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Crank Marks — The EASY Way to Line Them Up for Timing Belt

Yesterday longtime MVS Contributor and Volvo DIY author cn90 posted a method to avoid the headache of lining up crank marks when you’re replacing a timing belt on a Volvo 5-cylinder engine.

I just did the timing belt, WP, etc. on my 2005 XC90 2.5T with 110K miles.

I just came up with a nice way to line up the crank and want to share with everyone. This easy trick is true for all Volvo 5-cylinder engines, from 850, S70, V70, C70 to S80, S60, XC90 etc.

On the issue of Crank Marks, there are tons of youtube videos, DIYs showing the tiny tiny marks on the crank that are so hard to see unless you have good eyes or you remove the Crank Pulley.

There is a MUCH MUCH EASIER way to line it up, even with the Crank Pulley in place.

1. Method #1: use the index finger and feel both ridges (RED arrows). This photo is shown with the Crank removed, but you can easily feel both ridges even with the Crank Pulley in place.

2. Method #2: This method is much easier!
– Note the Locating Pin is at approx 1 o’clock position.
– Incidentally, one of the Crank Pulley bolts lines up with the bolt on the Engine Mount (assuming your Engine Mount is still good and not collapsed), as shown in the red rectangle at roughly 8 o’clock position.

MVS Contributor Erik:

Method #1 is a winner, those are well known factory marks. It is not for everyone because you are working blind, using feel not vision, but it works. Nice picture and a helpful tip.

Method #2 I would never trust except to get you in the ballpark to then properly use the factory timing marks. “Approximately” is not a word to use in aligning timing marks, and there are way too many possible variables on the engine mount construction (many different models, many different makes on that part, sometimes the mount is broken, etc.).

And then, no matter what method you use, make absolutely certain you look at those tiny, tiny notches and that they are properly lined up. Those must be confirmed. You can always see them without removing the crank pulley, a good strong light source is your friend in that endeavor. On the P80 cars remove the coolant bottle from its mount when you start, and I like to remove the serp tensioner.

VRD: The EASY way to line up Crank mark for Timing Belt

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