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philibusmo

Dull thread for idiots, plus various motoring antics. - Laguna I 1.8 16v Timing Belt Change Guide

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The 950 and 1.1 are pretty nippy around town but were low geared, 4000RPM+ at 70. I put a MK2 box in mine as it was a bit better, didn't know there was a better MK1 version available. Best mod I did was an 86-88 Escort 1.3 engine, which looks identical except for a taller block, has 5 main bearings rather than 3 and is good for chasing 2.0 Sierras once you've fitted a Mk2 Escort 1300 sport twin choke Weber on a Mangoletsi inlet manifold. All the tuning stuff for the 1.1 fits this 1.3 - think it's a JLA? I bought a complete Janspeed manifold and system but the taller block meant it interfered with the sump. These days I'd mod the sump or downpipe, but at 19 my technical skills were a bit more limited!

 

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3 hours ago, Mr_Bo11ox said:

I've got a new timing belt kit that I bought for my Mk2 Laguna 2.0 Turbo F4RT BOX then never fitted, is that any use to you? if so you can have it for the postage cost... 

Thanks for the offer, unfortunately the 2.0 Turbo has a slightly different belt as it runs the water pump as well, where the naturally aspirated cars run the water pump from the aux belt.

The belt I need has 128 teeth where the belt you have should have 126, both are 27mm wide.

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I had such big plans for today but somewhere between waking up and sitting in the evening sun with a cider all of the day disappeared and I'm not quite sure what I was up to for most of the middle bit.

This very easy patch got zipped in onto yh box section behind the pedals in the back of the wheel arch. One manky porous blob of weld in there because I started and had forgot to turn the gas on.

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Seem sealer soon covers that up though, and it's in no danger of falling off any time soon.

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I've had a bit of a gander at the Laguna's engine bay and have decided that a cam belt change looks very do-able. So await a step by step guide on how to change the belt on an F4P engined Mk1 Laguna - fun for all the family!

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I don't think they're too horrendous to do, I had the belt off my red one when I changed the variator thing on the camshaft. You can make a doofer for locking the cams out of a bit of angle iron.

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12 minutes ago, Mr_Bo11ox said:

I don't think they're too horrendous to do, I had the belt off my red one when I changed the variator thing on the camshaft. You can make a doofer for locking the cams out of a bit of angle iron.

Gotta be easier than a V6 Avantime

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Today was another lame duck. Once again I managed to piss away the morning doing absolutely fuck all, despite my best intentions.

But I went out this afternoon, full of the joys of spring ready to put the last patch in the inner front wheel arch and get on with the front panel.

The patch went pretty well, it was a tad windy so not the tidiest welds in the world but there was a couple of odd curves and bends in this area and it all folded into place nicely with only a small fire.

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I've decided to whip the front panel off , get the paint off it and give it a good coating of Bilt Hamner Deox Gel to remove any rust before painting the inside of it properly and welding it back in place.

I started whizzing off paint to find where I'd spot welded it as I don't think I have any photos of the front before it went off for paint to remind me where the welds are to drill out. I found a couple on both sides where it is connected to the cross member and was looking for the ones around the centre and the ones to the inner wings when my die grinder popped and stopped working.IMG_20200516_173831.thumb.jpg.87ae93ec0583222a907971a703ebc1dd.jpgIMG_20200516_173823.thumb.jpg.d964b0deff4a066ed20e5e39430b5099.jpg

i then spent an hour looking for what had gone wrong with my grinder but as far as I can see it looks fine internally with no obvious damage and the fuse is fine. Annoyingly I'm at a point where I could really do with having it working for getting into the books and crannies front wings and the front panel so I think I'm going to order a really cheap one and abuse it to hell for the next couple of weeks and if it breaks send it back.

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Finally I've found the dimension of the two timing tools I'll definitely need for the Renault. They from a website where a Russian bloke was changing the belt on a Megane II 1.6 (cost less than 12,000 Rouble) but on cross checking the tools part numbers, it uses the same ones as the F4P engine.

The cam locking tool looks easy to fabricate out of some bits of old post from a chain like fence welded together. As for the crank locking tool, I haven't yet decided if I just find a suitable length and width punch or similar and just slap it in or make up a proper one with the thread and everything on a lathe. Being honest, it's likely to be the former.

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On 5/14/2020 at 10:48 PM, philibusmo said:

Now how does it stack up against its rivals in the 90s low to mid ranking reps saloon or estate car  (that I happen to have had at some point) showdown?

Audi A4 1.8 20v

This one was an Auto so it was slow, but having also had a manual 1.8t quattro and a 1.9TDI along with an auto V6 I can confirm that I like these. The suspension is a pain to work on but they feel solid, handle very predictably, easy to drive and the interiors are just nice places to be. A step above the Laguna when new and feels it.

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Vauxhall/Holden Vectra 2.2

Miserable. Not nice to drive, and felt cheaply made and designed in all the ways that makes driving a car every day unpleasant. The auto box wasn't bad and it drove for 3 hours with a leaking coolant pipe fixed* with eggs and pepper but that does not excuse it.

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Mitsubishi Legnum 1.8 GDI

Looked pretty good, awful in every other way. In my experience the GDI engine is an absolute dog and Mitsubishis in general have all of the dullness of other Japanese makes with none of the reliability. The auto box was the most hopeless I've ever encountered.

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Nissan Primera 2.0 Hyper CVT

Once you get over the weird CVT box, a Primera is an entertaining steer. Seem to be well made and even though the interior is dull, it is comfy. Recommended, although I did not enjoy fitting a lower suspension arm.IMG_20181005_151008.thumb.jpg.a7e02dc193a573bc9b84c98c79f3aa6c.jpg

Volvo S40 1.8

Comfy, quite quick and an overall pleasant car which I can remember very little about.

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Ford Mondeo 2.0 Zetec

A good example could be very nice. This was not a good example. The fuel gauge read backwards and I ran out of fuel on the petrol station forecourt when I realised what was going on. Despite its state it felt like it had the bones of a good car. A nice one is probably a better car than a Laguna.IMG_20161029_083919320.thumb.jpg.7485ce566efee4b9ec6ebafefafde637.jpg

Toyota Caldina 1.8GT

I'm pretty sure a duller version was the Avensis estate in the UK. Dependable and not a bad steer but quite uninspiring to drive. If they come with the JDM mats then they are very plush with all sorts of fun patterns.

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Alfa Romeo 156 2.0TS

My pick of the bunch, I know it's a bit newer, more expensive when new and has a well known selection of foibles but this is easily the car that gave me the most enjoyment and I bonded with most of the group. Get a good well serviced one with quiet suspension and you're a winner.  I prefered the 2.0 to the V6, it felt overall the nicer car to drive, plus the oil filter was much easier to change.

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I'm sure I've had other potential Laguna rivals, but quite frankly I can't be arsed to think of what they are and find photos right now.

So to sum up, buy an Alfa Romeo 156, unless I come to sell my Laguna in which case it's a superb car in every way and you should definitely buy it.

 

That volvo may well have had a Mitsubishi engine! I like you're reviews anyway. I do like anonymous late to mid90s saloons and estates.

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Top bombing on the Fiesta resurrection. Another vote for them as cracking wee cars; my Mk2 1.1 Ghia was bought as a cheap disposable snotter but I ended up really liking it. Sad they're all heading into megabuxxx territory; you've done well to hold on to yours! Great progress so far.

Liking the write-up on family expresses too - though interestingly I found my Alfa 156 Veloce to be easily the most unreliable and uncomfortable car I've ever owned, and was over the moon when I managed to straight-swap its sorry arse for a dented base model Laguna eight years its senior.

Takes all sorts, on here!

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The front panel is off - it was a bit of a faff finding the spot welds and and even bigger faff drilling them out with my crap selection of blunt drill bits  but here it is removed. IMG_20200517_170558.thumb.jpg.4da65b66bb16af23eadb430828250f3a.jpg

The metalwork isn't too horrific behind, IMG_20200517_170551.thumb.jpg.9845ce9f5a268b1c3d4a8c67ebf06962.jpg

This side is mostly fine and won't need too much work

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This side is slightly worse

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Nice and clean in the middle, if a bit dull of old waxoil which I'll get rid of so it doesn't turn into a fucking raging inferno when. I weld to it.

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The front panel itself is a bit worse for wear. Drilling the spot welds out and then chiseling off anything else that was still holding on for dear life made a bit of a mess and rust has taken hold in a fair few spots in behind.

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Hopefully this lot will clean up alright and with a spot of welding and a few smears of filler it will be presentable again once the rot has been evicted.

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Some more welding has occured.

The crusty bits around the front are now in a much better state than they were. Easy enough job, snipping out the roughest bits and then zipping in some new* metal with a quick grind back to make these bits that get spot welded all nice and flat again.

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BLAND

Now onto the marginally more interesting stuff.

The front panel it self wasn't in a horrible state, but in places is decidedly ropey. However from this sample of one, I can strongly recommend waxoyl. At some point, I think about eight years ago I managed to spray some into the cross member and got very good coverage, I think I heated it in a pan of boiling water beforehand, and the inside is immaculate. After cleaning off the old waxoyl from that area of the front panel, the original paint was still sat underneath like the day it came out of the factory. Unfortunately, other areas were nowhere near as well protected.

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Now for a poor review - Bilt Hamber Deox Gel. I'd heard good things about this stuff many years ago and bought two pots of the stuff. I tried it a few times but found it awkward to apply and got very middling results with it, anything more than the lightest of surface rust it seemed to struggle with. Now, a fair few years on there was still the half used pot and a fresh one at the back of the garage. On trying it again, and really giving it a good go, I can confirm that it's really not very effective. For starters, it still only works on lighter surface rust, and paint has to be removed, which means that you'll already be using something to get rid of that, which could also dispose of the rust. Then its really awkward to apply, it needs a god thick layer, otherwise it dries out and doesn't seem to do anything, which basically means pouring it on and spreading it around with some card or a brush, a lot seems to go to waste, ending up where you don't really want it or simply drips off whatever you're applying it to, making a right fuggin mess. Application takes a while, then you wait 30 mins for it to work, scrub it with a wire brush and then wash it off. After 3 applications and fucking ages spent on it, I had this not very impressive result. A wire brush on a die grinder and a pot of Bilt Hamber Hydrate 80 is a much better bet.

AVOID

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I took all the paint off the front to get at the rust that was travelling in all directions underneath. This was very very light and would probably have gone with a second wizz over with the polycarbide grinder disc (very good for removing paint without damaging metalwork) but the gel did its job. Front panel seen here drying after I hosed the old gel off. Exciting stuff

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On to something a bit more fun; this patch has been put in under the drivers headlight aperture. It ended up looking alright in the end but will need a skim of filler over some slightly crappy areas to look proper. This took a couple of goes to get right. Initially the welder was blowing holes all over the fucking show and for a while looked like the nest of a pidgeon with diarrhea, but going back over it a couple of times and some careful grinding back worked wonders and its now strong and looks decent. Seen below is my shiny new £24 die grinder, which runs surprisingly hot and has a particularly dodgy on/off switch. Made by Katsu which I thought was a Japanese curry.

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Here is the patch made up for the drivers at the bottom corner and offered up with my range of dodgy, falling apart clamps that often spring apart and send carefully prepared patches flying across the drive.

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This is very nearly welded in place, but part way through my gas ran out. I bought a spare bottle the other day from a farm suppliers. It fits the connection and looks like it should work, there is gas in it but nothing coming out of the welder. the valve looks slightly more substantial than my usual disposable bottles, but I can't see what the problem is, so I gave up, ordered a normal bottle to collect from toolstation tomorrow and went and made dinner. If the new bottle tomorrow doesn't work then I'll investigate the regulator and the valve in the eurotorch. The old bottle had definitely run out so if either of those broke it would be a mighty coincidence that it happened at the same time.

On a happier note, here's a new chassis rail all painted up in the inside, silver because I have run out of black and this tin of silver has been getting in the way.

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At least I have plenty to do tomorrow while I wait for the message that the gas bottle is ready as the parts have arrived for the Lagunas belt change and I still haven't made the tools.

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There are some disposable bottles available which are filled at a higher pressure than the usual to give more gas; they are dimensionally identical and the ordinary regulator will screw right on but cannot cope with the extra pressure and delivers no gas. You need the superduper uprated regulator to go with the higher pressure. Can you guess how I found this out?

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38 minutes ago, somewhatfoolish said:

There are some disposable bottles available which are filled at a higher pressure than the usual to give more gas; they are dimensionally identical and the ordinary regulator will screw right on but cannot cope with the extra pressure and delivers no gas. You need the superduper uprated regulator to go with the higher pressure. Can you guess how I found this out?

Yep, that's exactly what's happened - I picked up a fresh bottle this morning  and it worked straight away. I may consider getting hold of a super duper regulator some time as these would work out slightly better value.

Today I made the tool to lock the cams and found a thingamajig that will lock the crank nicely. Belt change is go tomorrow morning.IMG_20200522_175215.thumb.jpg.8e56312acf05a1a41e41f4a203e83c68.jpg

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By popular demand, here is a step by step guide to changing the timing belt on a Renault Laguna 1.8 16v with the F4P engine.

Firstly jack up the front of the car, chuck it on an axle stand and remove the right hand front wheel. Probably also a good idea to pull the negative terminal from the battery to stop anyone dicking about and turning it over or whatever.

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Now the arch liner needs to come out, there is three 10mm bolts in the front of the arch, and another three 10mm bolts and two torx T20 screws holding it on underneath. Pull all of it out.

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Next up is the air intake, before the air filter. There is a kind of rubbery strap holding it in place and that's about it. Mega easy so I didn't even fuck about taking a photo. Move back to the belt side of the engine, stick your trolley jack under the sump with a big plank of wood to spread the load and remove the engine mount.  Three 16mm bolts hold it to the cylinder head, followed by another three on the inner wing. Make sure that that the engine is properly supported before removing these and also take the little clip for the throttle cable off the mount.

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This will reveal the top of the belt, this one was cracked and well past it.

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Theses three wiring connectors to different sensors on top of the engine need disconnecting. Picture shows them disconnected, will be really fucking obvious and if you can't work this out then you probably shouldn't go any further. Get a responsible adult to help. Pull it all out of the way, there is a weird little popper type arrangement holding it to the back of the engine, a tab on the upper belt cover and then a 10mm bolt to remove from the front of the engine. I tucked it behind a air con pipe nearby to keep it out the way.

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The aux belt can come off next. The tensioner is the smaller pulley below the power steering pump an above the air con. Chuck a 13mm spanner on the central nut for it and turn it clockwise. This moves the pulley and the assembles behind which has a locking hole in it. Move it as far clockwise as you can and jam a 6mm allen key in the locking hole to jam the tensioner and leaving the belt free to remove. This belt again could have been original, it was cracked to hell and you could still make out the RENAULT wording on it.

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Next find top dead centre, start by popping out the cam sealing discs from the back of the gearbox end of the engine. There is a soft part in the middle that a screw driver can be pushed through to lever them out. These need to be replaced but should come in the kit with your new belt.

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This reveals the backs of the cams with two slots in them. When the engine is top dead centre these slots should line up below the centre line of the cams. There is also a top dead centre setting slot in the cam shaft which needs to be accessed by removing the E Torx E14 plug down next to where the dip stick tube enters the block. The 18mm crank bolt needs to be turned clockwise until the ends of the cams are level and a 7mm dowel (approx 100mm long to be safe) can be inserted through the hole and into the slot of the crank easily and the cam setting tool can slide into the backs of the cams.

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The cam locking tool is U shaped, 5mm thick and 40mm wide where it slots into the cams, and extended out 15mm from the main body of the tool which is 168mm wide. I welded mine together with a bit up top to hold it in place using the usefully redundant bolt hole on the top of the head.

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I didn't leave the cam tool in for the next bit for fear of damaging the cams. If you have an impact gun, use that to remove the crank pulley bolt, if not then remove the sensor above the flywheel held in with two 10mm bolts, along with the wiring for the temperature sender and have an assistant jam the flywheel with your biggest, most solid screwdriver and then undo the crank pulley bolt. It's tight, so you'll need a decent sized breaker bar and a competent assistant. Remove the crank pulley and bolt. The bolt is a stretch bolt and if it has stretched longer than 49.1mm from the bottom of the head of the bolt to the tip then it will need to be replaced. If not then crack on.

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The crank pulley doesn't have a woodruff key despite it having the slots for one. WHY DO YOU TAUNT US

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At this point I put the cam setting tool back in position and removed the lower timing cover, which is two 13mm bolts and one 10mm bolt. There is a fuel pipe clipped on to that needs removing from the cover.

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Next up the upper timing cover which has three 16mm bolts, two 16mm nuts and one 13mm bolt holding it in place. I had to make use of the jack to move the engine around all over the place to get any tools on these. It ended up quite high up getting the nuts to undo as the cover has all sorts of protuberances that get right in the fucking way. Once off, take off the two spacers.

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Time to get that belt off!!!

Loosen the 13mm nut on the centre of the timing belt tensioner and wiggle it about until the tension comes off the belt. The cams and crank shouldn't be moving thanks to the crank setting pin and the cam setting tool all being in place. Now remove the idler and its spacer to the right of it with its 16mm bolt. The belt should now slide off.

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There's another idler down below of a slightly different design. Make sure your kit has both types of idler and a new tensioner. This is also held on with a 16mm bolt and has a spacer. Replace both this and the tensioner, making sure the tab on the back of the new tensioner fits into the slot on the engine block. Do the bolt on the idler up to 35 lbft of torque, the tensioner only goes finger tight for the moment.

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Slide the crank pulley off of the end of the crank, make sure the key way on the crank is pointing upwards, to make sure you didn't somehow slap the setting pin into the balancing hole on the crank like a right plonker. Clean the end of the crank and the pulley with electrical cleaner or similar, as it relies on just the squeezing power of the crank bolt to not slip and make a right mess of the engine so its very important that there isn't any oil or dirt on it. Same goes for the aux pulley and the bolt and washer, all of which need degreasing.

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Slide the crank pulley back on, followed by the belt. Pull it over the cams, making sure it has good tension between the two and then down to the crank pulley which isn't tightened to the crank yet so can move to help set the tension on the belt. With the belt on and correctly tensioned between the cams, the top idler can go back on which will hold the belt in place (30 lbft of torque on the bolt) and then using the 6mm allen key hole on the tensioner turn it clockwise until the notch on the centre lines up with the small arrow on the outer portion of the centre of the tensioner.  Once set, tighten the tensioner nut to 20 lbft.

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The lower timing belt cover can now go back on, followed by the crank pulley. Take the cam setting too out and get your assistant to jam the flywheel again as the crank pulley bolt needs to be tightened to 15 lbft and then turned a further 115 degrees to set. MAKE SURE THESE PARTS ARE CLEAN AND DEGREASED YOU DETTY PIG

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Make a couple of marks on the cam sprockets and the head with tippex. It makes it much easier in a minute to check everything is timed up properly. Take the crank pin out.

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From the crank pulley bolt, turn the engine through two full rotations until the marks you just made on the cam sprockets are back in line. Check both the cam and crank setting tools fit easily back int their respective slots and that the tensioner is still set correctly with the arrow pointing at the indent. If the tension isn't quite right, set it again and give it another couple of turns. If the setting tools refuse to fit, even with a little jiggling then the crank sprocket has slipped and everything is now out of whack. Either go through timing these bits back up or call the scrap man, but don't blame me.

Assuming everything is fine then fit the upper timing cover and then the aux belt. It's a 5 rib belt and some of the pulleys have 6 runs for it. Pop it into the ones furthest from the block. Take the strain on the tensioner again and remove the allen key that was locking it when you are sure the belt is routed correctly.

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Knock the new cam end sealing plugs into their respective holes using suitable sized sockets but be careful not to knock them in too far, they should be flush with the head. Put some sealant on the crank setting slot plug before screwing it back in.

Make sure both the sensor above the flywheel has been put back, along with the wiring for the temperature sender and that the wiring harness across the timing cover is back in place, along with the three wiring connectors on the top of the engine and the fuel pipe is clipped into the lower cover. The engine mount will require some mucking about with the jack and general wiggling to get back in place but shouldn't be too tough. With this back on I'd recommend reconnecting the battery and disconnecting the four wiring connectors from the coils so that it can be turned over on the starter without the engine firing, just to make certain everything went together ok with a lesser chance of munching all the valves. If it spins over fine on just the starter motor then connect them back up, slap the arch liner, air intake and wheel back on, drop it down and go for a drive looking mighty fly.

and that is how you change the timing belt on a Renault F4P engine.  A detailed guide that no-one will ever use.

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3 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

The rubber bonding on that torsional vibration damper looks to be on borrowed time.

It looked factory fresh on the other side, so I think it's deterioration isn't verydeep, and it would probably last many years until it's next belt change.

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Nice guide. Usually good idea to change the water pumps on there 1.8/2.0 Renault lumps as if they fail, it takes out the aux belt. When the aux belt goes on these they have a habit of smashing through the plastic cambelt cover and getting pulled into the cam sprockets. This makes a god awful mess and the cam timing enough to smash pistons into valves. 

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

Nice guide. Usually good idea to change the water pumps on there 1.8/2.0 Renault lumps as if they fail, it takes out the aux belt. When the aux belt goes on these they have a habit of smashing through the plastic cambelt cover and getting pulled into the cam sprockets. This makes a god awful mess and the cam timing enough to smash pistons into valves. 

I also gave that a check over, it turned freely without any grumbling and felt like it was in good shape with no leaks and the coolant is perfect OAT. As the aux belt is so easy to remove, I'll take another gander at it once I've done a few miles with the new belt and check if it's still in good order after suffering the extra strain of a new unstretched belt.

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