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DIY Timing Belt
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:08 PM   #1
RS-Flyboy
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Default DIY Timing Belt

Ah, yes! Is your Sube getting high in miles? Haven't done your belts yet? You should! The lifespan of an average timing belt can be 75k miles, but it isn't a bad idea doing it beforehand, therefore preventing further damage to your beloved car. Without further procrastinating....

Step One: Preperation:
1. Grab a 6-pack, pack of smokes, and crank up the AC/DC.
2. To be on the safe side (I'm always playing it safe), remove the battery cables. Nothing worse then accidentally leaning on your chassis with a tool in your hand, and zapping yourself.
3. Remove the spark plugs. You'll see why later.
4. Remove the covers for your alternator belt and air conditioning compressor.

Step 2: Gettin Dirty
1. Start by loosening up the tensioner for your alternator belt. That belt is the one that goes to the left from the crankshaft. (A) Remove the belt when it is good and loose. If it still feels tight, push DOWN on the alternator. Voila! Should go down, loose enough to pull the belt.
2. Loosen the tension for the air conditioning compressor. (B) Pull that belt off as well.

Step 3: With the People Spreadin the Dirt
1. You are going to remove the BIG pulley that the prior belts ran on. A way that I learned how to do it, from good 'ol James (the site owner), is to bump start it off. Get the proper fitting socket on there, make sure its a good one, and a decent ratchet. Put a breaker bar (a bar about 3' 6" long) on one end of the ratchet, and the other end on the ground. Make sure it is on the DRIVER side on the ground! Last thing you want it for that thing to swing around! Reconnect the battery, and just bump the starter, but dont start it! It shouldn't take more then 3-4 bumps to loosen that nut up. Remove the nut, then the pulley. You can disconnect the battery again if you want. That bolt? Thats the crank bolt.
2. Remove the timing belt covers. I hope I don't have to write more on this part. If so, you probobly shouldn't be doing your own timing belt.
3. Next, you're ready to remove the belt! The easiest way I found to do it, is to remove an idler pulley (C). Slide it out, then take a piece of paper. Make a quick drawing of the belt's pattern on your engine, then remove the belt.
4. This part is REAL tricky, and tough! Its best to get someone to give you a hand for this one. You'll need a sturdy screwdriver, flathead, and a small nail, but at least 1" long. You are going to want to use the screwdriver to push down on the tensioner pulley (C still, marked with red) far down enough to slide the small nail or pin through the tensioner's front side, through the hole in the plunger you're pushing down on, and through the backside of the tensioner. Hope you picked a decent nail to hold the pressure! Its a lot!

Step 4: Almost there, Big Guy
1. Remember that idler pulley you took off? Put it back on! Make sure its good and tight.
2. On the crank sprocket (D) has the timing mark lined up with the mark on the oil pump, which is located directly behind it. The mark I believe, is 90 degrees to the right of the Top Dead Center mark. DO NOT confuse the Top Dead Center mark with the timing mark! The Top Dead Center mark is an arrow stamped into the sprocket. The timing mark will usually be a dot of some sort, usually spray painted.
***NOTE*** (added 5.13.08)
Seems as if, depending on the year, the marks on the sprocket are different. My '98 had the one stamped line, as well as the dot that seemed painted. Other years may have multiple markings on the sprocket, such as 2 stamps and one painted, or one stamp and 2 painted. As well, the stamps used seem to differ from year to year as well. If you have any questions regarding this part, do not hesitate on taking a pic of the timing belt at TDC, and taking note on where the marks are. You can tell if you're in TDC by the notches on the cams. As well, also do not hesitate to pop a question on this thread; quite a few people watch it, and many will be able to answer, including myself, in no time. If you are at all unsure about this when you put it on, the part where you turn the engine over by hand should let you know if there is an issue with the timing.

3. Line up the marks on the camshaft with the marks on the case behind it. Not too difficult. Personally, I do the right (driver) cam first.
**This is MOST crucial in a DOHC ('98 2.5RS) engine. The top cam, and the bottom cam, both line up with each other. (DOHC). The 2 marks on the top and bottom cam line up with each other, and when they're lined up, you can use a small clamp to clamp them together lined up. If not, they could fly out of alignment! You'll see what I mean if you do it without.
4. Put the belt on in this order, clockwise. (E). When you do, line up the dotted line on the belt with the mark on the crank sprocket/oil pump. If you do it correctly, the next line on the belt will line up with the mark on the drivers cam. Just keep going, making sure all the lines on the belt line up with the marks noted on the back timing cover. I noted the marks on the back cover in red. Keep going all the way around.
5. On the tensioner pulley, remember that pin? Grab a pair of pliers, and pull the pin out. Hope you did the belt correctly, or else you'll have the start over. The belt should now be tight(er) then it did before. If its not completely tight, don't fret, the tensioner is automatic. It'll get tight. Just remember to put the belt on the same pattern as before.
6. Put the crank bolt back in the crank sprocket, and tighten it good. Next, turn the engine over BY HAND. Make sure the car isn't in gear though! Turn it over by hand for about 4-5 minutes. That should be long enough to feel for any problems. It should turn smoothly. If they're in, you'll be fighting against compression, or it could be an issue with a busted valve. The latter is more common if you're doing the belt because the belt snapped while the engine was running. You may want to turn down the AC/DC to listen to for anything odd when you do this.
7. Put the timing covers back on in this order: center cover, then the sides. Once again, I always do driver side first. Uniformity rules.
8. Using the technique to remove the cam bolt, do it again. You need to take it off to put the crank pulley back on.
9. Put the the crank pulley back on, and put the crank bolt back in. Turn it over till its good and tight! If you're really concerned with the lbs/square-inch, don't worry. When the engine is running, it self-tightens the bolt.

Step 5: Final Touches
1. Put the belts back on, starting with the air conditioning pump belt (the one on the right). Put it on, and make it *snug*.
2. Next, do the alternator and power steering pump.
3. Tighten the belts the same way you loosened them.
4. Put the belt covers back on.
5. Put the spark plugs back in, and hook up the battery cable.
6. Drink yer last beer.

Well, now you have that done, you'll have a good idea of what you're getting into when you do your water pump and oil pump! Ha!

BTW: The pictures are as such: A-D are listed on this post, E, and the DOHC pic on the next thread. You will find the picture label on the corner of the pic.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY Timing Belt-pic1.jpg   DIY Timing Belt-pic2.jpg   DIY Timing Belt-pic3.jpg   DIY Timing Belt-pic4.jpg  

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Last edited by RS-Flyboy; 05-13-2008 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:11 PM   #2
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The rest:
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DIY Timing Belt-dohc.jpg   DIY Timing Belt-pic5.jpg  
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:17 PM   #3
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Damn... looking back, I have a lot of info. If I left anything out, please tell me so I can edit it! I think its pretty specific, though. Comments/questions welcome.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:37 PM   #4
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i've got the service manuals....which it looks by the pics..you do too...how bout maybe including torque values...

if you don't have them, i do...

something else, about the self adjusting idler. i found it was easier to take it out, put it in a vise, and use a nail to get it compressed. and just put it back on. either way works, just might be a little easier in a vise than to use a screw driver on the block.
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Last edited by George.of.the.Jungle; 04-21-2005 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:43 PM   #5
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service manuals in PDF? Hell yeah! Howwver, I found them extremely vague (yep, vague.. trust me ppl who don't have them), and extremely unamusing. Torque values I found weren't a real necessity.. hand-tight for most screws, such as timing cover and belt covers are fine. Torque specs are really only necessary when doing something as fierce as the head gaskets and such, I found.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:50 PM   #6
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i was meaning more towards the torque for the pullies....i'd hate to see someone put it on there and have it not on right.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:14 AM   #7
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Nice write-up, I'll be using it very soon. Torque values would be nice though... Some of us are kinda anal about that stuff...
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lo0mis
Nice write-up, I'll be using it very soon. Torque values would be nice though... Some of us are kinda anal about that stuff...
Thanks! My first *major* post. When I get home from work, I'll edit the post with torque specs. Anything else you want me to add? Anything to clarify when I edit? Additional pics maybe of something? Let me know what ya need, I'll do my damndest to get it on there.
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:02 PM   #9
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^^^^^^
Ditto
^^^^^

Diagrams are sweet...

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Old 04-22-2005, 04:15 PM   #10
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i always though that the DOHC motor would be difficult to put the belt back on but if you can clamp it to the other pulley that makes it much easier than a SOHC motor and the top left and back right must sit right top of the cam lobe because you say "you'll find out why"
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