Toyota Camry 5SFE Engine Timing Belt, Water Pump & Seal Replacement


The Toyota 5SFE motor is a 4 cylinder 2.2 liter timing belt driven double overhead cam engine design. This motor is commonly found in the Camry, Celica, MR2 and RAV4 from 1990 to 2001. The engine is a Non-Interference type meaning damage to either the valves or pistons is unlikely to occur if the belt were to ever brake during vehicle operation. The outlined instructions can therefore be used on belts that have broken. Positioning the Camshaft Sprocket and the Crankshaft Pulley for Top-Dead-Center (TDC) alignment is all that is needed for broken belt replacement.

timing belt diagramExpect to spend approximately 3 hours for just a belt replacement. Replacement of the water pump (approximately 1/2 hour) and sprocket seals (approximately 1/2 or less per seal) can vary.

The belt replacement interval for the 5SFE engine is either 60,000 or 90,000 miles based on the year of vehicle manufacture. Perhaps the introduction of Highly Saturated Nitrile (HSN) Timing Belts adopted for used on Toyota vehicles raised the service interval. Also the time since last replacement should be considered as well. Belt replacement every 6 to 7 years is recommended if under the mileage threshold.

It is recommended that the two Idler Pulleys (one for belt tension and the other as a belt guide) be replaced with every belt change. If the bearings in any of the pulleys were to lose its lubricating properties, the pulley can either wobble placing undue stress on the timing belt or potentially seize guaranteeing belt failure. Worn bearings can be noticed by a pitched grinding noise during engine warm up. When whatever grease remaining inside the bearing lubricates the bearings through engine heat, the noise will disappear. This can be considered a warning to have the belt and bearings replaced as soon as feasible.

Although many dealerships and private service stations recommend Water Pump replacement with the Timing Belt, based on personal experience, the AISIN Water Pumps in Toyotas are very durable. If the coolant has been changed per manufacturer’s recommended interval, and no hard mineral water used, the pump seals and bearings should last over 150,000 miles. This is based on personal experience with many 5SFE belt replacements jobs. However, the pump can be examined for wear and leakage after the Timing Belt Cover has been removed with the Timing Belt. Look for leakage from the weep hole, any chirping noise from the pump when the engine is running and any drag on the pulley when turned by hand after the timing belt has been removed.

On 5SFE engines with over 100,000 miles, there is a good possibility of oil seal wear for the Camshaft, Crankshaft and Oil Pump. The seals are inexpensive but can be time consuming to replace. If the leakage is very bad, oil will get on your Timing Belt which may cause pre-mature belt failure. Moreover, check the Side Engine Control Rod (commonly referred to as the Dog Bone) along with the front engine mount which dampens the the forward and backward flexing of the engine. The rubber vibration dampener has a tendency to dry rot and crack with age. A simple test is to ‘blip’ the engine with the transmission in gear while having your foot on the brakes. If the engine lifts up and settles back down, a new front mount may be in order. Replacement is simple and straightforward. Otherwise, the exhaust system’s flex pipe may eventually crack leading to expensive repairs.

The cost of the belt and components can vary. For Japanese OEM parts: Mitsuboshi Timing Belt, Koyo Pulleys and Aisin Water Pump. Shop and compare prices including shipping costs for the best deals. The belt manufacturers Gates and Dayco, OEM suppliers for Car companies like Honda, are very good and their belts can be had for approximately $15. A Timing Belt Component Kit (Belt, Idle Pulley & Tensioner Pulley) around $50. Water Pumps … around $30, Oil Seals … around $5 each. The parts that comprise a Timing Belt Component Kit for the 5SFE is interchangeable with the following Toyota vehicles:

CELICA (1999)

CELICA GT (1987 – 1998)

CELICA GTS (1990 – 1992)

CELICA GTS SPORT (1990 – 1993)

CELICA ST (1987 – 1989)

MR2 (1991 – 1995)

RAV4 (1996 – 2000)

SOLARA (1999 – 2001)

How To Timing Belt Replacement – Camry / Avalon / ES 300 / Sienna / RX 300 / Solara – V6 – MZFE


The Toyota MZFE engine is either a 3.0 or 3.3 liter transversely mounted, timing belt driven, 24 valve dual single overhead cam aluminum V6 design. This engine has been developed for use in many Toyota vehicles from 1994 to 2003. These include the Lexus ES300, RX300, and the ToyotHow To Timing Belt Replacement - Camry a Camry, Avalon and Solara. The 3.3 liter version was introduced as the 3MZFE. Most engine components in the 1MZFE are interchangeable with the 3MZFE including the timing belt, tensioner pulley and guide pulley. However, the 3MZFE has a different automatic belt tensioner configuration which is not covered in this article. Up until the introduction of VVTI (Variable Valve Timing) technology, the engine’s valve train were Non-Interference. This means that damage to either the valves or pistons will not occur if the timing belt were to brake during vehicle operation. The outlined timing belt replacement instructions can therefore be used on belts that have broken on non VVTI engines. Positioning the Camshaft Sprockets and the Crankshaft Pulley alignment marks to Top-Dead-Center (TDC) is all that is needed before the new belt is installed. A compression leakage test can be performed after belt installation to verify the integrity of the valves.

Toyota recommends belt replacement at or over 90,000 miles. Of the MZFE engines that were worked on, all cars under 200,000 miles had good operating water pumps. Over 150,000 miles, some of the guide and tensioner pulleys were indicating signs of wear and needed replacement.

Allocate 3 or more hours for just a belt replacement. Paint marks on the belt where it meets the crankshaft and camshaft pulleys will eliminate a lot of grief if any of these pulleys were to move after belt removal and during new belt installation.

1MZFE Timing Belt Components


Tools and Parts Needed


Impact Driver (Electric, Compressed Air, or Mechanical)

1/2″ Breaker Bar (if no Impact Driver available used for Crankshaft Pulley Bolt removal)

1/2″ & 3/8″ drive Socket Wrenches

Metric Box Wrenches & Sockets

1/2″ & 3/8″ Wrench Extensions

Screw Drivers

Jack (Hydraulic or Scissor)

Standard Jack Stands

Japanese cars use the following metric sizes:

10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, 22mm

Needed Parts

Replacement Timing Belt

Timing Belt Cover Gasket (Optional)

Engine Control Rod – “Dog Bone” (Optional)

Belt Tensioner Idler Pulley (Optional)

Belt Guide Idler Pulley (Optional)

Accessory Belts and Crankshaft Pulley Removal

  • Place transmission in Park, apply the parking brake and chock the rear wheels.
  • Support the vehicle on a jack stands and remove the passenger side front wheel.
  • Unbolt the Front Fender Apron Seal – passenger side.
  • Unbolt the Crankshaft Pulley Bolt. Use a breaker bar secured to the ground or frame of the car if an impact driver is not available. “Thump” the ignition around 1 second. The tension on the bolt should be relieved as a result of the torque from the starter motor. If that doesn’t work, applying heat to the bolt from a propane torch can help … but be careful … the oil seal can be damaged from too much heat. If the car has a weak battery, not enough amperage is available for the the starter motor to unbolt the pulley bolt. Additional amps can be had by jumping another battery from another car. As a last resort, find a friendly garage owner who’ll torque the bolt off for you with their 180lbs air powered impact driver.
  • Turn the engine clockwise to align the crankshaft pulley to the Top-Dead-Center (TDC) mark on the timing belt cover. Use a 1/2 drive socket wrench attached to the pulley bolt to ease engine rotation. Use a impact driver or do a quick twist of the socket wrench counter clockwise to spin off the crankshaft pulley without upsetting the alignment.
  • Unbolt the crankshaft pulley.
  • (Supplemental) – if your Power Steering Fluid has turned black, the fluid can be replaced with the timing belt replacement job. More fluid can be drained in lieu of draining from the reservoir. Remove the hose clamp and hose from the metal tube located below the crankshaft pulley. The majority of the fluid can be ‘pushed’ out by rotating the steering wheel to the left and right while the fluid is draining out. When completely drained, reconnect the hose and clamp.
  • Loosen or remove the Power Steering Pump Bracket Bolt.
  • With either a long metal or crow bar, apply pressure to the left side of the pump to relieve tension on the Power Steering Belt. Alternatively, a few light taps with a hammer on the power steering pump bracket behind the ps bracket will move the pump forward of the bolt and relieve tension on the belt.
  • Loosen the tension on the Alternator Adjustment Locking Bolt.
  • Relieve tension on the Alternator Pivot Bolt.
  • Turn the Alternator Belt Adjustment Bolt counter clockwise until the alternator belt can be removed by pushing down on the alternator.
  • Remove both the Alternator and Power Steering Pump Belts.


Timing Belt Cover and Side Engine Mount Removal

  • Disconnect the Coolant Reservoir Hose from the Reservoir container.
  • Disconnect the two engine ground wire connectors.
  • Unbolt and remove the side engine mount.
  • Remove the alternator bracket nut and bracket.
  • Optional – Detach and move the power steering hose to the firewall.
  • Unbolt and remove the lower timing belt cover.
  • Unbolt and remove the upper timing belt cover.
  • Unbolt and remove the side engine mount. Keep the one side engine mount long bolt in place while removing the mount.
  • Remove the timing belt guide.

Timing Belt Removal

  • Check that the camshaft alignment marks match the backing plate alignment marks. If not aligned, screw back in the crankshaft bolt and rotate the engine with a wrench until alignment is made.
  • Optional – When alignment has been made, apply paint marks to the camshaft, crankshaft, backing plate alignment marks along with the timing belt. These will help with re-alignment problems if the crankshaft or camshafts were to move during belt installation.
  • Unbolt the timing belt tensioner.
  • Simultaneously twist the timing belt between the right camshaft and crankshaft -and- the right camshaft and left camshaft approximately 45 degrees. This will slightly move both camshafts clockwise to ease belt removal as well as new belt installation. A small amount of slack will now exist between both camshafts and the right camshaft with the crankshaft.
  • Remove the old timing belt.


Addendum – Water Pump / Guide Pulley & Tensioner Pulley Replacement

If replacement of the Water Pump is desired with the belt replacement, a 10mm stud removal tool will be needed. This tool will ease removal of the pump’s mounting stud thereby allowing the pump to clear the Camshaft Side Timing Belt cover. If this stud is not removed, there will not be enough clearance for the pump to be moved away from the Camshaft Side Timing Belt Cover. Some people will remove the Camshaft sprockets and then the belt cover before removing the pump … extra work and unnecessary if the pump mounting stud is removed.

From my experience, the Camry’s Aisin Water Pumps are good for at least 200,000 miles. Never encountered one go bad at or around 100k miles.

If you purchased a Timing Belt Component Kit, your kit should include a new Timing Belt Guide Pulley (the pulley between the two camshaft sprockets) and Tension Pulley (between the crankshaft and left camshaft). The Guide Pulley can be easily replaced by unbolting the old and bolting on the new. The Tension Pulley is slightly more difficult. This pulley is part of an assembly that allows the pulley to dynamically apply continuous pressure on the timing belt (via the tensioner) if any belt stretch were to occur. The tensioner mounting bolt runs through a sleeve that allows the pulley to moves approximately 30 degrees to take up belt slack.

New Timing Belt Installation

  • Start by installing the new belt on the right camshaft using the paint line on the new belt. Prevent the belt from slipping off by using a spring loaded plastic alligator clip.
  • Stretch the belt and slip the belt onto the left camshaft. Again, use the paint line on the new belt for alignment and use a plastic alligator clip to prevent the belt from slipping off.
  • Guide the right side of the belt over the water pump and then position the belt on the crankshaft pulley cogs. There should be little to no slack when this is done. If so, the belt may be loose by one cog.
  • While holding the belt in place over the crankshaft pulley with the right hand, use the left hand to slip the left side of the belt over the tensioner pulley.
  • Bolt on the timing belt tensioner. Applying equal turns on each bolt will gradually compress the tensioner pin against the tensioner pulley assembly. As this occurs, the timing belt will tighten up.
  • Optional – At this point the car can be started to check for belt alignment. If the car misfires or the Check Engine light were to come on, turn off the car, connect the crankshaft pulley bolt and rotate the engine with a ratchet wrench to the alignment marks. Being off by one cog will cause an engine misfire. This is usually between the right camshaft and the crankshaft.
  • Reverse the outlined instructions to reconnect removed components as outlined in the last thumbnail photo in this article. The Crankshaft Pulley Bolt can be ‘shocked’ torqued on with a Mechanical Impact Driver if either an air or electrically powered impact driver is not available. This tool may be available for rent at a auto retailer; otherwise, you can always bring your car to a private garage to have them torque the bolt on for you. Usually they’ll do it for free out of professional courtesy.
  • If the power steering fluid was drained, pour in new fluid and turn the steering wheel right to left to create suction. The fluid level should drop, add more fluid and repeat procedure until the fluid level has stabilized.

Diagram for timing marks for crank shaft and oil pump for 2004 hyundai sonata

Optional Information:
Year: 2004
Make: Hyundai
Model: sonata
Engine: 2.4

hyundai timing belt

Be aware the oil pump pulley drives a balance shaft, and due to the gear reduction in the oil pump the timing mark is only correct once every 720 degrees. Meaning if the oil pump sprocket has spun with the belt off the vehicle and you realign it to the timing mark you have a one in two chance of it being correct. To verify you have the correct position, there is a 14mm bolt in the left hand side of the block (right on the balance shaft ‘tunnel’. When this bolt is removed, you will be able to stick a screwdriver or othr metal object 2.5 inches into the block when it is in the correct position; the shaft also will not turn more than 15 degrees in either direction. When you are out of phase, you will only be able to go in about one inch.

99 kia sporage timing marks

kia timing marks
Crankshaft match marks

Align marks on timing belt pulley and pump body.

Camshaft pulley alignment marks

1. Align marks on camshaft pulleys with alignment marks on seal plate.
2. Install timing belt. NOTE: No looseness should exist on the tension side and at the camshaft pulleys.
3. Loosen tensioner lock bolt.
4. Turn crankshaft 2 revolutions in direction of rotation and check that timing marks are still in alignment.
5. Tighten timing belt tension lock bolt to 27-38 ft lb (32-52 Nm).
6. Apply a force of 22 lbs to timing belt between camshaft sprockets.
7. Belt deflection should measure 0.30-0.33 in (7.5-8.5 mm)

NOTE: Replace tensioner spring if timing belt deflection is excessive.
Timing Belt Installation

kia timing belt

1. Install lower timing belt cover.
2. Install upper timing belt cover.
3. Install power steering drive belt and adjust belt tension.
4. Install fan pulley.
5. Install generator drive belt and adjust belt tension.
6. Install A/C drive belt and adjust belt tension.
7. Install splash guard.
8. Install fan and fan shroud.
9. Install 4 fan bolts. Tighten to 24 ft lb (33 Nm).
10. Install fan shroud mounting bolts.
11. Install fresh air duct.
12. Connect hose to resonance chamber.
13. Connect battery negative cable.

Replacing Your Car’s Timing Belt

Knowing When To Change A Timing Belt

Changing a timing belt on your vehicle can be a very time consuming. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of components under your hood that must be removed before you can even get to your vehicle’s timing belt. This is why it is best to change a timing belt at the same time that you are planning on doing other repairs and maintenance practices to your vehicle such as putting on a replacement water pump or changing belts like the serpentine, air conditioner or water pump belt.
Timing belts tend to begin breaking down at around 60,000 miles. You will notice the power to your vehicle begin to slow down, the fuel efficiency of your vehicle can be affected as well as your vehicle showing signs of working harder.
How To Change A Timing Belt or Timing Chain
Different vehicles have different patterns for changing a timing belt or timing chain. The best thing to do when you want to change the timing belt is to look over your owner’s manual that is specific for your make and model vehicle. You can also purchase an automobile repair manual that is designed specifically for the needs of your automobile at any automotive repair shop in your local area.
The basics to changing a timing belt on the vehicle however are pretty much uniform. The steps to do this are as follows:
Step 1. Before you can replace the timing belt on any vehicle it is a good idea to let the vehicle sit overnight so that the engine is completely cool and there is a reduced chance of experiencing serious burns from the engine.
Step 2. As it is with most vehicle repairs you must first disconnect any power supply to the vehicle. This means that the battery cables must be removed from the battery terminal and tied back so that there is no risk of them touching the posts or other parts of the vehicle while working.
Step 3. Place blocks in front and behind the wheels of your vehicle so that there is not chance of the vehicle rolling and accidentally causing injuries to you or others who may be around.
You will now need to remove any obstructions that may be in the way of getting to your timing belt. This includes:
Step 4. Make sure that the air intake assembly to your vehicle is completely removed.
Step 5. Locate the pulley that powers the supply to your water pump if this is in the way on your vehicle. You will need to loosen the bolt holding this pulley in place.
Step 6. For some vehicles it may be necessary to do the same for other equipment such as the power steering pump. This will require you to loosen the bolt and remove the belt that is around the pulley. You can then unbolt the power steering pump and move it out of your way.
Step 7. Line up the mark on your crankshaft pulley to the O that is on the timing scale with a large wrench. You can find the timing scale molded on your vehicle engine block.
Step 8. Using the right sized socket you will have to removed the bolts that are holding the timing belt cover on. When you have the bolts removed you can then pull off the timing belt cover.
Step 9. Inspect the timing belt tensioned bearings for any looseness or noise. If these problems exist you will need to replace the timing belt tensioned bearings as well.
Step 10. Locate your camshaft and check to makes sure there are no leaks in the crankshaft or camshaft seals. If you do notice leaking this could be an early sign that there will be premature failure for your new timing belt. It is best to replace these seals now instead of waiting for bigger problems and the chance of having to do all of this work again.
Step 11. For most vehicle makes and models you should now be able to locate the timing belt. Make sure that all timing marks on your belt are properly lined up. Loosen the timing belt tensioned and you will then be able to remove the timing belt very easily. Make sure that the camshaft and crankshaft for your vehicle’s engine are secured and that they do not move while your timing belt is off of your vehicle.
Step 12. Place your new timing belt on the same way that you removed it. Make any tension adjustments to the timing belt as necessary. Inspect the new belt to make sure that it is fitting over the teeth for the timing sprockets correctly. Makes sure that you do not over tighten the belt.
Step 13. When replacing the timing belt cover install a new gasket to seal the cover correctly. Do not use an old gasket as this will not seal properly.
Step 14. If you had to remove any pumps at the beginning of this project you will now have to hook them back up again. This includes the water pump, power steering pump as well as any other accessories that may have gotten in the way at the beginning of this project.
Step 15. Visually inspect all timing marks to make sure that they are still aligned correctly.
Step 16. Reinstall your vehicle’s air intake assembly that was removed in the beginning.
Step 17. Reconnect your vehicle’s battery. Make sure that there is no corrosion around the posts or the battery cables while you are at this step.
Step 18. Turn on your vehicle and look for any problem areas such as leaks that there may be prior to driving your vehicle. Do not hesitate or postpone any repairs that may be needed.