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Replace timing belt?

I have a 96 Toyota Tacoma 6 cy. 4x4. 220,000 miles. I have never changed the timing belt. Should I do it now or just leave well enough alone?
Been a great truck.

Change it. The belt could very well be on borrowed time.

The good news is that this engine is not of the interference design, so when (not if) that belt snaps, at least it won’t cause major engine damage.

The bad news is that mechanical breakdowns rarely take place in your own driveway or other convenient location, and are much more likely to take place on the highway. So, unless you have concerns about situations like losing all engine power & power steering …

while in the left lane, as you are passing a bunch of 18 wheelers
while crossing RR tracks…
while driving through a bad part of town…

…then I guess that you can continue to ignore this scheduled maintenance.

Personally, just the thought of being stranded in an inconvenient location, at an inconvenient time,would be enough to convince me to replace the timing belt, along with the water pump, serpentine belt, and all belt tensioners, but you may not be as risk-averse as I am.

I agree with the above, although if after 18 years and 220,000 miles the engine still has the original timing belt I wonder what other routine maintenance has been neglected. At this stage in the game, depending on what you want or need from your vehicle, you may just want to drive it until it quits one day and have the salvage yard come and get it.

I wonder what the record for the timing belt with the most mileage is, my personal record was 14 years and 170000 miles on a 3.0 Plymouth Voyager.

@oldtimer11, was that to failure or as far as you dared to push it? I replace mine on schedule when it is convenient. A failure rarely happens in the driveway.

@busted knuckles I agree! my wife and I had a frantic call at midnight from a friend, whose daughter had her little truck conk out on a dark street. I ascertained that it must be the timing belt and sugested to call the AAA and take the truck to a nearby garage operated by a friend.

Sure enough it was the timimg belt and it had gone about 150,000 miles. These things never break in your driveway or in front of a garage.

This is a double overhead cam engine. It is probable that the exhaust valves and intake valves use the same volume, just at different times. When the timing belt breaks, both valves in each cylinder will fall and could be damaged when they hit each other. Don’t mess around. Replace the timing belt ASAP.

The timing belt is going to break outside of the liquor store, in the bad part of town, at 2AM . . .

My vote is to replace it if you’re going to keep the truck. Eventually, your luck will run out. Some years ago a couple who are good friends of mine bought a Certifed Honda CIvic from the local Honda dealer. The car had 59k one-owner miles on it.

Several weeks later they decided to go on a ski vacation in Red River, NM with another couple who were taking their own car.
Just a few miles outside Boise City, OK the timing belt broke on the Honda and took out the intake valves in the cylinder head.
There was only one repair shop in that small, end of nowhere town and the car had to be left there for repairs while they completed the vacation in the other couple’s car.

Believe me, Boise City is no place to break down. It’s only claim to fame is the fact that it was the only city in the U.S. that was bombed during WWII; and by the U.S. Army Air Corps of all people.
The B-17 crew mistook the courthouse lights for their target on a midnight bombing practice run and dumped some practice bombs on the place; creating some panic and damage in the process.
The bomber crew even made 2 passes on the place… :slight_smile:

I changed the timing belt on my 90’s Corolla at around 100K and from appearance the old one still had quite a bit of wear remaining on it. I expect it could have gone to 150K, maybe 200K. I tend to have a hyper-miler driver style, and live in a mild climate, that probably is part of the reason. The manual said to replace it at 60 K.

But a 96, at 220 K, I think it is time. Past time in fact. It’s 18 years old, if nothing else the rubber is deteriorating. Remember that there are different degrees of non-interference, as mentioned above. If the timing belt breaks the valves can interfere with each other on some “non-interference” engines. No piston damage, but valves can be damaged, requiring the head be removed. Costly. & if the timing belt only half-way breaks and shards of it gets jammed in the camshaft sprocket, that could do some costly damage.

This engine is mounted longitudinally, front-to-back, right? I think that orientation makes it easier to replace the belt, so you got that in your favor. My vote is to replace it asap.

I once worked on a non-interference Toyota, where the timing belt had disintegrated

Everything was fine in the end, but I spent considerably more than 1 hour cleaning the old belt off of the crank sprocket. It got so hot, it vulcanized itself to the sprocket . . .

To busted knuckles, That was when it went to thr junkyard because of terminal rust. It was also 5 years and 60000 miles after the Chrysler dealer offered me $200 in trade on a new one and I told him I wasn’t going to buy a new one because my 92 was too much of a bargain at that price for me to pass up. Now , would you do a timing belt on a $200 car?

@Oldtimer11, I’ve replaced a timing belt and clutch on a $250 car once. The previous owner had given up on the '92 Celica with 345,000 miles on it because of a strange shake in the motor and he didn’t want to spend money on another clutch, thinking the car was done. I put another 25,000 miles on it in the last 3 years and just sold it for $1000, shake and all. Of course, rust would be the deal killer for me, too. But the Celica was clean, since we don’t have road salt rust problems down here in the South.

I changed the timing belt on my 90's Corolla at around 100K and from appearance the old one still had quite a bit of wear remaining on it. I expect it could have gone to 150K, maybe 200K.

It’s IMPOSSIBLE to tell how much longer a timing belt will last from a visual inspection. I’ve seen belts that passed a visual inspection just DAYS before they snapped. There may be internal stresses to the belt that are not visible. You should NEVER reply on a visual inspection. Many companies now realize this and no longer have an easy way to inspect a timing belt.