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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started tearing the X apart this morning. The PO has no idea if the timing belt and/or water pump have ever been replaced and the car has 131K on it. I have a factory service manual, which I plan to follow when setting belt tension, but I was just curious if it is normal for the belt to have so much play in it. I can easily slip the old belt right off the cam pulleys. Did I just narrowly avoid catastrophic engine failure? Thing is that the belt looks perfectly fine. I'm waiting for the coolant to finish trickling out of the thermostat housing. Then I'll remove the lower cover and see what the tensioner bearing looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
New Problem! The new belt is the right length, but the timing marks are not accurate. Can't afford to get this wrong, so can someone tell me how many belt cogs there should be between cam marks and between the driver's cam and crank? I don't trust the dimples on the rear timing belt cover. Thanks.
 

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Are you sure your timing belt didn't slip a tooth prior causing the gears not to line up...those marks on the back of the timing cover are supposed to be pretty exact...like literally

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is a chance that the belt slipped one cog, which is why I am so concerned about slapping on the new belt without knowing whether those marks are dead on. My 4Runner used the same type of dimples, but they lined up almost exactly a half cog off. That gives you a 50% chance of getting it right. Fortunately, that Mitsuboshi timing belt had correct timing marks on it, so it was easy to install. But the markings on this belt are off by at least 5 cogs. There is no possible way that the marks were intended for the VG33E. Mitsuboshi is supposed to be the best manufacturer of Japanese timing belts (The factory brand used by both Nissan and Toyota), but I did notice that this belt says "Made in Singapore." When did that change?
 

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Idk...I would honestly trust those marks over the TB ones...I rarely do trust them unless it came straight from Nissan

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to see if the closest Nissan dealership service center will help me compare my belt with their factory belt. Problem is that I work longer hours than they do. If I am off by one cog while hand cranking one full rotation, would I be in danger of bending one of the valves? If all the timing marks line up after a full rotation, then I will feel confident about timing. But if I end up bending a valve . . .
 

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Are you sure you're lining the belt marks up to the correct engine marks? On the belt I recently installed, the bottom one was marked CK and the left cam one was marked RH (because it was referring to the direction from the driver's seat.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you sure you're lining the belt marks up to the correct engine marks? On the belt I recently installed, the bottom one was marked CK and the left cam one was marked RH (because it was referring to the direction from the driver's seat.)
My belt does not have any labeling like RH or CK. It just has two solid lines and one dotted line. This is the same as on the 4Runner except that those belt marks lined up with the timing belt cover marks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Found what I was looking for. The FSM says there should be 40 teeth between the two cam marks. Timing belt is done, but now I have another problem. How do you keep the crank from turning when tightening the crank pulley bolt. I put the car in gear, but the crank just keeps turning without any resistance. Is there some kind of lock on the flywheel?
 

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Have you tried to start it yet? No resistance at all? You could always hold the flywheel with a pry bar while someone tightens it

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haven't tried to start it yet because I still need to do a lot of unrelated work under the hood while everything is torn apart.

I found a good idea on another forum for holding the pulley. He used a ratchet strap anchored to the frame. Sounds easy enough, and I don't risk breaking a tooth on the flywheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Worked like a charm. The ratchet strap is strong enough, but it slips unless you put something underneath it. I wrapped a cut section of the old drive belt around the pulley to provide friction, then wrapped the ratchet strap around it. With a 4-ft breaker bar on a torque wrench, it was a piece of cake.
 
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