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Tips for Changing Your Timing Belt

How to Change Your Timing Belt

Just Some Tips

For more complete instructions read your Chilton's or Hayes Manual

I am not responsible if you screw up

The timing belt is sort of a bugger to get to, but the replacement is not too bad. You do have to remove the passanger side engine mount, which means that you will need to have the engine supported.

Haynes says to pull the spark plugs -- this is unnecesssary. Haynes to says to discharge the A/C and move it -- this is also unnecessary. Haynes says to remove the power steering pump. Just loosen the two rear bolts on the pump support and the unit can be maneuvered out of the way. Haynes says to remove the alternator. Just remove it from the bracket and relocate the alternator so it is out of the way.

You do not need to depressurize the fuel lines, and the lines do not need to be either removed or relocated.

There is a small 1/2" radiator hose located above the water pump. Replace this at the same time you are doing the belt. You may also want to replace the water pump since you have everything removed. Remove the A/C fan which is located in front of the A/C compressor. There are two 10mm (I think) nuts that hold the fan, then it lifts out after you disconnect the electrical connection. Move the A/C compressor over to where the fan was located. This will move the compressor far enough out of the way.

The engine mount location is critical for the alignment of the driveshafts. Mark and then pull the body-to-mount bolts. This will help you get the mount back to the same location.

Haynes says to make a mark out the outside of the distributor so you can rotate the crankcase to TDC of #1. But they forget to tell you the the distributor roter does not make contact at the same location as the spark plug on the distributor cap. Turn the distributor cap over and you will see where #1 fires.

I used a vicegrip 'chain' adapter to hold the harmonic balancer so I could remove the crank bolt. You can do the same thing by removing the starter (held in place with three bolts) and wedging a large screwdriver or tire iron in to hold the flywheel.

Give yourself a weekend the first time you do the belt. It is not as difficult as the manuals suggest, but you do need to have some reasonable hand tools as well as a torque wrench.

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