Ticking noise after changing timing belt

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by Alex325, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Alex325

    Alex325 New Member

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    Hi everyone new to the escort, I bought a 2002 zx2 a week ago and have already done some work. I changed the valve cover gasket and noticed the timing belt was cracked very bad so I bought a gates kit and replaced it with new belt and pullys, this morning on the way to work the timing idler pulley bolt snap off flush with the block and the car quit. I then extracted the broken bolt and replaced the idler pulley with a new one and torqued to 35 foot pounds and my chitons manual says, the first 5 minutes on the way home everything was working great then I notice it started to tick under load but with the clutch all the way in and Rpms dropped or sitting at a stop light the noise went away, then would come right back as I started driving. From what I can tell without out pulling everything apart again it sounds like it's coming from middle of the engine under the valve cover over the exhaust cam. Also I've read some stuff online about having to reset the vct and the belt slips but it didn't say anything about that in my chiltons manual. Any help will be greatly apreciated car also has 89000 miles on it.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    I would remove the timing cover just to make sure the timing belt is riding in the middle, and not working it's way towards either edge.

    I've never set the VCT on the cars I've done timing belts on (3 so far) and they've been fine.
  3. Alex325

    Alex325 New Member

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    Yes timing belt is still riding in the middle hasn't moved, is 35 foot pounds the correct tourque for the idler pulley it sure felt like a lot. Don't wanna snap that bolt again pain in the ass to get out.
  4. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know the torque spec for the idler, I didn't replace them in my cars.
  5. Alex325

    Alex325 New Member

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    Ok well thanks for the help.
  6. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    i would and never have set the torque to that value on the idler pulley for this version of the timing parts. This is asking for it to break again because of the way the bolt reduces at the threads. If it is still working and in one piece then leave it alone as loosening the bolt at this point will cause it to break since this version is only intended to be tightened once.

    there are two things I would be concerned with about this timing belt replacement:

    1 - did you remove the center timing cover to gain access to remove and replace this idler pulley? This is important because on this year of the engine the center timing cover slightly blocks the pulley from being removed without interference. many people have stripped out this hole and even cross threaded it by not removing the center timing cover. If you did not remove it, this could explain why the bolt broke so quickly

    2 - many timing belt manufacturers include 3 pulleys in the kit (timing belt tensioner, upper idler pulley and lower idler pulley). Your car should not have the lower idler pulley installed. many people mistakenly install this thinking someone forgot it before or that it needs to be installed because the kit would not have it if it were not to be installed. Installing this pulley removes too much slack from the belt and does not properly allow for belt movement as the engine is running. This reduction in slack on the belt creates too much tension and the upper idler pulley is the weak link when all 3 pulleys are installed on this year of the engine.

    so, the two things i would concern myself with first with this car are the lower idler pulley if it were installed and the upper idler pulley hole if the center cover was not removed
  7. Alex325

    Alex325 New Member

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    I didn't remove the second cover I instead notched it to remove the idler pulley and no I didn't cross thread it or anything, so you think 35 foot pounds is too tight? What would you recommend then, I also did not install the 3 lower pulley that they give you in the kit
  8. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    notching the cover was a good move. i do this on many cars of this year to make it easier to fix in case this problem happens.
    i would only tighten that pulley bolt by hand without torque wrench. But, as i mentioned, you should not touch yours now since you have already torqued it down.

    Since you have already seen to the two things I would look for a video of what is happening would be the best at this point. if you make a video for this ensure that it is horizontal and you include a view of the belt on the cams and the tensioner marks while the car is running.

    the tensioner marks is what i am really interested in seeing because the sound you describe happens when the belt is not properly tensioned using the mark on the tensioner
  9. DangerRanger

    DangerRanger FEOA Member

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    The bottom idler pulley helps to keep the belt from jumping over some teeth at the crank in the event the engine turns over backward a few times in a bad start. My daughter had a bad habit of not paying attention when cranking an engine and not holding the key on steady. She was using my Focus with Zetec and managed to do it and cause it to jump three whole teeth at the crank. I had recently changed the belt and got all three pulleys with the kit. I only put two on as that was all it had stock but after fixing that event I put the other on the bottom to help make sure it didn't jump any teeth if she did it again.
  10. kids-at-711

    kids-at-711 FEOA Member

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    I just recently did this on my 03, 18 ft lbs is what I read the torque is.

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