changing timing belts - fraser
I recently had to change my timing belt and got a bit of advice form a local mechanic. If you get a stanley knife and split the timing belt up the middle, remove the outer part , fit the new belt then cut the other half of the original, you dont have to worry about getting the engine to tdc. just line up with the marks on the old belt. Works a treat. Hope this helps anyone

changing timing belts - RichL
I've heard the same method reccomended to change the belt on the Pug/Citroen 16v XUD lump. Except in this case it was "Run the engine at 3000rpm and reach in with your sharp knife....."
Sounded like a recipie to lose fingers and eyeballs to me!
changing timing belts - bazza
One slip and bang goes 2 grands worth of engine! No thanks!
changing timing belts - J Bonington Jagworth
Sounds a neat trick, although probably worth marking pulley positions just in case. Thanks for the tip.
changing timing belts - M.M
Here comes Mr Grump (I may have to change my username) again!

This tip comes round the different magazines and forums every few months.

Given the expense if you get it wrong timing belts are not an area to cut corners.

If you don't feel able to set the engine timing marks then you shouldn't be doing the job.

If you make a mistake and cut right through the belt (thereby losing the timing relationship) without knowing how to line up the marks you are doubly stuffed.

**How do you check the tensioner bearing/operation plus the smoothness of any other guide roller and possibly a water pump as well.

It is often quite difficult to get the timing belt on unless the tensioner is backed right off. Trying to stretch it round with the old belt half on runs a huge risk of setting up a stress fracture in the new belt construction. Great to have that fly apart in a few hundred miles.

No mechanic or DIYer who cares about the job should ever use this method.

**Possibly the greatest reason why this method is rubbish.

changing timing belts - Dynamic Dave

Note Midddleman's word of caution back then as well, AND I have to agree with him. I got away with using this method on a couple of Vauxhalls before they were prone to tensioner failures. Wouldn't want to chance it now though.
changing timing belts - Cliff Pope
I have always used my own Snopake method.
Put a dab of Snopake on one cog per sprocket, and correspondingly on the belt.
Slacken tensioner, remove old belt.
Check tensioner etc for wear, free-running etc.
Lay old belt on new, and transpose Snopake marks to new belt.
Fit new belt, aligning all the marks.
Release tensioner.

Finally, turn engine two complete revolutions by hand with a socket, just to check belt is centralised on the sprockets and that nothing horrible has gone wrong.
Start up, watch and listen, then if all well refit cover.
changing timing belts - Peter
What not to do. After fitting a new cambelt to a Volvo 740 I asked a friend to start the engine to see if all was well. The engine started OK but I, in my haste had not refitted the restraint that stops the belt coming of the pulleys. Thankfully he stopped the engine just as the belt slipped of the pulley. Needless to say we had fun and games retiming the engine. Live and learn.
changing timing belts - Shigg
I may be over cautious but when fitting cambelts, it's always 'by the book' whether diesel or petrol. From my point of view what's a few hours compared to a knackered engine.



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