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I just replaced the timing belt on my 2000 Cabrio. I purchased a kit that came with the new thermo style tensioner and do to budget constraints and a lack of prior knowledge, this is the tensioner I used (next time).

My question is the paint marks on the belt and cam gear align immediately after installation and setting the proper tension (photo 1). However following hand rotation of the engine for one full belt rotation using the cam gear, these marks no longer align (photo 2). Why are these marks no longer aligned?

The timing mark on the distributor is correctly aligned in both cases, and the #1 piston is at the top using the pen/screw driver/stick method.
tempImagelsFuQE.jpg
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The belt won't always line up. As long as all the marks between the cam, crank, and distributor line up after rotating you are good.

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1) Cam and distributor rotate at half the crankshaft speed. It takes two crank revolutions for cam and distributor marks to line up again.
2) Belt marks won't line up repeatedly like the gear/sprocket marks will, as you've found out.
Though you found marking the belt handy, it was more trouble than it's worth. Once you've done a couple more belts, you'll see.


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