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2009 Ford Focus 1.8tdci wet belt confusion


KevinWrench
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Hello everybody.

This is my 1st post and I'm a complete newbie to this.

I currently drive a 2003 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8tdci. I have owned this car for a number of years and it has been nothing but a joy to run.

It has never let me down and is pushing towards the 300,000miles mark. I'm thinking of upgrading a few years and buying a 2009 Zetec model with the 1.8tdci engine again and this is where the confusion starts for me.

From what I know the current 2003 model I have now does not have a wet belt setup and just has the timing belt setup.

Would I be right in saying that a 2009 Zetec focus with the 1.8tdci engine has both the wet belt and timing belt setup. If so I don't think I would go ahead and buy one. I always believed that it was only the 2.0 Mondeo had this setup but from what I read their is a mix of reviews.If ye could give some factual advise and information I'd really appreciate it. It might even save me going grey!

The reason I want the same engine as my 2003 is it has been really reliable and has never let me down.

Many thanks

Kevin 

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They can be converted to chain easily enough. IIRC the change over was around late 2007 when Dayco introduced the wet belt. 

I’ve  just replaced the wet belt and all associated parts on one a couple of weeks ago. The owner didn’t see the point in putting a chain on given that his vehicle is 8 years old and covered over 100k miles on the original wet belt. 

Expense wise the chain would have put around £50-£60 on the overall cost.

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"If so I don't think I would go ahead and buy one."  I suppose it depends what the alternative choices are.  I was not keen on getting a diesel with a dpf but whatever car you buy it's all a bit of a compromise between good and not so good features of it. 

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There is also the matter of the infamous dogs**te batch of Siemens injectors that got fitted in the 2009 1.8 TDCi engines.  It's a shame they managed to screw up a bulletproof engine, it's rather pricey to replace all 4 injectors, even if you used reconditioned ones).

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On 9/24/2018 at 4:36 PM, KevinWrench said:

The reason I want the same engine as my 2003 is it has been really reliable and has never let me down.

I also think the 1.8 (Lynx) is a really good engine to own. Euro 4 (in the Mk2 Focus) with no DPF, the main parts are tough and reliable. My oil stays quite clean for months after a change, even after 12 months it is not completely black, unlike most diesels. That means less carbon in the oil. Carbon in oil damages everything, it is a big problem in the older 1.6TDCI (DV6). The newer DV6C (eg in Mk3 Focus) may not have the same problem.

The lower belt was a disaster for high mileage owners. The twin chain in engine oil has hardly any reports of failure over huge mileages, there are plenty of reports of premature lower belt failure. And it was never designed to be changed routinely, access to that lower area looks to be a nightmare with the engine in the car. I suspect all 1.8s since mid 2007 or so, have the lower belt.

The VDO injector problem seems to be centered on 2008, but may extend into 2009. It seems to have happened after Siemens sold the VDO operation to Continental AG. Likely the knowhow to make these incredibly finely engineered piezo-electric valves did not really transfer well with the sale. Typical corporate incompetence!

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Tdci-Peter said:

I also think the 1.8 (Lynx) is a really good engine to own. Euro 4 (in the Mk2 Focus) with no DPF, the main parts are tough and reliable. My oil stays quite clean for months after a change, even after 12 months it is not completely black, unlike most diesels. That means less carbon in the oil. Carbon in oil damages everything, it is a big problem in the older 1.6TDCI (DV6). The newer DV6C (eg in Mk3 Focus) may not have the same problem.

The lower belt was a disaster for high mileage owners. The twin chain in engine oil has hardly any reports of failure over huge mileages, there are plenty of reports of premature lower belt failure. And it was never designed to be changed routinely, access to that lower area looks to be a nightmare with the engine in the car. I suspect all 1.8s since mid 2007 or so, have the lower belt.

The VDO injector problem seems to be centered on 2008, but may extend into 2009. It seems to have happened after Siemens sold the VDO operation to Continental AG. Likely the knowhow to make these incredibly finely engineered piezo-electric valves did not really transfer well with the sale. Typical corporate incompetence!

 

 

 

Peter the lower belt isn’t a bad job to do in the vehicle. 

Here are a couple of pics from one I done a few weeks ago. 

DDA263F3-45DC-4E21-8E2E-0943A1C5C5F1.jpeg

D36B33ED-C012-4963-81DD-68DAB4F1A20B.jpeg

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is an old thread but just wondering how long does a job like that take to do? 

My sons car has done 108,000 miles and with no service history we have no idea of when the belt was last changed so trying to work out a rough cost.

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1 hour ago, jonj1611 said:

I know this is an old thread but just wondering how long does a job like that take to do? 

My sons car has done 108,000 miles and with no service history we have no idea of when the belt was last changed so trying to work out a rough cost.

What year is the car from, as it may still have a lower chain rather than the more fragile wet belt?

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1 hour ago, jonj1611 said:

how long does a job like that take to do?

I chickened out of doing my timing belt this year! I looked at it in August, but lack of critical tools, equipment and time was the excuse to delay it, then it got too cold. I can't do fiddly stuff outdoors in Winter now. In the end it cost me the princely sum of £150 at a back street garage that looks dodgy, but is actually run by a very knowledgeable & competent mechanic. Upper belt & tensioner only, and just a pull-off & re-fit job, no time consuming re-timing. As the timing will vary as the belt stretches over the years, it probably makes no difference, as long as it was correct to start with.

My car has done 179k miles, and last had a timing belt change in 2011 when I bought it. I was starting to get worried every time I drove the car, wondering if there would be a sudden total loss of power as the belt shredded and turned the engine to bent scrap in a fraction of a second. It is a relief to have it done. I had only done about 55k miles in that time, but on organic materials (elastomer/rubber and fabric), age can be as critical as miles.

The garage knew to ask me if it was wet belt or chain, but at 2006 it will be chain. 2007 could be either, 2008 on would be lower belt.

A Ford dealer would have charged double or more. So it depends more on who does it than anything else.

@stef123 would be one to comment on the extra hours or £ to do the the lower belt at the same time.

 

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23 hours ago, Tdci-Peter said:

I chickened out of doing my timing belt this year! I looked at it in August, but lack of critical tools, equipment and time was the excuse to delay it, then it got too cold. I can't do fiddly stuff outdoors in Winter now. In the end it cost me the princely sum of £150 at a back street garage that looks dodgy, but is actually run by a very knowledgeable & competent mechanic. Upper belt & tensioner only, and just a pull-off & re-fit job, no time consuming re-timing. As the timing will vary as the belt stretches over the years, it probably makes no difference, as long as it was correct to start with.

My car has done 179k miles, and last had a timing belt change in 2011 when I bought it. I was starting to get worried every time I drove the car, wondering if there would be a sudden total loss of power as the belt shredded and turned the engine to bent scrap in a fraction of a second. It is a relief to have it done. I had only done about 55k miles in that time, but on organic materials (elastomer/rubber and fabric), age can be as critical as miles.

The garage knew to ask me if it was wet belt or chain, but at 2006 it will be chain. 2007 could be either, 2008 on would be lower belt.

A Ford dealer would have charged double or more. So it depends more on who does it than anything else.

@stef123 would be one to comment on the extra hours or £ to do the the lower belt at the same time.

 

@Tdci-Peter I had the cambelt, tensioner and water pump done on my MK2 1.8 TDCi a couple of months ago (you probably saw my thread about the leak my engine had sprung!).  It does look like a fair amount of work although I my belt and tensioner were the original parts fitted from the factory and @174K miles I was amazed how good both parts looked.  The tensioner didn't rattle and the belt looked almost brand new.

 

I know they should have been replaced @ 125K miles but once my car got to that age I didn't feel I could justify the cost given the cars age/value and as the car got even older I kind of rationalised that if it went pop I'd more than had my money out of it.  If it hadn't been for the water pump gasket taking a dump, I definitely wouldn't have had the work done.

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Just now, jonj1611 said:

Do both belts need to be done or just one?

Both, especially the bottom wet belt.

 

The top belt and tensioner tends to just keep going but if you're paying for the labour to do the bottom belt it wouldn't be smart to not also do the top belt and tensioner whilst the car is in bits.  Also, a good quality Gates kit isn't all that expensive.

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6 minutes ago, jonj1611 said:

Ok thank you, trying to get some quotes to see how much it will cost, my garage is like a fridge, rather someone else froze to death doing it 🙂

Sounds like a plan. 👍

 

I'll attempt most jobs, I even had the entire dashboard out due to the infamous leaky heater matrix pipes but I'd definitely draw the line at doing the upper and lower belts myself.

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On 1/4/2021 at 7:28 PM, jonj1611 said:

Been quoted £500 for both belts,

I would ask if that includes the timing check. The book procedure is to pull off the camshaft pulley, accurately locate the crankshaft & camshaft with jigs, then tighten the camshaft pulley with the engine accurately set. This is a lot of extra work, and several special tools, especially as access to the crankshaft timing point means moving the ac compressor and removing the alternator pulley, neither being easy jobs.

I did not have this check done, it is easy to slip the top belt off and a new one on without moving anything. The belts are pretty consistent, within normal limits of wear in use. But with both belts being done there is more slop, more to go wrong, so I would ensure it is done. £500 sounds a good price if the full job with timing check, is to be done.

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On 1/1/2021 at 11:52 PM, Tdci-Peter said:

I chickened out of doing my timing belt this year! I looked at it in August, but lack of critical tools, equipment and time was the excuse to delay it, then it got too cold. I can't do fiddly stuff outdoors in Winter now. In the end it cost me the princely sum of £150 at a back street garage that looks dodgy, but is actually run by a very knowledgeable & competent mechanic. Upper belt & tensioner only, and just a pull-off & re-fit job, no time consuming re-timing. As the timing will vary as the belt stretches over the years, it probably makes no difference, as long as it was correct to start with.

My car has done 179k miles, and last had a timing belt change in 2011 when I bought it. I was starting to get worried every time I drove the car, wondering if there would be a sudden total loss of power as the belt shredded and turned the engine to bent scrap in a fraction of a second. It is a relief to have it done. I had only done about 55k miles in that time, but on organic materials (elastomer/rubber and fabric), age can be as critical as miles.

The garage knew to ask me if it was wet belt or chain, but at 2006 it will be chain. 2007 could be either, 2008 on would be lower belt.

A Ford dealer would have charged double or more. So it depends more on who does it than anything else.

@stef123 would be one to comment on the extra hours or £ to do the the lower belt at the same time.

 

Sorry for the late reply to this one.

Off hand I cant even remember how long these take dispite having done a few now lol.

My advice would be make sure whoever is doing it is familiar with them, I've had one in to redo after the upper and lower belts were replaced but the housing alignment tool was not used and ultimately the crank seal failed very quickly.

No change from £500 at least if its done with quality parts. 

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