Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


Summer will be upon us soon! Make sure you check the Meets subforum to see if there's a get-together near you!

Author Topic: Dumb timing belt question  (Read 3586 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • 1991 Mercury Capri xr2, 1994 Wrangler, 1994 Saab
Dumb timing belt question
« on: July 12, 2018, 12:31:12 AM »

I'm changing the timing belt and adjusters with a kit from Gates Rubber while replacing the head gasket.  Instructions tell me to install the belt, line up the pulleys, install the tensioner spring, then torque down the pulley.  (Interestingly, nor torque value is given for the pulley without the tensioner).  Then rotate the crank a certain amount and check belt deflection.  Spec calls for .375 to .45 deflection at the top between the two cams.  I've got .39, which just LOOKS and FEELS way too loose to me.  I'm using a brand new spring that came with the belt, pulleys, and adjuster.

If these engines are interference, and the cam belt is installed too loose, I'm going to trash the whole thing in a heartbeat!  I don't want that to happen.  My question pertains to how the adjuster functions.  Once that bolt is torqued properly, does the spring continue to hold the correct tension on the belt as it stretches, or is it like the cam chain on an old Honda motorcycle, needing to be loosened and retorqued periodically to maintain proper tension?

What do you guys think?  I just want to make sure I have this right so it doesn't grenade on me!


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • 1993 Mercury Capri
Re: Dumb timing belt question
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 10:23:21 AM »

The good news is the 1.6 is a non-interference engine, so if a belt breaks or slips it won't trash your engine. If you're within spec, I'd run it as-is and see how it goes. Too tight will cause the belt to whine and wear it out faster.


  • Administrator
  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5216
    • 91 BPT AWD Capri & 1991 XR2
Re: Dumb timing belt question
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 02:49:31 AM »

Once the tensioner bolt is tightened, it locks in place and won't move til the next time you're in there.
The procedure is a little odd, but it seems to work just fine, I have done it many times
1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • 1994 capri and 1990 Reatta
Re: Dumb timing belt question
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 03:16:26 AM »

A good rule of thumb to remember is V-belts should run tight when properly tightened to spec and Toothed-belts should be looser when tightened to spec.