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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 X 3.3L VG33E with about 160k miles on it. It’s a two owner vehicle, I’m the second. I have done a lot of the maintenance on it myself besides a few things like exhaust work and fuel injection cleaning. I’ve done some upgrades too, lights, shocks, tires, and just a couple months ago a full brake job including new calipers and rotors.

Last year I finally had the timing belt, water pump, and thermostat replaced. I would have done it myself but I didn’t have the time or place to do it. I took it to my neighborhood service station where I’ve had other work done before, inspections, and oil changes. They gave me a good deal on labor and I bought the parts from a dealer. I was told it was better to get dealer parts (I’m now having my doubts about that). They did the work and everything was fine. I brought it home and decided to finally fix the 12 year old Knock Sensor issue, complete with all new intake manifold hoses, gasket, etc, both front oxygen sensors (mistaking them for the sub-harness short problem). Finally traced the code to the harness short and fixed that.

I now have a coolant leak. I took it to the shop where they did the timing belt and they told me the new water pump is defective. Of course they gave me a quote to fix it but I basically spent my repair budget between the timing belt last year and the new brakes a couple months ago. Unfortunately the dealer’s warranty only lasted one year and technically the part failed five months after it expired, plus since I didn’t have a dealer install it, they want me to take it to a dealer to have it replaced. I don’t have that kind of money right now. So, in a moment of insanity I decided to try to replace the water pump myself. At the time it didn’t seem to difficult, but right now I’m not so sure. I have a Chilton’s manual as well as the FSM (thanks to this forum) but I’m to a point where things aren’t making sense. Nowhere in either book does it say I have to take the timing belt off to remove the water pump. Am I missing something? Is there a special way to turn it to get it out from in between the belt without removing the belt? The books just say unbolt it and remove it, nothing about taking the belt off or even loosening it. Is it possible for me to loosen the tensioner, move the belt out of the way, and get the pump out, then just retighten the tensioner? Does the tensioner go back into the original position after it tightened or do I need to know some kind of specific thing about it? And yes, I know not to turn the crankshaft or sprockets while I have the belt off.

I know these books leave some steps out sometimes and I understand how that can happen but this a big step that they conveniently left out. I just don’t want to do something wrong and mess it up beyond repair.

Does anyone know if there’s missing step or was it supposed to be self explanatory and I totally misunderstood it? Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Never mind, I bit the bullet and took the timing belt off. Fingers crossed everything goes back on like it should and works 🤞🏼
 

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There's a couple of bolts that you have to take out that just look like studs that another hold threads into. But if you look closely they have a hex shape and will come out too
 

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Hmmm, I didn’t see any hex heads or any studs for that matter. I had a total of 5 actual bolts holding the water pump on (the manual said there was only 3), but that wasn’t the problem anyway. Contrary to what both manuals say the water pump is located behind the timing belt so in order to get the water pump off, the belt absolutely has to come off too. I’m not sure why that step was left out of the manuals, but it was. Maybe it’s because my X was in the first group of builds (1999/2000) and the manuals are geared more towards the second group. Who knows, maybe my truck is just a unicorn lol
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 V6
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Contrary to what both manuals say the water pump is located behind the timing belt so in order to get the water pump off, the belt absolutely has to come off too. I’m not sure why that step was left out of the manuals, but it was. Maybe it’s because my X was in the first group of builds (1999/2000) and the manuals are geared more towards the second group. Who knows, maybe my truck is just a unicorn lol
The FSM does state the belt must be removed to get to the water pump. You just have to be used to reading FSM’s from Japanese manufactures.

From the 2000 FSM section LC-28 on water pump removal. Note that it directs you to see EM-75 halfway through the removal. This references the timing belt removal section telling you to remove the belt. Yeah it’s a crappy way of putting it but it’s how the Japanese do it.

73967
 

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Yeah, to me that was saying to remove the crankshaft pulley and timing covers, refer to the timing belt section. I know how strange most manuals are written, I’ve dealt with a lot of them in various applications. They’re rarely easy to understand and, like I said, many times they’re incorrect or miss steps. Either way, I did what I had to do to get the water pump off. Unfortunately the weather has kept me from finishing, but I’ll be getting back to it soon I hope.
 
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