Timing Belt Replacement Nightmare

Hello all my name is: YellowDog
I have a: 1991 Stealth TT

two wrenches came loose and the front pulley jumped out of alignment with timing mark. Did it damage anything? Can I move it back into alignment without causing any damage?

I dont think anything would get damaged but im not sure. Do you have one of these timing belt tools? The wrench method is the most annoying I believe.

If it jumped there itself you should be ok to hand turn it back yourself without causing any damage. Hoping the spark plugs have been removed and the plug cover is only on to keep anything from falling in.

Hopefully no damage was done and I can realign those 2 manually

Another question, how do you guys rotate the crankshaft to align the crankshaft timing mark after the crankshaft pulley has been removed? If I install the crankshaft bolt to turn it, I won’t be able to remove it. I was thinking using the crankshaft bolt with a nut. Are there any other solutions that have been proven to work?

Joe did a brilliant video series about timing belt change… I really hope you folks have watched it

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I watched the video but I didn’t see how he removed the crankshaft bolt after aligning the timing mark in part 3 of the video

I was thinking of using the crankshaft bolt together with a nut to lock it in place. Use the nut to prevent the crankshaft from turning while removing the bolt.

The timing mark is off by half a tooth. Then I have to rotate it CCW an additional one tooth before putting the belt on according to Joe’s video.

@Joe90 when you got time, could you please assist?? :face_with_monocle:

Unless you have done the bolt up really tight, you can just put a spanner on the bolt and tap the end of the spanner with a hammer. It should come loose easily.

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Hi guys, perhaps I can be of assistance and a few notes on the crankshaft sprocket bolt and timing:
The crankshaft sprocket bolt must be in very good condition with the threads cleaned with a brass wire brush or preferably a brass wire wheel, then, well lubricated with anti seize compound, preferably, copper anti seize lubricant by Permatex. I use a gun barrel brass wire brush and WD 40 to clean the threads within the crankshaft shaft end and compressed air to blow all the debris out and then also lubricated with copper anti seize. One should take note that these critical areas are infamously subjected to rust buildup due to moisture and after precision cleaning if this bolt does not go in all the way easily hand tight, then you definitely have a few damaged threads perhaps on the bolt itself or crankshaft end ( I hope not ). I have noticed most people do not do this on their builds and then start to complain about a loose pulley or other issues. This precision cleaning procedure that I call it, gives an accurate required torque on the bolt and in turn helps to loosen the bolt using a quick break method using a breaker bar without the need to drop the oil pan and sticking a piece of wood within the rotating assembly. Any sort of impact gun to tighten or loosen this special 17MM crankshaft sprocket bolt is NOT recommended, everything needs to be done by hand. FYI Now the reason the crank shaft timing mark is set one or two teeth counter clock wise which translates to a few degrees before TDC is a factory recommended setting and a precaution of valve head to piston surface contact when positioning the camshafts ( intake and exhaust ) in their respective degree position as noted in the factory manual, during assembly procedures. When this is done meaning setting the timing marks on the crankshaft sprocket to the water pump alignment mark one or two teeth before TDC, all the cam gears can be moved a bit from side to side ( timing belt off ), this facilitates the engine builder to position the camshaft in their respective degree position using the dowel pins at the end of the camshaft and align the marks when the belt is installed, however, I would not recommend using an alternate nut method as pictured to remove this bolt, chances of damaging the threads are high and if that happen you will definitely have issues and crank pulley flying off at high RPM, if the bolt cannot be removed now without turning the entire rotating assembly, you will have no choice but to drain the oil, drop the pan and place a wood piece in the rotating assembly.

I would remove the valve cover, spark plug and make sure piston on cylinder 1 is a few degrees BTDC which can be established by the position of the timing marks on the crankshaft sprocket and water pump that would be one or two teeth BTDC. After this all the valves to 1 should be closed and the cam lobes in their respect position.

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Anyone have any tips on how to maneuver the motor mount bracket so that it falls in place on installation? It seems impossible to fit

You may have to tilt the engine slightly.


Good tip!

A little tilt and a lot of swearing did the job

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You would normally gently jack the engine up to remove and fit the engine mount. not much just a tad to take the weight off the mount.



I’ve had this car forever and just discovered the underhood light turns on when you turn on the parking lights. What a crazy design idea. Haha!


I completed the timing belt install and started it up…nothing blew up which is good.

It does have a noise that sounds as if the belt is rubbing in one spot per revolution.

I noticed the belt is not fully centered on the cam gears. It’s right up to the edge on one side of the cam gear. Could that be the cause??? Any other ideas before I tear everything apart again and restart my nightmare?

I ran it without the plastic cam gear covers and it still sounds like it is rubbing in one spot per revolution somewhere.

It has a new belt, tensioner, idler pulley, water pump. What could be defective causing the belt to shift to one side?

There is about 1mm of clearance between the belt and the motor mount bracket. Is that enough clearance or could that be the source of my belt rubbing?

So if You center the belt and start the engine the belt moves to one side ? Are the pulleys fitiied and tighten correctly ?

Yes, If I center the belt it will shift to the right side after starting the engine. I torqued the pulleys to spec.

From other pics I’ve seen it doesn’t seem to be uncommon for the belt to be shifted to one side of the pulley…as long as it’s not hanging off the edge.

Is your belt in the center?