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Hey guys my wifes 98 rav4 2.0 liter broke the timing belt the other day and Ive got everything to put it back together but got a question how do line the gears up on the cam and crank before putting on the new belt or does it matter.
 

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Yep, timing sure does matter. If wrong it won't run. Just one tooth off may allow it to run but just barely.
Those with experience and an understanding of how a 4-cycle engine works can figure it out from the markings on the cam and crankshaft pulleys but you'd be best to have a Chilton's or Haynes manual with pictures and directions. There may very well be a YouTube video on it but I don't remember anyone posting one.
You'll find the most difficult step is removing the crankshaft pulley, namely the large center bolt the holds it on. That takes either a special tool or an impact wrench. And getting that bolt tight when you reinstall it is critical. I'd suggest trying to remove it first. If you can't it's tow-to-a-garage time.
 

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...You'll find the most difficult step is removing the crankshaft pulley, namely the large center bolt the holds it on. That takes either a special tool or an impact wrench. And getting that bolt tight when you reinstall it is critical. I'd suggest trying to remove it first. If you can't it's tow-to-a-garage time...
On the Nissan V6 (VG30E) we would use a long breaker bar, maybe slip a pipe over the end if need be, and have it hit the ground at an angle, then bump the starter to loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt. Worked every time.
It's just a thought, but I don't know if the OP's engine rotation direction is the same.
 

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On the Nissan V6 (VG30E) we would use a long breaker bar, maybe slip a pipe over the end if need be, and have it hit the ground at an angle, then bump the starter to loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt. Worked every time.
Good trick. Then how did you get it tight?
 

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Good trick. Then how did you get it tight?
A little bit of blue Loctite and a breaker bar, never had issues with them loosening, even though engine rotation theoretically would tend to cause them to loosen.
I think some guys used a piston stop that they would thread into a spark plug hole, but I was always afraid that it might damage the threads.
 
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