Timing belt?

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 11,500 MILES
I'm looking to purchase this vehicle with extremely low miles. The timing belt has not been replaced. Questions:
1. Estimated cost to replace.
2. If not replaced, will the engine be "junk" if the belt breaks?
Thanks for your help.
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, March 6th, 2023 AT 8:43 AM

1 Reply

There's three V-6 engines and four LeBaron models. The only V-6 used in these models is the 3.0L Mitsubishi engine.

For the sedan model, the belt is listed at 3.5 hours, then add another 0.2 hours if it has an air pump, another 0.4 hours if it has air conditioning, and another 0.3 hours if it has power steering. Total of 4.4 hours.

The convertible, coupe, and Landau call for 3.6 hours, then add 0.2 hours for the air pump, 0.3 hours with air conditioning, 0.3 hours with power steering, and another 0.2 hours if it has a turbo. (I've never seen a turbo on a 3.0L). Total of 4.4 hours.

Cost of the belt varies, but for my '88 Grand Caravan, it was very inexpensive. The 3.0L engine is not an interference engine, so if the belt breaks or jumps a few teeth, the worst is you'll be sitting on the side of the road needing a tow. Timing belts typically break while driving. They most commonly jump a tooth or more when the engine is turned off.

The timing belt also runs the water pump, and since replacing the pump takes just as long, every conscientious mechanic will want to replace the water pump at the same time, along with any idler pulleys. Add another 0.1 hour for the tensioner, and an additional 0.2 hours for the water pump.

Also be aware the tensioner pulley is spring-loaded. You loosen a bolt, allow the spring to pull the belt tight, then tighten the bolt. On one of my 3.0Ls, the pivot was sticking and the spring didn't pull the belt tight enough. If that happens, just put a little extra pressure on it with a small pry bar.

The 3.3 / 3.8L used in other models uses a timing chain. Those are also non-interference engines. Chrysler's first domestic interference engine was used in the '95 Neons. Those were four-cylinder engines.
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Monday, March 6th, 2023 AT 10:28 AM

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