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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you replaced your belts and timing chain yet?

My son has 90,000 on his 2004 Neon SXT and I'm thinking the belts will need replacing. I was planning on 100,000 miles for the timing chain.

I'm not used to working on front wheel drive cars other than basic tune-up stuff (plugs, coils, air filter, and fluids).

How much of a pain in the a$$ is it to replace the belts and timing chain?
I see the timing chain cover on the inside of the left front tire, is it as simple as removing the cover, removing the old belt and putting on the new belt?

Also, since I don't have my son's car with me now, does the engine have serpintine belt like V-8 engines?

Thanks guys.
 

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Belts

First, it is a timing belt (rubber, good for100,000 miles) not a chain and any parts store can price out what you need. Procedure is pretty straight forward (I use a Haynes manual). While you are in there, I suggest replacing the water pump as it is driven by the timing belt and you will save yourself having to do the labor one more time.
 

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So whats UR excuse?
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Vabear is right. It's a belt and not a chain.

It's not hard to change but it's a pain in the ass to get too. Expect it down pretty much all day if you have not done it before. Get yourself a haines manual at the least!
 

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HoodooGuru
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Its an absolute bugger of a job especially getting out the 2 gen power steering motor mount! Damn engineers have alot of explaining to do when it comes to how they mounted the motor so close to the fender in the 2 gen neons!
 

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Neon bug bites again
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Their all right about the timing belt. to answer your other question, no the neon dosn't have a serpentine belt it has two accessory belts, one drives the power steering pump and a/c if the car has it then the other is for the alternator. Their super easy to change... well on a 1gn anyway I'm not to familiar with the 2gn stuff though.
 

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Neon Master Mechanic
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It's not that hard to replace, just time consuming when you have never done it before.


And I would for sure replace the water pump if you can swing the extra $$ for it. One thing we always do is once you remove the pass side motor mount (have floor jack on the oil pan) lower the motor down and then you can gain access to everything from the pass side wheel well.


Post up if you have questions, most of us like to help. ;)
 

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So whats UR excuse?
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Its an absolute bugger of a job especially getting out the 2 gen power steering motor mount! Damn engineers have alot of explaining to do when it comes to how they mounted the motor so close to the fender in the 2 gen neons!
Your hands are just to big Mate! :secret2:You need a little grease monkey girl freind to grab those hard to reach nuts...Ummmm....and bolts. :YO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies and info. I have 10,000 miles to get my plan of attack together and most definitely use this website to ask you guys for more info.

My son's 2004 Neon SXT (2.0L) has (what looks to be the timing "belt") cover inside the left front tire. Am I correct in assuming replacing the belt is not as easy as removing the left front tire, and the bolts to the timing chain cover to replace it? I have to unbolt the motor mounts and lower the engine? Is that pretty easy?

I think I'll post step by step pic for future reference. Right now, it's to dam cold outside and in my garage to even think about doing this job. I'm thinking I'll attempt this around May.
 

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did you read the tread I posted above? Answers all your questions. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Replacing The Timing Belt

Thank you for all the replies and info on how to replace the timing belt.
When the weather gets warmer here in R.I. my son and I will spend a day or two replacing the timing belt and water pump based on all the info I received from this forum. We'll let you guys know how it goes and definiately ask you for help if we run into problems.

I've told my son to read this and ask you guys tech questions. He wants to do some upgrades in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
UPDATE ON BELTS for 2004 SXT Neon. Yesterday, my son and I went to replace the ALT and pwr steering and A/C belt. The good new, the Alt belt replacement went good.

The bad news, the belt tensioner for the A/C and pwr steering pump is shot, I pretty much destroyed it and the pully (Plastic crap).


the haynes manual stated theres a 17mm bolt to turn to relieve tension on the belt. 2004 did not have a 17mm bolt. Perhaps it snapped off a while ago.

How many bolts are there to remove the belt ensioner for the A/C and Power steering?

I check the local parts store here in Maryland (Advance) and they do not stock the belt tensioner. I also need to replace the top plastic pully (I think it's for the A/C I have to double check).

Help please.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the reply. I just went to the local junk yard and there were seveal 1st gen neons and one second gen neon (2005) that had many parts removed including including the engine.

Anyway, the one thing I noticed was the power steering pump pulley or idle pully attached to the power steering pump is different, one if metal and thinner. The tensioner for the a/c and pwer steering appear to be the same.

How do you get the tensioner off? The Haynes manual says "unscrew the tensioner mounting bold" Is this bolt located on the center of the circle of the tensioner, the other end is just the plastic pully which is the half that snapped off. I now have 1/2 of a tensioner and am stumped as to how to remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, for those reading this post and have a 2nd gen Neon. I finally got the belt tensioner off. After researching posts in this formum, I read about a torx bolt on the pass side of the motor that the Haynes manual never mentions, after removing that torx bolt, I was able to lower the engine and discover two more bolts in the belt tensioner plate.

I'm going to the dealership today to buy a new belt tenionser assembly $354 dollars plus tax and another $18 dollars at a local parts store for the power steering pump pully.

I wish local parts stores stocked belt tensioners for Neons. $354 dolars is crazy for a belt tensioner. Well, at least I'm saving $$$ on labor since my son and i will be installing it.
 

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Neon Master Mechanic
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Just got off the phone with Modern, they can get one for $275 + approx $12 for shipping and no tax to RI.


Just an idea to save $75 bucks. :)


//and this is the ac/ ps belt tensioner right? not timing belt right? Pretty sure that is what you were looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, That's a great price (and thank you for the info). Yes, I'm talking about the A/C and Power steering belt tensioner.

I just picked it up at the dealership. Had I known I could have got it at Modern, I would have definately purchased it from them.

Now, I have to get that darn pully off of the power steering pump. I purchased a pully puler yesterday and as of today, still battling with the pully. I need to replace the plastic power steering pully due to the tensioner hitting the pully and cracking it.
 
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