Originally Posted by indianaman
Sorry for the long post but I think I may have messed up. I needed to replace my timing belt so I tore her down got off the harmonic balancer then put some green paint on the belt and the crank. Some blue paint on the belt and exhaust cam. then some Orange paint on the intake cam and belt. REmoved the belt counted the ribs between old belt and marked new belt with paint on same ribs. i.e from green 60 ribs to blue paint then from there 15 ribs to orange. re installed belt aligning paint marks perfectly. set tensioner. now when I rotate crank the paint marks never align again unless i rotate it back. I.e rotate crank ten times CW then back ten times CCW paint will line up no prob. am I good to go? car ran fine before I tore her down. Just some PM. I also noticed the tensioner moves off of its alignment markings when turning the engine over. is this normal. Its midnight and I am freaking out. HELP
ETA the car is still in pcs. now should i stop and get the stuff to put it at tdc? my new belt is on and my paint is still aligned.
This is why doing it your own way isn't recommended, it's hard to be sure it's good enough to work - and you KNOW it won't be "perfect".
The crank turns twice for every turn of the cams, so the timing marks (if there were any) would only line up on every second revolution.
"normal" timing marks line up to a static reference point when #1 cyl. is at TDC of the compression stroke - valves closed, piston at top dead center. This can only be seen with the valve cover off and the plugs out at a minimum.
Without your marks lining up to a reference point you are really "shooting in the dark" - even though with the care you used in your personal procedure you probably managed to get the new belt in the same position as the old one, so it SHOULD at least run...
Confirming this by pulling the cam cover and checking for proper alignment at TDC #1 is the minimum you should do for peace of mind before firing it up again, and using the "official" tools or their equivalent to set it exactly is really what SHOULD be done...
Your call, I'd do the minimum check as described above to make sure it's "good enough" and you're not going to cause more problems by firing it up first....