Timing Belt Camshaft Indexing
I have a 1996 2.3L with 135k miles that I purchased new in CA. No repair work has ever been done on the truck (just hoses, plugs, fluids). I decided to change the timing belt. Before taking the belt off I turned the engine to TDC (via crankshaft). The crankshaft pully key was at 12:00 as I expected it to be. The camshaft sprocket detent (on the stamped metal located behind the sprocket that turns with the sprocket) was significantly retarded relative to the reference point. My guess is that it was 4 or 5 belt notches behind where it should have been to line up the sprocket detent with the pointer on the housing. The oil pump sprocket detent was 1/3 of a revolution from being lined up. Has anyone ever seen this?
I marked the factory locations and then put the new belt on. I lined up the camshaft and oil pump sprockets with the detents and pointers (i.e the way the repair manual said to). The engine runs fine at speed, but is difficult to start and idles rough. I plan to set the sprocket alignment back to the way it came from the factory, I just don't understand why with the factory settings the detents don't line up with the pointers. Any advice would be appreciated.