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Timing belts. Are they suppose to be this tight?


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Morning all. 

Timing belt day 3, this damn car has been fighting me all the way! Starting to think think it was a bad idea but no going back now. 

Based on advice I went for a complete Gates kit. Water pump went on no problems and tightened it the correct way. Then I get to the timing belt itself and I can't for the life of me get the damn thing on!? I'm starting from the non tension side and working the belt around, right to left if you like but the problem is it just won't slip onto the tensioner even when it's at it's slackest point, probably 3mm out? I've tried twisting it on, I've tried slipping it onto the fuel pump and water pump but still no bueno. The belt is correct and has 144 teeth for the model with AC. 

Can anyone suggest anything else I can try. Don't fancy levering it on as someone's suggested for fear of damaging the belt or something else. 

I've exhausted my catalogue of swear words on this damn car, so to the internet for some more exotic variations.

If anyone here has done it before PLEASE drop by and let me know what witchcraft you used.

Thanks. Pippa

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Which engine?  And have you checked it's the same length as the one you took off? 

They are reasonably tight and it can be best to slip a few mm onto each cog working round rather than fully fitting one cog first.  Also, are you sure the tensioner is fitted correctly?

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12 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Which engine?  And have you checked it's the same length as the one you took off? 

They are reasonably tight and it can be best to slip a few mm onto each cog working round rather than fully fitting one cog first.  Also, are you sure the tensioner is fitted correctly?

Should have mentioned, it's the 1.4tdci. on a 53 plate. Yes the belt is the same length with the correct amount of teeth and the tensioner is located on it's peg. Had a local mobile mechanic here today - he spent just over an hour on it and got no further. Said that new belts can be extremely tight and that's manufactured in to help not ruin an engine if say the tensioner becomes slightly slacker than it should be. Sounds plausible but I don't know? 

Anyway, the suggestion was to call Gates in the morning and ask if there has been any manufacturing defects on my particular kit? Haven't done a great deals of timing belts but this one is way out in front as being the most difficult. ***** cars!!

 

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10 hours ago, peppermiller said:

Should have mentioned, it's the 1.4tdci. on a 53 plate. Yes the belt is the same length with the correct amount of teeth and the tensioner is located on it's peg. Had a local mobile mechanic here today - he spent just over an hour on it and got no further. Said that new belts can be extremely tight and that's manufactured in to help not ruin an engine if say the tensioner becomes slightly slacker than it should be. Sounds plausible but I don't know? 

Anyway, the suggestion was to call Gates in the morning and ask if there has been any manufacturing defects on my particular kit? Haven't done a great deals of timing belts but this one is way out in front as being the most difficult. ***** cars!!

 

The 1.4/1.6 TDCi are usually about the easiest belts you can do on modern engines.  Only one cam sprocket, a keyed crank pulley and not bathed in oil.

Have you pulled the pin out of the tensioner?  If the belt is the same length it must be the tensioner that's wrong somehow.  Unless the waterpump pulley is the wrong size maybe, might be worth checking that against the old one if haven't already.  Not convinced about belts being manufactured too tight, the tensioner is sprung to automatically take out any slack.

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