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5523Pathfinder

How to change your timing belt!

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Ok, so a lot of people are wanting to do thier own timing belt. This job can be time consuming and picky. You will need time, tools and patience. The vehicle I used was a 99 QX4. This engine is a 3.3L, but its pretty much all the same from 96-99. I will try and post everthing you may need, if I forget anthing let me know. Ok,

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!

 

First, gather your tools. You will need metric sizes from 8mm to 19mm in sockets, and wrenches to be on the safe side. Your crank pulley bolt is a 27mm(1 1/16ths i think (Yes-B)). You will also need...

 

Breaker bar (longer the better)

Pliers (mulitple)

Screwdrivers (flat and phillips)

Metric Hex wrenches or sockets(5MM)

Scrapers

Extensions(3 and 6in)

Puller (there is a pic of what it looks like)

Other tools may be listed with the photos

 

Next step is getting started. You will need to drain your coolant from underneath. Remove the lower skid plate and find the drain valve. WD21's will be on the left side of the radiator, R50's will be on the bottom right, you will need to remove the skid support brace to access it. While you are under there, remove the lower fan shroud and disconnect the transmission cooler lines if you are a A/T.

post-9-1170216527.jpg

Edited by Precise1
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Once you've gotten all that out of the way remove the radiator. The fan shroud will come out with the radiator in the R50's. You will need to unbolt it and remove the shroud the the radiator on a WD21. There are 4 screws that hold it to the radiator, a stubby phillips is best. 2 on the top and 2 on the sides.

post-9-1170216816.jpg

Edited by 5523Pathfinder

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You can take off your drive belts at any time, I tend to leave them on until I need to remove the brackets, but whatever works for you.

post-9-1170217170.jpg

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Letting the photo do the talking...

post-9-1170217255.jpg

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The fan clutch can be done before or after the previous steps..

post-9-1170217366.jpg

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After removing the belts, there is a pcv hose that needs to be disconnected. There are 2 10mm bolts holding it to the upper timing belt cover, remove them. Grab your pliers and release the clamp on your left and pull the hose toward you. Slide it up over the upper coolant pipe to give better access. Then its time to remove your crank pulley. Get that big socket and breaker bar. You will need to block the engine from turning over by removing the starter and blocking the flyhweel, or if you are a manual transmission, let the powertrain do the work for you. I have seen guys use a strap wrench to hold the pulley and someone else loosen the bolt. You may need to figure a way on your own. If you are lucky enough to have air, be glad! Then use the puller in the picture to pull the pully off the crank snout.

 

The smaller bolt treads I believe were 6mmx1.00. WD21 owners just remove two bolts from the front of the pulley to install tool. R50 owners will need to find the holes and install the tool.

post-28-1170219720.jpg

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Now you should have somthing like whats in the picture. **R50 owners** when you remove the upper timing cover, the A/C line will be in the way. This will take some time, but you can lightly pull up on the line while jockying the cover out. DO NOT PULL TO HARD!!! If the A/C lines breaks, you have a new mess to worry about, refridgerant will come out!

 

*this pic was taken after I reassembled, yours will not look as clean :D

post-28-1170220011.jpg

Edited by 5523Pathfinder

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So now you should have your timing belt covers removed. You will need to set the cam gears at Top Dead Center. It may help to clean all the gears and find the indents with letters LH and RH below them. Also find the dimples on the rear cover and note where they are at.

 

Your marks will look something like in the photoafter you set it at TDC. A dab of white paint or highly visible marker on the indents and dimple helps alot!

 

You can now loosen the tensioner pulley nut a half turn or so. You will need to install a hex key that is 5mm. Turn the tensioner clockwise to remove tension. You will only need to turn it to about the 9 o'clock position depending on tension. Now you can slide the belt off.

post-28-1170220274.jpg

Edited by 5523Pathfinder
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Now, if you are only replacing the timing belt, your work is done. But many of us know thats usually not the only thing your gonna do. Check that tensioner for noise or play. Check under the water pump at the seep hole for leakage and check the drive shaft for play. Check for leaks from the cams seals or the coolant plug on the 3.0. When was that Thermostat replaced? Now is a good time to replace what you want.

 

The camseals can be replaced by removing the bolts on the cams, bolts on the rear cover and remove the seals. Upon reassembly, if the cams move, just line up your marks. DO NOT TRY TO FORCE THE CAMS IN EITHER DIRECTION!

 

The waterpump is as easy as removing the bolts and pulling off the pump. Watch your feet as coolant will come down, grab a pan to catch it. Use your scrapers or spayable gasket remover to remove the waterpump gasket. Make sure everthing is nice and clean before reinstalling. Dont overtighten the pump bolts, is only aluminum!

 

Thermostat is the easiest. 3 bolts, give it a tap and remove it from the housing. Clean all of the silicone from the housing and pipe snout. Install the t-stat with the bleeder valve at the top. You will probably use silicone to reseal, it works best but some have gaskets.

 

The belt tensioner is removed by loosening the nut completly and sliding off the stud. Check that stud for tightness and integrity. Swap the spring to the new tensioner and reinstall. The spring arm will need to rest against the smaller stud and then turn it clockwise back to 9 o'clock.

 

I also wanted to add that even though the little coolant bypass hose may not leak or look worn replace it anyway, I imagine it must get pretty hot in there so that hose could rupture. Besides you do not want to overlook that and have to take the front of the engine apart because of that 3.00 tiny hose.
...good point ...this is the hose

 

coolanthose1ji6.th.jpg

Here is what it looks like completly torn down...

post-28-1170221414.jpg

Edited by RedPath88

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Heres a quick tip...use that marking paint that you used on the cam and make marks on the side of the timing belt.

post-28-1170221490.jpg

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When the paint is dry, install the belt onto the pulleys. If you marked everthing right, the marks will all line up. You need to set the belt tension by turning the tensioner counterclockwise to about the 5:30 position. It lines up with the lower oil pump side, almost a straight line. Follow the instructions in the photo...

post-28-1170221764.jpg

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Once you've set the tension and back to TDC, you need to check that belt tension. Give the belt a twist and it should not go any further than 90 degrees. Any more than that and I will make noise. A little less, or tighter, is ok, but it may make noise also. The closer you get to a half twist the better!

post-28-1170221943.jpg

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Ok, pretty much everthing from here is reassembly. Make sure to check your hoses and belts. If anything is out of order, fix or replace it now! This job isnt that difficult if you have some mechanical skill. It will always be a good idea to have some kind of repair manual near to reference as needed.

 

I hope this helps and I am glad I could do it. If there is anything that need clarification, let me know. If someone wants a different picture of something, let me know!

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Here's a little addition. This is what the timing belt tensioner position should look like once is has been properly set up.

 

This might be a better shot of the tensioner set at 5 o'clock

 

tn1mf6.th.jpg

post-28-1170393897.jpg

Edited by RedPath88
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Great Post... But I have a question that maybe someone can shed some light on. In my chilton manual it say that you must remove the valve covers and loosen up all rocker arm shaft bolts to obtain correct belt tension. Is this necessary? Does this sound right and why is this so if correct? Thanks

Man, that would be insane! Even with the lifters removed(which are hydraulic), the cams are still not going to move. The tension is going to change continuesly. Thats why you set the tension as I described. The factory manual wants you to set the tension with a pull gauge, but 10 years of doing timing belts, this is the easiest way to do it. And, I have never heard of that procedure before! What a gigantic pain that would be.

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If anyone has any questions about this procedure, feel free to PM me. If anyone has additional photos or tips, let me or RedPath88 know to post them and keep the thread clean. Thanks!

Edited by 5523Pathfinder
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Heres a little part help with some help from skrillaguerilla. These are factory part numbers, but you dont need to use them if you chose!

 

 

 

"Hey D, i was just at Paul Coffey Nissan this morning and picked up a bunch of parts for the timing belt replacement. The parts guy actually gave me a nice 20% discount of all these prices Here is the list for you to post in your awesome timing belt thread:

 

I just picked up most of the parts to do this job. These are all parts and dealership list prices for the VG30E. I'm assuming they are the same parts for the VG30I as well.

 

-All prices are in Canadian dollars-

 

13028-0B785 - Timing Belt $53.85

13070-42L00 - Tensioner $82.42

13042-D0101 - Cam Seal $11.35/ea

21010-12G28 - Water Pump $94.99

21200-0B000 - Thermostat $25.23

 

The one part I need a number for is the coolant hose that runs from the water pump to the radiator. If anyone know the # please post it for myself and the other people planning to do this job. "

 

 

Remember, if you replace the cam seals, you will need two of them. Also there is the crank seal. I will try and get the part numbers and post them when I get a chance.

Edited by 5523Pathfinder
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When the paint is dry, install the belt onto the pulleys. If you marked everthing right, the marks will all line up. You need to set the belt tension by turning the tensioner counterclockwise to about the 5:30 position. It lines up with the lower oil pump side, almost a straight line. Follow the instructions in the photo...

 

 

hi there i have a 92 pathfinder and when doing the timming belt i get everything lined up all the marks but the crank mark cuz i cant find it on the pan..when i go to turn iy over it will start but sounds like a tractor..then when i go to look at the belt again the marks are now like 4 teeth off every time i turn it over they move from the marks??/

do ya have any ideas i can try to get this running proper....

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Just wanted to say thanks a lot for this thread and for the great pics! I just got all the parts in to start on this job tonight, so I'll be diving in with a printout of this thread in one hand and my Haynes manual in the other. :)

 

-Jeff

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hi there i have a 92 pathfinder and when doing the timming belt i get everything lined up all the marks but the crank mark cuz i cant find it on the pan..when i go to turn iy over it will start but sounds like a tractor..then when i go to look at the belt again the marks are now like 4 teeth off every time i turn it over they move from the marks??/

do ya have any ideas i can try to get this running proper....

 

There is no mark on the oil pump for the crank. I've never seen one or heard of anyone replying that the mark was already there, even though the Chilton's and Haynes books say it's supposed to be there. You have to set the engine to TDC on the compression stroke and then make a mark for it yourself. That happened to me, too. Don't feel bad. Also, the marks only line up every...what, 24 engine revolutions? It has to spin over 4 times per cylinder cycle times 6 cylinders.

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There is no mark on the oil pump for the crank. I've never seen one or heard of anyone replying that the mark was already there, even though the Chilton's and Haynes books say it's supposed to be there. You have to set the engine to TDC on the compression stroke and then make a mark for it yourself. That happened to me, too. Don't feel bad. Also, the marks only line up every...what, 24 engine revolutions? It has to spin over 4 times per cylinder cycle times 6 cylinders.

 

Hi, I'm asking this here because I've been through 5 attempts to get my timing right. the last time I got it right but the belt broke and bent valves. F$%^&*(#@.

 

I was torqued off!

 

So with that, I gave up and sent it to a shop to do the heads and valves. 1300$ later they have put it back together twice and the first time was waaaay off. Ran like it was a clogged up catalytic converter, Soooooo, I went and had that put on and $140 later same result, ran like a 2 legged dog.

 

This is when I had them redo it and it is a lot better but still I think it's off. In 3rd at 35 MPH it chugs every 5 seconds.

 

My problem is the crank timing mark is on the pulley, which can be installed in 4 different positions (BRILLIANT engineering!)

 

One very good mechanic told me the number of teeth between the cam cogs and the number between the drivers side cog and the crank mark. I can't get in touch with him now and I was wondering if anyone knew these numbers so I can get my truck running again. He looked it up in some manual but I don't know which one.

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The info you need is:

 

Between LH & RH Camshaft sproket timing marks - 40 teeth

 

Between LH Camshaft Sproket and Crankshaft timing marks - 43 teeth

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There is only ONE Top Dead Center for #1 piston on the compression stroke. Find that, put the balancer back on with the marks positioned according to the pointer on the timing belt cover and that's it. I don't see how a competent mechanic could put it on 90 degrees or more off.

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YES! That is exactly what I was asking for! BTW is RH the driver side, its been a while... :FartExplode-vi:

 

Also if the timing is off a tooth, will it run the same when plugs 1 and 2 disconnected? They're On the same crackshaft and its fouling plugs and chuggin in the mid to low RPM in every gear.

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Here's a little addition. This is what the timing belt tensioner position should look like once is has been properly set up.

 

 

finally i found some help...thanks...here is my first problem...my tensioner hex hole is at 11:00 when the belt is tight...and my other problem is that after i line up all the marks including the one on the crank gear, my 1994 v6 4x4 pickup does nothing but cough...so my questions: do i need to remove and reset my tensioner and how do i know when number 1 cylinder is at top dead center of compression stroke...i used a screwdriver on first cylinder to find TDC, tightened belt and after that failed, turned crank one rotation, tightened belt again and still just coughing...any advice?

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