Anyone know what's involved in doing a timing belt on a 99 Dodge Stratus?


#1

I’m looking at a $500 99 Dodge Stratus (2.4L DOHC 4 cylinder) that needs a timing belt done (everything else is fine supposedly). Gates.com indicates it’s not an interference engine so I’m guessing if I can do the belt change myself everything else should be fine?



Not sure how involved it might be to do this myself, don’t have the service manual (yet - I would buy it if I do the job) but I wanted to get some opinions on this purchase first in case there’s other things to consider or if the timing belt on this particular car/engine is extremely difficult.



Thanks!


#2

I’ve never done this job on a Dodge Stratus. But if everything else checks out, get the car! (I am assuming that $500 price tag is not a misprint.) Grab it before someone else steps in.

After taking possession of the car, get the manual and decide for yourself if the timing belt is a DIY job. I guess you already know that it is also prudent to change the water pump at the same time. If you simply don’t feel competent about doing these services yourself, have a shop do it. It may well be worth paying the hour’s labor.


#3

Yup, $500. I just don’t want to get in over my head. But I’ve got the time to do it and am feeling adventurous. The timing belt kit (belt, idler, etc) is $149 at Rockauto, the water pump is about $40.

Only thing that worries me is not being able to check out other things on the car since it’s not running, especially things needed to pass the safety inspection.


#4

easy on a lift,on the ground(you got a challege)but can be done.

you are correct on hearing it run though,be leary,anyone who lets a T-belt break,obviously is not a(MAINT GURU)

good luck


#5

If you have a service manual and the correct tools, I’m sure you can do it. I’ve replaced timing belts on 4 different cars (VW, Pontiac, Subaru, and Toyota), at home in my garage, with the help of service manuals and LOTS of patience. I think I had to purchase at least one tool for every job, but that’s part of the fun.

As far as “everything else should be fine,” that’s another story. A used car that cannot be driven cannot be properly evaluated.

How many miles on this $500 wonder?

What will you do if you install a new timing belt and it doesn’t run, or you discover a bad transmission, or some other major problem?


#6

Yeah that’s what worries me. I’d have to junk the thing and take a loss on it if the tranny is bad or if it needs all sorts of other things. Think I’ll have to pass, there will be other $500 cars that actually run.


#7

I think you’re making the right decision. You have to ask yourself, “Why didn’t the owners replace the timing belt?”

There is a reason they didn’t fix the car. They know something you don’t.

Too bad, though. You’d have had fun replacing the timing belt.