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cDubya

Cambelt Change Advice

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Hello,

 

Looking for a bit of advice please. I have just got 2008 1.8 TDCI estate that has just done 71001 miles. I don't think the cambelt has been changed so enquired at a local garage how much it would cost.  To my horror they advised that this model has 2 belts that need changing (a rubber one as normal and one inside the engine) so quoted about £900! 

 

Is this right? I had a similar 03 model but never heard of an internal belt?

 

Any advice would be appreciated. 

 

cDub

 

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First I'd check, I think most Focus don't need this doing until 100K?  No idea of cost though but £900 seems very steep!

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early 1.8tdci had chain inside the engine (from crankshaft to fuel pump) and then belt from fuel pump to camshaft.

later ones replaced the chain with a wet belt, rubber belt running in oil. I am not sure exactly when changeover was. The only way tell tell for sure if it is chain or belt in the lower section is to remove tensioner and look at the shape of the end of it apparently (from reading these forums for years).

I tend to think yours would be belt not chain (from the age).  some garages just replace the upper belt and don't warn you that it has a lower belt which might break (perhaps they are not keen on doing the lower one due to the work involved or perhaps they are ignorant of change from chain to wet belt). The lower belt is hidden inside the engine and needs a fair amount of work to get to it. 

I don't know what the price should be but it's a huge amount of work compared to say a 1.6tdci. 

Pros and cons on which is the best diesel engine in these.   1.8tdci is old and unrefined (noise / vibration) but lasts forever if the belts are replaced. And it doesn't have a DPF which is good for reliability but bad you you are concerned about air quality.  My brother has 1.8tdci, I like driving it, it seems to have kind of raw power. 

 

 

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"First I'd check, I think most Focus don't need this doing until 100K?"   I have not checked but I bet it says " or 10 years whichever comes first"

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If you pm me your reg I'll reg check it on autodata for the time and distance needed plus book time. Gives you an idea how much you should be paying


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Thanks for the replies.  It makes a bit more sense to me now!  Trust me to get the more expensive fix!

 

I've pm'd you my reg.

 

cDub

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3.9 hour book time, 125k/10 years.

So I'd expect 4 hours labour at whatever they cost plus parts. Some of these have a wet belt that runs the lower end also that "apparently" lasts life of engine. I have replaced them before for customers of mine. The significantly increase price though. There is no standard book time available for them on my data though. Hopefully this is helpful

I've added to the thread here as well incase anyone In future needs the information and uses the search function.

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First I would establish what's in the first level of transmission (from the crankshaft to the fuel pump). This is fairly easy for the garage to find out; just remove the hydraulic belt/chain tensioner and check the head. If it's domed than it's chain fitted but if head is flat than there's a wet belt. 

My mechanic did this job for the first time ever in 6 hours, including the water pump, coolant, engine oil and filter replacement. Even makeshift tools by Haynes advise was used. 

If there 's a chain than I would advise to fit only new hydraulic tensioner and new oil seal to the oil pump casing. If wet belt than replace it (10 yr's to new one) including all seals and gaskets. It's not worth to be penny-wise on gaskets. Also replace the crankshaft pulley bolt.

For some more info check the youtube 1.8tdci focus cambelt replacement videos.

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“ wet belt that runs the lower end also that "apparently" lasts life of engine“.  I have definitely seen mention of the lower belt breaking on this forum.      I suppose if it was mine I might be thinking about how much the car is worth and how I travel from home. If I only did 10 mile journeys I might be more likely to take a chance than if I often travel 200 miles from home. It might still break on a 10 mile journey but would not be so inconvenient. And if the car is worth the same as the work would cost also I might be more likely to chance it. Does mot history suggest the mileage might be genuine. But it could still be clocked in first 3 years. My brothers 1.8tdci shows 90k at first mot, but if it had been clocked to 40k would anyone really have known.    So it’s a gamble and only you can decide if to risk it.  My sister had 16 year old fiesta 1.4tdci on 145k . We have no evidence if belt has ever been done.  She is keeping fingers crossed.  But if belt does break engine damage will be beyond economic repair

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The wet belts aren't that bad to do. I think as mentioned above 6 hours sounds right. I've certainly cracked them out in an 8 hour work day and done a service as well. (Mechanic by trade)

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It's probably why his been quoted so much as the garage wanna replace the lot to be safe. The crossover year is 2008 from chain to belt on autodata so I have no way of confirming without his vehicle in front of me.

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