Timing belt or other engine failure?

Sienna 2001, currently about 150K miles, I did change the timing belt myself around 90K.
Last week, the car stalled on a highway: sudden jump, and engine got silent (it was pretty cold, around 5 F, I don’t know whether it matters). I suspected timing belt problems right away. Once I tried to start the engine, it reported codes P0340 (P0340 TOYOTA Camshaft Position Sensor ‘A’ Circuit Bank 1) and P1350 (P1350 TOYOTA VVT Sensor Circuit Malfunction Bank 2) that might or might not be meaningful once the timing belt is broken.
Timing belt is indeed broken. The engine 1mzfe is supposed to be a non-interfering according to multiple discussions on the forums. The broken belt is in very bad shape with cracks in rubber all over its length. I kept the original belt (90K on it) that looked like new compared to the failed one. I transferred the marks from the original belt to a new one and installed it. First time, I made a mistake so that the camshaft position on Bank 1 was one tooth off. Second time, the alignment seems perfect. I am checking the engine after the belt install once the tensioner is there. In both cases, the engine dies in 1-2 sec (with or without the harmonic balancer). There is an initially normal sound overlapping with some rough noise that takes over, and the engine dies very quickly. While the light “check engine” comes on, no codes are reported. Any suggestions are appreciated. Can it be an issue with the timing belt installation? Could I have disconnected /damaged any sensor that causes such failure? Could it be some other engine failure /issue that triggered the timing belt rupture?

I am a little confused by the transfered the marks from one belt to the other. It is the crank and cam gears that need to be aligned. What shape is the tensioner in? Is the water pump driven by the timing belt? If so, does it turn freely?

Is it possible that you “timed” the crankshaft/camshaft relationship 180 degrees out of phase?
The crankshaft turns at twice the speed of the camshaft. The timing marks might be out of phase. It’s just a wild guess, but one to be considered.

The marks on the belt help to position the belt on the gears. You are absolutely right: the crank and the cam gears have to be aligned. And all the gears seem to be nicely aligned now.
The old tensioner looked OK. I put in a new one anyway. The old water pump seems to be fine. I’ve got a new one but decided to keep the old one for now (it is rather cold outside and in the garage :))

Good point and I did consider it (though after the install). Crankshaft gets back into the same position after one turn (360 degrees). The full cycle is 2 turns of the crankshaft corresponding to a 1 turn of camshafts (the gears are twice larger than the one on the crankshaft). It means that if the marks are aligned, everything should be fine with the timing.

The crankshaft timing mark will come up once when the valves are positioned for ignition (top of the compression stroke) and again when the valves are positioned for the top (end) of the exhaust stroke. It is possible to have the crankshaft and camshaft marks lined up and the valves in the position of the end of the exhaust stroke when they should be in the position of the top of the compression stroke. That’s what I was alluding to. It is possible to get these phased improperly and have the timing marks line up.

It matters because the crankshaft position sensor, which times the ignition and injectors, is aligned to the crankshaft. If the CPS and the camshafts aren’t in sync, the engine won’t run.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

Yes, you are right about the crankshaft: per complete cycle it does two full turns. But the camshafts do just one turn per two turns on the crankshaft. It means that the aligned (marked) positions of the camshafts is always the right one (whatever it is for the Bank 1 or 2): one turn of the camshafts is the complete cycle corresponding to two turns of the crankshaft. This means that, e.g. the compression position of a camshaft would correspond to an alignment mark, and the exhaust position would be 180 degrees away. However, the crankshaft is certainly back in the same position after every single turn.

Nikolay, would you consider posting a short youtube video with a sound how your engine starts and then dies in one second?

From what I’ve heard, you have it running for multiple turns before it dies.

For me it did not look like you’ve got crank/cam-shafts missaligned, as engine would not run at all if it was true.

For me it sounded more like engine starts and revs just fine, dies immediately after that.

I’ll post it once I figure out how to do it.

One more piece of data I’ve learned from Nikolay over the phone.

The suspect was the IAC valve, so he tried to push the accelerator pedal to make engine to run if IAC was blocked: that did not really help, only made it to rev for one second longer, running more and more rough to the end, besides he told IAC was cleaned some time ago and symptom is not like he was getting with dirty IAC before.

Here are the sounds of the engine https://youtu.be/SU77g189IZU

It sound like the immobilizer system is shutting down the engine. If this Sienna is equipped with the optional immobilizer there will be a red security light just below the instrument cluster. Are you using a spare key that has not been registered to the vehicle?

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Interesting suggestion. I am the original owner, and if the immobilizer is optional, then the answer is “no”: I am not aware of any immobilizer on this car. The video is taken as an instant response to the request, and the sound at the shutdown phase is somewhat milder than the typical one that could be much harsher. Usually, it sounds so bad (the shutdown part) that I am afraid of damaging something.

There is a very small amount of play in the timing belt crankshaft sprocket key way. With the tone wheel on the crank sprocket, any slop while running will send a inconsistent signal to the ECU. I don’t know if this could cause the engine to shut down but I would not start the engine without the crankshaft pulley in place and the bolt tight.

You don’t have a flashing red led on your dash, after you lock the van with the key fob?

Most cars sold in the US by 2001 had at least a rudimentary type of immobilizer. It was usually standard equipment, whether you wanted it or not

I am not sure that I fully understood your comment, but it might be something similar to what I’ve been also concerned with. Initially, I started the engine right after I’ve installed the tensioner. After some thinking, I realized that the crankshaft sensor might not function properly without the harmonic balancer (crankshaft pulley) in place and put it on. This might have changed the sound of the engine, but it still shuts off as before.

I do not have anything “red” on my dashboard, and I’ve never had any issues possibly related to an immobilizer. The car is 17 years old, are there any reasons that something like that comes up?

I asked those questions, because your symptoms sound very similar to what happens when an “unauthorized starting attempt” is recognized

Anyways, moving on . . .

As for the timing belt marks, I have some experience with the 1MZ-FE engine. I have a 2005 Camry with the same engine, and I’ve changed my own timing belt. The procedure for your engine should be nearly identical

What I noticed was that aligning the marks perfectly first and then setting the tensioner didn’t work out so well. When the tensioner was released, the marks were off. What I had to was this . . . anticipate how much the marks would move with tensioner set. I set the marks accordingly, then released the tensioner, and the marks were now spot on. I rotated the engine twice by hand to verify everything was still where it was supposed to be

How are you verifying the marks are perfect for the cam sprockets? In my case, I had to lean over the fender AND use a small mirror

I’m not suggesting you did anything wrong. I’m merely saying how it went down, when I did it.

Are you able to tee in a fuel pressure gauge?

If so, you could verify correct fuel pressure with key on. then when it shuts down after 1-2 seconds, you’ll know if it shuts down to fuel being cut, or it shuts down and fuel pressure is still good. It would certainly answer a few questions

Regarding the belt alignment: first time (I did it with a much more experienced friend) we screwed up an put the belt in a wrong way (mirror image). It turns out that for this engine it is pretty close (75 teeth one side vs 77 teeth other side). Before I installed the tensioner, the alignment looked good. As I described above, the engine starts and shuts off. We checked the alignment: it was one tooth off on the Bank 1. We reverted the belt, and after the installation the alignment is fine even after the tensioner is engaged and multiple rotations. I do use a mirror to check the alignment for the Bank 1.
We have not tested /considered yet anything related to the fuel. This is exactly the suggestion that we are looking for. We do not know what is the core issue: something failed triggering the belt rupture or the belt rupture caused something else to fail.

i used a timing install kit on my motor. it has a crank arm that locks to crank pulley and ensures crank is at tdc and than there is a cam sprocket guide that verifies the cam sprockets are perfect. if you are positive all is good than i would say check compression for more verification.