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Discussion Starter #1
So my '98 ES (3.2L) has 108,000 miles on it and I got to looking at my service manual. It shows at 102k I should have had the timing belt replaced.

I bought the car with 60k on, doubt it was changed then, so I can only assume it has the original belt.

My question is do they give any indication of wearing down before they break? Am I risking serious future issues by continuing to drive without changing it or is it more of a preventative measure?

Also, how badly involved is it in trying to change one out yourself? My father-in-law and brother-in-law are heavily into restoring old cars and have an extensive knowledge of "how-to' when it comes to cars.

Being that the labor cost on automotive repair is sky high and knowing I do not have the finances for a repair of this cost, I'd like to hope I could either get away with not changing it for a while or at least getting the adopted family to help me out.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Timing Belt

Yes, you should change it, there is usually no prior indication it is going to fail other than snap (and you don't want that)

Tools you need:

Metric sockets and wrenches
Good Troque wrench (aluminum strips easy)
Torx driver for cooling fans
Bench vise for the tensioner pully (a must have and must open over 6 inches)
3 jaw puller (for engine damper)

Parts:
Timming belt
Tensioner pully
Water pump
Alternatorand AC belt
Coolant (due for a change)

the two hardest parts are the cooling fans assenbly and engine damper.

Do not attemt this without the service manual!!
 

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on a 3.5L you do not need to remove the crank dampner pully!! there is just enough space to slide the belt up behind it.
you a gatorback belt (the cheap ones break).
remove your front tension pully and pull off the cover...the cover on the front the motor is halfed behind the crank dampner pully and you can reach between the splines of the crank pully to remove the bolts.
replace your water pump while you have it torn down and remember to compensate for cam sprocket movement as you install the timing belt tensioner. (do this by having your passenger side cam sprocket turned so the arrow is on the right centering dot to keep your timing proper).
You will need a bench vice to compress the tensioner in order to install a stong cotter pin,(i used a cut up super small allen wrench since the cotter pin kept bending.).
no you do not need to pull the radiator or cross member out like the book says to...you have enough room to work.
 

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well...I shouldn't say it but you really don't need a vise. You can hold the tenss pulley to stretch belt then slowly over a few minutes tighten the tensioner bolts evenly till they are tight to the block and torqued. This works on the intrepid...just did mine a few weeks ago. not too bad but you must have knoledge about cars and hopefully not miss a tooth when putting belt on. the belt must be tight between pulleys at all times while routeing the belt...no slack...you'll get through it
 

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for some reason i thought this thread was about a first gen....oops
dunno if the technique is the same on the 3.2L for changing the belt.

please ignore me...i am retarded.
 

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Ravin said:
for some reason i thought this thread was about a first gen....oops
dunno if the technique is the same on the 3.2L for changing the belt.

please ignore me...i am retarded.
you aren't fully retarted.... :tongue:

the first gen 3.5 and second gen 3.2/3.5 have VERY similar (dare I say almost the same) front timing belt area of the engine. it is the same procedure many of your fellow first genners go thought when their cars hit 100K
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a project to me....thanks for the feedback!

Anybody have prices on getting one done at a dealership or garage?

I see parts aren't to expensive:
Timing Belt - $60
Water Pump - $70

I know I just had my alternator/AC belt changed about a year ago. Guess I'll be visiting the in-laws soon! Any idea on how long/time consuming this project is?
 

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put away 4-6 hours...I also replaced the tens. pulley...costs around $90. I figured I would replace all internal pulleys with bearings so I don't have to do it for another 100k
 

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My belt was $90, but i left the tensioner as-is. My mechanic called me when it was taken apart and said it was a hydraulic tensioner, and it looked to be in beautiful shape. Also, unlike the 2.7's, if the timing belt goes on these engines, there's safeguards built tin to prevent further damage from occurring.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, so my final question is how many of you have had your timing belt changed and how many have not?

I've just heard of many people either never changing thier belt or letting it go until it breaks before they replace it.

I guess it strikes a thought of why fix what's not broken? Especially with so many other things that may need replaced just by opening up the housing...
 

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why fix whats not broken???
famous last words at 70mph on a deserted highway 2:00am. trust me thats when it happens. I did mine a few weeks agoo and many others have. I was at 106k when done and my waterpump was leaching and the belt although it looked good would not have lasted much longer, it was rounded and worn at the teeth of the belt. The belt also streched out some compared to the new one. My timing marks would not perfectly align before replacement and after the lined up perfectly within marks.
 
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