Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'96 Plymouth Voyager, Timing Belt Replacement
Q: I have my 96 Plymouth
Voyager van 3.0 Liter engine torn down to change out the timing belt.
I purchased a book (Haynes) for the instructions. I struggled with finding
TDC for the number one piston but thought once I aligned the crankshaft,
front and rear camshaft gears, to the marks specified in repair manual
I would be at TDC. Am I correct at this assumption? If so, why can't I
get the distributor gear to line up with any of the cap's firing points?
Please let me know where I went wrong. Kevin Jurgilanis
You really have not gone wrong. What the manual isnt telling you
(or youre looking in the wrong place) is that #1 on the distributor
cap is not where the rotor will be pointing. If you look closely at the
underside of the distributor cap youll see that the terminals on
the top of the cap, that the spark plug wires connect to, travel to a
different position on the inside of the cap. The distributor cap is configured
in this manner to minimize cross firing (spark jumping to the next cylinder).
A close inspection of the distributor cap will clear up all the confusion.