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This is an iterference engine and if the timing belt had broken off or was not aligned properly, there is a very good chance the valves are bent, even if the engine spins freely. Below are the procedures and the correct positions of the cam and crankshaft.
See Figures 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36
If possible, position the engine so the No. 1 piston is at TDC.
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Remove the splash shield under the engine.
Safely support the weight of the engine and remove the engine mount and bracket assembly.
Remove the drive belts and the timing belt covers.
If timing belts are going to be reused, mark the direction of rotation on the belt. This will ensure the belt is reinstalled in same direction, extending belt life.
To loosen the timing (outer) belt tensioner, install special tool MD998738 or equivalent, to the slot and screw inward to move tensioner toward the water pump. Once the tension has been relieved, remove the outer timing belt.
If tensioner replacement is required, align the pin hole in the tensioner rod to the hole in the tensioner cylinder. Insert a 0.055 inch (1.4 mm) wire in the hole and remove the special tool from the slot. With the cylinder tension relieved, remove the auto tensioner cylinder assembly two mounting bolts.
Remove the outer crankshaft sprocket and flange.
Loosen the silent shaft (inner) belt tensioner and remove the belt. If pulley replacement is required, remove the center adjusting bolt.
Fig. 32: Exploded view of the inner (B) timing belt and related components-2.4L engine
Remove the crankshaft pulley retainer bolts and remove the pulley.
Fig. 33: You will probably have to use a special tool to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt-2.4L engine
Remove the crankshaft sprocket retainer bolt and washer from the sprocket, if used, and remove sprocket. If sprocket is difficult to remove, the appropriate puller may be used. If no bolts are used on the sprocket, use the appropriate puller to remove.
Fig. 34: If you're having trouble removing the sprocket, you may have to use a suitable puller
Hold the camshaft stationary using the hexagon cast between journals No. 2 and 3 and remove the retainer bolt. Remove the sprocket from the camshaft.
Install the sprockets to their appropriate shafts. Install the retainer bolts and Tighten the camshaft sprocket bolt to 65 ft. lbs. (90 Nm)
Inspect the timing belts in detail for any flaw or wear. Check the sprockets and tensioner for wear. The sprocket teeth should be well defined, not rounded and the valleys between the teeth should be clean. Turn both tensioner pulleys and check for any signs of bearing wear. If sprockets or pulleys show any sign of wear, they must be replaced.
Align the timing marks of the silent shaft sprockets and the crankshaft sprocket with the timing marks on the front case. Wrap the timing belt around the sprockets so there is no slack in the upper span of the belt and the timing marks are still aligned.
Install the tensioner pulley and move the pulley by hand so the long side of the belt deflects about 1/4 inch.
Hold the pulley tightly so the pulley cannot rotate when the bolt is tigthened. Tighten the bolt to 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm) and recheck the deflection amount.
Align the timing marks of the camshaft, crankshaft and oil pump sprockets with their corresponding marks on the front case or rear cover.
There is a possibility to align all timing marks and have the oil pump sprocket and silent shaft out of time, causing an engine vibration during operation. If the following step is not followed exactly, there is a 50 percent chance that the silent shaft alignment will be 180 degrees off.
Fig. 35: Proper timing component alignment points-2.4L engines
Before installing the timing belt, ensure that the left side (rear) silent shaft (oil pump sprocket) is in the correct position as follows:
Remove the plug from the rear side of the block and insert a tool with shaft diameter of 0.31 inches. (8mm) into the hole.
With the timing marks still aligned, the shaft of the tool must be able to go in at least 2 1/2 inches. If the tool can only go in about 1 in., the shaft is not in the correct orientation and will cause a vibration during engine operation. Remove the tool from the hole and turn the oil pump sprocket 1 complete revolution. Realign the timing marks and insert the tool. The shaft of the tool must go in at least 2 1/4 inches.
Recheck and realign the timing mark.
Leave the tool in place to hold the silent shaft while continuing.
If the camshaft belt tensioner was removed, use a vise to carefully push the auto tensioner rod in until the set hole in the rod aligned up with the hole in the cylinder. Place a wire into the hole to retain the rod. Mount the tensioner to the engine block and tighten the mounting bolt to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
Install the belt to the crankshaft sprocket, oil pump sprocket, then camshaft sprocket, in that order. While doing so, make sure there is no slack between the sprocket except where the tensioner is installed.
To adjust the timing (outer) belt perform the following steps:
Turn the crankshaft 1/4 turn counterclockwise, then turn it clockwise to move No. 1 cylinder to TDC.
Loosen the center bolt. Using tool MD998752 or equivalent and a torque wrench, apply a torque of 2.6 ft. lbs. (3.6 Nm). Tighten the center bolt.
Screw the special tool into the engine left support bracket until its end makes contact with the tensioner arm. At this point, screw the special tool in some more and remove the set wire attached to the auto tensioner, if the wire was not previously removed. Then remove the special tool.
Rotate the crankshaft two complete turns clockwise and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Then, measure the auto tensioner protrusion (the distance between the tensioner arm and auto tensioner body) to ensure that it is within 0.15-0.18 inch (3.8-4.5mm). If out of specification, repeat Step 1-4 until the specified value is obtained.
Do not manually overtigthen the belt or it will howl.
Install the upper and lower timing belt covers. Tighten the bolts to the specifications shown in the accompanying figure.
Fig. 36: Timing belt cover retainer specifications-2.4L engine
Install the drive belts and properly adjust.
Reinstall the engine mount and bracket assembly and safely lower the engine.
Install the splash shield.
Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine and let it idle.
Run engine until thermostat opens. Check and adjust ignition timing.