Timing Belt Questions

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I am in the middle of the disassembly to put the first replacement belt on my '04 with 98k on the odometer. I ordered the crank and camshaft seals, but I am worried about holding the camshaft sprockets to loosen the bolt. The FSM shows a SST to do the job (the same one used to hold the crankshaft pulley), but I don't get how the tool fastens to the sproket. The sprockets dont have drilled holes like the crankshaft pulley. The picture looks like there are just studs fastened to the tool which are simply placed between the spokes on the sprocket. Is this right? Those spokes look to be a little on the delicate side for that kind of treatment. Also, the FSM shows that to fit the belt, that same SST is used to move the camshaft sprokets. Isn't there a potential for internal damage since the belt is not in place during this procedure? Finally, with no hint of any leaking from any of the front seals, should I blow seal replacement off? John
 

scottm

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I have to do this job soon, planned on using a chunk of the old belt to hold the sprocket. Clamp a vice grips on and make a strap wrench. Or use the old belt to pad the sprocket and use a big channel locks. I used a strap wrench to hold the cams on my Subarus when I did them, plenty good.
 
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I didnt replace the cam seals when I did my timing belt, so I cant help you there.

I dont recall what it said about moving the sprockets, but I wouldnt turn them individually. Set them where you want them before removing the old belt, line up the marks on the new belt with all of the marks on the crankshaft and cams and you're good to go.
 

scottm

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I think if you have the crank & cams lined up before disassembly you're pretty safe with gentle movements of the cams. I wouldn't intentionally turn the cams, but don't think the valves will be damaged by small movements. The lobes are under spring pressure, so the cams can snap over a few degrees if you move them.

I haven't done these cam seals, but on my Subarus I ran a sheet metal screw into the seals and pulled out with that using a crowbar, easy. There are fancy tools for pulling seals, but what's the challenge?
 
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Having replaced my crank/cam seals at the first t-belt change, I would say definitely blow off the cam seals until t-belt change #2. They were a pain to get out and put in. Crank seal is pretty easy to swap. Although after reading this forum for several years, I don't think I've ever even seen one report of an engine oil leak?!

If you decide to do it without the special tool, getting the sprocket off is easy, just use an impact gun.

rich
 

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