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Removing Just Crank Pulley and Timing Cover, is TDC Necessary?

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
Hey Guys,

So I did something stupid yesterday. I was cleaning up my engine compartment and think I might have accidentally dropped a Q-Tip down behind the timing cover (I know, I know). The middle portion of the timing cover was cut out by the previous owner so there is an opening near the tensioner pulley making this possible, unfortunately. I'm not sure the Q-Tip even went down there, but I can't find it anywhere, so I need to be sure.

I'm going to remove the lower timing cover to either get the Q-Tip out, or insure it's not in there. I have the Factory Service Manuals and Hayne's and Chilton's repair guides. When I consult these guides for removal of the timing cover the first step says to find Top Dead Center. I'm assuming this is listed as the first step with the assumption that a timing belt job will be subsequently done.

My question is, do I need to find Top Dead Center if I am just removing the accessory belts, the crank pulley, and the lower timing cover? Just to reiterate, I am not doing anything in regard to timing, just removing the timing belt cover to get the q-tip out.

I have a 6-bolt swapped 1995 Eagle Talon TSI AWD.

Thank you for any and all help
 

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
Ok, that's what I thought. I didn't think TDC was necessary since I'm not removing any timing components of any kind.

As far as the Q-Tip, that much I know, haha.

Two more questions:

Is it necessary to jack up and support the vehicle on jack stands while doing this job? I.E. while I'm supporting the engine with a jack to remove the timing side motor mount. I prefer to not jack the car up and get partially underneath it if it's not necessary.

It seems I have read a couple conflicting things around. Will I need to remove the crank pulley sprocket bolt to get the crank pulley off to remove the timing cover? Or will I be able to just get the crank pulley off by removing the four bolts that surround the crank pulley sprocket bolt?

I've looked at the pulley but just want to make sure I know what to expect and have all necessary tools before starting.
 

Vegas Smith

Proven Member
4,629
2,411
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
No TDC needed. Leave the q-tip in there. Might clean stuff up a bit.

How e
Ok, that's what I thought. I didn't think TDC was necessary since I'm not removing any timing components of any kind.

As far as the Q-Tip, that much I know, haha.

Two more questions:

Is it necessary to jack up and support the vehicle on jack stands while doing this job? I.E. while I'm supporting the engine with a jack to remove the timing side motor mount. I prefer to not jack the car up and get partially underneath it if it's not necessary.

It seems I have read a couple conflicting things around. Will I need to remove the crank pulley sprocket bolt to get the crank pulley off to remove the timing cover? Or will I be able to just get the crank pulley off by removing the four bolts that surround the crank pulley sprocket bolt?

I've looked at the pulley but just want to make sure I know what to expect and have all necessary tools before starting.
How ever you want to get access to the timing cover is fine. If you're small enough to not need the car jacked up then go for it. If you want to jack it up 10 ft then go for it. It will make no difference. You just need to remove the 4 bolts on the pulley and the belts.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,118
2,304
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Ok, that's what I thought. I didn't think TDC was necessary since I'm not removing any timing components of any kind.

As far as the Q-Tip, that much I know, haha.

Two more questions:

Is it necessary to jack up and support the vehicle on jack stands while doing this job? I.E. while I'm supporting the engine with a jack to remove the timing side motor mount. I prefer to not jack the car up and get partially underneath it if it's not necessary.

It seems I have read a couple conflicting things around. Will I need to remove the crank pulley sprocket bolt to get the crank pulley off to remove the timing cover? Or will I be able to just get the crank pulley off by removing the four bolts that surround the crank pulley sprocket bolt?

I've looked at the pulley but just want to make sure I know what to expect and have all necessary tools before starting.

You only need to remove the 4 10mm bolts on the crank pulley. Use a piece of 2x4 on the oil pan to support the engine.

Don't crush the oil pan. :thumb:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
Ok, thank you guys, I feel a lot better attempting this now.

I'll report back and let you know how it went.
 

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,118
2,304
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Break loose the crank pulley bolts and water pump pulley before removing drive belts.

For the water pump pulley
Put a deep 14mm socket in the hole on the power steering pulley so it locks the pulley when you're trying to break the water pump pulley bolts.
Also, make sure you have the orientation of the pulley correct since it is possible to install it backwards.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
8,237
4,115
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
While you are there, inspect the water pump, tensioner, tensioner pulley and idler pulley for wear and of course, the belt. This is THE time to fix anything that needs service.
 

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
I didn't attempt taking the timing cover off today because I wasn't satisfied with the torque wrench I would be using upon reassembly so I ordered a better one.

I will say, I am deathly afraid of snapping the 4 smaller bolts on the crankcase pulley when I'm taking it off, they look like they've been on there a long time. According to the service manual, these bolts should theoretically be torqued down between 14 and 22 lbs/ft.

Has anyone snapped these bolts before? Is it easy to do? Any tips for safely removing them? Is PB Blaster safe to use on them (I ask because I know PB blaster eats through engine seals and I'm hesitant to use it in close proximity to the rubber on the crank pulley).

I don't mean to ask obvious mechanical questions, I'm just worried about breaking those bolts as I'll be royally f*!&ed if I do, and would like any and all useful tips/help to try and avoid that.
 

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,118
2,304
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
I’m sure they’ve broken in at least one dsm. You’ll be fine spraying penetrating oil on those bolts. You won’t get any on the cranks seal if you tried. Impact comes in handy, even the cordless ones. If you don’t have an impact, work the bolt back and forth. That often works for me.

If that pulley looks old, you’ll want to replace that also. It’s not fun when it comes apart. Took out my new tbelt and timing cover.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jed344

Supporting VIP
1,106
217
Jan 10, 2008
Waterville, Iowa
I have in the past taken the bolts out and managed to pull enough space to pull out oil filter housing. I will add this was with brand new timing covers though, old used ones may very well not flex like mine did.
 

Santi714

Supporting VIP
21
10
Sep 29, 2019
Cleveland, Ohio
Hey Guys,

So I did something stupid yesterday. I was cleaning up my engine compartment and think I might have accidentally dropped a Q-Tip down behind the timing cover (I know, I know). The middle portion of the timing cover was cut out by the previous owner so there is an opening near the tensioner pulley making this possible, unfortunately. I'm not sure the Q-Tip even went down there, but I can't find it anywhere, so I need to be sure.

I'm going to remove the lower timing cover to either get the Q-Tip out, or insure it's not in there. I have the Factory Service Manuals and Hayne's and Chilton's repair guides. When I consult these guides for removal of the timing cover the first step says to find Top Dead Center. I'm assuming this is listed as the first step with the assumption that a timing belt job will be subsequently done.

My question is, do I need to find Top Dead Center if I am just removing the accessory belts, the crank pulley, and the lower timing cover? Just to reiterate, I am not doing anything in regard to timing, just removing the timing belt cover to get the q-tip out.

I have a 6-bolt swapped 1995 Eagle Talon TSI AWD.

Thank you for any and all help


Do you have a cam timing Lock??? If so put it on, zip tie it in position just so to be safe. This way you dont gotta worry about any "whoops as i was standing up i grabbed the cam and it moved, now idk where the crank is positioned" LOL can never be too safe.
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,029
883
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
You will have to get under the engine to get at the lower timing cover bolts. Pay attention to their lengths to put back in the same places - they are not all the same and must be in correct positions (one will groove your timing belt if wrong). [https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/bolts-come-with-new-timing-cover.259352/#post-151177614]. Now would be the time to replace your missing middle timing cover (motor mount vertical studs need to be removed or you will crack the middle cover bending it around them). BTW, Santi714 is incorrect, you don't need to worry about the timing belt moving if not changing anything on it. If the 14mm socket trick (post 7) doesn't work (belt still slips which happens to me), try putting a 1/4" square shanked 12" flat bladed screwdriver between 2 adjacent bolt heads of the water pump pulley to keep it from turning when loosening its bolts. It's not easy holding it there but it works with a little practice. Better than holding the pulley with a locking pliers which will damage it. Having the motor mount removed makes things way easier too.
 
Last edited:

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
First off, thanks everyone for the help so far. I wasn't sure I would get so much help for an admittedly stupid mistake and subsequent simple repair procedure.

As I'm looking more at the components involved in this, it seems the motor mount is not obstructing me taking the lower timing cover off because it was cut by the previous owner (the timing cover). If this ends up in fact being the case, can I skip the engine support/motor mount removal step? Does removing that mount serve any other purpose besides getting it out of the way for the timing cover removal? I'm not trying to be lazy, just trying to avoid unnecessary steps and points where I could mess up.
 

Vegas Smith

Proven Member
4,629
2,411
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
I've never worked on a 2g but I'm certain the mount just needs to be moved out of the way. Your'e overthinking it. You're just taking off a pulley and cover. You won't mess it up.
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,029
883
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
When you said "the middle portion of the timing cover was cut out by the previous owner" in post 1, I thought you meant the middle timing cover (which a 2g has). Now I realize you meant the middle part of the lower timing cover. Removing the motor mount makes it easier to get the lower timing cover on. Also you may find it necessary to lower the engine on that side to get at the crank pulley and lower timing cover bolts, since it gets very tight in there to get a socket on them.
 
Last edited:

Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
When you said "the middle portion of the timing cover was cut out by the previous owner" in post 1, I thought you meant the middle timing cover (which a 2g has). Now I realize you meant the middle part of the lower timing cover. Removing the motor mount makes it easier to get the lower timing cover on. Also you may find it necessary to lower the engine on that side to get at the crank pulley and lower timing cover bolts, since it gets very tight in there to get a socket on them.

Yeah, I was worried there might have been a little confusion about that part. I have a 6-bolt swapped 2G so my original lower timing cover would have been one piece (I'm not counting the upper cover that covers the cam sprockets), whereas with the 2G revision they made the lower timing cover 2 separate pieces (probably to simplify timing belt changes), at least that is how I understand it. I'm assuming the person who did the 6-bolt swap cut the lower timing belt cover to make it all fit (6-bolt in a 2G).

I have the front bumper off for something else, so I do have a bit more room to work underneath the front of the car.

Here are some pics of what I'm working with:

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Sandica

Proven Member
30
3
May 28, 2019
Sandgate, Vermont
I’d replace that pulley
Yeah it looks pretty beat, good advice, thanks.

Speaking of the pulley, upon re-installation, does it need to be oriented in a specific way in regard to the BTDC markings on the timing cover? I haven't really been able to find info on this.

I wouldn't think so as the crank pulley doesn't affect timing, but I'm obviously no expert.
 

Santi714

Supporting VIP
21
10
Sep 29, 2019
Cleveland, Ohio
It's not like you are removing the timing belt, i would not worry so much about the process. Mark all the bolts and take your time and yes crank pulley looks beat might wanna replace. Also replace your serpentine belts ends are starting to look frayed. Keep us posted i really wanna know if you find thst Q-tip now LOL
 
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