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Nissan Repair/engine timing


QUESTION: i replace a timing belt on a 1990 nissan maxima, all timing marks lined up, but when i hand turn engine a couple times, the marks are out of line, why is this?   Also does it make a difference when i took the old belt off, the cams moved and i had to turn them to get the marks lined up

ANSWER: Hi Albert -

After 2 rotations, the timing marks should align again. If it does not, then the timing is thrown and everything will have to be re-aligned. One notch off, and the car will not start and you will not get the proper alignment.

You will probably need to start over. Remove the belt, align the cam sprockets and damper to the correct marks, and carefully slide the timing belt on without disturbing your alignment.

Hope this helps -

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QUESTION: Hi Calvin, i already hand turned the engine two times after lining up all timing marks, but when i turn the engine the marks on the cams and crank remains in line but the marks on the belt is way off. You said i have to start all over, but you did not say what i have to do in order to get the belt marks stay in time with the cam and crank.  Please respond, thank you.

Hi Albert -

If the timing marks line up after a couple turns, then you are fine. The belt need not be tracked for the alignment as it does not matter with the belt. As long as the hash marks continue to line up when the engine is at TDC.

Hope this helps -

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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