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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Is there someone that can help with some info on a timing belt change for 2003 300M base model.

Thanks,
SMF
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is the Best water pump to get, dealer or Gates from Rockauto? Is dealer WP re-manufactured?

I've read a lot that the crankshaft pulley does not need to be removed. Is it easy to remove/replace?
 

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Gates water pump and timing belt is the way to go; or dealer; and no, its not remanufactured.

YES, crank pulley should be removed, you can rent the tool to pull it off from Autozone. Some do it or attempt to do it with the crankshaft pulley in place; it is pretty difficult and there are many sharp edges and corners you have to squeeze it thru to get it in there that will damage the brand new timing belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Great thanks.

I'm thinking of getting the timing belt, hydraulic tensioner and water pump from an online dealer. They say Mopar OEM but concerned that the price is much lower than that quoted by my dealer. Does $86 for the tensioner sound right vs. $166? The rest I'm getting from Rockauto, pulleys, cooling hoses, vbelt and serp belt.

Do the tensioner pulleys on Rockauto come with brackets or should I reuse the old bracket? Are they metal pulleys vs. plastic?
 

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Great thanks.

I'm thinking of getting the timing belt, hydraulic tensioner and water pump from an online dealer. They say Mopar OEM but concerned that the price is much lower than that quoted by my dealer. Does $86 for the tensioner sound right vs. $166? The rest I'm getting from Rockauto, pulleys, cooling hoses, vbelt and serp belt.

Do the tensioner pulleys on Rockauto come with brackets or should I reuse the old bracket? Are they metal pulleys vs. plastic?
Generally the online price is a wholesale price, and unless you know someone or have an account at the local dealer you get charged list, which will be a big difference from wholesale.

I would not worry about the tensioner, out of 100 cars, I've maybe had to replace one; only if they are leaking oil do they need to be changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Daytrepper,

Few more questions, what about the pulleys?

What is best practice on initial cam gear placement before tensioner release? Right gear-center, left gear-one tooth right? Or both centered?

Any expected noises or issues when first running engine? Any break-in period recommended?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Found a YouTube video, is it a good guide? Title is "Chrysler 300M Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement" (can't post urls yet)
 

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The water pumps you get from the dealer now are their "value line". Lesser quality, aftermarket part sold as a lower cost option through mopar dealers.
Yes, and just as good as Gates; never had one leak, have had non-Mopar and non-Gates leak in as little as a year later.
 

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Thanks Daytrepper,

Few more questions, what about the pulleys?

What is best practice on initial cam gear placement before tensioner release? Right gear-center, left gear-one tooth right? Or both centered?

Any expected noises or issues when first running engine? Any break-in period recommended?
Line up all timing marks before belt removal. Crank arrows must be matched dead on balls, as long as cam marks are in between the dots its good; they wont be perfectly centered, one will always be off close to one dot or the other; including when you install the new belt; this is normal.

Check the Second Generation service information section here. Full service manual available for free; will have all the info you need.

Second Generation Service Information - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 

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Found a YouTube video, is it a good guide? Title is "Chrysler 300M Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement" (can't post urls yet)
I am not a fan of You Tube mechanics; but I am old school; keep in mind, its just someone posting their way, might not be the best way.
 

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I guess one thing I'll add is that I have had one Gates waterpump leak past the mounting o-ring about 30,000 miles later. The OEM seal is a different style and softer material. Since then I've been using OEM seals even with a Gates pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks guys
Yes, I've read in other forums that the dealer water pump gasket is better. Sad to hear that dealer parts are lesser quality. Makes me wonder about the other parts I plan on getting. I'll look at the tensioner for leaks also.

I do have the FSM and have been reading though all the instructions. Big job for me as this is my only car so I want to learn all I can first. The YouTube video i found to just be a reference as the FSM isn't always accurate or detailed enough. The one I posted was well shot and thorough.

I've read that when the tensioner pin is released there is some rotation of the cams. I've seen vids/pics of people using wedges to hold the belt in place with cardboard or screwdriver. Is this enough to prevent rotation?

I'll take a look in the other sections but are there any other tips/gotchas I should know?
 

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OEM harmonic damper puller from Autozone tool rental part# 27139

From RockAuto:
with tensioner: Gates TCKWP295C $160.79
without tensioner: ACDelco TCKWP295A $116.79

Rent the puller before trying to remove the timing cover.
You don't not want to bend the cover.
There is very little clearance between the cover and the water pump face.
Bending the cover could result in the water pump grinding into the backside of the cover creating a horrible noise.

The only problem with the puller is that it's hard to get the arms/fingers behind the pulley.
(the fingers are a little fat at the end and bump up against the cover)

There is a small cover (triangle shaped) behind the pulley held in by three more screws.
Remove the three screws and let it fall out under your car.
Having this piece out of the way will make it slightly easier to get all three arms behind the pulley.
You might still have to rotate the pulley a little to get all three arms gripping the pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That part number doesn't appear for my 2003 300M. Mine only shows TCK296A, no WP, no tensioner. Would your kit fit my year?

Also, is the pulley in that kit plastic? I was planning on going online Mopar for the belt, tensioner and pulley. Still not sure about WP brand. Lots of differing opinions across forums and I'm getting nervous and weary.

Is there any risk in the AZ puller damaging the cover? I have a 3 jaw puller from harbor freight, 3 sizes, would that work also?
 

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Don't use a regular 3-jaw puller. There is a hole in the front of the crankshaft - it's meant to use a newer type of puller that uses a pusher rod to go into the hole of the crankshaft. They also take up less room in the length direction so that you can leave the radiator in the vehicle. With a traditional 3-jaw puller, you have to remove the radiator, plus you are likely to mess up the bolt hole threads of the crankshaft because it will push on the front end of those threads. The rod of the newer type puller bottoms out in the hole several inches inside the crankshaft leaving the threads untouched.

The parts stores should have the special type of puller as a free loaner - looks like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/GM-CHRYSLER-Harmonic-Installer-Balance-Damper-Pulley-Puller-Removing-Repairing/122078491104?epid=533088717&hash=item1c6c71f1e0:g:CJUAAOSw409Zwdwh

Whatever puller you use must *not* pull by the pulley OD because the pulley is made of two parts - the outer part is joined to the inner part by a ring of rubber compressed between them. If you pull the pulley off the crankshaft by the outer part, you will likely destroy the pulley by separating the two parts of the pulleys held together by the rubber ring.

As far as the two ranges of years for the tensioner or tensioner kit, you can move to the other range of years *if* you also go with the pulley/bracket of the other range of years . That may be a decision for better pricing of a known good quality kit, or, say, to get a metal pulley vs. a plastic pulley (have been known to break apart). The pulleys are interchangeable between the two different brackets, and the brackets don't wear out - so you could buy either pulley/bracket kit to get the metal pulley and transfer it to your bracket. But, again, the important thing is to pair the bracket and tensioner by the same range of years.
 

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Looks like rock auto no longer carries the gates kit. I would still recommend going with the gates kit even if you have to source it from somewhere else. Should include a metal tensioner pulley (pre-installed on a bracket) and a new tensioner. Odds are your old tensioner is ok, but I have seen one that I could push in by hand before.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've seen videos and read forum threads where you can rent one from AZ but can also use the crank pulley bolt to help get it off partially then finish it off using a 0.25in extension in the crank bolt hole. This way the puller never touches the crankshaft and threads. Would definitely use the inward facing jaws to grab the inner hub/spokes.

I misspoke before, I looked in the wrong part group at Rockauto, there are two sections for the kit. The second one does include the kit you mentioned and it is valid for my year. $160

Any experience with the idler pulley bolt stripping when torqueing?
 

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