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My timing belt change is turning into one of those DIY jobs from [email protected] I'm a pretty good wrench with a couple of camry engine swaps/timing belts jobs under my belt plus I have the factory service manual. I can not for the life of me get the timing marks to all line up when putting on the belt. They are all lined up when I start but in the process of putting on the belt I always have one of the 3 move. It it not always the pesky rear cam gear either might be the front cam or the crank gear. Spent 5 hrs trying to get it lined up. Thought I had it one time but after putting on the timing belt covers/crank pulley and turning the engine a couple of revolution I was off one tooth on the front cam....repeat steps 2 through 21:frown: Need some help and encouragement.

Brian
 

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When I changed my timing belt a few years ago, I vaguely remember that when the marks are lined up, the belt doesn't slip on the two cams very easily because it is almost impossible to have the belt "tight" while sliding it on at the same time. I consciously considered how to allow the belt to have an ever so slight amount of "slack" in order to be able to pull it onto the next cam. What I did was first eyeball where the teeth on the next cam lines up with the cogs on the belt, then slightly rotate (maybe just half a tooth or so) that next cam backward (towards the direction from where the belt was already meshed with the crank gear) until the belt would easily slide on. Then when I pulled the belt tight, the 2nd cam could be rotated back to be perfectly aligned again. Same with the 3rd cam. As you put the belt on each cam, double check that pulling it tight aligns the cams before moving on to the next cam. Hope that helps!
 

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2 Tips
1) Mark the old belt to a mark on each of the pulleys. Transfer the marks to the new belt and match them back up. Good to go the first time with no issues on multiple cars using this technique. Seeing you are past that how about marking it now while it's still on adjusting for the one tooth or so off? I used white out on the side of the belt and just scraped it off when done.
2) Cut a piece of wood at an angle so you can wedge it behind the cam pulleys. It's much easier if they don't move.
 

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when you put belt on the left and right cam,use a tie strap to tie it up after you're sure both are fit.Then release the tensioner holder, make sure all three marks are on, then manually turn the crankshaft a full round,if all three marks still on,you're done. Otherwise, do it again. you will get there.good luck.
 

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When I did my belt a few years ago I did exactly what OdyinNH suggests, mark the old belt where the marks on the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets are before releasing the tensioner, remove old belt, copy marks from old belt to new belt, install new belt with marks line up with corresponding marks on sprockets (sprocket marks will not be lined up with marks on engine yet). Then when I installed and released the tensioner the marks lined up first time for me.

I know you are past the point of doing it this way (unless there were marks on your old belt) so I guess my response is for those who have not yet done their tming belt. Hopefully this thread prevents someone else from going through the same frustration. Did you get yours to line up yet?
 
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