Genuinely not a bad job. Remember I tend to go into the gory detail and try to offer as much explanation on how I did it. Not just to help others who may do it but also if I ever do it again!
Totally doable as a DIY'er. I'm no expert and I managed it just fine. Tools wise there isn't anything too special either if you have a decent set. 99% of the work was done with:
- Halfords Professional socket set. Can't remember which one but the one with the most bits in. This was 90% of my go to tools.
- 15 to 60Nm torque wrench. Actually used this the most apart from the socket set. Especially important for stuff like the water pump bolts and if you ever want to get them off again without rounding them off. Access is tight so you want to make sure everything is done up correctly as you may need to get it off again.
- 40 to 200Nm torque wrench. There was a few fasteners at 62Nm so ended up using this for them.
- Another set of 8mm to 23mm sockets + ratchet. Mostly used 13mm/16mm/18mm and sometimes needed extra set of 3/8 inch. Mine were just a decent but cheap set. I think some own brand Screwfix set!
- Impact wrench to get that crank bolt out
- Breaker bar for some of the tighter stuff. Is recommend a lower profile one as some of the alloy cover bolts are super tight but the Aircon pipes are in the way.
- 14mm hex key for the dephaser pulley bolt cover. I used the one in a cheap blue box drain plug set I got off eBay a while back.
- 80-100mm jubilee clip for the tensioner. Get genuine Jubilee or Noma here. I think a low profile detensioning tool would be handy too. I ended up using another drain key tool on a ratchet (as I have no 3/4 inch breaker) and the jack handle to give extra leverage when the knock off jubilee clip failed to tighten any further.
- Decent jack with long reach. Needed to often jack the engine as high as I could for best access. I have a SGS 3 tonne job one that I know a few on here like too. Think it has a 50cm reach on it.
- Genuine Renault locking tools. I was sceptical at first but these are a must if you want the best outcome. I'm now a believer of not using the cheap Laser tools for this job. You can get most of your money back on the Renault tools if you come to sell on anyway.
- Patience! Especially if this is your first belt job. Helps I have spare(s) daily drivers so I can work on this in my own time.
I mean all this stuff is something that most will have if they've done even only a few jobs on a car before. No skill is really needed and it's just about following instructions. Not like something like welding where it's an art to get right and a proper skill to learn.
All the stuff you hear about needing to remove the engine or drop the subframe, etc isn't true. Access is tight but you can get in easily enough to be honest. Sometimes you need to jack up to get to some bits at the middle then drop back down to get to the other bits in the middle. Especially on stuff like the water pump and the cambelt pulleys.
I'd totally do another one of these myself. In fact I'd do it over taking it into any garage or specialist as to do it properly takes time. Especially when checking tension by spinning the belts over. Probably get away with doing it the Renault specified amounts but it won't be as close as if you do it more.
Also interesting to note how far mine was out yet still ran ok. Might have been at risk further as the belt stretched over longer term (it only had done 8k miles on it) and then risk stuff clashing. But the state it was in the car still start and ran without breaking itself up.
I'm just looking forward to the first drive and seeing how different it feels now! Also keeping fingers crossed everything is still set correctly and won't slip back out 😬
While I think about it, if/when I'm selling this car in the future and you're reading this thread looking to buy, I've got all the old cambelt parts in boxes. Kinda mostly for proof that I haven't just bought parts and not fitted them. Even if this thread has been long enough so far that it should be clear I haven't done that!
Anyway future buyer, I've probably forgotten about them so remind me and I can give them. If I remember where I put them...
Thanks to the efficient transportation of @worldofceri and previous owner @Kiltox, I'm now the owner of the ex-@purplebargeken Hyundai i10 - which will be the daily hack, and was why I put the Mazda up for sale.
As the previous most modern car I've owned was from 2002, this is a bit of a jump forward*! I hope we have many miles of white goods motoring...
Bloody hell, it’s been a while since I’ve updated this. It’s been a crazy few months!
Things are going to change a bit because I’m still working 6 days a week but I’m hopefully going to be able to start making videos again!