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Richard, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4141
Experience:  Over 26 years of experience as lead tech and shop foreman.
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1998 dodge neon: 2.0 dohc the head gasket..valves..seals

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i have a 1998 dodge neon 2.0 dohc the head gasket was leaking oil externally. changed head gagket,h2o pump,&tim. belt cleaned valves /new stem seals. during assembly i lined everything (crank/cams)@tdc as per manual. Wont start, spark doesnt seem to be at tdc. i tried rotatin the cams 180. doesnt start. why???????
Hi there! Here is a picture of the timing belt lined up. Did you align it this way?graphic
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes, I have a shop manual. lined everything as per your pic and rotated the crankshaft 2 complete turns and everything again lined up as per pic. I was very careful to get all parts back in their original position, cams, valves, even the valve stem keepers to the same valve. I didnt remove the cam shaft magnetic target from the rear of the cam, but the plastic external sensor was removed.... does this have anything to do with the spark and cam timing?
OK, now these cam sprockets are used on 2 engines and there are slots on both sides of the cam sprokets and for the 2.0l you have to have the slots where it says 2 liter up pointed together and the other slots will say 2.4l. Did you notice both slots and get it the right way
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I see what you mean. however there were no visible marks on the cams at this point as were onthe other side ( small groves cut in the cam valleys) Ilined the cams using a straight edge thru the center of the bolts and marked them with white out. Installed the timing belt and tensioner. Rotated the crank shaft 2 complete turns and again all timing marks aligned. tryed to start the engine. NO START.I them pulled no1 spark plug and checked for spark/compression/cam timing. It seems when I have spark and compression the cams are appx. 180 or so out Do I now need to rotate the cams into timing and if so which way do
















i rotate each cam Does it make a difference.

Hi there! I am sorry I couldn't get back to you earlier, but anyways here is a picture of the timing that I was talking about!graphic
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


i pulled both cam sprockets to get a better look at the timing marks Both gears are stamped identically. On the left gear (closest the radiator) it is stamped 2.0 l front, opposite that is the # XXXXX ,on the reverse side directly behind the 2.0l front is the word UP with 2 arrows up . So for this cam to be lined up the 2.0 L front would be at the 9o"clock position ? Now for the right gear..(nearest the firewall) in order to have the 2.0L front and the word UP pointing up this gear also would be at the 9 O"clock pos. Because if you rotate that gear around to where it lines up in the center (3"o clock) the 2.0L & arrow on the other side are upside down What am I missing here? Sorry for the delay but I've been working graveyard shift 11/7am.


Hi, I am back and I need some info
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
ok doc whats up?
Do you have a digital camera so you could take a picture of the cam timing and send it to me when it is all in time?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes I'll be right back
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
having touble sending picture through this site. is there an email address i can send the picture to you?
[email protected]
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Photo sent.
OK thanks. The way it sits right now is not right. Your cam closest to the firewall is 180 degrees out. You should be able to read the 2.0L front without looking upside down. Here is a picture of a 2.4l timed correctly. It will be the same for yours! graphic
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thanks I'll set it up this way tues morn, got to go to work ,have a good evening and I'll see ya tomarrow around 9am
You to!!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Good morning/afternoon!!!! Iset the cam gears up as suggested with crank at TDC. Tryed to start it untill the battery failed. wouldnt start . Batt needs replaced. I did notice that when the cam gear was rotated 180 it put a mark at 3 inthe center between the gears as per your pic. However, there was no mark on the other gear near the words 2.0 L front, there was (as the other gear) a grove cut 180 out . I used a straight edge thru the center of the bolts to make on that gear; which was in line with the marks on the other side (2.4L) I've got some errands to run and will pick up a new batt. I would like to see where no.1 is sparking in relation to compression and all curent timing marks. Can we ignor the timing marks and line up the cam using the position of the cam key way ?? Any other suggestions? Thank you for sticking with me !!!!!!!!!! tom



Those cut outs on the gears have to face each other just like the diagram shows. I am wondering if the one gear wasn't stamped in the right place. Those cut outs should be pointed together where the gears are the closest to each other.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

good evening!!! made it back with a new batt. Juice wont be aprob. now Yes, I agree and since those were the only groves in the front , I tried that. Also thinking of a bastart part being used . Let me put the new batt. in ,alining it as you say......tthe notiches on both gears in the center( at this point the gear closest the radiator the 2.0L front is upside down & @ 3o,clock approx. for ref.) I,m baffled!!!! something here is not right gonna stick???? THANK YOU !!!!!! Tom P>S be back in a.m

I hope all goes well this time.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry I was called out of  state for a family emergency, didnt get home untill late last p.m.    This morn. I installed  the cam gears, belt and batt.  rotated the crank 2 complete turns and all lined up o.k.  I have good compression in all cylinders, but can't exactly tell if the spark is at tdc on the comp. stroke. This is the first time I've played with a distributor-less ignition.  Ifeel the timing marks are correct  but the darn thing will not start. You have more than earned your fee!!! To further diagnois the problem should I hit accept and repost the problem? or would you be willing to be the cyber mechanic and walk me thru  any other problem via e-mail  and I'll send you a money order for what ever you think is reasonable.  Thank You again for your support!!!!!!!!                                                   Tom

I am going to help you get this car fixed, so just keeping posting on the same question.

I have a couple questions for you. Can you put a srew driver in one spark plug boot and hold it 1/4 inch from ground and see if you have a strong blue spark? Did you take the cam sensor off, when you had the head off? Is the cam sensor connector pointed down? Can you disconnect the battery for 1 minute, then reconnect and try to start the car. Crank it for 20 seconds and I will need you to check for fault codes. Here is how to do that. Turn key on,off,on,off,on and leave it on and watch the odometer fore a Pxxxx fault code. If there is no code it will say Pdone. It will also say Pdone after it displays the code/codes. Just make sure you turn the key all the way on with out cranking and all the way off when checking the codes. You have to do this with in 5 seconds! Let me know, thanks!!

Richard and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I re aligned the cam gears making sure the were aligned after several attempts to start the engine. While cranking it for the 20 seconds it started but ran very rough. Further investigation revealed a broken vac. line. replaced line and she purrs like a kitten. Thank You very much and should I ever have a problem with a dodge you will be the first Tech. I talk to. Again THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

You are very welcome. I am glad you were able to get it running, Thankyou!

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