Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to change the timing belt on a Volvo 960 L6 with a 3 Liter engine

  1. Remove the drive belt.
  2. Remove the tensioner.
  3. Remove the timing gear cover.
  4. Splash guard under the engine
  5. Vibration damper guard (small metal plate with two screws)
  6. Rotate the engine clockwise until the alignment marks are reached. There are two alignment marks, one in the crankshaft sprocket and one in the camshaft.
  7. Remove the tensioner's upper bolt, then the lower and remove it.
  8. Remove the belt. Make sure you don't move neither the crankshaft nor the camshaft when the belt is removed.
  9. Inspect the pulleys to make sure they don't need replacement. I recommend replacing them no matter what to be sure. If you want to inspect them inspect them for:
    • Smoothness
    • Bearing noise
  10. Inspect the water pump, again replacement is recomended but if you are not replacing it just check for leaks.
  11. Install the pulleys.
  12. Install the new tensioner, DON'T PULL THE PIN.
  13. Install the belt, start at the crankshaft sprocket, then work your way counterclockwise. Make sure to keep the belt straight and tensioned.
  14. When the belt is on place, make sure all the timing marks are still in place. Then remove the tensioner pin. 
  15. Turn the crankshaft two revolutions and recheck the timing marks.
  16. Reinstall all the covers in reverse order.
  17. Reinstall the belt tensioner and drive belt.
  18. Take one last look to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. If you changed the water pump refill the system with coolant.


  1. The tips you posted really helped me a lot. Now I can do something that I can't do before.

  2. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging! Volvo Exhausts

  3. I am trying to replace the timing belt on my 960 Volvo. I am having a hard time. When I line up all three marks, the engine cannot make a full revolution. I believe the open valves stop it from turning. Which cylinder is at TDC when the crankshalt marks line up? What else can I do to get it working? Can the crankshaft mark be off and screwing up my timing? When the crankshaft marks line up. no piston is at TDC. Why?

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