Is to gain access and then mark crankshaft and camshaft
sprocket positions accurately, then replace belt and tensioner
and both steering pump belt and alternator belts as they
need to come off anyway.
2 hours if you're good. 3 hours if you're careful!
Various allen keys up to 12mm (best to have hex socket set)
Good 1/2" drive metric socket set up to 17mm
Right angle circlip pliers
TO CHANGE THE BELT
Manual states 72K but depends on how you use your motor.
If you're a rev fiend or you do a low annual mileage then
change it sooner. Did mine at 55K
OF THE CHANGE
If the camshaft and crankshaft belt sprockets are in the
same relative positions when you've finished as when you
started and the belt is the right tension then that's it!
Timing belt, new timing belt tensioner (don't leave the
old tensioner in, silly), steering pump belt and alternator
belt as you may as well renew them now they're off
DRIVERS WING PLASTIC MUD SHIELD
To gain access to the timing belt and crankshaft pulley
area you'll need to remove the drivers side under wing bottom
plastic mud flap. Loosen wheel nuts, jack car up, use axle
stand and remove driver's front wheel. Mud flap is held
by 4x 8mm bolts. Don't need to remove all. Leave the tricky
2nd one from front in and rotate flap out of way.
STEERING PUMP BELT
A few hex bolts and slacken off belt tensioner. Best remove
top belt plastic protector too for ease of removal
Just slacken alternator and remove belt. Straight forward
couple of 15mm bolts and a 17mm tensioner.
TOP TIMING BELT COVER
Remove clip and disconnect electrical connector to crankshaft
sensor. You don't need to pull out cable as cover will rest
out of way with cable still inside. Cover is held by nut
on front cover and bolt around rear. Just move out of way
BOTTOM TIMING BELT COVER
You may not see why at first but you'll need to remove exhaust
top metal shield for access to a cover securing bolt on
engine front. Needs a good tug and prise to pull it out.
Note that cover has a nifty hinge to help removal
REMOVE THE BELT YET!!!
If you look at the crankshaft pulley then there is a 25mm
"missing" area which marks the engine TDC .If
you rotate the engine by means of the crankshaft centre
bolt (15mm) then you can feel when the engine at TDC as
well so you know where it is. Ideally for absolute safety
then you want to move the engine so it's off TDC although
it's not crucial to the way we're going to change the belt
THE CRANKSHAFT PULLEY
(the crankshaft sprocket will be staying put throughout
Put the car in 1st gear and have someone on the foot brake.
Undo the three pulley bolts and remove pulley.
THE CAMSHAFT SPROCKET POSITION
If you rotate the engine by means of the crankshaft sprocket
centre bolt (15mm), turning clockwise of course, then you
can feel when the engine is at max compression (with spark
plugs in of course) . I used the crankshaft sprocket to
crankshaft pulley guide pin as a reference mark. Rotate
the engine until the crankshaft sprocket next to the guide
pin lines up with something at the back. (There are two
nice lines in the casting behind you can use so you now
have a nice, accurate datum you can find again.
Without moving the engine again, now go the camshaft sprocket
and choose a sprocket tooth on the top. Mark it on the front
face and follow the sprocket tooth (which is under the belt
of course) with a ruler and scribe a mark on the top engine
case. Now you have a datum for the camshaft position.
Feel and make a note of the timing belt tension as it is
as it's been working fine up till now at that tension.
THE TIMING BELTTENSIONER
Remove the timing belt tensioner first as you don't want
to move the crankshaft or camshaft now unavoidably. It's
held by a centre nut.
THE OLD BELT
Put it out of the way so you don't put the same one back
THE WATER PUMP FOR LEAKS
Worthwhile to look at it now as having to change it later
will mean doing all this again
ON THE NEW BELT
Remember the engine rotates clockwise from where you are
looking and the new belt must go on with the arrows in the
Note. Put the belt around the crankshaft sprocket first.
Feed on in an anticlockwise direction, up and around water
pump and make sure to have NO SLACK in the right hand side
of the belt run as you engage with the camshaft sprocket.
This will involve some "feeding" of the belt over
the camshaft sprocket teeth.
Keep it taught as you now put on the new cambelt tensioner.
Push it reasonable tight up to the belt and do up the centre
nut to secure the belt in place.
Check the crankshaft and camshaft marks are still aligned.
Rotate the engine the same as you did before using the crankshaft
centre nut. Bring engine around to your marks and check
again. All ok?
The manuals state rotate the tensioner using right angle
circlip pliers until the angle indicator lines up but this
is WAYYYY tight! No wonder people complain of bearing noises
if mechanics follow that out. Remember how the belt was
when you took off the old one? Well you're not going to
need it much tighter than that so just rotate the tensioner
until you have sufficient tension and then tighten the tensioner
centre bolt (use torque wrench).
Pretty straight reverse of order above
Always rotate the engine at least twice by hand and check
your marks before attempting to restart the engine. CHECK
AND CHECK AGAIN
Make sure you line up the guide pin when putting the crankshaft
pulley back on
Make sure you reconnect the electrical proximity sensor
After a few hours running. Recheck the alt and steering
belt tensions. Also, if you're paranoid, take off the timing
belt top cover and check the belt tension again with your
fingers. 5mm of centre play would be fine.
Timing Belt (p/n 46403659) £17.95
Tensioner (p/n 46403679) £32.79
Steering Pump Belt (p/n 71719398) £7.47
Alternator Belt (p/n 7704978) £7.01
Quotes for work from
Quotes from Halfords £210
Quotes form independents
"Can't do it as you need special tools!"