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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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If you are changing it before it broke, you are in luck. You just must mark the current locations of the timing belt as it is now. You have to remove all the brackets holding the top of the engine on the passenger side of the car, alternator, power steering, and A/C belts. Then you can get to the plastic covers that enclose the timing belt. The large bolt holding the harmonic balancer was a hard one for me - had to use a large air impact (fortunately my neighbor has a tire business and had a huge compressor on the back of his truck). I understand most are not this difficult. Align the cam sprockets to the top of the engine with the little arrows on the head. Then you will notice the belt is aligned on the crankshaft at the bottom of the engine with the keyway facing slightly to the left (11 o'clock position or so). It will not be straight up. There is a little "o" mark on the crankshaft sprocket which aligns with a mark on the new belt. Getting these marks exact requires writing down their exact locations before removing the old belt. Don't try it from memory unless you are a trained toyota factory technician. The cam sprockets at the top of the engine are lettered "R" and "L". The new timing belt will have corresponding letters. The timing belt has to be placed on with the letters reversed as they are facing you (as the "R" cam is actually on your left as you face the engine from the passenger side). My job turned out excellent. Cost me less that $50 bucks. I did not change the tensioner although it is recommended. My theory is that it will last until the second timing belt job since it does not have a lot of moving parts and is enclosed and lubricated constantly. No warranties implied with this advice - we are all on our own.
Good luck. And keep some bandaids close by.
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