2006 Chrysler Town and Country Timing Cover Replacement

Tiny
SEDRICK
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 104,000 MILES
I have a 06 Town and Country. The timing chain cover (which is a fully molded piece has broken where the mount to the alternator is. Is this repairable by tig welding or does the whole part need to be replace which seems to be intensive and not for the novice. The part itself is$898 from the dealership and online the cheapest is $680. What do you suggest to do.

Thanks Sedrick in Mississippi
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 8:56 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Any chance you can post a photo? Aluminum can be welded fairly quickly. Plastic can be glued. For a part that expensive I would head to a pick-your-own-parts salvage yard and remove what you need.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 9:29 AM
Tiny
SEDRICK
  • MEMBER
Thanks for responding quickly. Here is a picture
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:02 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That is aluminum which can be welded, but the area must be scrubbed shiny-clean just seconds prior to doing that. Aluminum oxidizes very quickly making it turn dull. Welding it works best when there's no oxidation there yet.

The next question is if the parts can be pulled together to close the gap, then if enough area can be welded to provide the needed strength. The welder won't be able to get to the back side but the weld penetration is easier to achieve than with steel. The idea is to not leave any cracks, even small ones, because that will expand until the parts break again.

I watched a friend recently weld an ear back onto the engine block on a crashed Toyota. It looked a little messy but it has been holding for the last few weeks. I would give this project a try but you definitely want a professional welder involved. Do whatever it takes to pull the parts together, scrub the heaviest oxidation off with wire brushes or a Dremel tool to get in all the inside corners. And try to have some sheet metal pieces ready to set in place to protect wire harnesses from the sparks. Anything that will save the welder time will save you money.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
SEDRICK
  • MEMBER
Awesome. So I assume I don't have to remove the whole assembly for this to happen. Because the area seems small to work in.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:31 AM
Tiny
SEDRICK
  • MEMBER
BTW why would this happen. We have not been in any accidents or extremely bad roads. Just curious. Why would they make this a mounted piece to the timing hub
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:33 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You have to look at how did this all go together on the assembly line the fastest or most efficiently. GM is the master at building complete assemblies that are quick to put together but then they make you buy those same assemblies for a very high price. The aftermarket industry usually comes up with less expensive alternatives, usually in the form of individual replacement parts. Chrysler has always been at the other extreme making the parts available resulting in lower repair costs. In fact, some independent national trainers claim Chrysler is the third highest in the world when it comes to customer-friendly business practices. You still may have to disassemble a lot of stuff to replace the part though. Brackets are not considered common replacement items so they aren't designed with ease of replacement in mind.

As far as how it happened, some people get a little rough when performing other procedures and they might pry on parts to get them apart or together. That could start a hairline crack that may expand over time. Even just disassembling parts can crack off that heavy oxidation, (corrosion), and that can get stuck in between parts when they're reassembled. That debris can result in putting a part under constant stress, like adding a washer or spacer where it doesn't fit. Add normal engine vibration and a crack could result.

Fortunately we don't see failures like this very often, even on heavily-stressed suspension parts, so I don't think I'd spend too much time worrying about another failure. The most important thing is if there is anything with a pulley attached to this bracket, be sure that pulley is in perfect alignment before any welding is done. A pulley that is tipped or turned even a little will result in a belt squeal. There is usually some way to correct it later but the hardest part is identifying the offending component and determining how to correct it.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:51 AM
Tiny
SEDRICK
  • MEMBER
Thank you sir. For all your help.I will let you know how it goes

Sedrick
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:57 AM

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