How to change Nissan VG33E engine Timing Belt | 🍰 2 of 3.
How to change Nissan VG33E engine Timing Belt | 🍰 2 of 3.

the two single overhead camshaft
sprocket align with the mark on the backing plate and the crankshaft
sprocket also aligned we will now use the new timing belt let’s provide for us
with simple instruction for installation so this arrow here signify the belt has
to point to the front that’s what fr mean this mark is going
to get dropped right on top this dot and this mark is going to get right it’s
going to get dropped right on top this dot so let’s install this belt and you
can see we have our mark aligned with the timing mark on the sprocket and this
side here we have a little slack and our mark is not line with the timing mark so
what we want to do is we just want to pick this up and just move the gear and that is what we want so with the top
align the belt the tension is pretty much stiff up here go to the bottom
carefully pass the belt around hooking it in to the crankshaft sprocket taking
up all of the slack so you see the belt fell off the mark again so we always
have to pay attention let’s not forget the maintain mark for the sprocket with
a backing plate so this is going to be the area the
tensioner is going to take up and you want to really get this slack out of
here once you have the timing belt set to the position necessary for a
precision alignment you will place this quarter inch extension between the
crankshaft sprocket and the timing cover casting holding the timing belt in
position we are also going to need to retain the timing belt on this right
side sprocket with the zip tie holding its tension between the right sprocket
and the left sprocket all the way down the crankshaft sprocket timing belt retained in position on
sprocket we’ll take some grease on our finger
I just want to apply it to the smooth part of the stud we will also apply some grease in the
stud hole for the timing belt bearing tensioner so we want to do you just want
to swing this spring around holding it in this position well now take a pointed screwdriver and
feel back here or the spring seats right here this is a little movie a little
fight just want to make sure we sit the belt
perfectly on the tensioner and let’s body is seated to the engine block
let’s check the position of the tensioner with this allen key so for
future reference you will know what position it’s in and as you can see it’s
lined with this bolt hole right here and that’s as much tension as you want to
give to the belt you don’t want to go like this that’s good right there so
we’re going to replace the wave washer on the solid washer install the nut
finally assure that the timing mark is accurate according to factory
specification we will have to count the number of tooth after the right side
camshaft sprocket mark so we’ll start counting from here to the left side
camshaft sprocket mark and between these two more you want to have 40 teeth so
we’re going to count one two three four five six eight three
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 we also we must count 43 – between the left side
camshaft sprocket time and mark and the crankshaft timing mark this will ensure
that our timing is 100% precise now we are perfectly aligned with our timing
mark and that will be this yellow right here aligned with the camshaft
right-side sprocket in line with the backing plate and the left side sprocket line with
this backing plate for detention so when we set the tension for the
timing belt we don’t want to exert too much tension on the timing belt because
the tooth from the rubber belt is going to eat its way out inside the sprocket
so that is why that’s the ideal method for setting the tension now that we’re
going to be test starting our engine you just want to block this port right here
and we want to make sure that the rotor head inside the distributor cap is
pointing to the number one spark plug on the roller cap that will be this wire
right here so now we are 100% sure that the timing
mark is where we want it we only could maintain the engine operation for
approximately 30 seconds because there is no coolant inside the engine the only
thing that’s helping the engine right now is the motor oil let’s shut down the
engine and reassemble all the timing cover component with the radiator we must remove the tensioner bolt again
this is our final attempt to securing the bolt so this nut is going to be
torque 235 foot-pounds of torque but before we can do so I just want to put
some cred lock on the stud these two bolts are not necessary for
removal when servicing the timing belt they’re only going to need to remove
them when detaching the oil pump from the engine block so there’s two of them
one is longer than the other and the wrong one will go on this side we don’t
want to switch these two bolts because the longer one could cause the casting
to crack now we’re going to get ready to paint the harmonic balancer what I’ve
done is I’ve take some masking tape and just mask off where the serpentine belt
would press itself against you don’t want to paint in this area with paint
because the paint is going to get on to the rubber belt and caused a squeaking
so I’m going to use this cleaner to just degrease to the to just degrease the
part and supply some grease the sloughed of
the crankshaft this will ease the installation of its harmonic balancer eventually this bolt that holds the oil
pump in position it’s going to have to get reinstalled for the alternator
adjust the bracket so we don’t want to tighten this until we have fully
adjusted alternator belt once you have finally lock your
adjustment and satisfied with the belt tension you will lock the two bolts on
top of the alternator that pivots the alternator from its bracket there is one
in the front here and there’s one right behind this one let’s replace the 27
millimeter bolt for the crankshaft harmonic balancer this bolt will be
torqued to 155 foot-pounds of torque so we’re going to use our vise grip to
lock the harmonic balancer against the engine block so we started with a hundred now we’re
going to change our setting turn the tool all the way up to 150 because this
is what the maxim of this tool gives it is very important that the harmonic
balancer is tightened to the factory spec because all the horsepower is
driven through this pulley and if the bolt is not torque most likely it will
come on so that’s 150 foot-pounds of torque

67 thoughts on “How to change Nissan VG33E engine Timing Belt | 🍰 2 of 3.”

  1. nightflyr1 says:

    Viewed your timing video prior to you deleting it…
    You may wish to review the service manual …
    This is specific for the 2002 3.3L
    1. Run engine at about 2,000 rpm for about 2 minutes under no-load.
    2. Rev engine (2,000 to 3,000 rpm) two or three times under no-load, then run engine at idle speed.
    3. Turn off engine and disconnect throttle position sensor harness connector.
    4. Start and rev engine (2,000 to 3,000 rpm) two or three times under no-load, then run at idle speed.
    5. Check ignition timing with a timing light.
    10°±2° BTDC (in “P” or “N” position)

  2. Clovis Ramsay says:

    You didn't replace water pump and gaskets along with this service?


    Hi Stevex, I watched your videos regarding the timing belt replacement. I replaced the belt today 06/27/15. They were a big help. THANKS. Nevertheless I had to share a major  inconvenient I had. When I used your method to remove the oil seal I caused a big scratch on the camshaft journal. The screw drifted toward the journal and when  pulled out, a  chunk of steel from the journal came out too.. The damage was right on the area were the old seal was having contact. The solution to my near disaster was to install the new seal deeper in, in order to catch the healthy surface of the crankshaft. Now I am worried thinking that I may have blocked the orifice for the oil return. What do you think could happen?


    Correction on my comment below.   Is the crankshaft – Not the camshaft

  5. R Flores says:

    Great video!, it´s well explained step by step; however I miss the crankshaft,camshaft seals and water pump change procedure. Thanks, Roberto

  6. R Flores says:

    Good idea testing idle using a glass with water. I am your follower,

  7. Omar Soto says:

    I have a question my 2000 nissan frontier will crank but don't start I thought it was the timing belt. But it ain't broke. Do you know what can be. ?

  8. Omar Soto says:

    Did you plug the transmission lines. ?

  9. Clovis Ramsay says:

    I just did this service last week and you are right that only REAL MEN can take on a job like this!  I was in for a big surprise but I was able to do it successfully thanks to your guidance and careful instructions.  One issue I have now is a weird whirl with a pulse at idle.  It sounds like it comes from the center of the engine, almost like water pump.  I am afraid it is either timing tension to tight or my new NIssan water pump is whirling?  I did the tensioner just as you specified and I did not put any extra pressure on it so I feel that I did this procedure correctly.  I guess I will have to do even more investigation to figure this out.

  10. vaja tsertsvadze says:

    If a drive belt breaks, does that bend the engine valves? Nissan Xterra 3.3 2004

  11. Ash Schultz says:

    I'm in the process of doing this now on my 02 xterra. Something that has me nervous. I was taking off the cam sprockets to check/replace the seals, but in the process of trying to get the sprocket off I over turned both of them. I was able to get them held tightly enough and I used an impact to get the bolt off them. How far can you turn one of those sprockets in either direction without risking damage to a head or something? I turned the "Right" sprocket about 7-8 teeth clockwise and maybe 5 or 6 counter clockwise, trying to get that nut off. Less than that on the Left sprocket. Am i in the clear?

  12. Ash Schultz says:

    What kind of paint did you use on the harmonic balancer pulley? Mine looks pretty much the same (rust) and I think cleaning it off and giving it a coat of paint would be good lol

  13. Jeff Donofri says:

    This is a terrific series. I watched parts 1 and 2 but am unable to find part 3 of 3. Is it deleted?

  14. derekec says:

    Thank for the video(s). Did water pump/timing belt at 60k miles for coolant leak, turned out to be water outlet pipe corroded. Unwilling to do upper plenum application I pulled inner belt cover for access and aluminum brazed the tube and smoothed it best I could. Held 35k more but now need to go back in. Not sure I can handle the upper plenum removal given "life" so I may just see what I can do with hose replacement from the front with front upper belt cover removed and maybe distributor. I know its a bad solution but…..
    Curious..can the vice grip method crack the crankshaft pulley? i don't remember my method..maybe wedged a towel into the belt/pulley but i'm just intimidated to take this on right now. The videos help a lot.

  15. Ralph Brooks says:

    These are the best instructional video for repairing the Frontier vg33e motor I've seen. The master mechanic doing the repairs in this video is an asset to StevexNYC performance and the next time I get to New York I am going to stop by your shop and take you guys out to eat in appreciation of your helpful videos. My question to the master mechanic is this I'm undertaking the task of replacing the 2nd timing belt on a Frontier with 256,000 miles, since I am at this point in the trucks life when should I go in and replace the bottom of the motor such as the crankshaft bearing etc.? 2nd question since my truck is 14 years old and Nissan list of discontinued parts is growing where do you guys get your replacement parts it seem to replace simple parts are becoming more difficult to find?

  16. blaugherty says:

    I completed this project over the weekend, these videos were the best I could find and helped a ton! A couple things worth mentioning.
    1. Unless you have the magic red doughnut thingy don't attempt to start the engine, I did this and my belt nearly rolled off the front of the sprocket! In the end I just temporarily re-installed the harmonic balancer against the timing belt washer.
    2. Make sure you loop the transmission lines with a hose, I just plugged them with some plastic and after starting the engine I had a big mess to clean up.

  17. blaugherty says:

    Question: What is the red 3 doughnut looking thing called? Wish I was paying more attention the first few times I watched the video, I would have asked before I completed the project! 🙂

  18. bartolo lara says:

  19. Jesse Best says:

    I have a 2004 Xterra XE with 130,000 miles on it and original timing belt. My mechanic said the belt is still fine and not to change it because it can cause more problems if I do? Does that sound right to you?

  20. titanrage83 says:

    how many miles were on your xterra when you changed the timing belt? thanks

  21. mariotorres0102 says:

    I just replaced the timing belt, water pump, tensioner , and all drive belt and trucks is not running correctly it is heating up really fast and making a noise and my hot ac does not work either . What could be the problem ? The only thing I didn't replace was the thermostat could

  22. mariotorres0102 says:

    Please help

  23. Mandy says:

    Nothing should not move. This video presentation is false and aims to destroy your engine. How do you remove the belt so you need to adjust the belt without having to move the position of the cogs.

  24. Edgar Bravo says:

    1 thing I can add is, before u start the engine, use the crank bolt to rotate the belt to make sure it won't come off. If u start the engine without verifying the belt will stay, u could damage the belt and engine when u start it.

  25. jp2code says:

    I don't know if it really matters, but where that belt shows FR for FRont and R for Rear …and you had the FR to the Rear. My belt did not have any such indicators on it, though.

  26. Proyecto Aventurero says:

    do you have other video were I can see how you put back the timing belt.

  27. Jacov Evans says:

    awesome video wish more video's were done to this level of detail.
    was this a VG30 OR VG33?

  28. Big D says:

    ALso, the idea that nissan/renault decided to put RUBBER timing belts on a v6 suv engine is one of the most ridiculous ideas yet….the engineers that designed that needs to be whipped a thousand times with a wet noodle

  29. Alex Martinez says:

    Good video nice and complete shoulda tried hand cranking it do to timing jumped and spit out a lot of tranny fluid …otherwise your advice was spot on and hank you

  30. Hurricane Floyd says:

    The VG33E is only Chinese garbage in the Chinese market. In all other markets it is manufactured in Smyrna TN, USA. It is based on a design used by Nissan since around 1980. Also, why in the world would you use the permanent RED threadlock on a tensioner nut?

  31. 9wire9 says:

    Me and my son are changing the belt and waterpump on our 97 Pathfinder, couldn't have done it without your videos, thanks for the great video.

  32. D P says:

    Finally a well done mechanic's video where you get to the point and show us how without the rockstar intro and useless commentary. This is a well done video. Keep making more!

  33. Proyecto Aventurero says:

    Can you tell me please w is that thing you use for test the timin belt,you crank the truck with a red thing,is necesary use that for test the timin belt.

  34. Blair Guinea says:

    Nice job Steve……………thanks

  35. James Cabarr says:

    I installed a new timing belt on mine after the old one broke the teeth and the new one I install is walking off the cam sprocket and crank sprocket. Is there any way to properly put the tensioner on how tight?

  36. Jean Francois Beeroo says:

    Hello. I have been watching some of your video instructions and they are very helpful. I was wondering if you have one made for replacing downstream O2 sensor. I have a 2001 Nissan Xterra that I trying to replace the downstream O2 sensors but I can’t get to them.

  37. AmongTheWillows says:

    Is that an interference motor?

  38. John Young says:

    I never worked on a car my jumped time I look through alot of videos but this man has a way to tell you step by step set my timing it would not crank I set it back on timing marks then set distributor marks and set it with timing belt marks alined and it crank put everything together crank it up set distributor by turning it thwn killed it out I did not finish tighting the bolt so it turned so I just turned it back tighting it down when I drove it it took off fine drove fine the going up the first hill it lost power died out crank no start what could it be done I have to go back and look-see if my timing idms still alined

  39. Luis Alberto Gallegos Vinagre says:

    quiero este video en español

  40. Martin Barnett says:


  41. Johnny Rotten says:

    Hey what was the red things you used on the crankshaft when you did the test run?

  42. Corey Wood says:

    So my belt blew and I changed the belt and I know I should rebuild the heads but for the moment I really need this vechile. I started it up and then it runs and then dies again after the start up rev. Is my timing off or is my engine broken. What did you do to turn the engine over for getting things back together wise like air hoses and electrical plugs?

  43. Williamsa Gee says:

    What if it's not pointing to the number 1 spark plug do we hand move it ?

  44. Williamsa Gee says:

    Does the tensener have to stick out alittle ?

  45. M Nick says:

    Also noticing on every Pathfinder timing belt video you can see wear around the brand new belt edge from the crankshaft sprocket belt guide including this one.Some worse then others.Will this compromise the belt?

  46. James Lankford says:

    I really like the idea of being able to test this before putting it all back together. I'm in the middle of a timing belt replacement job now and your videos have been extremely helpful. Where can I get some of those rubber spacers? Can you provide a link? I've looked all over Amazon but there are so many to choose from.

  47. TheKnightDrag0n says:

    You didn't replace the camshaft seals tho.

  48. Pj M says:

    What would cause the engine not to rotate after tightening the crank pulley? Rotates fine until crank pulley bolt is tightened.

  49. Rahmat Ullah says:

    Good job

  50. phillip mccollough says:

    Never ever replace a timing belt and not the water pump, poor planning other than that nice video.

  51. Ty Robinson says:

    Do you have a tip of removing the cam sprocket bolts without them moving the whole cam? I want to replace the oil seals behind them because I'm getting close to 200k and I don't want to leave the same seals in. What tool can I use that will keep both sprockets from turning while I remove the bolts so that I can access the oil seals behind them? Thanks in advance.

  52. Holden Kurfess says:

    Great video, I was able to follow along and change the timing belt on my 88 Pathfinder.

  53. Marty Kirkpatrick says:

    How did you find out the number of teeth that should be between the timing marks on the sprockets? Is this info available for different types of engines online? BTW I subscribed and you have superb videos..good job!

  54. Ty Robinson says:

    Update: Just to let you know, I've been working on cars for over 20 years but I NEVER would do timing belts out of fear. I decided this year to challenge myself and watching your videos has helped me. As of yesterday, I successfully completed my very first timing belt job. 2002 Nissan Xterra 3.3 V6. Thank you for posting these vids.

  55. Travis D says:

    What would happen if you replace the timing belt in the position it is already in? Not changing TDC to cylinder one and rotating the engine for alignment marks but just marking which tooth is on top 2 and replicating it with new belt?

  56. Pete Tellefsen says:

    Great video, I am now changing my water pump because of your video. Do you have any videos or tips on replacing the oil pump? Thank you for your info. It has been very helpful. My truck is a 02 frontier 3.3 naturally aspirated engine.

  57. Ronald Jackson says:

    As nothing to do with oil pump

  58. Sterling Witherspoon says:

    Great job

  59. Peter Slogan says:

    First…thanks for the video…next thing when i did mine today i noticed the lines didnt match up i was like wth?? I looked the writing was backwards..duh so i counted the teeth on the belt and used a marker..i also marked everything before i took it apart..the timing marks…pretty easy job really…i changed the water pump thermostat (192) and the timing belt all at 140km…its all in i'll button it up tommrow and upload a video when i start it up…im feeling pretty confident it'll will go good..thanks again for the video. I need to watch your timing video again so i can set the timing after mine is a 94 pathfinder

  60. Forest Gaia says:

    The one thing I would say that probably should've been done. Why go to all that trouble to change the belt and NOT do the water pump? You're in there…do the pump. It's a part that notoriously goes bad and can destroy the engine.

  61. Юрий Гавр says:

    Хоть бы титры на русском

  62. Tyler james says:

    Can you tell me what the name of that red donut thing is called that you put on the crankshaft snout when you started it up? It would help me alot

  63. Edward Strasburg says:

    Great job on the video! I have a question. Will this work EXACTLY the same for an '87 VG30i? It appears it would, since it's essentially the same engine? Thanks in advance.

  64. zeropoint says:

    That water pump has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel.

  65. Andrew Paolino says:

    Dude you are the man! Thank you I'm doing mine right now because of your awesome instruction and expertise. You are the best. Thank you.

  66. Andrew Paolino says:

    Just took mine for a ride. Feels good sounds good. Could not have done it without you man. Thank you. Thank you.

  67. FordGuyAJ says:

    Where is part 3?

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