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2005 SXT timing belt broke


Old 09-26-2010, 04:09 PM
salbarley is offline
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Default 2005 SXT timing belt broke

My 2005 SXT 2.4 DOHC timing belt broke by shearing off some teeth it seems. I have tore it down to the point of where I just need to remove the harmonic balancer and the 3 right engine bolts then the mount.

I am very nervous because when I look at the exhaust cam pulley and the intake cam pulley the marks are about 180 off. That scares me because even though the belt gave out at idle I have still been trying to start the car afterwards and still likely causing valve damage eh?

I don't hear any horrible noises from the engine when I crank it. The timing belt is loose enough where I do not think it is grabbing when engine cranks. only instructions I have for a timing belt replacement is for a belt with tension assuming all the appropriate marks are lined up.

How should I proceed? it is what is is if the valves are bent but I can just do a compression test afterwards.

is it alright to when I get the marks on the crankshaft lines up to gently rotate the camshafts to get the
marks to line up? Do I turn them clockwise or counterclockwise?. instructions say to turn crank ONLY Clockwise and the exhaust cam gear/cam counterclockwise. It does say in teh instructions to NOT move anything if the marks do not line up.

I have searched google and this forum and could not find a clear answer. I can replace the belt after geting timing straight and take it from there. I just need some advice on how to proceed.

I am so broke it is to the point of spending 25$ for a service manual or buying my daughter's lunch for school for 2 weeks. I have tools to do the job and can rent a puller (any suggestions on good balancer puller for the job?) Sounds pathetic but yep, economy.

Can handle replacing timing belt, and everything else needed when in there and in a perfect world would like to drive off fully restored.

It has been a good little car and to my defence the car only has 95K and technically wasn' t looking to replace the belt until 105K have replaced everything per service schedule and run royal purple 5-30 in it. make me want to puke thinking I might have to replace the head as it seems better to just bite it and buy a complete head/gasket set.

I still owe payments on the sucker too for another year. Any guidance on how to get the engine back to TDC perfectly and camshaft gear marks and crank marks lined up without Timing belt tension on it would be appreciated. That's basically where I am at now.

I have car repair experience and have replaced a SOHC timing belt before but it wasn't broken. i am rearing to spend the 210 on the nice Gates TB kit with everything i need and it says it includes instructions. Has anybody replaced a timing belt before with teh instructions that come with the kit. A million thanks to anybody that can help me.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:45 PM
sapporo is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,406

bummer you're in that much financial desperation.

the 2.4 usually clears valve to piston.

financially, watch Dave Ramsey. if you drove a 1990 car you'd have a lot more available money compared to what you paid for that 05.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:45 AM
rezonator is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Windsor Ont.
Posts: 148

. if you drove a 1990 car you'd have a lot more available money compared to what you paid for that 05.[/quote]

Nice, kick him while he is down!!
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:38 AM
pearl01stratcpe is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 756

Originally Posted by rezonator View Post

Nice, kick him while he is down!!
Yeah, Sapporo is a real charmer.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:37 PM
castlenut is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 158

I may be able to help you out here. I did my belt on a 2002 2.4L DOHC engine. I cranked my vehicle several times afterwards too not realizing it was broke. I wouldn't worry.

1. If your about to pull the harmonic balancer. Make sure you have a good enough puller for the job that is sturdy and not too small and do not attempt to grasp the balancer from the outer edges or you'll chip it if you do! You have to grasp the balancer from the middle of the balancer were its meaty. Its a little tricky so go slow and make sure your puller is on even and tight before you pull! Also the threaded rod for my puller wasn't long enough to free the balancer from the crank shaft. I remember had to insert a a 3/8 ratchet extension into it the crankshaft and then put the puller back on with the the threaded rod exerting force on the end of ratchet extension. I was able to free it from that extra inch or two of travel before it came off.

2. For the motor mount. Make sure you remove the the clamps that hold down the power steering line right next to the motor mount. There are two hold down clamps one towards the back of the engine the other towards the front. Follow the line you will see them both. Otherwise you will never be able to get out that last bottom bolt on the mount. You wont have the clearance. Also make sure you have a jack with a piece of wood underneath the engine. If I recall rite you will also need to raise the engine in order to remove that last motor mount bolt!

I know what your saying about the instructions for a belt that has tension not for one that has shredded off. You will do what you have to do to rotate those cams because they are no longer lined up. After several unsuccessful tries I turned the crap out of those cams in order to line them up. LOL! No worries

When you get to the cam sprockets it was a bit tricky lining them up properly. The book tells you to line up the cam marks and crankshaft marks. I had to actually advance the exhaust cam by two or three teeth then put the belt on before I eventually managed to line everything up perfectly after the two complete rotations.

Heres how I did it by myself. After I lined up the cams the way I wanted (like I said with the exhaust cam advanced by two or three teeth) I held the two cams from moving by using two wrenches in a criss cross pattern then clamping the wrenches together preventing them from moving. I held down the crankshaft (with its nut on) from turning with a good half inch ratchet with cheater bar attached to it wedged in by the lower control arm and the floor. Making sure it was top dead center and would not move at all or very little!

What happens is everything tries to move when your putting the belt on. With this method you don't need anyones help to put the belt on. First route your belt through all the components and leave the exhaust cam last! You lean over the front of the car. With your left hand you reach down and grab the allen wrench that you adjust the tensioner with releasing its tension. With your right hand grab your belt that you have already channeled through the other components and try to lastly slip it over the exhaust cam all the while trying not to move anything. It takes a little practice and a little force.

You may end up doing this several times till everything lines up. I finally realized like I said that I had to advance the exhaust cam teeth by two or three notches before everything lined up after the two rotations. Every time you put that belt on you have to rotate the crankshaft two complete turns before the marks will line up. What a pain in the hole that was!

On a side note. I had to fabricate a tool to remove the cam sprockets. I used a flat piece of sturdy steel with two holes drilled into one end of it. One hole was long so I could adjust for width. I then fastened two bolts into the holes. These bolts fit into the cam sprockets to hold it while you unbolt it. Good luck let me know how you make out. Im here for you man! Let me know if you have questions! I feel the pain!!!!

Last edited by castlenut; 09-27-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:03 PM
salbarley is offline
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Posts: 5

I really appreciate all the help and time to reply you have given me.

My main question if the whole top end seems to be off marks. as the belt did not hang on and the timing seems all off.

When I pulled off the top cover I see that the exhaust cam sproket mark is about 180 off of the intake sproket mark which looks like it is lined up as you imagine looking at the diagram of how both cam marks should line up at TDC. Except the exhaust mark is pointed at the windhsield roughly.

Without harmonic balancer off I can't see where the marks are lined up and don't want to turn the crank at all until I can get info on how to get everything back to TDC and not BTDC.

What do I need to do to make sure I can get the cam sprokets lined back up as far as the marks so I can get the crank marks at TDC? Should I stick a dowel rod in # 1 spark plug hole and crank the crankshaft until the # 1 piston hits the top of it's stroke? at least I know the bottom end would be at TDC.

I was told to only crank the crankshaft clockwise but need to know how to get the camshaft gears back in sync with the marks lined up perfect so I can get the darn belt on. Was told that if any cam gear needs to move or rotate than it should go counterclockwise and should be the exhaust cam and to not mess with intake camahaft rotation.

Also when I take all of the engine bolts and mount out should I try to slide engine over to driver side or just does it move over enough to give enough room to work moreso with the thing bolted in?

someone else posted that the 2.4 has enough valve/piston clearance that they usually aren't destroyed when belt breaks. I was planning on locking the belt around the CS pulleys with small vice grips set real light, That should hold them tight enough to keep marks on line.

Why would I need to take the camshaft sprokets off?

Also besides what you mentioned as a harminic balancer pulley you used is there another that you wished you used that you could recommend?

Much appreciated!! I am raring to get my car back on the road!!!!

also if you had to rotate the cam sprokets when getting everything realigned did you turn both of them? Clockwise or counterclockwise?

Thanks again!!!!!

Last edited by salbarley; 09-27-2010 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:16 PM
castlenut is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 158

1.) Yeagh…Thats pretty much the same thing that happened to me. The exhaust cam was facing towards the windshield. Rotate the exhaust cam clockwise. The natural rotation of the cam is clockwise. Don't worry. You can't go fully by the instructions because obviously your cams are no longer aligned. Don't mess with the intake cam. As a side note you can feel the resistance in the cams. The exhaust cam wants to spin freely while the intake cam has resistance and always snaps back to TDC.

2.) I would remove the wheel well shroud the center one, the one that covers the harmonic balancer if you haven't already. You need to see whats going on there. Once you remove the harmonic balancer. Reinsert the crankshaft bolt to turn the engine clockwise, you will see the timing marks. Unplug the number one piston and shine a flash light down there. You will see the top of the piston as it comes up TDC as you rotate the engine via the crankshaft bolt.

3) When you line up the crankshaft sprocket timing mark to the stationary timing mark on the engine. Make sure that the crankshaft timing belt sprocket TDC mark is located on the TRAILING edge (or rear edge) of the sprocket tooth. What happens is after you put your belt on and rotate the engine everything will line up properly. If you don't you will see your camshaft timing marks repeatedly off.

4.) Yes the 2.4 has enough valve/piston clearance they aren't destroyed. Another reason why you cam move those cams…

5.)You need to remove the motor mount completely if I recall correctly to remove the lower timing belt cover. What a pain in the hole that was! Believe me I'm saving you aggravation here. Unbolt that power steering line and it will give you clearance to finally remove the mount from the top of the engine compartment and also give you clearance to remove the lower bolt. You should have enough room to maneuver now. But the book don't tell you is that you should remove the alternator and its mounting bracket so that you have better clearance to all the components. Trust me on that one. It isn't that much more work and there is something funny about lower timing belt cover. It hooks around the alternator mounting bracket making it impossible to come out. What a pain in the hole that was. I struggled for a while before I made the decision to remove the alternator and mounting bracket.

6.) I used a 3 jaw puller to remove the balancer. I hooked each jaw to the center of the balancer. If you look at the balancer closely you can see webbings around the center of the balancer where your jaws will hook on to. It has to be on tight and straight before you pull. It was little tricky getting all three arms on even and tight but it worked. I later wondered one day as I went to sears and saw they had a set of really large and beefy two jaw pullers if they would of made my life easier.

7.) The reason I took the cam sprockets and rear timing chain cover off was to do the water pump. I figured If I was gonna tear everything down I might as well get at it now while I had the chance. You may want to also consider doing it since you would have to do all this work over if you had a water pump failure.

8.) When you replace the tensioner make sure you torque it down to the correct specifications. I think its 45lbs read your kit! I had the misfortune of not using a torque wrench and torqued it to tight. Needless to say I had to do the job twice when I took the car for a test drive and the belt came flying off! Also once I put my belt on properly and the car was running. The belt wanted to sit on the cams closer to there front edge, not closer to engine. So don't worry if that happens mine has been running strong ever since.

9.)When you bolt back on the timing chain covers. Do not over tighten! You must feel with your hands when its tight. Those covers are plastic with female metal inserts that will spin if you over tighten and you will not be able to tighten! I had to actually drill a small hole on the side of the rear cover to insert a small diameter screw driver to prevent it from turning! Pain in the hole! Also I had to ultimately remove one of the female inserts and with two part epoxy insert it back in so that it wouldn't spin! Pain in my ***!!! LOL!

Well good luck. Let me know if you need any help and please post again to let us know how your making out!!!!

Last edited by castlenut; 09-28-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:32 PM
salbarley is offline
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castlenut, Than you so much for your help!!! The validation you gave me makes me feel worlds better.

A few more questions though. What MM socket do you use to remove the harmonic balancer pulley? (need to buy that socket)

Also Auto zone rents a puller that supposely works well witht the stratus so I am going to rent that sucker.

Essentially I just need to rotate my crankshaft clockwise w/ # 1 cylinder plug out and verify w/ dowel rod or the like that and rotate crank until it is at the top of it's stroke hence verifying TDC when the crankshaft marks are lined up.(with the mark on block on the trailing edge of the sproket closest to mark)

After that I can take the exhaust camshaft sproket and rotate to the correct position in relation to the exhaust camshaft pulley mark. (slightly below the intake sproket mark)

Do you really have to take off the cam sprokets to get to the water pump? That's rough. Could you explain in depth how to remove the camshaft sprokets ? I guess you just unbolt them and use a puller or will they come right off? If I had to mess with that I might risk not swapping the water pump and risk it. That way I can afford a manual to get tourque specs.

Should I replace the crankshaft bolt? Some suggest. Also I hosed the bolt down with seafoam deep creep to loosen to prep for removal.

I have removed wheel, plastic wheel wells for the entire right side (plenty of access) removed the serpentine belts and tensioner and alternator and just shoved it close to the intake manifold to get it out of the way. also the radiator overflow tank.

Also when I reinstall the harmonic balancer I can just get it started on and then use the bold to get it the rest of the way on?

Besides the gates timing belt kit I am going to get a gallon of anti freeze if I replace the water pump but can you think of any other tools I might need? This far I have made it with a $15 simple socket kit. Don't have anything higher than a 17MM socket.

Let me know and thanks again!!!!!
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:02 PM
sapporo is offline
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crank pulley puller. you can't get around that tool.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:05 PM
castlenut is offline
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Posts: 158

I forget what size the crankshaft bolt was but I will have the car in the garage tonight or tomorrow so i'll let you know. Also I didn't replace the bolt and I gave it beating! I remember using it to put the harmonic balancer on yes. One thing though after using it to turn the engine to put the belt on I remember it being on their good and tight. So you may have a problem getting it off. But you'll cross that bridge when you get to it!

Yes you do have to take the sprockets off and the rear timing belt cover to get at the water pump. The sprockets came right off with a smaller puller. I think I might not even needed a puller. The trick though was stopping the cam sprockets from turning in order to unbolt it. You can make a simple tool for that though...

Just remember these words though. After you think you got everything lined up. With the exhaust cam slightly below the intake cam mark and the crank shaft mark lined up the way its suppose to be and you put the belt on and spin the engine twice and to your dismay you see the exhaust cam mark off by a few teeth. Its because you didn't advance it the three teeth like I'm telling you to. So just keep that in mind. You may have to advance that exhaust cam by more than one tooth. I did this multiple times before I caught on to what was happening. I tried one tooth. I tried two teeth. I tried three teeth before I found the solution. Hopefully I could save you some time. Dont forget to put a good ratchet with cheater bar on the crankshaft bolt to prevent it from turning. Wedge it in or let the cheater bar hit the floor. I tell you to use a ratchet and not a breaker bar because with a ratchet you wont mess with the position of the crankshaft once you have it lined up. You can put your socket on it then your ratchet then jimmy it in place while not moving it.

Have a 10 mm socket around a lot of those fasteners are ten mil including the timing covers.

Good luck. If you get stuck. Let me know. I'll be watching this weekend for your posts. I'll be working on my car also. I'm doing the passenger side drive axle...
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