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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me or has anyone else replaced a timing belt on a 5sfe '91 convertible. The motor is in the car.
Following all the steps but quite a few of those nuts and bolts are so close to the fender frame it's darn near impossible to get to them. I'm afraid putting the thing back together is going to be worse than the dismantle.
Doing one part a day so I don't loose my cool, Finally got the upper belt cover off and put on the TDC marks. The marks line up the way they should but the belt itself seems awfully slack. Wondering if this could be my problem when the engine warms up.
What I need help on now is how to hold the balancer in place while putting cc pressure on the hold down nut. Not supposed to turn the motor backwards. I tried a strap wrench but there's too much "give". Anyone have any insider tip??
An old trick I used to use when repairing outboard motors was to stuff the cylinder with old rags. That wouldn't work on these. The valve cover is off, wondering if I could jam the cam gears?
Help Wanted.
 

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Are you jacking the engine up and down? That really helps with accessing tight spots. Don't worry too much about turning the engine backwards a little I know you're not supposed to but I do every time I replace a belt and nothing ever happens. These are non-interference engines anyway. The best advice I can give you for the balancer is use an impact gun. Otherwise I know there is a trick but it only works if you have a manual I think. Sorry I don't know much about this I've always been spoiled by an impact. As for the slack, there is a procedure for putting tension on the belt so the slack is only in one area. I forgot where I read about it but here is a video on it
video
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup. jacking the engine but it only goes so far either way. Biggest issue was removing the power steering reservoir but got that out. The air conditioning lines are a pain also. I have an impact gun, I'll try that. One positive about the entire procedure is that I get to clean and repaint all those parts. The video is helpful. There's 3 " between the frame and cam pulley. Only way to see the line up indent is with a mirror. I'll have to stick a small drill bit or something in there to find the mark. The video is good, thanks.
Christmas chores are slowing down progress on this project. It's a change of pace for an hour or so during a busy day.
 

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Use a mirror then make your own mark with some white out or something. Since you're going through all these trouble and don't seem to be too pressed for time I recommend changing your oil seals and spaghetti gasket too. Not very difficult if you already have the belt off
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yup, got a gasket kit along with a new water pump. I'm down to trying the old starter trick with that crank pulley. Impact wrench doesn't cut it.
 

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Crank pulley:
  • if a manual tranny, put it in gear, either lower car or have someone apply the brake.
  • the cams have a squarish section for a crescent wrench. Set wrench so it locks against something held on the other cam.
  • and yes, I have done the starter bump on my Cadillacs
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Checked the cam shafts and really no where to put a wrench and I really didn't want to mess with those.
I've got some pics here to show people what I'm up against as far as working space. A ruler actually shows a smidgeon over 1 1/2" to work in. Other pics show the power steering reservoir moved to the side, the vac controlled cruise unit moved away, the crank pulley bolt, the breaker bar set up and finally the bolt removed.
I did the starter bump. Done this before on my old Jeep XJ when removing a wheel hub. Works every time.
Hope this - these pictures help someone else.
In case someone doesn't know a starter bump is locking the stuck bold/nut in place with a breaker bar and then bumping the starter a fraction of a second to spin the motor. Only works on clockwise situations and it's not for the faint of heart. Dangerous if you do not do it correctly.
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Discussion Starter #8
Haven't gotten any further than that bolt removal. Holydays are getting in the way of the important stuff.:whistle:
Good thing it's a "project" car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Had a few minutes and got the timing marks re-aligned. pulled the crank pulley and lower cover. The tension spring was at it's lowest point, tension pulley maxed and the belt had more than an inch slack that I could move up and down. Took some pics but not available right now. Seems the belt just stretched out to the point it's almost flopping around, Hope this is the runability problem I had with no start, backfire etc.Didn't remove the belt yet but it will pull off without removing the tension or idler pulleys. According to the PO the belt was changed many years ago about 68k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PO probably change just the belt.

Always recommend the pulley and tensioner be teenaged with the belt.
Yup, from the looks of the spring it could be OEM with 268k on it just lost it's "springy" or the bearings in one of those pulleys are worn. Will find out soon. I did buy a complete kit that has a new spring, tension and idler pulley plus a new water pump and gaskets from Rock Auto. Will do some reference marking on the pulleys and old belt before I remove it, and then counting the belt teeth on the old and putting marks on the new belt. That should keep timing correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
12-12-20 Finished install of the timing belt with a new idler and tension pulley/spring. After rotating the crank four times around the belt was one tooth off time but it was tight. Loosened the tension pulley and removed the belt only from the cam pulley and was able to scootch the teeth in the right place. Released the tension pulley and again rotated the crank 4 times. Timing marks are spot on with the cam pulley and crank pulley @ 0 deg. BTDC. A quick check of the distributor rotor and it is also pointing at the #1 plug position.
Personal opinion of that camshaft timing mark is that it is terrible! There should be a better way to get that pulley in proper position without having to insert a feeler through a small hole with only 2 inches to maneuver around. I took my hand grinder and put easier reference marks on the pulley and bearing cap...just in case.
Was also a good time to install a new thermostat, PS belt and ALT belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thought this project was finished.....wrong! After putting back in place I turned the ignition thinking everything would be honky-dory. Wouldn't start. Everything looked good and in place only to find the timing belt jumped about 8 or 9 teeth.
Taking it all apart again but this time I know some shortcuts. For some reason when the motor turns over the belt is tight on the pull slide but when cranking stops the belt slacks off and the crank pulley jumps the belt teeth. The tension pulley and spring are new. Any suggestions?
 

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Tensioner spring still in place?

Double check the belt/idler/tensioner part numbers?

Crank and cams move freely?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tensioner spring still in place?

Double check the belt/idler/tensioner part numbers?

Crank and cams move freely?
ROOKIE MISTAKE here.
I'm pretty sure the problem will be solved. Not doing any more messin' around until after the holidays. I have taken the upper cover off and put a mic on the tension pulley...same as the oem but what jumped out at me is I did not tighten the tension pulley bolt, IT WAS STILL LOOSE and the belt would slack off after turning the motor over. Lessen learned, double check all the install steps.
Not to make an excuse but the factory manual calls the tension pulley the #1 pulley and the idle pulley #2. Probably where I messed up.

I did find an older interesting thread that might be worth a reminder about the install of these belts.

DIY: GEN3 Timing Belt + Waterpump + Oil Seal Change - Part 2 | Toyota Nation Forum
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hope it's right this time. Everything is all snugged up again. There's about 3//8" deflection on the belt, hope I don't have it too tight. I did turn the motor over a few times with the starter and the timing marks stayed true this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OH NO! Skipping the chocolate peanut clusters tonight :LOL:
I did give it the old standby 90deg twist.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Or two.
Tomorrow, Tuesday should be the day. Probably some other issue will magically appear. It's been that way from the start.
Hopeful this thread can come to an end.
 
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