Toyota 5S-FE (2.2) Timing Belt – Part Two

In Part One we got as far as having everything apart and ready to replace the oil seals and the oil pump gasket. I prefer to replace the oil pump gasket and then clean everything down before replacing the three oil seals. The reason for this is that there will be some oil spillage from the oil pump but when the oil seals are changed there will only be a small amount of oil that will need to be cleaned up.

Ok, the oil pump has seven 10mm bolts in it that need to be removed.

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A little bit of gentle prying from above should be all that is needed to get the pump moving.

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Once the pump is removed the gasket should still be in the recess of the block. Removing it shouldn’t be too hard as long as it doesn’t break into a million pieces from being so brittle! I find the easiest way of keeping the new gasket in place while the pump is refitted is to smear some grease around the recess where the gasket sits (in this case I’ve used rubber grease). While the pump is out you might want to replace the seal also. More about this below.

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Once you are sure the gasket is fitted correctly and likely to stay in place the oil pump can be refitted. If the outer rotor has come out with the rest of the pump (like it did for us) it might take a bit of maneuvering into place before the pump will sit all the way in.

If there is a nice oily mess about I recommend giving everything a good clean at this stage, and don’t forget the two covers as they usually cop a fair bit of grime also.

Now it’s time to replace the oil seals. My preferred method for removing the camshaft and oil pump seal is to use a blunt screwdriver so there is little chance of marking the shafts. Insert the screwdriver between the shaft and the inner part of the seal and prise it out gently. The tool I use is made for removing radiator hoses so it has no sharp edges on it which makes life easier.

You can also drive a sharp screwdriver into the middle of the seal and pry it out that way (the crankshaft seal has an inner metal collar and this method works well for these types of seals – just be careful where you drive the screwdriver into!.

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Once the seals are removed we can then wipe out around the seal area and shaft and check for any deep grooves worn into the shafts from the old seals which may stop the new seals from, well, sealing! If you find such a thing and as long as they are not too deep a light rub with a piece of fine grade wet and dry sand paper should sort things out.

I find the best way to fit an oil seal is to grab a socket or a piece of tube that had the same outside diameter as the seal and then gently knock it in with the socket and a hammer. This works ok for the crankshaft and oil pump seals but the camshaft seal is a bit more difficult. What I find works here is a socket and a pry bar.

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Now that the new oil seals and oil pump gasket are fitted we can start putting it all back together – finally! The idler pulley can go on and the bolt can be tightened up, the camshaft gear can be fitted and the bolt wound in (we won’t be able to tighten it until the belt is on unless you use a large screwdriver or similar to hold it still – personally I prefer to wait until the belt is on), the tensioner, bolt and spring can be fitted and the tensioner pushed all the way down and the bolt tightened (so the belt can go easily), the oil pump gear and 12mm nut can go on (once again unless you can hold it still it won’t get tightened until the belt is on), and the crankshaft gear can go back on.

Once all this is done it is a good idea to verify that the timing marks are aligned correctly. If you have good eyes you should be able to see an indented mark on the crankshaft gear. It aligns with a small protruding mark behind it (the photo is before I cleaned it all up – honestly!).

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The camshaft is timed by aligning the hole in the gear with the indent in the casing behind it. A three inch nail placed through the hole in the camshaft gear works well here, seriously!

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Once you are satisfied that the timing marks are correctly aligned the timing belt can go on. Most belts will have arrows indicating the direction of travel and on these engines they must be fitted with the arrows pointing in a clockwise direction.

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Start by fitting the belt on the camshaft gear, down to the waterpump and around the idler pulley and on to the crankshaft gear and try to keep this ‘run’ as tight as possible. The key to getting the valve timing right the first time is to have all of the slack of the belt on the tensioner side. Once the belt is around the oil pump and up onto the tensioner you can then slightly loosen the 14mm tensioner bolt and let the spring pull the tensioner up on to the belt.


The next step is to turn the crankshaft slightly in the clockwise direction so that any remaining slack is taken up by the tensioner – BE SURE TO RETIGHTEN THE TENSIONER BOLT AFTER DOING THIS!!  If the camshaft moved pretty much straight away when you turn the crankshaft the timing should be right, if the camshaft takes some time to start moving you might find that your timing marks won’t be correctly aligned.


To check that everything is good, or otherwise, we need to rotate the crankshaft two revolutions by hand (or socket preferably!) in the clockwise direction until the crankshaft marks are aligned again. If the camshaft is not correctly aligned it is simply a matter of releasing the tensioner and moving the belt around on the camshaft gear the right number of teeth until the marks are aligned again and re-tightening the tensioner bolt. Rotating the crankshaft two turns by hand is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP as any problems need to be sorted out before attempting to start the engine.

Once you have the belt fitted, timing marks aligned and have done the two rotations thing it is all down hill from there! Assembly is the reverse of the removal steps in Part One, with the following points –

  • Ensure that the thin metal timing belt retaining disc is fitted to the crankshaft before the bottom timing cover goes on.
  • I have found the easiest way to get the power steering belt tight is to lever the pump back with the end of the lever bar against the engine block – care needs to be taken though.
  • You might want to tighten the top power steering pump bolt before fitting the top timing cover as you have a little bit more room to get at the bolt without the cover in place.
  • Don’t forget the two earth wires! A very easy thing to do.
  • Because the oil pump has been removed, on initial start up watch the oil pressure warning light to be sure it goes out within a few seconds of the engine starting.
  • The ignition timing should always be checked after replacing a timing belt – you can read about how to do this HERE.


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