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I would only buy the cam- and crankshaft seals from an actual Toyota dealer or known reputable Toyota re-seller. I recently saw some counterfeit Denso spark plugs on both Amazon and eBay -- counterfeit parts are a big deal. I was once sold a counterfeit Mercedes fan clutch....by Amazon! (Amazon got sued by MB for re-selling counterfeit parts). As you know, those seals are such a pain to reach that they are the LAST place to cut corners or take chances with low-quality parts.

I have used toyotapartsdeal.com a lot over the years, and they are the real deal, but they take a while to ship. I have also used https://parts.stevinsontoyotawest.com, which is one of my local dealers. Their website is kinda a pain, though -- you have to click on the little tiny "Search" at the top right of the page, and enter in your exact part number. But, they have good prices and reasonable shipping.

The Lisle seal puller is a great tool. Its important not to scratch up those surfaces on the cam- and crankshaft (or else you end up with an oil leak), and that tool helps to prevent that. But, I have also used a regular paint can opener tool (like the $1 ones you'll find at Lowes or Home Depot), and just ground it down a little -- that works as a good seal puller in tight places.

(It is not part of what your belt job includes, but the single best reason to get the Lisle seal puller is the steering rack pinion seal! That one is a BEAR to remove, and its a known issue on 4.1's that causes a pretty big power steering fluid leak. It is so tight in there, and that tool will save you the need to remove the whole rack, if you ever find your 4.1 develops a leak there.)

For the camshaft seal: if you don't want to buy/make/rent a tool to hold the sprocket in place so that you can remove/install the sprocket bolt, you can remove the valve cover and hold the intake cam with a wrench.

There's a cast hexagon spot on the camshaft that you can safely use to hold the cam from turning while you loosen/install that bolt. You need to remove the bolt to be able to remove the sprocket, to get to the seal, but you don't have to remove the cam to remove the seal (although, some people remove the valve cover, then remove the journal that is over that seal to remove the seal -- I don't do this, because I don't like the idea of removing just one camshaft journal, but maybe its okay... I don't know, I just now its not my style).

I made a tool to hold the sprocket, so I don't have to remove the valve cover: my tool is just a metal bar with a hole drilled in it, and then another shorter metal bar hinged in at that hole. At the ends are holes that I run bolts (10.9 strength bolts) though, hold them in place in the holes with nuts behind them, and then I just place those bolts such that they prevent the spokes on the sprocket from turning. I use one hand to hold the tool, and the other to hold a breaker bar to remove the bolt. Then I use a torque wrench to install the bolt. The little tool works well.

Here's the tool, its all its glory, haha:







I also made a tool for removing the harmonic balancer: its just another group of metal bars that I bolted a floor flange to. I had to drill out the inside of the floor flange a little bit to fit my socket, but only because my socket is a thick-walled 6-point impact socket (be sure to use only a 6-point socket that that crankshaft bolt!).

I then drilled holes in the floor flange to align with the holes in the harmonic balancer, which allows me to pass the M8 bolts (10.9 strength) through hole in the flange, and thread them into the threaded holes on the balancer. You can see the picture below that I ground down the perimeter of the floor flange a bit so that it will fit inside the depressed area on the harmonic balancer, and flush up against it so that the bolts can get in well.

The "handle" of that tool then gets placed against a fixed part of the frame (or a stack of wood blocks, whatever works to prevent it from rotating), and I then use a long, 1/2-inch drive extension (20" long, so that it reaches out of the wheel well because I don't have a lift) that's set upon a jackstand, and use a 1/2 drive breaker bar with all my strength to break that bolt free (I don't do the starter method personally, though I know it works, as you said). I can then use this tool setup to torque that bolt down properly, too.

This is my glorious "crankshaft pulley" tool, haha:



(it says "loose" and "tight" because you just move the bar to the other side, depending on whether you're loosening or tightening)

Both of these tools are made from some metal bars I had removed from a filing cabinet that I'd turned into a tool box, but you could use anything of suitable strength, including regular flat steel bars from Home Depot, or even pipe (if you're good at drilling pipe). The extra holes in my tools are just there because they were already drilled in the metal.

There are probably a dozen good ways to do this, so do what works for you!
 

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demoder, great post! I wish I had more of a shop to make tools. Right now, I am garage-less but doing all right trading driveway time with friends and doing some fabricating on my condominium's patio. "Shadetree" is my middle name. I am going to try the Lisle seal puller and the paint can opener as needed to remove the seals. Scotty Kilmer has a technique here at about 1:08 for holding the camshaft sprocket that I think I will try:
. Else I am going to maybe jam the legs of a two-leg puller between the spokes of the camshaft sprocket, and then use a heavy metal bar on the legs as leverage, to free the sprocket's bolt. That's a great harmonic balancer holder you came up with! I like it a lot more than the homemade one I saw on the net that uses a pipe threaded into the center of the flange and then a pipe wrench on the pipe.
 

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I installed a new timing belt, water pump (with housing), two oil pump seals, crank and cam seals, new tensioner and idler pulley this past long weekend. Observations and (hard) lessons learned:

-- In advance, make or acquire all the tools demoder suggests. Trying to make do with anything else is not worth it. For holding the crankshaft pulley (a.k.a. harmonic balancer), skip my proposed 2x4 tool and get something all steel, like demoder's tool design. During the job, and with the battery removed, the pulley bolt goes on and comes off enough times that an all-steel crank-holding tool, with two grade 8 bolts 8mm x 1.25 screwing into the harmonic balancer, is best.

-- The right way (I think) to install the camshaft oil seal is the way demoder identifies in another thread: Use a piece of pvc fitting, a large washer, and the camshaft sprocket bolt to put it on. As demoder suggests, see youtube footage starting at 5:45 of
Go super slow. Before finding the latter method, I battled with prying one seal on. I ended up destroying the seal and having to buy another, on the fly, at O'Reilly's.

-- The oil pump cover holding the seal that goes around the oil pump shaft is alloy. The alloy can nick easily when one goes to remove the seal. Take special care with your Lisle (or similar) seal removal tool. I put a gash in the oil pump cover and hustled to a salvage yard to get another, on the fly.

-- Is there a good way to get at the two bolts that are used to adjust the tension on the power steering belt? The upper 14mm bolt is a particular bear.
 

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-- Is there a good way to get at the two bolts that are used to adjust the tension on the power steering belt? The upper 14mm bolt is a particular bear.
Elle_Rav4 -- I'm very sorry that I missed this post, and I know you have the Rav4 back together now, but to answer your question and maybe help others, I bought this tool for the sole purpose of reaching that one very-hard-to-access bolt on the power steering pump:

https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-WRN77107-Flex-Head-Ratcheting-Wrench/dp/B01F512F7Y

The price varies a lot it -- $30 is a lot, I got it for about $20. Other version of it are available. But I got the Tekton, and I have used it many times since. Notice that it is a 6-point closed-end, not a 12-point: that's important because that bolt is so easy to a round out. The tool is longer than a normal 14mm/12mm, too, which gives you better leverage. And the pivoting head will get on that bolt, but allow you to also fit your hand in a place where you can actually turn it.

Great job on your timing belt -- and thanks for posting the new tips for everyone!
 

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Having just done this job, I'm going to throw this out there because I didn't see this anywhere else. When lining-up the crankshaft and camshaft to the timing marks and installing the belt, whenever I would turn the engine to set the tension, the cam would be 1 tooth off. After installing the belt, there seemed to be a just little slack between the cam and the water pump that after being turned would go away but cause the timing to be off. So I marked the cam and the block after lining up with the tick mark and then move it forward 1 tooth, installed the belt and set the tension and lo and behold the everything lined perfectly.
 

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Did my Timing Belt this weekend. Was able to replace the crank seal, oil pump housing seal, oilpump shaft seal, and of course the tensioners and belt. It became extremely blizzardous about half way through the weekend which really slowed things down (couldnt feel my fingers) and wasnt able to knock out the water pump or the camshaft seal but those will be next when it gets warm again. I will say that the trickiest part was that damn engine mount! It took me about an hour of swearing and maneuvering to get it out. It was able to get it out through the top the very first time by some stroke of magic.

Just some advice that I dont think I saw mentioned in this thread, When reinstalling (and removing) the mount, it indeed does make it a lot easier to do it with the power steering pump removed and go from below and the back (like a food I didnt do this when removing) however with reinstallation, I also found that simply placing the engine mount loosely in the general area prior to installing the top timing cover made it much easier regarding space to get it in, rather than figuring out how to do this with the timing cover is already installed.

Next time when I do the water pump I will certainly unbolt the engine mount off the block from below prior to removing the top timing cover. It will give you alot of room to work with this way.

Another tip, I broke several 10mm studs holding the water pump on when tryng to TQ to 7ft/lbs. I had used Black rtv to hold and better seal the oil pump housing to the block, however some may have gotten into the threaded holes for the bolts and had a lubricating effect that kept the bolts from reaching proper TQ. Just keep in mind if it starts to feel strange that the bolts keep turning after seating against oil pump housing, stop! Thankfully the threads are okay since it was the screws going into the iron block but any alloy components or aluminum it will surely strip. The screws really just have to be snug enough to keep the housing against the block. No need to go "a bit further" like I did. lesson learned.

I started doing the water pump housing but stopped after getting about 3/4 of the bolts out (at this point we had winds of up to 60mph (100kmh) and the temps were approaching sub 20f (-7c) temps. The thought of cold coolant flowing over my hands made me stop at the point. +I needed to save my hands for the rest of the reassembly which I had only half a day to do with sunlight.

Also, I didnt have access to a tiny mirror to check the timing hole alignment on the sprocket, and my phone couldn't focus that close to the whole, so instead I used a very tiny allen wrench and stuck it into the hole on the sprocket to feel for the timing alignment notch. Worked like a charm.

Overall the job wasnt so bad at all, had it been 30 degrees warmer I even would say Id have a good time!
 

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Here is a full, Rav4-specific DIY video for this job -- timing belt, crank and cam seal, water pump, oil pump seal and gasket, tensioner and idler replacement. The Rav4 is a 1998, so everything will be identical for 98 to '00, and very, very similar for pre-'98.

I made the video as a step-by-step, bolt-by-bolt, for both disassembly and re-assembly, so hopefully it helps my fellow DIYer's to complete this job and save a ton of money!


Good luck!
 

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How do you know when it's time to replace the timing belt? I have a '97 RAV4.
For a '97, Toyota originally recommended a replacement interval of about every 60K miles, or 7 years. For the '98 and newer, that was increased to 90K miles. Realistically, 60K miles seems low given the quality of timing belts these days, and 90K miles seems about right, but the time factor is important too (the belt ages over time, regardless of use).

If the timing belt is really bad (ie, the belt itself is separating) it will making a slapping noise on the timing cover. Other than that, there typically isn't any indication, which is why belts are usually replaced based on mileage or age. If the timing belt breaks, the engine will stop running, and won't start again till the belt is replaced, but since the Rav4 engine (3SFE) is a non-interference engine, it is very unlikely that any engine damage will occur. (This is not, however, true for many car -- in most cars, if the timing belt breaks, the engine can be seriously damaged because the pistons can collide with the valves, but not on the Rav4 engine).

Do you know when the timing belt was last changed? Sometimes there is a sticker in the engine bay. If not, what is the mileage now, and what was the mileage when you bought it?
 

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I just replaced timing belt, tensioner pulley, idler pulley and water pump on a 99 AWD with Antilock brakes and AC. Here are some helpful tips for the archives:





0. Remove battery and battery holder plate (10mm socket).


1. You do not need to drain or disconnect the power steering reservoir or lines. Simply lift up the plastic reservoir from it's clip, remove the bolt holding the hardline pipe from the fenderwall/wheel well (10mm socket) and push the whole assembly back towards the firewall.

2. Remove the alternator and alternator/AC belt

3. Remove 3 bolts holding antilock brake module to fenderwall (12 or 14mm socket) as well as the two bolts holding the brake lines to the wheel well (10mm socket)

4. Remove sparkplugs and plug holes with shop towel

5. Jack up front right corner and remove wheel and plastic under-engine panel (10mm socket)

6. Support engine with 2nd jack. Put block of wood on 2nd jack and lift at oil pan. Just take up weight.. to hold motor in place...do not lift Rav4,.

7. Remove right side engine mount (3 bolts to fender wall 14mm socket). The back 14 mm behind the antilock brake box is best attacked from the fender side with those cheap ratcheting wrenches (not the nice ones). Remove the nuts and bolts connecting the engine mount to the engine mount bracket on the front face of the motor. A deep socket is best for this (12mm or 14mm can't remember). One of the nuts is attacked from below. For the underside nut, use some long extensions on a 3/8" ratchet. Lift out engine mount. Yeah it is a pain but it will come out between the old alternator location and the antilock brake module. You may have to loosen the AC tubing brackets in the area.

8. Loosen the PS pump and slide it toward the front of the Rav. (14mm socket with universal joint attachment helps). Remove PS belt.


9. Take engine out of gear and use a 19mm socket to rotate motor at damper pulley bolt. Align tick on damper pulley with "0" advance mark on the plastic lower cover's graduation. NOTE the triangle ~ 1 " to the left of the 0/5/10..etc gauge. This triangle is the 45degree BTDC mark where you later set the belt tensioner. If you are uncertain of the timing pulley's accuracy for true TDC at "0" (they can delaminate and slip) simply put a very long screwdriver or 3/8" long socket extender in sparkplug hole #1 and rotate the engine. Hold the long device on the top of the pistion and use the 19mm socket to turn the damper pulley back and forth over 0 and make sure the piston is at its highest point when the damper indicates "0" .


10. Remove the bracket at the front face of the motor that attaches to the engine mount. WARNING THIS IS TRICKY. The problem is that there is little clearance between the fender wall and the three 14mm bolt heads that hold the bracket to the motor. If you stick a 14mm socket on these bolts, it may be diffficult to get off due to the tight spot and lack of clearance and webbing cast into the bracket. Here are some ideas to help you keep/get out of trouble.

-A. The goal is to crack the bolts loose with the socket... do not try to extract fully as the bolt will drive the socket into the fender wall.

A. Use a shallow 14mm socket. You may wish to simply sacrifice an old 14mm and grind it down. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU GRIND DOWN A 14mm SOCKET AFTER NOW HAVING CHANGED TWO TIMING BELTS.

B. Try to remove the bolts with a box-end 14mm (tough to do)

C. Use penetrating oil to reduce workload.

D. If you are stuck in there with a 14mm and are tired of cursing and are now reading this, here is what you do... use a small screw driver to flick the direction latch on the ratchet and tighten in the bolt then work/wiggle the ratchet to get it loose. Lowering or raising the motor can help a lot here!!!!! You can also twist the motor a littte to... be patient... you can work the socket off... I did this twice!


11. You have to now remove that hefty "well cursed" engine mount bracket. It comes out best from below. Push the PS pump all the way to the back to help. Yeah this job stinks too. Lowering the motor a little helps.

11b. Remove the damper pulley. I simply put the RAV in 5th gear and stuck a pick-axe handle through the wheel bolts to prevent it from turning. I used a breaker bar and 19mm socket to break the damper pulley bolts. A pipe on the end of a ratchet will give mechanical leverage. My pulley was easy to remove by hand. If yours is stuck.. DO NOT PULL OR PRY AT THE OUTER EDGE (IT IS CAST AND CRACKS EASY). Use a correct puller. Note: There are 4 holes in the harmonic damper/pulleys. Two opposite hole are M6 with 1mm pitch (don't know the other two but they seem different).


12. Remove the bolts holding the top plastic timing cover (I recall 4 of these longer bolts... one is in the back near the engine mount bracket so look well. (10mm)

13. Remove the bolts holding the lower timing cover. (10mm socket). Remove both covers from below.


14. Time belts swap:

1. Place the lower plastic cover in place (no need to bolt it).

2. Place damper pulley and bolt on crank (no need to bolt it tight at all)

3. Put RAV in neutral

4. With all plugs out, rotate damper to "0" degrees (align damper "tick" with "0" mark)

5 Follow the toyota instruction pictures and look through the hole drilled in one of the CAM pulley arms and ensure it aligns with the rectangular tick mark on the head of the engine. (Note, my motor had two marks!!! a circle punched dimple and a rectangular tick. After a lot of trouble, I learned it was the rectangular tick that Toyota uses!!)

6. Use a white paint pen/grease pen/china marker and put a dot on the cam (CAM) gear outer edge as close to the engine as possible and place another dot on the head of the engine as close to the cam dot as possible,these two dots are for emergency alignment and make it easy to get out of trouble. When in trouble, just align these dots to get cam pulley in TDC location. TIP: On my 98 RAV, I noticed a bump in the cam gear's inner lip that is near the top of the motor when at TDC. I used this to line up against a mark I made on the engine.

7. Choose a tooth on the CAM gear and mark it with white paint. Then mark the belt teeth on each side of this tooth with a white dot (mark on the outer edge of the belt as the pulleys will remove any marks on the back belt surface.

8. Choose a tooth on the CRANK gear and mark it white. Then mark the belt teeth on each side of this tooth with a white dot (mark on the outer edge of the belt as the pulleys will remove any marks on the back belt surface). Note which marks are for cam and which are for crank..

9. Loosen the tensioner pulley and push it down to stretch the spring and remove tension from the belt. Then lock it in this position. (14mm socket)

10. Remove timing belt and hold against new belt and copy the 4 white dots to the new belt. You can count the belt teeth separating them as a check.

11. Replace the idler and tensioner pulleys, water pump, thermostat, seals, etc if required. (Drain rad if changing pump). You need to loosen and drop AC compressor if changing water pump.)

Tips:
  • Take time to disconnect wires around AC, alternator.
  • I used tensioner and idler pulley torque of 40 ft-lbs
  • Use flat screw driver to pry/twist between old water pump and connection to tubes/flange below plug #1 to break water pump loose after removing bolts
  • Remove only required water pump bolts ~3
  • Toyota water pump and housing comes with all seals including thermostat seal
12. Place the new timing belt in place and align the dots.

13. Loosen the tensioner bolt enough so that the spring pulls the belt tight.

14. If you have not removed the plugs do it now. Also ensure transmission is in neutral.

15. Place lower plastic housing in place (no bolts) and install damper hand tight and turn motor using 19mm ratchet for 1 and 7/8 turns (DO NOT TURN CCW AS BELT CAN JUMP) . Align the 45 degree BTDC "lonely" triangle with the tickmark in the pulley. At this point of 45 degrees BTDC, The springs in the head will now be at maximum resistance causing the tensioner to be stretched at its maximum. Lock down the tensioner bolt (14mm with torque ~ 35 to 40 ft-lbs). FYI if the belt tension is too tight, the bearings in the idler pulleys will whine when the engine comes up to temperature and stretches the belt from thermal expansion of the block and head). I know LOL. :)




16. Continue rotating the damper pulley for another 2 and 1/8 turns (thus the motor has turned 4 complete revolutions and should be now at TDC). Complete this rotation with the damper at "0" and verify the cam hole is aligned with the rectangular fixed tick mark. (FYI The engine is a 4 stroke so the crank has to rotate twice before the Cam completes 1 full turn...each crank rotation from 0 is a downstroke and upstroke.).


17. Before you put it all back together, do a test run by starting the car with the battery only. If it starts you are good to go. (Don't forget rad fluid, removing anything that can be thrown, etc). The PS pump, AC, Alternator, timing belt covers, engine mount are not needed when test running

Put it all back together.

Tips:
- Torque for 19mm crank nose bolt that fastens the harmonic damper/pulley is 110 ft-lbs according to we source.

- Lift engine up and down to fit parts close to the fire wall and to remove jammed nuts.

Note if you removed the pump, you should have aslo drained the rad fluid. As well, there is a pipe running across the front (relative to RAV body) of the motor that has an O-ring compression fit into the water pump body. Removing this take a lot of pulling and elbow grease... be strong and endure LOL!


IF THE BELT IS BROKEN OR YOU SKIPPED THE TIMING WHEN SWAPPING TIMINING BELTS DON'T WORRY AND DO THIS:.


1. Put belt on with lower plastic cover in place

2. Set the damper pulley to 0 degrees (TDC)

3. Loosen belt tensioner, push it away and tighten tensioner bolt so that tensioner is not taking up tension.

4. Remove the belt from the cam gear and tuck it under cam gear (belt is still on crank gear at this time and lower plastic cover is in place.)

5. Rotate cam gear so that the drilled hole in cam gear arm aligns with the rectangular tick mark (use mirror to inspect). Use a 14mm ratchet to turn CAM at CAM nose.

6. Install belt over cam and loosen belt tensioner 14mm bolt so that tensioner takes up slack in belt.



7. Repeat steps 14/15/16 just above this.

8. IMPORTANT NOTE. If the motor does not start, it is possible that the cam and crank are out by 180degrees. NO PROBLEM. Here is how you resolve this:

A. Turn crank's 19mm bolt so that damper tick is at "0" and that cam gear hole is aligned with rectangular tick.

B. Now turn Crank 1 full revolution so that damper tick is aligned with "0" but cam gear hole is not aligned with rectangular tick REPEAT CAM GEAR HOLE IS NOT ALIGNED

C. Loosen belt tensioner then push it down and lock in place so as to remove belt tension.

D. Pull belt off CAM gear and use 14mm socket or box end wrench to rotate cam so that the hole in cam gear aligns with rectangular tick mark (use mirror to inspect)..

E. Reinstall timing belt over cam gear , let tensioner take up tension then follow steps 14/15/16 just above this.


GOOD LUCK
For timing belt replacement instruction check my album or click on these:






http://rav4world.com/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=339
I have a 1999 and i'm having a problem with timing belt. For the life of me i can not get the belt tight. I followed the proceder and i keep getting the same result. What i'm i missing??? Thanks for any help. Bob
 

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I have a 1999 and i'm having a problem with timing belt. For the life of me i can not get the belt tight. I followed the proceder and i keep getting the same result. What i'm i missing??? Thanks for any help. Bob
I'm sorry for the delay -- if you're still working on this, double-check the tooth count on the new timing belt. It should have the exact same number of teeth as the old belt (163 teeth). If it has the right number of teeth, then double-check your routing to be sure that you're not running over a pulley that you should be running under, for example. If you still have an issue and are using the original tensioner spring, replace the tensioner spring.

I cover the tensioning procedure starting at about the 1:25:12 mark in this video (you can also use the timestamps in the Pinned Comment to jump to that part):
Good luck!
 
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