the tool is in order to apply tension to the belt, so yea they need it in order to install a timing belt. You may want to check to make sure the car is correctly timed. It may be off causing the rough running. Or they missed putting something back on like a vacuum line or something. But here is a diagram of the timing belt that will show you how the marks should be matching up.
Thanks for the reply, nice diagram by the way!
I have an update...
First, it is interesting that you mention the vacuum (sp?)hose because apparently that was the problem with the cruise control. A vacuum hose was loose.
My car worked great for the day after I picked it up (the second time). Next day (yesterday), I was driving to work with the cruise set at around 65 and noticed a fairly big hesitation. Very shortly after, I noticed the car had lost all power (no RPM). I pulled off to the side and attempted to restart. It would turn over, but no ignition. I called Firestone, who then towed it in and got me a rental.
Later, they called and told me that the timing belt seemed to be fine that they felt pretty certain it was a wiring harness issue and that it would take a considerable amount of time to track down exactly where signal was being lost. At one point in the conversation he mentioned that there was a something like and ECR or EGR or something that had to be removed during the timing belt change and that could be the problem.
Here is the point... My car is well cared for. I am not a mechanic, but understand maitainance and can usually get a feel for competancy. The car has never had a performance issue. I have let the Cat and EGR go a little, but not without guidance and plan on changing soon even if not required. Firestone actually seemed/seems competant, but may have lacked some experience with this model vehicle. I think they probably nocked a few things loose in the process of fighting with this "tool they didn't have" issue.
The question is, how would you handle this? If they can get the car running again (assuming it isn't a timing belt), would you spend the cash and have it all pulled apart by a dealer just to be sure it was done right? Also, any thoughts on the current problem with the predicted wire harness and my loss of combustion?