DIY Timing Belt Job done '99 L/C - resources

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Apr 29, 2009
Just completed my timing belt / water pump / front engine seal job. The most challenging thing about it is keeping your bolts and parts organized. It is a very DIY do-able job. For the $700 labor I was quoted by the dealer and a local independent, I decided to save the money and do it myself.

My rig has 152k miles, all in Southern California, very little towing, so it has lived a fairly gentle life. I changed out the original timing belt. I will later post pictures of the belt. It has no missing teeth, though some surface cracking is visible. I'd be it would go a bit further, but with some longer summer driving planned, I didn't want to push my luck further.

As for parts I installed new: timing belt, water pump, cam and crank seals as well as the timing belt idler and tensioner wheels as well as the hydraulic belt tensioner. At the same time, I replaced the belt tensioner and serpentine belt, thermostat and both radiator hoses.

It took me about six hours to be ready to install the timing belt (water pump and cam / crank seals installed). From there it was another 5 hours to the finish line.:clap:

I can recommend these resources:
Lexus LS400: How to Change the Timing Belt & Water Pump :)beer: !! to the author) - online photo tutorial for a Lexus V-8, which is extremely similar. That engine must be older though as it has distributors and not coil-on-plug. The photos were very helpful due to the similarities between the engine. As you know, the factory manual does not offer photos. - :bounce: Toyota's online information system. For $15 and a 48 hour subscription you can download as much of the factory manual (for all >1990 vehicles) as you'd like. It is a bargain. I plan to download a few extra procedures and print to PDF for later use.

My tips:

I also identified a small time saver. Removing the A/C compressor bolts is a bit of a nightmare. The top front bolt secures itself to the fan carrier. If you only remove that bolt, only a light steel bracket which holds an electrical connector keeps the fan carrier from sliding out. The bracket retains the electrical connectors to the compressor. You can unscrew the bracket or bend it out of the way enough to remove the fan carrier. Given the difficult access to the other two bolts, this saved me some time. Those with a lift or flexibility of a yoga-master may not find this saves much time. It seems the bolts are best accessed from beneath.

As a tip for others, I can I say I cheated a bit on installing the cam sprocket bolts. I used my air impact. I don't have a tool to hold the cam sprockets while I torqued the bolts. 15 years ago I worked in a shop and this was a normal procedure, though it does deviate from the factory procedure. As an alternative method to hold the sprockets, you can wrap the old timing belt around the sprocket and then grab onto the belt with a (VERY) large pliers. I did this to keep the sprocket from spinning while tightening with the impact.

While in there, I took out time to clean my throttle body and used a mass-air-flow cleaner spray to clean out the mass-air-flow sensor. Access wouldn't be this good for a L O N G time (with any luck)!:grinpimp:

Thanks to Cruiser Dan for supplying the parts! The parts were about 40% cheaper from him than my local Toyota Dealer (Carlsbad, CA)!

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Congrats on the job, this site too is a great resource for us that have tackled the job.

Did you make your own crank holder tool? That for me was the big helper - having borrowed it from a fellow site member.

Doing Brakes and repacking the seals in the next week and this site along with the FSM download site are a must.
Thank you for the kind words.

I did not find too much about the detailed timing belt procedure here, but maybe I missed it.

I did not use the crank holder tool. I have a heavy duty impact 250 ft. lbs and the crank bolt came right off w/o any issue. The car has never (or at least rarely) seen salty roads so fasteners seem to come off pretty easily. I cheated on installing that bolt too and used the impact, I just didn't wail on it too hard, given the delta between its torque rating and that of the bolt.

send me an email if you want the factory procedure on the front bearing repack. I have a PDF format saved from TIS.



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