300m Timing Belt questions

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by MoPar Man, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    I know there was a recent thread on this topic recently, but I didn't
    capture any information from it, hence this post.

    My '00 300m will be exactly 10 years old in about 3 months. It has 142k
    km (89k miles).

    It has the factory original battery, engine coolant, timing belt and
    transmission filters.

    I've changed the spark plugs once (about 1.5 years ago). Serpentine
    belt was changed at about the 70k mile point. Power steering,
    differential and transmission fluid have all been changed only once
    (probably around the 50 - 60 k mile point).

    I was told the following at a local Chrysler dealership:

    - Timing belt cost: $275
    - New water pump: $165
    - Timing belt tensioner: $120
    - Labor (5 hours): $470
    - Total: $1030
    - misc extras (including new coolant) - $70

    The guy said that I might have a tensioner made out of plastic or metal,
    and even though he had my vin number the only way to know was to take it
    apart to find out. He said that if mine was made out of metal, then it
    likely wouldn't need to be replaced. I asked if there were any other
    cogs, gears, pulleys, etc, related to the timing belt that could also be
    replaced during this process, and he said no. Is he right?

    I figured that the water pump might as well be changed since it's going
    to come off during this process. Absolutely no hint at any problems
    with it. I guess I should ask for it to keep it as a possible future
    replacement since it's probably still good?

    (these are CDN prices, which at the current exchange rate is about 8% to
    10% higher than USD prices).

    Is the timing belt replacement interval based on milage - or age? I
    thought that if milage, it's 160k km (100k miles) - true? If age - then
    what is it?
    MoPar Man, Aug 10, 2009
  2. MoPar Man

    Steve Stone Guest

    You might want to flush out the brake fluid too.
    Steve Stone, Aug 10, 2009
  3. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    At the risk of seeming to over-react, I would advise you to park it
    until you get the belt replaced. I see threads like these
    (just two examples of many) all the time on the various LH car forums.

    105k miles (I think 100k on some years) is the replacement interval.
    Your car - your risk (and a huge one IMO).
    They're HUGELY gouging you on parts prices (even considering they're
    Canadian prices). Labor not so much - in line.

    Drill down the same parts here: www.mopardiscountparts.com (a Chrysler
    dealer selling OEM parts).

    There are two parts that they may be calling "tensioner" - one is the
    pulley, the other is the hydraulic tensioner. Together they do the job
    of a single tensioner but are sold as separate parts.

    The pulley should definitely be replaced. The hydraulic part very
    seldom gives trouble and is much more costly, and so is usually re-used,
    but best to change for peace of mind. Find out which they mean, and
    definitely have the pulley replaced.

    Use only OEM parts for this job. I don't always say that. But I've
    read of a lot of problems on aftermarket parts on the timing belt parts
    for this engine - even from well-respected suppliers like Gates. OEM only.
    B.S. on that last sentence. The bearing built into the pulley is what
    fails. That part is not that expensive. Bearings do wear out. It
    would be foolish to not replace the tensioner pulley (for the very same
    reasons that you would also replace the water pump).
    Other than the ambiguous terminology concerning tensioner (pulley) and
    (hydraulic) tensioner, I would agree.

    Not directly timing belt related, but if you've never had the a.c. belt
    and power steering/alternator belt idler/tensioner pulleys replaced, you
    should have that done while they're in there. Again, bearings do wear
    out - those two parts are finite-life parts (as well, of course, as the
    two accessory belts).
    Definitely. Very unwise to do the timing belt and not do the water
    pump. I wouldn't save the old one for possible future use - that makes
    no sense.
    Definitely mileage. Not sure about the age limitation, but I do think
    there is one - I forget what it is. But yours should be replaced
    *yesterday* on both counts (mileage and age).

    BTW - if you are a casual (vs. spirited) driver, don't think that that
    will cause your t-belt to last longer. Most of them break at low speed
    (because the pulsatile loading on the belt from the cams is greatest at
    low engine speeds, and due to flywheel effect on the cams smoothing out
    those pulses at higher engine speeds). I can't tell you how many
    accounts on the LH car forums I've read in which the timing belt broke
    at low engine speeds - very seldom at higher speeds.
    Bill Putney, Aug 10, 2009
  4. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Yea, I hear ya.

    I was thinking of doing it next time it's due for the next oil change -
    which is Nov 3 (based on the little sticker they put on the window).
    That would make the car 10 years and 2 days old.

    Do they have to drain the oil to do the timing belt?

    Also - do timing belts stretch or do anything as they age or wear -
    something that might be detectible on an emissions test - ie a slight
    change in valve timing might lead to more nox, co, ???

    From your links above, I came across the comment that the rear cam
    o-rings can also be changed - what do you think of that?

    One of those threads started to talk about AC problems - but mine is
    still working perfectly.
    Is that the serpentine belt? I had that changed almost 2 years ago,
    along with a tensioner or pulley or somethin. I'll try to dig up the
    bill and see what exactly was done.
    MoPar Man, Aug 11, 2009
  5. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    The t-belt could make it that long, but you're going to be kicking
    yourself if it breaks during that period (I'm sure I don't have to tell
    you that if it does, you will likely have expensive engine damage if it
    does). Example - that first thread I linked.
    No. The timing area on belted engines is sealed from the oily areas -
    unlike timing chains which get bathed in oil and generally overhang the
    open front of the oil pan.
    They generally stretch a negligible amount - but yeah - some. I'm sure
    some inferior brands might stretch more, but for OEM and good brands,
    generally not much. I have heard of them jumping timing, which implies
    that either the belt stretched or the tensioner wasn't doing its job.
    They have been known to leak, but it's not all that common. You could
    replace them, or go with the philosophy of if they ain't broke don't fix
    them. It's not like they're any easier to get to while doing the timing
    belt - so just as easy to fix later *if* they leak as to replace them
    That just happened to be part of that thread. My purpose in linking
    both threads was to show that the belts do break - and it's a big deal
    if they do. A car that is of marginal value but that might otherwise do
    well for you for years might just end up in the junk yard over a timing
    belt breaking (depends on how you make such decisions).
    A.C. belt is traditional V-belt, power steering/alt. belt is serpentine.
    They both have one each tensioner/idler pulleys that need periodic
    replacing (I would say in general every 2nd change of its belt - thats
    just my personal rule of thumb).
    Bill Putney, Aug 11, 2009
  6. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    I've been calling several Chrysler dealerships (parts department) in
    Michigan and here in my local area in SW-Ontario.

    What I've been able to determine is that when talking to the US people,
    they quote the following parts:

    - hydraulic belt tensioner P/N 4573347 ($138 USD)
    - tensioner pulley (aka pivot pulley?) P/N 4663515 ($73 USD)

    When I ask about those specific P/N's in Ontario, I'm given a price of
    $186 CDN and $98 CDN. But I'm also told that they supercede to these

    - tensioner: 4892109AA ($184 cdn)
    - pulley: 4663515AD ($69 cdn)

    The terminology of those two new parts seems to be a bit muddled. I've
    heard the terms "idler tensioner pulley" and "pivot arm", and at one
    point I was under the impression at one dealership that I needed that
    pair plus the 4573347 part.

    All the CDN prices come from CDN dealership #2, which quoted me prices
    that were significantly less than CDN dealership #1 (for the same
    P/N's). Which raises a side question -> are dealerships supposed to
    quote the same price for the same part?

    Anyways, the parts guy at dealership #2 (who was dealing with this exact
    situation for a friend who was arranging to have his 300m timing belt
    changed) said this:

    P/N 4573347 goes with P/N 4663515

    P/N 4892109AA goes with P/N 4663515AD

    4573347 / 4663515 is superceded by 4892109AA / 4663515AD

    The US dealerships either did not know about the supercede, or had a lot
    of stock of the older parts and wanted to move them first.

    At CDN dealer #2, the price for the timing belt (P/N 4792353) was $220
    CDN ($55 less than dealership #1). US price was $163 USD.

    Waterpump was $120 USD, but at CDN dealership #2 was quoted as $148 CDN
    for "original" P/N, which has a supercede P/N that is priced at $133 CDN
    (didn't record the P/N's for those).

    From reading the electronic version of the 2000 300M, LHS, CONCORDE AND
    INTREPID Electronic Service Manual, the belt tensioner must be removed
    as part of removing the timing belt.

    Any comments about replacing the cam sprockets?

    In speaking with these parts guys, they also said that it was worth it
    to replace the front main seal ($15) because some modes of timing belt
    failure include an oil leak from that seal.

    CDN dealership #1 told me about a "white-box" belt and idler kit ($385)
    which they admitted was a "lower quality" version (but their prices are
    completely crazy as I can see now).
    MoPar Man, Aug 12, 2009
  7. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Just to add a little more to this thread...
    Pivot (this is what Mopar calls the tensioner pully).

    See post 144 here:


    Peva wrote:

    The word "tensioner" has some confusing and ambiguous meanings here.

    The complete tensioner is made up of three parts: The tensioner bracket,
    the tensioner pulley (includes its bearing), and the hydraulic
    tensioner. The bracket is a lifetime item - never needs to be replaced
    unless someone hits it with a sledgehammer.

    The pulley *definitely* needs to be replaced - its bearing is a limited
    lifetime item - no reason to risk it failing just to save what little it
    costs - it is included in the Gates timing belt kit with the belt.

    The hydraulic tensioner very seldom gives any problems - because of that
    and the fact that it is a little pricey compared to the other parts,
    most people re-use the old one. If you do want to replace that, it is a
    dealer-only item.

    Summary: (1) Bracket - never replace. (2) Pulley - *always* replace. (3)
    Hydraulic tensioner - replace if budget allows and you want to reduce
    risks to a minimum, but don't sweat it if money is tight.

    Also see posts 130 and 134.

    Regarding the water pump:


    Lots of talk about metal vs plastic impeller, country of origin, etc.
    MoPar Man, Aug 12, 2009
  8. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    Apparently the pivot and the pulley come as one OEM part. In
    aftermarket, you get the pulley and re-use the old bracket.

    Funny though - the Chrysler parts pdf's and the on-line dealer parts
    database (I'm staring at both of them as I type this) refer to it (the
    bracket and pulley assembly) as 'tensioner pulley' 'tensioner, belt',
    respectively. I see nowhere that it is referred to as a pivot arm.

    LOL! Guess who 'Peva' is (hint: see the signature photos in post no.
    144 in the thread you linked and the first post in this thread:
    Bill Putney, Aug 13, 2009
  9. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    That's the full list price. At www.mopardiscountparts.com (they are a
    Chrysler dealer selling OEM parts), it sells for $92.46
    $48.64 at www.'mdp'.com

    (all prices I'm giving are in $US)
    $91.79 www.'mdp'.com
    The latest suffix showing at www.'mdp'.com as ...AC at $35.41
    That 4573347 is the hydraulic tensioner I talked about in an earlier
    post that is a more expensive part, and since it very seldom gives
    problems, unless you just want to have extra insurance, you could re-use
    the old one without loosing too much sleep.
    They vary. I don't know if Chrysler dictates the price relative to list
    or if it's up to the discretion of the dealer. The dealer within site
    of my house sells at either 10% or 20% (I forget which) *ABOVE* list. I
    laughed in the face of one of their parts guys a couple of years ago
    when they had huge banners hanging in their windows touting a '10% off
    all parts' sale. www.'mdp'.com is an honest 33% below list all the time
    (shipping typically pretty much evenly offsets sales tax, so it *is* a
    good apples-to-apples comparison in case somebody wants to say "Well -
    yeah - you still gotta pay shipping!".
    Yep - and $109.21 at www.'mdp'.com
    4792195, superceded by 4792195AB - $73.03 at you know where.
    Not sure if they wear (rounded corners on cogs so maybe the belt could
    have more of a tendency to slip?), but I don't think they get replaced
    I agree. In general, any time you are into the front of any engine to
    where you have access to the front main seal, it should be replaced
    because leaks are a nuisance, seals do wear out, and better to spend $10
    now than have it start leaking later and spend several times that just
    to replace it later as a separate operation.
    Gates has a t-belt and idler (just the pulley - no hydraulic tensioner,
    which is a dealer-only part) kit - part no. TCK295 - for well under
    $100. As mentioned before, I have read of problems with aftermarket
    timing components and water pumps for these cars - including Gates, but
    I had the Gates belt/pulley kit put on mine about 4 years ago, and it's
    doing fine.
    Bill Putney, Aug 13, 2009
  10. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    And today I've discovered that 4792195AB is superceeded by a "V" part
    number (I have the P/N at work). It's a "value-line" part. The
    4792195/AB parts are no longer available (so I'm told).

    Do you have any thoughts about plastic impeller vs steel?

    Do you know what the factory original pump has?
    A little more info about those pairs of parts.

    4573347 / 4663515 are listed as 1993 - 2002 model year 3.5L application.

    4892109AA / 4663515AD are listed as 2005 - present year 3.5L

    (what changed from 02 to 03 on the 3.5L?)

    The parts department at the typical Chrysler dealership seems to have
    access to two different parts lookup systems. Only the "Mopar" system
    will show that 4573347 / 4663515 is superceeded by 4892109AA /
    4663515AD. There will even be a note for 4892109AA that it MUST be used
    with 4663515AD.
    But this tensioner must be completely removed when changing the belt -
    yes? So it's not like there's extra labor involved to replace it.

    But the kicker is that if the pulley 4663515 is not available, then you
    must use 4663515AD, and if you do, then you have to pair it with
    tensioner 4892109AA (which you probably don't have). Is this true?

    Also -

    I was under the impression that the 300m only came with the 3.5L engine
    in US/Canada (ie - the 3.2 and 2.7 were not options). When speaking
    with some of these parts guys, and telling them I'm asking about parts
    for a '00 300m, and they ask what engine I have, I say 3.5L, and then I
    say "why do you ask - that car never came with any other engine" -
    that's when I hear that no, it could have the 3.2 or 2.7.

    What's the story with that?

    I'm pretty sure that European 300m's had the 2.7L - but certainly not in
    North America - no?
    MoPar Man, Aug 13, 2009
  11. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    It still comes up on the on-line dealer parts lookup database, which is
    a good indication that it has not been obsoleted. Usually the
    value-line parts don't obsolete the "factory original" part - for
    example, value line brake pads are avialable from the dealers, and are
    what you get if you don't specify otherwise, but if you know the
    original part number, you can tell them that's what you want and they
    can order them just like any other part. IOW 95+% of the buying public
    would be assuming they are getting the latest revision of the factory
    original part but would actually be getting a lower price substitute.
    And I hear the value line brake pads are actually pretty good.

    I may be wrong - but I have a feeling the dealer is not being truthful
    that they can't get the original factory part. They may keep the value
    line part on the shelf and so would rather sell you that part.
    It used to be that metal impellars were much preferred over plastic -
    lots of stories of the plastic exploding or simply debonding from the
    shaft and freely spinning - BUT, on the LH forums, the people who have
    lots of experience with the various OEM and aftermarket pumps available
    for them have, in general, had some bad experiences with the ones with
    metal impellars and good experiences with the plastic ones.

    That doesn't mean that plastic is better than metal - I think it means
    that the aftermarket companies who happen to use metal impellars make a
    crappy pump, while Chrysler has in general had good design and quality
    control on the pumps that they buy with the plastic impellars.

    I have also read lately of brands of the pumps that people have had
    trouble with in the past showing up on the dealer shelves - perhaps
    these are the value line parts that the dealer substituted? I don't
    know. With parts sourcing the way it is now, it's hard to make any
    useful rules about what's good and what's bad in certain OEM parts.
    Seems I remember reading on dodgintrepid.net or lhforume.net something
    about a change in that part - but don't remember specifics.
    They do seem to have more accurate and up-to-date information than the
    databases used for on-line lookups. I have had dealers tell me of
    superceding parts when I actually ordered using that same dealer's
    on-line lookup system. The dealers' web sites use the same third-party
    database for their lookups, but they actrually use the Chrsyler database
    (which may also be managed by a third party too - I don't know, but -
    yes - the info. is different (again, more accurate and complete).
    It is removed to relieve tension on the belt - yes.
    If the design of those mating parts changed to where they are not
    interchangeable, then yes. I found that to be true with timing chain,
    sprockets, and water pump on my 2.7L LH car. The on-line dealer was
    able to give me the right complete set of parts (all timing components
    in a kit *AND* the water pump that was compatible with that chain set
    (water pump sprocket had to fit the new design chain) due to a note in
    the Chrysler database that the on-line lookup database knew nothing
    about. Nice surpise because the kit was cheaper than the individual
    older parts that I had in my original order list that I gave them. The
    important thing was that none of the various parts from the older design
    and new design were interchangable with parts from the other - and
    unless the dealer parts guy was paying attention and allowed mixing and
    matching in the same order, someone would be in for a rude awakening
    when they went to install the parts. I suspect a parts guy only has to
    make that mistake once before he starts making sure he carefully reads
    the notes in the system.
    They're patly right. It *NEVER* *EVER* came with the 3.2. Some of them
    in Europe have the 2.7. *NONE* in North America came with the 2.7.
    See above.
    Correct. They gave you the safe answer. Their answer, though not 100%
    accurate, will always get you the right part.
    Bill Putney, Aug 13, 2009
  12. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    After contacting 6 local dealerships and 4 aftermarket parts stores:

    Timing Belt Hydraulic tensioner (have been told that Chrysler also calls
    this a "damper". P/N 4573347. Standard Canadian Dealer price = $186.
    Have been quoted as high as $208. Presumably this is the "original"
    factory part. Today it superceded to P/N 4892109AA which MUST be paired
    with pulley P/N 4663515AD. Original pulley P/N is 4663515.

    If I read this right, then if original pulley is not available, then if
    the newer pulley is used then the newer tensioner must also be used -
    regardless of the condition of the original tensioner.

    Standard Canadian dealer price for original pulley is $98 (have been
    quoted as high as $118). Standard price for newer tensioner is $184
    (highest = $206). Standard price for newer pulley is $69 (highest =

    Original pulley is practically non-existant locally and (so I'm told) in
    the US. Original tensioner is still available. Newer pulley must come
    from the US (none in Ontario).

    Three to four out of 6 local dealerships quote the "standard" price for
    all items. One out of six consistently quote 10 to 30% higher.

    Standard price for timing belt (P/N 4792353) is $220 (highest = $275).

    Water pump original P/N was 4792195 ($120), which superceeded to
    4792195AB ($148) which now superceeds to value-line P/N V9900085
    ($133). 4792195AB (if I really want it) must come from the US (none in

    Front main seal (P/N 4792317AB) is quoted at $12.

    Aftermarket part stores:

    No parts stores sell the tensioner at all, and one or two have pulley
    but sometimes it's identified as a "timing component kit", and sometimes
    it is available as part of a kit with a timing belt (sometimes known as
    a belt and "roller" kit). Examples:

    Dayco 84086 Pulley ($70 - $85)

    Goodyear P/N GTK0255 ($85 - $130 belt + pulley)
    Goodyear P/N 40295 ($173 belt only)
    Dayco P/N 95295 ($180 - $216 belt only)
    Gates TCK-295 ($290 Belt with pulley)
    Gates TCK-295P ($317 Belt with pulley - and seals?)
    Contitec TV295 ($152 belt only)
    AC Delco or Dynagear ($152 belt only)

    The P/N for the belt will usually have a "295" regardless who makes it
    because that's the number of teeth.

    The Chrysler issue with the different versions of the tensioner and
    pulley combination are not indicated or are not present with the
    aftermarket pulleys (so it seems).

    Aftermarket water pump comes in two flavors - remanufactured and new.

    Fenco (Prestone?) ($80 - $124) new pump (NP1664)
    AC Delco ($140) new pump (P/N 252-692)
    Cardone ($85 + $15 core)
    Prestone ($110) new pump (same as Fenco?)
    ASC Industries ($124) new
    MoPar Man, Aug 14, 2009
  13. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    Wow! www.rockauto.com lists the TCK-295 kit at $76.79 plus shipping.
    TCK-295P is $105.99. Those seals are to keep splashed water from going
    inside the covers. I think most people just reuse the old ones.
    Bill Putney, Aug 14, 2009
  14. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    No. Really the timing belt on a 3.5 is not *much* harder to change than
    a serpentine belt. You should get it done NOW, and you can do it
    yourself over a weekend for a lot less than the stealership will charge.
    Steve, Aug 24, 2009
  15. MoPar Man

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Unless, of course, the seals behind the rear timing belt covers are
    leaking. In that case the job gets bigger.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Aug 24, 2009
  16. Removing and replacing the harmonic balancer involves the use of a
    special tool. I have no idea whether that's something that can be rented
    or borrowed from AutoZone.

    Percival P. Cassidy, Aug 24, 2009
  17. MoPar Man

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    You just have to keep the crankshaft from turning -- first time I did
    it, I wrapped the old serpentine belt around it grabbed it (the belt)
    with vice-grips, and held it while I used the pulley puller. Second
    time I made a copy of the tool from the picture in the manual.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Aug 24, 2009
  18. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    With the right kind of tool that Percival is talking about, you can even
    preclude having to pull the radiator. It's a shorter type of puller
    specially made for today's cars. And many of the chain auto parts
    stores rent or loan them out.

    Also - I've read (on the 300M Enthusiasts Club and two other LH-specific
    sites) of several people who have successfully gotten timing belts on
    and off the 3.5L with the damper pulley still in place - tight squeeze,
    but they say it can be done.
    Bill Putney, Aug 24, 2009
  19. MoPar Man

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Ah, forgot the short puller. That can be arranged with a hacksaw.
    I'd have to see it.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Aug 25, 2009
  20. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    The ones who've done it (and there are more than a handful) claim it is
    a tight squeeze, but that it can be done without damage to the new belt
    (of course the old belt can be cut off).
    Bill Putney, Aug 25, 2009
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.