Timing Belt_Replaced myself
RichardLee

Dickinson, TX

#1 Aug 26, 2010
Did the Timing Belt replacement job myself (I am a typical do-it-yourselfer, no more than that). Some random thoughts & suggestions for the next guy since this is a b!#$h of a job!(had 118,000 miles on my 2005 Pacifica, 3.5L engine)
1_ I bought factory Chrysler (made by Gates) timing belt since I did not want any issues.($40 fr eBay)
2_Bought a factory Chrysler (made in Germany!) water pump for the same reason.($40 fr eBay)
3_“Borrowed” a loaner Radiator Pressure Tester, Chrysler Harmonic Puller (3-jaw) and Harmonic Installer from O’Reilly auto parts. Used the Pressure Tester to test the new water pump for leaks, it is sealed by an giant o-ring and did not want to find it leaking after full assembly.
The Harmonic Installer did not work due to its design. Got a 90mm long x 12mm x 1.75mm bolt and a bunch of washers from Ace Hardware for $2.80 which enabled me to install the Harmonic Balancer.
Should you not have this, the auto parts suggested a slamming the harmonic balancer back on using a piece of wood and a 10# sledge hammer (I did not try that approach)
4_ No need to take the valve covers off or disconnect the fuel line as the factory manual suggests.
5_ Do have a bottle of “white out” handy. Mark the old belt & drive cogs on the 2 cams and at the crank. Then transfer the marks to the new belt. Makes the install/timing a snap.(One cam did snap out of position after the belt was removed, but was easy to rotate back into position w/ a wrench.)
You CAN use the breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt to rotate (slowly) the crankshaft to TDC position.
6_I used a small tow chain w/ hook to keep the harmonic balancer from turning when I torqued it with the ½” drive breaker bar.(I did not have any air impact tools.)
6 a_Use of a floor jack to support the engine is kind of optional. It is mostly used to maintain the engine in a position such that it can be most easily worked on. At times you may feel the need for any extra ¼” of horizontal clearance, this can be obtained by using a short (3-4’ long) 2x4 board as a “pry bar” to pry the engine block towards the drivers side of the engine compartment.
7_ Have a 3/8” x ¼” drive adapter handy and a full set of 3/8” and ¼” metric sockets handy. As well as the ½” drive metric socket for the harmonic balancer (think it was 17 or 19mm do not remember precise head size, but it had a smaller head size than I expected).
8_ Do have some metric Torx head 3/8” drive sockets handy and some Vice Grips pliers.(there is 1 Torx screw on the timing belt cover)
9_ One of the most difficult steps for me was getting the power steering pump bolts back on. Was almost impossible. Wound up having to remove the radiator fan assembly such that I could push the steering pump back in position.(There is a timing cover bolt BEHIND the steering pump. I DID NOT put this timing cover bolt back in upon reassembly since I would never want to have to remove the steering pump again.) Now is the time to replace the factory installed Lower Radiator hose if you haven’t already.
9.a_ Re-installing the serpentine accessory belt can be difficult. I used the clips to hold it in place. I used a 1” wide ratchet “tie down strap” to pull a 12” crescent wrench attached to the tensioner to “rotate” the serpentine tensioner back. The ratchet drive strap held the tensioner back well and the belt went on without too much fighting.
9b_ I used some large “paper clamps” from the office supply store to “clip” the timing belt and serpentine belt on the drive pulleys during the install. Made things much easier.
10_ After 118,000 miles the Timing Belt still looked mighty good. But of course should it have broken the engine would be toast. Also replaced the serpentine accessory drive belt with a new Gates micro-V belt.
11_Total wrenching time for me on this job was sixteen (16) hours.(this includes time going back to auto parts store twice and replacing ALL the radiator and heater hoses)
Jerry Page

Saint Charles, IL

#2 Aug 2, 2011
I have a 2006 Pacifica with the 3.5l engine. I have a coolant leak. Not sure if it's the water pump. I did a pressure test and I drop 2PSI over 20 minutes. A small drip of antifrees is falling from the oid pan. Not sure if its the watet pump. The hoses are all fine.
BillR

Fort Worth, TX

#3 Dec 21, 2011
Richard,
Thanks for the tips on replacing the belt. Just completed it myself on my '07. I elected to loosen, not remove, the PS pump. I was able to get the one cover bolt off around the loosened pulley, and what I did was replace it with a cap screw, which had a head small enough that I could start it. I must have a Friday car, because 5 of the cover bolts were only finger tight when I removed them. Also used the tie down strap to hold the balancer in place, and the binder clips to hold the belt in place. Great advice. My advice is to check everything as you remove it, I came across a broken motor mount ($65, OK) and a leaking belt tensioner cylinder ($145 at the dealer...Boing!). I was into it for 12-14 hours, including two trips to the dealer (one each for the motor mount and the cylinder). One other note of caution...the auto parts places had a "motor mount" listed but the pictures were nothing like the actual part.
tito

Philadelphia, PA

#4 Jul 19, 2014
do you have to remove the timming belt to put a water pump on a 2006 Chrysler pacifica
bayman

Salisbury, MD

#5 Oct 3, 2014
I changed my water pump also in a Pacifica. What a pain in the azz. This engine is a rather poor design. Now my crankshaft position sensor is broke and stuck in the engine block. It is very hard to get to, with the small amount of clearance in the engine compartment. Why it is stuck, I do not know. Have tried everything. I am going to try one more thing and if that does not work, I am screwed. I wish I never bought this car. Very hard to work on. A 10 dollar part will most likely cost me at least 1,000.00 to get out. Why can't they design a sensor that screws in or at least some other design than this.

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