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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having my radiator crack, the pcv/coolant return line burst, and having my heater core hose burst over the part year, it seems my water pump is now weeping. I had the timing belt replaced 2 years ago but opted to have someone else do it. I'm mechanically adept, but timing is not something I care to mess with. However, my indy said the water pump was fine so it was up to me to replace it at the same time or not. I did not.

I'm at about 127k miles now. I recently rebuilt the engine on my xj jeep so I'm feeling a lot more confident mechanically.

As I understand it: remove serp/harmonic balancer, line up timing marks on Cam gears, make sure crank gear marks are aligned, loosen tension/remove belt and tensioner, remove 7 pump bolts, clean mating surface, rtv new water pump gasket, and reverse previous steps, making sure timing marks are all still aligned?

Is it as straight forward as that? Anything I need to be aware of? How easy would it be to accidentally knock the gears out of alignment? Is this something I should take on, or bite the bullet and have my indy do it for a few hundred or so in labor cost?
 

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Not sure why you'd remove the harmonic balancer or the belt tensioner. But yea, that's a pretty good description. Usually, you do the T belt, tensioner, and water pump all at the same time though, if there's a pulley in there, that as well.... I hear the belt doesn't break very often, but the tensioner craps out and causes the T belt to skip teeth.

It's a pretty easy task. The R definitely isn't as easy to wrench on as an XJ -- it is tight in the belt/pulley area, but it's not super difficult. Some hand tools and a few hours will get'er done. Just line up the crank gear notch to the casting line on the block, and center up the VVT cam gears, then line them up to the T belt cover. Slip the belt on while using something to hold the tensioner, detensioned, and you're ready to rock. Inspect the VVT cam pulleys to make sure nobody has adjusted them to max. Remember, this is a VVT car on both sides, so if you're a tooth off, it's not going to kill the motor. Maybe that'll inspire some confidence?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure why you'd remove the harmonic balancer or the belt tensioner. But yea, that's a pretty good description. Usually, you do the T belt, tensioner, and water pump all at the same time though, if there's a pulley in there, that as well.... I hear the belt doesn't break very often, but the tensioner craps out and causes the T belt to skip teeth.

It's a pretty easy task. The R definitely isn't as easy to wrench on as an XJ -- it is tight in the belt/pulley area, but it's not super difficult. Some hand tools and a few hours will get'er done. Just line up the crank gear notch to the casting line on the block, and center up the VVT cam gears, then line them up to the T belt cover. Slip the belt on while using something to hold the tensioner, detensioned, and you're ready to rock. Inspect the VVT cam pulleys to make sure nobody has adjusted them to max. Remember, this is a VVT car on both sides, so if you're a tooth off, it's not going to kill the motor. Maybe that'll inspire some confidence?
Shoot now that I'm thinking about it, you're right. If I'm just doing the water pump (belt/tensioner/pulley were replaced 2 years/24k miles ago), then I should be good just loosening the tensioner, slipping the belt off the tensioner pulley and then I have access to the water pump. I wouldn't even need to remove the belt would I? Obviously still make sure all the marks are aligned still, but as long as I can clear the pump past the belt it shouldn't need to come off? Maybe when I loosen the tension I can clip the belt to the gears so it stays in place, Looking at the picture from this post I should have plenty of slack to work with at that point. If that's the case, then one of the trickier parts, getting the crankshaft pulley off, isn't even a necessary step and expedites the process a lot.

Man is the XJ a breeze to work on compared to my R. I actually legitimately enjoyed rebuilding that engine, it was so satisfyingly easy. So far on the R I've done the PCV job, twice (don't ask), BCM, oxygen sensors, headlights, just about all cooling components including radiator and now going to delve into this job. Every single job I do on this R doesn't go according to plan and it's never easy. Multiple trips to the store every time to get a part I don't have/didn't know I needed. Definitely feeling more confident given all the research/writeups out there for timing belts. Can you explain what you mean about slipping the belt on while using something to hold the tensioner? I recall seeing something about clock positions for the tensioner too, I'll need to look that up.
 

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Shoot now that I'm thinking about it, you're right. If I'm just doing the water pump (belt/tensioner/pulley were replaced 2 years/24k miles ago), then I should be good just loosening the tensioner, slipping the belt off the tensioner pulley and then I have access to the water pump. I wouldn't even need to remove the belt would I? Obviously still make sure all the marks are aligned still, but as long as I can clear the pump past the belt it shouldn't need to come off? Maybe when I loosen the tension I can clip the belt to the gears so it stays in place, Looking at the picture from this post I should have plenty of slack to work with at that point. If that's the case, then one of the trickier parts, getting the crankshaft pulley off, isn't even a necessary step and expedites the process a lot.

Man is the XJ a breeze to work on compared to my R. I actually legitimately enjoyed rebuilding that engine, it was so satisfyingly easy. So far on the R I've done the PCV job, twice (don't ask), BCM, oxygen sensors, headlights, just about all cooling components including radiator and now going to delve into this job. Every single job I do on this R doesn't go according to plan and it's never easy. Multiple trips to the store every time to get a part I don't have/didn't know I needed. Definitely feeling more confident given all the research/writeups out there for timing belts. Can you explain what you mean about slipping the belt on while using something to hold the tensioner? I recall seeing something about clock positions for the tensioner too, I'll need to look that up.
The first time I changed my timing belt at 80k miles, I did not touch the water pump, but I did change the water pump, with timing belt, at 160k miles.

The marginal effort of changing the water pump was minimal. I don't believe you'll need to remove the crankshaft pulley to do it.

If not changing timing belt, just be sure to use a white-out or paint pen to mark both your timing belt at the crankshaft and each cam. Be sure to mark both the belt and the cams/crankshaft, so you know exactly how to line them back up. I actually had to do this on my 160k mile timing belt change, not to change the water pump, but because my exhaust cam was off one tooth.

Once all marked up with reference points, just loosen up your tensioner to get the belt loose enough to remove the water pump. It's a few bolts. Reference the bolt holes on your new water pump to know where they are all located. Be sure your new water pump comes with a new gasket, knock the old pump off with a mallet, and torque the new pump on to proper torque specifications.

You will be working in a tight space from the top. You may also want to take off your front right wheel and pull away at the fender liner, which will give you a more direct view of the crankshaft and/or water pump.

Also, be sure not to spin the crankshaft engine or cams when your belt is loose. If any component spins 180 degrees or more, your painted reference points may become meaningless as you'll struggle to to remember which direction to spin the cam or crank to get it right.
 

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Get a paint marker and mark the timing belt to the crank pulley and cam pullies. Make sure the marks line up when you put it back together.

It's so simple even I can do it. Actually, i use it as a shortcut when doing timing belts because it makes life soooo simple.



fig.1: The easiest transverse timing belt and water pump anyone will ever do
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Get a paint marker and mark the timing belt to the crank pulley and cam pullies. Make sure the marks line up when you put it back together.

It's so simple even I can do it. Actually, i use it as a shortcut when doing timing belts because it makes life soooo simple.



fig.1: The easiest transverse timing belt and water pump anyone will ever do
Yet somehow I still managed to mess it up lol. I marked my cams and even marked the belt and then tied the belt to the cam gears with some thin gauge wire to make sure it doesn't move. When I moved the crank to tdc and aligned the marks, I even made sure to go past and then bring it back, which I believe relieves tension on the vvts? I successfully changed the water pump, but when I put it all back together and tensioned the belt, all marks looked good but it must be off a tooth or two. I've got a CEL and pulled a code in vida for inlet being -14/15 degrees with a -14 degree deviation. Exhaust cam is dead on center. Going to bring it in to a shop to have it done right. I don't mess with timing and when I have it timed, thing should run like a champ. Just my luck.
 
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