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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

On Wednesday July 2, 2003 while driving on the freeway headed towards the movies with some friends to see Terminator 3 on opening day, my timing belt broke. I didn't know it at the time. I was driving between 75 and 80 MPH. Luckily I was like maybe a 1/4 mile away from a truckers stop gas station (Sinclair), so I put it in neutral and coasted onto the off-ramp also running the stop sign at the end of that off-ramp, and coasted to a stop right next to the Sinclair Convenience Store. I tried to get it started, but it wouldn't start. I checked the fault codes, and was getting back 11 & 54. I called my brother with my cell phone and he told me what they were (he was on the internet). Like I said, I didn't know what happened at the time, I just knew my heart sank when he said the word camshaft. Well, the next day I was going to toe my car with my friend's truck (F-150XL) & a toe chain. My friends grandmother said that we shouldn't do it, cause we might ruin the tranny because it's an automatic. I called a repair shop, and the told me the same. So I had the repair shop tow it with a flatbed toeing truck. When it got into the shop, they told me it was my timing belt. I was relieved to here that, considering I thought the engine was blown. It arrived at the shop at about 5:30 pm Thursday evening. They told me that they didn't have enough time to fix it, because they close at 6pm (30 minutes) and they'd start on it Monday Morning. They were close until Monday due to the July 4th Holiday. I said OK. Well, they had from 8am to 6pm to fix it on Monday, but were delayed because they didn't have the right tool to remove the "crank pulley" or something like that they said. So they're going to borrow the tool from one of their other repair shops to get it done, hopefully, tomorrow (Tuesday) by noon he said.

I called him yesterday (Monday) at 5:50pm and he was saying something about: "I sure hope the valves weren't damaged when the belt broke. Let's cross our fingers." He asked me how fast I was going when the belt broke, I told me about 75MPH, and he then said: "Well let's cross all fingers then." He said something about they're going to find out if it's an interference engine or not. I didn't have a clue. Anyways, I read all the posts on this thread:

Is the 3.5L an interference engine?

Even though there was debate between members, after reading all the posts, I'm gonna believe that the 1st Gen 3.5L V6 Motor is a NON-INTERFERENCE Motor. So, tomorrow after he gets the new belt back on he's supposed to tell me if there's any valve damage.

My question is- Is valve damage possible on the 3.5L non-interference engine when a timing belt breaks?

Thanks All,
WildJJ :)
 

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Pretty sure it's non-interference. You'll be okay.
 

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My first Gen

I have a 94 Intrepid with the 3.5l. My timing belt went while I was on the highway at 60-70MPH and my heads are still fine.

I was also told my a mechanic that the heads on the 3.5 are non-interference when I had it looked at so I did the repairs my self.

Hardwarz
 

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the motor will be fine.you can also change the timing belt without removing the camshaft damper pully.the cover plate is halved behind the pulley and the bolts are accessable.
 

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If a repair shop doesn't have a compact Wheel Puller (what is needed for removing that), then I would get your car OUT of there in a HURRY. that is somehting that evey garage should have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything Still Pending...

---> First off, thanks all for the replies!! :)

nightravin13,
I would love to know how to do automobile repairs myself, but I know nothing about repairing cars. I've never done it, never been taught anything (except what the friendly people on di.net tell me), never took any classes on it in school. Anyways, my car is already in the shop & has been since Thursday.

Lafrad,
Well about the tool. The reason they don't have one is because they recently (I suppose) "stripped" theirs. That's why they're borrowing on from the other shop, while they wait for their new one. They were supposed to get their new tool yesterday, but it didn't get there before 6pm (closing time).

General Update:
Well, I called the shop at 8am sharp this morning (about 3.75 hours ago), right at opening time, and they said they were just going to get their tool they needed. I believe he told me on the phone yesterday that it was from their Boise shop (that's 60 miles away from here). So anyway, I called him this morning & told him that I did Internet research on my engine and told him that it was a non-interference engine. He was like: "Well, you were going pretty fast when it happened, so we'll test it to make sure there isn't any valve damage. We'll take it for a test drive." After he said that, I was thinking that most likely there isn't & shouldn't be any valve damage, but the way he said it got me concerned again. So I told him: Well, OK. Should I call you in a few hours, or do you want to get back to me?" He said: We'll get back to you." And that was the end of it. So now it's 11:49am (US Mountain Time Zone). And I'm waiting for his call.
 

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It should be ok, but there is a small chance that it did hit, but not likly.if he says it did, don't let him fix it, take it somewere else so they can change the belt, he might be bullshiting you. if he just went ahead and fixxed it and said he had to fix the valves too, get the old parts, Have them checked and sew the **** out of him

97 Sport 148,000 miles and counting
 

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god damnit. the motor is NON-INTEREFERENCE!!! THAT MEANS THAT THE VALVES AREN'T PHYSICALLY ABLE TO HIT THE PISTONS. THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT THEY HIT!!!! NONE!

WildJJ

He was like: "Well, you were going pretty fast when it happened, so we'll test it to make sure there isn't any valve damage. We'll take it for a test drive."

the motor shouldn't run if the timing belt broke. how are they going to test drive a car that doesn't run?

i'd take my car elsewhere.
 

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Broken Valves

If he says that there are broken valves, ask them if they did a compression test of each cylinder to find the broken valve. If they say "no" then ask how they tested for broken valves.

Ask them what each cylinder was at. I have 164xxx miles on my 3.5l and I have about 135psi +/- 20% cylinder to cylinder. From the factory, they have around 150-175psi per cylinder.

There is less likely of a chance that the piston would hit the valves, but that is directly dependent on the slop between the piston, rod, crankshaft and block. Sorry, but if you did have the piston hit the valves on a non-interference engine, you have more problems that you think.

Hope this helps
Hardwarz
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Car is back home

Ok, I just got back from picking it up (and paying the bill).

Here's what the receipt says:

PARTS O/P-TIMING BELT.................................$89.95
LABOR R&R BELT, TIMING................................$208.00
LABOR + AIR COND INTERFERENCE....................INCL
LABOR + POWER STEERING INTERFERENCE.........INCL
PARTS TOWING............................................$55.00
PARTS O/P-NEW WATER PUMP........................$98.09
LABOR R&R WATER PUMP...............................$26.00

PARTS....................$188.04
LABOR....................$234.00
SUBLET LABOR.........$55.00
INVOICE TOTAL......$477.04

There you have it. He said something about a rough idle due to possible valve or cylinder damage, but said it drives fine and I probably wouldn't notice it. I didn't notice anything abnormal driving it home, although it drove it extremely gently. I immediately checked for faults codes, just 12 & 55 are coming up, so that's all ok. Any thoughts? After $477.04, I feel scared to even drive it.

WildJJ :)
 

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Well since the codes are:
12* - Battery has been disconnected within last 50 key-on cycles
55* - Completion of fault code display on Check Engine Lamp

I'd agree.. I'd say you should be all set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Code 12

jtatz,
Thanks for the quick reference, although I don't know why I'm getting code 12, since the last time the battery was disconnected was last summer (12 months ago). And I know that one might say, well they probably disconnected the battery when the fixed my timing belt, but I was getting code 12 before any of this even happened. I got it on the day it happened (Wednesday) and a week before that, and a month before that. Infact, I think I've always gotten it right along with code 55. I doesn't bother me though, just strange.

WildJJ :)
 

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this is the last time i'm saying this.......
you do NOT!!! need to removed the camshaft pulley to install a new belt!!
learn to work on your own stuff...if you can read a book...you can fix your car with simple hand tools.
54 bucks for a strong timing belt is all you should have to spend to do it yourself. it only takes a couple hours.
 

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Cylinder Compression

Go to Autozone or Advance Auto and get a compression checker. That'll make sure your valves are good. In the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area, they run about $40.00.

The compression checker is a good thing to have if you work on any car.

Hardwarz
 

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Re: The Car is back home

WildJJ said:
Ok, I just got back from picking it up (and paying the bill).

Here's what the receipt says:

PARTS O/P-TIMING BELT.................................$89.95
LABOR R&R BELT, TIMING................................$208.00
LABOR + AIR COND INTERFERENCE....................INCL
LABOR + POWER STEERING INTERFERENCE.........INCL
PARTS TOWING............................................$55.00
PARTS O/P-NEW WATER PUMP........................$98.09
LABOR R&R WATER PUMP...............................$26.00

PARTS....................$188.04
LABOR....................$234.00
SUBLET LABOR.........$55.00
INVOICE TOTAL......$477.04

There you have it. He said something about a rough idle due to possible valve or cylinder damage, but said it drives fine and I probably wouldn't notice it. I didn't notice anything abnormal driving it home, although it drove it extremely gently. I immediately checked for faults codes, just 12 & 55 are coming up, so that's all ok. Any thoughts? After $477.04, I feel scared to even drive it.

WildJJ :)
That price sounds about right, good thing they did the water pump too, however they didn't do the tensioner?
 

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I've heard that the tensioner can seize after a while. I'm in the process of replacing my water pump right now. Is this somthing I should replace right now while everything is out? Thanks.
 

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replace it while the front end is off the motor.
 

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jcman311 said:
I've heard that the tensioner can seize after a while. I'm in the process of replacing my water pump right now. Is this somthing I should replace right now while everything is out? Thanks.
Physical proof:


What you see there is:
The pulley assembly, with only the inner side of the pulley
The two rings that I assume are there to keep the bearings in (didn't do too good of a job)
The pulley itself

I would say on my car, it did the opposite of seizing up - it broke right off. I opened the cover, and saw the two rings just laying there, the belt was still on but the pulley was not connected to the tensioner in any way (just pulled it right off, it was just laying there) - luckily the pulley stayed there to keep the timing belt semi-tight (I say this because the belt jumped a tooth on the 2-4-6 camshaft pulley, which I re-adjusted for), otherwise it wouldn't have ran as long as it did.

Point is that I replaced the 6-hole waterpump, tensioner, and belt, all with genuine mopar parts, and parts alone came to about $260. Was an experience that I don't especially want to happen again, but I am glad it did, and now I know how to do it (I am sure I will have to replace another in the future). Also, if anyone wanted to pay me $208 for labor, I would change their timing belt =)
 

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97 Sport platinum, yes, it can hit, and it is possable, a non means that it's just not likely to happen, not that it can't happen, Just because you never seen one do it dosn't mean it hasn't happen, I have seen this happen on a 3.5 before with my own eyes, granted it was only 1 but it happen, and I seen a post were a guy fixxed his own car that it happen to, I'll look to find the posters name and you can tell him how he don't have to do all the valve work on his car

97 Sport 148,000 miles and counting
 
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