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Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8538
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Ok here we go again. This new subject on Wife's 2008

Customer Question

Ok here we go again Doug. This new subject on Wife's 2008 Mitsibishi Eclipse SE V6. I see that it has a timing belt? We now have over 80k miles. I see online some say 60k miles and some 105K miles. Haven't researched manual. Easier to ask your expert opinion.
When would you change? IYHO how long can it go? How tough is job compare to, say, my 2005 4Runner?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.

Hi,
I would change it at your earliest convenience. Here is why:

These belts were originally 60k mile belts. However in 2008 in order to get CARB compliance in California the vehicles had to become zero maintenance through 100,000 miles (oil changes aside of course). The 60k mile interval timing belt would have prevented them from passing CARB.
So the solution.... make it 105k mile interval! Previously they had a foot note in the owners manual saying you could go 105k without penalty in California but was still recommended at 60k; now they pushed the recommendation straight to 105k.

Here is my problem with this.... the engine didn't change, the belt didn't change, even the part number is ***** same. Basically, the belt they were telling you that you need to change at 60k to be safe is the same belt they are now giving the nod to 105k with.

While the belt will last to 105k.... it is really pushing the envelope on it. While I've only seen a handful of these fail under 100k, it is cheap insurance getting it done sooner considering the history of the belt interval... they didn't want to trust it past 60k for warranty purposes (if it broke at 90k under powertrain, they could deny warranty since it was a 60k belt), that doesn't really make me gung ho about running it to the limits.

What I tell customers with 2008+ models is exactly what I have said above.... it isn't technically recommended until 105k, however if your car was built (in your case) 6 months sooner they would have been recommending it at 60k with no other changes/variables. Then let them stew on that. I personally usually suggest at their earliest convenience before 105k, and usually recommend aiming for 80-90k range. That still gets you a lot of bonus miles out of the belt as opposed to doing it at 60k, but is still early enough that you don't feel like you are on borrowed time.

This is a SUPER easy belt to do. With a 4.7 under your belt, you could probably knock this one out in about 2 hours if you wanted to. I've had to rush these before and got them done in under an hour when the crunch was on... they are not bad at all.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great info - Thats why I asked you! You know at first glance on line it looked so easy I thought they were mistakingly talking about a serpentine belt! I will buy a factory one and continue to confer with you on it soon...
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.

No its really that easy. The worst thing about it is probably getting the rear upper cover off, as there is a hose in the way and you have to really squeeze past it.

The crank bolt you need an impact for of course, but the pulleys are not pressed on so they usually just fall right off (minor pulling at worst). The big thing here is when you take the tension off, do so by unbolting the hydraulic tensioner and not the mechanical tensioner. Then you can spin check the mechanical tensioner and if it is OK (at 80k it should be fine, they often go 200k+) then you don't have to worry about getting the tension set right since it is already in the right position. People get ahead of themselves and unbolt that tensioner not realizing it uses a special tool to set it... you can set it without the tool, but it is trial and error and can be time consuming. Not to mention I've seen some people adjust it totally wrong and you risk messing the engine up that way. If you just unbolt the hydraulic the mechanical stays set exactly where it should be, then just compress the hydraulic and use a grenade pin for reinstalling.

I would recommend paint marking the heck out of the cam gears/valve cover notches as they (particularly the rear) can be a bit hard to read. That and use clothes pins or similar to keep the belt on the gears.... the belt likes to pop off while you are routing it otherwise.

Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.

Oh yeah, and when taking the plastic timing covers off, pay close attention to the bolt holes after they are off... sometimes these get brittle and the brass sleeves inside them get loose. You do not want one of those falling off inside the engine! Just do a quick check to see if any feel loose or the plastic brittle once they are off, and if there is reason for concern then you can either replace or just use extra care when assembling to make sure no one falls loose while assembling. Once the bolts are through the sleeves they aren't going anywhere, of course.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
NO RUSH Doug...you have weeks here. What all would you change in there? Saw this kit on Ebay for $368 - claim genuine OEM parts:Complete Kit Includes The Following New Parts:Timing Belt
Genuine MitsubishiIdler Roller / Pulley
GMB / JapanTensioner Roller / Pulley
GMB / JapanHydraulicTensioner
RPT/NTN / Auto-AdjusterWater Pump & Gaskets
Aisin Japan/USA / With GasketsCamshaft Seals
Genuine Mitsubishi / 2 pieces / FrontCrankshaft Seal
Genuine Mitsubishi / FrontAir Conditioning / Alternator Belt
Bando / Premium SerpentinePower Steering Belt
Bando / Premium Serpentine
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.

At 80k.... I would change the belt with a quality one (If not Mitsubishi, then Continental etc). No cheap belts... it breaks, you need an engine. You don't want to save $40 and end up in worse shape. Then inspect the rest and replace as needed (if).

I would be extremely cautious about that kit as the pricing is pretty low. Just keeping in mind the water pump is $220 (Retail of course) and the hydraulic tensioner $160... they would likely be selling at a loss to include all those other items too. It is possible, but I would be suspicious if it is coming from any source other than one with "Mitsubishi" in the company name somewhere :)

Otherwise I would inspect and replace as needed with regard to pulleys, water pump and cam seals. At 80k it is unlikely you will need any (nor need them by next interval either most likely).

If you want to replace the pulleys or hydraulic tensioner you can, but honestly I would feel more comfortable with an 80k mile factory one on there than an aftermarket one with regard to the hydraulic tensioner. The pulleys seem to be OK from just about any brand.

Do not use an aftermarket water pump. No exceptions on this one, they are all junk. Even major brand ones like Delco etc, they are all junk. There is a reason the Mitsubishi ones cost $220 and the aftermarket ones cost $50. Mitsubishi ones last 200-400k miles if the coolant is serviced even somewhat regularly. Aftermarket ones have been known to fail inside of 10k miles in some cases. These get towed in somewhat regularly with seized up water pumps that were just put on 6-12 months before... I won't even install them without guarantee for customers any more as I've seen too many fail. I would sooner lose the timing belt job than put even a "good brand" aftermarket pump on.

A similar story goes with the front seals.... factory only. Otherwise you are going to do it twice. For some reason the aftermarket cam seals are terrible fitting no matter where they come from. I can always tell when someone used them before trying to fix a leak then bring it to me, because the aftermarket ones you can gently pull right out, they just don't seal right. The correct fitment should be stupid tight.

And again on that one at 80k you probably won't need them anyway. If it were the older 3.0L then definitely, but the 3.8L will regularly see 150-200k on these seals if it was never run hot. Its your call on that one, but if you opt to do them regardless of leaking, be sure to get factory seals so you only have to do it once.

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