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Anyone do their own timing belt replacement on a 2003 Protege5?

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Anyone do their own timing belt replacement on a 2003 Protege5?

Old 06-25-2018, 05:40 PM
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Default Anyone do their own timing belt replacement on a 2003 Protege5?

I am about to replace the timing belt and water pump on my daughter's car. Has anyone else here ever done the job, and can give me any tips on things to look out for, or tricks?

I have done about 10 timing belt replacement over the years on different vehicles. Isuzu Trooper, Pathfinder, Camry and Miata. I have all of the usual tools. I have had trouble finding a regular DIY type (not factory) shop manual for this car, which might give me some good reference.

Does anyone know of a web forum post anywhere (like a sticky), with step-by-step instructions?
Old 07-10-2018, 09:40 AM
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Easy once you have the belts and crankshaft pulley off. Never had an easier change.
1. The pointed rectangles with "I" and "E" must be pointed up on the cam pulley. (intake and exhaust, clearly marked on the cam gears)
2. The two dots must be facing each other in the middle.
3. All indicators must be lined up. There are lots of images on the web. Google "mazda protege timing belt" and then select images.
Even if all of the above are correct there is one last thing you must do unless you want to do it all over again.
The teeth of the camshaft gears must face each other exactly. That is to say the concave tooth must face the concave tooth directly across from it. It is possible to line everything up but have the point of a tooth facing the opposite tooth that is concave. The car will start but will run like garbage.
So you have all timing parts pointed as they should be, the teeth above and below the two timing dots on the cam gears in the middle should look like this:
( )
If they look like this
( <
or this
> )
You will need to move the gears just one space.
The dots that line up are not exact as you will see so you must rely on the gears to make sure they are totally lined up.
The job takes about 1 hour and most is just removing the belts and covers.
The bottom cover should be removed after you have removed the crankcase pulley (harmonic stabilizer if you wish) and it has to be removed from under the car. When you go to put the bottom covers back on, do it BEFORE you put the crankshaft pulley back on. It is almost impossible to deal with the bottom cover with the crankcase pulley installed.
Other than that, EASY! I have put timing belts on 5 Proteges so far and each time it gets faster.
While you are there with things apart, spend $10.00-$20.00 a set and replace the cam seals (all you have to do is take the gears off, remove the old seals, and then replace very easy) since they will leak oil if not replaced when they wear out (they usually last about 80,000 miles if you are lucky) and you will have to do everything all over again.
I own a Mazda Protege and everything I post here I have done myself and it worked.
Old 07-10-2018, 11:30 AM
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Good to know, and thanks very much for the extra tips.

My previous Miata was the easiest one I have ever done (especially since I did it 4 times). My old Isuzu Trooper, Pathfinder and wife's Camry were the most difficult.

Yep - I always replace cam and crank seals while I am in there. It is foolish to not replace a $10 wear part when you are in there anyway.
Old 07-22-2018, 08:32 AM
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I'm back again, with more questions. I started the job yesterday, expecting to finish yesterday. Now, it is going to be several more days, while I wait for replacement parts for the defective parts that I discovered during removal to arrive. Both timing covers, and the motor mount that must be removed. It's a wonder the timing belt didn't fail because of water that got in there because of the broken covers, and I think the broken motor mount was the cause of what seemed like a rough idle.

Now, to my timing belt question: Despite having the cams locked in place with the crossed wrenches method, they jumped. Since I am replacing the cam seals, and with me firmly holding each wrench as I removed the cam pulley bolt, they moved. So, my timing is gone, and I have to re-time it now.

I did a search for images, and as usual with Google, got about 47,564 hits of uselessness. Some of it contradictory. Some of the pictures show tick marks lined up across from one another, and some show dots doing the same. And none of it jives with what I really have. My cam pulleys have both tick marks and dots on the face. And when the dots are aligned, both the I and E marks cannot both be upward. Same with the tick marks.

Utter confusion here. Can anyone help with a link to a picture with the correct image of what I need? This is for a 2003 Protege5.

Last edited by aerobat66; 07-22-2018 at 09:20 AM.
Old 07-22-2018, 09:35 AM
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You're a few weeks ahead of me so I'll tag along.
Old 07-22-2018, 11:23 AM
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I think I got my answer. Align tick marks (not dots), facing each other. The tick marks also align with the top of the engine (exposed with the valve cover off). This jives with what I had before I removed the belt. I will use this approach when I re-time the engine, after the other parts I discovered I had to order arrive.
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