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When To Know When It's Time To Change Timing Belt


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My vehicle has had 3 previous owners, and I don't have the full service history. It's a 97 sc300. I bought it with 100k miles on it and it seems to run great, but just to be on the safe side, I've been thinking about having the timing belt replaced this summer. It's got 110k miles on it now. Are there any symptoms, such as a characteristic noise from the engine, that I should be looking for? I'm not really inclined on engines so to be honest I'm not even sure where the timing belt is to look at and see if there are rubber teeth missing or what not. Just figured its better to change it now if it never has been than to be sorry I didn't later.

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My vehicle has had 3 previous owners, and I don't have the full service history. It's a 97 sc300. I bought it with 100k miles on it and it seems to run great, but just to be on the safe side, I've been thinking about having the timing belt replaced this summer. It's got 110k miles on it now. Are there any symptoms, such as a characteristic noise from the engine, that I should be looking for? I'm not really inclined on engines so to be honest I'm not even sure where the timing belt is to look at and see if there are rubber teeth missing or what not. Just figured its better to change it now if it never has been than to be sorry I didn't later.

hi i have an sc300 its a 95 and the engine on these cars are a non-interfirence engine which means if the timing belt does break it would not harm the engine at all,it would just leave you stranded somewhere.

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My vehicle has had 3 previous owners, and I don't have the full service history. It's a 97 sc300. I bought it with 100k miles on it and it seems to run great, but just to be on the safe side, I've been thinking about having the timing belt replaced this summer. It's got 110k miles on it now. Are there any symptoms, such as a characteristic noise from the engine, that I should be looking for? I'm not really inclined on engines so to be honest I'm not even sure where the timing belt is to look at and see if there are rubber teeth missing or what not. Just figured its better to change it now if it never has been than to be sorry I didn't later.

hi i have an sc300 its a 95 and the engine on these cars are a non-interfirence engine which means if the timing belt does break it would not harm the engine at all,it would just leave you stranded somewhere.

is this true about the sc400 and does the year matter?

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The year or the model shouldn't matter either. The distributor wires run right across the timing belt under the spark plug cover access. You can inspect the timing belt for shredding and cracking. It is recommended to change the belt at between 60- 90k miles, but it can be pushed out longer if need be based on your funds. And, at least if you have about 120k to 140k miles then I would certainly replace it. Timing belts changes are dependent on the driving distance, weather, etc. city mileage is more consistence with timing belt changes.

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So according to that chart, my engine is interference. I suppose it's probably a good idea to change the timing belt this summer whether it appears to need it or not then. I've got 110k on it now, hopefully it can make it to 120k.

Sounds like a good idea. Doubt you will have any problem making it 10K more miles.

Only the later model 2JZ engines were interference.

As far as I knew thats what it was.

ClubLexus has that as well.

I am pretty sure the opposite is true. I thought they all had interference motors up until 1998. The chart agrees, and I have been told by several people also. The chart came out of the Gates Timing Belt Replacement Guide. I have verified many of the listings in the guide with several different Lexus dealers and mechanics, and it has always proved to be very accurate.

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So according to that chart, my engine is interference. I suppose it's probably a good idea to change the timing belt this summer whether it appears to need it or not then. I've got 110k on it now, hopefully it can make it to 120k.

Sounds like a good idea. Doubt you will have any problem making it 10K more miles.

Only the later model 2JZ engines were interference.

As far as I knew thats what it was.

ClubLexus has that as well.

I am pretty sure the opposite is true. I thought they all had interference motors up until 1998. The chart agrees, and I have been told by several people also. The chart came out of the Gates Timing Belt Replacement Guide. I have verified many of the listings in the guide with several different Lexus dealers and mechanics, and it has always proved to be very accurate.

Gates is full of %^&*(*$%

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  • 11 months later...
My vehicle has had 3 previous owners, and I don't have the full service history. It's a 97 sc300. I bought it with 100k miles on it and it seems to run great, but just to be on the safe side, I've been thinking about having the timing belt replaced this summer. It's got 110k miles on it now. Are there any symptoms, such as a characteristic noise from the engine, that I should be looking for?

It's one year later, have you replaced the timing belt? Did you notice any difference before and after?

About the symptoms, here is my experience. The SC300 which I have just bought has 120k miles and it had the original timing belt. Before I had the TB replaced, the engine ran fine except that it often hesitated when I stepped on gas. The automatic transmission gear shift was less than smooth especially when it was downshifting during acceleration. It felt like it did not respond to the initial push, then it would lurch forward like I was hot-rodding. After the TB replacement and a 120k mile service, the hesitation symptom went away. My friend told me that before the TB broke in his Camry, the engine ran rough at times, like the timing was off. If you think about it, it makes sense - the belt controls the timing, when it gives, the timing would be off.

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From my experience, you don't feel the difference at all.

It's costy procedure and labor intensive to replace belt. something like 5 hours of labour.

Fuel pump and belt tensioners are replaced during procedure.(I also suggest replacing distributor caps and front crankshaft bearing if it leaks any oil)

I replaced my belt at 150kt (i am not sure if it was original one) when water pump started leaking.

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Well there is something wrong with that chart. Because if you look at what 'denotes' what. Your going to tell me the '98-'00 SC 400 has a different motor than the '98-'00 LS400? Or from the '98-'00 GS400?

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