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Chrysler Pacifica, Wagon
#2589 of 2626 My Timing Belt replacement experience
Aug 26, 2010 (11:52 am)
Did the Timing Belt replacement job myself (I am a typical do-it-yourselfer, no more than that). Some random thoughts & suggestions for the next guy since this is a b!#$h of a job! (had 118,000 miles on my 2005 Pacifica, 3.5L engine) Chrysler says to replace the belt at 102,000 miles. The 3.5L engine is an "interferance fit" design, should the timing belt fail the valves will slam into the pistons, totally ruining the engine.
1_ I bought factory Chrysler (made by Gates) timing belt since I did not want any issues. ($40 fr eBay)
2_Bought a factory Chrysler (made in Germany!) water pump for the same reason. ($40 fr eBay)
3_ “Borrowed” a loaner Radiator Pressure Tester, Chrysler Harmonic Puller (3-jaw) and Harmonic Installer from O’Reilly auto parts. Used the Pressure Tester to test the new water pump for leaks, it is sealed by an giant o-ring and did not want to find it leaking after full assembly.
The Harmonic Installer did not work due to its design. Got a 90mm long x 12mm x 1.75mm bolt and a bunch of washers from Ace Hardware for $2.80 which enabled me to install the Harmonic Balancer.
Should you not have this, the auto parts suggested a slamming the harmonic balancer back on using a piece of wood and a 10# sledge hammer (I did not try that approach)
4_ No need to take the valve covers off or disconnect the fuel line as the factory manual suggests.
5_ Do have a bottle of “white out” handy. Mark the old belt & drive cogs on the 2 cams and at the crank. Then transfer the marks to the new belt. Makes the install/timing a snap. (One cam did snap out of position after the belt was removed, but was easy to rotate back into position w/ a wrench.)
You CAN use the breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt to rotate (slowly) the crankshaft to TDC position.
6_I used a small tow chain w/ hook to keep the harmonic balancer from turning when I torqued it with the ½” drive breaker bar. (I did not have any air impact tools.)
6 a_Use of a floor jack to support the engine is kind of optional. It is mostly used to maintain the engine in a position such that it can be most easily worked on. At times you may feel the need for any extra ¼” of horizontal clearance, this can be obtained by using a short (3-4’ long) 2x4 board as a “pry bar” to pry the engine block towards the drivers side of the engine compartment.
7_ Have a 3/8” x ¼” drive adapter handy and a full set of 3/8” and ¼” metric sockets handy. As well as the ½” drive metric socket for the harmonic balancer (think it was 17 or 19mm do not remember precise head size, but it had a smaller head size than I expected).
8_ Do have some metric Torx head 3/8” drive sockets handy and some Vice Grips pliers. (there is 1 Torx screw on the timing belt cover)
9_ One of the most difficult steps for me was getting the power steering pump bolts back on. Was almost impossible. Wound up having to remove the radiator fan assembly such that I could push the steering pump back in position. (There is a timing cover bolt BEHIND the steering pump. I DID NOT put this timing cover bolt back in upon reassembly since I would never want to have to remove the steering pump again.) Now is the time to replace the factory installed Lower Radiator hose if you haven’t already.
9.a_ Re-installing the serpentine accessory belt can be difficult. I used the clips to hold it in place. I used a 1” wide ratchet “tie down strap” to pull a 12” crescent wrench attached to the tensioner to “rotate” the serpentine tensioner back. The ratchet drive strap held the tensioner back well and the belt went on without too much fighting.
9b_ I used some large “paper clamps” from the office supply store to “clip” the timing belt and serpentine belt on the drive pulleys during the install. Made things much easier.
10_ After 118,000 miles the Timing Belt still looked mighty good. But of course should it have broken the engine would be toast. Also replaced the serpentine accessory drive belt with a new Gates micro-V belt.
11_Total wrenching time for me on this job was sixteen (16) hours. (this includes time going back to auto parts store twice and replacing ALL the radiator and heater hoses)
#2590 of 2626 Which year to buy
Oct 23, 2010 (6:12 pm)
I am looking to buy a pacifica with under 80K on it for my wife. I have been reading about issues with the different years, like the 07s having tricky transmissions. Any suggestions on which years have the least problems? I don't really care about the year as much as the mileage and the 3rd row seat.
#2591 of 2626 Re: Which year to buy [cwkim]
Oct 23, 2010 (8:54 pm)
I wouldn't buy a Pacifica any older than 2007. You definitely want the 4.0L and 6-Speed Transmission. This is the same package in the current Town & Country. 2007 was the first year for both which might account for the 'tricky' issues. I would hope they would have been worked out during the warranty period. I have a 2008 Touring WP Chrysler Signature Series and love it. The mileage computer regularly delivers 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg local which isn't bad for a vehicle of this heft. Sadly you won't get the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty that accompanied these model years for original owners. The 3.5L has issues and the 4-Speed limited gas mileage in the 2006s and earlier. Stay away from these. Good luck.
#2592 of 2626 Re: Which year to buy [jtg61]
Dec 13, 2010 (4:22 pm)
I would sell my 2004 (if I wanted to) to my best friend without any hesitation.
#2593 of 2626 Re: Which year to buy [b25nut]
Dec 31, 2010 (6:43 am)
So, What do you have against your best friend. JUST KIDDING. LOL
#2594 of 2626 Re: Which year to buy [jtg61]
Jan 10, 2011 (2:38 pm)
I can't hardly believe you get 27 and 22 mpg on your sig. series when I get a crappy 14!!!!! How could this be so?????????
p.s., my car has sucked since I bought it.
#2595 of 2626 Re: Put key remote through washer? [steelydan]
Jan 27, 2011 (10:54 am)
I am down to one working key for my '05 Pacifica. One was lost years ago and I have a "replacement" key that was created by a locksmith. It doesn't have buttons on it, but it will work in a pinch. If I use it to manually open the doors when locked the alarm will sound until I start the engine.
The one original key-fob combo that I have is broken where it would attach to a key chain. I'm afraid that it will be lost since its not attached to anything. I see that Dorman has key-fob repair kits, but its not the right shape/size for the Pacifica key.
Does anyone know how to repair the key with buttons so that it will attach to a keychain again?
#2596 of 2626 Re: Put key remote through washer? [brennam]
Jan 27, 2011 (11:53 am)
I feel your pain on the broken key fob......the same thing happened to me. I ended up getting a new one from the dealer, if you have two keys, you can program another , cheaper one from ebay yourself........
The broken one lives on as a valet /car repair key .....usually, they just tape a number on it and use it that way..............I figure if they lose it, they will owe me a new one..........but it has never happened.
The key fob was a flimsy design, no doubt.........
#2597 of 2626 Re: Put key remote through washer? [brennam]
Jan 28, 2011 (7:09 am)
I just recently bought a 2005 Pacifica and the owner only had 1 key (key-fob combo). I checked with a couple of dealerships for cost of extra keys, WOW they are not cheap. I went on Ebay and found keys with fob and without. I bought 2 without and had to take them to a dealership to program them. Cost me $35.00 for both, not to bad.
If you have 2 working keys you can program a third key yourself (keys with fob or without) Most of the sellers on Ebay will send you the instructions on how to program the keys.
Also on Ebay they sell just the shell for the fob combo.
Hope this helped.
May 10, 2011 (4:45 pm)
Took my 2006 Chrysler Pacifica to the shop a couple of weeks ago to find out why AC air was not coming out the front dash vents. The AC blower and controls were working fine, just no air out the front register vents. They found the cam had come loose to the damper that controls air to those vents. They said it was back on and everything seem to be working fine.
Two weeks later it is doing it again, is this something I can access fairly easily myself. Which side is this connector on in relation to the drivers side.
Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Hot in Texas.