Note: Allpar does not take responsibility for the veracity of any information or opinions here, does not claim expertise, and is not responsible for any consequences. Please proceed at your own risk.
by Bob O’Neill
The timing belt is driven by the crankshaft, and turns the cam and the intermediate shaft; indirectly, it drives the distributor.
Sprockets on the cam and intermediate shaft are twice the diameter of the sprocket on the crank, so for every two turns of the crankshaft the cam and intermediate shaft is turned one time. The intermediate shaft is geared to mesh with the driver gear of the oil pump; the slot in the oil pump gear drives the distributor, as the tabs on the distributor fit into the oil pump drive gear slot. The distributor is therefore driven in part by the intermediate shaft. For each turn of the cam and intermediate shaft, the distributor shaft turns one time.
The timing belt should be replaced at 60,000 mile intervals (on some cars, up to 105,000 miles is recommended, but this may be imprudent).
If, after 60,000 miles, an inspection of the timing belt indicates little wear, it could be used but should be checked at every oil change after the 60,000 mile interval. However, because the procedure to replace it is easy and because these belts are not expensive, the belt should be replaced at the 60,000 interval.
These engines are non-interfering which means that should the belt snap while the engine is running the valves will not contact the pistons. But to prevent being stranded while driving, replace the belt every 60,000 miles. While you’re at it, replace the other drive belts too. (Editor’s note: the process for the dual-overhead-cam engines known as the "Turbo III" is somewhat different and more difficult. These engines are fairly rare and were only installed in the Daytona R/T, Spirit R/T, and certain cars in Mexico.)
Fig #1(notice that in the illustration the marks are not exactly lined up)
(note the tool on the left and a 15mm wrench
to tighten the attaching bolt on the right)
We strive for accuracy but we are not necessarily experts or authorities on the subject. Neither the author nor Allpar.com / Allpar, LLC may be held responsible for the use of the information or advice, implied or otherwise, on this site. This page is offered “AS IS” and without warranties. By reading further, you release the author and Allpar, LLC from any liability.
More Mopar Car and Truck News
Jeep Wrangler Clockspring Warranty extended • Stratuscaster • Larry and JD Power on FCA quality