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Loose timing belt?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2018, 05:55 pm
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Default Loose timing belt?


Just for fun I tried to look under the timing belt cover to check it. Couldn't get the cover all the way off, but I noticed significant deflection when I pressed on the belt between the camshafts. With very little effort (even using the pinkie finger) the belt deflected at least a half inch when pressed down. Then I started it and it seemed there was at least a small amount of up-and-down movement on the top of the belt. Am I about to be in trouble?

Car has 215,000 miles, it's been 115000 since the last belt change. I was hoping to push my luck a bit but now I'm not sure if I should. For me it seems like this is the mileage in most of my cars in which I have to decide if they are worth additional investment!! I dumped my '92 Acclaim at 215k when it needed another timing belt and also a fuel pump. This cruiser has been especially reliable so it's a tough decision.

Thanks for your input!

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Old 19 Jan 2018, 05:58 pm
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

If it's still in good shape, why would you dump a car with 215,000 miles on it? Unless, of course, that you're paying someone else to replace the belts and not doing it yourself. Car is paid for, cheap to insure. New car equals payments and full coverage insurance. Neither of which is cheap. You decide.
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Old 19 Jan 2018, 06:46 pm
ajhockey3's Avatar
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

I think mine when I put a brand new belt and tensioner it didn't really move it maybe tilted a slight bit.

If you do the work yourself this job costs less than $100 for new belt and tensioner, and if you do the waterpump its an extra $50 maybe.

Honestly if you have CAA/AAA I'd just drive it and see what happens, If the belt snaps it won't wreck the engine or harm it in the slightest, And you can get a free tow home

Did you replace the tensioner? if you didn't it's quiet possible it failed.

215,000miles surely would have the tensioner dead.

Don't scrap the car!

Even if you don't want to pay someone $1000 to do it, You could get another cheap car and just work on the PT Bruiser in your spare time yourself until its all done

Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
cheap to insure.
Must be nice
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Old 20 Jan 2018, 08:13 pm
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

Thanks guys...

I've done some of the easy stuff on the car, like replacing the cooling fan, suspension bushings, watts link, etc... but I had someone else install the timing belt and component kit at 100k. At that point I figured the car was worth too much for me to mess it up! But maybe now I should try to get up my nerve, see what tools I need to find, and attempt it myself. I see that some have done the job without disconnecting the a/c and exhaust manifold.

Looking back, I paid an independent mechanic $670 for the job in 2010... the kit was $215 and the labor was $315... and the total included the coolant and new accessory belts as well. Wonder how much he would charge me this time... I will have to check this first.

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Old 20 Jan 2018, 08:31 pm
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

$670 is a very good price. I think the book rate is at least 6 hours plus parts. If you want to look at what it takes to do the job look at MotorCityMechanic's 7 part Youtube series. There are several more how-to vids on Youtube and you can pick and choose what tricks are worth doing and which are bad ideas.

About 20 hours and two weekends for me but that was learning by doing and doing over again to get it right. If I had to do it over again, I could probably do it in a full day (6-8 hours with breaks).
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Old 23 Jan 2018, 02:46 pm
edscrz's Avatar
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

Is that correct if the timing belt breaks it won't ruin the engine?
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Old 23 Jan 2018, 03:26 pm
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

All cars cars are not the same.... Depends on the engine and it design.

Mostly true on PT Cruisers.. Might not apply if teeth strip off timing belt.
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Old 23 Jan 2018, 06:36 pm
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

SOOO BIG had a timing belt catastrophe in 2015 .The belt was stripped about 6" w/o any internal engine damage.

It was an emergency road side repair with some reoccurring symptoms raising their ugly head lately so I'm having it done over correctly with a new timing belt kit right now 'cause some of what was done the first time around wasn't quite up to par.

If you can do the work yourself and your a decent DIY, have the right tools, time and know how or reference, it should work out OK. Good luck.

Happy PTin',ptprice
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Old 09 Feb 2018, 09:47 am
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

Well, dropped the car off last Monday to have the same mechanic do the whole works for about $800. Called the mechanic Wednesday and said he couldn't do it because he had the flu on Tuesday. Called Thursday and his wife said he would start the job in the afternoon. Called Friday evening and he said he hadn't started and didn't know when he could. Said he had to do the shorter and easier jobs first to avoid having many unhappy customers as opposed to a few. Given his lack of enthusiasm for the job, I gave up and picked up the car Friday... he had it an entire week.

Now I'm really tempted to try it myself... someone try to persuade me out of it. Watched the motor city videos. I'm not sure if I completely understand how the tensioner works -- have to line up the spring, and then does the center bolt hold it in place? Also, sounds like the Auto Zone harmonic balancer puller doesn't have a long enough rod. What kind of bolt/rod do I need to buy, and anyone know the right length? One person said he just screwed the balancer bolt back in the threads and put the end of the puller on it. Is that a bad idea? I will buy the right OTC puller if need be. Also, do I need an air wrench? And an air ratchet? I have a harbor freight electric impact but it is only rated up to 230 ft pounds. As far as belt kits... sounds like everyone uses gates but a few water pump failures? Maybe pick the contitech kit on rockauto?

Thanks for your advice...

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Old 09 Feb 2018, 10:17 am
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Location: Texas
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Default Re: Loose timing belt?

While the area is torn apart, the complete job should include: timing belt, water pump, tensioner, idler pulley, 2 cam seals, crank seal, center motor mount with new bolt.
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