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Discussion Starter #1
I have no idea how this happened...but...

I'm replacing the timing belt on my newly acquired '04. I'm at the point of putting everything back together.

The LH (driver) side camshaft is lined up with the alignment dimple.
The RH (passenger) side is off by like 60deg (clockwise).

The don't spin by hand. How do I fix this??

I'm fairly sure they're going to be off relative to the crank as well since the harmonic balancer slipped in the strap wrench when I was taking it off. That I think I can fix by attaching the bolt and wrenching the crank shaft till it's aligned...right?

should I do the same with the RH camshaft??
 

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I had the same thing happen when I did mine, I had to remove the valve covers, then the rocker arm assemblies to release the lifter tension on the camshafts. once that was done it was so much easier to align the cams and crankshaft to the timing lines on the new belt. a little more work but so was worth it rather then fighting to hold a cam in place and get bely on without losing timing all while also inserting and tensioning the tensioner. it seemed like I didn't have enough hands but once the lifter tension was out of the equation it was easy, Don't forget to remove and torque those rockers in proper order and to spec. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I was mostly concerned that by forcing the cam to rotate I'd break something. Based on your reply and looking around a bit more it sounded like no. I gather that this happens because of pressure by the springs/rockers on the cams can cause them to rotate (which is probably why it rotated ~60deg).

I just grabbed a handy strap wrench, placed it around the sprocket, and rotated it to the correct position..there was 'springy' pushback...but once I got it to the aligned position it's staying there, so I think I'm good.

thanks again.
 

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2000 Xterra 4x4
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Old thread, but the same thing happened to me today. This discussion helped me. Here is a simple "tool" I made to get my cam shaft into timing.
75596
75597
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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Or you can put a socket and ratchet on the center bolt and turn it, which is what I did on my 2001 a month ago.
 
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