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curiousB

'04 Ls430 Timing Belt

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2004 LS430

Well just clicked over 88500 miles so the dreaded 90k maintenance is coming near.

Planning to do the timing belt (TB) replacement myself. Done it before on other cars but never a Lexus. Was planning on buying the Schley 64300 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holder to make the removal of the crank bolt a bit easier. Have heard it can get really seized up. Anyone used this? Is there a better way?

Also apart from being a lot of disassembly to get to the TB is there anything special about the vvt related to changing the TB? Other than lining up the new belt marks with the proper spots on the cams and crankshaft is there any special procedure regarding the vvt mechanism?

I plan to install new idler pulleys and belt tensioner. Haven’t decided to change water pump while I’m in there or not.

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2004 LS430

Well just clicked over 88500 miles so the dreaded 90k maintenance is coming near.

Planning to do the timing belt (TB) replacement myself. Done it before on other cars but never a Lexus. Was planning on buying the Schley 64300 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holder to make the removal of the crank bolt a bit easier. Have heard it can get really seized up. Anyone used this? Is there a better way?

Also apart from being a lot of disassembly to get to the TB is there anything special about the vvt related to changing the TB? Other than lining up the new belt marks with the proper spots on the cams and crankshaft is there any special procedure regarding the vvt mechanism?

I plan to install new idler pulleys and belt tensioner. Haven’t decided to change water pump while I’m in there or not.

I have not used the tool you mention but thought about buying a Lexus SST (Special Service Tool) for the job. Wouldn't it be neat if we had a tool loaner program for forum users? Pay a small refundable deposit and pay shipping to get those SST's. I am dreaming. ;)

Ok now....when I did my 98 LS400, I "wedged" an allen key in the flexplate to hold the crankshaft. Not sophisticated for sure but it works. Then there is the powerful impact wrench route(gotta have a strong wrench). Oh, but the favorite is the "wedge the wrench handle against the floor and crank the starter for a split second". Many swear by it. I am sure it works. Its just not for me, the faint-hearted. Besides, how do you retorqued the nut when done? Turn the starter in the reverse direction? :whistles:

There is something special about the VVT. At least on the 98 VVT 4.0L, and I would imagine the 4.3L as well. You need to set the crank at 50 degrees ATDC to insure valve clearance when installing (or removing) the belt. The tutorial on my 98 explains all of this.

As concerns the water pump. I sure would change it while in there. Yeah, it costs what, $150, but if the old one seizes....priceless! (as they say).

See this thread -> http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=61372&st=0&p=394040&hl=timing%20belt&fromsearch=1entry394040

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Here's a link to an exhaustive thread on the issue of vvt and rotating the crank 50 dg etc:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls400/495229-notes-on-timing-belt-change-95-96-a.html

Wow, I missed that whole thread action. Must have been asleep.

The 50 degree thing is so misunderstood. Here's the deal as I understand it. When you finally remove the tensioner and take the belt off, the cams are going to rotate somewhat.

Call it "snap-roll" because of spring tension. IF you leave the crank in the 0 (TDC) position, there is a chance that a valve(s) could contact a piston when the cam rotates w/o the belt.

The 50 degree ATDC just ensures that the pistons are sufficiently clear should the cams roll. Thats all. Some do it at TDC and are fine if the cam does not snap suddenly. Just extra insurance. Some mechanics use what is called a cam lock to keep the cam from rotating when the timing belt is removed but locks are not needed for this engine.

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I was on lexls the other day i believe they have a diy on the ls430's timing belt you should check it out i think it just got posted. www.lexls.com, i just checked and it leads you to another website but it looks very detailed here's the link....

http://www.shastaanesthesia.com/Lexus/Page1.html

Nice tutorial. Thanks for posting, lexfourcam!

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Yes, nice tutorial indeed, complete with the service manual sections. Haven't been to lexls lately. Good to see it there. I especially like the reference to "blood stains on the next photos". I mean what's a job worth if you can't stamp your own dna on it! That's really personalizing it. :P

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LOL guys, once you've done 10 or 15 timing belt and water pump jobs on these things, you can do 'em with your eyes closed!! lol

Dont forget to check the bearings in the idler pulleys too guys, ive seen some go bad and destroy the new belt!!!

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LOL guys, once you've done 10 or 15 timing belt and water pump jobs on these things, you can do 'em with your eyes closed!! lol

Dont forget to check the bearings in the idler pulleys too guys, ive seen some go bad and destroy the new belt!!!

Not to mention checking for leaking seals etc. Welcome aboard StlL!

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Just ordered tool and parts for TB replacement next weekend (2004 LS430, 90,094 miles). Decided to get OE brand parts and not risk aftermarket. Hopefully it’s not too hot July 4th weekend.

A couple questions:

1) I didn’t order new gaskets for the TB covers. Am I ok assuming these old ones will be good to go for another tour of duty?

2) What about engine coolant. How important is the Toyota coolant vs. just getting some Prestone from the auto store?

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Just ordered tool and parts for TB replacement next weekend (2004 LS430, 90,094 miles). Decided to get OE brand parts and not risk aftermarket. Hopefully it’s not too hot July 4th weekend.

A couple questions:

1) I didn’t order new gaskets for the TB covers. Am I ok assuming these old ones will be good to go for another tour of duty?

2) What about engine coolant. How important is the Toyota coolant vs. just getting some Prestone from the auto store?

1) The TB cover gaskets are not critical IMO and at only 6 years old, should be in good condition such that you can re-use.

2) I would use ONLY Toyota coolant. Its about $20 a non-diluted gallon. It has the proper additives to keep your OE pump happy. Cheap insurance.

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A tool like this is very nice to have: http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-3097-lisle-36880.aspx, they also make a plastic version that sits between gears and has an adjustable slide, anything to lock the gears in place is good.

For the crankshaft, the method of starting the car with a breaker bar wedged in does work, but you want the bar up against the framerail, underneath it, not towards the ground. I've seen a Toyota Starlet stand up in the air once when someone tried it with the bar resting against the ground. If that scares you, I remove the flexplate cover, take out one of the torque converter bolts, and thread a much longer, heavier grade bolt back in place, once rotated it will rest against the bellhousing and lock the crank in place. You can also drop the lower oilpan and wedge the crank that way, although it's more work and mess.

ALWAYS replace the water pump if you're in there. There's no point not to when it's a few more bolts away.

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I was thinking of picking up a 3/4" dual hammer air impact gun (950 ft lbs) and a 22mm socket to loosen the crank bolt. Just not sure there is enough room in there for the gun and socket even with the radiator out. Thought this might be easier on my knuckles.

Also saw some guys saying the crank bolt was reverse threaded. That seems wrong to me. Wouldn't it be normal thread clockwise tighten, counter clockwise loosen?

Also saw this guy had a clever idea of using wire ties to temporarily hold timing belt in place before tensioner applied.

Just ordered Water pump and gaskets. I guess do it right or not at all. Just wary of all the steps (hence opportunities for errors) this progressive assembly has.

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I was thinking of picking up a 3/4" dual hammer air impact gun (950 ft lbs) and a 22mm socket to loosen the crank bolt. Just not sure there is enough room in there for the gun and socket even with the radiator out. Thought this might be easier on my knuckles.

Also saw some guys saying the crank bolt was reverse threaded. That seems wrong to me. Wouldn't it be normal thread clockwise tighten, counter clockwise loosen?

Also saw this guy had a clever idea of using wire ties to temporarily hold timing belt in place before tensioner applied.

Just ordered Water pump and gaskets. I guess do it right or not at all. Just wary of all the steps (hence opportunities for errors) this progressive assembly has.

The crank bolt is a right-hand thread...righty-tighty just as you expect.

That nylon tie is rather clever though I think you could get by with it on just one side. After the belt is on and before the tensioner is working, there is not enough slop to let the belt slip. At least it did not seem so to me.

On the impact gun, yes, you are right to be concerned. It must be a somewhat stubby type. Make a rough measure before buying one. Though you really do not need one unless...hey, you like new toys don't you? ;) Me too.

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Though you really do not need one unless...hey, you like new toys don't you? ;) Me too.

Busted, $89.99 at Harbor Freight 3/4" 950 ft lbs max torque. It may be too big though. We'll see after the rad is out. I guess I can return it if I don't use it. Or just keep it for a rainy day.... ;)

Is there a Toyota part number or a brand for the orange RTV used for one of the water pump gasket faces. The stuff used on this web page http://www.shastaanesthesia.com/Lexus/Page8.html

or is just generic high temp RTV like you see at the home store.

Sorry for all the serial questions but as I get closer I want to be sure I have everything on hand before I start in.

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The water pump itself (Toyota OEM) should come with a nice gasket, no RTV required. What you see in the tutorial is the RTV on the water inlet housing. I used Permatex Sensor-Safe Ultra Grey, Rigid High-Torque RTV Silicone gasket maker, Item #82194. Not that you need that particular one.

And with RTV, you put it on, let it set for 5 minutes then put the housing onto the car with the bolts just finger tight. Let the RTV setup for another hour BEFORE torquing. That way you dont "squirt" the RTV out before it has a chance to semi-harden. See my writeup on the '98 for reassembly ->

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$82.00 for 3 gallons of Toyota Super long coolant (pre diluted). Ouch. I think single malt scotch would be cheaper than that.

Just waiting for water pump, thermostat, o-rings, and gaskets and I'll have everything on hand. Timing parts came today.

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$82.00 for 3 gallons of Toyota Super long coolant (pre diluted). Ouch. I think single malt scotch would be cheaper than that.

Just waiting for water pump, thermostat, o-rings, and gaskets and I'll have everything on hand. Timing parts came today.

I just paid $20 for a full strength gallon at my local Lex dealer. Oh wait, are you in Canada? That might s'plain it. B)

Now, you could try single-barrel Jack. $28 a fifth. :cheers:

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Lexus Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement

I just finished my Timing belt replacement on my 2004 LS430 (90,600 miles) this past weekend so thought I would share the results. In general the job went smoother than I expected. I probably spent 10-12 hours in total but it was spread over three days and I wasn’t in much of a rush.

I did try to stay organized right from the start. Lots of zip-lock bags to keep parts together and a permanent marker to write on bag what they were for. In case of different length bolts I wrote down which went where so I got it right on the reassembly. It took a little bit of time on disassembly but I’m convinced it saved time on backend.

My service manual (downloaded from www.techinfo.toyota.com) was a bit confusing on two fronts.

1. It suggested removing vane pump (PS Pump) and then generator (alternator). I found doing it the opposite was much easier. In fact I removed the alternator completely and then access to the bolts for the PS pump was much easier. So I would recommend doing it this way.

2. This whole dialog about moving the engine to 50 degree BTDC before removing the TB is very confusing. Most folks who have posted on this talk of 50 degree ATDC which is different than the Toyota manual I have. I went with the 50 degree ATDC method. Basically you turn the crankshaft clockwise about 50 degrees past TDC mark. The trick here is at this stage the cover with the marking gauge is now off the engine. So I just eyeballed it. I found when you are at 50 degrees the timing belt marks on the top (camshaft) gears now move clockwise so they align just past the T mark on the inside cover. Once I loosened the TB tensioner none of the cams moved (I though maybe a few lifter springs might push Cam shaft one way or the other). I guess that is in part why the 50 ATDC position. It’s a spot where the valves don’t interfere with pistons and a point where lifters aren’t going to cause cam shaft to move. I wouldn’t bother picking up one of those DOHC Cam Locking tools (Lisle 36880). I don’t think it’s needed for this engine.

The dreaded harmonic balancer (HB) bolt was not so tough after all and pulling the HB off the crankshaft went quite easily as well. I bought the Schley 64300 harmonic balancer holder tool. It worked great although next time I will pick up a metric tap to clean up the threads on the harmonic balancer before I put in the bolts for the holder. Those holes were caked a bit with rust making it tough to get the bolts in. I had purchased a ¾” high torque impact wrench for this nut but I didn’t need it. A breaker bar worked fine and impact wrench was too long to fit in anyway.

In the end I did replace the water pump. There was dried up coolant around the weep hole of the old water pump telling me a seal or bearing failure was in the near future. Water pump replacement was easier than I thought due in large part to a fantastic gasket Toyota makes for the water pump. I also used two new o-rings, one for back of water pump and the other for the Inlet pipe. Don’t reuse old o-rings. I coated these with plumber’s silicone grease so they wouldn’t bind while assembling. I cleaned the old FIPG (Form In Place Gasket) material off the water inlet with a razor blade and wooden toothpicks. The toothpicks cleaned out the groove without scoring it. I used the Permatex 82194 FIPG for the water inlet reassembly. Just put a small bead around the face, wait a couple minutes then install only finger snug ( WaterInletFIPG). Next day tighten down to torque spec. (once RTV has set up).

Here are the parts I used:

9091602586 Serpentine Belt $35.89

1354050030 Belt Tensioner 38.82

135030F010 TB Idler Pulley Left 61.43

135050F010 TB Idler Pulley Right 61.19

1356809070 Timing Belt 37.60

161005927583 Water Pump 98.72

9091603100 Thermostat 13.27

1634650010 Thermostat Gasket 3.00

9676135035 O-Ring 7.97*

9676124019 O-Ring 7.40*

00272-SLLC2 Toyota Coolant 3 gallons 75.36*

82194 Permatex FIPG RTV 6.49#

Taxes Shipping and Handling 80.06

Total Parts and Supplies $527.20

Satisfaction for doing it yourself $priceless$

* Purchased at local dealer, the rest purchased at www.parts.com

# Pepboys

I found these web sites very helpful in preparing for the job.

http://www.shastaanesthesia.com/Lexus/Page1.html

http://www.lextreme.com/timing2.html

http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/timingbelt.html

Many thanks to others before me who posted the helpful tutorials and many photos. Those were more valuable than the Lexus service manual which as I said can be a bit confusing. I would encourage anyone sitting on the fence about doing this yourself to give it a go. Read all the tutorials, study the photos and this is doable by the DIY mechanic.

Doing a repair this involved makes you appreciate the engineering in these cars. The attention to detail Lexus has is really quite remarkable

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Good to hear you were successful. Did you happen to replace any seals (crank or cam) or did they look good?

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Good to hear you were successful. Did you happen to replace any seals (crank or cam) or did they look good?

No I left the existing seals. Unlike the water pump there was no apparent leaking. The area around the cam gears was bone dry and the crank seal showed no leakage and the inside of the lower cover dry as well. Old timing belt was clean as can be. Looking at it it was hard to see any wear. Of course you can't see inside it and all the cord structure.

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2004 LS430

Well just clicked over 88500 miles so the dreaded 90k maintenance is coming near.

Planning to do the timing belt (TB) replacement myself. Done it before on other cars but never a Lexus. Was planning on buying the Schley 64300 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holder to make the removal of the crank bolt a bit easier. Have heard it can get really seized up. Anyone used this? Is there a better way?

Also apart from being a lot of disassembly to get to the TB is there anything special about the vvt related to changing the TB? Other than lining up the new belt marks with the proper spots on the cams and crankshaft is there any special procedure regarding the vvt mechanism?

I plan to install new idler pulleys and belt tensioner. Haven’t decided to change water pump while I’m in there or not.

Please, for your own sake, do the water pump while the engine is torn down, many have not changed the pump under the same conditions and have been sorry.

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2004 LS430

Well just clicked over 88500 miles so the dreaded 90k maintenance is coming near.

Planning to do the timing belt (TB) replacement myself. Done it before on other cars but never a Lexus. Was planning on buying the Schley 64300 Harmonic Damper Pulley Holder to make the removal of the crank bolt a bit easier. Have heard it can get really seized up. Anyone used this? Is there a better way?

Also apart from being a lot of disassembly to get to the TB is there anything special about the vvt related to changing the TB? Other than lining up the new belt marks with the proper spots on the cams and crankshaft is there any special procedure regarding the vvt mechanism?

I plan to install new idler pulleys and belt tensioner. Havent decided to change water pump while Im in there or not.

Please, for your own sake, do the water pump while the engine is torn down, many have not changed the pump under the same conditions and have been sorry.

I did, see post #19 of this thread I mention new water pump there.

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So curiousB, just wondering if you were like me... the most nerve racking part of the whole job was turning the ignition key for the first time after assembly. :( :lol:

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So curiousB, just wondering if you were like me... the most nerve racking part of the whole job was turning the ignition key for the first time after assembly. :( :lol:

I was put a bit at ease once I got the harmonic balancer back on. I manually rotated crank to TDC and found the cam pulleys lined up exactly to the proper marks so that gave me a little confidence that belt teeth were in the right place.

I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't a tad nervous that first crank though.

I really wonder if the performance gain (higher compression plus 32 valves) of an interference engine is worth the mega rapair bill if a timing belt breaks. I heard the LS460 went to a timing chain. I wonder if too many TB horror stories drove the design change.

Just passed 180 miles on new belt and the engine hasn't fallen out yet!

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