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Step by Step Toyota Tacoma Timing Belt Replacement for 3.4L V6 5VZFE (also 4runner, Tundra, and T100)

I recently changed the timing belt and water pump on my 2000 Tacoma, and it went great. In addition to the story of shop day, I figured a detailed set of instructions for anyone wanting to tackle this themselves would be nice to put together, since it's hard to find that written down in one concise place (maybe even impossible before now).

This is of course based on the Factory Service Manual (FSM) description, but varies slightly (to make things easier) and doesn't require flipping back and forth between many different sections.

So let's get started.

Gathering the parts and tools

As you can imagine with a job like this, there are quite a few parts and tools you need to complete it quickly and safely! As it turns out, there are a couple of great resources that make this easier:

  1. You can buy most of the parts you need in a kit on eBay. There are several of them, but I went for the 100% OEM parts kit from aircabinman that contained the following parts:
Quantity Part Manufacturer Part Number
2 1 Timing Belt & 1 label Toyota 13568-69095/YZZ03
1 Idler Roller NSK OE 13503-62040
1 Tensioner Roller Koyo OE 13505-62070
1 Front Crankshaft Seal Toyota/NOK OE 90311-40022
2 Front Camshaft Seals Toyota/NOK OE 90311-38051
1 Water Pump Aisin OE 16100-69398-83
1 Water Pump Gasket Aisin 16271-62011
1 Hydraulic Tensioner Toyota 13540-62021
1 Thermostat (82°c) Toyota 90916-03075
1 Thermostat Gasket Aisin 16325-62010
1 Air Conditioning Belt Toyota 99364-20870
1 Alternator Belt Toyota 90080-91090
1 Power Steering Belt Toyota 90080-91126

There are a few parts/supplies that you still need to pick up to complete the job and aren't included in the kit, so I picked them up as well:

  1. The crank pulley bolt, which Toyota says is a single-use bolt given the 217 ft-lbs of torque it's under while in service. (90119-16006)
  2. Two gallons of red coolant concentrate, to refill the radiator when it's reinstalled. (00272-1LLAC)
  3. Six gallons of distilled water - again, for the radiator.

As far as tools go, there are several special service tools (SSTs) that you'll need to complete the job. I cannot stress enough how important these SSTs are, and how much easier they made this job. If you're tackling this yourself, buy all of these tools. They will double the cost of the job, but it's still less than half of having Toyota do it, and you have the tools for next time.

  1. OTC 6673 Universal Belt Tension Gauge
  2. Lisle 58430 Shaft Type Seal Puller
  3. Schley Products SP 64400 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holding Tool
  4. OTC 4518 Stinger 5-ton Bar-Type Puller/Bearing Separator Set
    1. (2) M8 Metric Bolts with a 1.25 Pitch, 100mm long with 4 washers - these are the bolts we used in conjunction with the OTC 4518 puller or other puller you have to remove the crankshaft pulley.
  5. PRIVATE BRAND TOOLS PBT70960 Crankshaft and Camshaft Seal Tool Kit
  6. Lisle 24680 Spill-Free Funnel
  7. Performance Tool W89208 Cam Pulley Holder
  8. TEKTON 24320 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (20-200 in.-lb./2.26-22.6 Nm)

Of course, these tools were in addition to a standard set of tools that you'd need for this job - short and deep sockets, extensions, larger torque wrenches, oil, grease, etc. Here was a list of the additional tools we used:

  1. 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, and 19mm sockets - both short and deep. This is a great set, but not cheap.
  2. 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm wrenches. This is a good set.
  3. 3-, 6-, ad 9-inch socket extensions
  4. 10-inch socket wobble extension
  5. A set of socket adapters (from 1/4"-to-3/8", and from 1/2"-to-3/8")
  6. 90º needle nose pliers (for hose clamps)
  7. Two, 2-foot breaker bars
  8. A set of picks
  9. Shop towels
  10. Torque wrench capable of 250 ft-lbs
  11. A box of ziplock bags to hold bolts that have been removed.
  12. A pad of post-it notes to label said bags.
  13. 5 gallon container to catch coolant (bucket with trash bag liner)
  14. 5 qt container to catch transmission fluid

Doing the Job

With all the parts and tools gathered, it's time to get to work. Perhaps obviously, the job is mostly a bunch of removal of parts, and then a bunch of installation of those same parts - or rather, installation of replacement parts. This list of steps is just that - a list of steps (which makes it a great resource to print off and reference when you're doing the job). If you're curious about what a step looks like, I suggest watching the video linked above.

  1. Remove any skid plates. Note: If you have an aftermarket bumper, you may also need to remove it to gain access to the grill and radiator.
  2. Disconnect negative lead from the battery.

Remove the radiator

  1. Drain coolant out of the radiator into a 5 gallon bucket by opening valve at passenger-bottom of the radiator, and then remove the radiator cap to speed up drainage.
  2. Remove the front grill by releasing each of the tabs that hold it to the body, using a long flat screwdriver.
  3. Remove the upper radiator hose by removing the hose clamps, and then remove the hose from the radiator first, then the engine.
  4. Remove the lower radiator shroud by removing a metal clip on each side, and then pull the lower shroud out of the way.
  5. Loosen the upper radiator shroud by removing 4, 10mm bolts holding it in place (2 on top, 2 on bottom). Remove shroud.
  6. If applicable (automatic transmission vehicles only)
    1. Place a catch basin for ATF under the radiator
    2. remove transmission cooler lines from the bottom of the radiator.
  7. Disconnect coolant overflow tube from the radiator by removing the clip on the radiator side and sliding it off the hose barb.
  8. Place a catch basin for coolant under the radiator and then remove the lower radiator hose by removing the hose clamps, and then the hose from the radiator.
  9. Remove the 4, 12mm bolts that hold the radiator in place. You can remove these without the radiator falling out, since it is held up by tabs in the body.
  10. Lift the radiator up and out.

Remove the fan and fan clutch

  1. Using a long wrench, remove the 4, 12mm nuts that hold the fan clutch and fan to the fan pulley. To access each nut, rotate the crank pulley clockwise (the direction the engine turns). Note: if the motor turns on you as you loosen the nuts, use a pry bar to wedge two of the nuts in the opposing direction while you loosen the nuts.
  2. Pull the fan clutch and fan off of the fan pulley. (it should pull off easily)

Remove the drive belts and pulley's

  1. Loosen (don't remove) the 14mm pivot bolt for the power steering belt (top-most passenger pulley)
  2. Loosen (don't remove) the 14mm adjuster lock nut (from bottom of engine).
  3. Once the two bolts are loose enough, pivot the pulley in and remove the belt.
  4. Loosen (don't remove) the 14mm bolt that holds the AC idler pulley on
  5. Loosen (don't remove) the 14mm tensioning bolt for the AC idler pulley.
  6. Once the two bolts are loose enough, remove the belt.
  7. Loosen (don't remove) the 14mm pivot bolt for the alternator
  8. Loosen (don't remove) the 12mm tensioning bolt for the alternator.
  9. Remove the fan pulleys, noting their orientation.

Remove the dip stick and upper (#2) timing belt cover

  1. Remove the 10mm bolt attached to the alternator bracket that secures the dip stick.
  2. Slide the spark plug wire clips off of the timing belt cover.
  3. Unclip the spark plug wire clip on the passenger side of the timing belt cover.
  4. Remove the 6, 10mm bolts holding the upper timing cover on. Four along the top, two along the bottom. Note: do not remove the electrical clip on the passenger side at this point. See step 7 below.
  5. Optionally (I didn't do this)
    1. Pull the dip stick vertically out of the oil pan, making sure that the o-ring at the bottom of the dip stick comes out as well.
    2. Plug the hole leading to the oil pan so that nothing drips into the engine oil while the rest of the job is ongoing.
  6. Remove the upper timing cover carefully to access the rear.
  7. Using needle nose pliers, remove the electrical connection for the cam position sensor from the timing cover.
  8. Disconnect the cam position sensor connector and push the two ends out of the way

Remove the adjuster bracket for power steering pump and the fan bracket

  1. Using a 14mm wrench, remove the nuts securing the power steering adjuster bracket.
  2. Remove the 14mm lock nut for the power steering tensioner, to remove the bracket.
  3. Remove the 14mm bolt and nut holding on the fan bracket.
  4. Slide off the fan bracket.
  5. Check the bearing of the fan bracket to ensure that it is still in good condition.
  6. Remove the lower radiator hose from the engine by loosening the hose clamp, and then sliding the hose off the engine. Note: with the hose, the yellow mark goes toward the engine, white mark toward the radiator.

Remove the crank pulley bolt

Note: you only ever want to rotate the crank pulley clockwise, as that's the direction it naturally rotates.

  1. Use the Schley Products SP 64400 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holding Tool SST and a breaker bar lodged under the driver frame rail.
    1. Fully seat the SST into the holes on the crank pulley.
    2. Rotate the crank pulley clockwise until the tool is positioned correctly for the breaker bar to be inserted and lodge under the driver frame rail.
    3. Insert the breaker bar into the SST and under the driver frame rail.
    4. Using a 19mm deep socket, remove the crank pulley bolt, making sure to apply inward pressure so as to not round off the head of the bolt.
    5. Remove the SST.
  2. Remove the crank shaft pulley using the OTC 4518 Stinger 5-ton Bar-Type Puller/Bearing Separator Set SST
    1. Re-insert the crank pulley bolt, screwing it in only part of the way (so the pulley will have room to slide forward as it releases).
    2. Using 2, 100mm M8 1.25 bolts, thread them into the two larger holes on the crank shaft pulley, leaving two washers at the head of each bolt.
    3. Insert the bearing puller SST between the washers+bolt heads and the crank pulley.
    4. Screw down on the rod in the bearing puller SST (against the crank pulley bolt) to pull the crank pulley forward.
    5. Remove the SST and crank pulley bolt.
    6. Wiggle the pulley off the remaining distance.

Remove the starter wire bracket and lower (#1) timing belt cover

  1. Remove the 2, 10mm bolts that hold on the starter wire bracket at the very bottom of the lower (#1) timing belt cover.
  2. Pull the bracket out of the way.
  3. Remove the 4, 10mm bolts that secure the #1 timing belt cover.

Set the #1 cylinder to top dead center

  1. Look for a mark (dot) on the timing gear pulley.
  2. Look for notches on each of the two cam shaft pulleys.
  3. Align the mark/dot on the timing shaft pulley with the arrow on the engine at the same time that the notches on each of the two cam shaft pulley's are aligned with the marks at the top of the timing cover by rotating the engine clockwise using the Performance Tool W89208 Cam Pulley Holder SST in a cam pulley until all three marks are aligned.

Removing the timing belt tensioner

  1. Loosen the 12mm front bolt of the timing belt tensioner.
  2. From the bottom of the truck, using a long wobble extension and 12mm socket, reach between the frame of the oil pan and wire harness to loosen the rear 12mm bolt of the timing belt tensioner.
  3. Remove both 12mm bolts and the timing belt tensioner.
  4. Optional:
    1. Inspect the timing belt tensioner if you are considering re-use. If there is no visible oil at the base of the pin, it is OK to reuse.
    2. Place the timing belt tensioner in a vise and compress the pin until you can capture the pin in a retracted state.

Removing the timing belt and idler pulleys

  1. Remove the crank pulley washer, noting the forward/rear orientation.
  2. Slide the timing belt off, noting the path around various pulleys.
  3. Remove the crank shaft timing gear(to change the seal behind it).
  4. Remove the 14mm bolt holding the non-pivoting #2 idler pulley.
  5. Remove the #2 idler pulley
  6. Use a 10mm allen wrench to remove bolt holding the #1 idler pulley.
  7. Remove the #1 idler pulley, making sure to also remove the washer between the pulley and the engine. Note: you will re-use this washer even when installing a new #1 idler pulley.

Remove the water inlet from the water pump, to access the thermostat

  1. Place a coolant catch basin under the engine to catch any coolant that will leak out.
  2. Remove the 3, 12mm nuts securing the water inlet.
  3. Slide the water inlet neck off of the studs.
  4. Remove the thermostat. Note that the jiggle valve goes DOWN in the 6 o'clock position.

Remove the cam position sensor, cam shaft pulleys, and rear (#3) timing cover

  1. Remove the 10mm bolt that holds on the cam position sensor.
  2. Using the Performance Tool W89208 Cam Pulley Holder SST and breaker bar (and a friend), loosen the bolts holding the cam shaft pulley's on. Note: You can also use the SST and an impact wrench to do this more easily.
  3. Remove the 17mm crank pulley bolts.
  4. Slide the crank pulleys off. Note that L is Driver, R is passenger.
  5. Remove the small pin/key/round bar in the crank pulley shaft and set it aside.
  6. Remove the 10mm bolts holding on the rear timing cover.
  7. Carefully disconnect the driver side wiring loom off of the rear timing cover, by pulling the tab forward, and then the connector up.
  8. Remove the rear timing cover, giving us access to the cam shaft seals.
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Removal and replacement of the cam shaft and crank shaft seals

  1. Using the Lisle 58430 Shaft Type Seal Puller SST, hook the tool between the crank shaft and seal, and then lever the seal out.
  2. Spread some motor oil on the new cam shaft seal, and the cam shaft. Press in the seal as far as you can with your fingers.
  3. Use the PRIVATE BRAND TOOLS PBT70960 Crankshaft and Camshaft Seal Tool Kit SST (determine the right spacers, etc.) to press in the new cam shaft seals.
  4. If the seal is not fully seated, tap it in the rest of the way.
  5. Repeat for the other cam shaft.
  6. Repeat for the crank shaft. Note: the crank shaft seal should be flush with the inside bevel, not with the face of the crank shaft lip.

Replace the water pump

  1. Place a coolant catch basin under the engine to catch any coolant that will leak out.
  2. Loosen the clamp for the oil cooler hose, and then remove the hose from (the driver side of) the water pump.
  3. Remove the 7, 12mm bolts that hold the water pump in place.
  4. Remove the water pump from the engine.
  5. Clean up the face of the engine where the water pump attaches, ensuring that there is a nice mating surface for the new gasket and water pump.
  6. Slide the new gasket over the studs for the water neck and thermostat.
  7. Slide the new water pump over the studs for the water neck and thermostat.
  8. Hand tighten all bolts, then torque all water pump bolts to 14 ft-lbs (168 in-lbs). Note: alternate nuts, bringing them up to torque spec.
  9. Reconnect oil cooler hose (driver side) and clamp to water pump.

Replace the thermostat and reconnect the water inlet for the water pump

  1. Install the new thermostat. Note that the jiggle valve goes DOWN in the 6 o'clock position.
  2. Slide the water inlet neck onto of the studs.
  3. Capture the wire bracket on the top nut.
  4. Hand tighten the 3, 12mm nuts securing the water inlet. Torque 14 ft-lbs (168 in-lbs). Note: alternate nuts, bringing them up to torque spec.

Replace the rear timing cover and cam pulleys

  1. Place the rear timing cover back in place.
  2. Reattach the driver side wiring loom off of the rear timing cover.
  3. Reinstall the 10mm bolts that hold the rear timing cover on. Torque to 80 in-lbs.
  4. Replace the small pin/key in the cam pulley shafts.
  5. Slide the cam pulleys on, tapping the pulley on with a plastic hammer if necessary to fully seat it.
  6. Hand tighten the cam pully bolts, then torque to 81 ft-lbs.
  7. Re-align the cam shaft pulley's with the marks on the engine, if necessary, by turning them clockwise with the Performance Tool W89208 Cam Pulley Holder SST.
  8. Replace the cam position sensor and secure with the original 10mm bolt. Torque to 80 in-lbs.

Install the new #1 and #2 timing belt idler pulleys and timing belt

  1. Install the #2 idler pulley. Torque to 30 ft-lbs.
  2. Install the #1 idler pulley using a 10mm allen head wrench, making sure to also install the washer between the pulley and the engine. Torque to 30 ft-lbs.
  3. Replace the crankshaft timing gear.
  4. Ensure that the crank shaft gear mark is at top dead center.
  5. Place the timing belt on the driver side cam shaft pulley, aligning the left cam pulley with the driver side arrow and notch.
  6. Thread timing belt under the #2 idler pulley and over the right (passenger) cam pulley.
  7. Using two clamps, secure the timing belt to the cam shaft pulleys.
  8. Thread the timing belt over water pump pully (driver side).
  9. Thread the timing belt over the timing gear, making sure it is tight with the water pump pulley.
  10. Holding the belt tight on the timing gear, and with the timing belt tensioner loosened, push the belt onto the #1 idler pulley. Note: this requires that no tension be applied to the #1 idler pulley by the timing belt tensioner (which shouldn't be installed at this point).
  11. Install timing belt tensioner by
    1. Thread in the 12mm front bolt of the timing belt tensioner halfway - enough to hold the tensioner, but allow for installation of the rear bolt.
    2. From the bottom of the truck, using a long extension, swivel and 12mm socket, reach between the frame of the oil pan and wire harness to a swivel to thread in the 12mm bolt.
  12. Torque both timing belt tensioner bolts to 20 ft-lbs (240 in-lbs - good and tight).
  13. Using the Performance Tool W89208 Cam Pulley Holder SST, rotate the cam pulley's clockwise until the crank pulley gear completes two full rotations and then ensure that all marks on the crank pulley and cam pulleys are aligned top-dead-center. NOTE: the marks on the timing belt will not line up - this is OK. Align the notches in the metal pieces (pulley's and gears).
  14. Pull the pin on the timing belt tensioner to tension the belt.

Reinstalling everything

  1. Replace the timing pulley washer, in the original orientation.
  2. Replace the lower timing cover. Torque the bolts to 80 in-lbs.
  3. Replace the two bolts that hold the starter wire bracket. Torque to 80 in-lbs.
  4. Replace the crank shaft pulley
  5. Ensure that the notch in the crank shaft pulley points to the 0 (zero) when the marked tooth on the crank shaft gear is aligned with it's associated mark; and the cam shaft pulley's are aligned with their marks.
  6. Install the new crank shaft pulley bolt.
    1. Use the Schley Products SP 64400 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holding Tool SST and a breaker bar under lodged under the passenger frame rail to hold the crank shaft pulley steady. Torque the crank shaft bolt to 217 ft-lbs.
  7. Be sure to route the cam position sensor wire in the plastic bracket, and route the wire through the indentation in the timing cover. This ensures that it doesn't run into the timing belt.
  8. Replace the fan bracket by sliding it over the studs.
  9. Reinstall the top bolt and driver side nut; finger tighten only.
  10. Reinstall the power steering adjuster bracket over the passenger side fan bracket stud.
  11. Reinstall the passenger side nut for the fan bracket over the fan bracket stud.
  12. Tighten all bolts/nuts for fan bracket. (good-and-tight; no torque specs given)
  13. Ensure that the cam position sensor wire is routed between the upper, lower, and rear timing covers.
  14. Reinstall upper timing cover, ensuring that cam position sensor connector is clipped in and available as originally installed. Torque all 6, 10mm bolts to 80 in-lbs.
  15. Reconnect clips for spark plug wires.
  16. Reattach the top bracket for the oil dip stick. Torque to 71 in-lbs.
  17. Replace the fan pulleys. Note: The forward pulley fits with the "dished out" side to the rear of the vehicle.
  18. Replace fan clutch. Finger tighten the 4, 12mm nuts; then alternately torque to 105 in-lbs.

Installing belts and final fan clutch tightening

  1. Fit the alternator belt. Tension the belt using the OTC 6673 Universal Belt Tension Gauge SST. Tension to 120 lbs. Note: after a few minutes of use, the belt should loosen to ~100 lbs.
  2. Tighten the adjuster lock nut, but not fully as we'll fully tighten after running the truck for several minutes.
  3. Fit the AC belt. Tension the belt using the tensioning SST to 120 lbs, or 100 lbs after a few minutes of use.
  4. Tighten the pulley nut, but not fully as we'll fully tighten after running the truck for several minutes.
  5. Fit the power steering belt. Tension the belt using the tensioning SST  to 120 lbs, or 100 lbs after a few minutes of use.
  6. Tighten the adjuster lock nut, but not fully as we'll fully tighten after running the truck for several minutes.

Reinstall the radiator

  1. Drop in the radiator and capture the brackets/hooks in the body to hold the radiator in place.
  2. Secure the 4, 12mm bolts that hold the radiator in place. Torque to 105 in-lbs.
  3. If applicable, slip the driver and passenger transmission cooler lines over the fittings in the radiator, and secure with hose clamps.
  4. Replace the lower radiator hose. First, attach the hose end with the yellow mark toward the engine; secure the white mark towards the radiator. Secure with hose clamps.
  5. Insert the upper radiator shroud between the fan and radiator. Secure with 10mm bolts. (tight)
  6. Replace the upper radiator hose. First, attach the hose end with the yellow mark toward the engine; secure the white mark towards the radiator. Secure with hose clamps.
  7. Replace the radiator overflow tube. Secure with hose clamp.

Refilling fluids

  1. Fill transmission fluid to replace any that was lost when removing the radiator.
  2. Ensure that the drain valve on the bottom of the radiator is closed, so fluid doesn't just leak out.
  3. Install Lisle 24680 Spill-Free Funnel SST to fill valve of the radiator.
  4. Fill the radiator with coolant concentrate, mixing 50/50 with distilled water, if necessary.
  5. Reconnect negative battery cable.
  6. Start the engine and let run for a 2-10 minutes, until the operating temperature reaches 180ºF and the thermostat opens.
  7. Monitor fluid levels - transmission and coolant; fill as necessary.
  8. Check belt tension; re-tension to 100 lbs each as necessary by loosening pivot bolt, and then tightening tensioners.
  9. Drive the truck for ~10 miles and monitor temperatures
    1. Transmission fluid - 158°F - 176°F
    2. Coolant - 180°F - 190°F
  10. Check fluid levels - transmission and coolant; fill as necessary.
  11. Check belt tension; re-tension to 100 lbs each as necessary by loosening pivot bolt, and then tightening tensioners.
    1. Proper torque specs
      1. Alternator lock nut - 25 ft-lbs
      2. Alternator pivot bolt - 38 ft-lbs
      3. AC pulley nut - 29 ft-lbs
      4. Power steering pivot bolt - 32 ft-lbs
      5. Lock nut for adjuster - 32 ft-lbs

You are done! Congratulations.

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