With extended company intervals and poor maintenance habits, oil sludging troubles can reason the camshafts come seize and break belts. And, as engines acquire more facility and expensive come repair, educating your

Automotive engine design has changed over the critical 40 years due to the fact that timing belts first came into broad use. At an early stage timing belt designs verified the strengths and also weaknesses of driving the camshaft(s) with a rubber belt, often with devastating results. Many auto manufacturers deserve a reputation for structure junk when their engines failure prematurely due to belt failure.

over the years, nearly every manufacturer has built a design or a couple of models that ended up being lemons before their time, just since they had a belt rather of a chain or equipment drive. Of course, some manufacturers use both, even on the same engine.
v DOHC and multi-valve designs being the share today, a the majority of manufacturers have gone earlier to chain for their durability, lessened maintenance costs and also consistency in designing much more efficient and an effective engines.

Toyota and also its luxury division Lexus have converted almost every one of their present vehicles come chain-driven designs. Historically, Toyota has actually made far much more chain-driven engines than belt-driven ones, and also their to trust index has actually stayed repeatedly high since of the use of chains. 
i didn’t take the moment to include up the numbers, yet suffice it come say that there are plenty of millions of Toyota and also Lexus vehicles out there that still require routine timing belt changes. Due to the fact that these cars have actually high value and popularity, and also the truth that many models perform not endure serious consequences due to a failure belt, time belt replace instead instead can provide many years and miles of extr service.

the said, some of the later models with Variable Valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) might suffer serious and also expensive damage during a timing belt failure. Choose all multi-valve designs, provided the right set of circumstances, acquisition a chance on ­delaying this maintenance deserve to be costly. 
This article is based on the instead of of the timing belt in a 2005 Lexus ES 330 (see Photo 1). The engine is the 3MZ-FE — one all-aluminum 3.3L V6 through all-aluminum building and construction using cast-iron cylinder liners for durability and VVT-i. This engine is offered in numerous Toyota and also Lexus models; car-based models from minivans to SUVs based on the Camry platform. Previously versions of this MZ series engine have valve reliefs that reduced the possibilities of piston-to-valve contact, yet with VVT-i, every bets space off. 
i can’t cover every aspect of this fix in this one article. You will need to do some homework and accessibility the finish procedure either in print kind or with an digital source. I will highlight some things to watch for throughout the procedure, some tips to conserve time and also hassle, and some alerts that will store you out of trouble.

Toyota and Lexus recommend timing belt replacement on this engine at 90,000 miles or nine years. The timing belt is quite substantial, but it is, after all, a rubber belt and the actual organization life will depend a lot on environmental and also use conditions.
I usually look carefully at the ­accessory belts, and also make a decision from there because that the referral of law a timing belt inspection. Because the timing belt drives the water pump ~ above this engine, seven years is most likely a reasonable timeframe to consider this job as general maintenance. In this case, the automobile was appropriate at seven years old, and also just short of 90,000 miles.




all of the models that use this engine use a transverse-mounted drivetrain. Though the engine is relatively close come the right-side within fender area, the working space is better than some other cars. A few little details will certainly make the removed of the engine covers and also components a little easier. 
1. Remove the right-front wheel and fender liner dashboard (see Photo 2). The tiny panel the provides access to the crankshaft pulley is organized in location by 2 bolts and also a push-pin that isn’t visible on every models.

2. Eliminate the accessory belts by loosening your adjusting bolts and brackets. By remove the ­adjusting bracket for the strength steering pump and also loosening the top pivot bolt for the pump (it doesn’t must be removed, simply pulled out around a fifty percent inch), a slot in the pump clip will allow you come drop the pump out of the way.

3. Eliminate the engine strut, front mount bracket and the ­support bracket to the alternator bolt (see Photo 3). Again, the alternator bolt doesn’t need to be ­removed, simply loosened and also pulled out enough to twisted the support bracket out. There is additionally a short bracket that goes to the basic of the housing that holds the cooling system cap. 

Note: This is not whereby the thermostat lives.

4. Loosen the crankshaft pulley-block bolt. We all know that you have the right to use a pulley-block holding tool and a breaker bar, yet an affect wrench will quickly remove the bolt, in most cases.

5. Spray part penetrating oil on the end of the shaft and pulley and also either wiggle the pulley-block off the crank, or use the proper puller to very closely remove the crankshaft pulley. I like to align the pulley-block timing marks through the time tab ~ above the front cover (see Photo 4)

before I remove anything, just to have a an excellent reference for the timing marks.  

6. V the pulley removed, you can now remove the upper and lower former covers. By release the clips and also pulling up on the engine harness, a little an ext room is easily accessible to obtain the upper cover out. Removed the power steering bracket, as listed earlier, permits the lower cover to come out less complicated as well. Also remove the outer overview washer native the crankshaft and also make note of just how it goes on (concave side out).

7. Examine the time marks at the crankshaft. There is a tiny pin on the face of crankshaft sensor wheel and bump ~ above the oil pump housing, (see Photo 5a) and also at both camshafts (mark ~ above the confront of the sprockets, small depressions on the inner front cover) see Photo 5b. If the marks space not lined up, put the crank bolt earlier in and also turn the engine one revolution to line them up.

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8. Eliminate the bracket that holds the right-side mountain ­assembly. The bolts may not come out all the way, however the size of the studs should allow you to pull the clip out with the bolts quiet in the bracket.

9. In ~ this point, if everything is lined up, remove the two bolts for the tensioner (refer earlier to Photo 5a). Because they are placed horizontally, lock will have actually tension top top them till one is out and also the tensioner is enabled to revolve away from the belt. If you ­remove the tensioner roller, make sure you don’t lose the washer the goes in between the housing and the engine block (see Photo 6).


Note: once the tensioner is removed, there is sufficient slack to carefully rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise around 60 degrees. This will administer enough clearance to protect against piston-to-valve contact if the camshafts should turn with the belt removed. Remove the timing belt, beginning at the tensioner roller and also working clockwise, and also ending at the crankshaft pulley. 


at this point, you have accessibility to the water pump pulley and idler rollers and also visual access to the seals because that the shafts. Look because that leaks, evidence of contact in between the belt and the consists or the front of the engine, and also roughness that rotation in the water pump or rollers. At 90,000 miles, any kind of bearing is walking to have actually some wear, and also you will must use her judgment as to whether it’s worth taking a chance of keeping everything there for another 90,000.

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I went into this repair v the intentionally of replacing the time belt, rollers and also water pump, along with the coolant, thermostat and also accessory belts. I ordered a time kit (see Photo 7) from an OEM supplier come Toyota that contained the time belt, water pump and both rollers, and the exactly water pump gasket/support plate through integral seal.
To change the water pump in ~ this point, it’s important to eliminate the camshaft pulleys (see fist mentioned previously on turning the camshafts v the belt off) therefore you deserve to remove the inner timing cover. The water pump is partly covered by the inside cover.

If girlfriend don’t must replace camshaft seals (I didn’t), you have the right to remove just the prior (right-hand) electronic came pulley. Carefully move the behind camshaft (it’s spring-loaded!) come allow access to the sheathe retaining bolts. And, by remove the 2 studs because that the engine bracket that go v the water pump, the inner cover have the right to be traction out and also up far sufficient to gain the water pump out, and the brand-new one installed.
Or, you can just eliminate the rear cam pulley and also remove the inner covering altogether. The rear pulley (left-hand) is buried on part models that usage this engine.

If there space leaks at the camshaft seals, or it’s miscellaneous you generally do top top this job, girlfriend will need to remove the inner covering anyway. Be an extremely careful as soon as removing the pulley and also when

removing the seal. Any type of scoring top top the camshaft-sealing surface may reason a leak; the camshafts are castings and are rather soft. Usage a seal installer (see Photo 8) to make sure the seal go in straight. Again, on some of these models, the behind camshaft is tough to acquire at.



My first recommendation here is to get your speak wrenches out. Because this engine is all-aluminum, the chances of pulling threads as result of over-tightening are increased. Monitor the specifications for torque carefully; Toyota lists them in three different forms, (Nm, kgf.cm and also ft.-lb.), for this reason make certain you are analysis the exactly value.

due to the fact that I was replacing the water pump as a maintenance item, the cooling mechanism was drained and also I made decision to replace the thermostat together well. ~ above this engine, the thermostat is located where the water inlet pipeline from the radiator connects in ~ the behind (left next of the block).

A couple of things need to be removed to watch where it’s located. Over there isn’t any type of shortcut here. The air filter housings (upper and lower) have to be removed and a long extension and 10 mm socket used to gain to the real estate cover nuts (see Photo 9). Install the new “stat,” in addition to a new seal, aligning the “piddle” valve v the stud in ~ the 10 o’clock position.

I used a vacuum cooling mechanism filler (see Photo 10) to test and also fill the system with brand-new coolant before completing the timing belt installation, come make certain the water pump would seal. It would certainly be too lot work to go earlier in after placing it all back, only to find a leak.


After cleaning the front covers and depressing the timing belt tensioner in the shop push (use a pen or tiny hex wrench to hold the shaft in the depression position), I started the reinstallation the the time belt.  download the idler and also tensioner pulleys, together with the depression tensioner.
Make certain the camshaft timing marks room aligned with the inner timing cover places (I always paint lock to do them stand out better). Gradually turn the crankshaft to line up the marks on the crank sprocket and oil pump housing. Do not use any type of kind of tool on the crank position sensor tone ring to turn the crankshaft; even a small scratch can cause codes or time faults. 

install the timing belt, functioning in turning back order, indigenous the crankshaft sprocket, counterclockwise roughly the water pump and so on. You might need come slightly turn the prior camshaft pulley to put simply a small amount of anxiety on the belt to organize it in place, while friend fish the belt around the other positions. You will certainly wind up v slack ~ above the tensioner pulley.
as soon as you’re certain that the time marks space aligned, relax the tensioner by pulling the pin or hex wrench and permit a pair of minutes because that the tensioner to carry out its thing, before transforming the crankshaft two full turns. Recheck the time marks. If they space not correct, redo the procedure by removing the tensioner and starting over. Remember that you have to not rotate the crankshaft clockwise v the belt removed. 

The rest of the project is putting the removed parts ago on. The reduced timing belt overview goes on the crankshaft through the concave (cup side) facing out. The crankshaft pulley-block bolt is torqued to 162 ft.-lbs. Don’t forget to reinstall the inner fender dashboard to save water and debris turn off of the accessory belts.




these cars and SUVs room going to be around for a long time. Gaining to recognize the assorted quirks of time belt replacement can make extra money in the ­future as the process will get simpler with each procedure. Because a mistake have the right to be really costly, analysis through the company manual process before acquisition it apart have the right to save time and a most heartache.