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Timing Belt Help Please - 3.4

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by arifleman, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Apr 16, 2015 at 4:03 PM
    #1
    arifleman

    arifleman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2002 TRD 3.4L Ext Cab
    Decided to change timing belt, water pump, drive belts on my 2002 Tacoma. I picked up a kit from EBay that I had seen recommended on here in the past, http://www.ebay.com/itm/231280476672?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT.

    Everything was going along great until it came time to put the new belt on. WTfrick is the trick to get the timing belt on? I followed the FSM directions to start with left cam, then idler, then right cam, then water pump, then crank and bottom idler (one that sits above the tensioner). For the life of me I can't get that belt over the last bottom tensioner (close but no cigar), plus the belt lines up one tooth off on the crank gear. There's got to be some trick I am missing?

    The new tensioner is still factory pinned, i.e., has not been released. Seems the timing belt should go on fairly easy and then the tensioner would do its job when released?

    Double checked the timing belt part number with local Toyo dealer and it is the correct belt. I'm 57 and starting to regret taking on this job! If you have done this job, your advice would be very much appreciated.

    P1020811.jpg
    P1020812.jpg
     
  2. Apr 16, 2015 at 4:12 PM
    #2
    Bergy1

    Bergy1 New Member

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    I did mine a couple months ago with that kit. It went on pretty smooth. I think I put it on the top cam pulleys first and wove it through properly to get it set correctly on the crank pulley, lastly onto the tensioner pulley. You may try sliding the belt out a little on each pulley/gear to allow it to go on the tensioner pulley a little easier.

    There is a YouTube video on the 3.4 timing belt that I watched just to watch some of the process. May want to see if that helps at all.

    It will go. Someone might see something I've missed to help you.
     
  3. Apr 16, 2015 at 4:31 PM
    #3
    NM Lance

    NM Lance Well-Known Member

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    I tackled mine about two years ago, this was by far the most frustrating part of the job... Each time I would get the timing belt to seat on the cam sprockets, it would be one tooth off its mark. I ended up lining the timing belt up one tooth ahead of where it was supposed to line up before I muscled it on and somehow it fell right into place once I got the belt on (marks lined up finally!!!). I backed my tensioner off (with the retaining pin still in place) to about two threads on each bolt before I was able to get it on. It must have taken me 5 tries if I remember correctly.

    Don't get discouraged, walk away from it for an hour or two if you have to and get a fresh start.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  4. Apr 16, 2015 at 4:56 PM
    #4
    arifleman

    arifleman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, and I have already buttoned the a/c compressor back in place. I suppose I can pull it and its bracket and back off those tensioner bolts. So that puts tension on that bottom idler even before the pin is pulled huh?

    Walk away for an hour or two? Hell, I'm done for the day!
     
  5. Apr 17, 2015 at 1:27 AM
    #5
    NightProwler

    NightProwler Well-Known Member

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    Well I did this not too long ago. I ended up unbolting the small top middle pulley, setting the bolt in the hole but at an angle, looped the belt over it, then used the ratchet to push up(or down can't remember which now) and wedged it in and started the threads and bolted it right in. Worked like a charm. I also fought with the marks too and even had them lined up but once I turned it a rev or two they didn't line up. No big deal on that. After turning it it sets itself in place. the marks don't NEED to be lined up.. Then pulled the pin on the tensioner and buttoned her up.

    Edit: pulled the pin before turning the crank..
     
  6. Apr 17, 2015 at 12:25 PM
    #6
    arifleman

    arifleman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A tip of the hat to all you gents for weighing in and a hearty thank you to NMLance! I dropped my A/C bracket again and loosened the tensioner bolts as Lance described and that gave just enough room to get the belt on.

    It sure is nice to have forums like this where a guy can get tips from those that have been there and done that. Better than beating your head against a wall!

    For future surfers looking for timing belt install tips I would add that once the belt is on and the tensioner bolts are snugged down, you can install the old crank bolt and turn it BEFORE you pull the pin and loose the tensioner's action. There is already plenty tension on the belt - it isn't going to jump a tooth. I checked mine a handful of revolutions before I was satisfied and finally pulled the pin on that tensioner.
     

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