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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I was replacing a head gasket recently but I'm running into problems with getting the timing belt back onto the cam sprocket. Originally I thought I would be able to just slide it back on easily, I did not touch the tensioner while uninstalling the timing belt.

Now it's looking like I have to find a way to pull the belt back on the cam sprocket (the belt is very tight for some reason, even though I had thought that it would be an easy fit as I didn't change anything from the point of taking it off)

Does anyone have any tips for removing the middle timing belt cover? Can I release the tensioner without removing any other parts? pulleys, alternator etc.
 

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Premium Member
1994 Corolla DX
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4,375 Posts
See they DIY section for the two timing belt DIY threads.

You will need to remove the accessory belts to get the second cover off, along with the passenger wheel and engine splash cover. The alternator can stay - just need to release the tension so the belts can come off.
 

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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So with accessory belts out of the way the middle timing cover is a go?
 

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1997 Corolla
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5,509 Posts
It's not easy, but it will come off.
 

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Registered
1995 Toyota Corolla
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1,596 Posts
To put on the timing belt, the tensioner must be loosened. After it is on, the tensioner must be set by loosening the hold down bolt, rotating the engine 2 full rotations, then tightening the bolt.

The middle timing cover is a little tight. I broke mine when I pulled it out the first time.
 

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1997 Corolla
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4,271 Posts
You need to loosen the bolt holding the tensioner, push the tensioner all the way to the left (against the spring force) and tighten it in that position. Once you have the timing belt installed you loosen the tensioner bolt, turn the crankshaft 2 turns, then tighten the tensioner to spec.

Some Toyotas have a hole in the timing belt cover to access the tensioner bolt. That hole has a plastic plug in it that you can remove. I'm not sure if these engines have that, and I'm too lazy to go look.
 

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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The 7A-FE has a rubber plug for access to the tensioner bolt. Now is the tensioner spring loaded? I was under the impression that it uses a separate adjusting bolt.

Update: I've been able to break the tensioner bolt loose a few turns but it hasn't released any tension yet, just wondering if I should back it out more?
 

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1997 Corolla
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5,509 Posts
Once the bolt is loose, you'll need to push the tensioner to where it will put some slack in the belt. It has a spring in it which maintains tension unless someone overcomes the force of the spring.
 

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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well the head gasket job was a success, and the engine is timed well. Only problem now is a leaking oil pan lol. The last guy put used a silicone gasket on the oil pan . I removed and put back in all the bolts of the pan and now the gasket must have failed lol.

The oil pan only seems to leak when I start and drive the car.
 

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1997 Corolla
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5,509 Posts
Good work! Are you sure it's not one of the main seals?

What brand of gasket did you use? Did you use any RTV?
 

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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
What do you mean by main seals?

I didn’t actually drop the oil pan. I just took out the bolts, and put them back in because I ran into the RTV gasket.

The leak seems to have stopped after running the engine for a bit. I am still keeping an eye on the leak/oil levels before starting the car.
 

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1997 Corolla
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5,509 Posts
Front main bearing seal and rear main bearing seal. They're probably not the problem though. You can also go back and try re-tightening the pan bolts, in case any came loose.

But if it has stopped leaking, I wouldn't do anything but keep an eye on it, and the oil level.
 

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Bruh
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Oil level was where it was 2 days ago, so I think it’s ok. Btw I found a total of 3 exhaust manifold gaskets installed when I was working on the car :unsure:
 

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My actual picture
1995 Corolla DX
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371 Posts
The alternator can stay - just need to release the tension so the belts can come off.
One should also research how to loosen the tensioner, I remember when I did that, I had forgot about the hidden bolt on the side and could not figure out why the belt was not loosening.
 
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