The dealer will charge you $600 plus tax to change your timing belt.
Is it worth 6 or 7 hours of your time to save $500? Well, the belt
itself will cost you only $90 at the dealer (ask for a 10% discount on
the part). (I don't recommend using an off-brand belt. Why skimp just
to save $20, when you're putting in 6 hours of labor?) So if you'd
gladly put in 6 hours of labor to "earn" $500, read on.
I have a 2002 Santa Fe 2.7L 2WD, but any 2001-2006 2.7L Santa Fe
engine should be pretty
identical. Yesterday I replaced the timing belt. Took about 7 hours.
One hour was figuring out how to get the crankshaft pulley off.
It's not difficult - just a bit time-intensive to remove everything
get to the belt. If you have access to Chilton manuals or AllData,
then you can get some pics to go with what I describe below.
Here's the basics for changing a Hyundai Santa Fe 2.7L timing belt:
OVERALL: Everything is metric. You'll need a good metric socket set.
In my opinion, the longer the socket wrench you have, the easier and
quicker the job will go. You'll find most bolts are "stuck" and take
good amount of force to initially break loose. But with a long socket
wrench, you don't have to push that hard to apply this force. Once
bolts initially break free, most of them can be unscrewed the rest of
the way by hand. Seriously, having a long socket wrench will take an
hour off the job. Also, a good air-driven impact wrench is a MUST for
this job. You cannot complete the job without it (unless you have a
special tool to hold the crankshaft pulley from rotating while
1. Remove the plastic engine cover. 5 or 6 bolts.
2. Remove the front passenger wheel. Put an extra jack stand
underneath the car frame for safety. I actually dropped my vehicle on
the rotor because the Hyundai Santa Fe's rear spare tire carrier bolt
gets so rusty, it really shakes the car trying to unscrew it and get
the spare tire out (and that's after two liberal dousings with WD-40)
- the vibrations and shaking can cause the vehicle to fall off the
wimpy car jack that comes with the vehicle.
3. Remove the plastic wheel well panel behind the front passenger
wheel. It's held on by 3 or 4 bolts along the top of the panel. To
these bolts, you kinda have to get your head into the wheel well and
look up at the top of the panel. Removing this panel gives you access
to the front of the engine (which faces the passenger side of the
4. Remove the serpentine accessory belt. Just take an extra-long
socket wrench - the wrench's square fits in the end of the belt
tensioner - and pull the tensioner clockwise to take tension off the
belt, and then slip the belt off one of the pulleys. Easiest to do
this coming through the wheel well, but could probably be done from
above, too. The belt will not actually come completely off until you
unbolt the tensioner.
5. Unbolt the serpentine belt tensioner. There are two long bolts
hold it on. Take the tensioner and serpentine belt off. You'll see
that the tensioner covered a hole in the timing belt case, and
that hole you should now see a portion of the cogged timing belt.
6. Unbolt the power steering pump pulley. It's the top pulley in the
middle. You'll need to stick something through one of the holes in
pulley to keep the pulley from turning as you unbolt it. I used a
smaller socket wrench with a long socket on it, holding on to the
socket wrench and sticking the socket through the pulley's hole,
jamming the socket against the body of the power steering pump behind
the pulley. Remove the nut and the pulley.
7. You may need to unbolt the cruise control module at this point in
preparation for jacking the engine. I did as a precaution, but
discovered that on the 2002 Santa Fe, I really didn't need to.
However, I have read an internet post that pointed out that on their
Santa Fe, failure to unbolt the cruise control module caused the
to come uncrimped when the engine was jacked, and that caused the
engine to race after everything was put back together. Unbolting the
module prevents its cable from getting pulled too far when you jack
8. Place a block of wood on a hydraulic jack underneath the engine
pan, and jack it up to support the front of the engine. ("Jack it up"
here means to raise up the jack, not "mess it all up".) The oil pan
immediately below the front of the engine (just behind the pulleys).
9. Unbolt the front engine bracket and take it off. This is done from
the top. One bolt on the vehicle frame side (on top of the wheel
and three bolts and/or nuts on the engine side.
10. Remove the serpentine belt idler pulley. Easy to come off. No
to hold pulley from turning, because the bolt goes through to the
engine. Be careful once you get the bolt off - basically you have
pulley sandwiched by two plates - make sure you don't lose the back
plate and you know which way it goes back on the pulley.
11. Remove the other half of the engine bracket still attached to the
engine. First, you'll need to remove the small bolt on this bracket
that faces the front of the vehicle. This bolt holds on the engine
dipstick tube. Then, you'll find another small bolt facing the
passenger side near the top of the bracket - this bolt is impossible
to see, but you'll be able to feel for it. Access this bolt from
the hood. Then return to the wheel well and remove three large bolts
and the bracket will be free.
Before you remove the crankshaft pulley, you'll need to make sure the
timing belt is properly aligned. To do so, you must remove the top
half of the timing belt cover next.
12. Remove top half of the timing belt cover, by removing three bolts
around rear sprocket, three bolts around front sprocket, and one long
bolt at the bottom of this cover. This cover only goes halfway down
the engine, so you can get to all these bolts from the engine
compartment. I believe they require a 10mm socket.
13. Once the top half of the cover is removed, you will want to
the timing marks on the exposed sprockets. It's a little dot
on the front of each sprocket. Best viewed looking under the hood
the passenger side. The dots need to be aligned with the timing marks
on the engine case. The timing mark on the engine case for the left
sprocket (towards the rear of the vehicle) is a little notch located
at about 11:00, and the timing mark for the right sprocket (towards
the front of the vehicle) is at about 1:00.
14. Once you've located the timing marks on the sprockets and the
engine, put a long wrench on the crankshaft pulley center nut and
rotate the pulley clockwise until you get the top sprocket timing
marks in place. (The crankshaft pulley is the very bottom center
pulley. You access it through the wheel well.) You'll notice that
you get the top timing marks in place, the crankshaft pulley timing
mark will be more or less aligned with a protrusion on the timing
cover (at about the 1:00 position). If the bottom pulley is not
perfectly aligned with one of the marks, don't worry about it. The
important thing is to have the top timing marks for both sprockets
perfectly aligned. Once you remove the crankshaft pulley and bottom
half of the pulley cover, you'll see that the crankshaft sprocket
tooth is properly aligned. You'll also notice that you have to turn
the crankshaft pulley two entire revolutions to get the top sprockets
to turn a single revolution. They are geared exactly 2:1.
15. Soak the crankshaft pulley bolt with WD-40 where its shoulder
meets the pulley. I found this to be important.
16. Use an air impact wrench to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt
(counterclockwise). I found that the air impact wrench on maximum
setting was enough to loosen the bolt without actually turning the
crankshaft. It may take about half a minute to loosen up. If it
doesn't want to come off, try some more WD-40 and let it sit awhile.
If you try to use a socket wrench, you'll just end up turning the
engine backwards. AN AIR IMPACT WRENCH IS A MUST TO DO THIS, unless
you have a special tool to hold the crankshaft pulley still while
turning its bolt counterclockwise. The crankshaft pulley bolt will
come off along with a thick spacer.
17. Remove the crankshaft pulley. You'll probably need to wiggle it
back and forth as you pull it straight off. The more you can wiggle
it, the easier it is to come off. The pulley is "keyed" to the
crankshaft with a pin (located now at about the 1:00 position). This
pin will stay on the crankshaft, and will be what you use to make
the crankshaft is aligned once you get the new timing belt on.
18. Remove the lower timing belt cover. 10mm socket is used to remove
the 4 or so bolts holding it on (best accessed through wheel well).
19. Notice now that the crankshaft (where you pulled the crankshaft
pulley off from) has its pin (the pin we mentioned in step 17)
with a timing mark on the engine. Take note of this alignment! You'll
see the teeth on the crankshaft that drive the timing belt. One of
these teeth is aligned with the pin, and therefore aligned with the
mark on the engine.
NOTE: Take stock of how taut the timing belt is at this point. This
what the belt feels like under tension. It's pretty tense, right?
20. Remove the timing belt auto-tensioner. It is the cylinder-looking
thing up and to the left of the crankshaft. Two bolts hold it on.
Unbolt these bolts, and tension on the timing belt is released.
21. After removing the timing belt auto-tensioner, use a large C-
to slowly compress the pin in the auto-tensioner all the way, until
you can slip a pin or smooth end of an old drill bit in through the
little hole on the top of the auto-tensioner. This hole locks the
tensioner's pin in the compressed position. Before you put the pin
cover the pin with WD-40, and spray a little WD-40 in the little hole
on the top of the auto-tensioner too (front and back). The pin should
go all the way through from the front, through the center pin, and
through the back. Enough of the pin (or old drill bit) should be
sticking out the front so you can later grab it with a pair of pliers
and pull it out).
22. Enough tension should have been released from the timing belt so
you can now gently pull it off.
CAUTION: Be very careful not to rotate the belt at this point as you
are taking it off, or as you are putting the new belt on. The reason
is because the left top sprocket has its springs in the compressed
position (at the top of the hill, so to speak). If you rotate this
left top sprocket even one tooth, its compressed energy will cause it
to rotate about 8 teeth, taking it out of timing with the crankshaft
and the right top sprocket. This is the voice of experience talking.
CHECK: Check the idler and tensioner pulleys that they are in good
condition, and turn freely with little to no play. Replace if needed.
23. Temporarily put the crankshaft pulley back on (no need to put its
bolt in), and rotate the crankshaft pulley by hand back (counter
clockwise) about 5 degrees. Shouldn't be too hard to do, because the
crankshaft is not in a position where it takes much force to move at
this point. Pull the pulley back off and check where you are at. Keep
doing this until you have moved the crankshaft by one tooth. In other
words, you need to rotate the crankshaft so that instead of the
crankshaft pin being aligned with the mark on the engine, the tooth
the right (clockwise) of that pin is aligned with the mark on the
engine. WHY DO WE DO THIS? Because there will be a little bit of
between the right top sprocket and the crankshaft sprocket when you
install the new belt. You'll find that after taking up this slack,
crankshaft will be properly aligned with the top sprockets. But don't
worry. We'll be double-checking to make sure we got it right.
NOTE: The timing belt tensioner pulley is towards the left (towards
rear of vehicle), and the idler pulley is towards the right (front of
24. Put on the new timing belt in this order: First, put it on the
crankshaft sprocket at the bottom. Next, from under the hood pull the
timing belt snug against the idler pulley (don't pull hard - just
enough to remove most of the slack), and wrap the belt counter
clockwise around the right top sprocket (the sprocket towards the
front of the vehicle). With the teeth of the belt engaged on the
top sprocket, pause to check the play in the belt between the
and the crankshaft sprocket. Remember when you took stock of how taut
the old belt was? The belt should not be this tight. But then, it
shouldn't be so loose that it comes off the idler pulley. There
be just a little bit of slack, which will be taken up when you later
on replace the crankshaft pulley. Continue wrapping the new timing
belt around the water pump pulley (smack dab in the middle of the
engine, between all 3 sprockets, and then back up around the left top
sprocket (toward the rear of the vehicle). Make sure that there is AS
LITTLE PLAY in the belt between the two top sprockets as possible.
belt should be nice and snug between these two. The belt should be
pretty tight at this point. You should have just enough play left in
the belt to muscle it over the tensioner pulley (which is currently
not under tension). If that is so, you can be assured that your
belt is probably properly installed.
25. Now we check the timing belt installation. DO NOT CHECK THE
SPROCKET ALIGNMENT YET. FIRST WE HAVE TO ROTATE THE TIMING BELT
CLOCKWISE TO DISTRIBUTE THE TENSION ON THE BELT PROPERLY. Bolt the
tensioner pulley auto-tensioner back on (two bolts). In one quick
movement, pull out the pin (or old drill bit) from the auto-tensioner
with a pair of pliers.
26. Temporarily put the crankshaft pulley back on, and screw in on
with its center bolt.
27. With a long wrench on the crankshaft pulley center bolt, rotate
this pulley two entire revolutions until the two top sprocket timing
marks have made one entire revolution and are lined up once again
the timing marks on the engine. As you start to rotate the crankshaft
pulley, you should see the auto-tensioner pin come out and return to
its normal length. The entire timing belt should return to the
you observed on the old belt before removing the auto-tensioner. If
not, then you need to remove the auto-tensioner and check it.
28. Remove the crankshaft pulley center bolt with the air impact
wrench, and remove the pulley.
29. CHECK THE ALIGNMENT CAREFULLY. ALL THREE SPROCKETS SHOULD NOW BE
ALIGNED TO THEIR TIMING MARKS. If even one timing mark is off, you'll
need to pull the belt back off and reinstall. It is easy to see if a
timing mark is off by one tooth. Just look at the belt and the
sprockets and observe the distance from one tooth to the next. If any
one of the three timing marks is off by this amount or more, your
timing is maligned. But if the marks are off only a smidgen (a small
fraction of the distance between two adjacent teeth), then your
30. IF YOUR TIMING BELT IS MISALIGNED, GO BACK TO STEP 20. Note that
it is easier to align the crankshaft individually than the top
sprockets, so if the top sprockets are in sync with each other but
of sync with the crankshaft, turn the crankshaft until the top
sprockets are aligned with their timing marks, remove the belt, then
temporarily put the crankshaft pulley back on and adjust it.
NOTE: It is ok to turn the crankshaft back a few degrees if you need
to. You may be able to do this by hand by just pushing the crankshaft
pulley on the crankshaft (without its mounting bolt) and turning the
pulley by hand. However, if you need to adjust the top sprockets,
you'll probably need to turn the crankshaft in clockwise direction
using a socket on its center bolt. However, if you need to go an
entire revolution on one of the top sprockets, you'll need to do so
with the timing belt installed, so the entire engine rotates more or
less in sync.
NOTE 2: After each time you rotate the timing belt via the crankshaft
pulley's center mounting bolt, you'll need to remove the crankshaft
pulley via the air impact wrench.
31. IF YOUR TIMING BELT IS NOW ALIGNED (all three timing marks on the
sprockets are lined up with the three timing marks on the engine) ,
IT'S TIME TO PUT EVERYTHING BACK TOGETHER, in the reverse order of
what you took it off.
NOTES: When reinstalling the top half of the engine bracket (the one
that attaches between engine and frame), you may need to jack the
engine a little higher in order to get this bracket snug against the
bottom half of the engine bracket.
DO NOT RESTART YOUR ENGINE UNTIL YOU WORK YOUR WAY BACK PAST STEP 4.
(But don't put the vehicle in drive until you work your way back past