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Ricardo Hohl
Ricardo Hohl, Master Certified Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Automotive instructor at Porter and Chester institute
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1998 Dodge Stratus: replacing the timing belt..2.4L..camshafts to line

Resolved Question:

I am replacing the timing belt on a 1998 Dodge Stratus with a 2.4L engine. I can't seem to get the camshafts to line up straight across. I believe when the 2 marks in the middle line up the 2 marks on the outside are supposed to be parallel also? I can get the marks in the middle to line up, but they always seem to be one notch down or one notch up away from the centerline. What's the proper way?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Ricardo Hohl replied 7 years ago.
its not going to be strait ahead 100% because there is some slock in between the 2 cam shaft pulleys , and that is going to trow the marks off.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If the marks are going to be off, where should they be?
Expert:  Ricardo Hohl replied 7 years ago.

in line with each other would you like me to send you the procedure with pictures and all?no extra charge.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

If the pictures and procedures are not from a Chilton catalog, then yes please!

Expert:  Ricardo Hohl replied 7 years ago.
hereit is and if you notice in the cam shaft gear ilustration it shows the half a notch off set of the belt, that will be the play between both pulleys at top
  1. Raise vehicle on hoist. Remove right front wheel.
  2. Remove right inner splash shield.
  3. Remove accessory drive belts.
  4. Remove crankshaft damper bolt, and remove damper. See: Harmonic Balancer - Crankshaft Pulley

  1. Remove lower timing belt cover fasteners and remove cover.
  2. Lower vehicle and remove upper timing belt cover fasteners and remove cover.
  3. Remove right engine mount and support bracket. CAUTION: When aligning crankshaft and camshaft timing marks always rotate engine from crankshaft. Camshaft should not be rotated after timing belt is removed. Damage to valve components may occur. Always align timing marks before removing timing belt.

  1. Before the removal of the timing belt, rotate crankshaft until the TDC mark on the oil pump housing aligns with the TDC mark on crankshaft sprocket (trailing edge of sprocket tooth). NOTE: The crankshaft sprocket TDC mark is located on the trailing edge of the sprocket tooth. Failure to align trailing edge of sprocket tooth to TDC mark on oil pump housing will cause the camshaft timing marks to be misaligned.

  1. Install 6 mm Allen wrench into belt tensioner. Before rotating the tensioner insert the long end of a 1/8" or 3 mm Allen wrench into the pin hole on the front of the tensioner. While rotating the tensioner counterclockwise push in lightly on the 1/8" or 3 mm Allen wrench, until it slides into the locking hole.
  2. Remove timing belt. CAUTION: If timing belt was damaged due to incorrect tracking (alignment), the belt tensioner assembly must be replaced.


  1. Set crankshaft sprocket to Top Dead Center (TDC) by aligning the sprocket with the arrow on the oil pump housing.

  1. Set camshafts timing marks so that the exhaust camshaft sprocket is a 1/2 notch below the intake camshaft sprocket. CAUTION: Ensure that the arrows on both camshaft sprockets are facing up.

  1. Install timing belt. Starting at the crankshaft, go around the water pump sprocket, idler pulley, camshaft sprockets and then around the tensioner.
  2. Move the exhaust camshaft sprocket counterclockwise to align marks and take up belt slack. NOTE: A new tensioner is held in the wound position by a pull pin.
  3. Remove the pull pin or Allen wrench from the belt tensioner.

  1. Rotate crankshaft 2 revolutions and check the alignment of the timing marks.
  2. Install right engine mount and support bracket.
  3. Install upper timing belt cover bolts 4.5 Nm (40 inch lbs.) .
  4. Install the lower timing belt cover bolts 4.5 Nm (40 inch lbs.) .
  5. Install crankshaft damper. See: Crankshaft Main Bearing Seal\Service and Repair
  6. Install accessory drive belts.
  7. Install right inner splash shield.
  8. Install right front wheel.


Ricardo Hohl and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Same info I already have. I appreciate your time and effort, thank you!