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'99 LS - what is minimum tear-down to inspect timing belt?

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Old 06-30-14, 07:48 AM   #1
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Question '99 LS - what is minimum tear-down to inspect timing belt?

I have an oil leak somewhere at the front of the engine in my '99 LS (240K hard stop-and-go miles). I want to know if the leak has soaked the timing belt. What is the minimum tear-down in order to inspect the timing belt on a VVTI engine?

BTW: I realize that a visual inspection of a timing belt isn't a good indicator of whether it's OK or not. But if it's soaked in oil, I'll likely replace it very soon (and fix the leak). If it's not soaked, then I'll wait until its' next 90K replacement interval.
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Old 06-30-14, 11:57 AM   #2
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Remove either of the front cam covers. You can see enough of the belt to know if it is wet or not. You sure that you're not actually seeing ps fluid? That manages to go all over the lower engine areas, but it usually comes from the PS pump, which in the 99's is usually a bad o-ring.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:21 PM   #3
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cam gear cover should be enough, you really only need one off to look.

If it's PS fluid it's the pump, the reservoir hose, or the high pressure fitting/line into fitting.
if it's oil and it's up there, it's either the cam or crank seals (possibly cam vvti gear), or the valve cover gasket (though rare to leak there since it's fipg).
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Old 07-02-14, 01:24 PM   #4
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Has anyone actually seen a cam belt snap through old age?
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Old 04-12-15, 06:20 AM   #5
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Just replying to an old thread. We just pulled the passenger cam cover yesterday to look at the belt. It took about an hour.
-You need to pull the air filter box and then the plastic air duct going to the throttle body. There are 2 10mm bolts on the air box and another two holding what looks like an emissions/vacuum box that also have 3 vacuum hoses attached to it.
-The vacuum hoses were surprisingly easy to remove. I took this opportunity to clean the throttle body and MAF sensor.
-There's a 10mm nut on the front of the cam cover that retains a coolant return hard-line. Remove this to get the coolant line out of the way.
- There are three more 10mm nuts holding the cam cover on. Once these are removed, you can slid the cam cover out. Pull the large radiator hose towards the front and you will have just enough clearance to get the cam cover off (the cam shaft protruds forward a good ways).
- the 10mm stud that holds the coolant return line is tricky to get aligned back on the cam cover when re-installing, but not too bad.

Not too painful and luckily my timing belt was dry at 144k.
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Old 04-12-15, 07:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AndyTTT View Post
Has anyone actually seen a cam belt snap through old age?
No, but this is what happens to the belt on a Toyota 1.6L when the tensioner pulley seizes.

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