Technical Timing Belt Replacement 1.4e

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Technical Timing Belt Replacement 1.4e

domtheboyo

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Hi All,

I've never changed a timing belt before :rolleyes: but it looks surprisingly simple on the Tipo. I've seen the video of it done on the bench but my engine will be in.
I assume as long as I line up the markers before removing the old belt I should be ok without locking any sprockets and ensuring nothing moves.
Do I need to have the 'special' Fiat tool for tension pulley or can I get away with a couple of screw drivers and a bar?
Is it really as easy as it seems or should I just let a garage to it and charge me more hours than it seems to take!?

I did a search before posting and only stumbled across the short video. Any advise would be great.

Appreciate it,

Dom
 
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Hi Dom :)

Im sure jonti will have done a few now after all the motor work

Is the tensioner just a bearing that pivots..?

LONG time since I had this generation of motor :)

Charlie
 
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Is this like your's Dom? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUddx-3Ogeo
If so then it looks very similar to what my old Panda Parade was like. The cam sprocket and crank sprocket are both keyed to their shafts so it's just a matter of lining up the crankshaft timing marks and lining up the camshaft timing marks. Do this before slackening the tensioner and stripping off the old belt. When fitting the new belt - start at the crank sprocket (maybe wedge it in place using a small socket, or something else suitable, to stop it jumping teeth) then go round the water pump and then round the cam. That way it's easy to keep the tension - Probably, if it's like my Panda was, the tensioner will not be an "automatic" spring loaded one? The idea is to adjust until all the slack is taken out but remember the belt has no "give" in it so if you overtighten you'll shorten the life of the tensioner and water pump bearings. You can buy fancy belt tension setting tools but a good general rule of thumb is that if you grip the belt on it's longest run and twist it the tension is approximately right if you can twist it through 90 degrees (a quarter turn). The start of this video gives you a good idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RAUtE2aztk Don't be tempted to make it "just that little bit tighter" because when the engine heats up there will be expansion of the block and head which has the effect of very slightly increasing the centre distance between the crankshaft and camshaft which very slightly tightens the belt. So if your belt is just tight enough when cold that there is no perceptible play, you can be sure it will be "nice and tight" when hot.

When you're happy with the installation you must turn the engine over through two complete crankshaft revolutions by hand using a spanner on the crankshaft pulley nut. You are feeling for any sudden resistance which would mean a valve is contacting a piston (because you've done it wrong!) Take the plugs out so you get no interference from compression and turn the engine SLOWLY. If you turn it fast the inertial weight of the flywheel could still bend a valve.

Actually on the old FIRE engines this wasn't a problem as the pistons didn't hit the valves anyway even if no belt was fitted - in fact my relatively new 2010 1.2 Panda is like this although only a year later they became interference engines when the 69hp engine was introduced. I don't know if your engine is interference or not, but it can't harm just to do this anyway for peace of mind. If it all checks out ok then take it round again until the camshaft timing mark lines up and recheck your crank marks are aligned. Then finally, because it may have "settled in" a bit with all the movement, recheck the belt tension and if you're happy with everything hit the starter and enjoy!

PS I find a pair of right angle circlip pliers works a treat on the tensioner https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143583201073?hash=item216e39c731:g:y9IAAOSw6aJemcH8
 
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Is this like your's Dom? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUddx-3Ogeo
If so then it looks very similar to what my old Panda Parade was like. The cam sprocket and crank sprocket are both keyed to their shafts so it's just a matter of lining up the crankshaft timing marks and lining up the camshaft timing marks.

PS I find a pair of right angle circlip pliers works a treat on the tensioner https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143583201073?hash=item216e39c731:g:y9IAAOSw6aJemcH8

(y)
 

s130

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The only issues I ever had with my Tipo 1.6ie when doing several cam belt changes was getting the belt tension right.

This requires a little more explanation.

Because the tensioner wheel is not sprung loaded then as you apply tension you have in effect an immovable wheel against an immovable belt and no real feel.

Generally speaking the belt tension is correct when you pinch the belt across it's width on the main "pull leg" (cam sprocket to crank sprocket run) and then attempt to twist the belt through 90 degrees. This should require firm action but no more.

What I found on several changes was that when the engine was idling there was a groaning sound from the belt. This is a sign of too tight a belt. So I would back the tension off and try again. Then the belt would "whip" quite a bit on the pull down run (where one does the twist tension test) when in overrun. Blip the revs up and all OK but as the revs drops of (overrun) that down leg would flap around.

It took me on a few occasions quite a few attempts to hit the sweet spot of no groaning and no flapping.

Apart from that these older engines are a doddle to do cam belt changes on. Access is good. No engine mount to remove. Usually enough room to slip the belt behind the crank pulley so you don't have to remove that.
 
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The only issues I ever had with my Tipo 1.6ie when doing several cam belt changes was getting the belt tension right.

This requires a little more explanation.

Because the tensioner wheel is not sprung loaded then as you apply tension you have in effect an immovable wheel against an immovable belt and no real feel.

It took me on a few occasions quite a few attempts to hit the sweet spot of no groaning and no flapping.

Apart from that these older engines are a doddle to do cam belt changes on. Access is good. No engine mount to remove. Usually enough room to slip the belt behind the crank pulley so you don't have to remove that.

Yup, I'll agree with that. In fact I'd say I don't think I've ever been "happy" first time off, adjusting any engine where the tensioner is not of the spring loaded self adjusting type. However I think it's also a bit easy to get obsessed with pursuing "the perfect setting". I've sometimes looked at a loose belt when I've removed it's guards and thought to myself "how on earth hasn't that jumped some teeth"? but it had obviously been running - I hesitate to say "happily" - for quite some time. When you're worrying away about whether you've "got it right" it might be useful to think about this "distressing" video and marvel at how it can run with a belt that slack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eckMV2adxU I have to say that, knowing it was as slack as that, I don't think I'd have risked starting it just to film it!

In one respect I actually quite miss the old "solid" tensioners because now with most modern vehicles - the ones that don't use chains - employing a spring loaded tensioner I don't have the pleasure of listening to the overtensioned belt in the car next to me, in the traffic jam or at the traffic lights, "singing" away to itself in distress!
 
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s130

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What I always wondered is why on all the Uno's, Regatta, I've done cam belt changes on which all use the same non sprung loaded tensioner I never had any tension setting belt noise issues. Only on the Tipo. Weird!

I spoke to a Fiat master technician many years ago and he said "ah yes .... we get the same issue. We use the Fiat tool and weight and the belt groans. So two of us then dynamical tension the belt when the engine is warm and idling!"

A brave move but as he pointed out it requires two people who know what they are doing and are synchronised to avoid disaster.

I would have fits if my timing belt wobbled like the one in that video.

One advantage of a non sprung and fixed locking tensioner (as in older Fiats of Uno, Tipo variety) is that the belt can be a little slack because for the belt to jump a tooth requires quite a bit of free length/slack to climp up the sprocket ribs. If tensioned correctly then a foreign object will probably just ride around under the belt compressing the teeth and emerge with the timing intact (hopfefully).

With modern sprung and floating tensioners then anything interfering with the belt will just pull more slack from the tensioner and allow the belt to "ride high" over multiple sprocket drive teeth.
 
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What I always wondered is why on all the Uno's, Regatta, I've done cam belt changes on which all use the same non sprung loaded tensioner I never had any tension setting belt noise issues. Only on the Tipo. Weird!

I spoke to a Fiat master technician many years ago and he said "ah yes .... we get the same issue. We use the Fiat tool and weight and the belt groans. So two of us then dynamical tension the belt when the engine is warm and idling!"

A brave move but as he pointed out it requires two people who know what they are doing and are synchronised to avoid disaster.

A brave move indeed! I presume they were slackening the tensioner retaining nut slightly and then rotating the tensioner adjustment with the engine running? I'd be far to frightened to try that!

Although I detailed above the accepted way of adjusting without a tensioning tool (twisting the belt) I actually evolved my own way of doing it which seems to work on most vehicles without an auto adjuster. It works like this. With the engine cold and having fitted the new belt, find the longest run of the belt and place your thumb on one side of the belt (maybe the toothed side) and forefinger on the other (smooth side) and form a "U" shape with your thumb and finger so there is clearance. ie, you're not gripping the belt. Now repeatedly and lightly wiggle your thumb and forefinger back and forward on the belt whilst slightly slackening the tensioner with your other hand. It's really easy to feel when all the slack is taken up as at that exact moment the belt will stop deflecting and behave like a tight bow string. You need to "fiddle" with the tensioner whilst waggling the belt until you hit the point where, as you rotate the tensioner, the belt just, and only just, stops deflecting and goes "tight". At this point you've eliminated all slack in the belt but not put any strain on it. When the engine heats up expansion of the block and head will increase, very slightly, the centre distance between the cam and crankshaft and, if you check the tension now you'll feel that it's "Nice & Tight".

I started doing it this way when my friend lost the tensioning spring on his Cortina Pinto engine. On that engine the tensioner was a fixed type tensioner but it had a nice big spring attached to the tensioner. You fitted the belt and then slightly slackened the tensioner fixing where upon the spring would pull the tensioner tight against the belt with the "correct" tension. Then you tightened up the tensioner securing nut (or was it a bolt?) which locked the tensioner in position - the spring played no further part - Loose the spring and it was all guessing! however the "waggling" method worked a treat so I just started doing them all that way including the "O" series in my Ambassador.

PS Of course spring loaded "auto" tensioners takes all the guesswork out of it.
 
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jonti

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Hi Dom :)

Im sure jonti will have done a few now after all the motor work

Charlie

your right but I've learnt from this thread. I have struggled with a whining noise since the engine went back in, looking all over for bearing problem, but perhaps it was the belt. Weirdly, changing back to a Fiat OEM tensioner reduced the noise but I was still getting whining when hot. After reading this, I've set the belt tension with the engine hot, presume this has loosened it a touch - hey presto no whine :)
 

s130

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your right but I've learnt from this thread. I have struggled with a whining noise since the engine went back in, looking all over for bearing problem, but perhaps it was the belt. Weirdly, changing back to a Fiat OEM tensioner reduced the noise but I was still getting whining when hot. After reading this, I've set the belt tension with the engine hot, presume this has loosened it a touch - hey presto no whine :)

Great news Jonti. One has to assume? that all then metal from crank to cam (some 70cm) expands more than the belt stretches/expands thus tightening the belt tension even more?

I've always checked belt tension cold when fitting after manual crank rotations and then when the engine is fully hot. My Tipo 1.6ie was a really really difficult car to get the belt tension right on. Always upset me that doing the belt change was a doddle but getting the tension right afterwards took so much time and effort in comparison. :yuck:
 
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your right but I've learnt from this thread. I have struggled with a whining noise since the engine went back in, looking all over for bearing problem, but perhaps it was the belt. Weirdly, changing back to a Fiat OEM tensioner reduced the noise but I was still getting whining when hot. After reading this, I've set the belt tension with the engine hot, presume this has loosened it a touch - hey presto no whine :)
This thread, and particularly your post here jonti, has set me to thinking about the wee noise which Becky makes. I've mentioned this a couple of times elsewhere but so people will know what I'm talking about here's what I've found.

When we bought her she had a slight whiney noise which sounded rather like a tensioner or water pump bearing in the very early stages of failure. The garage we bought her from said "a lot of them sound like that, the Ford Ka does it too which has the same engine" and refused to investigate. The rest of the car was in much better condition than others we'd looked and she is a Dynamic Eco, which is a spec that particularly interested me, so I bought her.

Within a week of getting her home I ran her with the aux belt removed but she still made the noise so, as there was no record of a cam belt having been changed I put a complete belt, tensioner and waterpump kit on her. In fact I think, at just under 60,000 miles and around 6/7 years old, the belt was the original! The old tensioner felt absolutely fine but the waterpump was just a little rough when spun by hand so I concluded it was the waterpump making the wee noise.

How wrong I was. The exact same noise was still there, although somewhat quieter with the new belt. I spent quite some time going around with my mechanic's stethoscope and my listening tube, with the engine running, trying to isolate where the noise was coming from. The stethoscope, which, for those familiar with the technique, works on the same principle as sticking a screwdriver in your ear, was totally inconclusive. Changing to my listening tube and moving the open end around the whole run of the belt it quickly became apparent the noise was coming from the top end of the engine. The only component which made "sense" to me was the tensioner, but it was quiet when checked with the stethoscope - very strange! Then I realized the noise got louder when the end of the tube got near the camshaft sprocket. So I started, very carefully and slowly, moving the tube end around that area. After a lot of careful moving the tube around it was obvious the noise was coming from where the belt teeth were feeding into the teeth on the top sprocket. I minutely examined both the belt (Gates, my favourite brand) and sprocket teeth - both looked absolutely fine. On restarting it sounded exactly the same and has continued to make this slight noise ever since, if anything it got slightly louder once the belt had settled in. Mrs J doesn't hear it even when I stand her beside the car and tell her what to listen for!

I've noticed some, but by no means a majority, of Pandas I've heard out in the street doing it also - seems to be a lottery whether your car does it or not.

Of course, being a 2010 car, our Panda has a spring loaded automatic tensioner so it wouldn't be so easy to slightly reduce belt tension - I'd be worried that I might reduce it too much and risk the belt being able to pull against the spring enough to let it jump some teeth. However I think that it's possible the auto tensioner is holding the belt tightness at just the threshold of "belt whine" which would explain why some seem to do it and some don't?

On the other hand she's run absolutely fine like this for some 3 years now - and presumably ran like that with the old belt since new - so I've decided I'll just live with it - After all, I seem to be the only one in the whole family who even hears it!
 

jonti

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After a lot of careful moving the tube around it was obvious the noise was coming from where the belt teeth were feeding into the teeth on the top sprocket.

Well this shows there's more to this than meets the eye. Or ear. Certainly I felt the noise was coming from the cam area like yourself and as detailed on the relevant thread i made various investigations including taking out the cam, replacing the fixed tensioner, running without auxilliaries etc. Like yourself I couldn't on the face of it isolate the source of the noise although I don't have a stethescope like yourself to try to hone it down. My mobile tensioner appears to have a resillient layer, not sure if all do, which must have a function, and as mentioned the OEM tensioner reduced the noise considerably. The whine had returned more as the engine has bedded in (new belt fitted at the time) so maybe the belt tightens up in use also. As you say other family members can't generally engage with the advanced parameters by which we are monitoring the working of our cars.
 
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jonti

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Great news Jonti. One has to assume? that all then metal from crank to cam (some 70cm) expands more than the belt stretches/expands thus tightening the belt tension even more

I had considered that the belt could possibly shrink fractionally in use, initially at least, whilst remaining within parameter. I'm not sure what effect heat has on the rubber/kevlar/whatever it is. i've always aimed just to get the 90 degree twist on the belt and that sufficed for the TD for years. It was no trouble. An old petrol certainly runs much hotter and this must increase the potential for metal expansion.
 
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