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How to Remove & Replace a Dodge 360 Timing Cover

by Cayden Conor

The 360 engine is Dodge's 5.9-liter big block engine and is commonly found in pick up trucks and vans. The timing cover gasket should be replaced when you notice it leaking oil. The actual cover rarely needs to be replaced, unless it gets warped or dented. Because the timing cover is not a part that generally breaks, you may have to order it from the dealership.

Remove the battery negative cable and lay it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Slide the drain pan under the radiator petcock. Remove the radiator cap. Loosen the petcock and allow the radiator to drain. If the coolant is clean and less than five years old, it can be reused.

Unbolt the fan shroud. Depending on the model vehicle the 360 is in, it may not be able to be pulled out, because the fan might be in the way. Push the shroud toward the engine, over the fan, if you cannot pull it out. Loosen the bolts on the front of the fan, but do not remove them yet.

Check the tensioner pulley. If it has a bolt in the center of the pulley, fit the appropriate socket on the bolt. If there is a square hole in the center of the pulley, stick the head of the ratchet into the hole; this depends on the year of the 360. Push the tensioner pulley toward the engine to loosen tension on the belt. Lift the belt off the pulleys.

Remove the bolts from the fan and lift the fan and shroud out of the engine compartment as an assembly.

Unplug the wiring harness connector on the alternator. Remove the nut for the power wire using a wrench. Pull the power wire off the alternator, then put the nut back on the stud, so that you don't lose it. Remove the alternator using the appropriate socket.

Unbolt the air compressor and lay it aside; do not remove the lines. Unbolt and remove the water pump. Slide the drain pan underneath the lines on the power steering pump. Disconnect the hoses using the appropriate line wrench. Stuff a rag in the ends of the hoses to keep more fluid from leaking out. Unplug the power steering pressure switch connector. Unbolt and remove the power steering pump.

Remove the crankshaft pulley using the appropriate socket. Remove the harmonic balancer using the harmonic balancer puller. Loosen the oil pan bolts. Remove the front two oil pan bolts--one on each side of the crankshaft--these two bolts help hold the timing cover in place. Remove the timing cover bolts using the appropriate socket. Pull the cover off the block. Remove the seal from the timing cover using a seal puller.

Install a new oil seal in the timing cover using a large socket. The spring side of the seal goes toward the engine. Line the seal up, then line the large socket up on the seal. Gently tap the socket to press the seal into place.

Clean the gasket mounting surfaces on the engine and timing cover with the scraper. Smear a thin layer of RTV silicone on the timing cover's gasket mounting surface. Fit the gasket on the timing cover. Install the timing cover and tighten the bolts to 35 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the two oil pan bolts and tighten them to 215 inch-pounds of torque. Reinstall the accessories in reverse order of removal.

Reconnect the negative battery cable. Top off the power steering fluid as needed. Tighten the petcock on the radiator. Refill the radiator with coolant.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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