coolant leak to timing belt job?

Ed Kellock ekellock at
Wed Aug 2 13:16:59 EDT 2006

I really appreciate all the response on this issue (and others too!).  I did
some bedtime reading of the Bentley and combined with the collective wisdom,
I feel much better about the situation.  Having done 2 V8 timing belt jobs
helps my confidence too.

Here's where I'm at and the course of action I intend to pursue:
I have a very young, very good looking but loose timing belt and a still
somewhat mysterious coolant leak with no obvious source at any hose
I have the p/s pump out and new tstat in hand, along with a new piece of
hose for the otherwise inaccessible turbo coolant line hose.
I do not have any of the bumper, grill, or front end stuff off at this
I believe I have sufficient access to adjust the timing belt.
I will do that and replace the t-stat and the one small hose.
 And I will rotate the engine to confirm timing marks afterwards just for
some piece of mind.
Then I'll reassemble and run/drive it and see how the leak situation is.

If I have to go back in to fix a persistent water pump leak, I may throw on
a new tbelt.
I might even fix what ain't broke and put in a new w/p too and endure some
chastising from Bernie.
(These two parts seem relatively cheap compared to those in my 2 V8's).

At 33k, I'm right in the middle of the life that the majority of people
consider acceptable and would not necessarily feel uncomfortable going
Bernie's route and going forward with the current belt.  I would not be
comfortable going into triple digits with it however.  Having said that, my
CGT has 141k miles and the timing belt in it was installed at about 90k
miles... 12-13 years ago.  So I feel like I'm following Bernie's advice
there, without necessarily intending to.  (No I haven't even pulled the
cover to have a look at it).

So, tonight another wrenching session.  In the last 10 days I've spent just
about all my free time working on cars.  For now, I'm actually enjoying it.


On 8/2/06, John S. Lagnese <jlagnese at> wrote:
> Its waaaayyyy better to err on the side of caution with the belt. The
> alternative is catastrophic!
> John
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bernie Benz" <b.benz at>
> To: "Ed Kellock" <ekellock at>
> Cc: "200q20V mailing list" <200q20v at>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:52 AM
> Subject: Re: coolant leak to timing belt job?
> > Ed,
> > Your TB is hardly broken in yet. I run mine well into tripple digit
> > mileage,
> > only changing after that point if I must be in there for something else.
> > Seal restoring snake oil beats seal changes every time.
> >
> > Bernie
> >
> >> From: "Ed Kellock" <ekellock at>
> >>
> >> I'm with you on this all the way Bernie.  The t-belt was done 33k ago
> and
> >> it
> >> looks good as well.  I am hoping to get away with a simply readjustment
> >> of
> >> the tension.
> >>
> >> Thanks!
> >> Ed
> >>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: Bernie Benz [mailto:b.benz at]
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:50 AM
> >>> To: Kneale Brownson; Ed Kellock
> >>> Cc: 200q20V mailing list
> >>> Subject: Re: coolant leak to timing belt job?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> The 90 degree twist test is good enough for single cam S5s
> >>> but, IMO, not tight enough for the twin cams. Give it a
> >>> little more, but DF what AB!
> >>>
> >>> Bernie
> >>>
> >>>> From: Kneale Brownson <kneale at>
> >>>> Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 07:45:33 -0400
> >>>> To: "Ed Kellock" <ekellock at>, "'q - 200q20v'"
> >>>> <200q20v at>
> >>>> Subject: Re: coolant leak to timing belt job?
> >>>>
> >>>> Swinging the water pump is how you adjust the tension on a
> >>> 3B timing
> >>>> belt, Ed.  Proper tension "test" according to Bentley is only being
> >>>> able to twist the belt "90 degrees with the thumb and
> >>> forefinger midway between the
> >>>> camshaft and the pump sprocket".   Doesn't specify any
> >>> measure for finger
> >>>> and thumb strength, of course.  More than likely, a leak
> >>> from the pump
> >>>> means it's time to replace it and you might as well replace
> >>> the belt,
> >>>> seals and idler while you're at it.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> At 11:23 PM 8/1/2006 -0600, Ed Kellock wrote:
> >>>>> My pursuit of a coolant leak in the Avant has uncovered a
> >>> seriously
> >>>>> loose timing belt.  I had thought the leak was suspiciously coming
> >>>>> from an area that could certainly have been from the w/p.  None of
> >>>>> the many small hoses, buried by the now removed p/s pump
> >>> seem to have
> >>>>> been leaking.  Is it true that the timing belt tension is
> >>> provided by
> >>>>> adjusting the water pump?  I know that's how it is on the AAN but
> >>>>> haven't played the t-belt game on a 3B or any 10v motor
> >>> before.  My
> >>>>> theory is that the water pump adjustment came loose and the water
> >>>>> leak is a symptom of that.  Boy am I glad I parked it and
> >>> got the V8
> >>>>> t-belt done and out of the garage before digging into this.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The belt is so loose that I can wiggle it back and forth
> >>> on the water
> >>>>> pump pulley.  I could pop it off with one finger if I
> >>> wanted to.  I
> >>>>> can bend the belt 90 degrees with one finger.  The
> >>> opposite length of
> >>>>> it between the cam pulley and crank pulley is snug, but
> >>> also easily
> >>>>> turned 90 degrees.
> >>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> 200q20v mailing list
> >>>
> >>>
> > _______________________________________________
> > 200q20v mailing list
> >

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