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Old 03-21-2009, 08:48 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 1,946

2001 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Log: Timing belt replacement

Day 3: Time to do what we came to do.
Take off the crank serp pully and finally time to get to the actual timing belt. Crank bolt is a big star bolt and I don't have a star socket that big, but a 15mm regular socket fits tight and will turn the engine. Lining everything up is a bit tricky, there's 4 marks, one for each cam sprocket, cut in the back of the timing cover and there are 2 marks on each sprocket. Good news is that there's only on way where everything will line up. As I recall it was the back marks on the front 2 sprockets and the front marks on the back 2 sprockets. Got it all lined up at TDC and locked the cam sprockets in place with 3 big nylon strap tyes on each bank. Loosened the tensioners and started to take the timing belt off.
Timing belt is not coming off with the serp tensioner still on the engine. You just can't get the belt off around the serp tensioner, so had to remove the 2 bolts and take the serp tensioner off the engine. Wish I'd known this earlier, I'd have taken the serp tensioner off on day one, which would've made getting the timing belt cover off 100% easier.
Now that the timing belt is off it's time to start putting everything back together and waterpump comes first. When you take the old waterpump out you're going to lose a lot of coolant. Be ready for it. Gasket for the new waterpump is a crushable "o" ring, much like the oil filter cap, but since it's crushable, it's not a tight fit in the groove. I put a small bead of red RTV in the groove to hold the "o" ring in place while I put the pump back on. Next I surfaced the face of the block where the pump seals with 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper on a small wood block. Put the new pump back in and bolt her up. Book calls for 89 lbs torque on the water pump bolts, but I didn't want to chance warping anything so did first pass at 50 lbs, 2nd pass at 70 lbs, 3rd pass at 80 lbs, then finally 89 lbs. You can't check for leaks once it's all back together, so gotta do it right the first time.
Next I hosed off all the spilled coolant so it wouldn't contaminate the new belt or tensioners and waited an hour for it to dry and mowed my lawn.
Next take off the plate with the idler and rear tensioner and replaced with the new tensioner and idler. Take off the front tensioner and leave it off.
Start putting the new belt on in the middle under the idler and work over the cam sprockets making sure the marks on the belt line up with the marks on the cover and the marks on the sprockets. Once you've got the top side all lined up take the belt around the tensioner (still loose) on the back side and then down under the crank sprocket. It won't fit on the crank sprocket with the front tensioner in place. Once you've got it under the crank sprocket and tight from the back tensioner to the crank sprocket, slip the front tensioner in place and bolt it on leaving it loose for now.
Got the new waterpump, new tensioners, new idler and new belt on today in 2 hours. 3 hours invested, but 1 hour of that was waiting for the engine bay to dry after I hosed off the spilled coolant.
Hopefully finish up tomorrow.

Jerry N

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."

Groucho Marx


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