Repair instructions curiosity: Corolla water-pump vs timing belt?

Early 90’s Corolla. The factory service instruction for replacing the timing belt vs the water pump are similar in the need to raise the engine above the normal mount height for access; but for the water pump they say to just jack the engine from below, while for the timing belt they say to hoist the engine from above. Any ideas motivating the differing techniques?

The only thing I can think of is the timing belt involves working more on the lower part of the engine, while the water pump is more at the top.

Does the oil pan need to be removed for a timing chain replacement? If so, it likely would not for a water pump.

Engine lifting frames are easily built with some 2x4s, some plywood pieces and some all thread.

Timing belt rather than chain, and no oil pan involvement with either job.

Yes, I built one similar to that for replacing the timing belt some years ago, but have always wondered if it is really necessary. I can see why a pro shop would want to do that, b/c they can then put the car on a lift, installing the timing belt is then an eye-level job. But a diy’er, probably easier to skip building the support, jack from below, and suffer the inconvenience of doing the timing belt job at ground level.

But maybe there’s a fundamental reason which requires the hoist from above I’m not thinking of …

Sounds strange since the smart thing to do would be to change the water pump while you’re in there changing the timing belt?

Maybe extraction of the water pump requires more clearance room?

The water pump pulley has to be removed in order to remove the top timing covers. That timing cover has to be removed for both jobs. Lifting the engine is needed to remove that pulley. No need to raise engine any higher than that for either job. Instructions say to lower engine again immediately after removing the pulley.

Oops, reading comprehension day! Sorry.

Hmm,… The only timing belt I replaced was on my Merkur 2.3 liter 4 cylinder. I didn’t even need to jack it up, but it was RWD so there was room.

This is what the service manual shows for 1992 Corolla timing belt replacement, page EM - 19;

Interesting. All Data suggests the same jack-engine-from below method. Maybe the recommended procedure has been revised. The jack method certainly seems to make the most sense for a diyer.

I’m waiting to hear how you hold the crank in place when removing the harmonic balancer. I assume you don’t have a manual transmission. Filling a cylinder half way up with oil is really messy and risky not done correctly.

I used to be a big fan of the OEM printed manuals. I have a number of full sets for various vintage cars. This issue points out one of their failings. On line manuals can be easily updated and kept current. Same reason our factory went completely to electronic documentation 15 years ago. No hard copies allowed on the production floor…

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That is shown in step 13 using SST 09213-14010. I remove the crankshaft bolt with an impact wrench.


Notice instruction 13. A tool is used to pull and hold the balancer.

Personally I use and impact wrench to pull the bolt and puller to remove the balancer. I use a pry bar in the puller to prevent rotation.

Edit: Nevada was typing at the same time, beat me to the post!

I puzzled on this myself when I came to that part of the procedure. These sorts of important details aren’t covered in repair manuals for some reason. Probably b/c the author thinks the folks following the instructions have pro-mechanics skills. Meanwhile, under the car facing this puzzle, I noticed the pulley has two holes conveniently placed at 180 degrees apart, so I made a homebrew version of the tool Nevada shows above to key into those holes. Mine is just a strip of sturdy plywood and a couple of woodscrews for the holding points. Parts stores probably have them for rent & diy’er tool store like Harbor Freight probably sells a similar tool. Working under the car not much room, and easy to bang knuckles, so didn’t try to hold the tool in one hand and the ratchet with the other. Instead I wedged the end of the handle against something solid so it couldn’t move while I removed the crankshaft bolt. Even when the crankshaft bolt is removed the pulley remains stuck fast to the crankshaft hub, and has to be removed with a puller.

I think I could have avoided making the tool in the first place by taking advantage of the Corolla’s manual transmission configuration …lol … but it seems unwise to make the transmission gears take all that force, so would probably still do it the same way with the holding tool next time.

The 7A-FE that is an option in the 90s Corolla has at least 110 ft-lb of torque! Is the nut tighter than that? If you let off the clutch suddenly it puts a lot more force on the transmission. I say put it in 5th gear and don’t worry.

I would be very surprised to hear these are the OEM factory repair manuals then because every one I have ever purchased indicates any tools required for the procedure, even custom ones that the manufacturer has designed for a particular job. Similar to 13a above…

It is shown in step 13 of the service manual along with the tool numbers. Do you have a Haynes manual or Toyota?

The boles in the pulley are threaded. For the special tool for the pulley, I used a 1x4 and two 3" long bolts. Worked great.

Edit: I cant upload the picture, something keeps going wrong.

No need for a photo, I can envision what you are saying. I don’t recall the holes being threaded, at least on my Corolla’s though. I had a little difficulty with the puller. Entirely my own fault. I didn’t realize it had come loose, and twisted on the pulling bolt a little too much. Pulled a little chunk off the edge of the pulley.

Step 13 shows a bolt grip puller being used. The harmonic balancer has a rubber insulator, using a jaw type puller can damage the harmonic balancer.


Timing belt replacement is due every 60,000 miles, by now you should be well experienced at the task.

??? Isn’t step 13 is for removing the bolt, not the pulley???