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Timing belt vs. chain

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Old 07-16-2008, 02:13 AM   #1
Curyfury [OP] Curyfury is offline
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Timing belt vs. chain

Bought a used 1998 2.4L and from my understanding it has a timing chain. I'm new to cars with a timing chain, but it sounds like you don't have to worry about the timing chain as much as you do with a timing belt. After reading some threads, it sounds like new generation tacomas come with timing belts. Why is it that toyota went with a belt in the newer models when they seem to be higher maintenance?
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curyfury View Post
Bought a used 1998 2.4L and from my understanding it has a timing chain. I'm new to cars with a timing chain, but it sounds like you don't have to worry about the timing chain as much as you do with a timing belt. After reading some threads, it sounds like new generation tacomas come with timing belts. Why is it that toyota went with a belt in the newer models when they seem to be higher maintenance?
I honestly couldn't tell you why they switched....

If I had to guess - Timing belts are quieter and they don't stretch as much. Chains can stretch and get sloppy/noisy. When they stretch - that causes more wear and tear on the sprockets they ride on (machine term).

I'm sure other people will add to this.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:27 AM   #3
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I thought that they went back to chains on many vehicles. I know that my '03 corolla has a timing chain where as previous generation(s) had a belt.
I thought the same thing was true for the trucks; up through a certain year had a chain, then they switched to a belt, and then back to a chain. I think the chain was meant to last a lot longer than the belt but I might be wrong. My '91 had a chain and was due to be changed when I sold it a couple of months ago after 249K.
I don't recall a timing belt being mentioned in the owner's manual at any service interval?

Does anyone know which has which?
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:39 AM   #4
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A timing belt is much quieter than a chain, and some new Toyota vehicles still use a belt. Toyota went back to useing a chain, as they dont have to be changed at a regular interval, and they have quieted the noise on them to a large degree. Problem with a belt, is that you cant tell when it will break, which is why they have to be changed regularly. A chain may stretch, but it is very unlikely it will break. With a chain, the biggest concern is it wearing thru the guide. You can tell if this has happened as it will make a sound like someone is inside the motor hitting it with a small hammer. The guide keeps a constant pressure on the chain, and when the guide wears down (its plastic), your vehicle may experience a power loss. The last chain I looked at was on a 2.4 with 139,000 miles, and it showed no sighn of stretching, and the guide was in great shape. Toyota engineers the chain for a 250,000 mile service life, though I have found that many are fine beyond that mileage.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexbill View Post
Does anyone know which has which?
The 2.7 and the 4.0 use a chain. Belts are only used on some cars, anymore.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:39 AM   #6
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Thank god they quit using the belts on the new Tacoma's. Years ago parts and labor was about $300 for a timing belt job. Now, it's pushing $500. My wife's 98 4Runner with the 3.4L has the dreaded belt. Her vehicle currently has 156,000. Looks like I still have to deal with the cost on that vehicle.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:53 PM   #7
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For me it's chain all the way, I'll put up with the noise to have the " no hassle "
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:02 AM   #8
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Toyota's timing chain technology has sure come a long way since the old 3rc motor in the late 60's but ultimately I think it comes down to cost to own maintenance cost for the owner. The estimated cost for maintenance for a 2008 v6 is roughly $2100.00 over 5 years with out the cost of a timing belt replacement.
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