Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

I need to replace the timing belt on my son's Fiesta. I've done a few belts in the past, a 16v Vectra many moons ago and an 8v Punto several times more recently, but not a Fiesta. I'll need to buy a timing tool set and a flywheel locking tool (about £50 the pair) but looking at Haynes, the rest looks straightforward enough.

Anyone have experience of doing these? Do the sprockets sieze onto the camshafts when the bolts are loosened? Haynes doesn't suggest they do (but when do they mention potential problems!), but they do warn that the sprockets are plastic so won't take much abuse.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - John F

I need to replace the timing belt on my son's Fiesta......

Do you? Do you really? Does it look worn? Are there any whining noises from the tension pulley? Has it done a good 120,000m? Are you feeling lucky?

I trust you have a good relationship with your son.....I'm humming 'there may be trouble - ahead....'.

The cambelt on our 2000 Focus at 123,000m works fine. 21st century original equipment cambelts are not made of knicker elastic. If it works, don't mend it.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

John F, Your attitude to routine maintenance has been discussed here at length in the past so it serves no purpose to go there again.

My position is that for less than £40 I can get a Dayco kit, plus £50 for the special tools, leaving me to sleep more soundly without the worry that I'll get a call from my son that he is stuck by the side of the motorway with a wrecked engine. It should be a couple of hours work and my hourly rate is dirt cheap as I'm retired.

Recommended replacement is 8 years/100k miles. No there are no whining noises and no I haven't checked the belt for wear, but the auxillary belt is showing signs of wear and that needs cutting off to do the timing belt, so why not. If the car was worth the price of a skinny latte and a choc chip muffin, like you, I wouldn't be bothering however, my son doesn't have £4k available should his luck run out.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Railroad.

I'm assuming the car is a petrol. The pulleys on these engines are 'fully floating'. When the bolts are loosened the pulleys will rotate freely, and will lock up when they're tightened. It is advised to replace the bolts when changing the toothed belt. The timing set consists of two parts. A flat plate which fits into the slots on the back of both camshafts and rests on the cylinder head top face, and a pin against which the crankshaft will be held at TDC No.1. Changing the toothed belt is quite straightforward on these engines, and worth doing. However don't listen to the bloke down the pub who tells you it can be done using paint marks on the pulleys. Get the right tools and do the job correctly.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Big John

I've had two cambelt or tensioner failures in the past where I got lucky with both of them (The Capri 2.0 had no damage, non inteferencce engine, my Octavia 1.4 survived when the plastic tensioner failed - belt stayed on). I don't plan on trying my luck a third time!

Edited by Big John on 23/07/2017 at 20:35

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - elekie&a/c doctor
Don't forget you are going to need the tool to get the stretchy belt back on.may come with the belt kit.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

Thanks elekie. Good point. I have a Laser universal tool to get the stretchy belt on if it doesn't come with one.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - skidpan

John F, Your attitude to routine maintenance has been discussed here at length in the past so it serves no purpose to go there again.

My position is that for less than £40 I can get a Dayco kit, plus £50 for the special tools, leaving me to sleep more soundly without the worry that I'll get a call from my son that he is stuck by the side of the motorway with a wrecked engine. It should be a couple of hours work and my hourly rate is dirt cheap as I'm retired.

Recommended replacement is 8 years/100k miles. No there are no whining noises and no I haven't checked the belt for wear, but the auxillary belt is showing signs of wear and that needs cutting off to do the timing belt, so why not. If the car was worth the price of a skinny latte and a choc chip muffin, like you, I wouldn't be bothering however, my son doesn't have £4k available should his luck run out.

Well said sir.

No idea what the quality of Dayco kits is like but for about £100 you can get a Conti kit which is top quality.

Never changed a belt on the "Sigma" engine but have done several on the "Zetec engine". From experience the crank bolt can be a sod to get out but do not be tempted to lever against the crank locking dowel (if Sigmas use such an item) as it can bend and do serious internal damage. Same with the cam locking bar, loosening the cam sprocket bolts using only the bar can snap cam shafts. But on the 2 litres I have never actually had to loosen the cam sprocket bolts since the timing has always been spot on after without disturbing them, probably just been lucky. But I have only used genuine Ford or Conti belts, if the cheaper ones are made to a slightly different length the sprockets would require adjusting.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - gordonbennet

I too would be changing the belt.

However i do have a gripe that the job is made so ridiculously complicated by so many makers, no doubt to deter the home mechanic but also make it an expensive enough garage job that if combined with say a clutch being suspect and a major service due to encourage the owner to consider replacing the car.

Couple of examples of how it should be, Volvo 200 series engines (going back a bit now) non interference and matters not if it snaps, new belt marked with three individual markes which correspsond with the same maerks on the engines pulleys (locked by woodruff keys as engines should be).

Toyota 3.0 D4D engines (much more recent), don't even have to remove the auxilliary belt, 6 bolts take the cover off, belt only drives the camshaft, nothing else (water pump driven gently off the back of the auxilliary belt as all water pumps should be), timing mark on cam and belt drive pulleys, tensioner and idler gear renewed in kit, permanent spring tensioner held on by two bolts, undo old tensioner and remove belt, replace idler held on by one bolt, put new belt on fit new tensioner (or vice versa), pull pin out of tensioner piston (grenade style) tensioner now sprung against idler, job done...1 hour tops the first time you do one, change every 100k miles, cost £75 for full Gates kit inc new tensioner.

All cambelts should be like these.

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/07/2017 at 12:28

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - hardway

Skidpan raises a valid point,

Not to mention some very bad memories of a crank bolt that just would not loosen.

Every trick/technique tried that only produced sweat.

This b***** wouldn't shift.

In the end as Ford had plenty in stock?????

I drilled the center of the bolt out progressivly until the threaded section was so thin the head moved.

I don't recall exactly just how long just getting the crank bolt out took me but be warned.

If you procede with the job get the crank bolt loose before any thing else is considered.

And by that I mean try right now!

You can always tighten it up.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Wackyracer

Dayco are an OEM supplier to Ford (and alot of others) so I wouldn't worry too much about using their products, although I didn't like the fact the last Dayco belt I bought was made in China (but, that's just me associating China with poorly made tat of the past).

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

I've used Dayco in the past without problem. My local factor sells them and whilst they don't supply any rubbish, they rarely sell Conti or Gates. Probably what the local trade want - good enough quality which won't cost them with warranty work, but not so expensive that customers are scared away.

Skidpan. One of the tools I've ordered is to lock the flywheel, so fingers crossed....

Gordonbennet. Agree. The Fiat FIRE 8v is very straightforward and despite the special tools required for the more recent Fords (not counting the Ecoboost here), it looks do-able for DIY. The special tools are universal for a large number of Fords (inc Volvo and Mazda using shared engines) so I guess most full time mechanics will have them in the toolkit.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - skidpan

Skidpan. One of the tools I've ordered is to lock the flywheel, so fingers crossed....

If its a threaded pin that you insert through a hole in the block it is NOT a tool to lock the crank, its only there to find TDC. I have seen various tools to lock the flywheel on Fords, some DIY which use the starter teeth, some made by such as Sykes/Pickavant which use the timing holes in the back of the flywheel. These should not damage the engine if they are made of cheese but some care is needed to ensure they are correctly fitted.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

No, not the threaded pin skidpan. That comes with the camshaft locking tool and would be easily bent. I'm referring to this which locks the starter teeth.

www.lasertools.co.uk/product/4275

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - bathtub tom

I've used Dayco in the past without problem. My local factor sells them and whilst they don't supply any rubbish, they rarely sell Conti or Gates.

The last Gates belt I tried to fit (Perkins Prima diesel) was too long, there just wasn't enough movement on the tensioner wheel to tighten it adequately. Bought an OEM belt that fitted fine. The OEM was thicker than the Gates and that's what I assumed the problem was.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Wackyracer

The last Gates belt I tried to fit (Perkins Prima diesel) was too long, there just wasn't enough movement on the tensioner wheel to tighten it adequately. Bought an OEM belt that fitted fine. The OEM was thicker than the Gates and that's what I assumed the problem was.

The last OEM belt I bought from Citroen came in a Citroen/Peugeot branded box and when opened it contained a Dayco belt, the factory fitted original on the car was a Gates belt. Provided the brand is a well known OEM supplier i.e Gates,Dayco, Conti etc. I'd not have a problem with using them (assuming it is the correct part number for the vehicle) I might not be so keen if it was branded Xing-a-ling.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris M

Update.

Job done and to be honest, not a job I particularly enjoyed. The actual idea of locking the crank and camshafts at TDC and allowing the pullies to float seems OK, but in practice....

There are three possible size crankshaft bolts used. The two smaller bolts came with the belt kit, but this one had the larger size which is done up much tighter than the smaller ones. Problem: not enough space to get a 1/2" drive socket and breaker bar in the space. Managed it with my 3/8" drive bar, but ended up wrecking it in the process (10 out of 10 for Machinemart who exchanged it FoC under their lifetime guarantee).

Next. Starter motor has to be removed to instal crankshaft locking tool. Easy according to Haynes. Remove two wires and three bolts and out it comes - they even have a picture to prove it! First off, you can't actually see the connections so it's all done by feel and secondly, you would need to remove several pipes, oil filter, dip stick tube, wiring loom clip (the use once variety)..... Managed to just move it far enough out of the way without removing it completely. What a pain.

Like so many jobs, the second time would be more straightforward as I'd know what to expect and how to get around the problems (or are they just issues?), but I wouldn't be looking forward to it.

The old belt looked OK and possibly had plenty of life left in it, but then could I really tell just from a visual inspection? The outer rubber looked OK but does that mean the core isn't about to fail? Glad it's done and can be forgotten about.

On a slightly different topic, had to replace front shock absorbers on my wife's Panda as MoT next month and one was starting to leak. Replacing these is a very straightforward job on paper. Four bolts and it's out, but on a seven year old 120k miles Fiat? I was expecting at least one or two siezed threads. Not a bit of it. Two hours, start to finish including clearing tools away. Result!

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76
"On a slightly different topic, had to replace front shock absorbers on my wife's Panda as MoT next month and one was starting to leak. Replacing these is a very straightforward job on paper. Four bolts and it's out, but on a seven year old 120k miles Fiat? I was expecting at least one or two siezed threads. Not a bit of it. Two hours, start to finish including clearing tools away. Result!

Further serves my liking of these wee cars. Cheap, simple and generally pretty robust.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - John F

The old belt looked OK and possibly had plenty of life left in it......

Not 'possibly', certainly. Modern belts are almost indestructible; they even use them instead of chains for powerful motorbikes. I sincerely hope your new belt is of the same quality and you don't have problems with your disturbed engine/ancillaries in the next few years/30k miles. Do keep us posted!

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76

The old belt looked OK and possibly had plenty of life left in it......

Not 'possibly', certainly. Modern belts are almost indestructible; they even use them instead of chains for powerful motorbikes. I sincerely hope your new belt is of the same quality and you don't have problems with your disturbed engine/ancillaries in the next few years/30k miles. Do keep us posted!

Explain the thousands of cases of snapped timing belts that happen every year then John. I've seen plenty of ruined engines through belt failure in my 23yrs in the trade. Most were in denial about the need for a belt change and left it until it failed. You have been lucky to date John but too many who follow such deeply flawed advice are not. Rubber belts can look perfectly fine right up until they suddenly give way. In fact the last one I did (a 2008 Astra) looked fine on the whole but when you removed it and flexed it you could see the deterioration very clearly, you'd only see this with the belt off. The only time you should risk missing a scheduled belt change is when (as is the case with your Focus and the Passat before it) they're not worth the cost of doing it. Newer oil bath belt engines will vastly extend the lifespan but traditional belt driven engines should be changed as per manufacturers guidelines.

Edited by SLO76 on 18/08/2017 at 19:27

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Chris Miller

John F,

If I had given you the £35 the belt kit cost, would you have indemnified me for the cost of repairing the car should the old belt have failed over say the next 5 years and 60,000 miles?

Edited by Chris Miller on 18/08/2017 at 19:50

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - FP

Modern belts are almost indestructible;

"More valuable advice from the usual idiot."

Skidpan, I don't agree with JohnF's approach, but I don't feel in the slightest the urge to be sarcastic and rude to him, unlike you, apparently. He has never, to my knowledge, said anything unpleasant about anybody on here.

What is your problem?

Edit: It seems the post to which I replied, and quoted from, has disappeared.

(It has indeed. Disagreeing with someone is no reason to insult them. Avant)

Edited by Avant on 21/08/2017 at 14:12

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Metropolis.
I'm so glad my TD5 has a timing chain. With frequent
oil changes i don't think i'll bother worrying till about
250,000 miles/whenever a rebuild is required.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - John F

Explain the thousands of cases of snapped timing belts that happen every year then John. I've seen plenty of ruined engines through belt failure in my 23yrs in the trade.

I do not believe 'thousands' snap every year, unless worldwide. My busy mechanic can't remember the last one he saw, and they don't feature at all in the AA/RAC top ten causes of breakdown. Here's an interesting old paper on T belt design.....

bradscholars.brad.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/10454/237...1

.. Rubber belts can look perfectly fine right up until they suddenly give way.

Not these days, because they are no longer made of rubber. I agree in the ancient ones the teeth could part company from the backing.

It's a case of choosing your engine wisely. I would not have left my Focus so long if I did not have confidence in the design.....

papers.sae.org/1999-01-0641/

Note the comment re 'lifetime robustness'.....150,000m...

If I was minded to change anything it would be the tension pulley, not the belt.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - RT

Explain the thousands of cases of snapped timing belts that happen every year then John. I've seen plenty of ruined engines through belt failure in my 23yrs in the trade.

I do not believe 'thousands' snap every year, unless worldwide. My busy mechanic can't remember the last one he saw, and they don't feature at all in the AA/RAC top ten causes of breakdown. Here's an interesting old paper on T belt design.....

bradscholars.brad.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/10454/237...1

.. Rubber belts can look perfectly fine right up until they suddenly give way.

Not these days, because they are no longer made of rubber. I agree in the ancient ones the teeth could part company from the backing.

It's a case of choosing your engine wisely. I would not have left my Focus so long if I did not have confidence in the design.....

papers.sae.org/1999-01-0641/

Note the comment re 'lifetime robustness'.....150,000m...

If I was minded to change anything it would be the tension pulley, not the belt.

The number snapping is much reduced due the number of owners taking notice of the advice to change BEFORE they snap - so any statistic on those actually snapping has no value.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Wackyracer

The number snapping is much reduced due the number of owners taking notice of the advice to change BEFORE they snap - so any statistic on those actually snapping has no value.

Add to that the fact that probably half the cars on the road now have chain driven cams (a few are gear driven) so the figures for snapped belts might look lower but, are likely to be much the same as before.

A good friend of mine had a Vectra and didn't change the belt at the recommended 80,000miles interval, it broke at 96,000miles and the car was only 4 years old.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76
"Not these days, because they are no longer made of rubber. I agree in the ancient ones the teeth could part company from the backing."

I assure you John the 9yr old belt I took off that Astra was disintegrating. I agree the quality is better today (thus the reason why intervals have greatly increased over the typical 3yrs in the 80's and 90's but they still deteriorate which is why so many manufacturers spend the money fitting chains and attempts to adopt them has caused so much trouble for others, VAG being the best example.

Some firms are spending money on oil bath belt systems in place of dry belts. This again is because (despite your belief that it's all a conspiracy) they fail frequently past 5yrs and too many owners refuse to pay for the job. Why would manufacturers be spending millions on this if there's no fear of a belt failing John? I'll answer this for you... they wouldn't.

Your "busy" mechanic is clearly not as busy as he says. I would agree it's less common now but any garage will see it often enough. Possibly as with smaller garages or one man bands he's happy to do basic servicing and simple jobs only. The garage I use for my sale cars and customers servicing is very popular with the local taxi trade and often has the job of rebuilding and replacing engines. Numerous smaller garages send bigger jobs like this to them and often engine failure is due to snapped timing belts.

I'll agree that the tensioner is often the cause of failure but it's madness to strip it down to replace a tensioner without doing the belt and water pump at the same time. The additional cost would be marginal.

Just done a quick google search and found plenty of examples of Ford 1.6 Zetec SE's that have suffered snapped timing belts. It's nowhere near as common as on Renault motors but it happens. In fact I suggest you spend a little time searching around at the massive volume of belt failures that are online in numerous forums with owners asking for advice. Most are advised to get a used engine instead of attempting a costly rebuild which is a world of rogues and cheats one of which is located up the road from me with shelves full of engines lying exposed to the elements before being sold to unsuspecting punters.


Edited by SLO76 on 19/08/2017 at 19:51

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - skidpan
What is your problem?

My problem is simple. An idiot is allowed to continue posting his views that are the polar opposite of those of every other poster on this forum. But because I am not afraid to say what I believe and I call a person an idiot when its deserved posters that normally say sensible things suddenly because friends with JohnF.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76
What is your problem?

My problem is simple. An idiot is allowed to continue posting his views that are the polar opposite of those of every other poster on this forum. But because I am not afraid to say what I believe and I call a person an idiot when its deserved posters that normally say sensible things suddenly because friends with JohnF.

I disagree with the bulk of John's posts but I still don't feel the need to insult him. We all have different ideas and I'm glad we do, life would be dull if we were all the same. You'll also convince more people that you're argument is sound if you don't get angry or upset while making it.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - skidpan
What is your problem?

My problem is simple. An idiot is allowed to continue posting his views that are the polar opposite of those of every other poster on this forum. But because I am not afraid to say what I believe and I call a person an idiot when its deserved posters that normally say sensible things suddenly because friends with JohnF.

I disagree with the bulk of John's posts but I still don't feel the need to insult him. We all have different ideas and I'm glad we do, life would be dull if we were all the same. You'll also convince more people that you're argument is sound if you don't get angry or upset while making it.

The simple truth is many people regard that whatever they read on a "respected" site like Honest John to be fact. So when they read that 20 year old tyres, 7 year oil changes, no cam belts changes required, the MOT is the only check the car needs annually some will take this information as being reliable and then follow it.

Although you could argue that anyone believing such advice is as big an idiot as the person giving it and deserves all they get having a tyre blow out at 70 mph or having a cam belt break at 70 mph could have serious safety repercussions and who would be to blame? In a perfect world the end user has the responsibilty to ensure they are operating a car safely but in the modern world it does not work like that. Although the person issuing the advice should be held responsible its unlikely they would be. If the repercussions of an incident were truly serious the people who allowed the information to be repeatedly written on a web site would possibley be. Some sites I have visited have a policy where advice of this kind would be removed, others have a disclaimed you have to tick that confirms its your own respeonsibilty. This site has none.

Honest John shoudl be worried.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76
Thus the reason why many of us will comment when we see what we think to be inaccurate or flawed information but I believe sticking to useful facts and my personal opinions is more helpful than insults.

Relax and enjoy what is a very pleasant forum for all car nuts alike.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - FP

"Honest John shoudl be worried."

Don't be silly. And don't insult the intelligence of people who read this forum. It's obvious that there's a huge range of opinions and often contradictory advice here. No-one is going to follow the advice of one poster taken out of context.

I think you are searching for some higher moral justification for what is just your personal unpleasantness towards one particular poster.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - FP

"But because I am not afraid to say what I believe and I call a person an idiot when its deserved posters that normally say sensible things suddenly because friends with JohnF."

I presume this is aimed at me.

It shows further examples of the sort of thing I really hate on this forum.

"...I am not afraid to say what I believe..." Since when has posting on this forum been a test of bravery? Saying what you believe is fine - it's the langauge you use that is so often offensive.

"... I call a person an idiot when its deserved..." Well, YOU think it's deserved, I don't (and others agree, it seems), so it's just in your opinion that it's deserved. Why you want to insult anyone I've no idea, but it says more about you than anything else.

"...posters that normally say sensible things suddenly because friends with JohnF." Bizarre. You seems to think that because I object to your unpleasantness I am friends with someone. I happen to disagree with a lot of what John F says, but I don't insult him, I'm not friends with him and in fact don't have and don't feel I have any connection with him whatsoever.

I really love an intelligent argument, but often that's not what we get from you.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - RT

I think bad advice from one contributor is best countered with good advice from everyone else - introducing personal attacks just gets any validity in your point of view ignored.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - John F

Well said FP RT and SL.. I am only responding to make it clear that I do not and have never claimed to be an automotive expert and I don't presume to give authoritative advice. I merely offer opinions, sometimes saying what I would, or would not do in the circumstances. I do not think either HJ or the wider public has any cause for alarm.

All progress depends on the unreasonable man (hats off to GBS).

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - John F
Just done a quick google search and found plenty of examples of Ford 1.6 Zetec SE's that have suffered snapped timing belts.

I too have often searched, and considering the millions of Zetecs in the English speaking fora world over the past 10yrs, I found very few reported failures. Even if only 1% of failures went on line to report it, there would be lots to read.

I have taken a personal experimental decision to leave well alone in our almost worthless car, believing that being both petrol and auto (I think diesels might stress belts more) plus carefully driven augurs well for lifetime service, as indeed the original engineers intended.

Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - SLO76
"I too have often searched, and considering the millions of Zetecs in the English speaking fora world over the past 10yrs, I found very few reported failures. Even if only 1% of failures went on line to report it, there would be lots to read."

In all my years in the trade I've never personally encountered one that's failed but a quick search revealed plenty of cases last time I looked John. It is a good engine and you're right that a gently driven petrol auto is likely to be under less duress than a torque laden hard driven diesel plus I wouldn't change it on a Focus worth less than £500 either... run it til it drops.
Fiesta 1.4 2009 - Timing Belt Replacement - Avant

"Some sites I have visited have a policy where advice of this kind would be removed, others have a disclaimer you have to tick that confirms its your own responsibilty. This site has none."

There is no claim on this site that any advice given on here has professional backing (although some people are in the business and their advice is extremely valuable), nor do we take responsiblity for any of it. So no need for a disclaimer.

That said, there is a possibility that the Arthur Punters of this world WILL take it as gospel, so I have on one occasion removed advice which could endanger others as well as oneself (saying that it's safe to use 20-year-old tyres). But in most cases it's a matter of running into expensive bills if someone makes a poor choice of car for their needs and/or fails to maintain it properly.

I won't make any more deletions from the posts above as they've been commented on: but we will not have people beng personally insulted - and that includes calling someone an idiot just because you disagree with them..

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car