Timing Belt (again!!) - Shaz {p}
Noticed the cambelt vs Chain argument,
How's this for bad luck....

A friend of has just had cambelt failure for the second time in 14 months!
The car is a L plate Escort TD.The first failure occurred when the car was stolen.Car was found abandoned at the local park & ride car park. Insurance refused to write off car, even though there was the usual egine damage after the cambelt failure. They offered £400. Other damage included, locks, steering lock etc.
As he found the parts fairly cheap (reconditioned head), car was repaired at garage.
Now 14 months down the line, car suddenly makes a clonking sound from the engine - idlse roughly. Car has covered approx 15,000 miles since the last cambelt. Unfortunatly engine not immediatly turned off - is left on for a couple of minuates.
Car will not start after this, upon inspection finds fragments of a belt in engine bay. - Finds the fan belt has shredded... tries starting the engine - will not 'catch'.
Tries push starting - same. So I tow him to the local garage (same one that carried the work out before), and we find that the alternator has seized, causing fan belt to shred.
Tries starting again - same - no joy. Upon inspection of the cambelt find that it had pulled through fragments of the fan belt, damaging the cambelt (three - four teeth ripped out).
Now facing new head again!! Mechanic is sure that the valves are bent (causing the clonking noise that occurrs when the car is atempting engine was trying to start).
My friend now wants to repair then get rid of the car! (Car was/is other wise very reliable). Car only covered about 80k.
Timing Belt (again!!) - FlumoxedFred
Real bad luck Shaz!

Had one of them go a while back on an old Polo. Usual thing of trying to push start on a cold and frosty morning...stripped half the teeth and bent the values. Good thing about old Polos was that they were very simple to fix. Four valves at a tenner each and twelve for belt. Fifty two quid and three hours with the Hayes manual (an hour if you know what you're doing). I suspect Escort mechanicals are very simple and if your friend is even minimally handy then they should manage to fix it.
Timing Belt (again!!) - DL
That's why (IMO) auxiliary drivebelts should be treated as cambelts and should be replaced very 40K or so.
Timing Belt (again!!) - Hugo {P}
Suggest your mate looks for a good second hand head, from a reputable breakers with warranty.

Also, where did the cam belt come from? Sometimes the sources underwrite them and even pay for subsequent damage and replacement labour.

EG, when I bought the new cam belt for my Xantia from a Citroen Dealer, I asked the question whether a failure would lead to compensation for engine damage. "provided it is fitted correctly sir - yes" How they would tell, I don't know.


"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Timing Belt (again!!) - nick
I would imagine they mean fitted by a Citroen dealer.
Timing Belt (again!!) - Adam Going (Tune-Up)
What puzzles me is how Ford can have a cambelt (on the Zetec 16v engines) that is "lifed" at 100k / 10 years (and VERY rarely fails inside that), yet a customer of mine who owns a Ferrari 308 has to have new belts AND tensioners / rollers every 12k or 2 years. OK, Ferrari will pick up the bill if anything in that department fails, but a £2,000 job every 2 years seems totally over the top !

I wouldn't mind betting that 90% of all the cambelts in the world are made by one of four or five companies, so why the huge differences in renewal specs ?

Regards, adam
Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.
Timing Belt (again!!) - CMark {P}
Adam, how does the Ford and the Ferrari fit into 659FBE's formula in this thread
Do you do the Ferrari timing belt change? I have read here that you Tune Up guys are good!
Timing Belt (again!!) - Adam Going (Tune-Up)
Hi mark,

659FBE's formula is very interesting, but I don't have all the numbers (teeth etc.) available, or the time to do the sums !!

No, I DO NOT do the Ferrari belts. That is very much a workshop job, and may even be an engine out exercise. Although an older car it also has to be done by an agent in order for the warranty on this work to apply, and anyway dealer service history is vital to maintaining value of this type of car.

Regards, Adam
Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.
Timing Belt (again!!) - Shaz {p}
Friend has searched for a recon head, and found a few - around £100 mark.
The cambelt that was changed originally was an original Ford item (charged him almost £80 for the kit (including pulleys etc).
The belt itself is about £28. The Ford francise is a different one (old one moved/closed down). Have found that the new one have put up prices a fair bit. Last time the camblt was about £17!!

Also price of engine oil etc has also gone up by about 50%!

ince it was the alternator that seized, which caused the problem, I don't think he will have any claim in the warranty department.
Although I may sugest the Haynes manual idea, but I think he would rather have someoe who knows what the are doing, as he may be taking to much of a risk by doing the job himself!
Timing Belt (again!!) - 659FBE
Thanks for your reference to my earlier thread on "when to change a cambelt".

It would be interesting if we could collectively test out my analysis with Backroomer's observations - after all, you only have to remove the upper cover, check the belt width, count the camwheel teeth and divide by two to get the results.

As an update, I am coming to the conclusion that the crankshaft wheel tooth number is probably the major life determining factor, assuming proper operating conditions. Now that everyday cars have twin camshafts, the designers have unfortunately reduced the wheel sizes in order to keep a low bonnet profile (drag, pedestrian safety etc). 19 tooth crankwheels are fairly common now, and tend to shred belts.

The best engines were the old 8 valvers with 21 or 22 tooth crankwheels and a wide belt - PSA and old VW.

Always remember that there is a strong statistical element to this, as with the man who smoked 40 a day and lived to be 100. However, it should be easy to identify trends.

Any measurements or observations welcome.
Timing Belt (again!!) - Shaz {p}
Since my friend has had the head replaced on the escort td (see first post), the car does not start when left for about eight hours. Has had the glow plugs replaced - still same problem. Battery also has been replaced. The car just turns over but will not start. Fortunatly he lives on a hill so can roll it down the hill and push (roll?) start it. - It then fires up first time! Runs fine - although engine is noisier then it was before. Car will then restart straight away once engine has warmed up (about5-10 minuates running time). If the car is left for several hours (overnight) - he has to push start it again.

This has started to happen after the cambelt snapped (even though he had it changed the cambelt, pulleys and fan belt a year before, alternator then seized snapping fan belt, the remnants of which where chewed by the cam belt - causing this to fail). If you read the first post you will see what happened originally. He has replaced the head together with pulleys / cambelt/fan belt again.
Garage does not know where to start looking for the problem. Has suggested the head may have a problem, and to get a pressure test caried out?
Any ideas?
Timing Belt (again!!) - Miller
Sorry I cant add anything constructive but I think it may be time for your friend to cut his losses and send it to the scrapyard, sounds like the cost of previous and likely future repairs has already far outstripped the value of the car.
Timing Belt (again!!) - DL
Are the glowplugs indeed operating?

Just replacing the plugs may not be enough....it could well be a glow plug control box problem.
groups.msn.com/honestjohn/problems.msnw?Page=1 - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Timing Belt (again!!) - wemyss
Sounds a classic case of air getting into the fuel system when the car has been standing for a long period.
Its worth disconnecting at the injectors when cold to see if diesel is present when cranked.
Running it down the hill perhaps cranks it very quickly and gets the fuel to the injectors in a shorter time.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Timing Belt (again!!) - Shaz {p}
Glowplugs light up ok- checked - they go out after a couple of minutes in a cold start situation.

Do you guys think it could be the head? Would a cmpression test be worthwhile?



Value my car