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2003 PT Cruiser GT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just registered. I'm in the middle of changing the timing belt on my 2003 GT and am stuck on removing the heavy engine mount bracket on the passenger side. It has prongs that keep grabbing the center motor mount and I can't seem to be able to raise or lower the engine enough to remove the long bolts that hold it in place (they're loosened but captured inside the bracket).

This has been a difficult job - have already removed the front bumper & cooling system to get access to the power steering pump bolts and other bits. At this point I hope I don't have to drop the engine!

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Any advice would be appreciated. As you can see I procrastinated on this job until the timing belt started losing teeth at 130,000 miles - motor started running rough but the belt didn't snap or completely lose time, may have just skipped a tooth.

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Also, as an aside, I tried to register at PTCruiserLinks but the captcha doesn't work at the admin seems to have gone on permanent vacation in 2018.
 

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1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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Welcome to Allpar. Get the factory service manual. I don't think that the P/S pump has to be disturbed.
It is a big job the first time you do it. Once you know what tools and procedures work the best, the job gets much easier.
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2003 PT Cruiser GT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I've been following the factory service manual, which does instruct to remove the bolts holding the power steering pump to the mount but not to disconnect the power steering hoses.

At this point I've got the forward-most bolt out of the mount bracket but the other two are trapped between the bracket and the frame rail, and there doesn't seem to be enough play to wiggle the mount bracket out. If I raise the motor any higher I think it might damage something.
 

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Welcome to the forum :D

As you have already found out about doing that job, it's an area that you don't want to tear apart again, at anytime in the near future.

IMO, you should also consider replacing: timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys, water pump, 2 cam seals, crank seal, new center motor mount with OEM bolt.
 

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IMO, you should also consider replacing: timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys, water pump, 2 cam seals, crank seal, new center motor mount with OEM bolt.
Any motor mounts / trans mounts that are easily accessed at the time would be the time to do it. Any wear item that hides deep in that beautiful PT jungle.
 

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2003 PT Cruiser GT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got the timing belt & water pump kit from Modern Performance with the blue racing belt and most of the parts you mentioned, including the cam seals. Will very likely replace the center motor mount, I think it's sagging and the rubber looks cracked. If the crank seal is worth replacing I'll do it to.

I just can't figure out how to get that damn steel bracket off! Starting to think I might as well drop the engine.
 

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Hey Rick, don't you still have the step by step photos you could share with him?
 

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Any motor mounts / trans mounts that are easily accessed at the time would be the time to do it. Any wear item that hides deep in that beautiful PT jungle.
The center mount is buried in the frame rail, and best to replace it while doing the timing belt work.

The upper & lower torque struts also have rubber inserts that wear out, but they can always be done later.

Hey Rick, don't you still have the step by step photos you could share with him?
I never had any step-by-step photos.

But there are many that have done the job and didn't have to remove the engine.

Todd would likely know how to help him, but I haven't seen him over here for a while now.
 

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. . . .I just can't figure out how to get that damn steel bracket off! Starting to think I might as well drop the engine. . . . .
There is a thru bolt that attaches the engine mount bracket near pulley end to body. You place floor jack with wood block between jack pad and oil pan. Lift engine slightly and remove thru bolt. I am thinking you have to lower engine so that crankshaft center line drops below body to gain access to strut bracket. You would need to have the front wheels raised on ramps and / or jack stands. See attached image.

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'67 Hillman Gazelle, '72 Hillman Hunter, '05 PT Cruiser, '10 300C, '16 500X AWD
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I got the timing belt & water pump kit from Modern Performance with the blue racing belt and most of the parts you mentioned, including the cam seals. Will very likely replace the center motor mount, I think it's sagging and the rubber looks cracked. If the crank seal is worth replacing I'll do it to.

I just can't figure out how to get that damn steel bracket off! Starting to think I might as well drop the engine.
OK, I've replaced that centre mount on 2 PT's and you will absolutely need to put a trolley jack under the engine oil pan , insulate it with a suitable block of wood to control slipping....then bring the jack up to contact the oil pan and give it one more pump.....Hopefully you have already removed the batter and battery tray and then you can access the gearbox mounting bolts (2x). Remove those bolts and let you jack down a few inches only. Now you should be able to use brute force (or a jemmy bar with a cloth around the tip) to move the whole engine to the right in the engine bay. Then viola, you will be able to remove those pesky bolts you are having trouble with. BUT FIRST use a large felt pen to run around the outside of the mount to identify its possition in the chassis as the bolts do allow some lateral movement and it's best to reinstall as per the factory assembly.
This will also give you a whole lot more space to get at everything else and to remove/replace the bolts that hold that damned great cast iron assembly that holds the AC Pump etc. etc.
I don't even bother to de-gas the A/C as I've managed to remove the top mount several times using an assortment of sockets, extension bars, ring spanners etc.
One of the best favors you will do yourself is also to buy a set of swivel ended ring spanners which allow you to get into all kinds of spaces in the PT engine bay designed for "space challenged" mechanics lol.

Good luck
 
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