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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 Stratus with 95000 miles on it. I would like to change the timing belt and am debating wether I should try to do it myself or pay a dealer to do it. I am also looking for information on wether it is necessary, or in my best interest to change the tensioner and waterpump at the same time. Every where I have called to do this has quoted me over $700. Is this reasonable? Is it a difficult thing to replace the timing belt on your own?

Ron
 

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If you've never done a timing belt, then it is quite the job. You have to be right on when you set the camshaft(s) and crankshaft timing marks.

Does the $700 include a new water pump and tensioner?

Yes the water pump should be changed at the same time, because Murphy's Law says that if you don't change it, it will start to leak and then you'll have to replace it and the belt...again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
$700 is supposed to include the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump. My experience with dealers leads me to believe when they finish the work the bill might actually be higher. Parts would cost about half that, so I am trying to decide if I should just give it a try.
 

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Well then my advice to you would be to buy a factory service manual...not a Haynes or Chiltons manual if you feel inclined to do the job. Just take your time and follow the instruction closely. Triple check your work before you fire the engine.

BTW, have you tried any local independent shops in your area that could do the job? I'll bet they'd be a lot cheaper. You don't have to use genuine parts on a job like this. Your local parts store will have quality parts much cheaper than the dealer.
 

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Reply to timing belt

Hey I have a 98.. I got mine replaced by a local shop.. They did the belt and water pump.. (Do the water pump also because if it goes out after the new belt is in you have to pull the belt back off anyways). They changed the antifreeze and threw in a oil change for free.

They charged me and I cant remember the exact cost to the penny but somewhere around $400 to $450.

I didnt do the tensioner because it didnt need it. Look at the labor costs and buying the parts yourself and having the shop install them.

Also check ebay for parts. Could be alot cheaper.

Id check around some more.. Look at little local shops.. That sounds like a high quote. Also do you really need the tensioner replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have checked a couple of little shops, but I guess I have not found the right one. The ones I talked to would not do it, they said they would just send it out to someone else. Although $450 sounds close the dealer, because the Tensioner itself costs $180. The only reason I am considering replacing it is that dodge has re-designed it multiple times. Sounded to me like the original one was a poor design.
 
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