Caravan 3.0L engine timing belt


Old 08-22-03, 09:44 AM
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Caravan 3.0L engine timing belt

I am thinking about Timing Belt change for 1997 Dodge Caravan 3.0L engine.

The Haynes direction says I need to support the engine from bottom (using oil pan + wood block) and remove the right engine mount.

Is this really required step? it appears as I can get to the belt without removing the engine mount. I really don't want to mess with the engine if there is a way around it. If I have to, I certainly would not want to support it from bottom. I always find it to be unsafe.

thanks in advance
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Old 08-22-03, 12:07 PM
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Haynes manuals stink for any serious repair as they are often wrong or leave out steps.

Go for an subscription instead--they tend to be ripped from the factory manuals.
Old 08-22-03, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
Yes the engine mount must come out.The best way to support your engine is from below.You might want to consider replacing the water pump while you are in there.Give yourself alot of time,a timing belt on a 3.0 is no picnic.
Old 08-22-03, 04:52 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 469
Amen!! No picnic indeed. As for the water pump, around here, it's best to get this particuliar pump from the dealer. The local parts stores sell the water pump, not the entire pump and housing, where as the dealer does. Dealer pump also comes with the O-ring from the pipe that connects into the back of the housing, the local parts stores scratch thier heads...
Trust me, the extra couple bucks on this one is WELL worth it!
Old 08-22-03, 05:18 PM
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I agree about changing the water pump while your in there, and as msargent said get a NEW pump from a dealer. Aftermarket rebuilts around my area are not that reliable. With that pump being such a bear to change I wouldn't trust anything else.
Old 08-22-03, 07:18 PM
mike from nj
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if you can replace the timing belt without taking the mount out---tell me how you did it, it would save me lots of time when i do them.

i usually just unbolt the mount and let the engine drop(2 inches) (take the overflow coolant bottle out too) then i do all the bolts and brackets from underneath, then i jack it back up into position with a block of wood on the jack to tighten the motor mount. you will not hurt the pan or car at all this way, there are 4 motor mounts, three will be still supporting the engine/trans.

what everybody else said about the 'dealers' water pump is true, they also should offer you a 'new' or 'remanufactered' pump, it's your choice as it is any customer's choice of new or reman, you decide by price or intention of how long you intend to own it. a $19.99 water pump with a lifetime guarantee is great, when you bring them the broken pump, they give you another one to try for a while, all the while you are eating the labor. trust me, when you finally get this thing out, you will swear you will never want to do it again.

air tools will help big time too, but not necessary.

ask any specific questions you want, someone will help you.

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