How-To: Replace Timing Belt on 2nd Gen LX (56k not welcome) | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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How-To: Replace Timing Belt on 2nd Gen LX (56k not welcome)

Discussion in 'How-To's' started by 94scortlx, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    How To: Timing Belt On 2nd Gen Lx

    Alright I had to change my timing belt the other day, so I figured I'd post a how-to on it.

    Let's start with the tools needed:

    :arrow: Basic socket tool set
    :arrow: Crow Bar
    :arrow: Breaker Bar (or Similar)
    :arrow: Gloves If You Got A Hot Date Tonight
    :arrow: New Timing Belt
    :arrow: New Timing Belt Tensioner (Timing Belt Kit) (optional)
    :arrow: Nice Cold Drink

    Okay first thing is first: I (Joe, 94scortlx) am in no way responsible of any mishaps during removal and installation. If you screw up that's on you. This was my first time doing a timing belt and I thought I'd help the less fortunate out.

    The reason i had to replace mine is cuz my belt looked like this...

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, that's what happens when the original timing belt is on for 125 thousand miles i guess.

    Now, we will be working on the left side of the engine compartment, because that's where the front of the engine is. But first, remove the negative on your battery, and also remove all 4 spark plugs.

    Step one: Place something into the notch of the Serpentine belt tensioner. Pull back as to loose the tensioner and remove the belt from up top of the alternator.
    [​IMG]

    What you see is a socket extension inserted into another. I slipped a metal heating pipe over it for a longer extension and easier support.

    Next step: Remove the nut holding that tensioner in, it's a 13mm bolt. Remove the tensioner from the vehicle.
    [​IMG]

    NOTE: There is caked on rubber on that rubber spinner, if you see this, gently scrape that off to reduce belt wear. It's better practice to just replace this tensioner, along with the serpentine belt while you're down there.

    Now we want to jack the vehicle up, because we're going to remove an engine mount. Place the jack under you're oil pan, with a piece of wood and jack up enough to hold the engine in place, plus about a 1/4 of an inch. Don't forget your jack stands.
    [​IMG]

    Now that we have the vehicle supported, remove the engine mount. It's just two bolts. You will need a deep socket 15mm i believe. Lift up that bracket connected to the roller and place it out of your way.

    Then remove the Front Engine Cover, the black casing, on the front of the engine. It's Just 2 10mm nuts.

    After you remove the tensioner, engine mount, and cover it should look like this:
    [​IMG]

    Alright! Now we have to remove the crankshaft. This was the hardest part for me, and you will see why. So get on the floor with a 19mm socket and try and remove that bolt (Crankshaft has the serpentine belt going around it, along with teeth on the backside of it.) When i tried it, the bolt wouldn't come loose and it just kept spinning, so this is where the crowbar comes in. Wrap the end with some electrical tape as not to damage anything. Have someone jam it down there and try and remove the bolt. After the bolts out, take your crowbar, and try and pry the cam off. When it's off You should see this:
    [​IMG]

    Note: See the missing tooth on the left? (Yes it's supposed to be like that) 4-1/2 teeth to the right is the aligntment point for the camshaft crank. It's a little notch see that? Remember those positions for later.(we are actually looking at this from the backside so when u put it on, the missing tooth will be to your right instead.

    Ok now, we are ready to take that old belt off. Go back up top with a 13mm socket, and slightly loosen the tensioner (under the camshaft) Loosen it enough to be able to move it (which you wont be able to with your hands, and if you do...you've got to do a whole lot more than just replace you're timing belt.) Ok now that it's loose try and remove your timing belt, crowbar the tensioner if you are that weak.

    Ok now spin ur tensioner roller, and with your fingers see if you feel any peaks on the roller. If you do, stop now, make sure you have your timing belt kit. If you don't you need to go buy one. Let's say you do feel that non-smoothness on the roller. Remove that bolt completely and examine it. Mine looked like this:
    [​IMG]


    Now unlike the serpentine belt tensioner, you can't just scrape this off, because this is a metal roller, and it needs to be completely smooth. I replaced just the roller and the bolt, because my spring was still strong. If you leave it like this, it will eat your new belt and cause you to re-do the entire thing over again! :evil: Ahem, anyway, put the new tensioner roller on, but dont tighten it completely.

    Take a look at the back of my belt, from just one day with the bad tensioner:

    [​IMG]

    You can see the back side of the belt is all scratched up and the teeth we're cracking.

    Now when the belt is off we want to position the tensioner as far back as possible to make installation of the new belt a piece of cake. Use your crowbar and pry the tensioner back, while it's back there, tighten the bolt now for the tensioner (this is why we slightly loosen the bolt, instead of removing it)

    [​IMG]

    Ok now, slide the belt on the bottom first, dont wrap it around the top yet. Put the crankshaft back on with the bolt. Turn it with a socket until that notch is straight up and down and the missing tooth should be 4-1/2 teeth to your right now. Okay great, Now go back up top to your camshaft and turn that with a socket as well (13mm i believe) until the notch in one of the circles is pointing straight up as well.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure those are lined up, and now you can put your belt on! Should be easy since the tensioner is slid most of the way back now, in place. Remember that the belt goes on the right side of the tensioner when looking from passenger fender (AHEM JOSH). Once you have your belt positioned, loosen your tensioner, and it should snap onto the belt. Now because this is not an auto tensioner like the serpentine belt has, we need to pry it forward and tighten it.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, i pryed it forward with the engine mount back on, because the engine will move a lot if you don't do this. Also it will help in the testing part in a little. That is the old tensioner on my car though, i made the mistake of not replacing it the first time i did it, and the second time around i was able to create the lovely How-to for you guys.

    With the new tensioner roller, (and you can tell) it looks like this installed:
    [​IMG]

    Okay, now we want to test this baby out! Don't put the cover back on unless you are confident in yourself. Put your serpentine belt tensioner on, the engine mount doesn't need to be on just to start the car. Put the spark plugs back in, wires, and negative on the battery. Start it up, and let it get to idle. If you leave to old tensioner on, you will see it start to jump, and it's not a pretty sight. Once it gets to idle:

    [​IMG]

    VOILA! You just did your timing belt, congratulate yourself. Now that you're done testing remove the tensioner again, put your engine front cover on, put the mount and tensioners back on, take you're jack outta there and go test drive it! If you have any questions, just PM me. The total amount was 21.99 for the belt, and 31.99 for the kit. Total without taxes $ 54.98, as opposed to the over $300 for a mechanic to do. It should take you anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete.
    ar154all and techman_hou like this.
  2. Josh_LX

    Josh_LX FEOA Member

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    HOLY SH!T! Thats why my timing belt rattles!

    I have it tensioning the wrong side of the timing gear! No wonder it loosens up all teh freaking time!

    I need to go fix that.

    Mine exploded on the side of teh road and I dindt have my manual with me so I had to guess which side the tensioner goes on. WOW. Is that BAD.

    I have mine tensioning the side of the belt that comes off the other side of the cam pulley, like this:

    [​IMG]

    Wow. Do I feel RETARDED. I never bothered to look in the manual because it runs just fine like that as well, only problem is the belt makes a bit of a rattling sound.

    OK, well, Cya later, I gotta go swap that around now.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  3. Josh_LX

    Josh_LX FEOA Member

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    Back. Swapped around. That makes more sense now. Idles and drives the same, it just doenst rattle (assuming it was slipping past the water pump) when its cold. Awesome write up. I didnt have the patience for the little cover thing, so I broke it into a billion lil pieces (the first time I did the belt), and it makes doing it alot easier. You dont have to take anything off but the crank pulley if you destroy the cover.

    Some argue the cover is needed, but there are several cars out there without timing belt covers on them that run just fine, so I said screw it, Im not jacking the motor up over the retarded belt cover.
  4. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    glad i could actually be of service to someone :) makes me feel good about myself haha. Yeah that case is arguable i dont want it, but i dont like seeing all the gears exposed, so I just put the cover on. looks better, especially with a painted valve cover :lol:
  5. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    and lol i love how u changed ur sig, lmao you wouldnt think it would work backwards haha.

    By the way, when u get the box with the belt on the inside there's usually a pic of what it looks like on the outside 8) haha
  6. Etienne

    Etienne Guest

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    Josh... you dissapoint me... lol
  7. Josh_LX

    Josh_LX FEOA Member

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    I dissapoint myself. I never thought to look in the book when I got back home because it ran just fine. I thought the constant loosening was just the belt stretching.
  8. highanddry

    highanddry Guest

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    With the amount of slush and crap on the road at the time of year, I recommend keeping the timing belt cover on. I had to break mine once, 'cos my belt broke in the middle of nowhere (literally) and I had to do a roadside t-belt swap with make shift tools. I also considered not replacing the cover ($40 for a piece of plastic 8O ), but in the end I'm glad I bought one and still have it.
  9. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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  10. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    Awesome, i edited some of the unclear terms in the how to, and even made a reference to Josh somewhere in there :lol:
  11. oneoffconcepts

    oneoffconcepts Guest

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    My timing belt just broke the other day on the interstate @ around 75 mph. My question is how likely is it that a may have bent my valves. The car started kinda cutting out and idling but wouldn't accelerate, then it would cut in and out and then idle so on and so forth (for probably 1-3 miles finally when it just kept doing that I shut it off and tried to restart it. And tried many times after that to restart it. we did all kinda of test including sparaying startin fluid into the chambers (we thought it was a gas problem) the finally we did a compresion test and the first cylinder was 30 psi the next two were 0 psi and the las one we didn't test cause it was alittle hard to get to. So we finally thought that it was defentlly an engine problem. The first thing we thought of then was the timing belt, so after some prying back of the cover (the bolts just spun, and we figured the nuts are suppose to come off the bolts) we seen that the belt was broke. Now Im am concerned that fixing it would be a waste if my valves are bent (the car also has a laundry list of other little problems).
  12. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    Depending on what kind of engine you have, your valves are not bent. The 1.9 and the 2.0 motors are non interference motors, which means your valves arent bent. If you have a 1.8 that's a different story, or if you have a 1.9 spi hybrid that's different as well. So unless you were revvin the engine at like 7000 rpm you're fine, just replace your belt.
  13. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    Hey Josh, just wondering what other symptoms you had. I've got a rattling from that side of the engine, and I'm suspicious of my water pump, temp gauge jumps about a bit and engine seems to "load" and "unload". I just bought a new pump and belt and was going to do it. Guess I'll feel better if I replace the pump anyway if I find mine like that (There's some brassy filings in the coolant too) Just wondering if the old pump would be worth saving if I find it with the belt on wrong, or whether that was behaving fine for you, i.e. working right still.

    Hmmm hope that scans for other peeps, having trouble making sense tonight.

    Road Warrior
  14. Swift

    Swift FEOA Donator

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    I just wanted to say thanks to 94scortlx. I just changed my timing belt and it feels like a different car.

    Of course imagine my suprise when the old belt I took off was stamped with the year 1995. With the car having 184K I had just assumed someone had changed a belt prior to my purchase.

    Thanks again for the great write up.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  15. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    glad i could help yet another member, a new member at that, and his first post, thanking me!

    I'd like to thank all 3 of my escorts, and um...yeah thats it
  16. WoR

    WoR Guest

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    The timing belt on my 1.9 came loose (guy that had it before was a little drunk and put it on backwards) and it definetly had some interference with the valves and the pistons. 3 of the intake valves look ok, 1 intake and all 4 exhaust are bent and you can see on the valve reliefs on the pistons that they hit, there all nice an shiney.. The head is an '89 and the block is from a '93 tracer so unless the block/crank/rods/pistons are different from '89 to '93 then they are interference motors. One question tho, where should the point inside the cam gear be pointing? I'm not sure how to get the valve timing right on these motors. Thanks!
  17. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    well you put a 1st gen head on a second gen block, so yes you've now made it interference, just because they are both 1.9's doesn't mean anything.

    The arrow on the cam should be facing straight up, but since you have a head from the 1st gen, ive never seen one, and am not quite sure what it should look like, but could look the same?

    Also apparently some people are saying the pictures are not loading for them. Okay all you have to do is right click each picture, copy the properties web address and paste into a new window, do this for each picture, using that same window, then refresh the how to and you should be set. If this doesn't work i will revise the location of the pictures and hopefully host them a little better
  18. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    okay apparently putfile no longer likes to be nice, though they say i can use them to host media files, (whatever) ill be updating into photobucket, i just need to find the cd i saved all those pics to so i can re upload them.

    If you have any questions in the meantime, the PM button is always workin!
  19. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    Pics back up, some are bigger than they used to be, but there we go at least!
  20. mandys93lx

    mandys93lx Guest

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    thANKS FOR TIMING BELT HELP

    THANKS SO MUCH IT MADE IT REALLY EASY TO CHANGE IT OUT ONCE WE HAD THE RIGHT TOOLS NOW MY GIRL FRIENDS LX IS RUNNING WERE HOPING TO CHECK MY BELT ALSO CAUSE ON MY WAGON ITS RUNNING SLUGGISH. IM JUST GLAD WE BOTH GOT THE SAME CARS THEY ARE BOTH 93 ESCORTS WITH 1.9L MOTORS YEAH WELL HAVE A GREAT DAY MANDY

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