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1998 MK4 1.25 Zetec - Cam Belt Change - wicked_buffy
I'm about to change the cambelt on this car - done 82K with no proof of ever having a new belt fitted. I'm worried about 2 things. Firstly, removal of the crank pulley bolt - I read that a good way of doing this is to engage 5th gear and wedge a steel bar between the wheel hub studs and the ground. This maintains the engine locked while the bolt is removed. Has anybody tried this? Is it a good method or is there a better way? Secondly, the Ford TIS states that the pulley must be withdrawn using a puller. Is there enough access for a standard 2 pronged puller? Is this really the case? Often crank pulleys just fall out easily. Thanks.

Edited by Webmaster on 09/04/2008 at 13:05

Cam Belt Change Fiesta MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - milkyjoe
if its owt like a mk 3 remove the clutch cover plate and wedge a large screwdriver in the ring gear to lock the crank
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - mjm
You can wedge the hub in the way you have described. Put the wheel nuts back on to protect the threads on the studs.
Be aware that the transmition will "wind up" to a certain extent and you will have to allow for that with the amount of swing needed on the socket/extension bar.

I have never plucked up the courage to wedge a screwdriver in the starter ring gear. I'm not saying that it's wrong, though, Milky.

Another way I have done it is to get the car securely mounted on axle stands, fit a good quality, well fitting socket to the crank bolt with the handle/extension bar horizontal, support the end of the bar with an axle stand so that there is no free movement at all. This important to avoid possible flying objects! Disable the ignition system/ fuel pump so that the engine will not start and turn the ignition key to the start position momentarily. The starter will then do the hard work. Remember that all you are doing is trying to loosen the bolt by 1/2 a turn or so, not totally unscrew it.

This may sound a drastic method but if you set it up properly and just "ting" the starter into life for 1/2 a second or so it should work.(i've never had one fail - yet!) Make sure that everything is well supported.

Can't help with the puller I'm afraid.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - milkyjoe
i think my method is more preferable the ring gear is designed to take some hammer when the starter motor engages it and as it has a large circumference the actual amount of pressure it will absorb whilst you undo the crank pully is minimal
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - pmh
no proof of ever having a new belt fitted......

why should there be? They are specd to 10yrs and 100k. I don't think this has been downgraded.

I think they have a very good reputation for longetivity on this Yamaha designed engine.


pmh (was peter)

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - injection doc
When you remove the crank pulley its not on a woodruff key & nor is the belt sprocket so I think you will find that if the crank moves in the slightest you will be in trouble. I would advise having seen quite a few DIY belt chenges go badly wrong I would advise you to get professional help. The crank pulley is also well known for siezing on & there is a special tool to remove them.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - wicked_buffy
Thanks for your replies. First of all on the 10years/100K replacement interval it depends which engine you have. This is what the Ford service guide says:

Zetec/Zetec-E engines: renew every 5 years/80K miles
Zetec SE engine: renew every 10 years/100K miles

The problem is that on the engine cover it states that I have a Zetec-S engine, which is not listed in the Ford service guide. Anybody tell me which to choose? If there is any ambiguity I will be changing the belt pronto!

As for DIY belt changes, my son's car (a Zetec 1.4) has a change last year done by a local garage. Afterwards he complained of low power, the garage set about changing the plugs and leads. This did nothing so I checked the timing myself and to my horror discivered it was out by quite a margin. The garage then admitted that when they undid the crank bolt they didn't realise that there was no woodruff key and so immediately lost the timing. They guessed the correct position of the crankshaft. Terrible! As stated in the thread both the camshafts as well as the crank don't have a means of locking them. You have to reset the timing using a pin and a cam setting plate. Cheap to buy, even cheaper if you improvise a solution. I work in the diesel fuel injection business - we see a significant minority of cars where the timing is out following a cam belt change. This is because some garages try to carefully remove the old belt and put the new on hoping nothing will move. Bad practise. Thanks for all your help so far
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Wicked_buffy ... I've had exactly the same problem recently. Mk4 Fiesta 1.25. Went in to have a Cambelt Change. Picked it up, found it was runnning like a dog, and making a loud tapping noise, plus overfilled well above the Max mark with the WRONG oil!
Took it back, and the noise turned out to the be fan belt catching on the plastic cover, sorted. Drained the oil out to the max mark, appologised, but said there's nothing wrong with mixing 10w40 with 5w30 !! It was already full with 5w30 when it went in, and they'd put 10w40 in. That's a problem, right?

...Anyway, after all that, it was still running badly, lack of power, and when the revs increase after 4k, making a noise like a rally car. Basically, worse than when it went in.

He says when they got it, the timing was out, so they've put it back to what it "should" be, although when it went in, it was running ok, now it's running alot worse.
When you renew the belt on these engines, there's no "magic" position to set the crank / cams to is there, other than standard?

don't know what to do :(.

How did you check yourself that the timing was badly out?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

You could find a garage that doesn't talk utter b-b-b-b....balderdash.

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - DP
mk4 Fiestas only used the Zetec SE engine (1.25, 1.4, 1.6) which is badged Zetec-S on the spark plug cover on engines od this era. Why Ford did this, I have no idea. The Zetec-E appeared in the late mk3 XR2i and the RS1800, but was never used in the mk4.

As mentioned above, valve timing on these engines is set by inserting a metal plate into offset slots on the tail of the cams (you have to remove the cam cover), and a pin which screws in to the crankcase and touches a web on the crank when cylinder 1 is at TDC. It's true there's no markings on the cams, and the sprockets are a taper fit on the cams and are not keyed. You actually leave the sprockets "loose" when you tension the belt, the cams being retained in position by the aforementioned plate. Without the tools, you're urinating into a strong breeze!


Edited by DP on 09/04/2008 at 19:27

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Rich320d
Just had mine done by my local mechanic, he said its a bad job as there are no marks on the pulleys to ensure your putting it back in the same place!

With regard to oil, your garage is clueless.

These Zetec engines must run on 5W/30, other oil wrecks the engine.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose
Just had mine done by my local mechanic he said its a bad job as
there are no marks on the pulleys to ensure your putting it back in the
same place!

In that case; the sooner he gets a job as a traffic warden the better. If he doesn't know how to do the easiest and most elegant cam-belt design around, he's useless in this trade.

Take it somewhere else and have it properly set up by an experienced technician with the right tools.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - jc2
These Zetec engines must run on 5W/30 other oil wrecks the engine.

Wrecks the engine?? In what way?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Rich320d
The very narrow oilways get blocked by thicker grade oil.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

Err; no. You've been reading Car Mechanics again......
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Rich320d
Ok then Screwloose, so why dont you explain why you know better than Ford? Instead of just being sarcastic.

Ford specifically recommend 5W/30 for these engines.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

Ford do indeed recommend 5W-30 for all these engines [and even the ones that used to have 20W-50 as their first choice.]

Nothing to do with narrow oil galleries; they found that the valve springs weren't strong enough to compress the hydraulic tappets after a cold start on CVH and 16-valve units.

This caused failure-to-idle issues at the first junction on the early Escorts - they brought out a 5W-30 and problem solved.

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - jc2
Ford never had 20w/50 as first choice(tho' they sold it and still sell it);the oil they recommended years ago and still sell was and is 10w/30.On one of my Fords(2000 Escort) a number of oils appear in the handbook including 5w/30,10w/40 and others.Before multigrade oils,the recommendation was a straight 20 grade.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

I can remember back to the days when the very first 10W30 was marketed by BP in '75 [Visco Seven/Nova] it didn't go down well, because it went down rather too well in the engines of those days...! They drank it.

At that time; Ford Super Multigrade was a basic 20W50 - with a particularly unpleasant aroma. That was all they sold - or needed to. It was the '80s before they introduced anything else - and I don't remember a 10W30 back then.

A straight 20 is like water and only suited to Arctic climes. The only common petrol engine that used a straight 30 oil was the air-cooled VW.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - yorkiebar
Just for your information on oil specs

The reason ford specify 5/30 on the zetec units is to stop sticking valves!

When the escort 3 came out in 1980 with the cvh engine the oil specified was 15/40. before that virtually everything was 20/50!

Now they specify 5/30 for virtually everything, including the cvh lump, which really isnt suited to 5/30!
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - jc2
MkIII Cortina drivers manual lists 10w/30 as recommended oil for -23 to +32c;5w/20 for below-23c ambients and 20w/50 for +32c ambients-plus a few other assorted specs.
Both Sierra and Fiesta workshop manuals from the 80's contain similar recommendations;all these are genuine Ford manuals-not Haynes or Autodata or any others.Haynes for this period just says 10w/30 or 20w/50 with no mention of ambients.

Formula E-5w/30 semi-synthetic was only introduced late 90's when Ford lengthened the service intervals.I agree that early multigrades were like water-remember Visco-static-more like brake fluid-even the colour.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

As there were no 10W30 oils on sale in the era of the MkIII Cortina; isn't it odd that Ford were, apparently, recommending one......

You can read those handbook bar charts in many ways - the MkIII came out of Dagenham with 20W50 in the sump. I know; I was often there.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - jc2
Cortina owners handbook dated 3/75-no bar graphs-I must have seen you down there then.What make of 20w/50 was being put in then? Duckhams? The manual clearly states 10w/30-Spec SSM-2C9001-AA.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - yorkiebar
Manual must be for foreign climes I think ?

Escort 3 was first Ford (generally retail available) to come out with "new" 15/40 oil.

Dont think there was any thing other than 20/50 generally available at Fords or other shops until very late 70's / early 80's. Even then people were still not convinced 15/40 was needed !

And yes, I can (and do) remember that far back in detail about oils. First detailed oil manufacturers course I went on was in early 1980's.

10/40, 5/30, 0/30, and other lightweight oils did not generally become available until early 90's.

FoMoCo oil (in 5ltr tins was being sold then, but I cant remember who's oil it was! It will come to me soon!
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

Thelsons? Like you, all I can remember was the stink.

Edited by Screwloose on 11/04/2008 at 21:18

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - jc2
No;manual clearly marked ENG.Dom(english domestic).Oil at
Dagenham would not be identifiable by a visitor;it was in bulk tanks outside the buildings delivered by pipelines to the assembly lines-in most cases,vehicle assembly which would be PTA(Paint,Trim and Assembly) at Dagenham-engines shipped between plants "dry".A few engines would be tested at the engine plant for quality control but once again filled from bulk supply which was special mix from BP later to be replaced by Regent/Texaco.The only engines that may have used other oils would be ones used by the "Competitions Dept".
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

Yeesh; you don't listen , do you.

In the early Seventies; there was no 10W30 - nobody had ever seen any. It was one of those weird numbers on the oil charts in the back of the handbook used by people in igloos; 20W50 was king - everything took it.

The only "oddball" oil on general sale was Esso's Uniflo - and that was a 10W50.

When BP tried Visco 7, as an economy booster, [oil had just quadrupled] it bombed and was withdrawn.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Thanks for all the pointers lads.

After the Car going back in AGAIN, with them putting the timing "back to what it was when it came in", which was apparantly slightly advanced, it's still running badly.

I've just plugged the Car into my OBD software, and hey presto - "P0340 - Camshaft position sensor circuit fail" has appeared.
So that's the reason it's been running poorly then? Obviously the Garage have goosed it with the belt change? I've checked the wiring, and it seems ok.
I'll be having a word on Monday methinks. Let's hope they don't try and say "it wasn't us that broke it" hey?

The worst thing is, they've obviously had it out during the belt change too, because there's oil right underneath the sensor that wasn't there before.
I'm being taken for a ride I think.

I'll let this thread know what the outcome is, if only for other people to reference should someone else have the same problem.

Has anyone got any tips on how to deal with these people?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

You garage must be very clever in finding a way to adjust the advance on a Zetec SE - it's set by a [very fixed] crank sensor and is totally non-adjustable. They are just spouting bullshine again.

They've apparently messed-up the belt change, so you need to get it looked at by an expert to access whether they've damaged the valves [or anything else...] in the process.

Cam sensor codes can flag when the cam to crank sensor relationship is out of synch - another possible clue to a bodged belt change.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Galaxy
I'm sure that "Castrolite" was a 10W-30 oil. If it was then I can certainly remember pouring it into my Honda 50 in about 1968.

Edited by Galaxy on 20/04/2008 at 12:58

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Well, reset the DTC code on Sunday, and it's not come back YET, after about 30 miles driving. Which is annoying, because I'd really hoped that the fault was the CPS, as I've not got a clue what else it could be.

What's weird is that unless you give it above 50% throttle, it's more or less ok; very minimul pinking, and no "air surge" noises either.

Still, the problem is still there; lumpy idle, lack of power, severe pinking under full or high throttle. Sounds alot more "tappety" when starting from cold, too.

.. wanders off trying to figure out what to do next .....
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
..ok as promised, an update on things. Hopefully somebody else can benefit from this thread.

After a week of "living with it" I took it back to the garage. It's been out for a test run with the two mechanics, and they've eventually agreed it's pinking, and generally not running right, which is a step in the right direction i suppose. The Temperature gauge is now fluxuating between "centre" and "colder then centre" alot more this week, which suggests another problem.
The Garage is now trying to go down the route of "the timing belt is fine", its something else that is causing the problem, and it's going to cost me. Which i'm having none of.
While it was in today, they've hooked it up to their OBD machine, with no faults.

Basically what they're saying is the timing is fine, an there's nothing more they can do in that respect. But they're not prepared to spend hours more on the car, because they think it's their word against mine that it was running better before it came in.

It's going back in Thursday to see if they can sort it. If not, I'll have to play my last cards on the matter, as I won't leave it, and give in.
I've looked after that car since nearly new, and i'm dammed if i'm giving in on this one.

There's one thing that I can't understand though, and that's why they're SO adament that the timing is ok, when it's clearly something to do with that.

... I'll let you know what happens.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Rattle
Sounds like when some plonker garage put 10/40 in my dads Escort as it was high milleage (70K at the time).

It ran fine for a while but then it started to burn a lot of fuel. I am sure I made threads on it here loads of times. So many things were replaced my various mechanics. My uncle looked at it and found that the valves were sticking :( 3 garages missed it 3 were sacked as a result.

Found a very good local mechanic now who is cheap and also knows a lot about modern ECUs.

PS When the cambelt was done on that Escort it too was not right, but the bloke admitted he forget to tighten some pulley and put it right.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
ok as promissed an update on things.

It went in last week for some tests. They put the timing back to "what it should be", by using a "pin" in the side of the engine to set the crank and a "plate" for the cam timing. But the problem is still there, clearly not running right, and pinking worse under load too. Although the idle is now better and doesn't sound like a Diesel starting up anymore.

They did compression tests, all ok. They also did fuel pressure tests, which showed ok apart from on the "overrun" whatever that is, when the pressure dropped to 2.3 Bar.
The Fuel thing i will look into afterwards, but I know it's not the cause of my problem, because it was fine when it went it.

The timing has been adjusted three times now since it went it, and each time the engine performs differently. So it's clear as day to me that they've done something wrong putting the new belt on, whether that be not tightening something properly, or simply setting the timing wrong. Something that's been mentioned alot too, is Cam / Crank sensor sync, or possible problems with either one. Although there is no fault codes thus far.
Something he said sounded weird though. He said you can't alter the timing much on these engines, maybe a degree or two before the pistons hit the valves.

I really need to speak to someone who knows what they're talking about here, and someone who has experience on these engines.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - DP
If the correct tools have been used in the correct way, the timing setup on these engines is virtually idiot proof.

You screw the pin into the crankcase, and turn the engine slowly by hand until a machined web on the crankshaft touches the pin. This means cylinder 1 is at TDC, but only when the web and pin are in contact. If the crank moves or "bounces" off the pin, the reading is false. You then remove the cam cover, and check the tail of the cams for an offset slot. If this lines up with the casting on the cylinder head, you insert the metal plate into the slot, and the engine is correctly timed. If the slots don't line up, you remove the crank pin, turn the engine 3/4 of a turn, and repeat the exercise. It's really not difficult.

The fact they are "adjusting" the timing, and "putting it back to what it should be" suggests they have either guessed, used the wrong tools, or let something move when the belt was off. One tooth out on crank or either cam will cause the engine to run like a dog, and could cause valve/piston contact. Setting up these (and most other engines) is an exact science. There is no margin for error. With the correct tools used and the correct procedure, it can only be set up one way.

The compression test should have highlighted any damage caused by valve / piston contact if there were any. What you really need to do is get the valve timing checked elsewhere. This is literally a 20 minute job for someone with the right tools. From what you say, this garage is clueless.

If the compression test is OK and the valve timing is correct, at least it eliminates a basic mechanical problem.


Edited by DP on 08/05/2008 at 21:42

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Thanks DP, you obviously know what you're talking about here! Don't fancy a trip up to to Wirral do you? :)

Well, I'm not going back to that garage - that's for sure, so I think I'll have the valve timing checked elsewere, as you say.
The only thing I'm worried about is going on a wild goose chase, from garage to garage paying each time. If it is not actually the valve timing, and say something else they've done, like leave a hose off somewhere for example.

I think my best bet is to tell the full story to a competent mechanic with experience of these engines.
I just don't want to start paying people to "check the valve timing" to be told again "it's fine" and then being back to square one. Maybe the best thing is not put words into a mechanics head and say "listen, it's had the belt done, and now it's running badly".

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll let you know what happens.

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
By the way DP, I'll explain the reason they tried to change the timing.

1. When it came into them the timing was apparentlty "slighly advanced". This the when the car was running ok.

2. When they put the new belt on, they "set it to what it should be". After I got the car back it was running with low power / pinking / different noise when heavy acceleration (like the air box was missing)

3. Car went back in. They adjusted the timing to "what it was when it came in". sounded very "tappety" from cold, and other weird noises coming from the exhaust. Pinking maybe not QUITE as bad.

4. Car goes in again. All the tests done, and the timing set to "what it should be". Now better idle, and running "ok'ish". But still quite down on power and still pinking.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
just a little update. In a move to be pro-active in getting this sorted I unplugged all the sensors and took it for a little drive, just to try and see if one of them is goosed or not.
Narrowed it down to the MAF causing the pinking.
Obviously, it ran well rougher, but with the MAF unplugged there was no pinking, which is strange? The Engine is still down on power though, which has got to be due to Valve timing?

Does that make any sense to someone with experience with such things?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

The MAF only affects the fuelling; the knock sensor is the main anti-pinking device.

Do a compression test.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
As I wrote in the last few posts above mate, a compression test has been done, and all 4 are fine - above 200 lb's.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - Screwloose

And you believed them?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
to be honest, yes, because they did a few other tests at the same time, and gave me a job card with the results of the tests. They also gave me an emissions test sheet, in the form of an offical MOT style form. It passed fine.

By the way, my car doesn't have a knock sensor. I don't think any of the Mk4 Fiestas have them do they?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - gallop
Hi punkrulesok

Sadly I have got the exact same problem with my 1998 1.25 Fiesta. Had the cambelt kit changed a couple of days ago by a local garage. It is now idling erratically, feels lumpy and sluggish, and sounds very different - particularly noisy when the throttle is down quite far.

I'm not at all looking forward to dealing with the garage and am wondering what your current situation is.

Any comments greatly appreciated.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Hi, sadly no change for me yet. But the next stage is to get it into Fords, and pay a hefty price :(. Which I really resent, because I've already payed the Garage 200 notes. Another problem, could be paying Fords top dollar to sort it, and then be told "sorry, the cam timing is correct", and then back to square one.

Is your car pinking under load too?

Hopefully mate, one of us will get it sorted, and whoever comes first, let this thread know. This is obviously one of those "known issues" with the mk4 1.25.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
In addition, the problem I had was the Garage was a kind of "friend of the family" so I couldn't take the issue as far as i wanted. If your situation is different, the small claims court would be your friend, if they mess up. Give them a chance to sort it first though.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - DP
punkrulesok - If you're talking about simply confirming the cam timing, this takes half an hour tops. Plug out of the crankcase, plastic spark plug cover off, plugs out (if they want to make life really easy for themselves), cam cover off, install the tools in the correct way, and there's the answer. They don't need to touch the timing belt or even remove its covers. Of course, if it needs adjusting, that's a totally different ballgame.

Even at a main dealer, this should be no more then £80 or so.

I had another thought - there are various types of these "pin and plate" timing sets for various Ford petrol and diesel engines. I have a set for a Ford 1.8TD engine for example which works on the same principle, but it's not suitable for a Zetec. Is it possible that they've used the wrong set? This would account for them claiming the timing was out when you first brought the car into them, as it would have looked to be the case if the pin they are using was a fraction too long or short. It would also have led to the engine being retimed incorrectly.

In this case, and I wouldn't normally recommend it, in the absence of a trusted alternative, I suspect a Ford dealer is your safest bet. Expensive (£80 p/h), but it gives you a known starting point and you also know they have the correct tools.

My money is still on the timing being out. It's a heck of a coincidence that it went in running fine, and came out running like a dog.


Edited by DP on 16/05/2008 at 09:27

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
DP and everyone else - thanks for all the advice. I've booked it in at Fords for a diagnostic @ £88. Let's see what they come up with.

did an oil an filter change at the weekend, now i've got an oil leak coming from somewhere above the sump gasket, from all sides it appears. It could well be the sump gasket, but i've spent that much time under the car, and general time worrying about the car for too many weeks now, so i'm going to live with it until next week when Fords have a look.

As for the other Garage that did the original job, i'll be letting him know if the timing is out or not, that's for sure.

Gallop: Did you get your car sorted?
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - gallop
Hi wicked_buffy. Sent the car back to the garage and thankfully it has come back running much better. I haven't had a chance to give it a proper drive yet but will do over the weekend.
They seemed to imply that the belt they put on was faulty and that the webbing had started to come off - which certainly seems poor! They didn't say that they had fitted it incorrectly but I do wonder whether this is, in fact, the case, especially as the car was running strangely as soon as we got it back from the garage.
I'm sorry I can't be of more help to you, as our symptoms seemed to be very similar. However I hope you get to the bottom of it - please let us know what Ford say and how you get on.
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - gallop
Sorry, that was intended for punkrulesok!
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
thanks for the reply mate, no problems.

as i say, mine is going into Fords next week, so hopefully i will know what the problem is then. i still won't hold my breath though, what with all the problems i've had lately!

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
Right, problem sorted.

Ford checked it out, and the inlet cam was a tooth out! I also had quite a bad oil leak, which was caused by the original garage not bolting the Rocker cover down properly, and also they'd not tightened the timing pin cover up. Top marks to M53 Ford who cleaned the engine for me too, after fixing the oil leak!

So, it's been a long up-hill struggle, but i'm there now!

Thanks to everyone who's helped out here!

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - DP
Glad you got it sorted out. There's no way the correct tools were used originally, as the cam plate holds both cams as a pair, and won't actually fit unless they're both in the correct position. It sounds like the garage tried to set it up by simply not moving anything between removing and refitting the belts, and the inlet cam moved a fraction. If they followed the proper tensioning procedure and slackened the pulleys off, they would never have spotted this.

The pulleys on these engines aren't marked, or even keyed to the shaft (if you slacken the bolts a turn or so and break the taper, the pulleys spin freely on the cams). The correct tensioning procedure is actually to leave the cam pulleys so they can turn freely on the shaft as the belt is tensioned. The tool holds the cams themselves in position rather than the pulleys.

Anyway, you're sorted now. Sounds like you've got a decent Ford dealer too. They're not too easy to come by.

Here's to a better ownership experience from here onwards. These are great little cars if properly maintained.


Edited by DP on 09/06/2008 at 11:35

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - punkrulesok
thanks for all your advice mate.

the bill from ford for diagnostic / oil leak fix / inspect and put right cam belt was £190. so had it not been incorrectly booked in for a diagnostic, and only the timing belt fix, it would've shaved £90 off that bill. I should've taken it to fords in the first place! lessons learn't, and all that ...

i'm not usually aggresive in any way, but if the original garage doesn't pay the bill, it'll be small claims court i'm afriad!

hopefully this thread can be some use to someone else anyway!

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - p0l0nium
An excellent thread, with a good result.

On the same subject ...
Does anyone know if its safe to use the crankshaft locking pin (not the timing pin) to hold the crankshaft for BOTH undoing AND doing up the crankshaft pulley bolt?

Haynes is unclear on the subject and he uses a "Home Made Tool" for the job.
I'd prefer to use the locking pin if possible but I don't want to risk cracking the crank-case or shearing the pin.

Thanks to anyone who knows .

Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - DP

The crank pin only prevents the crank turning clockwise. There's a machined web on the crank that touches the pin when cylinder 1 is at TDC. It doesn't actually lock in at all.

The Haynes home made tool is just a bolt with two nuts locked against each other leaving the same distance of thread as the length of the correct pin. The length is critical - if it's mill or two out, it won't set the crank at the right position. I didn't trust my metalwork skills to that extent ;-)

When I did the belt on my Mondeo TD (same principle), I used a Laser Tools kit which cost me just under thirty quid. It worked a treat. You can always get some of the money back by Ebaying it when you're done, assuming you are confident you won't need it again. Unfortunately, the kit for this engine is different to the one needed for the Zetec. When I did the Fiesta's, a mechanic mate lent me his set. Actually, he ended up pretty much doing the job for me, but then he does them all the time and it took him about half an hour!


Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - p0l0nium
DP , thanks for that but ....

There are 2 sorts of pins... I think the "Timing pin" does what you say . The "Locking Pin" does something more 'beefy' but I'm not sure exactly how much torque I can apply to the pulley bolt in either direction with the locking pin in place.

Haynes' "Home made tool" in the fiesta manual is for holding the pulley wheel stationary while you undo the bolt that holds it (and the lower cam sprocket) onto the crankshaft.

And yup ! there will be a zetec 1.25 timing pin set on Ebay about 1 hour after I've finished!
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - v486not
Hi all. Have just done a cambelt change on my son's Fiesta. Have been working on cars DIY for years but I must admit the new models make me nervous, there are so many pipes sensors and electronics compared to the old stuff. Anyway another son had a'53 Clio and I did the belt on that about a year ago and it was pretty easy. Its done another 25000 miles now so I guess I was successful. Anyway I decided to do the other son's 04 Fiesta. First problem was releasing the crankshaft pulley bolt. Very tight! Could not get leverage on it without a longer extension bar. No problem I thought. Off down the road to my mates with air wrenches and all the gear. The idea was to slacken off the bolt, hand tighten with my bar and socket, drive back home and do the job. BIG MISTAKE!!! Should have done my homework! Engine would not start. You guessed. Crank pulley is on a taper. No splines or key. My mate comes back from his workshop with a printout from his Ford software and confirms the worst. No reflection on my mates expertise. He only does big diesel stuff. Excavators and trucks. Has just spent £45000 on a brand new diesel pump testing rig. Anyway back to the Fiesta. Has the piston hit the valves? Is the engine goosed. Only thing to do is mend it there and then. Printout gives basic method of setting sprockets and belt. Small flat file lines up the camshaft slots. Printout says you must not tighten up the camshaft sprockets using the flat bar in the slots as a lock. There are hexagonal blocks on the shafts to hold them with a spanner. TDC pin was made from a sleeve anchor bolt. Same thread as blanking pin and locknuts set pin length to 38.4mm. Do not quote me on this figure. No 1 plug out. check TDC against pin. place belt in position. Check cam position. Check TDC. Tighten pulley, sprockets, et al. Check TDC again, Check Cams again. Check again. Yes really. Reassemble all and turn the key. Great relief. It still works. Same running, same power, same idle. Not that bad really but DO YOUR HOMEWORK first. I got away with this one but I think I was lucky! Cheers Paul
Cam Belt Change - MK4 1.25 Zetec 1998 - HammerHead
All information submitted is strictly from memory and it is for general reference, if your unsure seek professional advice.

Wow that's crackers, any good mechanic would locate TDC on cylinder 1 and then note the cam positions, use the proper fork cam holding tool with a flat tool for cam shaft aligning, and to further secure the cams. There is on Zetec engines a slot cut out so an appropriate piece of angle iro can be used to lock the cams. Not all cranks have a wood-ruf key but tippex on all wheels and pulleys is an easy way to keep positions though. The crankshaft pulley nearly always has a notch cut out, and labeled with a drill indent example a and b which aligns with a lug or marking on the crankcase or sump. (most Fords rely on the B to align.) there is also notches cut out but be sure that the TDC notch is not mistaken for the other timing notch. other models of car have 2 countersunk dots drilled and 1 on the crankcase and the single dot aligns in between the 2 dots on the pulley. Also take into note that the 1 piston is on the compression stroke as not to confuse everything later. The easiest way is to see if number 4 cam is pointing toward the rear of the vehicle and pointing slightly down, if not it would typically pointing toward the front and flat horizontal, simply rotate the engine 1 full 360 degree turn and it would be aligned then. Check again the TDC mark to be sure. TDC for the other 3 pistons is by rotating 180 degree's (firing order must be observed). With these simple tips you could strip the head bare and easily change the dreaded Cam followers or perform any other repair. I think it's also said in this forum that 5w30 is the right oil for your Zetec (semi Synthetic) mixed with a dodgy mineral oil 10w40 may just turn to sludge. This will be most noticeable when starting when the oil is too think to get beyond the cam followers quickly and a loud tappet sound is heard. But others will try to flog you a high millage oil where journal gaps and big ends are worn very slightly and a greater viscosity is needed. Example are GTX for high mileage. But that is a bodge to make the engine sound sweet while running and like a tank when cold. When the majority of damage is done when starting an engine (Cold winter day and mad man is revving the guts to get the heater matrix warm, or 10 failed start attempts and battery is nearly dead etc...etc. before I bang on about another post you will find people in other countries run 5w30 in the winter and 10w40 in the summer but its not going to make a difference here. Another common symptom of a lack of power is related to the tension on the cam belt. "fiddle stick I didn't torque up the tension roller" and later complains of power loss, I have seen this before. Take a look at the spark plugs and check there not damaged or if there taken out of the head and replaced while at the wrong tension and the crush washer is now leaking hence lack of compression and power. Lastly as to the lack of power, I would suspect the Oxygen sensor (lambda or HEGO Heated Exhaust Gas Oxygen Sensor) may have been saturated in oil. This is now dead and giving a false reading. Some people say Quote "yeah overfilling a bit wont harm your engine, err it will burn off". Yeah and right onto the very expensive and temperamental oxygen sensor. From memory I honestly cant remember id the Fiesta had 4 wires Eg: 2 for the heater and 2 for the sensor (earlier cars had one and had to wait 5 minutes for the exhaust to get warm enough to work at all). But after about 1 minute the reading would be taken and then no mater how accurate the timing was it would always be running mega lean. Inevitably leading to knock or piston slap. The output of the sensor would typically be 0.2v lean to 0.8v to rich although this is nearly impossible to check as the fluctuation occurs in milliseconds (lean to rich). This is easily checked on an emissions machine to see the components working, See the PPM of hydrocarbons, and the lambda (sometimes just a symbol like an upside down Y) ask your local MOT station and they may stick it on an hydrocarbon test machine for a small fee (but some may refuse outside of an MOT). If you do need to inspect the Oxygen sensor check to see if its white to grey or black sooty looking colour indicating (lean) to sooty black (rich). But generally the white deposit is related to silicon fouling. The sensor would always try to maintain a 14.7:1 air fuel ratio. I had heard of testing an Oxygen sensor with a volt meter and set to measure 1v but its strongly un-advised. (Even testing on a workbench in a vice and using a blow lamp to test an output). Anyway you may also have some lame garage who had not observed when using any silicon sealant that its Oxygen sensor friendly. Silicon is by far the killer of Oxygen sensors, grease, gasket sealant and some fuel has silicon in it, even a change of anti freeze as the anti corrosion inhibitors which contain silicates is enough to render an sensor dead. You may also want to look elsewhere in the engine bay for pipes loose or off even including the entire vacuum system has a leak, check all are OK.

SNIPQUOTE - no need to quote the whole post you're replying to - as per the pop up message instructions!!

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 20/12/2008 at 12:01


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