Timing belt is tight

Engine sound good but I did hear a couple of knocks just before it started. Check all your timing marks one more time before buttoning it up. If they are still on the mark, you are good to go.

Oh yea those knocks are from engine vibration; I think the engine mount are shot because every time I accelerate the cabin shakes like crazy; I’ve checked the balances shaft marking and they line up so it can’t be that

OP, did you compare old vs new to verify both timing belts have the same number of teeth? & how did you finally get the marks to line up properly? By removing spark plugs? I’m not able to listen to your file, but if engine runs ok, bent valves pretty unlikely. When I did timing belt replacement on my Corolla I ran engine without timing cover and looked at both the cam and crank marks with a strobe light to make sure they were behaving as expected.

Both have the same amount of teeth even though the new one was a little bigger; I mostly followed the advice from tester and Dave which was trying to remove all the slack from the none tensioner side(I was able to remove all the tension through pulling the non tension side hard to remove all the slack but this caused the crank to move a little but after tensioning the belt the crank went back to the mark)I didn’t remove the spark plugs;I checked the timing marks(crank and cam) prior and after turning on the engine and the marks still lined up.

Hope this helps!


Glad you got everything lined up. The job was probably made more difficult by not removing or at least loosening the spark plugs. Think what happens on the compression stroke. 180 psi is pushing down on the compressed piston, a big force which is attempting to rotate the crankshaft. If the piston is 2.5 inches in diameter, that’s 5 square inches, so 180 psi is over 800 pounds of force. A lot of force to fight when aligning timing marks.

I have never removed the spark plug when replacing a timing belt, not even on a V-8. Rotate the crankshaft with a ratchet and socket until the timing marks align (cylinder pressure escapes after 3 to 4 seconds). Remove the old belt, install the new belt.

Ten years ago, my son bought a 2003 Eclipse Spider. The vehicle had a terrible vibration, the dashboard would shake while accelerating. After the road test I told my son to make a low offer; no one will buy this car with those worn-out engine mounts. After the purchase it took me about 2 hours to replace the mounts.

They have tools to lock cams in position. And cranks too.

I have not either but the OP was having issues keeping the crank from turning so I was just thinking outside the box trying to see if that might help since spark plugs in it take a couple minutes to pop out…