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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again. I was reading a post Ranger put up under a different thread regarding TB replacement. I have two concerns. One is that when I marked the gears, the crank seems to line up with the mark on the casing exactly between a tooth and space on the gear, whereas the cam lines up perfectly on a space on the gear. I'll attach a pic afterwards. The other concern after reading another thread is that my timing cover is all grooved through the cover from the belt. What I read on the other thread was that the belt was walking off due to a bad cog. The thread I was reading was for a Tracker, but obviously something has happened on this Sami to cause the same result.
Suggestions please, or any known problems people want to share with me? And Ack, if you're out there reading, I've read a lot of your posts as well. One of them says to not mess with the 17mm bolt unless absolutely necessary. Would this be a necessary time to pull that out and check out the keyway? I'm just wondering if the keyway is rounding out and if that could be what is causing the gear to be lining up exactly between the tooth and space in ref to the mark on the motor casing?
Thanks!
 

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Hi again. I was reading a post Ranger put up under a different thread regarding TB replacement. I have two concerns. One is that when I marked the gears, the crank seems to line up with the mark on the casing exactly between a tooth and space on the gear, whereas the cam lines up perfectly on a space on the gear. I'll attach a pic afterwards. The other concern after reading another thread is that my timing cover is all grooved through the cover from the belt. What I read on the other thread was that the belt was walking off due to a bad cog. The thread I was reading was for a Tracker, but obviously something has happened on this Sami to cause the same result.
Suggestions please, or any known problems people want to share with me? And Ack, if you're out there reading, I've read a lot of your posts as well. One of them says to not mess with the 17mm bolt unless absolutely necessary. Would this be a necessary time to pull that out and check out the keyway? I'm just wondering if the keyway is rounding out and if that could be what is causing the gear to be lining up exactly between the tooth and space in ref to the mark on the motor casing?
Thanks!
Two items about the timing belt:

When you are only replacing the timing belt (ie - you have not removed the head) there is absolutely NO reason to try to align the cam and crankshaft! No matter where the arrows are pointing, as long as the belt did not break or you have not removed the cylinder head for some other reason, they are already perfectly oriented to each other. A lot of threads talk about aligning the camshaft and crankshaft arrows. This is usually because the poster had broken the timing belt or has done some sort of maintenence that required the removal of the head - which would throw off the relationship between the camshaft and the crankshaft. Such concerns do not apply when changing out the timing belt as long as you do not inadvertantly rotate either the crankshaft or the camshaft during the process.

If the crankshaft keyway is damaged, you'll be able to spot it very easily. The crankshaft timing belt gear will wiggle when touched.

About the grooves cut in the timing belt cover -

While a walking timing belt will cause grooves, sometimes those grooves are caused by a bad-fitting (possibly non-OEM) cover or a timing belt cover that was not properly installed. Definitely examine both pulleys for looseness - especially the crank pully - but do not assume that the pully is at fault without checking first!

I cannot overemphasize the fact that monkeying with the crankshaft bolt because "you think it might help with your problem" or "Isn't that the bolt that you need to remove to get the timing belt cover off?" is ASKING FOR TROUBLE! The ONLY reason to remove the crankshaft bolt is to replace the oil pump or it's seal or to fix a damaged crankshaft keyway.

To paraphrase Smokey the Bear: "Only YOU can prevent Crankshaft sprocket damage" Don't touch the crankshaft bolt!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Ack. I feel more confident with your response to things. So since it was running fine before--great actually, I'll just leave well enough alone, minus putting the new belt on. As far as having a loose crank pully--would it feel loose with the belt still on? I havent taken it off yet. I figure there's no reason to till the part comes in. I want it all to be fresh in my head.
Regarding the head, I should leave that alone, too, right? None of the seals or VC gaskets and such require removing the head anyway, right?
Thanks Ack, I appreciate your knowledgeable input.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One more thing Ack. I thought I ordered the belt with a new tensioner in a kit, but I don't think I did after looking at my order. What's your opinion about replacing the tensioner? Should it spin freely with the belt off? If so, and it doesn't, what do you recommend to either clean up the fitting in the middle and bolt it sits on, or would you just recommend replacing it?
 

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The crank timing belt pulley will show more motion with the belt removed, but you should feel something if the keyway is has been wallowed. Another way to tell if the keyway is damaged: Did the engine slowly begin to run badly? One of the effects of a damage keyway is variable timing advances or retards under load. From what you said in the above post, I don't think you'll find anything wrong with the keyway.

I'm sorry but I don't recognise "VC" (I'm sure that it'll be ovbious when you explain it :D ). If the engine ran great, I don't see how monkeying with any part of the head would be necessary. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Replacing the tensionor is always a good idea - one less reason to take the timing belt cover off. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
VC=valve cover. I really don't know how the car ran before I bought it. I was told it sat for a year and I trailered it home. I hardly drove it much before I started disassembly. It was leaking oil all over my driveway and I figured I'd take care of all this before summer when I'm gonna want to be driving it more. But it did run great--started right up, didn't seem sluggish at all, and no funny noises or hard starts.
 

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once you get all the oil leaks tracked down you should have a pretty reliable little rig. They're like tanks when it comes to surviveability. It takes a whole lot of abuse to make them so they don't run.
 

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Great info Ack! Does your advice also apply to 16v when it comes to JUST a belt replacement i.e. absolutely NO reason to try to align the cam and crankshaft! No matter where the arrows are pointing, as long as the belt did not break or you have not removed the cylinder head for some other reason, they are already perfectly oriented to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So should I be taking this time to take the valve cover off? I read somewhere that you should loosen all the valves before taking the belt off. Ack, any comment on that? And if I'm supposed to do that is there anything I should be careful of? I also took a pic of the throttle body and unless I'm blind, I don't see that venturi thing in there. I don't even see where it would go. I should've ordered that, too, I guess.
 

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no need to loosen valves. That's for an interferance engine where the valves can contact the pistons when the timing is out of sync. The samurai pistons can not crash into the valves since it is a non interferance engine. You could spin the crank while it was disconnected from the cam all day long and never hit a valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you--that was in my head from reading the "how to" about 16V engines. I didn't realize what an interference and non-interference engine is. Is that why they're called that?
 
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