Replace the Timing Belt and Water Pump on a 1995-2004 3.4L (5VZ-FE) Toyota Tacoma Truck
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Toyota Tacoma 3.4L (5VZ-FE Engine) Models
*Note: There is also a Toyota Tacoma (1995-2004) 3.4L Water Pump Replacement Only DIY for if you are looking for Secondary Guidance on How to Replace the Water Pump.
5VZ-FE Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement
I was crawling under my truck one day when I noticed that I had a coolant leak at the front of the engine. After a little troubleshooting, I figured that the water pump was failing and needed to be replaced. The water pump on the 3.4l V6 engines is buried beneath the timing belt. Since the front of the engine was going to be torn down that far, it would have been silly not to replace the timing belt as well.
The most important part of this job is to have the right tools available. You will need a torque wrench that can go up to 217 ft/lbs for the crank bolt. You will also need a way to hold the crank pulley while removing and replacing the crank bolt. I made a pulley holding tool from a 3′ piece of steel with a couple bolts welded in.
Another time saving tool is the Blue Point tensioner tool. This little guy allows you to slowly compress the tensioner and then keep it compressed while swapping the belt. Snap-On part number is YA9730.
First thing to do is find a suitable place to get the job done. I wish my truck would fit all the way in the garage. After contemplating letting the air out of the front tires, I settled on propping the hood half way open.
Next, drain the coolant by opening the petcock and popping off the radiator cap.
Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses and unbolt the fan shroud. The fan shroud is held in by a bolt in each corner.
Unbolt the tensioners for the alternator, A/C idler bearing, and steering pump. Remove the three drive belts.
Unbolt the fan and remove the fan and fan shroud. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Unbolt the top timing belt cover exposing the two cam gears and upper idler. Remove the crank pulley.
Remove the fan bracket.
Remove the lower timing belt cover. There was all sorts of crud and dried up coolant behind mine. I don’t think coolant is good for the belt.
Take off the top idler, and remove the old belt.
Use the tensioner SST to slowly compress the tensioner idler.
Once compressed, insert the retaining pin. The SST can now be removed.
Remove the old water pump and thoroughly clean all the surfaces. If you don’t get a nice clean seal around the water pump you will be doing this procedure all over again.
I used authentic Toyota FIPG on the new water pump. Let it sit for a few minutes, then slap it in place.
Shiny new water pump bolted up. Torque the bolts to 14 ft/lbs.
Install the new timing belt and align the cam and crank marks. As we soon found out, the belt is on backwards in this picture. The right cam gear is on the passenger side, the left cam gear on the driver’s side.
The belt is properly installed in this picture. Double check the three alignment marks, install the top idler pulley, then pull the retaining pin out of the bottom idler pulley. Torque the top idler pulley to 30 ft/lbs.
Try to protect the radiator. A piece of cardboard would probably work well.
Re-install the timing belt covers and fan bracket. Install the crank pulley, and torque the bolt to 217 ft/lbs. Special care is required at this step. If the crank bolt is not torqued properly, the pulley could become loose damaging the key on the front of the crank. This would be a very bad thing.
Re-install drive belts, hoses, fan, and fan shroud. This is a perfect time to install new belts and hoses keeping the old ones for trail spares.
The procedure and torque specs above worked for me, but you should consult a factory service manual for your specific application before you dive in.