LONG Reply Re: Timing belt preperation

Peter Schulz peschulz at cisco.com
Thu Mar 13 14:09:11 EST 2003


At 08:55 AM 3/13/2003 -0800, joe smith wrote:
>I'm going to be doing my T-belt in the next couple of
>weeks. I'm not the most mechanically inclined guy, but
>I'm not (arguably) an idiot. I've bought all the parts
>(belt, WP, cam and crank oil seals, idler pulley) and
>have access to the 2 special tools (crank holder and
>crank pulley wrench) and a cheater bar. My questions
>1) Do I need any other special tools?
crank seal remover/installer  The seal remover is a two piece tool - you lock it, thread it into the crank seal, unlock it and use a 1/2 inch drive socket to turn the removal part - it pushes against the crank and pulls the seal out - makes this a no brain operation...other folks have done things like drilling a small hole and screwed in a small sheer metal screw.  One thing that you need to have caution is that you do NOT want to score the crank near the seal location... I bought it as a used part from Zelenda for about $50-60

the seal installer is a two part inner and outer sleeve plastic tool - you lubricate the new seal with oil, put in on the inner sleeve and carefully place it over the crank. You then place the larger sleeve over it and use the crank bolt to drive the seal into the oil pump housing.  When the bolt is tight, you have installed the seal to the correct depth.   I think this tool was less than $10 from Zelenda, and for me it was well worth it. Before I had the installer I accidently nicked the seal on installation..which led to a leak ...which led to another TB exercise ;^)

>2) Should I change the oil seals if they are not

I would change the crank seal.  You can if necessary change the cam seal at a later date without going through the enormous labor involved in replacing the crank seal. Bernie will likely disagree.  If you dont replace it and it starts leaking in the next 50k miles, you will get another opportunity to repeat this exercise  ;^)

>3) I’ve heard that the key way on the cam and crank
>pulley could cause issues - any insight?

I think the concern is that if you apply too much torque in removing the crank bolt that you may sheer the keyway on the crank.  There were a few postings about this happening on the S car list.  Don't remember if this was due to the over aggressive use of an air gun. If you use a cheater bar on a 1/2 breaker bar be sure to apply steady pressure.  "Bouncing" will lead to a broken breaker bar.  I find that the Sears craftsman 1/2 inch breaker bars to only last about 3 TB jobs, btw (cheater bar being a three foot section of steam pipe)

I loosened the cam bolt while the crank locker was set and the timing belt was still on the engine and did not need a holding wrench for the cam.

>4) The only reason to remove the cam pulley is to
>change the oil seal (right?) - any tips on removing

Bentley shows a method similar to the crank seal removal...

>5) Any other tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

Make sure that you set timing before you start and check it after.  Scott Mockry's website has excellent pictures of the window on the flywheel housing ( below the distributor, near the crank case breather...I found the mark and painted it with white out to make it more legible.  You can typically trust the cam timing mark (dot) on the cam sprocket to be correct - DO NOT TRUST The hash mark on cam pulley/harmonic balancer.

You need to be careful when removing the metal cover (which hinders access to the H2O pump) behind the timing belt ...some folks try to cheat the water pump out by bending it...which then may cause issues after. I got around this but double nutting the lower stud ( two studs hold the plastic timing belt cover in place. and backing out the lower stud - removed the cover, installed the pump, reinstalled the cover.  The upper stud is only mounted to the  metal cover , btw and should be left alone. During re assembly ensure that the Cam sprocket does not contact the upper part of this metal cover...

be careful when removing the IC, especially the lower metal pipe - you may have to spray penetrating oil and gently work it back and forth before removal.

You can make a cheap idler pulley remover by using a metal junction box and a bolt. DO NOT apply pressure to the bolt holding the idler in place.  It will snap off behind the oil pump.  Don't ask me how I know this.

If you decide to try prying it off, realize that the oil pump is aluminum and that the idler is steel, and mainly held in place by a friction fit - you don't ant to distort the opening in the pump.  I generally leave the new idler in the freezer over night and tap it in using an appropriate sized socket and a hammer.  This seems to make it easier to install.

Might also be a good time to consider replacing the Tstat.. since the only way the access will be better is if you remove the Hydraulic pump.

Get or borrow a bentley manual if you don't have one. read the info at Scott Mockry and Chris Miller's websites.


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Peter Schulz
1990 CQ
1991 200 20v TQW indigo mica
1991 200 20v TQW titanium grey
Chelmsford, MA USA
peschulz at cisco.com

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