I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw den630 wrote:
Haul it to the dealer. That's the easiest way.
If you've never done one and get the timing wrong there can be all kinds
of troubel Find someone who's done one before and watch and learn. Since
the belt broke, the timing is lost and it's a *real* pita!
Get the VIN# (vehicle identification number) and date of manufacture
from the steel plate near the driver's door. Toyota parts department
can look up the correct parts for you.
Be forewarned - it is easier and cheaper to have the dealer change the
belt for you. While the actual belt is only around $30 and the service
specials are usually around $199 installed, by the time you buy the
tools needed to do the job properly, you'll spend that much or more,
plus it will take some time to do it right the first attempt, and of
course, you'll need mechanic type work clothes and not mind getting
grease under your nails.
For me, it is well worth doing because I plan on keeping the car
forever, so once you learn you can do it again. Second, I like seeing,
hands on, how things actually work. Third, I trust my own work more
than I trust the commercial mechanic on a time schedule often trying
to finish the job more quickly and improve their earnings. I take my
time, it's like a meditation or prayer, things flow, no rush,
everything just fits together as it should, and then I'm more
comfortable driving the car because I know everything has been
assembled with care and done correctly.
My suggestion, if you don't have the passion and interest, just let
the Toyota shop do the replacement. It's a common repair, they've got
the tools and experience and it's no big deal that way.
But, if you like doing your own maintenance, (I wouldn't have it any
other way), then read on.
I spent around three years reading these newsgroups before changing
the timing belt and picked up lots of tricks and pointers for making
the job go smoothly, and then developed a few of my own along the way.
First, I decided to do the complete job and replace all parts and
seals. If the timing belt broke, there may be other maintenance
related items that also need attention. I wound up doing the
Timing belt, idler and tensioner bearings, crankshaft and camshaft oil
seals, oil pump seal and O-ring, oil cap gasket, spark plugs, spark
plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, distributor cap "packing"
(gasket), valve cover gasket, PCV valve, PCV grommet, gas cap
replacement, fuel filter, distributor O-ring, oil pan gasket,
transmission pan gasket, alternator brushes, thermostat, radiator cap,
water pump, check valve clearances, check chassis mounting points
torque, set ignition timing, differential service.
Ask if you have more questions. I'll just describe the timing belt,
bearings and seals. My Camry was in good condition, 120,000 miles,
dealer serviced by the prior owner, but there was slight seepage at
the oil seals, and the idler and tensioner bearings made noise when
turned by hand. To change the water pump you need to take everything
all apart again. I'd recommend you do it all. Here's where doing your
own work starts to pay. I shopped the parts list on the Internet and
estimate my net parts cost, installed by the dealer would have cost
around three times as much with their labor and parts markup included.
In doing this work, I found three wrong or damaged parts installed by
others in the past, so that's another benefit of doing your own work.
If you take your time and do it right you know it's done correctly.
Damage or errors I found were: chipped crankshaft power steering
pulley and dented oil pan edge from someone (unbelievable - Dealer
receipt for prior work) prying instead of using the correct puller,
thermostat "jiggle" valve in the wrong position even though there is a
cast in mark in the water inlet to show where it's supposed to go,
FIPG (form in place gasket) material at all the water pump connections
to the point of slightly obscuring openings, and two (2) stripped
transmission pan bolts.
Tools you should have: (this is for your 2.0 litre four cylinder - six
electric impact wrench to remove crankshaft bolt ( a cheap version for
around $50 is fine)
harmonic damper (or steering wheel) puller with 6mm bolts ( I had to
get the 6mm separately from the Toyota dealer)
I got the damper puller from ToolSource.com, and the next parts from
Special tool to install the camshaft oil seal (the camshaft oil seal
is close to the strut tower so there is limited clearance).
Apparently, you can also remove the upper camshaft bearing cap if you
don't have the tool, but the head is aluminum and you need to re apply
FIPG sealant to avoid oil leaks if you remove it. The cam seal
installer was around $50 but made installing the seal extremely simple
and very easy to do.
If you're changing the fuel filter the trick part is a 14mm crow foot
flare wrench. I bought the single piece from Tool Source made by S-K
to get the quality fit and finish. Fuel line came off in two seconds
after soaking in Kroil for two days.
Also, from Tool Source got a "hook and pick" set for removing seals.
You can use a screwdriver with tape over the end, but if you scratch
the journals the new seals will leak.
I also purchased one of those inexpensive rubber (neoprene?) strap
wrench sets on sale for under $10 to hold the oil pump gear when
removing the nut from the shaft.
You'll also need an inspection mirror and round wooden toothpicks with
pointed ends for aligning the camshaft gear timing marks.
Not required, but very handy, and a good excuse to get them:
GearWrench brand reversible ratchet metric combination wrench set -
especially handy for the top two timing cover bolts.
You'll also need a torque wrench. I have both click type and beam
type, but the inexpensive beam type only will do just fine and can be
Of course, you need a basic socket set. Mostly 12mm and 14mm plus 19mm
for the crankshaft bolt and 30mm for the valve covers. May as well use
6 point sockets. I see no need for 12 point when you're using a
ratchet handle, and the six point are less likely to round a bolt
You should also have a 14mm and 13mm combination wrench. I used these
often by linking or "daisy chaining" the open end of one wrench into
the box end of the other to double the leverage for removing bolts
that were tight in areas of limited clearance.
You should also have some red color grease for the oil seals.
Trick number one:
Remove the crankshaft pulley before removing the engine brace that
supports the engine moving control rod. That way you can reach the
bolts from beneath. Others have said this is the toughest part of the
job, but by working from below makes it _much_ simpler.
By the way, you should get the Haynes manual in addition to Chilton,
have heard it is better and more complete. Factory manuals from eBay
are also nice to have. In any event, you will want to observe torque
If you have the damper puller and impact wrench, removing the
crankshaft pulley should be easy. Before you take it off, line up the
small notch in the edge with the "zero" degree mark on the timing
cover. You'll want to do this with the number one piston at top dead
center. Number one piston is the one closest to the front (timing belt
side) of the engine. The distributor cap should be marked and you can
verify the rotor is pointing the right direction. If you're changing
the spark plugs, you should remove them to make turning over the
engine easier and more precise, and you can also verify by sticking a
wire through the hole to see that piston is at the top of its stroke
not the bottom.
Actually, there's really nothing terribly difficult about this whole
procedure. You just proceed logically from one step to the next.
The crankshaft oil seal has a metal backing. With some trepidation, I
center punched it and drilled a small hole with tape on the drill bit
except for around 1/8" at the end, then hooked the hook from the hook
and pick set through the hole and pulled hard with both hands. The
plastic handle came off, so I used vice grip pliers on the metal ears
of the shaft. Pulled again with both hands and nothing happened.
Closed my eyes, focused and pulled a bit harder and the oil seal
popped right out without having any sharp metal parts touch the
You can unbolt the oil pump cover and remove it by prying carefully on
the edges with a screwdriver - first one side then the other. It will
move only a tiny bit at first but then come loose. With the strap
wrench and impact wrench the oil pump shaft nut spun off instantly
making seal replacement easy with the cover removed from the car.
I used Berryman B-12 Chemtool to clean the parts.
I used some of the red grease to hold the thin O-ring in place on the
block when re installing the oil pump cover and also used some red
grease on the pump gears as assembly lube and to assist in priming the
oil pump on start up by making a better seal.
To reinstall the crankshaft oil seal I used a $3.00 makeshift tool -
an ABS plumbing pipe "WYE" fitting with 2" diameter from Home Depot.
The arm branching off makes a convenient handle for holding it in
place while using a 6 lb. short handled sledge hammer to drive in the
oil seal flat and seat it fully.
I was able to push in the oil pump shaft seal fairly easily with my
The red grease is for assembly on the inside of the oil seals.
I had a tough time positively locating the timing mark for the
camshaft pulley even when using the inspection mirror and a shop
There is a small hole in the pulley and a small mark behind it. The
small mark in the camshaft bearing shell is a short vertical groove.
Even when I moved the pulley to one side and painted the groove white,
I still had a hard time seeing it.
Finally hit upon the idea of using a round wooden toothpick with a
pointed end. When I placed the toothpick through the small hole in the
camshaft pulley I could easily detect the grooved line immediately
behind it by moving the toothpick slightly from side to side and this
proved to be a reliable and accurate method for aligning the timing
mark. Then I could confirm with the mirror, but as I've said, I found
it difficult to locate it just by looking.
The camshaft oil seal comes out easily with the hook, because there is
no metal backing. If you have the special tool, installing the new
seal is almost too easy and only take a minute or two.
You will need to remove the valve cover and hold the camshaft with a
wrench on the "flats" cast in the camshaft to keep it from moving
while removing the bolt holding on the camshaft timing gear.
When installing the timing belt keep it free from oil and don't twist
it more than necessary. Bear in mind the tension on the front part
facing the radiator needs to be tight when lining up the notches in
the belt with those on the pulleys. The "back" part of the belt around
the tensioner bearing and oil pump doesn't matter - you want the front
part where the tension will be on the belt during operation with the
crankshaft turning clockwise and pulling on it.
There is a trick to tensioning the belt properly. First, always use a
new spring on the tensioner pulley. Then apply lots of force to the
tensioner pulley with the adjustment bolt slightly loosened to tension
the belt. This way you're stretching the belt and then allowing the
spring to maintain the correct tension. Do not rely on the spring
alone to tension the belt. It won't work well that way. I used the
large hook from the hook and pick set to pull up with both arms.
Fortunately, that plastic handle was stronger and I could exert my
full strength, pulling up hard enough to move the whole engine several
times. Then release the tension and let the new spring hold the
tensioner pulley in place while tightening the adjustment bolt, and
then finally tighten with a torque wrench to specification.
Put the crankshaft pulley back on and turn the engine over two full
revolutions, then double check the timing marks.
Then remove the crankshaft pulley again to re install the engine
moving control rod support brace.
I wound up replacing the engine moving control rod because there was
some slight cracking in the rubber.
The small tube of "dielectric grease" you can get for under $3 for
electrical parts, is actually silicone grease and I coated the new
rubber parts on the engine moving control rod with silicone grease to
extend their life.
Be sure to use Toyota FIPG material at the points indicated in the
Haynes manual around the camshaft bearings when reinstalling the valve
cover gasket. Also first clean the mating surfaces with solvent so
they are oil free. The correct torque for the valve cover nuts is 17
ft. lbs. not 29 as listed by Haynes. The 29 ft. lbs. number is for the
base of the spark plug tubes when reinstalling them into the head. For
the top you use only 17 per the factory service manual. All the rest
of the Haynes torque figures are correct. Do torque the spark plugs
and the other fasteners. Use a very small amount of anti seize
compound on the spark plug threads.
I bought a new 5/8" spark plug socket, and the first time I used it
the rubber insert came off - stuck to the spark plug at the bottom. It
could not be removed with a long wire hook, so I removed that spark
plug, re installed the rubber socket insert and reinstalled the plug
with the plug just barely inserted in the rubber insert - just enough
to hold it in place, no more.
The factory manual recommends coating the O-ring on the water bypass
pipes with soapy water prior to assembly in the water pump.
There may be other pointers, but that's basically it.
Really, the 4 cylinder Toyota is fairly simple to work on. Once the
wheel is removed, access is not bad, and the design is excellent in
terms of quality and precision.
Take your time if you decide to tackle it, or here's all the work
you'll be saving if you let someone else do it. :-)
A great post, Daniel. It takes time to write with such detail.
I dont wish to be critical, but I saw one thing which is a no-no, but in the
context of what you were doing, has little significance ie don't use grease
to pre-lube engine working parts. Petroleum Jelly is the go here. Grease has
minute fibres in it to make it jelly-like, and in the prescence of engine
heat, will melt leaving the fibres behind.
I hasten to add again, that the small amount you applied on the oil-pump
rotor will not cause any problem. I on the otherhand used a lot to pre-lube
cam, main and bigend bearings in a Ford 6 once. The bottom of the sump had a
layer of fibres in it, when I had it off a few years later.
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