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Old 06-20-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
mavman65
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default '04 l300

Greeting all,

I picked up a '04 L300 a few months ago, and the low coolant light would come on every other week. Filling the reservoir made it ok. Then the car began to leak antifreeze from the passenger side of the engine, so I searched around found out water pump/timing belt kit and ordered it. About a week after seeing the coolant leak, the car just didn't start anymore. It cranked, (dead battery now), but didn't run. I ordered and changed the Cam sensor, no joy. There are no error codes...

Then the timing belt kit and water pump arrived, so I started with that.

Just a note that I don't drive the car at all during the week. I commute from a train station down the street, so this was not a pressing issue. My older son just got his license, so he has my other car, which I can use when needed. In essence, this is a project car.

That said, I have been slowly taking the engine apart. I have the timing belt cover off and have already replaced the water pump. Because the car didn't start anymore, I wonder if there is any logic in thinking that maybe the belt jumped a tooth or two. It's not loose by any means but the belt was wet and there are all kinds of dust balls and other stuff in the gears. Maybe slipped a tooth due to that?

I am going to assume that the timing is incorrect. I have read here about different methods of locking the cam gears, but do I need to lock the crank too? By crank, I mean the gear at the bottom of the engine, the lowest gear with teeth that the timing belt wraps around. I also know that prior to that, I need to turn the engine and get the marks lined up? I can't find a definitive list of what to do, like Step 1, Step 2, Step 3...

I DID find a few videos on the internet that show people changing the belt and some of these guys don't lock things down, some use vice-grips and some had zip ties. That's fine by me, it makes sense how they did it. My only question is how to set the timing as if it was totally "off"? How do I get TDC? What marks line up where? I found PDFs from the service manual, but there is a lot of missing info in them. I tried to post them here but there is a limitation for document size.

I know these are likely asked and answered questions, but, I truly have tried to find my answers before posting. I hope somebody out there can shed some light on this for me. I'm excited to have gotten this far and can't wait until I am driving the car again!

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 06-20-2019, 09:25 PM   #2
mavman65
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: '04 l300

Since I wasn't able to post the PDF due to size limits, I've copied the section here. I don't understand/can't visualize Step 3 because I am not certain how to determine what #1 cylinder is, BTDC, and if the marks on the other gears and covers need to be lined up or if just happens automatically when aligning cylinder #1?

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
2. Remove the timing belt front cover. Refer to Timing Belt Front Cover Replacement .
3. Rotate the crankshaft using the J 42098 until the #1 cylinder is at 60 degrees before top dead center BTDC).
4. Install the crankshaft locking tool, J 42069.
5. Rotate the crankshaft in the engine rotational direction, clockwise, using the J 42098 until the #1
cylinder is at top dead center (TDC) and tighten the lever arm to the water pump pulley
flange.
J 42069 Timing Belt Alignment Kit
J 42098 Crank Hub TORX Socket

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Old 06-20-2019, 10:16 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: '04 l300

Search past threads within these forums. You'll find plenty of information on timing and various techniques to lock camshafts into position without the special kit to lock camshaft gears from rotating. DO NOT REMOVE the timing belt at any time until you are assured cylinder #1 is at top dead center. The crankshaft must rotate two full revolutions (720 degrees) for each camshaft rotating one revolution. This makes determining top dead center a 50/50 chance of finding both intake and exhaust camshafts on the front radiator side when intake and exhaust valves are closed. In other words, rotate the crankshaft until you see intake and exhaust valves over cylinder #1 closed. This is basic mechanical engineering principles applied to 4-cycle engines. If you are not fully familiar with mechanical timing then google 4-stroke engines, mechanical timing. If you get this far and have found the crankshaft and camshaft timing marks in alignment, the pip marks lined up with notches, your engine is not out of time or skipped a tooth. There are many snapshots in these forums of other members replaced their timing belts. The key is to ensure initial alignment is found (not drastically out of time) first before proceeding to lock all four camshafts. Once locked against valve springs attempting to rotate each camshaft, removing the timing belt can proceed. The crankshaft can be rotated with little effort since its not locked in sync with a timing belt. The pistons and connecting rods are holding the crankshaft in place. Spark plugs should be removed or at least loosened a few turns as compressed air and fuel may move the pistons which will move the crankshaft. Compressed air in each cylinder will try to move pistons.

Presuming the engine has 100k miles where its recommended to replace timing belt and water pump, spark plugs should be replaced too. As to why the engine won't fire up remains unclear with little descriptions.

Our engines use a cam and crank sensor. Cam sensor on the camshaft cover, crankshaft sensor next to the oil filter. Which one did you replace? The crankshaft sensor is the important one as it is the only sensor that allows the ecm to operate the entire EFI system.

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Old 06-21-2019, 04:43 PM   #4
mavman65
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Default Re: '04 l300

Ok, thank you very much. I will pop the hood first thing in the morning and get to it.

The Crankshaft Position Sensor was the part I also replaced. You can see in the pic that the wire was losing it's cover near the sensor end. In my view it needed replacing anyway.

Will keep you posted on the progress, and again, a big thank you.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190621_163809.jpg (40.8 KB, 8 views)

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Old 06-21-2019, 06:51 PM   #5
mavman65
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: '04 l300

Had some sun left so I snapped a few more pics to show the locations of the marks. Before I go farther I need to hunt down a torx socket to turn the engine with.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TimingBeltCoverOff1.jpg (141.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg RightGear1.jpg (157.4 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg NewWaterPump1.jpg (132.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg CrankShaft2.jpg (106.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg LeftGear_1.jpg (194.8 KB, 9 views)

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