How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Eric Your Own Question

Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 24305
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
3195632
Type Your Dodge Question Here...
Eric is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

got a 1999 dodge caravan 4 cyl 2.4 L that broke its timing

Resolved Question:

got a 1999 dodge caravan 4 cyl 2.4 L that broke its timing belt. I'd like to know if I can replace that or if I should even bother to try.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

this engine is non- interference on its dual cams so you shouldnt have any problems unless the cams themselves rotated independently of each other which is very rare as when the belt breaks the cams shouldnt turn anymore .

 

Here are directions to replace the belt yourself:

 

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

in case you cant download first directions. Below is pdf file format(adobe reader) so that you can download straight to your Adobe reader. Just click on the blue highlighted word:

 

TIMING BELT

 

 

Please remember to click the accept button to pay for services rendered as experts are not paid for their time, experience or factory directions you request provided at their own expense until you do so

 



Edited by Eric on 9/25/2010 at 3:28 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Eric, this looks like it may be exactly what I need, but I'm concerned because the belt broke while I was driving that I may have difficulty gettting the timing right. I do moderately difficult repairs such as changine water pumps, disk and drum brake repairs, alternator and other accessory replacements and such. Does this sound like it's within my capability? Also, keep in mind I'm not going to be working in a shop, so I may not be able to put the vehicle on a lift to remove the front wheel.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

do you have a floorjack? if not, is there a Autozone or Discount Auto Parts nearby?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think I'll be able to get access to the hobby shop here on base, if so, I should be ok. If not, the only reason I'd need the floor jack would be to support the engine when I remove the motor mount in order to get to the lower timing belt cover and the crankshaft damper, correct?

Of course this is the one time I'm traveling without my jack and all of my tools, but I do have a fairly decent socket set with me, so hopefully nothing is torqued or rusted so tight so as to need an impact wrench or driver.

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Correct.

 

on setting the timing, rotate the cams towards the center of the engine until they are aligned as shown in the diagrams. When facing the sprockets, you will turn the one on your left clockwise and the one on your right counterclockwise. rotate the crank clockwise until aligned. If it catches and doesnt rotate further, then you do have a bent valve, but I have done many of these and it is rare that I encounter a bent valve on this engine

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hate to keep bugging you with questions, but as I'm looking at the diagram, both cams look like they'd turn counterclockwise as the belt drives them. Wouldn't it be better to rotate them both counterclockwise to align them instead of counter rotating them? And by the way, I will accept your answer when we're all done. If nothing else, the diagrams provided are worth it. Thanks again for whatever more help you can give me.

 

Mike

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Although they both turn in the same direction when running, when the belt breaks, in order to prevent the valves from hitting the pistons the manufacturer says to turn them towards the center of the engine as this is the least amount of rotation needed to set them.

 

And no problem on the questions. it is what we are here for

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, that makes sense to me. About how much torque is going to be needed to turn those? I can bump the crankshaft into place with the starter motor, but the cams will have to be turned by hand obviously. Can I probably just use a socket and half inch drive or will I need a heater bar for more leverage? BTW I can't do anything on the car now as I am at work and won't be able to get to it until 2pm or so and I want to get all the questions out of my head before I start the job.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

No, you wont need a cheater bar for moving them. Hand pressure with a normal ratchet(maybe 20-30lbs of torque) is all that is needed. I have used just a 3/8" ratchet to turn them

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Eric, I have heard some folks say that the water pump should be replaced any time you replace the timing belt. Is this just because you've already got everything out of the way you'll need in order to replace the water pump, and considering the wear time on the belt, that the water pump is probably worn as well and it would save money and time to do both jobs at the same time, or is there some possibility that the pump would be damaged due to the belt breakiing? It doesn't seem plausible to me for the water pump to really be damaged just because the timing belt breaks.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

The reason it is recommended is simply because you have everything off and water pump is right there. And the prevailing thinking is that it has same wear as rest of engine and if higher mileage it will save you from repeating this down the road if it were to fail. But there is no danger of damaging it during the timing belt repair or damage due to the belt breaking.

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks, that's what I thought.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

no problem.

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

i will be offline from 2-4pm, but will be back online after that in case you run into any issues on this

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Any suggestions on how to break loose the bolt on the damper on the crankshaft? It's just me there working so I can't jam something on the bolt and crank the engine very easily. I managed to get a friend to take me to a parts store and get a floor jack and jack stands (and a creeper too, which I have been needing/wanting for awhile) but he had to leave so I'm stuck at trying to remove the crankshaft damper. All else is going per the diagrams.

Thanks

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Do you have a cheater bar to piut on it. if so place socket and cheater bar on pulley, place cheater bar where it will hit the frame and rank engine over. this will bust the bolt loose as it is stopped on the frame and engine continues to turn.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ok, yeah that's what I was thinking. now to find a cheater bar...or at least a 1/2" drive breaker bar with the right size socket so it doesn't split when I use that little trick..
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Ok, in a pinch, I have taken my ratchet with me to a hardware store and bought a 5' length of pipe that the ratchet end will slide into.

 

And much cheaper than a true breaker bar.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
LOL, you sound like me. The only bad part is that no one else is here in the building where I'm working so I have to wait until the morning when someone comes in so I can get a ride to try and find something. There's a Sears not too far off base here. They oughta have something I can make do with there. Thanks for all of your help so far. I'm gonna sleep now because I had to walk about 5 miles or so to get to a fast food joint that was open cause I'm tired of eating crap out of the vending machines. and I'm plumb tired out.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

I understand. I will be here tommorrow to continue to help you. i will stick with you until we get it running

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just don't seem to be able to catch a break. I got a half inch drive breaker bar and socket, set it up and bumped the engine, and the bolt broke loose which was good. I had a steering wheel/ gear puller with me, but it turns out that Chrsyler/Mitsubishi in their infinite wisdom requires a special tool to pull the crankshaft damper. Again, luckily the loca lAuto Zone had one and they rent them so I didn't have to buy it for $70. I get the damper pulled off and everything else but the engine mount pulled off with no problem. The bolts on the motor mount however simply did not want to break loose. By this time, my co-worker had left for the day, so I got no ride to get anything else. I finally manage to break one of the bolts loose, and pull it all the way out. I then took the breaker bar and used it to pry the motor mount in the direction that the still remaining bolt would have to turn to break loose, and it still didn't move. About that time, it started raining, so I have quit again for the night. So, but for one stubborn bolt, I could have had the new belt in place and perhaps even have had everything back together and be in business. Instead I get another miserable night with no transportation. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get ahold of something which will give me a little bit more oomph and I'll break that last bolt loose and this saga may finally come to a happy ending. I'll let you know.

 

Mike

Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

sorry for all the problems you are encountering. seems like you are getting hit with all the problems one could encounter on a repair all at once. if you run into anything else that is a problem let me know

Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 24305
Experience: 20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
Eric and 5 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, yes, I did run into one (hopefully final) problem this afternoon. After getting all the bolts loose and removing all the covers, I need to find a way to set the crankshaft timing. The battery is too low to turn the engine now (my fault because I had to charge my cell phone) so I thought I might put the bolt back into the crankshaft, turn it to where I need it, then remove the bolt. Problem is is that when ever I get the crank to TDC, I can't loosen the bolt without moving the crankshaft. I thought about putting a nut on the bolt and tightening it up and the turning the crankshaft using the bolt, but the bolt is not threaded far enough up to put a nut on it and work that way. So tomorrow, I'll just go buy a longer bolt and nut and work it that way. If all goes well (HA!!), I may be able to have it done before noon, but the vehicle is out in the open and it's supposed to rain some more. At this point, I'll find a trash bag and wear it as a raincoat in order to get finished. I completely understand why shop rates are so high now. With the right tools (which are relatively expensive, I believe this could have been about a 4 hour job. I like the experience I've gained as well, but I doubt I'll do this again unless I'm at home in my garage with an extra car running so I can go and get whatever parts I need whenever I need them. I'll keep you posted tomorrow.

 

Mike

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Finally got it running, and it would die at idle. It ran fine at highway speed so I drove back to my house in Philly, and with all my tools and plenty of light, realized I had the exhaust cam timing wrong. Got it fixed and all together running fine. Thanks for all your help.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Oops, forgot to hit Accept...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

BTW, just wanted to get back and let you know, the van is running fine, and while under there I noticed oil around the filter, and realized that wherever I had the oil changed last, they hadn't snugged up the filter very well, so it wasn't making reall good contact with the gasket and oil was leaking by. I hand tightened it, and my slow oil leak magically disappeared. I drove from Philadelphia to New Orleans and back and didn't use a drop of oil. Thanks again for your help. If I run into anything else I'm not familiar with, I'll be sure to ask you again.

 

Mike

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I AM VERY GLAD THAT I TOOK A CHANCE ON YOUR PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS. I WAS SUCCESSFUL IN REPLACING THE FUEL PUMP. MY TRUCK RUNS LIKE A CLOCK. IT RUNS LIKE THE DAY I BOUGHT IT. NO LUNGING FORWARD, THE TURBO REACTS THE SECOND I STOMP ON THE GAS, AND IT HAS A LOT MORE POWER AND EVEN SOUNDS BETTER TO ME. IT SAVED ABOUT $500.00 BY DOING THE WORK MYSELF. I GIVE YOU ALL THE CREDIT FOR YOUR DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM, JUST FROM THE SYMPTONS I GAVE YOU OVER THE e MAIL. I WILL USE YOUR WEB SITE AGAIN AND REFER MY FRIENDS. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE HELP. TOM WHITTAKER USA
< Last | Next >
  • I AM VERY GLAD THAT I TOOK A CHANCE ON YOUR PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS. I WAS SUCCESSFUL IN REPLACING THE FUEL PUMP. MY TRUCK RUNS LIKE A CLOCK. IT RUNS LIKE THE DAY I BOUGHT IT. NO LUNGING FORWARD, THE TURBO REACTS THE SECOND I STOMP ON THE GAS, AND IT HAS A LOT MORE POWER AND EVEN SOUNDS BETTER TO ME. IT SAVED ABOUT $500.00 BY DOING THE WORK MYSELF. I GIVE YOU ALL THE CREDIT FOR YOUR DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM, JUST FROM THE SYMPTONS I GAVE YOU OVER THE e MAIL. I WILL USE YOUR WEB SITE AGAIN AND REFER MY FRIENDS. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE HELP. TOM WHITTAKER USA
  • Just a quick line to tell you how pleased I am to have my brakes working properly after all this time. Your answer was what I needed. I would certainly recommend you highly. God bless! Rev. Jerry Baysinger Holts Summit, Mo
  • I recently asked a question about my 2005 dodge ram, and I just wanted to let my Expert know that he hit the nail squarely on the head with his answer. I wanted to thank him again. Greg Pittsburgh, PA
  • Just a quick line to tell you how pleased I am to have my brakes working properly after all this time. Your answer was what I needed. I would certainly recommend you highly. God bless! Jerry Holts Summit, MO
  • I was skeptical at first but thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Your site actually is a quality service that I would recommend to others in a heartbeat. Stan Sayre, PA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jerry

    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1227
    ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/supermechanic/2013-8-23_03546_500.64x64.jpg Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1227
    ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MO/MoparCertified/2012-6-7_4142_mechanic.64x64.jpg Mopar Certified's Avatar

    Mopar Certified

    Dodge Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5813
    24 Year Chrysler/Dodge Certified Specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jeep10000/2008-9-18_222938_192601.jpg Chris's Avatar

    Chris

    Shop Foreman

    Satisfied Customers:

    4041
    ASE and Chrysler Certified Master Tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ke4ich/2009-08-12_212931_DSC02211.JPG moparfl's Avatar

    moparfl

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3285
    ASE Master Tech Gold level Chrysler Status 30 years dealership exp
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/dodgerench/2012-8-1_1142_IMG3173.64x64.JPG Dodgerench's Avatar

    Dodgerench

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2480
    30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/rodcuda/2011-7-25_224114_Donhoff1.64x64.JPG Neal's Avatar

    Neal

    Dodge Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    1870
    30 years experience in Dodge Chrysler and Plymouth
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tsmodie/2009-6-10_144056_tim.jpg Tim Mohr's Avatar

    Tim Mohr

    ASE MASTER TECH

    Satisfied Customers:

    1664
    30 YRS EXPERIENCE, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, GAS AND DEISEL