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Replacing the timing belt, we've been struggling trying to get the timing right. The instructions we've seen start with getting the engine to TDC. We put on the new belt and tried turning the crankshaft through several revolutions, hoping that none of the gears had moved independently when we took off the old belt and it would still be timed correctly. The shaft/belt rotated fine, but the timing marks never lined up.

My first question is: if all the marks align, are we guaranteed to be in TDC? I've seen other information that talks about determining if you're on the compression stroke, which involves finding cylinder 1 spark hole and covering it until you feel air pressure.

Of course, #1 is in the back on the Sedona and difficult to get to, so we tried taking the oil pan off to see if we could look up and see into the engine, but it was completely obscured. So, we went back to rotating the crankshaft, planning to get it close to the timing marks, then take the belt off, and rotate the cams into position.

Well, this time when we attempted to rotate the crankshaft it would move somewhat and then stop. The only thing we could think of that changed was the oil, so we put the oil pan back on and added oil. No change--shaft rotates partially and stops.

The Sedona has a interface engine. Worried that we had bent a valve we took the belt off and tried rotating the crankshaft independently (no issue) and all the cams (no issue). It seems like the crankshaft wouldn't move indepently if we had a bent valve. What would cause the crankshaft to stick when connected to the belt?

Is it just out of timing now, and it has to be perfect to rotate freely with the belt on? We had issues with getting the tensioner right, and were thinking maybe that could have contributed to the change in behavior between when the shaft turned freely and when it stopped if the belt slipped.

Or, do we now have a bent valve, even tho the crankshaft turns fine on its own? Can you bend a valve by hand-turning the crankshaft if the timing is off?

Please understand the engine has NOT been run with the timing off. We started this job with a crankshaft position sensor code, and were just planning to replace the sensor and decided to do the belt as well because it was past due on the service schedule.. seemed like we'd have to do the timing anyway since we had to remove the crankshaft pulley to get at the sensor.

Any help appreciated. You guys have helped me on countless occassions, and I consider these forums the source for kia knowledge. This job has been the hardest so far.
 

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'02 Sedona 3.5L
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I hate to tell you that when you turn the crankshaft independently you have screw it up worse then you think. I don't think the valves are bent but if you force it it will. Now, you have to remove the intake manifold to get to the spark holes to found the TDC and then line up the valves; 4 cams makes more complicated.

This job takes an experienced mechanic to do it. I don't think you are very good in following instructions which brought you to this point. The best advice to you is to tow it to a shop. It is hard to give you instruction step by step without being there. Hope someone else can.

Sorry for what happened and keep posting to let us know how is it turns out.
 

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1999 Kia Sephia, 2016 Kia Optima SXL, 2019 Kia Soul Plus
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1,110 Posts
Replacing the timing belt, we've been struggling trying to get the timing right. The instructions we've seen start with getting the engine to TDC. We put on the new belt and tried turning the crankshaft through several revolutions, hoping that none of the gears had moved independently when we took off the old belt and it would still be timed correctly. The shaft/belt rotated fine, but the timing marks never lined up.

My first question is: if all the marks align, are we guaranteed to be in TDC? I've seen other information that talks about determining if you're on the compression stroke, which involves finding cylinder 1 spark hole and covering it until you feel air pressure.

Of course, #1 is in the back on the Sedona and difficult to get to, so we tried taking the oil pan off to see if we could look up and see into the engine, but it was completely obscured. So, we went back to rotating the crankshaft, planning to get it close to the timing marks, then take the belt off, and rotate the cams into position.

Well, this time when we attempted to rotate the crankshaft it would move somewhat and then stop. The only thing we could think of that changed was the oil, so we put the oil pan back on and added oil. No change--shaft rotates partially and stops.

The Sedona has a interface engine. Worried that we had bent a valve we took the belt off and tried rotating the crankshaft independently (no issue# and all the cams #no issue). It seems like the crankshaft wouldn't move indepently if we had a bent valve. What would cause the crankshaft to stick when connected to the belt?

Is it just out of timing now, and it has to be perfect to rotate freely with the belt on? We had issues with getting the tensioner right, and were thinking maybe that could have contributed to the change in behavior between when the shaft turned freely and when it stopped if the belt slipped.

Or, do we now have a bent valve, even tho the crankshaft turns fine on its own? Can you bend a valve by hand-turning the crankshaft if the timing is off?

Please understand the engine has NOT been run with the timing off. We started this job with a crankshaft position sensor code, and were just planning to replace the sensor and decided to do the belt as well because it was past due on the service schedule.. seemed like we'd have to do the timing anyway since we had to remove the crankshaft pulley to get at the sensor.

Any help appreciated. You guys have helped me on countless occassions, and I consider these forums the source for kia knowledge. This job has been the hardest so far.
It most definitely sounds like the timing is off. If you were able to get the rear cams/bank 1 marks to line up without a mirror, my hat is off to you. Because its almost impossible to get a good view of the timing marks on the camshafts and cylinder head. I've seen this mistake time and time again from Kia techs and independent shops. Another thought is whether you loosened up the bolt for the timing belt tensioner pulley. Regardless of what you may be told or read, DO NOT loosen that bolt unless you have to replace it. You are not guaranteed to get the proper tension on the belt without the proper tools and experience. And last thought, what are you using for top dead center mark? I'm curious whether you are getting it lined up or not.

Heres a photo for reference from a Sorento
 

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KIA Sedona 2005 EX 3.5L Automatic
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96 Posts
Tom-
Don’t know if you’ve fixed the problem or towed the car to a shop by now, but I would like to jump in on this. As Bruce2 and Pacosworld said, this is indeed a very difficult job to perform if you're not experienced. Whether you have bent any valves remain to be seen. However, unless you've used excessive force with a big breaker bar to turn the crank and applied even more force when you felt it was sort of stuck, it may not have bent anything yet. Let's stay optimistic. I actually had our TB jump on us 2-3 teeth once while driving (due to a bad tensioner), but it did not damage the engine. It was knocking like crazy by the time we pulled over but we did not continue to drive. You have not started your car, so let's stay optimistic

What concerns me here is that you turned both the crankshaft AND camshaft sprockets independently (i.e., not having the belt installed so that everything turned together). I’m curious how you ‘turned’ the sprockets. It sounds to me that you may have tried turning one sprocket 380 degrees (1 revolution) on one bank, but maybe did not do same with the other sprocket on that same bank. If you did, the camshaft lobes will not be positioned correctly and even if you lined up the timing marks on that bank correctly and the other bank and the crankshaft, you would most definitely have a problem as valves will open and close out of synch and you’d get ‘stuck’. This is most certainly your problem.

The big question is now, do you remember how you “turned” the sprockets independently. If so, you may be in luck. If you don’t have a foggiest memory of how each sprockets was turned and clueless on how to get them back to their ORIGINAL position when you took the belt off and everything was at TDC (assuming that you indeed had lined-up all the marks BEFORRE removing the belt?), then you have no choice but to remove the valve covers (now you have to change gaskets too, when you’re done) and reset each camshaft for how it is supposed to be positioned at TDC.You will have to do this for both banks if you 'turned both of them and forgot what you did. You will have to find the KIA instructions for this, I don’t have them any longer.

If you do remember, turn each sprocket “back” to the original position as they were before you started to turn them ‘independently’. Then line them-up with the timing marks. Totally agree with Pacosworld, you most certainly have to use a mirror on the right bank (closest to the firewall) as it is very difficult to see due to limited space and harnesses obscuring the view.

However, the key to successful installation of the belt is how tight you can get the belt on. Not sure what instructions you’re using, but look use these instructions as a guide: Right On the Mark: Lining Up Timing Belt Service for First-Generation Kias: Underhood Service

You obviously start by putting the belt from the crankshaft-to the pulley-to the left bank sprockets (front of engine). It is paramount that you have minimum slack in the belt between the left bank exhaust sprocket and the pulley/crankshaft. If you do have a lot of slack here, you will not have a very good chance in hitting the marks once you turn the engine – they will be off the marks guaranteed. Thus, what I do is the following, I offset the timing marks on the left bank sprockets about 0.5-1 tooth to the right (towards front of engine), then route the belt over CS, pulley and left bank sprockets and use small clamps to hold the belt on sprockets. I also use sprocket holders that lock the sprockets together (they sell them at NAPA, not to expensive and good investment). But I don’t route belt over water pump and right bank just yet. Then you use wrenches and turn the sprockets counter-clockwise to tighten the belt between the left bank and pulley/CS. This will pull in the timing mark slightly but not all the way. We will do the same thing on the right bank, so leaving a little wiggle room for that.

Now, also offset the marks slightly on the right bank sprockets. Lock the sprockets with the tool. Route the belt around the water pump and the right bank sprockets (and clamp belt to sprockets). Again, use wrenches to turn the sprockets counter-clockwise to tighten the belt between the water pump and left bank sprockets. Again, be careful doing this If you pull too hard on the wrenches you may offset the marks on the left bank/CS. This is a little bit of black magic. But it literally takes trials and errors and above all patience to do this. You can expect to “start over” several times. Don’t get frustrated, take a beer brake or something. When you have it done, route belt over tensioner pulley and tighten the center bolt (if you removed it), but don’t torque it yet. Install the hydraulic tensioner and bolt in place snugly but not torqued to speck. Don’t pull the pin in the tensioner yet.

Now turn the crankshaft ¼ turn counter-clockwise and return it ¼ of turn clockwise to return to TDC. This is required to get the proper tension in the belt and ensure that they hydraulic tensioner will operate properly.. Check all the marks. If still out of time, start over. If marks are perfect (and I mean perfect – can‘t be half a tooth off here and there), . If you removed the pulley bolt when you took it off, you will now have to find a creative tool to use install this ingenious bolt. It is very difficult without the special tool. Once installed, pull the pin out of the hydraulic tensioner.

Turn the crankshaft 2 complete revolutions and return to TDC. Check that all timing marks line-up properly. Now wait 5-minutes,then measure how much the pin in the hydraulic tensioner sticks out. It should be 3.8-4.5 mm only. If it sticks out more than 4.5 mm, buy a new tensioner and replace (if you don’t, your timing belt will slip later). Torque the bolts on the hydraulic tensioner to spec.

If you like,, turn the crank a few more times (2 revs on the crank will bring all marks back to TDC) and double, triple check the marks as many times as you like.

If everything lines up beautifully, replace everything and start-up the car. Hopefully, it will work like a charm!

One word of caution on the hydraulic tensioner. This can easily be ruined if you don’t bleed down the pin the proper way. When you have the tensioner in the vise, it should take at least 10-minutes to push down the pin with a c-clamp. Very small turns to crank-it down, in other words. If you just turn your clamp in one motion and push down the pin in say 30 seconds, you will damage the hydraulic function and the tensioner will become useless (will not hold proper tension on the belt). SO, be very careful when you bleed the pin. I typically take 15 minutes to do it. PIA, but drink a beer in between or something. If you need to buy a new one, they’re usually $100-125 or so, I think.

Final, thoughts. It sometimes can be difficult to turn the crankshaft due to compression. It depends on the tool you’re using to crank it with. If you have large breaker bar, no problems. If a small ratchet wrench, it may be tough. You may want to take-out the front spark plugs to make it a bit easier.

Good luck.
 

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KIA Sedona 2005 EX 3.5L Automatic
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Tom-
I just remembered that you could get the camshaft desassembly / reassembly from kiatechinfo.com if you have an account. If not, just register.

Here is the link to the disassembly procedure:

https://www.kiatechinfo.com/viewer/content.asp?vehicletype=Passenger&mfrcode=KM&area=KMA&langcode=ENG&group=REPL&modelid=GQ13&modelyr=2005&mmctype=en&mmcid=45&contentssize=&keyword=camshaft&sitinfolist=12^1210^12100200^none^801^2^ENG^KM^GQ13^2004^en^45^none^none^none^shop^0$&cat1=SEDONA%28GQ%29+%3E+2005+%3E+Engine+%26gt%3B+Engine+Control&firstnodedesc=Camshaft+%26gt%3B+Disassembly+%26gt%3B+Disassembly

And the reasssmbly procedure:
https://www.kiatechinfo.com/viewer/content.asp?vehicletype=Passenger&mfrcode=KM&area=KMA&langcode=ENG&group=REPL&modelid=GQ13&modelyr=2005&mmctype=en&mmcid=45&contentssize=&keyword=camshaft&sitinfolist=12^1210^12100200^none^801^7^ENG^KM^GQ13^2004^en^45^none^none^none^shop^0$&cat1=SEDONA%28GQ%29+%3E+2005+%3E+Engine+%26gt%3B+Engine+Control&firstnodedesc=Camshaft+%26gt%3B+Reassembly+%26gt%3B+Reassembly

If you have been spinning the 4 sprockets in random when the belt was off, and not certain of how to get them back to their original TDC positions before you took the belt off, i would highly recommend that you take of the valve covers and reposition the left and right bank sprockets to their TDC positions. It is more labor, granted but it the only way to be safe. Otherwise, if one sprocket/camshaft on one of the banks is 360 degrees away from TDC relative to the other sprocket/camshaft on that same bank, you will ruin the valves and possibly pistons too. So, would be better safe than sorry if that would be the case. But hopefully you took good notes and have a good memory how you turned the sprockets when belt was off!
 

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KIA Sedona 2005 EX 3.5L Automatic
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Also, if you go the route of removing the valve covers to reposition the camshafts, not suggesting you tear it down. You should be able to just turn each sprocket so that it is positioned in accordance with the reassembly instructions!
 
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