Top Dead Center on #1 Cylinder

I am currently in the midst of replacing a blown head gasket on a 2003 Eclipse 4 cylinder. When locating TDC in the number 1 piston, am I finding it on the exhaust or compression stroke in order to remove the pulley? When I get it will the pulley come off easily, or will I have to give it a pretty solid tug?

The top of the compression stroke. Before you remove, find the timing marks on the cam pulley and crankshaft so you can reassemble exactly the way you found it…The pulley should slip off the camshaft with little effort but it’s okay to gently tap it off with a soft-face hammer. There will be a key between the pulley and shaft. Don’t let it drop into the oil pan…Read your service manual in regards to the cam-chain tensioner. If a rubber belt is used, disregard the tensioner comment…

The pulley will come off regardless of the position of the crankshaft. Some come off easily and some require a puller. What does your repair manual tell you?

TDC is number one piston at the top of the compression stroke with valves closed. If the engine has a distributor the rotor will be pointing at the number one spark plug wire location.

There may be alignment marks on the camshaft(s) to indicate correct top dead center position. Again, this should be in your repair manual.

Alright, I’ve got the mark lined up, and everything unbolted, but the pulley seems to be hanging up on something. Any ideas?

Is your cam belt or chain driven?? Does the pulley move at all?

It is belt driven. I can pull the pulley out enough to see about 1 cm. of space between the lower timing belt cover and the pulley, and then it seizes.

Why must you take it off?? Just proceed with removing the head, cam, pulley and all…Of course this might be impossible in your case, but investigate it…If the pulley moves at all, it should slip right off. Perhaps some hidden part of the lower cover is preventing it from moving more…Hard to tell from here…

For some reason, it is necessary to remove the crankshaft pulley before removing the timing belt.

You don’t have the belt off yet?

No. There are three belts, the last of which is the timing belt. I have to remove the crankshaft pulley to access the timing belt… Mitsubishi is notorious for their difficult and time consuming repairs…

Yes, I have removed all other belts except this one. I’ll include 2 pics of what exactly i’m removing and where it hangs up.

With many FWD cars and sideways mounted engines, it may be necessary to pull the engine to get enough clearance to remove these belts and pulleys. Do you have a service manual for this car??

I have enough clearance. It is a matter of the pulley hanging on something. How precise must i be in finding TDC?

My understanding is you have to be very precise when you are putting the thing back together. I don’t see how precision is as necessary when you are taking it apart, so long as you know for certain that you are pretty close to TDC. Otherwise you really can’t tell if you are one rotation off when you put it together.

So no ideas about what could be causing the pulley to hang up when i try to remove it? I go back to school in 2 weeks and can’t work on my car every day, so this hold-up is making me kinda nervous about getting it done, as i’ve still got to have the parts machined and get all the gaskets, spark plugs, wires, etc. replaced.

Search the web for forums from Mitsubishi owners for this. I bet you have to loosen a motor mount or remove it and jack the engine up a little to get it off.

I’ve taken the left mount off, and i have also jacked the engine up with a large jack.

You have been working on this thing for 3 days now…With most of these FWD cars, the engine and tranny are mounted to a cradle that is held in the unibody by 4 bolts. The whole power-train can be removed from the car in an hour or two…You jack the car body up and slide the engine cradle out…

A service manual will have step by step instructions. Invest in one…

I do have the service manual. The engine and trans are one large unit and have no “cradle” that i know of. I don’t have the necessary equipment to remove the engine, as this is only my second car project and i am doing this in my mom’s garage. Is there anything the pulley would catch on, or should i be able to pull it off with a little force? There is enough clearance, as I’ve removed the splash guard and inside section of the wheel well.

There’s nothing the pulley “should” catch on, once the crankshaft bolt is removed, but obviously it’s catching on something.

Every time I’ve removed a crankshaft pulley it had one large bolt in the center, and maybe a hole or two into which a bolt could be threaded to help the pulley off the crankshaft.

What holds your pulley to the crankshaft, and what are the four bolt holes for?