Timing Belt Replacement 2.4 Mitsubishi – Questions and Answers

1:46 pm DIY, How To Auto Repair, Mistubishi, Timing Belt

2.4_Mitsubishi_Timing_Belt

© DenLorsTools.com  Summary: In this automotive repair article we cover timing belt R&R instructions on the Mitsubishi 2.4 L SOHC engine and the recommended replacement interval. We list the different makes and models that use this particular engine. Automotive repair questions and answers are included along with a diagram for timing belt marks.

The Mitsubishi 2.4 Liter SOHC engine is used in the Eclipse, Galant and Outlander. Many people are unaware that the engine is also used in the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus.  It’s important to know that the 2.4 is an interference engine that may end up with bent valves and possibly damaged pistons if the timing belt strips or breaks during driving. The motor includes a main timing belt and a smaller balance shaft belt. Both of these should be replaced at the same time. The manufacturer recommended replacement interval is every 60,000 miles.


The job of replacing the timing belts on just about any engine is basically the same, regardless of which vehicle it is in.

2.4_Mitsubishi_Timing_Belt_2

There are several precautions keep in mind. It’s always best to disconnect the battery’s ground cable, do not turn the crank shaft or camshaft with the timing belt removed. Some people prefer to remove the spark plugs to make the engine easier to turn although this is not necessary. Turn the crank shaft in the normal direction of rotation which is clockwise. Do not try to turn the crankshaft by turning the camshaft bolt. It’s always best to use tightening torque specifications provided by the manufacturer.

1. Raise and support the vehicle. If doing this at home use a floor jack and jack stands for safety. Then the right front wheel is removed and then the splash shield. It‘s easiest to loosen the water pump bolts before removing the accessory belts, otherwise the entire pulley will turn. Then remove the alternator, AC and power steering belts. After the belts are removed the upper timing cover can be taken off.

2. Always start with the engine at top dead center compression stroke with the timing marks aligned. Find top dead center by removing the #1 spark plug which is closest to the front of the engine and placing a screwdriver or 1/4″ extension down the hole. Turn the crank slowly and make sure it doesn’t bind – when the tool that was inserted reaches the highest point, top dead center is reached. Verify with marks.

3. Toward the engine with a block of wood on the floor jack positioned underneath the oil pan. Once the engine is lifted up slightly a motor mount can then be removed.

4. Leave the main crankshaft bolt in place. Remove the smaller bolts holding the crank pulley in place pulley to the side. Then remove the lower timing belt cover.

5. Now look for the timing belt marks and make sure they are aligned. I recommend making some of your own marks as well with white touch up paint or white out. Of course this will not be possible if replacing a broken or stripped belt. But when replacing a belt for maintenance I like the additional assurance, that the extra marks give me.

6. The main belt’s tensioner is hydraulic. The 12 mm bolts are removed and then he tensioner can be placed in a bench vice to be compressed. The pin to hold a tensioner in place is sometimes referred to by mechanics as grenade pins. Sometimes a small drill bit can be used instead of the specific pin. If you are replacing a tensioner it will come with the correct pin.

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135 Responses
  1. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 20, 2015 @ 11:52 am

    It’s likely because it should move easily.

  2. len :

    Date: May 8, 2015 @ 11:45 am

    2008 mitsubishi spyder eclipse 2.4. Timing belt needed to be changed, teeth worn.new belt installed but belt walks off pully. tried 2 new belts. same problem. belt walks of pully.any ideas?

  3. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 8, 2015 @ 12:35 pm

    If crank pulley is not installed, the timing belt may walk off. Also if idler pulley or tensioner is worn on angle. Good Luck.

  4. bernard :

    Date: May 10, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

    I have a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant 2.0L engine. At idle it fires at 11-13 degrees btdc it should fire at 5 degrees btdc +or- 3 degrees. All timing marks are right on. I want the car to run right before I change the water pump and timing belts. I have already put in new plugs, coils wires and sensors (crank and cam) there is no adjustment for these sensors. Any ideas to help?

  5. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 11, 2015 @ 7:50 am

    Timing is adjusted by the computer depending upon conditions, advancing or retarding timing as needed. If it seems to run properly, there’s no codes and you are sure the timing marks are all lined up; you should be good to go.

  6. bernard :

    Date: May 11, 2015 @ 10:21 am

    thank you for your imput

  7. trev :

    Date: May 12, 2015 @ 2:12 am

    What damage can be done by turning the crankshaft counter clockwise while putting in time during a broken balance belt repair?

  8. trev :

    Date: May 15, 2015 @ 12:46 am

    Please ignore my question since I’ve read n watched a lot more about these motors and I’m glad i did because I realized I almost ruined my motor. I now how removed all pulleys and cleaned and scotch brighted my motor to the point I believe I can eat off it. I would like to keep it but my timing belt cover is bad and I’ve looked everywhere for one but only found disappointment. Where can I find one? Replaced everything else just need that to finish. Or is there something else i can use? Thanx for all the info.

  9. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 15, 2015 @ 7:44 am

    Trev, there’s no aftermarket timing covers that I’m aware of. So that only leaves two possibilities. 1.New from the dealer. 2. Used from a salvage yard. Good Luck.

  10. Hailraze2 :

    Date: May 25, 2015 @ 7:38 pm

    I have 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Just bought it a few months back. It had been sitting up for a few years, but would crank and run fine. I drove it from Alabama to Arkansas wit h no problem. Upon reaching Arkansas it began jerking and losing power at higher rpms. if i let of a lil bit it would gain speed and continue. Replaced fuel pump, Head gasket and Spark plugs. This did nothing and a few days later the car would start one day then not the next. Plugged it up to a handheld tester and it threw a crankshaft sensor error code. After stripping it down to change the sensor we found the shaft balancing belt was broken. Thanks to your q and a on this site i replaced it and reset all timing marks. Its still only cranking randomly and still throws the same code. I will mention that i accidentally removed the hydraulic tensioner, but simply bolted it back on. Am i missing something? When it cranks it runs perfectly. sometimes it also throws the o2 sensor code but rarely.

  11. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 26, 2015 @ 10:06 am

    If you haven’t already, I would try the Crank Sensor. The code for the crank sensor shouldn’t set for a broken balance shaft belt. Maybe it’s intermittently going open circuit. Good Luck.

  12. Hailraze2 :

    Date: May 26, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

    Yes, Sir. I have replaced the crank shaft position sensor. Yet, I still receive the same error code. I,ve checked all wires as well. After breaking it down again, all timing marks were still on except the top gears timing mark had done a 180. The Mark on the Gear was straight down, where the mark on the engine itself is of course straight up. am I maybe not tightening a belt enough or maybe a pulley catching? Nothing appears to be faulty. Thanks again.

  13. Amber :

    Date: July 22, 2015 @ 6:03 pm

    I put my car back together and it didn’t have the pin for the timing belt tensioner. If I compress it and put a bit in it. Does it stay in when I put it back together?

  14. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 23, 2015 @ 7:31 am

    Amber, I’ve used a small drill bit before as a grenade pin for the timing belt tensioner. Just wear safety glasses in case it breaks. There’s a lot of pressure on it. Good Luck.

  15. MCombs :

    Date: August 2, 2015 @ 10:11 pm

    My 2006 2.4L 4 Cylinder Mitsubishi Eclipse won’t start; it will crank over but it just won’t start. I was told that it could need the timing belt replaced. Does my car have a zero tolerance engine?

  16. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 3, 2015 @ 8:11 am

    I wouldn’t say zero tolerance. It could have valve damage if the belt broke while driving, especially if it was at higher RPM’s. The first thing to do is pull the top part of the the timing belt cover and see if the cam turns when someone tries to start the car. If it is broken (or teeth stripped) try a belt and see what happens. Good Luck.

  17. Bsamy :

    Date: September 14, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    I have an 2006 Galant and I just had the timing belt changed two days ago everything is fine. just seems when I start from dead stop the rpm are at 2000 before the speed sensor register movement. Is this normal or do you think the timing is off by a hair. Dont seem like a big problem or is it.

  18. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 14, 2015 @ 7:10 pm

    When you say speed sensor I think you mean the tachometer which shows the RPM’s. If the timing was off the car would set a code, run bad etc, but not show delayed RPM display. Maybe just a bad gauge for the tach. Good Luck.

  19. Bsamy :

    Date: September 14, 2015 @ 11:34 pm

    Yeah, you right because the car does not skip or shake – all the tell-tale signs of the timing being off. Thanks a lot for your comment.

  20. Bsamy :

    Date: September 17, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

    How you doing Dennis I was driving car after timing belt change on the high way and it seems like my car is laboring when am at speeds 65 or 70 it still seems like its not performing to its full potential for 8 years driving that car I never notice it but now I can what do you think it could be

  21. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 18, 2015 @ 8:19 am

    Hello Bsamy. Sounds like the timing belt could be off a tooth on one of the sprockets. A sense of the car bogging or lagging behind in power especially after a timing belt installation is a tell-tale sign of the timing being off. I’d recheck the marks. Good Luck.

  22. Scott henderson :

    Date: October 4, 2015 @ 2:46 pm

    I have double and triple checked timing marks and reluctor wheel installation but i have noticed that passkey light doesnt come on at all replaced bulb still no light

  23. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 5, 2015 @ 8:49 am

    Scott unsure what you mean by “passkey light”.

  24. Cliff :

    Date: November 24, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

    I had my timing belt pop on me while driving on the highway on the way to work. I got it changed as well as a new tensioner, but I can somewhat hear what I think is the belt but when I had my mechanic check it again the timing is correct. I’m guessing I might have a valve get damaged or bent a bit because I noticed when we took out the 1st spark plug there was oil on it. What could cause this leak?

  25. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 24, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    Oil on the spark plug could be oil getting past the piston ring. If the engine burns a lot of oil, could also be valve guides. Good Luck.

  26. bill mitchell :

    Date: December 2, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

    Hi there I put a new timing belt and a fuel pump in a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 liter it just cranks over. What do I check next to see what else could be wrong? Thank you for your help.

  27. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 2, 2015 @ 4:45 pm

    You don’t say if the car was running before you started working on it. So, if it ran before you changed the timing belt I’d check the timing marks again. Good Luck.

  28. RonD :

    Date: May 29, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

    How do you adjust the timing once a belt has broke

  29. Thomas :

    Date: June 10, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

    how do you know if your mitsubishi galant has a tolerance motor

  30. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 13, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

    There’s no adjusting a broken belt. I’d follow the timing marks from the manufacturer. Obviously if it’s just a maintenance belt I’d make some more of my own marks to make things easier. Good Luck.

  31. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 13, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

    There are manuals that say if a particular engine is an interference one or not. Even if it is there’s a chance that it didn’t bend the valves when the belt breaks. I’d just try a belt and see. Good Luck.

  32. Joe :

    Date: July 22, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    I’ll have a 2.4 on a 07 Mitsubishi Eclipse set all the timing marks everything seems to be in place but the car just won’t start I checked the spark plugs and they were drenched in oil could my valves be bent

  33. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: July 22, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

    Joe, anytime a timing belt breaks it’s possible that the valves are bent. Good Luck.

  34. Ruturaj :

    Date: September 2, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

    What else do you recommend to change with timing belt? I am changing timing belts, water pump, camshaft and crankshaft seals, thermostat. Should I change the timing cover gasket as well (I have no idea what that is but when I was looking to buy crankshaft seal from fel-pro it shows set of seal and gasket)?

  35. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 3, 2016 @ 9:53 am

    I would change what you’ve listed. The 2.4 doesn’t rally have a conventional timing cover gasket. The timing covers are plastic and don’t hold oil. They may have seals that help keep dirt out, so sure replace those if you want. The oil pump housing gasket could be changed but only if it looks like it has been leaking. They rarely leak unless disturbed. Good Luck.

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