Q: 3 part question. I have a 1994 chrysler lhs thats had the timing belt go out

asked by on January 02, 2017

I have a 1994 chrysler lhs thats had the timing belt go out. It was changed with the water pump 100k miles ago. What should i expect to pay for the repair in utah, is it worth it to fix(can the timing belt take out other parts when failing?), and is it a part a decent backyard mechanic could fix given time?

Thank you

Justin

My car has 177000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The 3.5 ltr V6 is an interference engine. That means the valves and the pistons occupy the same space but at different times. The timing belt keeps the cams and crankshaft spinning in the proper time, so the valves and pistons do not occupy the same space at the same time. When the timing belt breaks, from the momentum of the engine internals spinning and valve spring pressure, the valves will slam closed and the pistons will hit them. In all likelihood, there will be multiple valves bent and possible piston damage. The easiest way to determine if there is any pistons damaged, is to remove the spark plugs and look down into each cylinder with a borescope to examine the pistons. If the pistons are not damaged, then a valve job would get the engine running again. However, it is typically more cost effective to replace the cylinder heads with remanufactured units. The extra cost for new heads will be outweighed by the labor and machining costs for your damaged heads. It’s kind of a wide window but expect costs to be between $2500-$5000. As far as is it worth it to repair, that is a subjective opinion that you should answer. Is the car in overall good shape ? Has it been reliable ? Are there other issues that need to be addressed ? What is the value of the vehicle ? Check sites like Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com). If for example, the vehicle has a retail or trade in value of $3000, and it costs $5000 to repair and get running, it is still a $3000 vehicle. It’s worth does not increase by the repair amount.

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