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Old 06-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Default 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

I have a 2003 toyota tacoma 4wd doublecab v6.It's time to replace the timing belt. Plan on doing the water pump also.Anyone done this job? I'm an average do-it-yourself mechanic. Is this doable at home.Read some other write-ups about making tool to hold crank to remomve bolt and then retorque when complete.Just looking for other input if I should attempt this myself.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

It's not too bad, I did it on my 2000 Tundra v6 (5vz). I didn't have to make the tool since it was a manual transmission. It takes a while to get in there and unless you cut the plastic cover, you will need to drain and re-fill the coolant. This kinda implies that if you want to do anything else (seals, bearings) now's the time.

Two big things that I remember off the top of my head, the tensioner can be a PITA, there is a trick to it. I believe chiltons calls out to lock the tensioner with a drill bit. I didn't have to do this, but I think I was able to keep it loose and then tighten it down after I got the belt on.

Second is that you need to be very careful of how you put the belt on. Since you put it on loose and then engage the tensioner, it can happen that as the tensioner takes up slack, it rotates the crank out of alignment (there are marks to show where TDC is on the crank and cams). So essentially you have to back off the crank just a hair such that as the tensioner engages, it lines everything up. (a second pair of hands might make this easy, I wouldn't know)
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

Yup, i have also done it twice!! Once for each of my brothers and i still need to do mine hahahah.

Jarmumd is correct all the way around.
The way i dealt with the tensioner is, after its out you can put it on a vise (nothing else will work, its a bitch to squeeze) then squeeze the pin back in. Once you get it far enough in, there is a hole to place very small drill bit ( i used and allen key) to hold the pin down. Once you got everything mounted just pull the pin and done.

Most of the new belts come with alignment marks on the belt, put these on the marks on the cams and it should all work out. It takes about a day and a half with two guys, taking it REALLY easy and slow, plus going to the parts store and such.

I highly recommend you change out the water pump and the tensioner bearings. Might as well since you are there. A good impact wrench will help with the harmonic balancer, or you can do the starter trick.

(Insert release of liability!!!! Try at your own risk!)

Place a long breaker bar and the correct impact socket, turn till it touches the frame (not sure if its clockwise or counter clock wise rotation) on the correct side, stand back and BE CAREFULL. Hit the starter for just a half a second, pop its loose and you're on your way.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

If it's the 5vz then it isn't too bad... but then I did it while the engine was on the stand. The biggest pain was getting the crankbolt off, but a good impact will do it or you can make the a tool out of barstock to hold the pulley down.

I did the complete replacement including the tensioner, given how much work there was going to be I pretty much replaced everything I could get my hands on. I figured it would be much easier if it was on the stand, and I wanted everything to be new so lessen the possibility of something breaking.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

I wish you good luck, you'll save hundreds doing it yourself. (I simply paid someone else to do my wife's van for me.)
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 toyota tacoma v6 timing belt

At www.yotatech.com you are likely to find a step by step thread. You can also download a factory service manual (much better than Chilton's) from
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