Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Camshaft/Timing Chain/Belt


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Fig. Fig. 1 Inspecting the timing belt wear

The correct installation and adjustment of the camshaft drive chain or belt is mandatory if the engine is to run properly. The camshaft controls the opening of the engine valves through coordination of the movement of the crankshaft and camshaft. When any given piston is on the intake stroke the corresponding intake valve must open to admit air/fuel mixture into the cylinder. When the same piston is on the compression and power strokes, both valves in that cylinder must be closed. When the piston is on the exhaust stroke, the exhaust valve for that cylinder must be open. If the opening and closing of the valves is not coordinated with the movements of the pistons, the engine will run poorly, if at all.