Timing belt half a notch off? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Timing belt half a notch off?

Hey folks, I'm still working on finishing up the project dz63 outlined here

It seems like I have to put the timing belt on 1/2 notch off perfect. When I've got 0 TDC lined up on the crankshaft and the camshaft, I can't get the belt on with the top (Camshaft to the water pump) in tension. If I put the belt on with the marks perfectly lined up, then I have slack up there that makes me worry the water pump will slip.

I moved the crankshaft 1/2 notch clockwise and put it on with the proper tension. The engine started and I ran it up to 3k rpm, and it seems alright.

I'm going to move forward, but I wanted to bounce it off you guys and see if I had cause for concern- If I'm off half a notch, will the motor still perform under load? How should I straighten it out if it is off by half a notch?

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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half notch? thats impossible! Dropping one notch off is common on TB change when tensioning up, I had to set two notches up so it dropped to correct position when I tensioned it.Definitely bring up to correct tension unless you like drama... at least you won't nuke engine like Hondas
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Install belt with timing marks aligned as best you can.

release tensioner so it can tighten belt

Rotate crank TWO times clockwise until it is back at TDC again, check Cam mark.

Rotating takes out the slack in the oil pump side

Should be dead on, or off by a full tooth if you missed it, re-adjust for that and repeat

Timing mark for Cam is at 12:00 on the cam bearing cap, it is a "V" notch, not a stamp mark, or circle.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did exactly what you did; slightly advanced cam to get the timing to line up during rotation. I now have a little too much slack from the cam to the water pump. With the cover on, you cannot hear it, but when the cover is off it makes a little floppy sound. I have read that one solution to this problem is to have an assistant push down on the belt to tension when installing. I'm not sure if you would advance the cam a tooth in that case. I have heard anecdotal evidence that improperly tensioned belts wear faster than regular belts. Aftermarket nitrile belts will probably be much less affected by the variable tension due to its increased strength and less flex. As far as whether it retards ignition timing, it probably depends. If the belt stretches, i.e. oem belt, then it probably would a little at first and more over time until its premature failure. But, if it doesn't stretch, i.e. aftermarket nitrile, then it should not affect your ignition timing at all and probably would last. At least that's the theory, of course nothing beats a timing light and a properly tensioned quality aftermarket nitrile belt.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. I put my cam on the mark, put the crank on "0". I put the belt om the crank first, cam second and it was very tight pulling it over the teeth. then I pulled the slack with the tensioner, checked the the crank and cam marks. The first time they were off and I did it again. Then I tightened the tensioner and turned the crank 4 full turns, checked the marks and tension. Everything was good.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They almost always end up a tooth or two off for me, hondas, toyota, ect. I line 'em up but after releasing the tensioner, they are off.

What I've been doing is, release the tensioner again, then hold the crank with one ratchet, and turn the cam with another, with the belt still on. since the belt is loose, it can and will skip a tooth when you do this.

And then it's dead on.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! Great info!

I went ahead and put the car back together pretty much how I initially described.

It's been running fine but I do have a check engine light on- I'm tired of working on the car so I'm going to let it slide for now (I can check the code, I'm just sick of working on it.)

I have till october- next state inspection- to fix that check engine light. If it's because the timing is just a hair off, I'll definitely use your advice to straighten it out.

Cblinnen, it sounds like our belts are set up exactly the same now. Bolink, I'm going to use your trick if I have to go back in there.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I ran mine 2-3 tanks of gas with it 2 teeth off. Check engine light never came on.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Check the CPS(cam position sensor) wires, its on the back side of the engine near the Cam gear, it is often overlooked when connecting things back up.
engine will run ok, just better if it's hooked up and CEL will turn off if reset.

Reset CEL by unhooking battery's Negative cable for 5 minutes.
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