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Old 06-21-2011, 01:24 AM   #1
Rickpatbrown
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DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

My buddy asked me to change his timing belt on his 2000 3.2 TL. I don't have too much experience on cars and no experience on the timing belt. I did the lower intake manifold gasket on my 1999 Regal last fall, so I am comfortable taking apart a car, so long as I have good instructions.

Can anyone lead me to the proper resources for successfully completing this task?
Will a Haynes manual suffice?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:39 PM   #2
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

The timing belt is fairly simple on that engine. The hardest part is removing the crank bolt. We have a big 3/4" impact and that doesn't even remove them some times. There is a special tool that holds the pulley from turning while you use a breaker bar and a jack handle to snap it loose. I recommend doing the t/belt, tensioner, water pump, drive belts, and possibly tensioner/idle pulley if they are bad. You will have to spin them once the t/belt is off.

I've done so many of those I can do it in a hour or so. I would recommend some kind of repair manual preferably a factory one from www.helminc.com

Drain coolant
Remove right front wheel and move splash shield out of the way
Support engine under oil pan with jack and piece of wood
Remove right side engine mount(take bolt pieces out, gives you more room)
Jack up engine as high as it will go
Remove power steering belt, set pump aside
Remove alt/ac belt
Remove dip stick tube(pain in the ass)
Remove front upper timing cover
Remove rear upper timing cover(2 bolts are a pain)
Remove 10mm bolt under p/s pump going into the engine mount bracket
Remove balancer(should pull right off, don't lose key-way)
Remove lower timing cover
Remove engine mount bracket
Set timing marks
Remove tensioner
Remove timing belt
Remove idle pulley(check bearing for noise)
Remove tensioner pulley(check bearing for noise)
Remove water pump
Reverse to install.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Awesome. Thanks Bull!

I got ahold of the service manual and it looks pretty easy. I'm gonna see if I can get the crank holder from the auto parts store and use a big breaker bar on it.

The manual calls for replacing the dipstick o-ring. Is this necessary?
I'm glad you said to drain the coolant. The manual didn't specify this, so I would have gotten pretty messy when I pulled the water pump.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

I don't replace the oring. You will still lose coolant when removing the pump
Might as well get it all out.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BullShifter View Post

Drain coolant
Remove right front wheel and move splash shield out of the way
Support engine under oil pan with jack and piece of wood
Remove right side engine mount(take bolt pieces out, gives you more room)
Jack up engine as high as it will go
Remove power steering belt, set pump aside
Remove alt/ac belt
Remove dip stick tube(pain in the ass)
Remove front upper timing cover
Remove rear upper timing cover(2 bolts are a pain)
Remove 10mm bolt under p/s pump going into the engine mount bracket
Remove balancer(should pull right off, don't lose key-way)
Remove lower timing cover
Remove engine mount bracket
Set timing marks
Remove tensioner
Remove timing belt
Remove idle pulley(check bearing for noise)
Remove tensioner pulley(check bearing for noise)
Remove water pump
Reverse to install.


What is the balancer and key-way?

I'm halfway through the project at this point. I'm gonna have to wait till Wed and Thursday to finish it. The timing covers were a PITA. So was the crank bolt (but that was expected).

I don't see the timing marks on the back cam pulley. I set the crank when I started. When I got the belt off, I marked the cam pulleys with a sharpie. How precise does this need to be for me to not destroy my engine. If I mess up the belt instal by one or two belt teeth, will I ruin the car?
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Balancer = harmonic balancer
Key-way is the little piece of metal that keeps the balancer and crank pulley from spinning on the crank.

You need to be right on. We has a customer bend valves doing his t/belt himself. On the cam gears you should see numbers on the spokes. Where is says 1 you will see a notch at the top that lines up with a mark on the block. There rear is hard to see but if it's all lined up before removing the belt usually they wont turn. You could be 180 off if you dont see the numbers/notches.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

once you have the belt/water pump ect. back on rotate the engine by hand.if it rotates freely 360* you should be ok with your alignment.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:33 PM   #8
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Thanks guys. I think I'll be alright. I'm just nervous because I know the consequences of doing this wrong. I just realized that if I leave those couple bolts out of the timing covers, I can realign without too much effort.

I'm just gonna have to be super careful that I get all the marks right.

Hopefully, my waterpump gasket stayed in place too when I installed that. I'd hate to have to redo all this because that stupid little thing is leaking.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

You could put the belt & balancer on with bolt and run it without putting it all back together. I have never had a water pump gasket fall out. Not sure what kind of parts you are using but I always install OEM.

Once you have the belt on rotate the engine over by hand to make sure all marks line
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #10
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Thanks. I got it in and the car seems to be running well. It still has the same problem it did before, but I told my friend the the timing belt wouldn't fix that.

I was curious about the power steering belt, though. How do you know the tension is correct without getting a gauge?
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:41 PM   #11
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

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Thanks. I got it in and the car seems to be running well. It still has the same problem it did before, but I told my friend the the timing belt wouldn't fix that.

I was curious about the power steering belt, though. How do you know the tension is correct without getting a gauge?

1/4 inch movement when press/pulling on the belt no tensioner??
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:01 AM   #12
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Nope, no tensioner.

Yeah, my friend told me about the 1/4 inch of movement. Depending on how hard I push, I can get a 1/4 inch at a bunch of different tensions.

Should I get 1/4 inch of movement with a light pull?
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:23 PM   #13
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

The p/s belt doesn't need to be very tight, just a little movement is good. What was the original problem?
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #14
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

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What was the original problem?
I don't think that I know enough about it to give you good info. I only witnessed the symptom once when we were test driving after I finished with the timing belt. In addition to the timing belt, I replaced the spark plugs and reattached an apparent loose ground wire also. The wire was under the battery tray. Not sure what component it was hooked too -I saw it, just don't know what "it" is.

The car stutters. I don't know if it is intermittent or if it happens under certain conditions. I wasn't driving the car, but it felt like it lost power and regained it very quickly in a duh-duh-duh-duh-duh type of way. This happened at lower RPM's. My friend said that it happens mostly when going up hills, but it might happen on flat ground as well.

I'm not sure if it happens at a specific speed or not.

I'll have to drive the car for a little while to try to figure it out.

Should I start a separate thread for this?
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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Re: DIY Timing Belt Replacement?

Is the check engine light on? It's rare that those cars run bad on 87 but they have been know to ping/knock at low rpm going up hills(under load) If premium is not being used I would suggest switching to that to see if the issue clears up. Another possibly if the EGR port is clogged, usually the CEL will be triggered with a P0401 (EGR Insufficient Flow)
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