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Timing belt issue ...need help big time!
I own 1996 geo tracker 16 valve EFI front wheel drive 1.6L automatic with 150K still running great, like a charm!
Due to leak in the water pump I decided to while changing the w.pump also change the timing belt. To make the long story short I made sure when removing the crank pulley I set it dead center at 12 o'clock as marked with arrow on oil pump. For the cam sprocket I realized that the E position was at 6 o'clock so I market in 3 different points in order to have it referenced. I was not aware that I had to turn the crank pulley CW until both the pulley and the sprocket are set dead center as marked for TDC. I figured as long as the crank pulley is dead centered and the cam sprocket was not moved simply I can replace the timing belt in the manner it was removed!!! So i did. Now after reading and watching tons of videos and forums I have understood that my valve timing as it is now is set on #1 to fire which should be set for #4 to fire that means I need to turn my sprocket 90 degree cw to bring the E mark from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock! I have also removed the cam cover so that I can see and visualized the camshaft and get exact understand what exactly going on. I also did the blow test via spark plug hole and found out that the number one cylinder was already fully sealed matching the cam sprocket current position at 6 o'clock. So this is my question; should I just go ahead and replace the timing belt without touching and repositioning the cam sprocket or should I move the sprocket to 12 o'clock!? What I don't want to do is to either touch the main crank pulley that is already correctly set nor touching the distributor which is untouched. This car was a very reliable nice working car with no issues whatsoever and I don't want to do anything that ruins it …

ok, great question,
how you time your cam is your decision, 100% .
the book is clear as day as is the great Gates belt sheet of paper in the belt box, # 4 timed. ( TDC on crank crank is #1 or #4)
the cam marks "E" are #4 firing, and sure if the E is at 6PM its #1 but there is no mark there, so...
here is how shops get rich doing this cheating, but the book that is SURE slower. (charge 4 hours labor, book rate and do it in 1/2 get rich fast)
one way (pick yours) is to
(what is so bad here is what if old belt slipped say 1 tooth already, so validate timing first with old belt still present,)
1: cap off distrib.
2: turn crank to #4 so rotor spot (wire to 4 is rear cylinder) if you must do #1 ok do it. (why?, there is no #1 marks)) .
(learn too that the cam maY NOT KIKE holding #1 position do to spring bias there, so with belt off, it can slip and turn (may)
3: cut the old belt off. with box knife. etc. (there is even faster way and very dangerous, I'll not say now)
4: with rubber mallet, pound the new belt on , devil be damned pretension the belt per instructions
5:button up get rich, on excess labor charges.

all ways to do this is here, and the SHEET above is there and the FSM pages are there,

i have played with the cam before here (no belt) and it does not like just sitting statically in any position, due to the valve spring bias and 1,3,4,2 firing order.

but in your case no harm done, belt is still installed and on, now, right?
turn the crank CW so crank is tdc, then see if #4 E mark is at TDC 12pm, and both #4 valve rear are closed. if yes, its done deal
(they tell you clockwise (CW) for 2 reasons only
(1: so the 17mm head crank bolt does not come loose turned backwards CCW, 2:and the firing order is part of the cam so if at #1 , 3 comes next , see?)

last timing it at #1 , can very very easily get you 1 tooth off, (the cam likes to slip off time I found at #1)

but that is not a problem with that #1 belt off, belt on way, just be sure to turn the crank CW so that #4 CAM E- mark it TDC 12pm then with that 100% exactly correct, look at crank TDC mark now.
if crank mark TDC mark is wrong , yes, know then the cam was timed wrong. (so now do it right, be the book)


[Image: cam-cog1w.jpg]
short answer, belt on now
turn crank bolt CW so cam goes to E mark 12pm is at the top notch on the upper back pan
is crank TDC marker at 12PM oil pump mark arrow?
yes, end story.
no, do over.
(11-06-2018, 10:13 PM)fixkick Wrote: short answer, belt on now
turn crank bolt CW so cam goes to E mark 12pm is at the top notch on the upper back pan
is crank TDC marker at 12PM oil pump mark arrow?
yes, end story.
no, do over.

Dear SideKick:
First I like to thank you for being so nice to all of us GEO /Suzuki owners and thank you for sharing your vast knowledge about these little remarkable and reliable machines, which you have to own one to appreciate.
At this point the old timing belt is off however I did mark the location of the belt when it was still sitting on the cam sprocket in order to put it back in the exact same location if I had to. The Timing belt tensioner is also off, since with the new timing belt I was planning to change it to a new tensioner.
So please correct me if i am wrong! MOVE 1: you want me to put the timing belt back-on as it came off! then rotate the crank pulley with the 17mm CW until the Sprocket moves 1/2 turn from 6 hours to 12 hours with the E MARK aligned with the top marking as you described in your instructions!
MOVE2: Once the sprocket moved to 12 hours alignment which means btw that we are at #4 firing (and I will BLOW tested it once there), look back at your crank pulley make sure it is aligned with the arrow marker at oil pump. if yes DONE!!!! if not crank until both the crank and the cam aligned...! am i correct?
IF CORRECT, please let me ask you:
1. in order to do the above procedure do I need to reinstall the tensioner or I can carefully do it without the tensioner. For example i can ask my son to pinch the timing belt in the center to create a fake tension while I slowly and carefully rotate it.
...I am very great full for your expertise and your timeIdea
oh, my, the belt is off.
ok so just do the procedure,
turn crank to TDC
turn cam to E mark to 12pm as the photo shows.
put the belt on no slack right side , you facing belt. (page 2 below)
let the belt tension with that tension'er, with spring it has. (next at step 3 page 2)
turn the crank 2 turns clock wise landing back to 'E" mark, at 12pm (gain page 2, shows this step.)_
lock the stud on the tensioner, pulley arm and the big bolt on idler, same page 2 below last step before step 4.
it's done. (the hard parts are done)
this is on your belt box papers, you bought belt that has no instructions?

the FSM pages are here factory. you ask about the tension-er it is not live tension-er at all with engine running, its locked down. after done. step 3.
the step here on this list PAGE 2 , step 2.? put belt on,
the step 3 , all steps to put the belt on are on page 2 below. ever word out of shop manual .

all you need is this page.

under perfect conditions this engine is free running, but not if lash was set way wrong (too tight) or the head or block deck were milled way to much. or all 3 wrong.
but if all is good like new the engine is free running engine, with USA cam, ive never seen all cams used in over 100 countries, not me.

if you have crank at tdC, turning cam will not hit valves on this engine, if engine is not hugely wrong per line "perfect" above
good luck !
i DO NOT under stand your fear of doing it by the book at all, sorry.
The link above fsmpages.htm is the book. from Suzuki.
(11-07-2018, 08:55 AM)fixkick Wrote: i DO NOT under stand your fear of doing it by the book at all, sorry.
The link above fsmpages.htm is the book. from Suzuki.

Just want to say thank you I will get back to you after I follow all your instruction. The Hyanes Manuel put me off track!
never ever use any Haynes manual
the mix years up (10years) in a toxic soup of lies or worse. horrible, ok with real FSM and only photos seen that are correct. or safety methods.
huge changes evolved from 1989-99 vast. mixing up facts, is bad bad bad.
we use it as door stops or fire starter, so sorry.

my page one shows, books.
and says to use this.
Mitchells: (Has in my opinion the best online G16 Sidekick (Tracker) support.) but can be fussy about brower used. If I walk in to my public library, I can look at, Mitchells all day for free...

Alldata , is good, but has near ZERO information on Suzuki J18 SPOPTS Sidekicks, (for example zero info on tranmission and the TCM used in 1996) ( do a google search for "alldata.com and discount coupons,"

or the free one in this forum show in POST #1 using wayback machine, hear it is on 1996 tracker, same as your car, also paper book on ebay same name exactly

see chapter 6a engine here> all 68 page from GM tracker, GEO. vebatium,. no lies, well yes there are,
I cover errors in that book
here they are,
all GEO book lies(GM screwed the pooch, Suzuki books did not)
Lies found by me,



keep in mind, GM or Suzuki did a PDF book in 1996
so someone scanned a whole book by hand, wow, the above should be copied to the cloud by someone,but not me. cheers.
omg i forget (im too old)
the first post here has
somebody snagged the chapter 6a and b and OCR it (that is my trick too) I have NITRO v16 so can OCR anything,
but some nice person did this.


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