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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 06-13-2011, 05:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Timing belt change: (tension spring)

I'm changing out the timing belt on my 91 p/u, V-6, 3VZE.
Got a question about the tension spring that connects to the #1 idler pulley and the bracket on the top of the water pump.
The book says to measure the spring...it should be 54.6mm (2.15in).

My measure is approx 2.5in. Does that mean I need to replace the spring as well?
Also, the bracket that's ontop of the water pump is movable. Which way do I secure it? Middle, left, right?
My spring doesn't look stretched out. It just looks old and rusted, but still in decent shape. It doesn't even look like it could be comprressed any further to make it the book measurement.
Any advice would help. W/out having a CK shaft pulley holder yesteday, this damn project has been far from fun.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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fourloked
If your unsure about it I would just replace it. You wouldnt want your timing belt to skip a tooth and have to tear it apart again
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You want a pretty strong spring tension on the belt while you're rotating the motor two revolutions prior to torquing the lower idler - about the same tension as on the serpentine (alternator) belt. And that tension should exist through all the range of motion of that idler when belt is not attached: in other words, the spring should be pulling strongly on that idler even when it's all the way to the right. And when you tug on the idler to test spring tension, you should only just be able to move it by hand.

If it seems too little tension, you can try moving the hook all the way to the right. If it still seems a bit week, just get a new spring. They can't be that expensive (?)
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I feel the same way, and probably will. I took the advice from the auto parts store and didn't pick one up at the same time I bought all of my belts.

I'm still kinda perplexed about the spring length and the two points it attaches to. My spring is longer than what the book calls for (maybe from being used), though the two connecting points will stretch it even longer AND I'm not exactly sure where to tighten down the bracket on top of the water pump.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a before picture with the old spring and two more before I'm about to reinstall the spring. I forgot to measure the distance from idler pulley to bracket before removal.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the hook (bracket) is supposed to go all the way to the right, against the stop. If you want to be sure of the tension, I'd pick up a new spring from the dealer.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I think I'm gonna do just that. To my surprise, the stealership is only charging $5.47 for the spring. Though, I have to wait two days for it to arrive.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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on any engine that uses a timing belt tensioner spring, I always replace it when I change the timing belt... no point nickel and diming such a cheap part when it could be a potential problem
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I ordered the part this morning, will be here tomorrow.
I mentioned this spring to my long-time mechanic. He told me that the spring is pretty much useless and not even necessary. It's main function is to provide enough tension while tightening down the tensioner pulley.
True or not, it only cost me $6.05....I can wait one more day to put my truck back together.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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However, I do have one question I would like clarification on. I wanna make sure that I get this done right, the first time.

I'm putting on a new timing belt. Both of my pulleys are marked on top and the lower timing belt cover is aligned as well. The marks are still there from the previous TB swap.
I know I need to rotate my crankshaft twice to make sure the alignment is still good, but I thought I only needed to do this when I am reusing the same TB.
Considering that my marks are correct and I'm putting on a new belt....don't all I need to do is take as much slack off of the driver's side and put it onto the pass side, apply tension to my pulley and tighten it down??
Or, do I still need to mark my new TB to match both pulleys and then rotate my crankshaft twice and to confirmeverything is still aligned?
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowtruck View Post
I ordered the part this morning, will be here tomorrow.
I mentioned this spring to my long-time mechanic. He told me that the spring is pretty much useless and not even necessary. It's main function is to provide enough tension while tightening down the tensioner pulley.
True or not, it only cost me $6.05....I can wait one more day to put my truck back together.
The spring tensions the timing belt: after you install the belt in the correct position, with the tensioner pulley attached but loose enough to move, and the spring attached, you (gently and smoothly) rotate the crankshaft two complete rotations clockwise to allow the spring-loaded tensioner pulley to tension the timing belt. I would hardly call that useless. It is true that you then are supposed to torque the tensioner pulley in place, after which the spring just sits there doing nothing. The later design (92?-95) uses an actual tensioner similar to the one on the 22re that does continue to tension the belt. But I've never had a problem with the belts on my 89, and I run them 70k miles between changes.

BTW the pulley torque spec is 27 ft lbs. Tighten it after the two crank revolutions and making sure the marks on the cam pulleys still line up with the marks on the backplate. (If you used a Toyota timing belt, the marks on the belt will have traveled and won't line up - disregard them, they're just for initial positioning.) On my veezy the cam marks don't exactly line up with the backplate marks, but when in the correct position, the marked cam pulley teeth are closer to the backplate marks than any other teeth are. The marks I refer to are the ones stamped into the backplate at the factory. I can't speak to any marks painted on there by previous mechanics.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That's all really good to know. Thanks a lot! This is my first time doing my TB and water pump. Frustrating trying to teach myself, but I'm learning a lot as I go.
I don't think I would have even attempted most of the things I have done so far w/out the help from all of these great YT post's.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:18 AM
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