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I am a rookie that made a rookie mistake. I removed my timing belt before lining up the marks. I haven't turned any of the pulleys, but I did notice the top pulley on the passenger side turned when I took the belt off. I went ahead and put a new water pump in and now it's time to figure out this mess I've gotten myself into. (Hopefully it's not as bad as I think)

I know I'm not suppose to turn the pulleys since it might bend the valves. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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It’s super simple.


Line up crank

Line up cams

Install belt.

Verify they stayed aligned.


That is absolutely it.

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If it's that simple, why is it important to line up the marks before taking off the belt? At least, that's what I've been reading.

Are you sure I won't bend or mess up the valves?

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I've been searching and googling but came up short on what I need to know. So I would appreciate any help at all.

(I was going to change the title of this thread from chain to belt, but couldn't figure that out either.)


I lined up the mark on the crankshaft. I can turn the intake and exhaust pulleys on the drivers side until I feel pressure, so I stopped. They're almost lined up but not quite.. 

The intake on the passenger side doesn't move and the exhaust is free wheeling...soooo....


Do I need to turn the crankshaft more in order to line these up   OR   do I need to apply more pressure when turning the pulleys.

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Ah yes I get you. Yes these are interference engines. I thought you meant you were worried about the belt marks.


If you already moved the crank mark then the piston position is fine - do not touch it again. It stays put. Just make sure you used the correct mark on the very back face of the ridge of the pulley, there is another mark people sometimes mistakenly use.


So you just have to move the cams.


If one cam is unloaded, under zero tension, then you know all the valves on that cam are closed. So then you can move the other cam on that same side of the engine to its mark. Then finish that side by lining up the other cam.


Repeat for other side.

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This is the 2.5 engine, correct?

There will be double marks on the cam pulleys, line them up with each other. The lower pulley marks should be facing upwards, the upper pulley marks facing downwards.

The passenger side pulleys will stay in place without issue, but the driver's side pulleys will fight you and try to jump.

My recommendation is to get the belt around the passenger side pulleys first, then work it around to the driver's side pulleys, finally settling all your slack where the tensioner bolts in place.

Start the bolt on the tensioner before you apply any tension to the tensioner.


Also, if you have the hydraulic tensioner and didn't slowly compress the tensioner pin over the course of several minutes, you fubar'd the internals and will need to replace it. Otherwise you WILL be replacing an engine.


Remember, if you're unsure about the engine timing being right, crank it over by hand FIRST. DO NOT USE THE STARTER.

If you come to any spots that it stops and feels like something other than compression, DON'T KEEP PUSHING. Back it off and check your timing marks after getting the engine back to top dead center (crank on the alignment mark).



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