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3.2 Isuzu. Timing Belt Nightmare
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 11/1/2008 9 Replies


I had a learning experience too good not to share. This involved the timing synchronizing of the above mentioned vehicle. It seems technical information is a little obscure on this application and even following the instructions step by step listed on Isuzu TSB 1B00-S005 it yielded no good results on this one. By the way, I found a short cut related to this procedure and found out that the TSB leaves out a key piece of information. A little more on that later, first off a little background on this particular one:

Vehicle came in a hook from another shop for a "No start" complaint. At the other shop the heads had been removed for a seized camshaft, the timing belt had snapped and the water pump damaged. Both cylinder heads had been sent to a reputable machine shop, the water pump and the timing belt got replaced and there was the "Never runned afterwards".

First thing done at the shop was verify complaint. Sure enough, crank wont start, backfire every-now-and-then. Timing synch suspected. Pulled timing cover off and verified every timing mark aligned with their respective marks. Not being familiar with this engine is time to pull tech info. Pulled valve covers to verify proper cam-to-cam synch, is a mess. Nothing lines up. MOD lists the procedure (and the aforementioned TSB), followed it and for some reason the lobes don't point to where the info says they should. Hmmmmmmmm, thinking cap on, realize "some" inaccuracies on ANY information system. Called MOD and had them fax factory information. Same thing. Followed the factory information to the letter to no avail. At this point I start to doubt my reading comprehension ability.........and then a light turns on in my head!

Paying close attention I noticed this: [2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS, Engine/Propulsion photo]. The right bank intake camshaft drive gear wasn't flush against the lip on the camshaft. I then compared it to this: [2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS, Engine/Propulsion photo]. Hmmmmm. A call to the other shop verified the right intake camshaft was the one that seized. Ok then time to hunt for another camshaft. Once another cam was located, the damage was obvious. This is the good camshaft: [2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS, Engine/Propulsion photo] Notice the position of the lobe related to the letter "R". Compared to this: [2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS, Engine/Propulsion photo]. You can see the difference on this picture: [2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS, Engine/Propulsion photo] Pay close attention to the 5mm locking bolt and use that as reference.

As for the key piece of information missing from ALL sources: The exhaust camshafts are the same for both sides and as a result they have 2 sets of marks: A single dot and a double dot (and they are both stamped RE and LE) The intake camshafts are different and thus labeled LI and RI. Looking real close at the LI (left intake) you'll see it has a double dot and you are supposed to align this to the sub-shaft and use THE DOUBLE DOT from the LE. Funny, Isuzu TSB calls for using the sigle dot. An easy way to remember this is USE ONE DOT ON BANK ONE and TWO DOTS ON BANK TWO.

As for the short cut. The TSB is a 9 page procedure that calls for aligning the dots on the drive gears to the subshaft and turn the cam sprocket up to 9 times on the right side and a few times on the left side until the sprockets spring to the 12'o clock position on the right bank and 9'o clock position on the left bank then turn 90 degrees BEFORE installing the timing belt on. SHORT CUT: Align the dots on the R bank and DONT turn it, then align the dots on the L bank and TURN it 90 degrees, then install your belt. You are done!

Sorry for the long post. Whoever had a hard time with this application knows exactly what I'm saying. And I hope that whoever hasn't had the "joy" of working on one of this finds this post useful.


Ciro from Texas

Files Referenced:

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car Vehicle Data

2001 Isuzu Rodeo LS 3.2L

Engine3.2 L
Trans4-speed Automatic