How to Replace a Mazda Timing Belt

by Don Bowman

Mazda has produced many engine types over the years--the timing belt replacement is specific to a particular engine family. The sequence of events, however, is the same, for the most part, which if followed should allow replacement on the great majority of single-overhead cam engines. This particular procedure is for a 1986-93 Mazda 626 with a 2.2, B2200 2.2 and a MX-6 2.2 engine.

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the wheel on the passenger side of the vehicle using the ½-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Remove the passenger side splash shield, using the ¼-inch drive ratchet and a 10mm socket.

Remove the accessory belt(s), using a wrench to loosen the tension. Unscrew the bolt from the crankshaft pulley, using the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Slide the crankshaft pulley and the timing belt guide washer directly behind it off the crankshaft.

Remove all the 10mm bolts in the top and bottom timing belt covers. Remove the covers. The ¼-inch drive ratchet and a 10mm socket works well for this.

Push the crankshaft pulley on the crankshaft just enough to engage the keyway. Turn the crankshaft pulley clockwise until the timing mark on the top camshaft sprocket, which is marked with a line on the sprocket with a number 1 next to it, is lined up with the pointer straight up on top of the cover to the rear of the sprocket. Once the top mark is lined up, the crankshaft pulley's semi-circle mark should be lined up with the triangular pointer on the block. The marks on the crankshaft pulley should be straight up and the keyway should also be straight up. Remove the crankshaft pulley.

Loosen the tensioner bolt with a wrench, pull the tensioner to the left, away from the belt and loosely tighten the bolt to hold it in place. Remove the timing belt.

Install the timing belt counter-clockwise starting at the crankshaft pulley and move upward over the outside the water pump, on the inside the guide pulley and over the top of the camshaft, ending on the inside the tensioner. The main thing when installing a timing belt is to ensure the belt is as tight as possible opposite the tensioner. Get the belt tight between the crank sprocket and the cam sprocket so the tensioner can take out all the slack without moving the timing marks.

Loosen the tensioner bolt and allow the tensioner to apply pressure to the belt. Use your hand to apply a slight pressure to the tensioner toward the belt and tighten the tensioner bolt. Check the belt tension to ensure it is not too tight or too loose. Check the timing marks again to ensure they still align. If the timing marks are not lined up, loosen the tensioner, move it back and repeat the last procedure over again until the belt is tensioned properly with no misalignment of the timing marks.

Install the crankshaft pulley temporarily and turn the pulley two complete revolutions, once again aligning the mark on the crankshaft pulley. Ensure the timing mark is still lined up perfectly on the camshaft sprocket. Reinstall the remaining parts in reverse order of removal.


  • check Mazda recommends that the timing belt is replaced every 60,000 miles or every 60 months, whichever occurs first.


  • close The engines listed are interference engines in which timing-belt failure would likely cause extreme engine damage. The valves would hit the pistons, bending the valves, putting holes in the pistons or both.

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About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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