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Inspired by all the great advice and techniques, I am going to change my timing belt myself and hopefully save some money. I have two questions that I haven't found answers for yet.

1. Should you leave the engine mount on prior to using the starter method for removing the bolt on the crankshaft or does it really matter.

2. what is the purpose of using the battery hold down bolt? what it holding in place? I am going to replace my water pump, timing belt adjuster, automatic tensioner, and timing belt idler among other things. Do I still need to do the battery hold down bolt step prior to taking the timing belt off or can I skip that since the water pump is coming off?
 

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I just did this job (+ spark plugs) a couple months ago. It took me some 9 hours over three nights, but I got the job done and the car works fine, thanks to the information and advice on this forum.

1. One must remove both accessory belts before loosening the pulley bolt, and to remove the P/S belt completely you have to remove the passenger side engine mount (and support the engine from underneath). I suppose you could leave the P/S belt looped around the engine mount then remove the mount (and P/S belt) after you have the pulley bolt loosened. The timing belt is sterically 'looped' around the mount also, and the water pump is underneath the mount, so it has to come out eventually. Are you worried about the motor bucking when you turn the starter? Or if you can't get the pulley bolt off, it will shorten re-assembly to leave the mount in, if you decide to abandon the job?

2. The battery hold-down bolt keeps the tensioner in position. That way, after you loosen the timing belt tension by unthreading the idler pulley bolt, the tensioner won't suddenly spring out and put more tension on the belt. If you skip this step the automatic tensioner will spring out to its maximum. I don't know if that will make it harder to remove any of the other components. Ultimately you have to remove the battery hold-down bolt before removing the automatic tensioner, so the end result is the same. Maybe someone else will know the answer to this. But if not, it takes hardly any time to get the battery hold-down bolt in there, threaded by hand even.

A couple other suggestions. If you aren't replacing the spark plugs, consider doing it now. Removing all six plugs will greatly ease the job of the starter in loosening the pulley bolt as it relieves compression. (If you do this, remove the fuse to the fuel pump while you are turning the starter.) Then you can put nice new plugs in. Use only the manufacturer-recommended NGK plugs.

Also, just prior to loosening any tensioner bolts, paint alignment marks (Liquid Paper / 'Wite-Out' works well) on the cam pulleys and crankshaft sprocket that align with marks you put on the old belt. Then copy the marks to the new belt. Otherwise, when putting on the new belt, before releasing the new tensioner it may not be evident where the slack needs to be. Having pre-painted alignment marks takes the guesswork out.

Be patient, and good luck!
 

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thanks for the info

I have read most of the posts regarding timing belt removal including your excellent suggestion and photo about marking the belt prior to removal. I think this is critical for getting the belt on correctly.

yes I was worried about the engine rocking slightly with the mount off while touching the starter. didn't want to damage anything. I know the mount has to come off eventually. just wondered if it made a difference when.

thanks for the reasoning behind the battery hold down step. makes sense why you do it now. couldn't find anything that mentioned the tensioner going fully extended.

thank you and wish me luck.
 

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You don't need to remove ANYTHING besides the passenger side front wheel before breaking that pulley bolt free. There's even a convenient hole cut in the plastic shroud so you can get to it without removing the shroud.

I broke my pulley bolt free a month or two before actually doing the job. Added some antiseize and put it back together. I didn't want to get stuck with my car half apart.

Note: if you intend to do the starter trick, you should NOT use any extensions on the socket at all, so you probably DON'T want to use that convenient hole in the shroud.


Additionally, I described a couple issues I had when doing the TB change in another thread here. The big one was that removal and reinstallation of the lower TB cover basically requires that the engine mount be removed(both from the chassis side and the engine side), but reassembly requires the engine side of the mount be bolted down underneath the cover. The key there is to position the TB cover down in the right neighborhood(but not fully installed), and only then bolt the engine mount to the engine.

Here's the thread...
http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67560&highlight=mount
 
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