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How do i change the timing belt? - 2001 Plymouth Neon

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This is a long process. The good news is you can do it without pulling the motor. THe bad news is you need 2 floor jacks and a set of jack stands to do that. You will need to go to Auto Zone and borrow the Chrysler Harmonic Balance pulley puller as that is the only special tool you should need to do the job. I highly recommend you get the Haynes Repair manual on this vehicle for this job. If that belt broke while the motor was running I will tell you know that you will need to have the head repaired because it will have bent every valve in the head assembly. After jacking the vehicle up and supporting both sides with jack stands you need to put a floor jack under the motor near the outside edge passenger side, Remove the tire and disconnect the lower engine support strut from teh motor then the upper support. After disconnecting and removing the belts remove the intake manifold, power steering pump, and supports then lower the engine several inches to gain access to the Harmonic balance bolt. Remove the bolt then use the special tool and insert to remove the Harmonic Balance pulley. Remove the timing belt covers and front plate that attaches to the upper motor mount arm from the motor, it's a tight fit, Remove the Valve cover and follow the proper removal sequence for the head bolts. DO NOT FORGET TO SET THE MOTOR TO #1 TDC BEFORE starting this job. Remove the spark plugs and lift the head off. (I assume you know to remove the wires and disconnect the radiator lines from the motor before starting.) Remove the remains of the old timing belt, realign the harmonic Pulley, place the head on and follow the bolt tightening sequence to torque it down correctly and align the cam pulley so that #1 valves are both closed and the #3 intake valve (the valve on the left) is open and the other valve is closed which should put the Cam Shaft key guide for the pulley at 12 o'clock. Compress the Timing Belt tension pulley with an allen wrench in the small hole and place the timing belt in place, release the tension arm. Put everything back in place reversing the order you disassembled them in and once everything is back it should start right up. I've done this 4 times on this model vehicle. Takes about a day and a half to get everything done if you can get the head back that fast. You really need the Haynes Manual for the Torque sequence and Torque settings for that head. Being Aluminum it breaks and bends very easy with you don't follow the right sequence. You will need a new Head Gasket, Valve cover seal, front seal and Intake Gaskets (There is one for each cylinder) Most of the nuts and bolts are 10mm, 12mm, and 11mm with a few 14 mm. I recommend sockets and 2 of each wrench with both open and box ends. The main bolt on the balance pulley is a 21 mm.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011

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