Timing belt 1997-2000 Caravan and Voyager
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In this page you will learn how to replace the timing belt in 1997-2000 Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager equipped with 2.4 L engines.

The van we are working on is a 2000 Plymouth Voyager equipped with 2.4 L engine, in this particular vehicle the owner failed to replaced the timing belt at the recommended interval suggested by the manufacturer ( 105,000 miles max. ) this particular van had 131,000 miles when the timing belt broke, the owner commented that he drove the van to the store, and when he came backĀ  and attempted to start the van it wouldn't start, he had it towed to our repair shop and after doing a couple tests we discovered that the timing belt had ripped in half and that was reason why the van wouldn't start anymore.

Because this particular engine is classified as an interference engine we told the owner of this vehicle that there was a possibility of few valves being bent in the event of piston to valve contact as he tried to start the van. ( When the timing belt breaks, the crankshaft turns as you activate the starter causing the pistons inside the engine to move up and down, but the camshafts don't move, what this means is that some valves will be in their "open" position, and any valve being open will make contact with the piston as it moves up against the combustion chamber in an interference engine. because the valves are fragile, the piston will bend this valve at the moment of contact, and this particular cylinder will lose all its compression even if a new timing belt is installed correctly, the only way to repair this damage is to remove the cylinder head and replace the damaged valves.

Thankfully, there was no piston to valve contact in this Van and the engine ran great once we installed the new timing belt, below are the steps involved in diagnosing the broken timing belt and the steps to replace it.

Even though the owner of this vehicle chose not to install a new water pump and timing belt tensioner bearing we recommend to replace the timing belt component kit and water pump at the same time to avoid doing the same job later when the timing belt tensioner bearing or the water pump fail.

   

   

   

   

   

   



   

   

   

   

   

 

 

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 We wanted to know if the problem was lack of fuel or lack of spark, we used the spark tester shown in the image to test for spark at the number 1 cylinder, there was spark present, we sprayed carburator cleaner in the throttle body as we turn the engine over, since the vehicle didn't start we suspected a broken timing belt being the problem.











The first step to find out if the vehicle has a broken timing belt is to remove the upper timing belt cover .
















As you can see in this image, the timing belt in this vehicle is broken in half.












The first step is to lift the front end of the vehicle and remove the right front wheel, remove the bolts that secure the lower splash guard in place and remove the splash guard from the vehicle.

 

 

 

 

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 Next, loosen the upper and lower alternator retaining nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Loosen the alternator belt by turning the adjusting screw counterclockwise, remove the alternator belt.

 





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Next, loosen the two upper power steering pump retaining nuts, one is shown in this picture, the second nut is in the opposite side of the pump. 















Next, loosen the lower power steering pump bracket retaining bolt as shown in the image, loosen the tension on the belt by turning the adjusting screw counterclockwise, remove the power steering belt.














Remove the harmonic balancer retaining bolt.














To remove the harmonic balancer is necessary to use a puller designed for Chrysler vehicles, it comes with a round metal pin to be inserted in the center of the crankshaft to be the support for the harmonic balancer puller. 












Next, remove the harmonic balancer AKA vibration damper using a three jaw puller similar to the one shown in this image.

NOTE: Don't allow the engine to turn as you attempt to remove the crankshaft pulley.













Remove the serpentine belt idler pulley.




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