Question about cam belt replacement


Hey all.

Well, the Feroza/Sportrak looks beautifully easy to work on just flicking through the service manual.

Anyway, bout to take delivery of my '97 model and the first move is to replace the cam belt for piece of mind. The job looks pretty straight forward (ive only ever done chains before), I do have one question however...

It is always mentioned to rotate the crank to TDC on the compression stroke and ensuring the markings are aligned appropriately before doing the actual replacement - is this a piece of mind thing so you can be sure the pulleys dont move? Cuz it seems to me that a quick off/on with a timing belt could be done with the motor at any position and providing the pulleys didnt jump there should be no problem?

I've also read the "count the ribs between the pulleys" method of making sure there is no pulley jump but this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. It seems that the pulleys are always going to be the same distance apart so this count would tell you nothing...

Would be great if y'all could clear up these two little queries I have.



I recollect the pulley's have sprockets so the total of belts ribs must be equal/same difference as that being removed. Thats the method I used having set to tdc on compression etc. However,if you fail to set to tdc on compression stroke you cant set tdc/compression after the old belt is removed.

Let me rephrase: 1)why do

Let me rephrase:

1)why do I even need to set TDC for a straight belt on/ belt off operation? is it just so the marks line up and will give me a hint if something moves

2)how does counting the number of ribs between the pulleys show that the pulleys didnt move when the belt was off?

Why .. here is why !!!

1. Tdc so it lines up and you dont smash/bend the valves or get the distributor 180degrees incorrect.
2. Count the ribs because on the majority of sporty engines the engines alignment marks are missing. By the time you remove the old belt you have nothing to align/copy.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Better to be safe than sorry. If you get it wrong, bent valves, smashed pistons can result. Then heaps more headaches and money, for just a little shortcut. Id rather make sure it was correct, rather than risk some accidental movement.

Alternatively, you can leave it anywhere you like, and put your own marks on crank and camshaft, and corresponding marks on the internals of the case.


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Cheers guys that cleared it up