Timing belt 99 escort

I have a 99 escort, 125,000 miles.I know I should have changed it long ago. I am what sounds like a little backfire inside the exhaust. (It is not a loud bang, but very muffled.) I thought maybe it jumped time, so its time to
change it( and water pump). When I try to line up the timing marks while installing the new belt, they do not line up exactly. With everything tightened back down, I turn the motor over two complete turns and check marks . The crank sprocket is lined up with the timing mark, but the cam is not. If I move the belt over one tooth, then the mark is off an equal distance on the other side. It seems to be 1/2 tooth off. Am I doing something wrong or should it be off to one side, and if so which side.
Sorry about the long post.
Thanks, Dave
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ago.
to
they
lined
to
Had exactly the same problem with a Golf OHC. The cam was 1/2 a tooth out but it didnt seem to effect the perfromance of the car. The pitch of the teeth is sufficiently small to negate any timing issues.
Jason
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ago.
Factory recommended interval is 120K
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My Haynes Manual recommend TB change @ 40,000 miles.(1.4 petrol Europian) Is this been over safe?

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