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Timing belt in 2001

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Old 13 Nov 2009, 12:01 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
Smile Timing belt in 2001

Jutst got done saving $1000 in labor by changing out the timing belt that snapped at 135,000 miles. I know I should have done it sooner but didn't. The Chrysler garage quoted me $1400 to do it, and oh yeah, this engine is considered an interference engine, so there was probably going to be valve damage, and an additional $1000. The belt snapped while I was going 50 mph, and the only damage was to the timing belt cover, which is made of plastic. This project was not easy, and the clearance from engine to inner fender is minimal. The only way to deal with access, is to remove the passenger side engine mounts and float the engine on a jack. You have to move the engine up and down to get at various bolts etc. Luckily, I have small hands, and was able to get into areas that some may not be able to get to. You will need a 3 jaw puller, and a rig to hold the cam sprockets. I made one using a piece of flat stock steel, and drilled a couple holes in which I placed bolts to grab and hold the sprockets. The belt slips and can easily get off a tooth, so beware! I ended up off a tooth and had to redo the process, but thankfully it took a lot less time and swearing. The Haines manual for the Cruiser is valuable as a reference, but by no means a step by step guide to get this project done. I have seen lots of talk to whether the 2001 -2.4 engine is, or is not an interference engine, and in my case, it would seem that it is not, thankfully. For anybody else that plans on tackling the timing belt themselves, good luck, it is not for beginners. I ended up replacing the water pump, timing belt, tensioner, guide, alternator belt, airconditioning/power steering belt, and spark plugs. Just changing spark plugs in this car is enough to scare away the faint of heart. I telecommute four hours each way to work and feel the time spent working on the car, will help keep me running. I had never had a problem with this car prior to this experience, and with 135,000 on an American car, that is saying something. Hope this helps the next person thinking about tackling the job of a timing belt.
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Old 13 Nov 2009, 12:54 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Timing belt in 2001

Thanks for your input. The only thing I can add is that the engine IS a NON-Interference engine. The valves won't hit the pistons no matter what. The valves CAN hit each other but most of the time, as you found out, they don't.
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Old 13 Nov 2009, 01:19 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Oregon Mountains USA
Posts: 160
Default Re: Timing belt in 2001

I've done belt jobs many times on a Lotus 907 DOHC back in the 70's & 80's but it was RWD - you could get to everything on the engine from the front. LOL

I would always hand turn the engine (with plugs out) one revolution to insure my cam sprocket marks lined up. As I remember, sometimes you'd think you had 'em lined up but after tensioning you could be one tooth off.

Had a couple of DOHC Saturns in the 90's and they had gone to a chain. I even asked a Chrysler salesman if the PT had a belt or a chain. He said 'chain'. duh

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2008 Bullitt Mustang #901
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Old 13 Nov 2009, 01:54 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: Timing belt in 2001

Welcome and thank you for your detailed post.
I know my limits, and don't plan to tackle it - I'll go to my mechanic.
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Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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