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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I have a question about setting the timing on my 2003 Stratus Sedan with a 2.4L engine. I'm replacing the timing belt and aligned the marks according to the service manual. When I start the engine it seems to run alright but maybe just a tad bit rough. When I took the old belt off the exhaust cam seems to be turned counterclockwise about 1 tooth and I've seen pictures online of it like that and saying it's correct.

Here's some pictures to help describe where I'm at, it seems to be the only clear way of explaining it.


In this picture, this is exactly how my timing is setup right now after manually turning the crank 2 times and running the engine for about 10 seconds. With the trailing edge of the crank mark lined perfectly, up a can put a straight edge on the cam sprockets like shown above and the left 3 marks on the sprockets line up good but the right mark of the intake cam is the only one that doesn't, it shows up like the picture. Basically this picture with the crank and cams is an exact copy of how my timing looks now.
I'm just wondering if this is correct. I thought so until I read some other posts and saw some other pictures, plus looking at it with the old belt on, it all seemed different than what I have here. If anyone has any input on this, that would be great! Thanks.
 

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It is correct, and I don't know why the picture and true looks are the same, I would have thought the right mark would have been on the inset tooth, not the top tooth, but the picture is right, and mine was the same way and I never had problems with it afterwards, three years ago.
 

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Ah yes the battery was disconnected for the whole job. The first time I started it, it stalled. But then the next time it evened out and ran kind of alright. Perhaps if I let it idle for a while it will relearn everything.

Thanks for everyone's input on this. It's certainly better to take 5 minutes to get a second opinion on here than take 5 hours to rip it all apart again because it's a tooth off or something. I know if the intake cam is off a tooth it will turn on the MIL light, but it has no way of knowing anything about the exhaust cam, and mine was retarded about a tooth or two when I took the original belt off.
Anyways I'm glad to know it's all good now, hopefully that picture can help anyone in the future who runs into the same thing.
 

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Well just an update, I got the job done and it's all back together and running. I had to use the old tensioner because the new one I got didn't have a spring tang sticking out of it, it was another design that didn't work at all, or might of needed the bracket on the engine removed, I'm not sure, but hopefully it lasts.
I noticed the car idles much smoother now and there's much less engine/exhaust noise which is really nice. The engine sounds smooth now when it idles instead of rough. Also I got a lot more power back out of the engine, I can actually spin the tires again from a stop with no brake, so all is well. Overall I'm glad I did the job, nothing was broke but I figured with over 200k miles it could use it, the service interval is 102k, the pump wasn't leaking and the belt still looked good with hardly any wear. Who knows if that belt slipped or was just installed like that from the factory.
 
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