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Timing Belt Job

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06 May 2020, 11:08 pm
Macgyverman1123's Avatar
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Default Timing Belt Job

Hey Y'all!

My cruiser just rolled to 176,000, and it's high time I did the timing belt!
To the best of my knowledge, the timing belt was last changed before I owned the car, around 120K, but possibly as long ago as at 90k or even less. Needless to say, it's time. But, I have just so many questions!

A shop recently quoted me over $1,400 to do the job, so obviously I'm not going that rout. but, just so I understand what I'm getting myself into, just how bad is this job? I am not that experienced, and I have only simple tools. I'll also be replace the 3 motor mounts, cause they need it, and why not, plus the bracket that the upper mount sits in, since I managed to cross thread it the last time I changed the upper mount

I'm also going to change the timing belt tensioner, idler, water pump, and coolant, thermostat and hoses. I'll also do the spark plugs and wires and valve cover gasket, since they last got done at a whopping 60K.

Since I have an '02 Auto, should I be using the "First design" or "Second design" tensioner? What's the difference between the tensioner and the "hydraulic tensioner"?

Since I'm changing the 3 main mounts, should I go ahead and change the trans mount too, since it's original to the car?

Are Gates timing parts any good, or should I spring for OEM Mopar parts for this job?

Should I use a chemical coolant flush for a couple days before the job, just to clean everything out?

How bad is the middle motor mount? Would it be easier if I removed a fender, the radiator or the headlight? (Just trying to come up with ideas here)


Thanks for answering my flood of random questions, y'all! I appreciate the knowledge, wisdom and expertise.

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Old 07 May 2020, 07:00 am
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Quote:
Since I have an '02 Auto, should I be using the "First design" or "Second design" tensioner? What's the difference between the tensioner and the "hydraulic tensioner"?
In most cases, the 2002 PT engine will have the early design with the "grenade pin". Both the grenade pin and later design are spring-loaded. The hydraulic tensioner is an older design that wasn't used on PT's. You can use the later design but you will have to modify the inside timing cover. It's likely not worth it to do that. The grenade pin tensioner is much easier to use because it doesn't have to be adjusted.




Quote:
Since I'm changing the 3 main mounts, should I go ahead and change the trans mount too, since it's original to the car?
Changing the tranny mount is not a bad idea. But I would not do it at the same time. You will want the tranny mount in place and attached while the others are loose. That's what will help keep the engine in place. I would do the tranny mount after I've finished the belts job and have the other mounts in place.

Quote:
Are Gates timing parts any good, or should I spring for OEM Mopar parts for this job?
I used a Gates kit with a blue "racing" belt when I did my 2005 GT. The quality of the parts appeared to be very good. The Gates pump for the turbo engine has a metal impeller instead of the OEM plastic one.




Quote:
Should I use a chemical coolant flush for a couple days before the job, just to clean everything out?
You shouldn't need to leave the flush in the system that long. Just follow the directions on the bottle. To do a good job, I often remove the thermostat, then I flush the system with a garden hose. After that, I use the flush per the directions with the engine running. Then I drain and flush a few more times with the garden hose and use distilled water for the last flush. Specific to the PT, I've found that the heater hose flush kits work very well.




Quote:
How bad is the middle motor mount? Would it be easier if I removed a fender, the radiator or the headlight? (Just trying to come up with ideas here)
I don't think removing the fender is worth the trouble. Removing the headlight may help a little but is not necessary. The middle motor mount is easy to change once everything is removed for the waterpump change. And yes, you should consider doing the middle motor mount while doing this job. I would do the front crank seal as well.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 07 May 2020 at 02:30 pm.
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Old 07 May 2020, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

It's been years and don't remember anything much different from any other car except that damn bracket smack dab over the center of the timing belt. Raise the engine, lower the engine, raise the engine etc...trying to get it out! Then back on. It can be done.

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Old 07 May 2020, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Keep us updated Mac, would love to hear how you go with the timing belt. I haven't tried that kind of thing but it sounds like you've got all the parts you need to do it. If its deep in the engine and hard to get to afterwards, best practice to replace it. Also a great chance to look for rust or dodgy welds!

-917K
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Old 07 May 2020, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Here's another question:
[IMG][/IMG]
And I know I'm about to be crucified for what I did when i was changing the top motor mount, and frankly, I deserve it. I couldn't get the bolts to align properly. After cussing at them for the better part of a weekend, I thought I had finally lined them up correctly. i didn't find out until I was half way through that I was cross threading the ever-loving %@#& out of it. Tired, hangry and done with this project already, I made the ill-advised decision to just drive the bolt home.

So now, when I do the top mount, I need to replace the bracket that the top motor mount bolts screw into, and I have no idea what it is called or how to search for it. I will also need the bolts. Any ideas??
Sorry for the terrible pictures.
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Old 08 May 2020, 08:48 am
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post
Here's another question:
[IMG][/IMG]
And I know I'm about to be crucified for what I did when i was changing the top motor mount, and frankly, I deserve it. I couldn't get the bolts to align properly. After cussing at them for the better part of a weekend, I thought I had finally lined them up correctly. i didn't find out until I was half way through that I was cross threading the ever-loving %@#& out of it. Tired, hangry and done with this project already, I made the ill-advised decision to just drive the bolt home.

So now, when I do the top mount, I need to replace the bracket that the top motor mount bolts screw into, and I have no idea what it is called or how to search for it. I will also need the bolts. Any ideas??
Sorry for the terrible pictures.

The best plan is to get what you need at a salvage yard. Salvage yards still have LOTS of PT Cruiser and the bracket you need is likely on every one of them. And just for fun, if you can't find one, let me know and I will get you one if you pay the actual cost and shipping.
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Old 08 May 2020, 04:37 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Its a better idea to go with the shop you found or find a cheaper shop...its not exactly changing spark plugs. If 1400$ is too much, then if you really screw up- can you afford at best, weeks of down time? Or at worst, spending 3 days just to have it towed to a shop?
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Old 08 May 2020, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

I found the part name! I need an "Engine support bracket" and the corresponding bolts for it. So, I'm off to my local junkyard(s) tomorrow morning and try to find one! If push comes to shove, Rock Auto has a Mopar one for $50, not sure about the bolts though. The part number from Mopar is 4668719AA
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Old 13 May 2020, 09:52 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Well, I was unable to pull the part I needed because when I got to the junkyard, I realized it would take 5 hours just to get to the damn bolts on the bottom. So, I'm gonna pull out the one in my car and see if I can re-tap the threads to make them work. Wish me luck! If not, I'll go get the one from the yard and or order one online. (They were out of stock, worryingly)

Almost all my parts have arrived from Rock Auto. Tomorrow, I'm gonna add a bottle of radiator flush and drive it to work the next day, maybe 10 miles round trip, then I'll start the project on Friday night and work on it through the weekend. Other than the stripped bolt, I don't *anticipate* having any issues. I just need to work slowly and pace myself, I'm just trying to finish the race, not win it. If I get super stuck, I guess I could try to get a local shop to finish up for me, but I really, *really* don't want to go that route.

Last question, I swear:

How easy is it to accidentally move the camshafts and crankshaft once the old belt is off? How difficult is it to replace the cam seals and crank seal? I ordered them, but I'm not sure how to do it. If I remove the trans mount at the same time, would I buy myself any working room, or just break more stuff?

Wish me luck! With my lack of skills, this could be the last ride of the Valkyries for my Cruiser! (Just kidding, I'll get her back together one way or another) This one might require a 6 or even 12 pack of Guinness to get through...
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Old 13 May 2020, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Timing Belt Job

Quote:
How easy is it to accidentally move the camshafts and crankshaft once the old belt is off?
The camshafts will move when you remove the timing belt. The valve springs will push against the rockers and likely make the cams rotate a little off the lobe centers.




The crankshaft will likely rotate a little while you are removing the harmonic balancer. In summary, don't count on them not moving because they will in all likelihood.



Quote:
How difficult is it to replace the cam seals and crank seal?
Cam seals are easy. You can remove the two cam sprockets and the front camshaft journal and then put the seals in. You will need to use a thin layer of sealant between the front of the journal. You will likely see the old sealant so you will know where to put it.



On the crank seal, You will need to pull the lower cam gear. Then it's juts a matter of prying the old seal out and putting the new one in. It's very similar to in installing an inner wheel seal on an old car.



Quote:
If I remove the trans mount at the same time, would I buy myself any working room, or just break more stuff?
The trans mount is on the left (drivers) side of the engine. See the two silver bolts in the photo below. If you remove it when the other mounts are loose, the whole engine will be almost free from the car's chassis. That can lead to bad things in my opinion. And it is not necessary while doing the timing belt job.



On the other hand, changing the "center mount" is a great idea when doing the timing belt job. And it's fairly easy to do while you have everything else out of the way.

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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 14 May 2020 at 08:52 am.
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