Toyota Camry
Timing Belts and Chains

How do you replace the timing belt on a 1987 Toyota Camry?

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2011-07-01 05:14:29
2011-07-01 05:14:29
AdviseChanging a timing belt is not considered a beginners job. If you are mechanically inclined (and patient)it can be done and is not particularly difficult. Just remember it takes several hours even for a professional. Most of the cost in paying to have a timing belt replaced is labor. The belt itself only runs $30-40.

The complete procedure can not be given in this sort of forum - it is too involved. To see if this something you would like to attempt, start by getting a service manual for your year and model. The manufacturer manuals are the most expensive but are the best for beginners. Other brand manuals are available at most auto supply stores but can be a little confusing for beginners since they cover several model years and they tend to have a more condensed format (hence their low price).

The other issue one should be aware of is tools. In addition to having access to basic mechanics tools, this job definitely requires a good quality torque wrench (possibly two), an appropriate pulley puller, and a good leverage-providing breaker bar. One of the traditional challenges to this job is loosening the crankshaft pulley bolt.

Study the procedure as described in a manual carefully before deciding if you have the tools, time and patience to attempt it. A correctly installed timing belt is too critical to your engines operation to not do the job properly.

- - - - -

Forget about the "leverage providing breaker bar." In order to get off the crank pulley bolt with a breaker bar you have to do two things: get a LOT of leverage, and lock the engine so it won't turn. This bolt has about 300 lb-ft of torque on it because they tighten as the engine runs.

Go to Harbor Freight, exchange less than $100 for a 3/4-inch drive electric impact wrench, some impact-rated sockets and an adapter set, and you'll be able to screw that bolt out with ease and speed. First time I did one this way I thought I sheared the bolt, it came out so fast.

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