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Replacing 3.5 V6 Timing Belts

3.5 Liter V6 Timing Belt Replacement Parts

  • Timing belt
  • Water pump and gasket
  • Revised Belt tensioner pulley
  • Antifreeze
  • RTV silicone

Instructions

  1. Drain the cooling system (turn the radiator drain 1 full turn only
  2. Remove the upper radiator hose
  3. Remove the top radiator support
  4. Remove the two 10mm head bolts from either side of the radiator and gently pull the top of the radiator forward to gain a little more room
  5. Remove the four 10mm head bolts holding the cooling fan module to the radiator . Remove the four clip nuts and the cooling fan electrical connector and lift the fan module out of the vehicle
  6. Loosen and remove the drive belts and remove the three 13mm head bolts holding the alternator belt tensioner pulley to the timing cover
  7. Remove the three piece timing belt cover (the lowest piece can be accessed through the crankshaft pulley by turning the pulley and removing the bolts)
  8. turn the crankshaft pulley and line up the timing marks on top dead center
  9. Remove the timing belt tensioner two 13mm bolts and remove the tensioner (If the tensioner pulley wheel is made of plastic you will want to purchase a revised steel tensioner pulley) . Put the tensioner in a suitable vise to compress it and install a small allen wrench from the front to hold it in place (close the vise slowly to compress the tensioner)
  10. (If need be) Remove the plastic tensioner pulley (the 15mm head attaching bolt can be removed without removing the crankshaft pulley)
  11. The timing belt can easily be slipped under/around the crankshaft pulley by slightly bending it to the outside of the timing belt housing on the drivers side and working it with your hand through the crankshaft pulley . No excessive force is needed to do this and be sure to clean the area well prior to installing the new belt
  12. With the belt removed , remove and replace the water pump . Coat the gasket with a little RTV silicone and clean the gasket mating surface well
  13. Install the new timing belt in the opposite direction as removed . Make sure that all the timing marks are lined up .
  14. Reinstall the timing belt tensioner

Important Notes

  • Do not attempt to loosen the camshaft sprocket 18mm head center bolts or you will need to perform a timing set procedure
  • Remove the coolant temperature sensor when refilling the coolant to purge the trapped air from the system and be sure to use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water
  • If the vehicle is already equipped with a revised steel timing belt tensioner pulley there is no need to remove it to replace the belt

Replies: reader tips on replacing Chrysler - Dodge 3.5 liter V6 engine timing belts

Justin Zimmer wrote: I wish I could work as quickly as you - it took me more than a few hours since I don't turn wrenches often, but everything went well. Your directions were right on the money every step of the way. As I removed the timing cover I noticed that the water pump was just starting to go, got it just in time. The best thing is that the car runs like it’s fresh off the lot - amazing what that sixth cylinder will do for you. It would have taken a lot longer than it did without your help - thanks again for everything.

Tony Lewis added:

I'd like to add a few more details to consider:

  1. The idler pulley for the serptine belt on the driver's side of the engine has three bolts - each different length. Be sure to put them back in the right place.
  2. I had to replace the water pump due to leaks. I had let it go for a few months, but was really suprised at the damage it had done to the timing belt, really had some gunk to clean out. Be sure to ask for the water pump gasket, it does not come with the water pump (what do you expect for $100?).
  3. The timing belt tensioner really does need a vise to get the pin to seat; that thing is really strong!
  4. I was able to change the timing belt without removing the crankshaft damper, but if I did it again, I think I would spend the $20 and rent the correct tool to pull it off.
  5. Hate to admit this, but I got one of the cams off by a tooth or so, and it would not start, which is amazing to me. Had to tear it down and retime. Lesson learned - get both cams at TDC with the crankshaft before you put it back together! I found it difficult to get both cams lined up, and then when the tensioner was released, it also shifted some, so be prepared to spend time getting everything lined up (and possibly reinstalling the tensioner!).
  6. Tear down time was about 3 hours, 1.5 hours to put back together.
  7. Go ahead and replace the AC belt and serpetine belt while you are at it.

Other than that, the instructions were very helpful.

“Brewboy” added:

I also followed the instructions on replacing the timing belt. Like Tony Lewis, mine was off one tooth at the crank and would not start. Without removing the damper you have no way of seeing if all the marks line up.

It wasn’t easy getting the belt past the damper and I must have moved it without knowing. I had to tear the whole thing down again and this time remove the damper to fix the problem. My advice is to take the time to remove the flywheel balancer to make sure you’re right the first time, and to make it easier to get the old belt off and the new belt on.

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