Changing my own timing belt.... any big Warnings?

With all the talk about the big bucks they want to change the timing belt, I'm thinking about doing my own. I've done a few in past lives... a couple
Mazdas, Geo Prism (that one had the motor mount through the belt like the Hyundai)... not a fun job, but for $1000 I may do it myself. Anything extraordinary about the Elantra that might kill me here????
Seems like I saw a post a year or so ago about there being multiple belts for the '02 Elantra, and that I may need to match it up to the engine serial. True story?
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- Steve



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There should be only one timing belt choice for the '02 Elantra. If you're comfortable you can line the cam and crank up properly, you should be able to do this job. Just make sure it's lined up properly and tensioned properly (otherwise you could have engine damage). When I do one of these, I usually press the tensioner pulley against the belt with my left hand while I tighten the bolt with my right. That usually gets it about right. For comparison purposes, I look at the position of the Allen hole in the tensioner before I loosen the retaining bolt and make sure it's about the same when I'm done.
I'd also strongly recommend buying a factory belt, especially if you're the original owner. That'll keep your warranty in force until it runs out (10/100 on the belt for the original owner as long as it's replaced at the proper interval).
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Thanks for the info and tips. As far as the factory belt goes, just in case there is a difference, saving a few bucks isn't worth it on a timing belt. I'll be sure to get the belt from the dealer. As far as lining up the cam and crank.... what I've always done is mark the two sprockets and the belt before I loosen anything up with tire chalk or something similar. Then, after I take the belt off, I line up the marks, mark the new belt, and align the marks again. Any problem with that approach? I couldn't see a problem unless the cam or crank spins on me... what's the likelihood of that happening? I haven't had a problem before, but then again, have I just been lucky?
- Steve
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- Steve

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This one's pretty straightforward. Once you have everything set at tdc, it shouldn't move even after you remove the timing belt. If you don't have an account at www.hmaservice.com, you may want to get one. I belive there are some nice pictures regarding the alignment marks in the shop manual section there.
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