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Thread: Is my engine out of time? Tensioner spring snapped, timing marks out of alignment

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Is my engine out of time? Tensioner spring snapped, timing marks out of alignment

    Coming home from work, car threw a CEL, then died on the side of the road. Had it towed back home, took off valve cover and was able to peek through that the tensioner spring has snapped. Then removed everything else knowing that this would eventually lead to a timing belt change.

    I had read through various threads on here and referenced the service manual on a timing belt change, and understand need to have camshafts at TDC, which I was able to do by lining up the I and the E. However, I can't get the crankshaft pulley notch to line up to the V mark (at the 12 o'clock position) on the bottom. The little notch on the crankshaft pulley is at the 10 o'clock position. I've turned the crankshaft multiple times (to line up I & E) and I'm getting the same thing.

    Here's some photos of what I'm dealing with:

    After removing timing covers, confirming the spring snapped



    Lining up camshafts to have I & E pointing at each other



    Crankshaft pulley, where the Yellow arrow indicating where the notch on the pulley is supposed to be, and Blue arrow is where my notch is



    The notch on my pulley is at the 10 o'clock position



    As a result of the tensioner spring snapping, did it throw the engine out of time? How do I line up all 3 marks, the 2 on the camshafts AND the 1 on the bottom crankshaft? None of the threads I've come across had this problem, where the crankshaft pulley was out of alignment. Please help me get my P5 back on the road..any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered Member JDM323J48's Avatar

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    Line the marks up correctly while the belt is off.

  3. #3
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    ^^^ What he said.

    Remove the belt, line up all the marks, then reinstall the belt.

    Make sure you rotate your engine over a bunch of times after the belt is re-installed and re-check the timing again.
    The Diagram Dude

  4. #4
    Registered Member JDM323J48's Avatar

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    While you're there you should really replace timing belt, tensioner spring/pulley and water pump.
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  5. #5
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    ^^^ What he said.

    The whole kit is really quite cheap.
    This is Canadian dollars too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDM323J48 View Post
    Line the marks up correctly while the belt is off.
    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    ^^^ What he said.

    Remove the belt, line up all the marks, then reinstall the belt.

    Make sure you rotate your engine over a bunch of times after the belt is re-installed and re-check the timing again.
    Thanks for the quick response guys.

    Just to be super clear as I don't want to mess anything up, is this the order in which to proceed for the timing belt portion? Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    1. line up I & E on the camshafts and secure them into position so they don't move (thanks pcb for this image)
    2. remove the timing belt
    3. turn crankshaft pulley to line up the V mark at the 12 o'clock position
    4. reinstall timing belt
    5. turn crankshaft pulley multiple times/cycles to ensure all 3 timing marks line up

    My timing belt kit from rockauto is arriving next week, and everything will be replaced at that point

  7. #7
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumrandomguy View Post
    Just to be super clear as I don't want to mess anything up, is this the order in which to proceed for the timing belt portion? Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    1. line up I & E on the camshafts and secure them into position so they don't move (thanks pcb for this image)
    2. remove the timing belt
    3. turn crankshaft pulley to line up the V mark at the 12 o'clock position
    4. reinstall timing belt
    5. turn crankshaft pulley multiple times/cycles to ensure all 3 timing marks line up

    My timing belt kit from rockauto is arriving next week, and everything will be replaced at that point
    That sounds right.
    The big problem for me was that my one cam was off by one tooth time after time.
    I had the belt on and off almost a dozen times before the marks lined up after rotating the engine over.
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    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Don't forget this part of that thread.

    I was really careful no to overstretch my spring so I hooked it up after the belt was on.

    https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/show...=1#post6150564
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    Don't forget this part of that thread.

    I was really careful no to overstretch my spring so I hooked it up after the belt was on.

    https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/show...=1#post6150564
    thanks! really appreciate it. those are some good tips that I will definitely be using when my pkg arrives

  10. #10
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumrandomguy View Post

    As a result of the tensioner spring snapping, did it throw the engine out of time? ..
    Yes.
    The belt skipped teeth when the spring broke.
    The belt went slack and messed up the timing.

    (I forgot to answer this earlier)
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