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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a data point for those who may be thinking of doing this. And also a question for anyone who may have an opinion on what I encountered.

I didn't really keep a good track on the total time, someplace between 6 and 8 hours to do it. I wasn't really in any hurry - the damn lower radiator hose took nearly 45 minutes of screwing around to get the clamp on the engine end of the hose on.

Dealer quoted $375 for the labor to do timing belt and waterpump. I spent $511 on parts from a local Chrysler dealer (probably coulda saved $100+ buying online but I wanted the local option in case they gave me the wrong parts).

Replaced the timing belt, hydraulic tensioner, timing belt tensioner pulley assy, tension idler pulleys for both the a/c and alt belts & both radiator hoses.

Engine is a 2002 3.5L with 87600 miles. A little bit before the 110k mile recommend change interval on the timing belt, but I'm more comfortable with a 90k mile interval.

Timing belt looked good, hydraulic tensioner looked good, tensioner pulley assembly had a little slop in it but probably would have made it to 110k. Water pump had a trail of orange drool coming out of the weep hole so I might have saved myself some near term grief doing everything early. A/C tensioner pulley was still good, but the alt tensioner pulley was shot. I had replaced that one about 25k miles ago. I think this was the source of all the noise I heard in the front of the engine when it was cold.

Took about an hour to pull all of the stuff off of the front of the car to get to the damper removal step. Instead of the special tool, I had a piece of angle iron with a 1/2 in bolt that I used to hold the damper so I could break the crank bolt loose (used the same thing when torquing the crank bolt). I couldn't find any 12 mm bolts long enough to help in the pulling of the damper, so I had to make a pin that I could use with my three arm puller to draw off the damper. This became more of a problem putting the damper back on. One really needs a 4 - 5 in long bolt and nut to make it simpler.

After the cover plates were pulled, the motor was rotated to align the crank with its TDC mark and the cam pulley marks to the marks on the housings. A marker was used to mark the exact locations of the pulley marks onto the housing. At that point, it is just unbolting parts (tensioner and pulley) and sliding the old belt off. The water pump was replaced and the new timing belt was set up on the sprockets.

Now here is the question. While the left cam sprocket was right on its timing mark, the right cam sprocket was off by 1/2 tooth from its reference mark. The marks that are on the housing are so wide that one can move the sprocket back and forth by one tooth and still be between the marks - what a dilemma!!!! I've done timing belts on my Porsche three times and never came across this type of a problem before! I had noted that the water pump had no guide pins to locate its position. I loosened the water pump bolts and there is almost 1/8 in of vertical slop in the way the pump can sit. So I moved the pump up as far as it would go and retorqued the bolts. Now the right cam sprocket almost aligns with the marks - just a little wear or stretching in the belt would allow the marks to align. Anyway that was the logic I used to say things were good to go.

The tensioner assy was reinstalled, marks rechecked, the pin pulled out of the tensioner and then the motor was rotated twice by hand and the marks rechecked. Then as they say, reassembly is the reverse of the dissassembly.

Motor seems to run fine, wife thinks it runs and shifts smoother, but I thought that is the way things are when you drop $500 worth of parts on a car!

I'm still gonna wonder for a while if I got one tooth off with the right cam. I'm gonna monitor the gas mileage to see if there is any change. Anybody have any observations or thoughts?

Lowell
 

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lowellb said:
Now here is the question. While the left cam sprocket was right on its timing mark, the right cam sprocket was off by 1/2 tooth from its reference mark. The marks that are on the housing are so wide that one can move the sprocket back and forth by one tooth and still be between the marks - what a dilemma!!!! I've done timing belts on my Porsche three times and never came across this type of a problem before! I had noted that the water pump had no guide pins to locate its position. I loosened the water pump bolts and there is almost 1/8 in of vertical slop in the way the pump can sit. So I moved the pump up as far as it would go and retorqued the bolts. Now the right cam sprocket almost aligns with the marks - just a little wear or stretching in the belt would allow the marks to align. Anyway that was the logic I used to say things were good to go.Lowell
I had a similar issue when i did mine last week. One mark would line up perfectly and the other would be within a bees dick. Installing the belt in the right direction does make a difference. Eg, Crank, RH Cam, Water Pump, then LH CAM, then around the tensioner and down to the Crank. I also found it important to try and maintain tension on the belt as i installed it. From memory it was still not perfect, but i put it all back together and it fired up straight way without any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think we are both saying the same thing when it comes to order in how the belt is placed on the sprockets. I was talking from the engine's point of view, i.e. sitting on the engine looking forward. You described it standing in front of the car looking at the engine. And as you mention, the belt has to be placed on the sprockets so there is no slack. I just thought it was really odd that there were no alignment pins for the waterpump. Waterpump position was good for nearly 1/2 worth of tooth on the belt when running the belt on the cam sprocket that was on the tensioner side of the installation. After doing some more thinking on my Porsche analogy, it isn't the same. The waterpump on the 968 is on the tensioner side of the belt run.

How many miles were on your Intrepid when you did the belt change? How did everything else look?

Lowell
 

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104k miles. Everything looked in great shape.
 
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