Question about 1999 Mazda Protege

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I have replaced the timing belt on my 1999 mazda protege 1.6 . My Hayes repair manual was vague about the timing. I asked a tech on this site for help and was told ''look at the camshaft gears and the back gear has an ''I'' on it and the front one has an ''E'' on it. when those are facing straight up look at the closest point in between the cam gears and you will see two sets of notches and the top set at the closest points of the two cam gears will face each other the left cam at 3 o;clock and the right one at 9 o;clock.'' It now won't start just cranks. When I pulled the old one off these marks were not facing each other but pointing down slightly. This was not a jumped or broken belt just routine maintenance. I am a good mechanic however I am not able to do this job without the proper info. I was hoping to get info on this exact model since they vary greatly from year to year. Does any one have access to the factory info on this? Thanks

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  • wanderingthi Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks for the drawing, this is exactly how set it however it was not possible to get the cam marks to face each other with out the crank mark being off ever so slightly like a 1/16th of an inch. Should this matter?

  • wanderingthi Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks again. I pulled the valve cover off to double check, the marks are lined up just as before. The amount the crank is off by is less than half a tooth so I believe thats fine. I triple checked every electrical connection. I pulled a plug , grounded it and cranked the motor. I only get one spark on each initial crank. Is that normal? If not what next? By the way there is plenty of gas in the tank.

  • wanderingthi Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks for the help! The crank sensor plate was backwards. Easy fix once you pointed me in that direction.

  • wanderingthi Sep 26, 2009

    Very helpful! In a few exchanges I was directed right to the problem. EXCELLENT JOB!

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The information the previous tech gave you was correct, however if your marks were not aligned (slightly pointing down) on removal then you have to either reinstall in the same position, or adjust the crank position after you align the cams.
Your car will not start because your timing is off.
Here is a diagram to help explain your positions:I have replaced the timing belt on my 1999 mazda - d10cf5f.gif

Align your crank shaft so that the indicator is pointing up as in the diagram, then check your cam position marks. Correct them as necessary.
This is an interference engine, so incorrect installation will result in valve damage. If you were only off by one tooth, you may will likely be alright.
If you have any other questions please let me know, and be sure to rate my helpfulness when we are done.

Posted on Sep 26, 2009

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  • Superbovine Sep 26, 2009

    If you have the cam marks lined up, look at the crank mark... if it is a hair off, what I do is picture in my mind what it would look like if I moved it one tooth over in either direction and see how far off the cams are. If you are only 1/16th off, you should be fine, as the teeth are ~1/8 each, you can't be off half a tooth :)

    Picture it, or even physically set it one tooth either way and see how off it is, I think you'll find the hair off is normal.

    Now if the car still doesn't start, ie, this is how you had it before, look into possibly other things you did, like maybe left electrical connector unplugged, etc.

  • Superbovine Sep 26, 2009

    And this vehicle drove fine before belt replacement, yes?
    It must be something disturbed during the job then.

    The only thing I can think of of concern is the cam and crank position sensors.

    By default, the cam position sensor give first signal to the ECU, telling it which stroke the engine is on, and initiating first spark. After stroke position has been identified, the crank position sensor take over for spark timing.

    Considering you get a single spark and then nothing, I would say your crank position sensor is having a problem.
    Make sure it is plugged in first off. Make sure the wiring has not been damaged by the belt etc.
    Pull your belt down and verify the pick up rotor was not damaged during installation.
    If you remove the sensor during the belt job, you may need to verify the spacing is still accurate (no dirt behind the mount), you can have a maximum of 1.5mm clearance between the sensor and the pickup rotor.


  • Superbovine Sep 26, 2009

    This is the pickup rotor I spoke of.

    Make sure it is installed, teeth intact. If it is, then we are looking at the crank sensor spacing, wiring, etc.




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