Edmunds Answers



  • screwedbygm 01/02/10 2:35 pm PST

    I'm not sure what you mean by "two, naked, overhead cams on the side of the block" but it sounds like you've just bought into one of the horror stories. Both the 2.0 and 2.4 Litre versions for 1997 are Interference Engines. Briefly, this means that, if a timing belt breaks, valves get bent all along the cylinder head necessitating complete rebuilding or replacement of same. These engines do not use chains for engine timing. At stealership prices, you're looking at around $3K to fix it. If "Pop" has the necessary skills and special tools to provide the labor, a reconditioned head, gasket set, timing belts, pulleys, tensioner, special tensioning tools and crankshaft washer will run about a grand or so, give or take a little depending on where you source the parts, making the cost of a manual small potatoes in the big scheme of things. The set up is somewhat complicated, so it's best not to try it without both a manual and a very powerful "nut-busting" impact wrench to remove the crankshaft pulley. You will find that Mitsubishi USA is basically a sales organization. When it comes to engineering knowledge or any form of assistance, they are basically clueless and not inclined to help. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but I wish you luck. Should you or "Pop" decide to contract the work out, you may be better advised to find an experienced, foreign car mechanic at an independent repair shop since it's unlikely that youngsters at a stealership will do a satisfactory job. Typically, Mitsubishi only keeps its technicians current on the latest models and seem far more interested in selling you a new car than repairing something that is 13 years old.


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