Question about 1995 Dodge Dakota

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How to adjust the timing on 4cyl '95 dodge dakota

Just replaced the head gasket on my 1995 Dodge Dakota (manual trans).
after putting everything back together, and replacing (and properly gaping)
the spark plugs my truck seems to be having trouble getting up and going. it's a bit sluggish. I checked all vacuum hoses and PCV connections and everything was fine. It could be the timing but I can't find a way to adjust the timing without tearing it down, taking the belts off, then having to put it all back together just to see if it's in time.

It is a 2.5 4cyl engine OHC (overhead cam)

If there is a way to time it correctly without all that hassle I would love to know.

Thanks in advance for any solutions.

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  • sterryd Mar 05, 2009

    Thanks for the advice!
    That certainly did it.
    It's hard to line it up and put the belt back on without accidentally moving it, but with a little patience we got it.
    thanks again.


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Unfortunately you do have to tear it all down, but it's not as bad as it sounds. the 4cyl is easy to work on. you don't have to put it all back together to find out if timing is correct. if you have a good fully charged battery just run the engine with only the timing belt attached. (of course be absolutley sure to keep tools, engine pars, and hands clear!)

put on the parking break and the trans in neutral

tear down to the timing belt

adjust to tdc (there is a hash mark on the cam gear)

remove or losen the idler pully

allign the timing gear and crank gear. there are marks on these from the factory install.

tighten idler pulley

run engine. it should be fairly obvious if it's too advanced or lagged when you give it some gas.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

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