The Pt tTiming belt blues

chrysler

#1

The timing belt went out on my family’s 2002 PtCruiser. This has been the worst pain in the kister job, would loveto just give it to a garage to work on but it costs !1200…aand I know why. We have finally after about a week an a half of careful work and dcoumentation of where the 40 billion bolts came from have gotten to the timing belt. Unfortunately…we have found out that the tentioners need to be replaced because they devided to change the design of them inn 2003. So we have the tentioner replacement kit. Does anyone have any advice for removing the cam wheels of the timing belt to get to the backplate which has to be replaced in doing this? Short of just leaving it on the side of the road…This is the most enfuriating car repair I have ever been apart of. This year has not been a good year for our cars anywas, seeing as our Expedition also blow a sparkplug through the tip of the engine…which they are apparently prone to do…Any help would be greatly appriciated.


#2

My '02 PT Cruiser (5-speed Touring) has 141K now. I did the timing belt / tensioner job at ~90K about 2 & a half years ago. It took me nearly three days and was the most difficult timing belt job I’ve ever run into due the the tight engine compartment. I could not get the cam sprockets off to get the plate off to get to the water pump, so… I left the original water pump in. Finally, just two weeks ago it began leaking. My wife’s '03 Sebring has the same engine, but more room under the hood, making it a lot easier. I bought this tool for the cam sprockets-


and did the water pump this time, only taking a day and a half for the whole job. Now I have to go back and do it again in the PT. Ugh…
Now that I have the right tool at least I can do it, but I’m not looking forward to it. Fortunately, I have a very good friend now who is a dealer mechanic and is willing to help me over a weekend. For now I’ve used GM Stop-Leak pellets in the cooling system (pulverize them real good before installing so you don’t plug the heater core) to slow the leak and get me through until the weather warms up.
The good news is that the rest of the PT is relatively easy (and cheap) to work on. I’ve installed the Eibach Pro Kit suspension with urethane bushings all around, new heavy duty clutch at 90K, stainless Mopar exhaust and a few other mods. The only other failure has been one of the front hub bearings (also at about 90K).
CAUTION!- You said the timing belt WENT on your car… This is an interference engine; meaning if the cam belt breaks, the valves are BENT and the head must come off. I hope this is not the case. Either way, I’ll wish you good luck with the rest of the job. I know it seems you’ve bit off more than you intended, but you’ll be glad when it’s done and you can get back to driving you PT Cruiser.


#3

Can’t you drop the engine to get to it? Would that be more trouble then its worth?I know some vehicles are fairly easy to drop the transaxle assembly on,just a thought if this ever comes up again-Kevin