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