2000 Dodge Intrepid Timing Chain Installation


An engine that is out of time will not run at all, or will run very rough. So, it's very important that your engine is in time and that the timing belt or chain is in good repair. Replacing any timing chain is a complicated, time-consuming task, but by carefully setting the engine to top dead center and taking note of the position of the timing marks on the timing chain and camshaft sprockets, you can install a timing chain in your Dodge Intrepid.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard sockets and wrenches
  • 3/8-in. breaker bar
  • 3/8-in. extensions
  • Crankshaft damper puller
  • Mirror
  • Allen wrench adapters that fit a 3/8-in. ratchet
  • Screwdrivers
  • Torque wrench
  • Timing chain tensioner tool

Accessing the Timing Chain

  • Drain the engine oil. Unbolt the front-upper radiator cross-member.

  • Remove the intake manifold, throttle body and upper plenum (air passageway).

  • Remove all the accessory drive belts from the engine. Remove the idler pulley and power steering pump. Do not disconnect the power steering pump lines -- only unbolt the pump from its bracket and push it aside.

  • Remove the crankshaft damper and pulley using a special puller. Remove the valve covers and the timing chain cover.

  • Rotate the crankshaft so that it is at top dead center. There is a mark on the crankshaft sprocket -- make sure it is precisely aligned with the arrow on the oil pump housing. You may find it helpful to use a mirror while doing this -- you can disconnect the rear-view mirror from inside the car with a small torque bit. You can rotate the engine by using the 3/8-in. breaker bar with an extension and inserting it into the center of the left camshaft sprocket (be gentle).

  • Remove the timing chain by unbolting and removing all of the timing chain guides. There are several covers you will need to remove with one of the large Allen wrenches. They require an Allen driver that is 3/8-in. or larger, and are under a high amount of torque. You will probably need to use the breaker bar in combination with the Allen driver to remove them.

  • Remove all the timing chain guides. Remove the timing belt tensioner by unbolting it from its housing on the outside of the engine block. Remove the old timing chain. Unbolt and remove the upper-left camshaft sprocket.

Installing the New Timing Chain

  • Unbolt the upper-left crankshaft sprocket. Position the new timing chain over all the other sprockets. There are plated links on the timing chain; locate the colored plated link and ensure that it ends up over the right crankshaft sprocket in the appropriate position. Make sure the other plated links are position on the oil pump sprocket and near the left camshaft sprocket. Support the chain at the upper-left sprocket with a screwdriver.

  • Remove the screwdriver and drape the chain around the upper-left camshaft sprocket, making sure to align the colored plated links with the timing marks on the camshaft sprocket. Slide the sprocket back over the camshaft, but do not bolt it in place yet.

  • Look at the oil pump sprocket to make sure the engine is still aligned at top dead center. Check that the chain has not slipped on the upper-right camshaft sprocket.

  • Insert the breaker bar with a 3/8-in. extension into the upper-left camshaft. Rotate the camshaft with the breaker bar so that it is aligned in its original position with the sprocket. Finger-thread the sprocket bolts back through the sprocket and into the mounting bracket on the end of the camshaft. Gradually release the tension on the breaker bar. As the slack on the timing chain is taken up by releasing the camshaft sprocket, make sure the timing chain does not slip around the oil pump sprocket or right camshaft sprocket.

  • Check again that the plated links on the timing chain are each aligned with their appropriate marks on the camshaft sprockets and oil pump housing. Torque the bolts on the left camshaft sprocket to 28 Nm.

  • Reset the tensioner by pressing it all the way against the tensioner tool; the fluid will run out of it and it should stay compressed.

  • Install all of the timing chain guides. Push the timing chain tensioner through its hole in the block, and bolt it back in place. Compress it slightly by prying with a screwdriver, then release. The tensioner should press the tensioning guide against the timing chain.

  • Reinstall the round plugs with the large Allen wrench driver, and reinstall the timing chain cover.

  • Reinstall the valve covers, crankshaft pulley, power steering pump, idler pulley, accessory drive belts, upper plenum, intake manifold and throttle body. Fill the engine oil to the appropriate level.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replace the water pump if it has not been done recently, or if the service records for the vehicle are incomplete. The water pumps, especially in 2.7L engines for this model and make, are notorious for failing and for the accompanying high labor costs.
  • The timing marks on the camshaft sprockets will not be exactly vertical during the timing process -- this doesn't mean something is wrong.
  • Be sure that the timing chain has not slipped around the crankshaft pulley, and that the engine has not moved from top dead center (the mark on the oil sprocket that aligns with the mark on the oil pump housing). If the engine moves from top dead center during the installation of the timing chain, you could accidentally install the rest of the timing chain with slack in it, or altogether in the wrong position.

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  • "2000 Dodge Intrepid Repair Manual," Chiltonlibrary
  • Photo Credit time passes image by Robert Young from Fotolia.com
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