1998 1.6 Cam belt change - freman
Ihave a 1998 Finesse 1600. It was bought in 2001Mileage22000. In Oct 2003 at 28000 I changed the cam belt, pulleys etc with a kit purchased from the local Ford dealer.
Now at a mileage of 43000 the 5 year belt change recommendation is due on time alone.
Should I change the belt etc. again?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 04/01/2009 at 17:58

1998 1600 Cam belt change - piston power
Yes rubber perishes with age alone.
1998 1600 Cam belt change - Simon
If it was me then I would be tempted to just put a belt on it rather than the whole kit. Seeing as the tensioners/pulleys have only done 15000 mile then they should be perfectly okay to use again.
98 1600 cambelt change - freman
Thanks bigtee @ Simon for your advice.
I checked the cam belt by removing the top guard & turning the O.S.F. wheel.
There was no sign of deterioration either on the pulleys side or the teeth side.
Is the belt made of rubber or some some synthetic material such as Neoprene.
The makers name & manufacturing numbers were still plainly visible which I am told is a good sign.
Ithink I will take your advice and just renew the belt. Ihave obtained a new belt made by Gates which I understand to be better than the Ford version.
As it is going to be a kerbside job and Iam knocking on 78 years of age, I will just look at it from time to time and wait to see if the weather gets a bit warmer.
BTW does any body know how long batteries and radiator hoses are supposed to last ?
After 10.5 years I am still on the original items.
Regards Freman.

linked to the original posting

Edited by Pugugly on 11/01/2009 at 15:57

98 1600 cambelt change - mobmech
Im new here but wow freman, 78 and still doing your own car jobs.

fair play !

But if you are not paying for labour why skimp on the pulleys and tensioners? Normally those that fail before the belts! Gates do complete kits at good prices.

Batteries I would generally expect to last around5 years (but some do a lot longer)

Hoses are not as often replaced as they used to be. No reason why they should not last 15 years + unless showing any signs of degrading/splitting.

Edited by mobmech on 11/01/2009 at 18:24

98 1600 cambelt change - Rattle
Wow very impressive :) I am only 26 and even if I knew how, I would find replacing the cambelt quite physically draining! I admire you're spirit.

And also in the cases I have been aware of (from friends and family) it is usually the pulleys on these that go first as they are plastic as far as I can remmeber on the Zetec.
98 1.6 cam delt - freman
Thank you Mobnach,you have now made feel really ancient.
As you probably know anybody on a pension has to go pretty careful with money.
The plan of action was to have a look at the pulleys etc when changing the belt and if there are any doubts Ican take the replacement belt back & get the set for an extra £50.
The price of the belt was £20 inc VAT the price of the kit was £72 inc VAT.
Thanks for gen on batteries and hoses. I have a spare battery of unknown vintage which I always keep charged,so between them I should have enough watts to get me to the local shop.
Also the hose life is good news as a couple of them look a right pain in the posterior to change.
Regards Freman
98 1.6 cambelt - freman
Thank you Rattle, I have always said the kidsof today have had it too easy and have got no stamina
Seriously though it is not too bad, the first time I did it I had no experience of it and it took me 2 hours. The main problem is getting all the odds and sods off to get at the job in hand.
As for the pulleys the previous ones had done 28000 miles, much of it on motorways and they were in excellent condition, waste of time changing them except for the tensioner spring which was not fitted by Fords .
You are quite correct the pulleys are plastic and I seem to remember Vauxhall had a load of trouble with them when they changed from metal ones. Apparently when the bearings wore the pulleys overheated and as the plstic would not dissipate the heat the bearings expanded and shattered the pulleys.
Anyhow we will see how it goes.

Edited by Pugugly on 11/01/2009 at 22:53

98 1.6 cambelt - Pugugly

No need to start a new thread every time you reply - just reply within the same post

Rob - Moderator
98 1.6 cambelt - Galaxy
>>Ihave obtained a new belt made by Gates which I understand to be better than the Ford version.

The Gates belt is exactly the same as the Ford version. Ford don't make cambelts, they use Gates belts during manufacture!

98 1.6 cambelt - freman
Thank you Galaxy.
I realised Ford do not make cam belts, indeed I think they outsource most of their components, but some years ago a friend had a cam belt fitted by a garage and a short while later the teeth section separated from the backing. It turned out to be a "pirate" component made in India.
The results were the same as a broken belt.
98 1600 cambelt change - freman
Hello Mobmech,
Re cambelt change, as the weather got a bit warmer I took your advice and changed the pulleys as well. All went well until just about to put the covers on when I discovered I had refitted the old belt ,so back to square one. Still what do you expect at 78 years of age..

The old components looked in excellent condition but you dont know what is happening just under the surface.

Oh BTW Rattle I forget to mention that I had a heart attack a short time ago, but there is still life in the old dog.
98 1600 cambelt change - DP

Mechanics tell me that inspecting a cambelt for wear is notoriously difficult, and that belts which look okay to the eye can still be liable to failure. At least by doing the job, you now have peace of mind.

As for refitting the old belt, I'm 33 and have done far worse!

I take my hat off to you, sir.

98 1600 cambelt change - Rattle
Freman young people probably make that mistake too! I still think you're amazing though posting on here at 78 about the cambelt you have just changed on a fairly modern 16v engine.

I have a few heavy computer user customers in their 80's and their spirit and youth always amazes me.
98 1600 cambelt change - freman
Thank you DP & Rattle for the compliments but I'd sooner you threw money.

The worst job I ever had was changing all 24 spark plugs on the R.R Merlin engine of a Centurion tank. Although I was only 20 years old at the time I have not forgotten it to this day. The 12 inlet plugs are not too bad but the exhaust lot are pink fluffy dice

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 27/03/2009 at 18:21

98 1600 cambelt change - John F
when I discovered I had refitted the old belt so back to square
one. Still what do you expect at 78 years of age..
The old components looked in excellent condition

Freman, it doesn't surprise me that your old belt and the new one were virtually indistiguishable. Modern materials bear no comparison to wartime stuff. My 29yr old TR7 is much the same age as some of these young posters. All its hoses and fan belt are original. My old Passat's cambelt was still going strong at 242,000, and my old Audi 100 cambelt looked fine at 130,000 odd miles when it was replaced while replacing a failed water pump.

I have no intention of replacing our Focus's belt [9yrs and 59,000], nor my Audi's [10yrs and 100,000]. They are under no great stress [petrol engines, driven carefully] and are inspected regularly and given a squirt of belt dressing every 10.000 or so. I listen carefully for odd noises from pulleys - they usually give notice by whining before they seize completely and fry the belt.

One of the biggest dangers of cambelt replacement is failure soon afterwards owing either to inferior cheap replacements or cack-handed mechanics. I have read many such stories on this and other sites. If not self tensioning they can make it too tight or too loose. If the camcog is 'push on and tighten' rather than keyed to a precise position and they try to get away without using a proper locking tool the timing will be out. If they just slip off old one, slip on new, they might get it out of synch by a tooth or two.

If it works don't mend it!
1998 1.6 Cam belt change - Jeremy P

Thank you to Honest John and freman for the 5 year comment. My 85 year old mum was concerned about whether to get it replaced and this was very helpful.


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