1997 Dodge Neon crank & CAM timing

Tiny
RSMITH1234
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 133,000 MILES
I need to know what the timing is supposed to be for the cam & crank
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Monday, June 1st, 2009 AT 3:31 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
? What and where are you going to measure? The sensors are not adjustable. They provide constant signals at many degrees before top dead center (TDC), then the engine computer determines how much delay to insert before it fires a spark plug, based on readings from the various sensors.

Nothing is adjustable. The computer watches both signals to determine if the timing belt has jumped one or more teeth. At one tooth off, the engine will not run well, and the "Check Engine" light will come on. A diagnostic fault code will be stored in memory in the engine computer. Disconnecting the battery for even a few seconds will erase that code and eliminate the valuable information.

At two teeth off, the computer will shut the engine down to prevent internal damage. At three teeth off, the pistons will hit the valves and bend them. This results in the need for a valve job, often costing over $2000.00.

Most do-it-yourselfers get hung up on the diagnosis when they determine there is no spark, so they waste all their time troubleshooting a circuit that has no defect. You have to also check for fuel. Both spark and fuel are turned off by the computer when it sees "Cam and Crank signals out of sync". That's the fault code that is set in memory. Very often inspection of the timing belt and timing marks on the two sprockets does not reveal a problem. Since the timing appears perfect, people jump the gun and assume the computer must be at fault. Unlike GM, Chrysler has very little trouble with engine computers. There is a different common problem that causes this fault code. Once repaired, there is still nothing to measure or adjust. The engine will start and run, and the computer will learn the timing relationship between the cam and crank position sensors.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 AT 3:07 PM
Tiny
RSMITH1234
  • MEMBER
I was going down the road and then the engine shut off. The timing belt broke and all timing marks were out of line. What procedures do I do before I install the new belt. This is for the 1997 Dodge Neon.
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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 AT 8:11 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You will likely need a valve job as most of these are "interference" engines. When the camshaft stopped turning, the coasting pistons hit any valves that were open. You can try installing a new timing belt first, but I suspect you'll find there is no compression in any of the cylinders and it won't start.

Before you put the belt on, remove the camshaft sprocket and inspect the locating dowel pin. It's common for them to break. When the sprocket turns on the camshaft just a little, the cam sensor, which is on the other end, becomes out of sync with the crankshaft sensor, but the sprockets still appear in perfect time.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 AT 9:48 PM

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