Question about 1999 Hyundai Sonata
The cams themselves usually don't have an alignment mark, but the backing plates behind them do, and there are marks on the timing belt as well. To properly time the engine, what you need to do before taking the old belt off is to put the engine in a particular position, with cylinder number one at top-dead-center on the compression stroke. This is how to do it.
First, find out which cylinder is number one. If you have a four-cylinder engine, it's the one closest to the belts, farthest from the transmission. If it's a V6, there may be casting marks on the engine that tell you which is number one. Remove that cylinder's spark plug and leave the hole open. Put your hand over the hole, and have someone "jog" the engine - turn the key in quick shots, 1/4 of a second or so. What you want is to feel a blast of air against your hand. That's how you know that cylinder is on the compression stroke. Once you feel that, stop jogging the engine. Put a very long, thin rod (one of those telescoping magnetic wands available at the parts store for $1 is perfect) down the hole and rest it on the piston. Then, put a socket on the crank pulley and rotate the engine (make sure it's in neutral) and watch the rod raise up. When it stops rising, the piston is at the top of its travel (top dead center position).
Now, look at the timing belt - the marks should be very close to the marks on the backing plates behind the cam gears. Use the socket and ratchet on the crank pulley and rotate the engine further until the marks are aligned. Once they are, you are ready to remove the belt and replace it. When you replace the belt, put it on so that the timing marks on the new belt line up with the timing marks on the backing plates behind the cam gears and the crank pulley.
You may be able to find Hyundai owners' forum online that deals with the Sonata, but usually the forums are geared toward the performance models from a manufacturer. Still, it's worth a shot. Also, if you don't mind paying a few bucks, sign up for your car at www.alldata.com - it's $25 for a year's subscription and gives you everything you'd need to build and troubleshoot your car, starting with nothing but a pile of parts.
Posted on Sep 16, 2008
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