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#679167 - 12/09/12 07:55 PM Is it time to replace my timing belt?
dkaz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1
I have a 2003 SE 5-speed, 125k. Bought it new and have always lived in the AZ desert. Got talked into replacing the timing belt at 70K. Did I get taken? I think I could have waiting until 105K. Different mechanic is telling me it's time to replace again. Can a mechanic tell on visual inspection that it needs to be replaced or is it safe to wait until this one has about 105K on it?

#679168 - 13/09/12 04:28 AM Re: Is it time to replace my timing belt? [Re: dkaz]
Gonzo-2 Offline

Registered: 23/06/09
Posts: 518
Loc: Lansing, Michigan
Sounds like you are in the same situation I was in when you got it replaced the first time at 70k.

First, a mechanic cannot look at it to see if it's worn. Well, not without taking the front of your engine apart as it's inside the front of the engine. And if you're going to that length, you might as well as just replace it while the engine is torn apart! That's the reason most will get the water pump replaced at the same time - it has to come off to replace the TB. If you have to do that much work, there's no sense in putting a worn water pump back on (along with the thermostat, a couple of hoses, the tensioner and belts).

Second, I also have an '03 SE. However I only have 54k on mine and just had the TB replaced and it was long over-due. They are supposed to be replaced at 105k miles OR every 7 years. Mine was 9+ years old.

And this is something you want to maintain. If it were to snap, you stand a good chance of doing some major damage to your engine. The 3.3 is what's known as an "interference" engine. That is, the valves (what the TB controls) and the pistons occupy the same space in the cylinders. It's the TB's job to to time the valves so that they aren't in the way when the piston goes back up! If the TB snaps, all bets are off as to whether this will be guaranteed! So it's piston meets valves... NOT good!

So look at your mileage AND the age of your TB to determine if it needs replaced. That's really your only option.

Custom fuse panels for electrical mods
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Original registration - Sep, '03
Pre-crash post count - ~1100

#679178 - 13/09/12 06:40 PM Re: Is it time to replace my timing belt? [Re: Gonzo-2]
TJ Offline

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
Do it at 175k

Its every 105k on the belt.

You had it done at 70k, so that means its good for another 105k miles....putting you at ~ 175k miles on the truck.

Changing them out TOO early is kind of a only makes a bit of sense if changing the waterpump anyway, you're already in there.

If the water pump was changed at 70k too, you should be in good shape til ~175k. If not, well, its not worth changing the water pump IN CASE its going to they don't ALWAYS go on you, etc.

Besides, if the pump does fail, it doesn't take out the engine with it like the belt snapping its worth risking.

If you are made of $, and are paranoid, sure, you can do'm both early for peace of mind, but, fiscally, it makes more sense to wait until its due.

The mechanic saying to change it at 125k is probably just trying to get you closer to the 105k interval/make a few bucks himself, etc.

You can't really see the belt w/o opening the front up unless there's funny noises or timing issues, etc indicating a slipped tooth or something, he's most likely just saying it was due at 105k because that's what the book says...and you're at 125k, etc.

I hope that helps!

Edited by TJ (13/09/12 06:43 PM)
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.


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