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Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1909
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician. 30+ years in the car repair business.
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1996 mazda b2300: timing belt..ran fine..tdc and lined the cam up..rev

Customer Question

I just changed my timing belt on my 1996 mazda b2300 with the ford 2.3 sohc, when i tried to line up the pointers at tdc the cam was off by about an inch or so, the truck ran fine prior to this just needed to change the belt. After refering to all manuals i brought number one to tdc and lined the cam up as well as the oil pump, wich by the way was off almost half the entire pulley. sinched everything up rotated by hand several rev's and everything seemed good. Started it up and it ticked and had valve noise, shut it down rechecked the marks and everything is still correct. Took it for a road test and i can't get it up to 50mph Checked the timing with a lite and it is showing about 10degrees What is going on? any help?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dj replied 6 years ago.


There is no doubt that the cam timing is off, probably by one tooth. The difficulty is determining if it's advanced one tooth or retarded one tooth.


With the cam cover off, bring the engine to TDC on number 1 cylinder.


Looking at the cam lobes, they should be pointing at equal angles away from the center. This should tell you if it's retarded or advanced.




Because it has no power, I suspect that it's retarded. But go very slowly and carefully. The valves are already touching the pistons. If you go the wrong way, you will bend the valves if they aren't bent already.


When you get the cam belt reset, take out the plugs and turn the engine very slowly by hand and check for any resistance. Once you are convinced it's correct, do a compression test. If the valves are bent, they aren't bent by much but you will probably see low compression across all the cylinders.


Every technician has gotten the cam timing off at least once, including me. It's very easy to do. Hopefully that's the only problem and no other damage has been done.


Thank you in advance for accepting my answer. If you feel that my response isn't helpful, please let me know and I will release your question back into the list.




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX don't understand how the timing marks could originaly be off so far and it ran ok, then i decide to change the belt and put the engine in to correct timing and this is what i get. My neighbor and his son had a garage for many years and had changed many belts, He looked at it before I removed the old belt and he said he never saw marks off so far that a motor still ran good and said go by the book and put it where it belongs
Expert:  Dj replied 6 years ago.


I've had this same coversation and sometimes an argument with experienced techs over the years and dozens of times on Just Answer.


I don't have an answer as to why the marks are off. But there is no doubt that the cam timing is off now.


One other thing to check is to make certain you have the correct timing belt. I recently did a Lexus and the belt was for the wrong year. It has two additional teeth, which retarded the timing on the engine one tooth. It's not likely on your engine but a posibility.


Either way, the cam timing is off and has to be corrected.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Okay, Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX in the process of tearing it back and readjusting it. I will let you know how it turns out when I am finished. Thanks for the advice.

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