Mitsubishi 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 3.8 Water Pump or Timing Belt Replacement

9:51 am DIY, How To Auto Repair, Mistubishi, Timing Belt

Continued from Page 1.

Turn the crankshaft in the normal direction of rotation which is to the right when looking at it from the front. Don’t to rotate the crankshaft by turning either of the camshaft bolts. It’s always best to use tightening torque specifications provided by the manufacturer found in a repair manual.

1. Raise and support the vehicle. If doing this at home use a floor jack and jack stands to be safe in case the jack fails or the car shifts. Then the right front wheel is removed and then take off the splash shield (except Montero). If changing the water pump, drain the coolant by using the drain on the radiator or removing one end of the lower radiator hose and catching the coolant.

2. The accessory belts can now be removed along with the pulley tensioner assemblies. Support the engine with a floor jack and a short piece of 2×4″ wood (except Montero). Remove the motor mount (except Montero) then remove timing belt covers. *Note that on the Montero the manual fan clutch will need to be removed. On some models the accessory bracket will need to be removed also. It will be obvious if the bracket will need to be taken off to remove the timing belt once the timing covers are removed.


3. Turn the crankshaft so that the engine is at top dead center, verify that it is at TDC with cam and crank timing marks – (if motor is still timed properly) as an additional precaution more marks can be made with white touch up paint or “white out” prior to timing belt removal.

4. Remove the hydraulic timing belt tensioner and offset idler. If re-using the hydraulic tensioner, it will be placed in a bench vise for compressing. The pin that holds the tensioner in place is called as grenade pin. A small drill bit can be used instead of a grenade pin if not available. If replacing the hydraulic tensioner with a new one, it will come with the grenade pin.

5. If replacing the waterpump – now is the time. Be sure to replace any seals or orings, leaks will be labor intensive to repair if care isn’t taken now to do the job properly. Crankshaft or camshaft seals can be changed now as well. New idlers are a good idea, if reusing the old ones be sure to check the bearings for smooth operation.

Installation is reverse of dis-assembly. Take extra time to insure that the timing marks are lined up correctly when the new belt is installed – nothing is worse than being off a tooth, except for having the timing off and bending valves.


Also see our 2.4 Mitsubishi repair blog on t-belt replacement.

Pages: 1 2

174 Responses
  1. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 18, 2015 @ 7:38 am

    Milton, I’m at a clear disadvantage by not being there in person to hear and inspect the vehicle myself. However, what stands out to me in your statement is SLUDGE. There are products to disolve some sludge, but this can cause blockage of the pick up screen for the oil pump and may not clean everything out. If there’s sludge, the passages for the oil can be restricted causing a lack of oiling. Lack of oiling can affect the lifters and cause bearing wear. Removing sludge entirely would involve disassembling the engine completely. Bearings can be inspected at that time, along with replacing lifters, seals, gaskets, water pump, timing belt etc. If there’s bearing wear, you may need to replace cams and cranks. But this is probabaly a 25 hour job including the labor involved to remove the engine, tear it apart, go through it, reassemble it and install it back into the vehicle. As a lower cost option, I would consider getting a good used engine instead. Good Luck.

  2. Milton :

    Date: February 18, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

    Thanks Dennis. I also suspect it could be sludge. I got a second opinion and the other Mechanic shares your view point. He has, however, suggested flushing the engine with diesel, removing the sump and cleaning up the the whole bottom. Inspect the bearings and he if there is bearing wear, he is suggesting getting a new motor in which suits me fine. I will give you feedback soon.

  3. Milton :

    Date: February 24, 2015 @ 8:38 am

    Hi Dennis. I had my Mitsubishi Pajero, 2002, 3.5GDI checked. Timing belt, fitted a new one. Checked sludge…..not an easy job I must tell you. The oil was just dirty and sludge was accumulating. Checked bearings, water pump, oil pump and the mechanic did a thorough engine flush, cleaning up everything, fitted new oil filter, plugs, new magnetic oil drain plug. Ran the car and everything was fine except one problem. When I took it for a spin, the engine oil light came on. Switched it off, started it, the oil light went off, came on after some seconds and started flashing first and then stayed on continuously. Checked the oil, it’s clean, opened the oil cap while it was running and I could see oil splashes. Looks like the oil pump is working fine as it looked new as well and I did not change it. Before I spend money on a new oil pump, I am suspecting that it could be the oil pressure switch that is faulty. How will I know it’s the oil pressure switch and where is it located on this car. Thanks for your help.

  4. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 24, 2015 @ 8:55 am

    Milton, it’s possible that it’s the oil pressure switch (refer to manual for location). But it’s also possible (like I mentioned before) that blockage of the pick up screen for the oil pump can occur when disolving the sludge. That’s why I advised against that approach. I would pull the pan and inspect the pick up screen. If it’s clean, do an oil pressure test with a gauge. The passages could still be clogged. Good Luck.

  5. Milton :

    Date: February 24, 2015 @ 9:23 am

    Will do the oil pressure test tomorrow and if it’s ok, I will change the oil pressure switch and advise. I can only afford another engine later this year. Not now.

  6. Milton :

    Date: February 25, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

    Hi Dennis. Here is what I discovered. I did the oil pressure test and it was fine. I then decided on my on to check the following. Oil pressure switch, which turn out to be fine. I then checked to see if the air cleaner element was replaced….it wasn’t and was almost blocked with dirt. I bought a new one and my idling became a little bit more normal. I then inspected the engine as it sounded like it had a vacuum leak. I saw that the pipe that blows hot air from the exhaust section into the left side of the cylinder head had some black smoke on the neck but not on the gasket. I took it out. Replaced with a new one and the motor ran fine after and the oil light was gone. Then I revved the engine….3000rpm for about 10 to 15 seconds, stopped and repeated that for about 2 to 3 times. The hydraulic lifter noise stopped. I checked my oil dip stick… it was still clean. I drove the car for about 200km, stopped it for hours until it had cooled down. I started it and it ran as smooth as new. Oil light issue not there. Checked the oil pressure again, it was fine. Checked the oil, it was still clean. Here is what the mechanic did… I am not too sure if you would recommend it when it comes to removing sludge. He ran the car hot. Drained the dirty oil. Took one liter of oil and mixed it with 4 liters of diesel, poured into the engine with a new oil filter in. Ran the car for about 30 minutes at idling speed. Drained the diesel oil mixture which was very dirty still. He then took out the sump cover…. not an easy thing to do on these 4wd vehicles. Inspected the pump, bearing wear and the pick up screen. With the sump out. He took 5 liters of clean diesel fuel and poured into the engine. Cleaned up everything and replaced the timing belt kit, plugs and oil filter again. He forgot to take out the air filter. Ran the motor with new oil in and then the engine oil light was off. I took it for a spin, it came on. Then it started coming on when stopped but when driving it will go off. After a few stops, it started flashing like when the car is about to switch off because the idling was below 400 rpms. I guess one can get away with removing sludge using diesel. Now it’s so smooth after the air filter replacement and the pipe I mentioned above. Thank you for pointing me to my problem. I appreciate it.

  7. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 25, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

    Milton, thanks for letting us know how it worked out. Good Luck.

  8. David Jefferson :

    Date: March 11, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

    I have a problem, I bought a 94 Mitsubishi Montero and just recently it stopped running and I have no idea why. So when I try to start it I can here the motor doing something but the belts and the fan is not moving, I have took off most of the front of the motor to see if my timing belt has broken but it’s still in good condition and it’s not broke…now here lies the problem, I have no idea what it could be…could any one help with this problem. Thanks.

  9. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 12, 2015 @ 7:15 am

    The accessory belts for the AC compressor, alternator and power steering should turn when the crank pulley (the main one at the front bottom of the engine) turns regardless of whether the timing belt is stripped or broken. I’d examine the crank pulley while someone tries to start the engine with the key and if needed, by turning it manually with a socket on the carnk bolt. Good Luck.

  10. zory :

    Date: September 12, 2015 @ 6:37 am

    My Mitsubishi Endevour wont start after replacing timing belt and water pump. Can you help?

  11. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 12, 2015 @ 8:54 am

    Zory, the timing is probably off a tooth. Recheck all timing marks. Good Luck.

  12. Mke :

    Date: December 9, 2015 @ 10:36 pm

    I have a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero 3.5. I am having a problem lining up the timing marks. The engine ran fine , so I don’t think it jump a few teeth. The marks are not highlighted very well. The marks on the cam and crank are fine its on the back covers that are in question. any help would be appreciated. Mike

  13. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 10, 2015 @ 7:22 am

    Be sure to see the diagram on page 2 of this article. Good Luck.

  14. Dave :

    Date: January 29, 2016 @ 6:34 pm

    I replaced the water pump and timing belt on a 3.8L endeavor and it starts and runs rough for a short time and then stalls. It won’t start again unless I let it sit for 20 min and then does it again. I was a half tooth off on spring loaded side (left facing front closest to firewall) would that be enough to mess it up?

  15. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 30, 2016 @ 9:42 am

    Dave, I don’t see how it’s possible to be a 1/2 tooth off. The cog on the belt would have to be in one groove of the pulley or the next. I have seen timing belts with a different number of cogs (teeth on the belt). That’s why I always count them and compare to the old belt. If I were you, I’d count the cogs and recheck the timing marks. Also, recheck everything that was taken apart including any air intake hoses, electric connectors etc. Good Luck.

  16. Dave :

    Date: January 30, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    Will do. Thanks for the reply!

  17. Norm :

    Date: February 26, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

    I have a 2008 3.8 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT-P I’m wondering is the timing set up the same as the 3.0 Mitsubishi engine? If it is then I’ll just time it the way the guy did on YouTube if they are both timed the same way. And where would be the best place to buy all the stuff? The dealer wants way too much for the timing belt, the water pump and pulleys. If you could help me out with a good product and a good price that be great.

  18. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 26, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

    Norm, the job is basically the same on 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 3.8’s. I would also check a repair manual. We don’t sell parts (only tools), but if you search online I’m sure you’ll find some great prices. Good Luck.

  19. Joelene :

    Date: May 10, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

    I have an 04 endeavor we replaced the timing belt water pump and everything when we got done it started ran for about a minute died and now won’t start anymore. We have checked and rechecked the timing to make sure it’s not off. It is throwing crank positioning.sensor sensor code so I bought a new 1 installed it and still nothing any ideas what could be going on.

  20. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 11, 2016 @ 3:19 pm

    Usually there won’t be a CK Sensor code unless the signal has been lost. I’d check wiring to sensor. Good Luck.

  21. Sal :

    Date: October 17, 2016 @ 7:33 pm

    I replaced the timing belt on my 2004 endeavor, it ran for a few days then the idler pulley came loose causing metal shavings and the car didn’t start after driving it to football practice. I have since replaced the pulleys, belt, and set the timing again, but the vehicle fails to turn over. Help please

  22. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 18, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

    Could have bent valves if the engine can not be turned over manually.

  23. Sal :

    Date: October 18, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    Ok, how do I manually try to turn it over?

  24. Sal :

    Date: October 18, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

    There was another gentleman passing by and he says that it sounds like my starter, could that be it all it does is like a winding noise