Before removing the engine bracket and digging into the timing belt, you need to position the #1 piston at TDC. This is a
little tricky, but not as bad as it sounds.
The good news is that if your engine was running correctly before you started tearing it apart, the timing is already
correctly set. You will simply note where things are so you can get everything back together.
First, label all of the spark plug wires. This sounds dumb, but it will save you.
Here is one of the tricky parts. You now need to mark the distributor body so that you know the rotor position when #1 is
at TDC. Mitsubishi (in their infinite wisdom) did NOT put the contact point for the #1 plug right under the top plug (why
would they do something simple like that?).
Remove the plug wires and unbolt the distributor cap. Here is the view of the # 1 contact point. It is about the 4 o'clock
position compared to the top plug in. Here is the view of the cap upside-down. Also mark the distributor cap on the top
Now mark the distributor body at a point below where the CONTACT POINT for the # 1 plug wire is. This should be at about
4 o'clock on the distributor. The distributor rotor at this point may be in any spot around the circle.
Now you will rotate the engine to correctly position the engine. Don't worry, it does not have to be perfect, just close.
The interior marks on the crank sprocket and cam sprockets will give the final lineup.
For the automatic transmission car, you can simply turn the crank pulley by hand or using a strap wrench. This is easier
if the spark plugs are loose already. Alternatively, you can put on the crank bolt and turn it using a 1/2" socket.
(For a manual transmission, place the car in neutral to turn the engine).
Turn the crank pulley clockwise while watching the distributor rotor. The rotor will move counter-clockwise. When the
rotor reaches the area of your mark on the distributor body, check the crank pulley. Look at the timing mark, which is located
on the engine bracket. You should see a notch in the pulley at about the 10-12 degree BTDC mark. Highlight this notch with
white paint or chalk.
Because the crank pulley and sprocket make two revolutions for each revolution of the distributor rotor, you should also see
the white mark come into position when the rotor is pointing 180 degrees opposite to your mark on the distributor body. Rotate
the crank once around again to get #1 piston near TDC. Remember, the firing point for the # 1 cylinder is 12 degrees BEFORE
TDC, so actual TDC will be 12 degrees after your mark as the rotor turns counterclockwise.
Now remove the crank bolt without rotating the crankshaft. A strap wrench will help. Keep an eye on the distributor rotor.
A good idea, BTW, is to leave the distributor cap loosely over top of the rotor to keep anything from smashing it during
At this stage, the crank pulley should slide right off. A small nub on the underlying dampener shows its correct orientation
to the crank sprocket and the Woodruff key.
Now remove the engine dampener, which lies under the main crank pulley. You will need a puller-tool to do this. Use correct
size bolts (#8 metric, I think) to slowly pull the dampener off the end of the crankshaft.
This will expose a small round plate that covers the keyway and the front main (crankshaft) seal.
OK. Big deep breath. Now you are ready to remove the engine mounting bracket. Basically, this is a big piece of metal that
serves 2 purposes. First, it give the engine mount something to bolt on to. Second, it serves as a mount plate for a few
of the accessories.
With the motor mount out, the remaining 5 bolts are all located on the left side of the bracket (towards the rear of the
To remove the two bolts behind that power steering pulley (arrows), you must loosen the power steering pump mounting bracket.
This is behind the R front of the engine, and is held on by two bolts. Loosen, do not remove these. With the PS pump
bracket loose, you can shimmy the 2 engine bracket bolts out.
With the bolts removed from the engine bracket, it will side out from its mounting shafts. You can ease it down and out from
below as long as the PS pump bolts are loose.
Now that we are done with all of that ... it is on to the timing cover and changing the belt !
Timing Belt Change -- Page 5