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PT Cruiser Timing Belt

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2012, 11:50 am
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Default PT Cruiser Timing Belt

Hi All!

About 3-4 months ago I was driving my PT cruiser and the car started to run bad while idling in the driveway. Nothing that alarmed me to shut it off. My friend came out of the house and we drove away. Almost a mile down the road the car just shut off with a check engine light.

It cranked over, no start. Nothing clunked while cranking over, no ticking.

I ran the code after I towed it home for find camshaft sensor blah blah blah. So I replaced the cam shaft sensor. No luck. Ok.

So about the only other thing it could be is the timing belt as the car has 103k miles on it. If I fix the car the relative that owns it gave me the title because they hate the car and bought a new one...(which I need a DD, have been driving a hot rod daily... not a good idea.)

So my question is:

1. What are the chances something else got fouled up when it ran out of correct timing?

2. Is there a How to replace timing belts? I know its a pretty common thing with PT cruisers at 100k.

Thanks in advance
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2012, 12:39 pm
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Posts: 27,757
Default Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

Welcome to the forum.

1. The PT engine is a non-interference engine and the chances are very good you didn't hurt anything else when the belt broke.

2. If you search the forum under the Tech and Performance section (where you are now) there's about 4 or 5 threads on replacing the timing belt under the HOW TO thread.

It's not easy. A special puller is needed and abut 7-10 hours if you've never done it before.
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 01:14 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

If you go to the "HOW TO" section there are two different How To's the second one just expands on the first. Changing the timing belt isn't difficult it just takes a long time. I just did mine and I didn't disconnect the AC lines. I removed the headlight to access the top motor mount instead. If you can pry the plastic cover apart on the timing belt and look in while someone cranks the engine see if the belt is turning, make sure to crank it over a couple of times in case the belt is still engaged in the crank pulley.

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Old 09 Aug 2012, 01:24 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

Thanks guys! as a pretty skilled mechanic I am confident I can do the work, just never worked on a PT cruiser before.
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Old 09 Aug 2012, 02:40 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

im sure you can but here are a few reallly really important points

1 it has to be exactally 100% IN TIME and i knwo you will say well dont they all yes but the PT is a pain and MANY have had to redo the whole process--yes evern some profesional shops if it is 1 tooth out it is wrong

pulling the motor may be easier to do the belt but its a pain as well

the water pump tensioners serpentine belt and maybe motor mounts can all be gotten to at this time think about that
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Old 13 Aug 2012, 08:12 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

Thanks for the warning but its not worth it to me for a professional shop to do it.

Anyways, I have it all torn down and I have matched the google images for aligning timing and set the tensioner all the way back with an allen wrench holding but the belt wont go over the tensioner. I got a Duralast belt btw. Thinking I should go to napa to get a Gates belt or is it not a problem fitting the belt over the tensioner?

Would an 03 tensioner work on an 01? Would that make it easier?

Last edited by PTCooler; 13 Aug 2012 at 08:20 pm.
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Old 15 Aug 2012, 03:48 am
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Smile Re: PT Cruiser Timing Belt

The belt is a ten carat pain in the rear end to wrestle on, primarily because of lack of room, but also because it's such a tight fitting belt. It will go if you have the pulley's all lined up and you tug hard enough on the belt. The trick is to try and keep the belt edge straight, so maybe put a spanner on the Exhaust Cam Pulley bolt and lean on it a little so you can turn it a smidge anti-clockwise and free up that last mm or two of belt slack. Also, depending on the tensioner you have turning it all the way round may not put it at the shallowest angle to the belt, lie underneath, look up, you'll see what I mean, if it's not, the belt has no chance of going over it. Persistence works wonders here, you'll get it eventually and then you'll be taking it off and putting it back on again a few times and wonder why it was so hard the first time
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