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Noise from camshaft belt cover 1.8 tdci

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Hi guys,

I was looking into the engine bay of my 2007 1.8 tdci focus because of the oil leak I have on top of my transmission (will opean a separate thread for that) and thought I will just start a car and listen a bit how everything sounds. That was when I heard a noise from the camshaft belt case that sounds like a sprocket grinding with the plastic casing. When I lightly grab the top of the plastic casing and pull it away from the cylinders the noise is greatly reduced/ almost gone. I filmed a video attached below in which you can hear quite clearly how it sounds by itself and when I pull it away a bit. Also when I push the top of the casing towards the engine the sound stays the same or gets just a bit louder. Car currently has 175.000 miles and the belt was changed 50.000 miles / 5 years ago by a ford dealer.

So did anyone had the same thing happen to them ? and should I be worried about it or have the belt and the tensioner replaced?


Thanks for the help!

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Hi Janzup, well I can hear what you mean, but I wouldn't worry too much just yet. It might be worth getting the belt checked with such a high mileage, I know it has only done 50000 miles since its last change but the tensioner may be wearing.

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I did a bit of research today and it looks like the belt grinding against the cover is known to happen if the tension is not set correctly when installing the belt and tensioner. From this I suspect this can also happen if tensioner fails/ starts to fail. On page 2 of this document:  ford-18-diesel-timing-belt.pdf, you can see pictures of what happens when the belt grinds against the cover because of the wrong belt tension/tracking. There is also this article about belt failure: https://pmmonline.co.uk/technical/timing-belt-mystery/ and this thread from another forum https://fordtransit.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=94934. All these belt failures resulted from improper installation soon after being replaced but as I said I think this can also happen due to tensioner being worn. I dont have the time to remove the belt cover and check it today, so I will probably just try to take it to the mechanic tomorrow and see what they say. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just so you guys know what was the conclusion, the mechanic took down the cover and the belt, inspected everything and came to the conclusion that everything looks good and that I do not need to replace the cambelt and the tensioner. He then Inspected further and called me that the auxilary belt tensioner is quite loud and since the engine mount and everyhing was already off I can get it replaced, without additional labour cost, so I agreed. The tensioner was quite expensive (80 eur) but sounds much quiter then the old one (previous one sounded like a "dry" bearing). Also the sound from the cambelt cover has substantially decreased since it was open, I guess unbolting and reataching it changed the position a bit and now there is not as much resonance as before. So all good as far as the cambelt goes, but now the DMF has started emitting noises, and I also just figured out that the radiator fan is not working (I found that out becouse the AC was blowing hot when I was stationary but working well when moving)... new challenges ahead 🙂

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