How to Check and Replace a Timing Belt in a Dodge Caravan

by Contributor

Replacing your vehicle's timing belt can be a major project. With the proper tools and instruction, however, most self-proclaimed mechanics will be up to the task. Checking and replacing your Dodge Caravan's timing belt regularly ensures its optimum performance. Here's how that's done in Caravans with a 2.4L (VIN B) engine.

Check Your Timing Belt

Step 1

Check your owner's manual for the recommended mileage for replacing your timing belt. Replacement for Dodge Caravans is 60,000 miles.

Step 2

Locate the timing belt and examine it for breaks, damage, fraying, worn spots or looseness.

Step 3

Inspect the belt for cracked or missing teeth. It's possible that foreign material is collecting between them.

Determine if the timing belt has damage on both sides. The timing belt's guide may cause single-side damage.

Remove Your Timing Belt

Step 1

Disengage the negative battery cable and safely secure the car on jack stands.

Step 2

Detach the passenger inner splash-shield, the accessory drive belts and the crankshaft damper.

Step 3

Disconnect the right engine mount and mount bracket.

Step 4

Undo the retaining fasteners and lift the timing belt cover from the engine.

Step 5

Line up the timing belt sprockets, the timing belt and oil pump covers' timing marks.

Unfasten the tensioner bolts on the timing belt and take out the belt and tensioner. The camshaft timing belt sprockets also may need to come out.

Install Your Timing Belt

Step 1

Examine the cam and crankshaft sprockets. Replace if there is excessive wear or other damage. Secure the camshaft sprocket bolt at 85 foot pounds (101 Nm).

Step 2

Set the sprocket to "Top Dead Center" (TDC) by lining up the sprocket notch with the oil pump housing's arrow. Position the camshafts so the sprockets' timing marks align. Rotate the crankshaft one-half notch before TDC.

Step 3

Start installing the timing belt at the crankshaft. With the belt tight, bring it under the water pump sprocket. Route the belt along the idler pulley to the crankshaft sprockets and then to the tensioner pulley.

Step 4

Turn the crankshaft to TDC. Eliminate any slack by turning the sprocket to the right to TDC.

Step 5

Reattach the tensioner without securing it. Apply 250 inch pounds (28 Nm) of torque and tauten the tensioner's pulley bolt to 23 foot pounds (31 Nm).

Step 6

Take out the plunger pin. Recheck the timing marks by turning the crankshaft two rotations to the right.

Step 7

Reconnect the front timing belt cover and the engine mount and bracket. Secure the crankshaft damper at 105 foot pounds (142 Nm).

Replace any remaining items that you disconnected. Lower the car and reconnect the negative battery cable. Start the engine and look for leaks.


  • Old or worn timing belts may stick in the pulley grooves. Use a screwdriver for leverage.
  • Procedures for replacing timing belts in Dodge Caravans vary slightly depending on engine size.


  • Don't rotate the crankshaft or camshafts after you remove the timing belt. You can damage the valve components.
  • If binding occurs when adjusting the timing belt's tension by turning the crankshaft occurs stop turning the engine. The pistons and valves may be making contact.

Items you will need

  • New timing belt
  • Various wrenches and screwdrivers
  • Socket set
  • Soft-jawed vise

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