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2VZ-FE timing belt nightmarish install

8004 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  dem2757
I've done many timing belt jobs, but this one kicked my ass. Anyone here done the timing belt on a Gen2 Camry V6? The job seems straight forward, except ..... The bracket that the front engine mount attaches to (which bolts to the block) is very difficult to remove, even when jacking up the engine a few inches. You have to twist the bracket at just the right angle to remove it, which is very difficult. :headbang:

Installing is even more frustrating. I found out the "only" way to do it is to remove the tensioner and idler, thread the timing belt through the bracket the way it will be when installed, then maneuver the bracket into place. It took me many, many tries to get it right. The timing belt I got (Mitsuboshi) had no timing marks on it, but luckily on the old belt the markings where just barely visible so I transferred those to the new belt (I should have checked the new belt before I started the job).

When I installed the new belt, the bank 2 cam marks did not line up, the cam gear was what looked like a half a tooth out clockwise. I went through all the trouble of removing the belt and re-installing the old one. Pretty much the same thing, maybe slightly less out. Moving the belt 1 tooth in either direction put the timing much farther out. Anyone else had this problem? I fail to understand why I cant get the marks to line up perfectly, I've always been able to do this before. I have only briefly run the engine so I can't say for sure if the timing is correct or not, have to fill with coolant etc. and go for a drive.

So after the very frustrating job, I decided to read over the service manual, they say little to nothing about the bracket, but do tell you to remove the cam gears (I did replace the cam seals but put the gears right back on and torqued them), install the bracket and the belt, then line up your marks and install the cam gears. Anyone tried this method? It seems like an even more impossible way to do things.

Just found this to be a very difficult job when it should have been easy, it took me less time to replace the valve cover gaskets. Anyone else here a similar experience? Maybe I'm not as good a mechanic as I used to be. :facepalm:
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It was a pain with that bracket, I had to jack my engine up significantly to get it out. I used Bando belts, supposedly the OEM manufacturer. I don't remember any details of my change, but I do remember following these directions and of course help from guys on this board. It was my first timing belt change so they must be pretty good if I could follow it and get it right.
That's a nice guide there. I suppose I should have lifted the engine a lot more, or did what the service manual said and assemble everything, put on the cam gears last.

I just finished putting everything back together, engine runs fine even though I could swear the timing mark on the one cam is out. But it revs and idles 100% smoothly, I just don't get how that mark can't be made to line up. :confused:

Here is the offending bracket

Harmonic balancer mark at zero

Camshaft gear, notice the marks are slightly off. Moving it one cog either way put the marks even father out. Also I did paint the new belt matched from the marks on the old one, so I guess it's correct?

The engine, looks pretty good considering all I did was rinse it off.

I'll post some more pics later after I've done some paint correction. This car is a time machine, everything is in such great condition. The engine inside was absolutely immaculate, looked new. The previous owner must have changed oil religiously, there was zero varnish or build up.
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your marks are dead on. it wont be exact, but thats where it should be. I wish my engine looked that good. I need some passenger side engine work if you catch my drift....:disappoin
your marks are dead on. it wont be exact, but thats where it should be.
It must be right, engine runs properly. When I did my 3VZ-FE, the marks were pretty much bang on. Essentially the same engine except for the displacement and a few other minor things. The intake plenum and valve covers are much nicer looking on the 2VZ though, Toyota uglified them on the 3VZ.
I wish my engine looked that good. I need some passenger side engine work if you catch my drift....:disappoin
My '87 engine doesn't look near as good, this car for some bizarre reason is in amazing condition. I'm still scratching my head how this car stayed so nice. Zero rust, in this part of the world you almost never, ever see in a Gen2 Camry.
Yeah, that is amazing....look at the valve cover, original gold and lettering paint. Mine was so bad I just painted the whole thing aluminum. And that plastic injector wire cover isn't even broken apart from the heat of the engine, mine just disintegrated when I tried to take it off.
Yep this car is an oddity. Too bad I'm not keeping it (bought it for my Niece) what a great little car. I couldn't keep it anyway I have too many cars as it is. BTW, why did Toyota stop using orange spark plug wires? I think they look really nice.

Of note, valve cover #1 does not have the red accents, I guess Toyota said why bother you can't see them anyway.

edit - car has 200,000 kilometers (120K miles) so it was driven somewhat normally. Pretty sure the exhaust is original, Toyota brand muffler is fine but the flex pipe is starting to go (hard part to find in Canada). The rad hoses are originals and don't leak. Odd.
my engine has some leaks from under the timing cover and rear valve gasket. i changed the front one, not a spec of sludge in the valvetrain!
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