1994 Toyota 4Runner V6 3VZE Timing Belt Replacment

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This is a step by step for changing the timing belt on a 1994 Toyota 4Runner V6 3.0 Liter, Engine code 3VZE.
My engine has 195K miles and I have no idea when any of this was done cause there was no paper trail.

I will be changing the following parts: Timing Belt, Water Pump, thermostat, No.1 Idler, No.2 Idler, AC Idler Pulley, AC, Power Steering, and Alternator Belts.

This whole process was done over 4th of July weekend. Until I found that the no. 2 idler was shot, so I had to order that on Saturday and wait till it comes (FYI I'm starting this Instructable early). Other wise this is a one weekend job that if you have the right tools, some patience, and all the parts you'll have no problems!


I am not a mechanic but I am damn handy. I do all of my own car work and know a little bit of everything. I researched everything before I set out to do this and at the end of this article will be links to all the resources I was drawing from (I suggest you look at them before you start).
Antifreeze is a corrosive poisonous liquid that looks and tastes like green Koolade, if it gets on your skin or in your eyes IMMEDIATELY FLUSH WITH WATER (go to hospital if irritation continues). Small children and pets easily lick it up and Will go blind or die. Therefore don't let it sit out or dribble and pool on the ground, flush it down the toilet or pour it down the sewer.
Misaligning the cams or crankshaft pulleys will cause serious damage to your engine; mark them with the paint pen and make sure they DO NOT MOVE!

I take no responsibility for damage done to yours or others property by following this guide.

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this is fantastic, you should make these things for a living; great detail!
indianajoel4 years ago
Great instructable! My 4Runner has over 250k on its 3.0 3VZ-E engine. Need to change the timing belt soon and your step by step was awesome. Will probably add an after market transmission cooler while I have the front end in pieces. Keep up the great work!
Excellent instructable, I couldn't ask for more. Thanks.
tengauge2 months ago

Awesome write-up!! I am getting ready to do my 93 Pickup this weekend. The only part that I have question on is the #2 Idler. What's the reason that a socket and extension can't be used to remove the top bolts opposed to this special 90* box end? Also, would a typical 90* box end that can be store bought work for this purpose as well? The bend is only about an inch or so before it flattens back out.

to'bryant made it!2 months ago

Thank you! You are the reason I first found the instructable website 2 years ago. I changed the timing belt on my old 4runner using your step by step instructions. I now have a Toyota T100 with a 3.4 and I will be doing an instructable on that change out trying to mirror your awesome one.

Mycool B1 year ago
let me just say THAAANKYOU for your notes. did step by step, flawless!
13, 5:59 PM.jpg13, 5:59 PM.jpg
mgsissonvt1 year ago
Thank you so much for adding that comment. Saved me hours of work! and worked like a charm.
sweet! Thank you!
KraZe_EyE (author) 1 year ago
Haven't checked on this in a while so I figured I'd stop in.
My truck is doing great. Just rolled over 232K miles! Since then I have changed to rear main seal, front rotors and wheel bearings, and a front caliper. I had intentions of doing a write up of the rear main seal, but time and life got in the way. It ended up being a 2 week job and I just wanted to be done with it. I have plans on doing my front bearings again so you'll get a write up of that.

Cheers, -Matt
lshephard2 years ago
instead of taking the time to make the 14 mm wrench, simply remove the fuel line that is in the way of getting a 14 mm socket with extension. It is located on the right side of the engine facing it and is a 17 mm bolt. A small amount of fuel will leak, no big deal. Then access the bolts from atop and behind the wire raceway. A small 12 mm socket with elbow will get the ones in the front out. s
lshephard2 years ago
Great write up! consider adding this tip to the part explaining the removal of the crank shaft pulley.

Best way to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt is to use the breaker bar method and the ignition bump technique. Attach the 19 mm socket to a breaker bar with a half inch socket and wrench only. 3]8ths will get broken during the process.

Leverage the breaker bar under the left frame (as you face the engine) and hold in place with a bungy cord. Make sure there is tension on the socket wrench as you try to push down on the handle that should be left of the left of the crank. This will ensure that the clockwise direction of the crank movement will loosen the bolt.

Connect the battery, but disconnect the ignition from the coil. This is located along the right side of the engine bay and has two wire sockets in it. Disconnect the one closest to the coil wire that comes from the center of the distributer. This will ensure your engine will not start during the bump process.

Ensure that the 19mm socket is flush and square. Now, quickly bump the key while it is in your ignition. Turn the key just enough to turn the crank. Check to see it it is loosened. If not, try it again. Mine took two bumps to cut her loose.

Once loose, turn the crank clockwise back to the TDC. This will tighten the bolt again, yet it is now where near as hard to loosen it with a quick "pop" of the wrench the opposite direction. If it moved a little, simply move by hand back to TDC.

Now remove with pulley puller
Alec8inch2 years ago
Nice pictures and steps! ill look at this when i do my water pump because i think i need to because its getting hot when i sit in one place with it running for a few min and i have already put a new radiator,and thermostat so it shouldn't do that but i don't think my water pump is leaking so I'm not sure what is going on cuz they say your water pump will leak when its no good any more. So i don't know what do you thank it is??
Thanks so much great instructable. Did the swap last weekend, idlers, water pump and all. This served as a really solid guide. Thanks a million KraZe_EyE!
kingchicken2 years ago
extremely helpful. might even keep this thing...
KraZe_EyE (author) 3 years ago
Its been a while since I hopped on here. Almost 20k views?! Wow I didn't think I'd have anything on the net that would get that many views. Thanks for the comments guys. I tried my best to document every step and trick that I went through and apparently it turned out good!

I was gonna do another when I changed my rear main oil seal but the setup wasn't good for taking pictures. Cheers!
sliderrst3 years ago
Tobita5 years ago
Ever had a timing belt/chain fail? It's pretty bad, my uncle had an audi a4 (2000 model, it's a lemon) and the whole valve train was shot to hell, he said it's mine if i can fix it. I have the know how and the tools, all I'm missing is the cash for the parts. Great instructable, oughta stop people from having to deal with that!