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Old 14-04-2016   #1
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Question Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Seen someone on the forum (and online in general) talk about the following and to be fair, it seems like it's possible but also too good to be true compared to the conventional way to replace the Timing Belt.

Cutting the currently fitted belt down the middle (essentially making it into two), sliding the outer most half off, and then sliding the NEW belt on - taking care to line up the markings on the existing belt with the ones on the new belt. Then slicing the remains of the currently fitted belt and sliding the new one fully on?

^
Is that possible or just an idiotic way to risk everything?

I also have to replace the tensioner and water pump - so additionally, does this make that method impossible? (and out of curiosity, would the method about slicing the belt work if I did not have to do the water pump?)

Other than this, I'm all set to follow all the tips and advice / guides on conventionally replacing the lot next week! Will post to the forum showing images / feeback in any case! :-)
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Old 15-04-2016   #2
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Hi SB1500,

I wouldn't risk it personally just in case the half cut belt gives way and causes an injury. I'd just have it fitted correctly and if you need a new water pump as mentioned, the belt will need to be removed anyway.

If you didn't need to remove the water pump/tensioner, there is the possibility that it could be done if you're exceptionally experienced, but again I wouldn't risk it.

Matt.
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Old 15-04-2016   #3
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by matty23 View Post
Hi SB1500,

I wouldn't risk it personally just in case the half cut belt gives way and causes an injury. I'd just have it fitted correctly and if you need a new water pump as mentioned, the belt will need to be removed anyway.

If you didn't need to remove the water pump/tensioner, there is the possibility that it could be done if you're exceptionally experienced, but again I wouldn't risk it.

Matt.
Okay, thanks. The thought of such a cheap / easy trick was playing on my mind but now that I've been warned it's simply not happening!

Back to following the German guy's video and the excellent guides on FF!
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Old 15-04-2016   #4
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Have you seen the video of the guy changing his timing belt on his MK2 Ford KA? He changes the belt and the waterpump. It's a similar engine set up as the Panda 1.2 only his is the engine later fitted to the 500, later Panda and Ford KA.


Edit - Consider investing in the FIAT Panda/500 Haynes manual.


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Last edited by matty23; 15-04-2016 at 11:06.
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Old 15-04-2016   #5
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by matty23 View Post
Have you seen the video of the guy changing his timing belt on his MK2 Ford KA? He changes the belt and the waterpump. It's a similar engine set up as the Panda 1.2 only his is the engine later fitted to the 500, later Panda and Ford KA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxJjFLfVlPM

Edit - Consider investing in the FIAT Panda/500 Haynes manual.


Matt.

Thats the German guy I was referring to! (at least I think he's German)!

That's what I plan on using to do the job to be honest.

Could pick up the manual today, 16 a good price for it?
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Old 15-04-2016   #6
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

I paid around 16 for mine from Halfords. The Haynes manual tells you everything you need to know about your car and is essential for a job such as a timing belt.

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Old 15-04-2016   #7
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by SB1500 View Post
Could pick up the manual today, 16 a good price for it?
IMO it's a waste of money; elearn is a better reference source, more likely to be accurate where it matters, and, when coupled with the advice given on this forum from folks who've actually done the jobs, will tell you everything you need to know.

Spend the 16 on some decent secondhand tools instead.

IMO modern Haynes manuals are largely filled with recycled generic information and contain far too many references of the form 'for this task, take the car to a franchised repairer' to be useful. Also they're printed on a material not far removed from toilet paper.

OTOH, my old Haynes manual for the BL1100/1300 is far more useful, giving, for example, detailed instructions for stripping and rebuilding the gearbox. Standards have slipped greatly in the past 50 years.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 15-04-2016 at 12:15.
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Old 15-04-2016   #8
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
IMO it's a waste of money; elearn is a better reference source and, when coupled with the advice given on this forum from folks who've actually done the jobs, will tell you everything you need to know.

IMO modern Haynes manuals are largely filled with recycled generic information and contain far too many references of the form 'for this task, take the car to a franchised repairer' to be useful. Also they're printed on a material not far removed from toilet paper.

OTOH, my old Haynes manual for the BL1100/1300 is far more useful, giving, for example, detailed instructions for stripping and rebuilding the gearbox. Standards have slipped greatly in the past 50 years.
Okay, screw that idea then! I don't feel good handing more than a fiver to Halfords if I can help it so eLearn will suffice. I was thinking, the only advantage Hayne's could have is maybe making some remarks like "This bit can be difficult... expect etc" but to be fair, forum members can provide way more useful opinions as you say
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Old 15-04-2016   #9
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
IMO it's a waste of money; elearn is a better reference source, more likely to be accurate where it matters, and, when coupled with the advice given on this forum from folks who've actually done the jobs, will tell you everything you need to know.

Spend the 16 on some decent secondhand tools instead.

IMO modern Haynes manuals are largely filled with recycled generic information and contain far too many references of the form 'for this task, take the car to a franchised repairer' to be useful. Also they're printed on a material not far removed from toilet paper.

OTOH, my old Haynes manual for the BL1100/1300 is far more useful, giving, for example, detailed instructions for stripping and rebuilding the gearbox. Standards have slipped greatly in the past 50 years.
I would second this , lots of the pictures in the haynes manual seem to be ultra closeup shots which whilst useful with some of the trickier and fiddlier jobs I find they dont help put things into context before carrying out a job and with some jobs dont help at all .
Its also annoying how you will be mid way through a series of pictures/instructions then randomly there will be a 500 specific picture/instruction IMO should be separate sections of the book for jobs specific to the different cars
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Old 15-04-2016   #10
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

I've got a haynes for the Panda and have found it very useful. I agree, the quality is lower than the older manuals, but it still contains lots of useful information. Some of the pics make little sense until you get close to the job, then it does.
eLEARN of course is better, at some things, but there are gaps, where Fiat assume the mechanic has done their training courses, so some stuff is missed, or just not there. Both is the best option.
And it is easy to take the Haynes to the car, not so easy with eLEARN.
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Old 16-04-2016   #11
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

the used ones on EBAY contain the same info
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Old 17-04-2016   #12
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Think this is kind of answered but for what it is worth...

I used the video above to change the timing belt on my Panda recently so have some experience with this. Some points that I found:
- I used the Haynes manual, but relied much more heavily on the video (linked on previous post)
- It was a lot of work for me as I have not done anything like this before so I found the manual reassuring if I got confused
- I took my time so it took me a good day to go through this process and if you are doing the timing belt you may as well do the rest (water pump and tensioner, and even the auxiliary belt). Most of the work is getting to the timing belt
- Mark up the timing marks and take pictures so you don't end up second guessing yourself and worrying later
- When you add the new timing belt the marks help you install it but when you manually crank the engine the marks will not line up again. However, the timing marks on the engine/cogs must align as required if you crank it twice
- The method of cutting the belt does not seem sensible to me, you don't save much for the effort and it makes no sense if the water pump is being changed
- I had to borrow tools from friends to complete this as there are awkward to reach areas where low profile tools were very helpful
- For me (Panda 1.2 Dynamic Eco ~2009) a seal needed to be made with RTV silicone for the water pump (as per video). It is worth taking time here to clean and degrease the mating faces. I left mine to cure overnight before I added the coolant back in
- The next day I added coolant and started the car, I was met by white smoke (frightened me) but this was spilled coolant evaporating off and was gone in a minute
- There were a couple of points where a second pair of hands was very useful (e.g., installing the timing belt, with one holding from above and one from below)

Just some things I found useful. Good luck and post if you have queries and to let us know how it went.
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Old 18-04-2016   #13
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

..........please - as previous comments DON'T try the "easy way out" mentioned - it'll end in tears, if only for the fact the new belt won't be tensioned correctly.
There is only one way to do any job and that's the correct way, and often times is quicker in the long run.
The Haynes manual is fine in respect of describing timing belt changing, but as others have commented pretty hopeless in other areas ! *
*Easy for me to say because I've always had access to the manufactureres technical ones!).
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Old 18-04-2016   #14
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Re: Is this Timing Belt trick possible?

Quote Originally Posted by LRO4539 View Post
*Easy for me to say because I've always had access to the manufactureres technical ones!).
There's a copy of eLearn for the Panda in the downloads section . Doesn't get any more technical than that.

If you're going to do this without a set of locking tools, then once you've got the covers off, add any marks you think you might need and take lots of pictures before proceeding further, so that you can put it all back exactly the same way.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 18-04-2016 at 11:59.
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