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I changed my timing belt, idlers, and water pump yesterday. A couple of tips I haven't seen elsewhere are:

1) Water Pump replacement does not require removal of LH (driver's) camshaft sprocket despite the shop manuals directions. There is no interference that I could detect. The auto tensioner bracket must be removed, but nothing else.

2) Manual indicates when installing the timing belt to align the crankshaft w/ pointer on block and camshaft sprocket timing marks w/ index marks on cylinder head on RH side and rear timing belt cover on LH side. If you do this, I found that inevitably the LH side sprocket moves to a position ~1-2 cogs CW from desired position after rotating crankshaft 720 degrees. I even started the engine w/ this arrangement. Engine ran like a pea thrasher. I installed the belt w/ LH camshaft sprocket "misaligned" ~ 1 cog CCW from alignment w/ pointer on rear cover. After installation and rotation alignment was very close; sprocket aligned w/ timing belt mark displaced 1/2 cog off. This started and ran fine, for which I was extremely gratified after 3 unsucessful TB installations.

3) I found the new belt was very difficult to engage on the lower geared idler and water pump drive wheel w/ the idler No. 2 (lower idler) removed and auto tensioner pinned in closed position. The belt was just slightly too short for me to manhandle into position. Somewhat frustrated, I remove the belt and put my foot in one end and lifted as hard as I could on the other end to "stretch" the belt. It did not seem to move, but on reinstallation and w/ a little lubriplate on belt and pulleys, it finally achieved engagement. I was exhausted after this battle. The "slack" available for make up with the auto tensioner pinned and idler no-2 released is small, so I suspect most will have some problem here. I'd be interested to hear of other's experience w/ engaging the belt.

Regards
 

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You put Lubriplate on your timing belt???? Don't the belt installation instructions specifically say not to get oil or grease on the belt?
 
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