Timing Belt Replacement – Mitsubishi 3.0 V6

NOTE: Before contemplating doing this job yourself please read our post regarding Crankshaft Pulley Issues and our post on the Crankshaft Locking Tool. The majority of the problems seem to be related to late 90’s models, however it is better to be sure than sorry.  I have seen many crankshafts ruined in these engines because the harmonic balancer bolt was not tightened correctly and worked it’s way loose and ruined the snout of the crankshaft.

Also, for the engines fitted with a distributor there is a specific re-fitting procedure that you need to follow if you decide to remove the distributor. This info can be found at the Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 Distributor Timing page.

Ok, on with the article!

   mitsubishi pajero timing belt,mitsubishi v6 timing belt,replace timing belt

Today we are going to have a look at what is involved in replacing the timing belt on a Mitsubishi Pajero 3.0 V6. The following information is also applicable to the Magna/Verada variants, however the position of the engine mounts makes them a bit more difficult. The job itself is not difficult, however before attempting it make sure that you are comfortable with all the outlined steps and have the needed tools or access to them. If you are not completely confident that you can handle such a job please leave it to a qualified mechanic, as any mix-ups have the potential to cause expensive engine damage. Have I put you off yet? I hope not but please read and understand ALL of the steps outlined here before contemplating doing this repair! Print it out and have it close by if need be.

It is my opinion that anytime a timing belt is replaced that runs the waterpump (as in this case) that the waterpump be replaced as well. 9 times out of 10 disturbing the waterpump when changing the belt will result in it leaking and your back to square one again. Same goes for the timing belt tensioner, pulleys and oil seals. 100,000km of use takes its toll on anything and while it is apart it would be crazy not to replace these.

If it does fail down the track a bit you will have to do the job again – arrgg! Parts suppliers will sell you a kit which has the timing belt, tensioner and crank and camshaft seals nescesary to do the job right the first time.

Parts/Tools Required.

  • Timing Belt Kit
  • Waterpump with two gaskets. One for the pump itself and one for the backing plate behind the pump and o ring for metal pipe (should all be included in the kit)
  • Replacement coolant if necessary
  • Socket set ranging from 10mm to 22mm
  • Ring/Open end spanners from 10mm to 17mm
  • Set of screwdrivers
  • Container for catching the coolant. Great time to replace it if it hasn’t been changed for a while
  • Impact Gun or 1/2 inch drive breaker bar for loosening harmonic balancer bolt
  • Impact Gun or Torque Wrench for re-tightening balancer bolt and camshaft bolts
  • Small bottle of Loctite thread lock
  • Wire brush or wheel
  • Razor blades and emery paper or air sander
  • Gasket Sealant (not silicone, non-hardening compound is best for this job)
  • Anti-sieze compound (optional)
  • Cleaning solution and brush for cleaning behind the timing covers
  • Rags for clean-up
  • Plenty of time and no interuptions!

Lets get started! This whole job can be done with the radiator in place, however it does make the job easier and is not difficult to remove so I recommend removing it first. Plus it gives you a chance to inspect it for any potential problems. I also recommend putting bolts and nuts with their respective part as you pull it down, saves a lot of hassle when putting it all back together.

  • O.K. the first thing is to drain the coolant from the radiator. In their infinite wisdom Mitsubishi put a drain cock in the bottom left side of the radiator. You would be surprised how many manufacturers don’t do this! Even if you are not going to use the coolant again, use the container to catch it and dispose of it properly.
  • Now we can remove both the bottom and top radiator hoses at the engine end. The hose to the overflow bottle, coming from the radiator neck can be removed as well.
  • There are two ways you can do the next step, you can either remove the four 10mm bolts holding the fan and pulley on and remove the fan first or remove the clipped-in bottom section of the fan cowling attached to the radiator which gives enough clearance to remove the radiator with the fan still attached. Both methods work ok so do what you think is easier.
  • Next step is to remove the bolts and nuts holding the radiator in. There is two 12mm bolts on the left side and two 12mm nuts on welded in studs on the right side. Support the radiator when un-doing the last two and lift the radiator out once all bolts and nuts are removed. Be careful as radiators are not the lightest things!
  • The next job is to remove the A/C and power steering belts. The A/C belt is a piece of cake, just loosen the 17mm nut on the tensioner a couple of turns and then wind the 13mm headed bolt down until the belt is loose enough to remove. The power steering is a little different. There are two holes in the pulley and these have to rotated into a position where you can get a 14mm socket onto the two bolts holding it in place. The botton one just needs to be lossened a little and back the top one off a couple of turns enabling the pump to be pushed toward the engine, loosening the belt as it moves in. A large flat blade screwdriver is handy for levering the pump back into position when re-assembling.



  • If you have left the engine fan in place you will now need to undo the four 10mm bolts holding it on. Once this is done remove the fan, pulley and belt.
  • Now you will be left with a bracket with the main belt tensioner pulley and idler pulley on it. This has to be removed the gain access to the timing belt covers. A combination of 12 and 14mm bolts are used.
  • The next part is probably the most difficult (well it is for me with 6 fractured vertebrae in my back!). The A/C compressor needs to be undone from it’s mounting bracket. 4 bolts, usually 17mm but sometimes they can be odd sizes need to be removed and the compressor pulled back as far as it will go without damaging the hoses. Once the compressor is removed there is two 13mm bolts at the front and two 17mm bolts at the side of the bracket to be removed. The rearward bolt has the engine earth attached to it and this must go back on when re-assembling.
  • Next step is to remove the two top timing belt covers. Little half moon looking things secured by two 10mm bolts.
  • The next step is to loosen the harmonic balancer bolt, but not remove it completely so we can set the valve timing first. If you have access to a air compressor and impact gun then great, but if you don’t, I have a way of un-doing it although it is definately not a ‘text book’ approach and I don’t recommend this way at all but it does work. Take your 22mm 1/2inch drive socket and breaker bar (or long ratchet without the ratcheting mechanism, ask your parts supplier if you are not sure what it is), attach the socket and sit it on the balancer bolt and rotate the engine until the breaker bar contacts the chassis rail on the passengers side of the car. Make sure everyone is a safe distance away, go to the drivers side and make sure the vehicle is in nuetral or park for autos and turn the ignition key for a few seconds. The cranshaft will turn and the socket and breaker bar will hit on the chassis rail and loosen the bolt. You may need to do it a few times before it comes loose. As I said I don’t recommend this approach and I will strongly deny ever writting this paragraph if I have to!
  • Once the harmonic balancer bolt is loose we can go about setting the valve timing. What we need is the timing mark on the balancer to line up with the TDC (top dead centre) mark on the timing belt cover and the indentations on the camshaft pulleys to line up with their respective marks that are just behind them on the cylinder heads. If you find that the balancer mark lines up but you don’t see any marks on the camshaft pulleys then you need to rotate the crankshaft another 360 degrees and all should be good.
  • Once the timing marks are sorted we can remove the balancer bolt and balancer itself. To do this you may need to gently pry the balancer from two sides using a ‘rocking’ motion. Small movements each side in succession. Generally speaking they come off easily.
  • Now we can remove the bottom section of the timing belt cover. If you intend to replace the camshaft seals (recommended) now is the time to loosen the 17mm bolts securing the pulleys. If you have an impact gun use that, if not a sharp hit with the palm of your hand on the ratchet should do the trick. Make sure to re-align the timing marks if the engine rotates at all when doing this.
  • At this stage I always remove one battery terminal so when the timing belt is off the engine cannot be accidently turned over with the starter. Turn your back for five minutes and you never know what can happen!




  • Once you are satisfied the timing marks are lined up and the battery is disconnected it is time to loosen the 12mm bolt in the centre of the tensioner. One turn is all that is required. Now you can either push the tensioner back yourself or gently lever it back with a suitable screwdriver ( being careful what you are levering against ) and re-tighten the 12mm bolt to hold the tensioner back.
  • Remove the timing belt. Ya! Not too hard eh.
  • To replace the camshaft seals, remove the camshaft pulleys, noting which side goes where and gently prize the old seals out taking note of how far in they are and being careful not to mark the surface of the camshaft where the seal runs. Fit the new seals using a socket that is the same diameter as the outside diameter of the new seal. It is a good idea to run a film of oil around the inside surface of the seal before fitting so it doesn’t run dry on start-up.
  • Refit the camshaft pulleys using Loctite thread lock on the threads of the bolts. If you don’t have a impact gun, do the bolts up hand tight and then get a big piece of paper and write on it “tighten cam bolts” and stick it under one windscreen wiper. We have to wait until we fit the timing belt to tighten them up without a impact gun and you do not want to forget to do this believe me!
  • If you do have a impact gun to do the camshaft pulley bolts up get someone to hold the pulley from turning while tightening the bolt as valve damage can occur if the camshaft turns too far.
  • The crankshaft seal is a bit easier to do. First remove the metal disc that is in front of the gear and using a puller if you have it remove the crankshaft gear. If you don’t have a puller two flat blade screwdrivers can be used on either side of the gear however you have to be very careful as the housing behing is alloy and very easily damaged and the ‘lip’ on the back of the crankshaft gear is very easily broken off. Extreme care to be exercised here. Once you have the gear off it is a matter of carefully prizing out the old seal and fitting the new one as stated above for the camshaft seals. Refit the crankshaft gear making sure it is all the way back.
  • Replacing the waterpump at this stage is very easy and highly recommended. From memory there is five 12mm bolts on the pump itself and two 12mm bolts on a bracket on the top of the pump that bolts to the cylinder head. The spring and timing belt tensioner will have to be removed also. Once these are removed a gentle pull on it should be all that is needed to remove it.
  • The waterpump then needs to be seperated from the backing plate. This is done by removing all the 10mm bolts in the pump and a phillips head screw that comes in from the back of the pump. Once this is done it is time to remove all the old gasket from the backing plate and engine block.
  • There is also a metal pipe which runs into the back of the waterpump backing plate that has an ‘o’ ring seal. That seal needs to be replaced and should be included in the waterpump kit. If not take the time to track a new one down because it is sure to leak if not replaced.
  • It is essential that all gasket surfaces be as clean as possible. I use a single sided razor blade and some fine grit emery paper if I can’t use my air sander. You do not want to be doing this job twice so make sure everything is as clean as possible. The bolts that secure the waterpump to the block and backing plate will more than likely have corrosion on them so take the time to clean them up with a wire brush or wheel and a smear of anti-sieze compound on them will make life easier if they have to come out again at any stage. Any oil or contaminates should be cleaned from the block and timing belt covers as well.

Re-assembly is the reverse of what I’ve written with the following notes;

  • Do not over-tighten bolts. Because we are mainly dealing with 10 and 12mm bolts they don’t have to be tightened with all the strength you’ve got!
  • If you don’t have access to a impact gun the camshaft bolts need to be tightened to a torque of 60Nm or 45ft/lb. This can be done after the new belt is fitted and once both are tight you can throw away your paper reminder on the windscreen!
  • The harmonic balancer must be tightened to a torque of 177-186Nm. You will need to remove the starter motor and lock the flywheel from turning with a large screwdriver or such to tighten this bolt. Please read the “Pajero Crankshaft Pulley Issues” post for more information on tightening the pulley bolt. The metal ‘disc’ must be installed between the crankshaft gear and the harmonic balancer as it stops the belt from running off the pulleys. If you are not sure which way it came off look for the crankshaft gear marks.
  • I suggest using Loctite on both the camshaft pulley and harmonic balancer bolts.
  • Once you have the new belt in place let the spring on the tensioner take up the slack and tighten the 12mm bolt. Then temporarily fit the balancer bolt and rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees. Re-check timing marks and if you find that it is out at all release the tensioner once again and line it all up. Sometimes it still takes me a couple of goes and I’ve been doing it for ten years!
  • Use gasket sealant on all gaskets. Even though they are new, better to do the job once and once only.
  • Be patient and work carefully and all should be good!  Best of luck!

116 thoughts on “Timing Belt Replacement – Mitsubishi 3.0 V6

  1. I have been searching for a picture/reasonable diagram of the engine of a Mitsubishi Gallant with the different parts such as the Starter motor, the alternator and starter relays and such clearly marked, such that a person looking at the picture can find that specific part on a real car. The best description for where is the Starter Motor that have seen has been that: “it is close to the car’s engine”. That is not an answer! Everything in a car is “close” to the engine, depending on what close means. Where is the darn thing, Up, down, left, right, no one on the internet seems to have a single picture or diagram of where these things are located in and around the car’s engine.

  2. Hi Craig.

    I just did a rebuild on my Pajero NH, Funny thing is my dis/cap to motor fires as 1-3-5 but the dis/cap says 1-5-3 and also for the other side it fires as 2-6-4. Is this correct or do i have a one off motor?

  3. Hi,
    Funnily enough I was discussing this exact thing with another reader just the other night. Someone had removed the leads on him while the heads were off and he had all sorts of dramas getting the thing to fire properly.

    Long story short I remembered going through the same thing a few years back at the workshop and ended up working the firing order out from valve movement and it was different from the markings on the cap although I couldn’t remember exactly what the difference was.

    I think that there must be a few NH’s getting around with distributors and/or caps from an earlier model (coil packs were introduced not long after the NH from memory) and this might be causing the confusion. Hard to explain otherwise!

  4. Hey Chris,
    I recently bought a Pajero that was not in the best of shapes but was running well just a small bit of smoke on start-up which I put down to bad valve stem seals. Anyway I decided to recon the heads, fix the valve stems seals, new head gasket and obviously a new timing belt, water pump and tensioner. Stripped the engine down taking the heads off which also required the removal of the distributor housing etc… got the reconed heads back from the shop all nicely cleaned and pressure tested and skimmed flat even new tappets . Put them back on careful to make sure everything was at TDC when putting it back. Re-attached the distributer housing and got the rotor pointing as close to where it said it should be in the manual, then put back the cam gears (tricky to hold the buggers still) then came the new timing belt and water pump installed like you have said in this blog (very useful). Turned over by hand a number of times and everything lines up, one cam is perhaps 1-2mm out if that but nowhere near a whole tooth. Also new plugs, leads distributor cap and rotor were installed. Went to start the car and it ran but very, very ruff – and had to mess with the idol screw to stop it from stalling… thought it was just ignition timing so took it to an auto elec and they said when they put the correct timing it won’t start??? He says to me he thinks it’s bad cam timing… but upon pulling apart again to inspect timing everything is lined up like before… So after that long story I’m wondering if you have any idea to why she won’t run smooth – inspecting the exhaust gases it’s spitting out heaps of fuel so running really rich, might be because I messed with the idle screw. Any help would be awesome!

  5. Hi Adam,
    From reading your question the first impressions I get is that the firing order is not correct. The fact that the engine won’t start when the ignition timing is set to specs makes me think that the ignition leads are not in the correct position on the distributor cap.

    I see that you have replaced the distributor cap and leads and I imagine the distributor cap has cylinder number markings on it which you have followed? If you read the comment two above you will see that this may be the problem! For some reason there are some distributor caps getting around with markings that aren’t correct for some Pajero motors.

    I don’t know if that is definately the problem but it is worth checking out and before we go any further can you tell me the year and model (NH etc) of your Pajero and I’ll check my tune up manual for firing order details.

  6. Thanks for that Chris,

    I will try looking at the old cap and the new cap and see if I have just copied the numbers on the new cap and therefore potentially put the leads on the wrong way… that will be a cheap fix…

    I have an 1995 SWB Pajero (NJ) and just to make sure are the pistons numbered this way?
    5 2
    3 4
    1 6

    I would have hoped that was something the auto ele might have checked but i guess posibly not…


  7. Adam,
    I have a feeling that the right bank (passengers side) runs 2-4-6 from the front of the engine back but do you think I can find any credible info to confirm this? I’ve got three Mitsubishi factory workshop manuals with the V6 in them and all have the firing order (1-2-3-4-5-6, hard one to remember!) but not the configuration of the cylinder numbers. I will keep looking and let you know if I find anything.

  8. Yeah my manual doesnt have the order either… you would think something like that is a bit important! 😛

    Looking on the web some more i think you are right and it goes like this:

    Im just hoping when I get home tonight that is what i have stuffed up!

  9. Thank you so much Craig!! While the distributor numbering was the same as the old cap the numbering on the exhaust manifold was wrong on the passenger side (incorrectly numbered front to back 6,4,2), so two cylinders were firing in the wrong order swapped them around and presto she runs smooth.

    However the idol is not perfect and it seems to surge a bit like rev to 1100 then back down to 900 (so also a little on the high side) and it keeps doing this… do you think a proper tune is in order and that will fix that problem??

    Thanks again for your help!

  10. That’s great to hear Adam! Good stuff! In your first post you wrote that you had adjusted the idle speed screw up so it would keep running, silly question but I imagine you have moved that back to the original position yeah? Because these engines have electronic idle speed control it can take a while for everything to ‘normalise’ (couldn’t think of a better word!) and it may come good after some engine running time. If it is still ordinary in a few days or a week then a tune might be in order to set base idle speed, base ignition timing etc. See how it goes in the next couple of days would be my advice.

  11. Hi, tha above info doesn’t actually say which order they fire in??? Please help…..can’t find this info anywhere

  12. Hi,
    Believe it or not the firing order for these engines is 1-2-3-4-5-6, with 1 being the right front cylinder (drivers side), no.2 left front (passengers side), 3 is the middle cylinder on the right side, 4 is the middle cylinder on the left side bank (passengers side) etc etc.

    Do you have markings on the distributor cap for each lead/cylinder? Most of these do but if you don’t have these markings let me know and I’ll see if I can find a diagram.


  13. Hi Craig,
    This may sound like a dumb question but the 6G72 in a 2000 Mitsubishi Delica would be the same?
    P.S You have explained everything very well, thanks Nick

  14. Hi Nick,
    Cheers for the positive feedback and yes, as far as I am aware the Delica has the same engine. I believe that all 6G72’s are basically the same except for changes to the ignition system and a few small things like that.


  15. hi craig
    wrote on here last year about my cambelt problem on my magna 3.0 v6 wagon 1999 that rac services changed in western australia……that was when the car was on 202,000km,s………………………suprise suprise after a few funny noises i removed the front cambelt cover and the belt is loose AGAIN!!!!
    the replacement tensioner is 3 weeks out of warranty,but the car has only done 10,000 km,s since the replacement tensioner was fitted!!!
    severley pissed off but going down there monday morning to see if they will warrant it!!
    after all a cambelt and tensioner should definately last more than 10k…………..

    wish me luck martin

  16. That is not good Martin. Jump up and down and they SHOULD give you warranty on the tensioner, three weeks out of warranty and 10,000k’s, surely they will come to the party. Please let us know how you get on.


  17. hi craig
    its me again (magna wagon 3.0 v6) with the cambelt problem!!!!!
    took it back to rac and they agreed to look at it and cover it under warranty…..after inspection they rang me and said the tensioner has failed a 2nd time,so there gonna put a genuine mitsubishi tensioner on it now…………………
    picked the car up and the wing/bonnet is smothered in greasy handprints (yes i know its a old car but thats not the point)….and theres a funny smell in the engine bay…had a look underneath and the power steering belt is not aligned on the bottom pulley so part of the belt has worn away and is rubbing on the timing belt cover!!!!!!……so guess where im going in the morning…….while i appreciate the $600 warranty bill they have sorted out i wish they took the time to check EVERTHING they done before i got it back………….
    see what happens tommorow ????

  18. Hey Martin,
    All I can say is you must be a more patient person than myself, I would be ropeable by now! Grease marks left of the car is simply inexcusable, makes you wonder about the quality of the work, which by the looks of things may have not been too crash hot.

    I hope you managed to get it all sorted, again. It is good that they agreed to fix the tensioner issue under warranty but perhaps they rushed through the job because they weren’t making money from it?

  19. hi craig
    martin here again (magna cambelt nightmare)
    took the car back today,and told em about the power steering belt/grease marks and they were obviously not pleased to see me…….they said they would sort it out !!!!!
    30 mins later i drive past the garage (in my work vehicle) and the car is already parked outside and done ??????
    they phoned me about 2 hrs later and said it is done and they dont want to see the car come back again!!(not sure whether they meant its fixed and it wont be a problem….
    or they hate me and the car so much ????
    i asked did you replace the p/s belt…….and he said the mechanic checked it,moved it over on to the pulley how it should have been…..its fine doesn,t need replacing!!!!!!!!! (even though its rubbing away on the engine)
    as for the grease marks most of it was gone but when they shut the bonnet 3 black finger marks…
    my 5 year old girl could have done better…..

    as you may have worked out by now im not happy and will NEVER use that garage again (rac auto services)
    rac auto services………. rac auto services………

  20. Hi Craig,
    Replaced water pump and timing belt on 3.0 Mitsubishi – Chrysler V6 (2000 Caravan). Crank and front cam timing marks lined up perfect. Rear cam won’t. When turned there are three spring loaded stages – and none of them end up on the mark. They are either at 10 o’clock, 3 o’clock or 8 oclock. How do I line up the rear cam timing mark?? All went well till this – and now I am absolutely stuck. Once you tell me how and I do line it all up, can I put belt on and start the vehicle briefly BEFORE I put everything back on, so I can make sure it runs? Thanks in advance for your help…! – Blam

  21. Hi,
    The best way I have found to deal with this issue is –
    1. Ensure that your crankshaft and front camshaft timing marks are aligned.
    2. Fit the timing belt to the rear camshaft pulley only.
    3. You will need someone to help you with this step. Use a spanner, ratchet and socket ( or ideally a 1/2 drive breaker bar and socket, this gives you good leverage to overcome the valve spring pressure) have your assistant hold the camshaft in the position where the timing marks are aligned.
    4. Fit the timing belt to the crankshaft, waterpump and front cam pulley, ensuring that any slack in the belt is on the tensioner side of the belt.
    5. Fit the tensioner and release it.
    6. At this stage your assistant can let go and all going well all of the marks should be aligned.
    7. If the marks are not aligned properly have your assistant hold the rear camshaft again and release the tensioner and realign everything.

    Once you have everything in place it is possible to start the engine to ensure everything is ok, but the first thing you MUST do is rotate the camshaft two complete revolutions by hand (socket and ratchet!) to ensure that there are no piston top to valve clearance issues.

    Also be sure to fit the crankshaft pulley/harmonic balancer BEFORE starting the engine as it is needed to keep the belt running on the pulleys correctly. Everything else can stay off but you don’t want the belt flying off as the engine is running.

    Hope this helps and if you have any other issues please don’t hesitate to get in touch again.


  22. The firing order for your Pajero is 1-2-3-4-5-6 with cylinders 1,3 and 5 from the front of the engine to the back on the drivers side and 2,4 and 6 from the front of the engine back on the passengers side.


  23. ok it did not work so here what i have done so far.ok i had to replace my motor and i had 1 sitting here just missing a few peices so ripped the old 1 out put the other 1 in but it had a stuffed water pump so replaced that and found ur web site for my timing belt this was the only time i was un sure but thanks to u and ur site i relaxed and got it done wound it over by hand to make sure the marks had not moved done that about 5 or 6 times and all was good so put all pullys back on also got all my injecters serviced every thing seemed good u helped with the firing order the only thing that is woring me is the earth wire on passanger side i think it was connected to the mount but i put it on the ac unit.so all done but still will not start when i turn it over i am getting a back fire not big has my timing belt moved.i hope u can help i do not now how many times i can ride my horse to town before the cops get me cheers

  24. Watch out for those bloody coppers! If you are getting a backfire then I suspect the trouble is with the spark timing. Has the engine you’ve fitted got a distributor or coil packs?

    There seems to be a mixture of dizzy and coil pack engines in the NJ so if you can tell me which setup you have we should be able to sort it before you have to go for another ride!


  25. My apologies, I should have explained that a bit better. The later engines have a bank of three coils that fire two spark plug leads each and are controlled by the computer and have no dissy as such.

    I gather from what you said your engine runs a distributor which should makes things easier to sort out. Do you have access to a timing light at all?


  26. No worries, I think to be on the safe side it would be an idea to check the camshaft timing marks before looking at the distributor position.

    The top halves of the timing belt cover should be able to be removed without too much drama – 3 10mm bolts from memory. Even if you can just move the covers out a bit, enough to confirm that the marks are still aligned when the crankshaft is at top dead centre.

    Once we know for sure everything is lined up we can then check the position of the dissy.

    I’ve got a breakdown to go and do so I’ll be away from the computer for an hour or so. I’ve sent through part of the workshop manual to your email that explains the best method for lining up and fitting the distributor if you need it.


  27. ok well i could not get 1 half of inspection plate of but the 1 i got of and the bottom mark matchs up so i take that to mean that the belt has not moved.have not cheacked dizzy yet will do it today but my starter motor is stuffed so getting 1 now should be here after 1or 2

  28. ok strip the whole thing all marks line up dizzy to put it back togther followed ur firing order and now it goes to start and then diesit has a nocking sound coming from left hand side of the motor

  29. That doesn’t sound good, can you describe the sound. Is it a light tappet type noise or something deeper than that?

    I was going to suggest a compression test as the next step but finding the source of the noise should be a priority I guess.

    Am I right in thinking that this engine was running before the timing belt/waterpump change?

  30. i do not think it is much i think it might have been fuel now it runs on 123456 but just runs rough and dies when u try to give it gas and yes i got the motor of a mate who had taken it out of his because of the water pump and was told it would cost him 1100 for the pump and 2 mounths to get here and i did not change the timing belt just the water pump i can see a ride coming on will get hold of a compression tester

  31. ok i got the thing to run but the noise i said i had it is back tell me i found out that when i connected the motor to the gear box it was in first would this cause me a problem

  32. hello there.
    all went well in replacing the water pump and timing belt on my tf magna but is there a trick in getting this engine mount back into place ??


  33. Hi John,
    I did the timing belt on a TF last week and can understand your frustration. What I ended up doing was playing around with a trolley jack under the sump until I could slide the mount in. It did take a fair bit of experimentation with the height of the engine before it would slip into place though.

    Hope that helps and good luck!

  34. Very comprehensive blog!

    I am just in need of some advice for my 3.5 V6 in a 2001 TJ Magna VRX, which I have no doubt has a similar design to the 3.0 V6.

    Car description:
    * Owned from new
    * 55,000km in almost 10 years
    * Driven hard

    Manual recommends replacement after 100,000km or 5 years I think. I am past it only by time not distance, though my usage worries me. There is also a more distinct rattling noise.

    1) Is a precautionary early belt replacement worthy?
    2) The rattle under acceleration (from driver’s side) is a sign the belt needs replacing?
    3) Is it just the belt that needs replacing or ancillaries too?

    About the last question – I can understand the rubber deteriorates over time but what about pulleys and water pump? If I replace now, I know I won’t for another 5 to 10 years.

    Thanks in advance!

  35. Hi,
    Cheers for the positive feedback! My opinion is that a change of the timing belt would be a good idea given the time frame and the fact that the car is driven hard. Deterioration of the belt over this time is certainly something to be taken into consideration.

    The rattle that you have described could be the result of slightly out of spec. valve timing which may be the result of a slightly stretched or worn timing belt, although I suspect it has more to do with the ignition timing.

    “Pinging” occurs because of the ignition timing being advanced a little too far and if your car has a distributor this can be corrected once the timing belt is replaced but if it runs coil packs (I can’t remember off the top of my head which system the 2001 VRX runs) there is not much you can do about it other than keeping good quality high octane fuel up to it.

    Just this week I fell into the trap of only replacing the timing belt on a Magna. The job was for a friend of mine and as he wasn’t too flush with cash I agreed to replace the belt only.

    The car has been back twice already, once for a leaking waterpump (runs off the timing belt) and an oil leak from the camshaft seals that wasn’t evident when I did the timing belt. Today the timing belt tensioner failed and the belt jumped about four teeth on the crankshaft gear.

    What I’m getting at is don’t just do the belt, do the waterpump, cam and crank seals, tensioner and idler pulleys at the same time! It’s just not worth the hassle of having to pull it all down again just to save around two hundred dollars worth of parts.

    Admittedly that Magna has done a lot more kilometres than yours (200,000k’s) but as you say you won’t have to worry about it for another 5 or 10 years so I definitely recommend you do the lot.

    Hope that helps and if there is any other questions you have please don’t hesitate to leave another comment.


  36. Thanks for the quick reply and thorough advice. I will do as suggested… do the whole lot properly and be done with it. Keep up the good work Craig!

  37. Hi, I have a 2000 TH Magna 6G72 3.0ltr.
    When the engine is underload, taking off especially, the engine shutters and has no power, the more I accelerate the worse it gets, I have replaced the leads and plugs to no avail, please help as no one I have spoken to can offer any sort of advice?

  38. Hi chris, just changed the timing belt and pump in my nh pajero v6 1992, can now not get it to start cheaked the firing order and sparks all is fine, any ideas? turns over just no flame.

  39. Hi Ant,
    Could be a couple of things, have you checked for spark at a plug lead end or checked to see that your camshaft timing marks are aligned? To check the camshaft timing you do need to remove the top timing belt covers but you can use the harmonic balancer/lower timing belt cover marks to find top dead centre.

  40. Gday mate, am i glad i have found this page!!!
    I Have a ’99 model V6 Triton 4wd, have replace3d the drivers side cam seal, and it turns out i fitted the timing belt back on incorrectly, i started the engine up, heard a tapping sound (like valves hitting pistons), the engine was running rough, and making a huffing type sound. How much out would it have to be to do this? 2 teeth? ( i think i slipped the teeth on the crank gear) Anyway, Silly me ripped the drivers side head off to check the valves (they are ok thank god) what a job that was. So now i have the task of putting the engine back together.

    Ive read on this page on putting timing belts back on, but can you give me the exact instructons on lining up the cam gear, crank gear and procedure with the tensioner, when to release it etc.. I am parranoid ill get it wrong again, so i want to be sure. I dont want to have to pull this engine down again!!!

    Also, whats the torque settings for the cylinder head?
    Anything else i should know?


  41. I agree Chris, give me a 308 or 304 Holden engine and I’m happy, Japanese engines are a different kettle of fish entirely!

    First off your head bolts should be torqued to a total of 110 Newton Metres (80 ft.lbs). You should do these in three steps like any head bolt, i.e. take them to 70Nm then 90 then finish off with 110.

    For the timing belt, align your crankshaft marks (mark on crank gear and oil pump housing) and align the camshaft marks (from memory mark on cam gear aligns with cutout on tappet covers on these later engines – I can double check that if need be). Also you may need a second set of hands to hold the camshaft/s in alignment with a spanner or socket/breaker bar/ fixed ratchet type setup while you fit the belt. From memory again, I think the drivers side cam more so than the passengers side cam has a tendency to jump off the marks due to valve spring tension.

    Next step is to fit the (compressed) tensioner and start to fit the belt. I found the easiest way is to first fit the belt around the crankshaft gear, proceed to the passengers side cam gear while keeping some degree of tension on the belt (don’t allow it to go too ‘slack’), around the waterpump pulley and then up to the other camshaft, still keeping the belt tight between all pulleys/gears.

    You should then end up with is the majority of the ‘slack’ in the belt on the tensioner side (it might take a couple of go’s to get this right). You can then hook the belt around the tensioner pulley and release it. You should then have the timing belt reasonably tight between everything and the timing marks still aligned.

    What you then MUST do is temporarily fit the harmonic balancer to the crankshaft and turn the engine by hand (socket on balancer bolt) for two complete turns of the crankshaft. This will bring the camshaft timing marks back up to their correct position and all going well all three timing marks should be aligned once again. If not, it is simply a matter of unbolting the tensioner and while using your second set of hands to keep the belt from slipping from the aligned components, move the one that is not aligned. If you have had to adjust anything it is a good idea to turn the engine over by hand again to be sure that it all lines up correctly again.

    Next step is to put it all back together – easier said than done!

    I hope that makes sense to you, if there is anything that you are not clear on please don’t hesitate to send me another email. I’ll be in and out a bit this arvo but I will endeavour to get back to you asap.

    Also if you need clarification on the camshaft timing marks let me know and I’ll hunt some pics down. Best of luck with it!


  42. Awesome info….. Just wanted advice on a couple of things if I could. Firstly I changed my waterpump, timing belt etc about this time last year due to water pump failure. It is a NH 3.0l Pajero. I have been losing water inconsistantly this last 2 months. Usually up to 2 litres at a time but not every day (over approximately 50 to 60km). Most times there are no tell tale puddles under the car but have seen on occasion coolant dripping down from the rear of the engine (over the side of the bell housing). Now it could very well be losing water from the ‘O’ ring at the back of the water pump and filling the valley underneath the inlet manifold but this was also replaced when the pump was changed. I have visually checked all hoses, heater connections, radiator cap and even the welch plugs and cannot find a trace of lost coolant. Even when it is dripping I can not with a mirror and torch see where it is coming from. The water pump does sound a bit noisy but I wouldn’t think it has failed (only done about 18,000km). I am wondering if I could have missed anything….would it be worth getting a pressure test done on the cooling system?? It does not seem to overheat or show significant rises according to the temp gauge.
    Secondly, the engine runs well but at times either loses idle speed and stalls or it will race to about 1500 rpm. I am curious if this would be caused by the throttle position sensor or the isc motor??? I believe there is a plunger in the isc motor that can sometimes become stuck which causes incorrect sensing of the idle speed. This sensor if i am correct is located in the front drivers side of the plenum chamber. Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated


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