My bf can not get the corner bolt off to get to my timing belt
This is not an easy task and you will find it takes about 6-8 hours if
you have all the needed parts ready to install if you need them. Don't
expect to just go to the local parts place and obtain some of these
parts. There are several dealer only parts.
Before you start this job:
1. Inspect the upper and lower torque struts
that hold the motor on the passenger side. Order them ahead of time if
you see they are damaged. Make sure the local parts store has them in
stock if you are not sure of their integrity. You can tell if they are
bad when you remove them; they just fall apart or you can see the split
2. Inspect your accessory belts and the serpentine tensioner pulley
prior to beginning the work. Order the belts (If you have over 75,000
miles on the vehicle, you will need the new accessory belts.) or know
where you can purchase them locally.
3. Make sure you can get a new timing belt tensioner unit locally at
your Mopar Dealer. If you have a mechanical timing belt tensioner, you
are warned by a Dodge technical bulletin to replace it with a hydraulic
4. Order a water pump and replace it while replacing the timing
5. Of course, purchase a timing belt, lol...
First, it was necessary to remove the passenger side tire and the
splash guard behind the tire in the wheel well. The next items to
remove were the accessories belts (ac, alternator, etc.) which included
the serpentine belt. The crankshaft damper had to be removed with a
three-arm puller tool and a small insert that protects the crankshaft
threads. Remove the power steering pump by just setting it off to the side after
removing the bolts. You don't have to undo the hoses; just lay it over
to the side.
Using a floor jack, you hold the engine in place while you
remove the lower torque arms. Inspect the upper and lower torque arms
carefully. I would at least
inspect these torque arms carefully for broken neoprene prior to
beginning the timing belt change.
Next, you must remove the serpentine tensioner plate which has
three bolts. This was a totally unexpected cost for my timing
belt replacement when I tried to purchase only the plastic tensioner
pulley and was informed that the item was not a replacement part; you
had to go to Dodge and purchase an entire plate (with a redesigned
"hydraulic" tensioner for the serpentine belt tensioner). go to a
local salvage yard and obtained a fairly new tensioner pulley for about
$5.00; the old plastic pulley will be completely worn away. A new serpentine
tensioner plate with the integral tensioner is $429 at Dodge.
You can now remove the front timing cover. Make sure to align
the camshaft and crankshaft timing marks before removing the timing
belt. The camshaft pulley has a mark that needs to align with the mark
on the head above the pulley. The crankshaft sprocket should line up at
the same time with its mark at the top of the oil pump assembly. If you
accidentally move the camshaft in some manner, after you remove the
timing belt, you can damage the pistons or valves.
Next, to loosen the old timing belt, you need to look at the
tensioner. Insert an 8 mm Allen wrench into the hexagon opening located
on the front of the belt tensioner pulley. Rotate the pulley
counterclockwise until it contacts the stop. While holding tensioner
pulley against stop, insert a 1/8" or 3 mm diameter pin or Allen wrench
through the hole located to the left of the hex opening. While pushing
pin into hole, allow the tensioner pulley to rotate back. Almost
immediately, the pin should engage the locking hole to prevent further
movement of the pulley. I was totally surprised by what happened when I
tried to purchase a new timing belt tensioner pulley as my pulley was
worn quite badly. I received the wrong part to replace the tensioner
pulley three times at three different parts stores. It took about an
hour to discover that there was a problem with the old "mechanical"
timing belt tensioners. It is not just recommended that you change the
tensioner; you must replace the timing belt tensioner plate and all if
you have the older mechanical tensioner. This is a technical bulletin
from Mopar that says there have been several "explosions" of the
mechanical units with engine replacements needed; the tensioner
actually blew a hole in the engine block. Of course, this is not a
"free replacement" due to a manufacturing problem; you must purchase
this item. Some of the latter models of the 2000 Neon have had the
hydraulic units installed and all you need to purchase is the tensioner
pulley which costs about $30. You can tell if you have the mechanical
one when you actually get into and remove the timing belt; the
mechanical unit has four pronounced legs, while the hydraulic unit is
more of a plate (even though the holes align for both units). You must
replace the back timing belt cover with a new tensioner installation
(and it comes with the kit). In the earlier neon model required a complete plate, hydraulic unit and tensioner pulley
replacement. And, of course, it a dealer item only with a cost of
Before you begin your job of timing
belt replacement, find out if you own an earlier 2000 and also locate a
dealer with the unit in stock. You honestly should install the
hydraulic unit as the technical bulletin explains the damage from an
While you are in there, you should replace the water pump. If you read
all the bulletins and people's posts about this item going bad just
after they finished the timing belt, you really should just purchase
the water pump and make sure it has the seal in the kit (some did not
include the water pump seal.). The water pump was only $40. If you have
to replace it, you see all the trouble you must go through again to get
it out of the timing belt area. The water pump is driven by the timing
The oil pump is also driven by the timing belt; however, there are not many failures of the oil pumps.
Now you may start to put the timing belt into place. If you have
gotten the timing just a tiny bit off, you can follow the procedure as
below. It is hard to explain in words only without pictures; however, I
will try to do so.
Set crankshaft sprocket to TDC by aligning the sprocket with
the arrow on the oil pump housing, then back off to 3 notches before
TDC, that is clockwise three teeth.
Use a large wrench and the
crankshaft nut to carefully adjust the timing. This is to allow for
belt installation later.
Set camshaft to TDC by aligning mark on sprocket with the arrow on the rear of timing belt cover. Move crankshaft to 1/2 mark before TDC for belt installation.
Install timing belt.
Starting at the crankshaft, go around the water pump sprocket and then around the camshaft sprocket.
Move crankshaft sprocket to TDC to take up belt slack.
Remove the pin or 1/8" or 3 mm Allen wrench from belt tensioner.
Rotate crankshaft 2 revolutions and check the alignment of the timing marks.
Install front timing belt cover. Install engine mount bracket.
Install right engine mount to engine mount bracket through bolt. Remove
jack from under engine. Install upper torque strut. Install power
steering pump assembly. Raise vehicle and install lower torque strut.
Install crankshaft damper using M12-1.75 x 150 mm bolt, washer, thrust
bearing and nut from Special Tool 6792. Install crankshaft damper bolt
and tighten to 142 Nm (100 ft. lbs.). Install accessory drive belts.
Install right inner splash shield.
Lower vehicle and perform camshaft and crankshaft timing relearn
procedure as follows:
Connect the DRB scan tool to the data link (diagnostic) connector. This
connector is located in the passenger compartment; at the lower edge of
instrument panel; near the steering column. Turn the ignition switch on
and access the "miscellaneous" screen. Select "re-learn cam/crank"
option and follow directions on DRB screen.
It is not a fun job unless you enjoy some very hard work and
have a few specialized tools. The scan tool was purchased at Sears (I
hope I can say a specific name. You can purchase the scan tool at a
parts store or off the web as well.). The special tool is a three-arm
puller. The other special tool is to protect the crankshaft threads.
Hope this helps!!!
and thank you for using FIxya
Mar 08, 2010 |
2000 Dodge Neon