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> Diy Cambelt Change, Help & Advice
buellboy
post 7th January 2009 18:41
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Hello all!

Took the car to alfa specialist and diagnosed the knocking sound it as a faulty variator.

So from the same guy (Alfamania.co.uk - Antonio) I bought a Timing belt kit (Dayco) + Balance Belt Kit (Dayco) + Variator (orig Alfa) for a better price than shop4parts even after the 10% discount.

I now have two questions:

1. I have a 130 tooth balance belt and I've been assured this is correct for my alloy top 1996 2.0L engine, however I see shop4parts has 126 teeth and 130 and I want to check 130 will be ok.

2. Can someone tell me what tools are an ABSOLUTE MUST to change cambelts AND variator .

Also if someone wants to give me advice/ lend me tools (full deposit will be paid) I would REALLY REALLY appreciate it!


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langers
post 7th January 2009 19:02
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As said in pm, the cam locking lobes are absolutly vital for the timing!


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Cloverleaf76
post 7th January 2009 19:13
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Am about to do the same thing myself for the very first time. This credit crunch malarky just makes for more and more exciting adventures. blink.gif

Re: the balance belt, don't know for sure about the number of teeth but do know the car will run fine without one, so if you take it all apart and compare belts, if it is wrong you can just leave it off and do it at a later date.

Toolwise, a dial gauge or other way of checking number one cylinder is at TDC is extremely important. Also essential are the specially made tools for locking the camshafts in the correct position. And you will need something substantial to remove the variator. I have also invested in specialist tools from totally alfa to tension both belts.

Would happily share if only I wasn't currently living in the german tundra. rolleyes.gif

From the more experienced cambelt adventurers, have I forgotten anything?
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buellboy
post 7th January 2009 19:29
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QUOTE(Cloverleaf76 @ 7th January 2009 19:13) *
Am about to do the same thing myself for the very first time. This credit crunch malarky just makes for more and more exciting adventures. blink.gif

Re: the balance belt, don't know for sure about the number of teeth but do know the car will run fine without one, so if you take it all apart and compare belts, if it is wrong you can just leave it off and do it at a later date.

Toolwise, a dial gauge or other way of checking number one cylinder is at TDC is extremely important. Also essential are the specially made tools for locking the camshafts in the correct position. And you will need something substantial to remove the variator. I have also invested in specialist tools from totally alfa to tension both belts.

Would happily share if only I wasn't currently living in the german tundra. rolleyes.gif

From the more experienced cambelt adventurers, have I forgotten anything?


Langers...I will have faith ....i just don't have the rant.gif rant.gif rant.gif tools laugh.giflaugh.gif

Yeah will need the dial gauge and cam locking tools...but what do you reckon about the variator removal tool and the cambelt tensioner adjusting tool thingy?

@CL76: I just refuse to pay 200 quid labour on a 450 car ( i know money shouldn't factor in) ...bloody hell having an alfa in Germany!!


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Cloverleaf76
post 7th January 2009 19:37
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QUOTE(buellboy @ 7th January 2009 20:29) *
...bloody hell having an alfa in Germany!!


It's worth it just so that when you get some BM up your a$$ on the Autobahn you can just drop a gear and disapear over the horizon. If you have really good eyesight you can just make out a look of shock as they try to catch up...

Re: tensioner tools - have a nose around in the search facility; GE invented some trick about using a bit of wire to adjust the tensioners, although have to say I didn't fancy it. Same search might give you an idea of some piece of scrap lying around in the garage you can adapt to force the variator to unscrew...
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purple
post 8th January 2009 00:06
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www.totallyalfa.co.uk is the place to get cheaper Alfa tools from, Gazza is on here from time to time, they are also on ebay. Some people just buy them and sell them on when they are done to get some money back eg one here or ebay, keeps costs down.

This is a good guide too

http://home.hccnet.nl/jaap.bouma/PhaseVariator.htm

The balancer belt sounds wrong, 126 is on the earlier cars and 130 on the later ones, eg the 147 has 130 teeth and no 126 option, so that does sound wrong, 1997 seems to be the change over year. 7722331 is the Alfa part no for the earlier belt.

HTH and good luck
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buellboy
post 8th January 2009 00:35
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QUOTE(purple @ 8th January 2009 00:06) *
www.totallyalfa.co.uk is the place to get cheaper Alfa tools from, Gazza is on here from time to time, they are also on ebay. Some people just buy them and sell them on when they are done to get some money back eg one here or ebay, keeps costs down.

This is a good guide too

http://home.hccnet.nl/jaap.bouma/PhaseVariator.htm

The balancer belt sounds wrong, 126 is on the earlier cars and 130 on the later ones, eg the 147 has 130 teeth and no 126 option, so that does sound wrong, 1997 seems to be the change over year. 7722331 is the Alfa part no for the earlier belt.

HTH and good luck


Thanks for the link purple! Will have a look....I was posting a thread on the offchance someone could help, tomorrow I will have to contact totally alfa!


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buellboy
post 8th January 2009 09:07
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QUOTE(buellboy @ 8th January 2009 00:35) *
Thanks for the link purple! Will have a look....I was posting a thread on the offchance someone could help, tomorrow I will have to contact totally alfa!


Ok so read the guide and it looks okay to me but I know I will be bricking it when it comes to taking the inlet camshaft out.

I'm not so worried about taking it out, it's more putting it back in so that the timing will be 100% spot on is the problem! Do I mark the camshaft against the engine block with some tippex or is there a better way to do this?

As you may notice I'm a little paranoid about doing this job, mainly 'cause I only got into engines 6months ago when I bough my bike (avid cyclist b4) & the only engine building experience is this:


whistle.gif whistle.gif

I know you are screaming out not to venture into such complicated jobs but feck that...if you don't take the plunge you will never learn!


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purple
post 8th January 2009 20:25
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no need to mark the camwheels as long as you have the camlocks.

Where people go wrong is not understanding that camwheel is a taper fit onto the camshaft to get the timing more accurate, however once you slackened off the camshaft to camwheel nut, that timing is lost, your wheel will be lined up correctly, but the camshaft behind it will have moved and will have no idea where it was, hence the need for the locks. Once the locks are on, the camwheel can then go in any position and simply be tightened.

I hope that makes sense, it will be more apparent once you are doing it, but I cannot stress enough, the blocks are essential, without them you have no chance.

Several people on here have done the job, so plenty of help on hand.

HTH
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Cloverleaf76
post 8th January 2009 20:46
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Am about to do this myself and am pretty confident other than a couple of little grey areas.

1) Do you have to slacken the exhaust pulley in order to get the belt tension right afterwards? If so, how do you do it? Am concerned that with the torque involved it will simply rotate backwards if done with belt off: even with belt on, how do you stop it rotating the entire engine backwards? Is it necessary to somehow lock off the crank?

2) If you remove the inlet cam to remove the variator (really looking forward to that bit no3.gif ) how do you compress the valve springs again to get the camshaft back into the head?

3) What is the easiest way of rotating the engine to finesse TDC?

Any help much appreciated!

PS Buellboy - love the plastic haynes motor!
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langers
post 8th January 2009 21:19
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That Plastic Motor is ace!
I will try and answer the q's but i have never done one. . . just read ALOT of material.

1) I dont a have a clue lol

2) The valves will gradually compress as you tighten the camshaft into the head

3) a 6 point socket and a power bar onto the crankshaft will se this right, of better still, a 1/2" rachet with a bar on the end, this will ensure that you dont accidently move the engine backwords. Messure the TDC on No1 Cylinder with a TDC gauge, OR or a very keep eye with a bar to sit on top of the piston and a rule to sit across the head.



A Full set of pictures for referance can be found here
(Curtorsy of Gialloevo)


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67duetto
post 8th January 2009 22:04
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QUOTE(buellboy @ 8th January 2009 09:07) *
I know you are screaming out not to venture into such complicated jobs but feck that...if you don't take the plunge you will never learn!


Just some thoughts, not a guide.

This is not a complex job. The major skill is precision and care.

TDC should really be done using a gauge. A scewdriver and steel rule will get you near enough to ensure nothing nasty happens when you start it up after the surgery, but your valve timing is not going to be spot on. I got mine within half a thou. Probably o.t.t. but a lot better than near.

To be honest, I would not try to change the variator with the inlet camshaft in the engine. It is f*****g tight. You will need the front cap that holds the oil seals off first. Remove the 4 bolts and tap, tap, tap with a soft faced hammer until you can rive the little b**ger off. (You have bought new seals and a cam cover gasket, haven't you?) Mark the caps and take it off. Loosen bolts a bit at a time so it rises under spring pressure a bit at a time. GE has a good post on here about changing the variator in a vice, but I used aluminium vice jaws instead of wood. Put the camshaft in vertically and hold it steady while your local equivalent of King Kong swings on the tool.

When fitting the new one, there are various trains of thought regarding fixing it. Some say mastic, some say studlock. I chose to use nothing so there was no chance of any oilway being contaminated. Reasoning - the only time any loosening force would be applied is if the engine suddenly started turning backwards! (OK, maybe on overrun, but nothing big) And having King Kong swing on the tool to tighten it, I would defy a Veyron engine to move it any more.

The new cambelt has (once only for fitting) alignment marks. If they don't line up, try again until they do. And again! Both sprockets should be loose.

This weekend, I will try and post piccies of my universal sprocket and variator tool, extended dial (tdc) gauge and 'owt else I made for the job. The wrench took less than an hour to make.

Tensioning. Before refitting anything, have a look where the tensioner fits. Just forwards is an 8mm hole. Now fit all the cambelt bits and pieces doing what GE says about tying the tensioner back with lockwire (I would have had a nervous breakdown without that advice). Stuff a bit of 8mm bar or even an M8 bolt in the hole. Cut the lockwire. You can now use a long thin bladed screwdriver down behind the belt between this and the lug on the tensioner to fully tension it. Tighten the bolt and turn two rotations by hand. (At this point you will have remembered to remove the camlocks and refit the caps. Well.......it was late and I couldn't understand why the engine wouldn't turn blush.gif ) Now loosen the bolt so it is just holding the tension and adjust with your favourite screwdiver so the pointers line up.

Balancer belt - I found somewhere I could do the screwdriver bit, but can't remember where. Have a look where the tensioner is. No need to buy special tools you'll probably only use once.

Hope this is some use. biggrin.gif

I see there have been three other replies while I have been composing this AND watching The Hustle!!!

Langers, point 3. Put front wheel back on, chock the left one so it can't move, engage 5th gear and slide your hand round that that lovely rubber.

This post has been edited by 67duetto: 8th January 2009 22:12
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langers
post 8th January 2009 22:15
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Dave, your coming round mine whne i do mine hopefully in the summer!!! hahaha you might even be able to get that rocker cover im giving you!!!! lol


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67duetto
post 12th January 2009 20:13
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Here is my "universal tool" cobbled up from bits I had around. Total length is about 460mm. Should have been a fair bit longer. The legs are 1 1/2" x 1/4" bar.

Attached Image


Note two holes in each leg. The outer tapped one's carry 50mm M8 bolts that can hold the spokes of a sprocket.

Attached Image


Attached Image


The inner one's are used with M6 bolts into the variator. (I was sober when I took this picture, but getting very cold! whistle.gif )

Attached Image


My t.d.c. gauge is a bit of a dog's dinner because it was originally made for the Duetto (hence the extension to go down the Grand Canyons of plug recesses). If anybody wants to make one, I will do a nice simple drawing of a one piece dial gauge carrier and post it. By the way, cheap dial gauges & loads of other tool goodies can be bought here. http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/ The bottom bit that screws into the plughole comes from a 15 autojumble compression tester.

Attached Image


Going to have my wife's chicken broth and dumplings now! (to any Geordies or Mackams out there, my wife has just pointed out she can't get ham shanks in Yorkshire!)

This post has been edited by 67duetto: 12th January 2009 20:20
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astro
post 12th January 2009 22:48
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is it worth removing the plugs when rotating by hand to ease the compression?
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67duetto
post 13th January 2009 20:59
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QUOTE(astro @ 12th January 2009 22:48) *
is it worth removing the plugs when rotating by hand to ease the compression?

take all the plugs out. Leaving any cylinder with both plugs in will stop you rotating by hand & you want the engine as free as possible to be accurate. Also, with a plug change period of (I think) 80k miles, there are a lot of engines out there that have moved into the "don't care" phase of life with 100k+ that have the same ones they they left the factory with. Unless you know they have been changed, re-mortgage your house and buy some new ones. You WILL notice the difference. Remember the head is alloy, oil the threads and torque them down. A knucklebar will strip the threads in the head!
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Cloverleaf76
post 13th January 2009 21:04
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QUOTE(67duetto @ 13th January 2009 21:59) *
Remember the head is alloy, oil the threads and torque them down. A knucklebar will strip the threads in the head!


Totally off topic, but interesting you mention that - had one (installed by a specialist whilst still a road going vehicle) pop out a few months ago rant.gif
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67duetto
post 13th January 2009 21:10
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QUOTE(Cloverleaf76 @ 13th January 2009 21:04) *
Totally off topic, but interesting you mention that - had one (installed by a specialist whilst still a road going vehicle) pop out a few months ago rant.gif

Perhaps he had big knuckles roflmao.gif
Sorry, that ain't really funny.

This post has been edited by 67duetto: 13th January 2009 21:12
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Cloverleaf76
post 15th January 2009 19:05
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QUOTE(67duetto @ 13th January 2009 22:10) *
Perhaps he had big knuckles roflmao.gif
Sorry, that ain't really funny.


The kinda guy youda thought would have big wrists, although clearly not one for torquing...

wink.gif
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buellboy
post 17th January 2009 23:53
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Hello! Today progressed quite well!

Firstly I was quite happy to discover the cause of my engine knocking....a broken balancer belt!!! Amazing that i ran the car for over 400miles after i noticed the knocking, it could have been quite disasterous.

I am now in the process of removing the variator, a feat that is proving quite tough without a vice!!

Can anyone offer me some advice on how to re-time the balancer shafts so that they are in phase with the engine again....I'd also appreciate some help with the automatic cambelt tensioner...i just don't know how to put it on!


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