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Old 06-09-2016   #1
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replace timing belt without locking tools

After a lot of reading about replacing the timing belt (1.4L 8V, 350A1000) I've got a couple of questions.

In the procedure you have to lock the camshaft and the crankshaft, after which you have to loosen the camshaft pulley. I think the only reason for this is the pulley can rotate free, so while the camshaft is locked, it's possible to tension the belt.

The tools cost lots of money, so why would I need them when I only replace the belt, while the engine is already timed?

My idea is to make a couple of markings to the old belt and to the camshaft and crankshaft pulley. By making the same markings on the new belt it's possible to fit the new belt without loosing the timing. When the new belt is on the right position I will set the tensioner. Maybe the best position for the crankshaft while mounting is with none of the pistons in the highest position, so the valves won't touch the pistons by a small accidental movement of the camshaft.

I think in this way there is no need for the (very expensive) locking tools and there is also no need to loosen the camshaft pulley.

Is there something I'm missing?
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Last edited by felix90; 06-09-2016 at 19:19.
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Old 06-09-2016   #2
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Re: replace timing belt without locking tools

I think the best way of changing the timing belt that I've seen is to cut the belt in half along it's length (still on the engine), remove the outside half ,leaving the other half on the engine. Slide the new belt on to the sprockets , half way across . Cut the old other half that was left on the engine. When thats done , slide the new belt across to cover the whole sprockets. Result :- new belt has replaced old . It may be necessary to adjust tension but perhaps not . Mind you , this hasn't replaced the pulley, but at least the timing hasn't been distorted. Best of luck
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Old 06-09-2016   #3
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Re: replace timing belt without locking tools

Quote Originally Posted by felix90 View Post

My idea is to make a couple of markings to the old belt and to the camshaft and crankshaft pulley. By making the same markings on the new belt it's possible to fit the new belt without loosing the timing. When the new belt is on the right position I will set the tensioner. Maybe the best position for the crankshaft while mounting is with none of the pistons in the highest position, so the valves won't touch the pistons by a small accidental movement of the camshaft.

This. Often quicker, and using this method I've never had one go bad (and I've done lots, on many different cars using this method). Try to get the engine to its usual timing marks anyway, as that's the best place to make sure there's no tension on the cam, which could Spring backwards or forwards when you take the belt off if it's in the wrong position. Mark the pulleys to the head and block as well, to be doubly sure. I was shown this method by an old Land Rover mechanic who'd never used timing tools or locking tools in his life, always works a charm.

Obviously, if you have the tools, it's always best...
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