As for the belt, they will usually squeal when they are loose. Did you have enough fluid in the pump?
Does the engine crank, but just not start? If so I would check for spark. If not I would check the starter.
If no spark or bad spark(should be bright blue/white) the timing belt is a possibility. Being that someone else replaced it I would be suspcious.
You can disable the ignition system by grounding the wire from the coil, pull the distributor cap and turn the key. If the distributor doesn't turn then it's probably the belt. Would have to pull the timing cover to check if it's broken or misaligned.
Are there any strange noises when cranking the engine? The loud pops you mentioned don't sound good.
Hope that helps. Sorry if you already got this information from your manual. Let us know what happens.
Sunday, December 17th, 2006 AT 4:41 PM