How to Replace the Timing Belt on a 1999 Toyota Camry

by Cayden Conor
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The 1999 Toyota Camry uses a 2.2L 4-cylinder engine. This engine is a freewheeling engine, which means that should the belt stretch beyond the scope of the tensioner, it is unlikely that extensive engine damage will occur. It takes about three-and-one-half hours to complete the process. Though you do not need special tools from Toyota, you do need a general purpose puller. Toyota recommends changing the timing belt every 60,000 miles.

Step 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable and lay it to the side, ensuring it does not touch metal. Jack the front of the Camry up and support it with jack stands. Pull the hoses off the reservoir tank, then unbolt and remove it from the vehicle.

Step 2

Loosen the tensioners for the accessory drive belts by pushing the tensioners away from the belt or by loosening the locknuts on the accessory slider brackets and pushing the accessory toward the engine. Lift the accessory drive belts off the pulleys. Remove the alternator and its bracket using the appropriate socket.

Step 3

Remove the right front wheel using the lug wrench. Remove the right front fender shield using the appropriate sockets. Place the block of wood on the floor jack. Push the jack under the oil pan. Jack it up enough so that the wood touches the bottom of the oil pan, so that the engine is supported. Remove the right engine mount bracket and the support rod, and the upper timing belt cover using the appropriate sockets.

Step 4

Number the spark plug wires so you know where they go when you put the Camry back together. The cylinder order is 1-2-3-4, with the No. 1 cylinder wire closest to the timing belt. The firing order is 1-4-3-2. Pull the wires off the spark plugs. Remove the spark plugs using the spark plug socket.

Step 5

Stick the long screwdriver in the No. 1 cylinder hole. While holding the screwdriver, turn the crankshaft clockwise until the screwdriver stops moving. This means that the piston is at the top of the piston hole. Check the timing mark on the crankshaft. If the dot on the sprocket is not lined up with the mark at the 2 o'clock position, turn the crankshaft one more full revolution, until the screwdriver stops moving again. Check the timing mark on the crankshaft and the camshaft--the dot on the camshaft sprocket should be lined up with the mark on the head at the 12 o'clock position.

Step 6

Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt using the appropriate socket. Using the puller, pull the crankshaft pulley off. Remove the lower timing belt cover using the appropriate sockets, then pull the belt guide washer off.

Step 7

Loosen the tensioner bolt and push the tensioner away from the belt. Tighten the bolt just enough to hold the tensioner out of the way. Lift the timing belt off the sprockets.

Step 8

Remove the tensioner pulley and the spring. Spin the tensioner in your hand. If it grinds or has a lot of resistance, replace the pulley. Measure the tensioner spring from end to end. If the measurement is not 1.81 inches, replace the spring. Install the tensioner pulley and spring. Push the tensioner to the left and tighten the bolt just enough to hold it in place.

Step 9

Install the timing belt, starting at the crankshaft sprocket. Working clockwise, route the belt around the outside of the oil pump pulley, then behind the tensioner. While holding the belt with one hand, route the belt around the back of the idler pulley on the right side of the engine (while looking down at the engine), then around the water pump sprocket.

Step 10

Install the belt guide washer, the lower timing belt cover, the crankshaft pulley and the crankshaft pulley bolt. Tighten the crankshaft pulley bolt hand tight. Check that the timing marks are still aligned.

Step 11

Finish routing the timing belt by bringing it up over the camshaft sprocket, keeping hand tension on the right side, between the crankshaft, idler, water pump pulley and the camshaft sprocket.

Step 12

Tighten the crankshaft pulley bolt to 80 foot-pounds of torque. Loosen the timing belt tensioner bolt one-half turn, to allow the tensioner to put tension on the timing belt.

Step 13

Turn the crankshaft clockwise two turns until all timing marks are realigned. If the tension spring is silver, tighten the tensioner bolt to 31 foot-pounds of torque. If the spring is green, turn the crankshaft 1 7/8 turns until the pulley notch lines up with the 45-degree mark on the lower timing belt cover. Tighten the tensioner bolt to 31 foot-pounds of torque. Install the rest of the parts in reverse order of removal. Refill the radiator as needed.

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