Guide: Protege Timing Belt Change (How-To)

:
2003 Protege5
Hello, all.

Would anybody be so kind as to reply and strike out those steps that aren't needed if I'm only going to replace the timing belt and tensioner spring, and nothing else?

I'm cheap, lazy and a risk-taker but I'm very good at following instructions (if not at following advice) (cheers2).




Parts (for 3rd gen Protege with 2.0L engine, MSP included)
Third party parts list
Timing Belt Component Kit: Gates (TCK228)
Water Pump: Gates (42135)
Power Steering/AC Belt: Gates (K050459)
Alternator/Water Pump Belt: Gates (K040360)
Valve Cover Gasket (optional): FEL-PRO (VS50574R)
Thermostat with gasket (optional): Gates (34014)

OEM parts list
Timing Belt: FS01-12-205A
Tensioner: FS01-12-700B
Idler: FS01-12-730A
Water Pump: FS01-15-010F
Water Pump Gasket: FS02-15-116
Power Steering/AC Belt: FS59-18-381E
Alternator/Water Pump Belt: FS59-18-381C
Valve Cover Gasket (optional): FSD7-10-235
Thermostat with gasket (optional): KL01-15-171A-9U


Tools
Long breaker bar
Sockets: 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 21mm
Box wrenches of the same sizes (ratcheting wrenches will help big time)
Sockets extensions
Flathead screwdriver
Crescent wrenches (optional)


Setup
Break loose lug nuts, passenger front wheel
Jack up the car, put it on a jack stand, remove wheel
Loosen splash guard
Side: Plastic screw plug, 2x10mm bolts
Under front: 1x10mm bolt
Start draining coolant
Access panel in splash guard, open it
Put pan/bucket under panel, unscrew the drain plug
Let it drain while you're doing the rest of the work


Break loose crank bolt
Put 21mm socket and breaker bar on crank bolt
Wedge breaker bar into the ground facing towards front of car
Unplug your coil packs
Crank the motor for one second and check crank bolt, should be loose now
Finger tighten the crank bolt and set breaker bar aside


Remove side motor mount
Put a second jack with piece of wood under oil pan to support engine
Remove side motor mount support bar (14mm nut, 14mm bolt)
Remove bolts attaching motor mount to car (2x14mm bolts)
Remove nuts attaching motor mount to engine (3x17mm nuts)
Pull motor mount out through the top of engine compartment
Pump the jack one or two more times to get some more support on the engine


Remove valve cover
Remove coil packs (4x10mm bolts) and plug wires, set aside
Remove spark plugs and set aside (or toss and replace)
This makes it easier to set the crank to top dead center (TDC) later
Unplug wires
Power steering switch
Cam position senser
Crank position sensor
Use screwdriver to work compression fit zip ties out of the valve cover
Fold wires over the top and tuck under the strut tower bar
Unbolt valve cover (11x10mm bolts) in following pattern
11 10 9 8
2 1 7
3 4 5 6
Remove valve cover and set aside
Put a towel over the valve train to keep debris out


Loosen water pump pulley
I do this now, because the pulley has the most tension on it right now
Try to loosen the pulley bolts (4x10mm) with one socket wrench
If that does not work, use this method
Set pulley bolts so one is towards the firewall, other towards radiator
Use one socket on the front bolt to hold the pulley still
Use the other socket to break loose the rear bolt
Rotate and repeat until all bolts have been broken free


Remove power steering belt
Break loose the top pivot bolt (1x14mm) and loosen it a bit, but don't remove it
Loosen the tensioner nut (1x14mm)
This is underneith the p.s. pump, hard to see, use 14mm wrench
Loosen the adjuster bolt (1x14mm)
This is right in front, turn it till the belt has enough slack to remove
Pull off belt, check length of new belt to make sure it's the correct length


Remove alternator belt
Break loose lower pivot bolt (1x14mm)
This is hard to get to, under car, right above the axle
It's possible to do this with hand tools, but a pain
I wedged my impact gun in there and hit it a few times
Loosen the bolt a few turns, but no need to remove it
Loosen the adjustor bolt (1x12mm) until the belt is loose enough to remove
Check new belt to ensure correct length


Remove water pump pulley, put engine at TDC
Now that the belt has been removed, remove the four bolts holding the pulley to the pump
Using your hands or a 21mm socket, put the engine at TDC
There's a tick mark in the middle of the crank pulley
I suggest putting white out or something to make it more visible, q-tip with white paint works well too
There's a part on the lower timing cover with marks on it
Line up the tick mark with the T on the timing cover
Remove the crank pulley without altering the position of the engine
If the crank moves, put the pulley barely on so you can move it back into place


Remove timing covers
Upper timing cover has four bolts that are pretty easy to see (4x10mm)
Pull all bolts, pull off cover, set aside
Lower timing cover has five bolts, some not easy to see (5x10mm)
One is under the side motor mount bracket
Another is below a bolt for the alternator bracket
Two are at the bottom near the crank pulley
The fifth is in the front and can be found pretty easily
Pull all five bolts, pull off cover, set aside


Remove timing belt
Keep the I and E of the cam gears aligned
You can use two crescent wrenches, one on each cam
Then span the handles with a box wrench and zip tie into place
This will help immensely later on
I skipped this step and it cost me probably 30-60 minutes later
Loosen the adjustor pulley bolt (1x14mm)
Loosen the adjustor tension with #6 hex wrench
Pull off timing belt


Remove tensioner & idler pulleys
Remove the tensioner pulley (1x14mm)
Retain the tension spring
Remove the idler pulley (1x14mm)


Remove water pump
Remove the several bolts holding the water pump in place (7x12mm)
You must remove the two bolts holding the p.s. bracket to the water pump
There are two bolts tucked in near the p.s. bracket bolts you just removed
The others are pretty easy to find
Put your coolant drain bucket directly under the water pump
Use a piece of wood, metal pipe, etc and break the pump free by tapping it with a hammer
Compare water pump with new one, make sure it's the same bolt pattern
Make sure the water pump pulley will fit on the new water pump


Break time
Go grab a brew and kick back until the coolant stops dripping out of water pump hole


Install water pump
Wipe up all spilled coolant, because it's bad for the belts
Attach the stupid rubber blockoff pieces to the pump
Throw some small RTV dots on the back of the pump and attach the gasket
This helps hold the gasket to the pump during installation
Gently wedge the pump into place
This will take some finesse and effort, because the blockoff pieces don't have much give
I put the pump in from the top, then worked it into place from the bottom
Feed all of the bolts through the pump and thread them a bit
Double check that the gasket is in the proper position
Secure all of the bolts for the water pump


Install tensioner and idler pulley
See what number hex wrench fits in the new tensioner, mine was #5
Set aside the tension spring and install the tensioner, not fully tight
Rotate the tensioner so the spring hole is at the top, then tighten the bolt
Install the tensioner spring and loosen the tensioner bolt
Install the idler pulley


Install timing belt
Keep the I and E of the cam gears aligned
Slide one end of the belt over the crank and push so it's about 1/2" on
Push belt to the correct side of the idler pulley (towards firewall)
Slide belt over the cam gears, exhaust then intake, pushing it on about 1/2"
Grab the hex wrench that matches the new tensioner
Put the hex wrench in the tensioner and rotate it towards the firewall
Wrestle the belt onto the correct side of the tensioner (towards radiator)
Alternate pushing the belt onto the crank and cam gears
Now, rotate the tensioner towards the radiator
Keep enough tension on the belt so it deflects a bit with your finger pulling between cam gears
Tighten tensioner pulley bolt
Double check bolts for pulleys


Check timing
Slide the lower timing cover into place (might be tough depending on new water pump pulley mount)
Do not bolt it into place
Slide crank pulley onto crank
Do not bolt it into place
Check that the yellow crank mark is still at "T" on the timing cover
Check that the I and E are still lined up on the cam gears
If not, pull off the timing belt and try again
If everything is fine, install and tighten the crank bolt
Use an impact gun to full tighten the crank bolt
If you don't have one, put the wheels back on, lower the car, chock all of the wheels, and tighten with a wrench.
Having someone push on the brake pedal would help when doing it with a wrench too, but chock the wheels is a must.


Install timing covers
Same as removing them, only in reverse
Make sure to reinstall the crank position sensor wire bracket
This goes on the lowest, front bolt on the lower timing cover


Install valve cover
Same as removing it, only in reverse
Should probably replace the valve cover gasket too
Install spark plugs
Install coil packs


Install accessory belts
Throw the belt over the crank pully, feed over the water pump and alternator
Tighten the alternator tensioner bolt until the belt deflects slightly pulling up on your finger
Do the same with the power steering belt
Tighten the power steering pivot bolt
Tighten the power steering tensioner bolt (the one under the pump, next to the pulley)
Tighten the alternator pivot bolt
Reattach wiring harness sensors near power steering belt


Test the belts
Start the car and observe/listen to the belts
Make sure the belts are tracking
Make sure the belts are not making any noise
Make sure you don't hear any whining from the timing belt
Turn car off


Finish up
Make sure the belts still only deflect slightly when pulling up with your finger
Reattach the splace guard
Install thermostat if you'd like, I did since the coolant was already drained
Put wheel back on, drop car back onto the ground
Fire up the car and install new coolant slowly
Make sure there is no coolant dripping near the crank
Check for leaking coolant every few days to make sure there are no leaks
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Setup
Break loose lug nuts, passenger front wheel
Jack up the car, put it on a jack stand, remove wheel
Loosen splash guard
Side: Plastic screw plug, 2x10mm bolts
Under front: 1x10mm bolt
Start draining coolant
,... If you aren't replacing the thermostat, (I didn't) you only have to drain about a quart of coolant
Access panel in splash guard, open it
Put pan/bucket under panel, unscrew the drain plug
Let it drain while you're doing the rest of the work

Break loose crank bolt
,... Use air tools (impact wrench) if you have it,... way easier and safer,... I almost gave up at this point and took it in, but then threaded a small bolt into the one of the threaded holes in the crank pulley (I didn't have the special shop tool) and jammed a long bar between the small bolt and pulley bolt to provide back pressure (be careful not to break off the small bolt,.. mine bent but didn't break). If you have an assistant, they can put it in gear (standard transmission) and have the assistant push on the brake.
Put 21mm socket and breaker bar on crank bolt
Wedge breaker bar into the ground facing towards front of car
Unplug your coil packs
Crank the motor for one second and check crank bolt, should be loose now
Finger tighten the crank bolt and set breaker bar aside


Loosen water pump pulley
,... This is important,... it's very difficult to remove the little bolts after removing the belt,... the pulley just rotates and it's extremely hard to hold it still while turning the wrench. It's really tight in there.
I do this now, because the pulley has the most tension on it right now
Try to loosen the pulley bolts (4x10mm) with one socket wrench
If that does not work, use this method
Set pulley bolts so one is towards the firewall, other towards radiator
Use one socket on the front bolt to hold the pulley still
Use the other socket to break loose the rear bolt
Rotate and repeat until all bolts have been broken free


Remove alternator belt
Break loose lower pivot bolt (1x14mm)
,... I didn't need to loosen the pivot bolt,... the top of the alternator is far enough away from the pivot point, that the alt will move with the pivot bolt still tightened,... only loosen it if the alt will not move. Loosen the adjuster bolt first.
This is hard to get to, under car, right above the axle
It's possible to do this with hand tools, but a pain
I wedged my impact gun in there and hit it a few times
Loosen the bolt a few turns, but no need to remove it
Loosen the adjustor bolt (1x12mm) until the belt is loose enough to remove
Check new belt to ensure correct length


Remove timing belt
Keep the I and E of the cam gears aligned
You can use two crescent wrenches, one on each cam
Then span the handles with a box wrench and zip tie into place
,... this is where this picture comes in



This will help immensely later on
I skipped this step and it cost me probably 30-60 minutes later
Loosen the adjustor pulley bolt (1x14mm)
Loosen the adjustor tension with #6 hex wrench
Pull off timing belt


Install tensioner and idler pulley
,... I needed to attach the tensioner spring to the tensioner pulley before installing it,... it couldn't be attached with the pulley installed.
See what number hex wrench fits in the new tensioner, mine was #5
Set aside the tension spring and install the tensioner, not fully tight
Rotate the tensioner so the spring hole is at the top, then tighten the bolt
The tensioner pulley is free floating with the bolt tightened (there is some damping friction though).
I attached the tensioner spring to the attachment pin AFTER installing the T-belt. The spring is a critical part and can very easily become over stretched while installing the belt. I attached a piece of wire (loosely) (or maybe string) to the spring and draped it up and over the fender so I could pull on the wire afterward to attach the spring to the attachment pin with the help of a small flat head screwdriver (its really hard to reach in there to attach the spring after the T-belt is installed). The wire (or string) needs to be attached loosely to allow it to be removed after the spring is on the pin.

Install the tensioner spring and loosen the tensioner bolt
Install the idler pulley




Install timing belt

You don't need to re-install the crank pulley and cover to get the timing mark for the crankshaft. There is a notch on the T-belt crank gear.



Keep the I and E of the cam gears aligned
Slide one end of the belt over the crank and push so it's about 1/2" on
Push belt to the correct side of the idler pulley (towards firewall)
Slide belt over the cam gears, exhaust then intake, pushing it on about 1/2"
Grab the hex wrench that matches the new tensioner
Put the hex wrench in the tensioner and rotate it towards the firewall
Wrestle the belt onto the correct side of the tensioner (towards radiator)
Alternate pushing the belt onto the crank and cam gears
Now, rotate the tensioner towards the radiator
Keep enough tension on the belt so it deflects a bit with your finger pulling between cam gears
Tighten tensioner pulley bolt
Double check bolts for pulleys


Check timing
Slide the lower timing cover into place (might be tough depending on new water pump pulley mount)
Do not bolt it into place
Slide crank pulley onto crank
Do not bolt it into place
Check that the yellow crank mark is still at "T" on the timing cover

,... You don't need to do this if you use the timing mark on the T-belt crank gear

Check that the I and E are still lined up on the cam gears
If not, pull off the timing belt and try again
If everything is fine, install and tighten the crank bolt
Use an impact gun to full tighten the crank bolt
If you don't have one, put the wheels back on, lower the car, chock all of the wheels, and tighten with a wrench.
Having someone push on the brake pedal would help when doing it with a wrench too, but chock the wheels is a must.
 
Last edited:
:
2003 Protege5
Thanks a lot for the revised instructions and all your useful additions.
I really appreciate you took the time to do this.
Of course, thanks also to the original poster for the detailed writeup.

I now feel confident about tackling this.
 
:
97camaroSS e30 318is Spicy #1348
My MSP has 108k, its past time to do this, gonna get on the swap soon.

This will be my 1st timing belt...ever. I've done some engine swaps(e30 and 4th gen Fbody), clutch changes, water pumps, ignition stuff, rebuilt a few Jeep 4wd driveshafts, all suspension stuff. Honestly, ive just been a pansy fearing "timing" anything. This is hella-easy, right?

Thanks to all who have contributed to this link, btw!
 

mtnbiker26

Bike Geek
It was years ago but I replaced my timing belt following this "how-to". I had the tools and the common sense but not the knowledge or the experience. It was the most complicated and challenging auto repair I had ever attempted so I relied heavily on the instructions and they were totally accurate. I went VERY slowly and it took me about 12 hours. A couple of random things I remember:



Jack the car high enough that you can lay under it to loosen the tensioner on the alternator. It's a little awkward to reach.

On my car, the long pivot bolt that runs horizontally through the power steering pump was REALLY stuck. If I remember correctly, it threads into the pump so I was terrified of snapping it off and ending up with the stud still stuck in the pump and then needing to replace the pump. I didn't want to use heat because of the seals in the pump. I can't remember how I finally got it done. You might want to get some penetrating oil on there beforehand and see if you can break it loose before you do anything else.

A lot of guys had a hard time with the crankshaft bolt but my impact wrench took it right off.

I didn't try it but I've heard of guys cutting the old timing belt in half lengthwise to expose the outer half of the pulleys. They they slide the new belt half way on, cut off the rest of the old belt and then push the new belt all the way on. You don't have to worry about messing up the timing but cutting through about five feet old belt sounds tough unless you have the right tool like maybe a mini sawzall.
 
:
97camaroSS e30 318is Spicy #1348
I've had the belts/alternator off more than a few times(damn Autozone alt failed twice). No problems with that. I got all the bolts off from the top, including the alt change.

Thanks for the pointers on the belt itself, makes sense. I'll look more into that
 

JazzySP20

Madaz
:
AUSTRALIA
:
BJII Astina SP20
Splitting the belt in half is a disaster waiting to happen. You should replace the tensioner and water pump with brand new items at the same time, so this method will not work.
 
:
Protege5
I have about 245K on my Protg5. The water pump is leaking so I am replacing it and the timing belt which may be the original one. Do I need to also replace the seal on the crankshaft?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I didn't bother changing my crank or cam seals.
I remember one guy did and they started leaking within months.
Now he has to replace them almost every year.

For me it was a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it"
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
You can use two crescent wrenches, one on each cam
Then span the handles with a box wrench and zip tie into place
,... this is where this picture comes in
....
I am reposting this picture..
(Thank you Photobucket for kidnapping and killing all my pictures...)


 
:
Protege5
Now that new timing belt is installed and it is all put back together, it is running really rough at idle when warm and stalls out when I take my foot off the accelerator at stop signs. Some say EGR valve, others say may be coils or plug wires. Pretty sure I got the timing correct when I put it all together, I used the two wrenches just like in the picture above, but this has me stumped.
Any suggestions?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
You may have your timing wrong.
Did you rotate your engine over twice after your belt was on to recheck your timing??

I had my belt on and off more than half a dozen times.
The timing looked dead on until I rotated the engine twice,.. Then it was off by one tooth.

It could be something else but i figure your car ran fine before the belt change.

↓↓ improper valve timing..

 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top