New Timing Belt won't go on
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  1. #1
    Member dbol's Avatar
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    Default New Timing Belt won't go on

    Hello Guys,

    Currently 2 days into a timing belt replacement on my citroen xsara vts. I thought I was done with the hard stuff after undoing the crank pulley bolt. Now the new timing belt won't go on! I pull it tight from both directions and try to slide it over the tensioner but it needs another couple of mm of room. Having to pull the belt out and around the tensioner is taking up the last bit of slack. Anyone got any advice or tips ?

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Trading Estate's Avatar
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    Presume you have fully released the tensioner. Should slip on reasonably easily. Sometimes you have gently lever them on. Tried hot water heat up first?
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  3. #3
    Member dbol's Avatar
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    As in you submerge the belt in hot water? I thought you weren't meant to get the belt wet.

  4. #4
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    Wouldn't think it would hurt it but others might disagree. They are not meant to be that tight , although I have seen it . If prying it on 'gentle force' preferable. Check the idler(tension) pulley for position
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  5. #5
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    You may need to slip the two cam pulleys.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    Slacken off the tensioners and nip up the bolt on the rear one when you've got it fully retracted to prevent it rotating. Then remove the front tensioner, fit the belt then re-fit the tensioner. Same should apply if the rear one is the auto tensioning version. You also need to slacken off the centre 16mm bolt at the end of each camshaft and to do this, you need to have the tool shown below. This allows the outer of the pulleys to rotate a few degrees to have even tension around the entire belt. Don't rely on the pins to undo the bolts and don't forget to tighten them when you've got the new belt on.

    The timing belt change is done when the pistons are halfway down the bore, ie: 2 pistons descending, 2 pistons rising. Since these engines have a tendency to rotate the outer of the crank pulley over time thus giving you a false position as to where the pistons are sitting even though the cam pullieys are correctly pinned, I'd be removing 2 adjacent coils and spark plugs (either nos 1 & 2 at gearbox end or 3 & 4 at cambelt end) and with a 30cm piece of wire as a measure, make sure that the wire goes down and sits on the piston exactly the same depth in each spark plug hole. This will confirm whether the crank pulley outer has slipped or not.

    If the measure is not the same, still with the cams pinned carefully rotate the crank forward or back just enough to get the measure the same. Do not rotate the crank fully one turn or you'll bend the valves!

    Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    count the teeth in both belts before you go any further to make sure they are the same. Does the belt you removed fit ? .... I don't like doing cambelt changes, I'm always concerned I'll stuff it and destroy the engine. I always mark the old belt and pulleys, replicate the marks on the new belt to double check it's fitted identically to the old belt too (if I can).

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  8. #8
    Member dbol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgti6 View Post
    Slacken off the tensioners and nip up the bolt on the rear one when you've got it fully retracted to prevent it rotating. Then remove the front tensioner, fit the belt then re-fit the tensioner. Same should apply if the rear one is the auto tensioning version.

    The timing belt change is done when the pistons are halfway down the bore, ie: 2 pistons descending, 2 pistons rising. Since these engines have a tendency to rotate the outer of the crank pulley over time thus giving you a false position as to where the pistons are sitting even though the cam pullieys are correctly pinned, I'd be removing 2 adjacent coils and spark plugs (either nos 1 & 2 at gearbox end or 3 & 4 at cambelt end) and with a 30cm piece of wire as a measure, make sure that the wire goes down and sits on the piston exactly the same depth in each spark plug hole. This will confirm whether the crank pulley outer has slipped or not.

    Good luck!
    I have the crankshaft lined up so that the key is facing 9oclock parallel to the bottom of the block as per the instructions on the gti6 forums. I'm not sure what you mean when you mentioned 2 tensioners? I only have one tensioner that has a single bolt attaching it too the block and a metal tab of sorts that you have to rotate clockwise to make the tensioner wheel relax a very small amount.
    New Timing Belt won't go on-20150316_101016.jpg
    I don't know what the instructions are talking about when they mention using an allen key to do up and undo the tensioner. The allen key socket on this one does absolutely nothing!

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    count the teeth in both belts before you go any further to make sure they are the same. Does the belt you removed fit ? .... I don't like doing cambelt changes, I'm always concerned I'll stuff it and destroy the engine. I always mark the old belt and pulleys, replicate the marks on the new belt to double check it's fitted identically to the old belt too (if I can).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Yes, the new belt even says 137x25.4 which is the correct number of teeth for the automatic tensioner kit.



    I've been reading that you can take the tensioner completely off, route the belt then bolt the tensioner back on with the belt already over it eliminating the need to pull the belt out and around it. I'll try that next. Another question, does anyone know if there is a way of checking to make sure the cams are in their correct positions apart from using the pins? I'm paranoid my cams moved whilst I was undoing the camshaft bolts even though I locked them.
    Last edited by dbol; 16th March 2015 at 03:03 PM.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    Doesn't your engine have the tensioner (#11 in pic) on the long run at the front of the engine?

    The allen key referred to fits into the spring loaded tensioner (9) to apply the correct tension to the belt turning it clockwise to the .

    If the crank pulley is pinned and you can fit the pins into both cam pulleys, they are in the correct position. The cams won't have moved, just the pulleys which need to be slackened so when the belt is tensioned, the tension between the 2 cam pulleys is equal to the tension around the rest of the belt.

    You need to rotate the cam pulleys (not the cams themselves, keep them pinned) clockwise to the end of their travel, fit the belt so when the belt is tensioned they will rotate back (anti clock) slightly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Timing Belt won't go on-xu10j4rs-auto-tensioner.jpg   New Timing Belt won't go on-cam-pulley-set-up.jpg  
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  10. #10
    Member dbol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgti6 View Post
    Doesn't your engine have the tensioner (#11 in pic) on the long run at the front of the engine?

    The allen key referred to fits into the spring loaded tensioner (9) to apply the correct tension to the belt turning it clockwise to the .

    If the crank pulley is pinned and you can fit the pins into both cam pulleys, they are in the correct position. The cams won't have moved, just the pulleys which need to be slackened so when the belt is tensioned, the tension between the 2 cam pulleys is equal to the tension around the rest of the belt.

    You need to rotate the cam pulleys (not the cams themselves, keep them pinned) clockwise to the end of their travel, fit the belt so when the belt is tensioned they will rotate back (anti clock) slightly.
    Yes I have the part #11 but is that not just an idler pulley? I can't move that pulley to make it easier to put on the belt, it's literally just a wheel attached with a bolt.

    My spring loaded tensioner #9 has the allen key slot but for some reason rotating it with the allen key does nothing. It just spins freely around the bolt. The old tensioner I took off and the new one I bought both do this so it can't be a manufacturing defect. The only way I can tension/untension it is by manually moving the tab clockwise to the notch with my fingers. When I pull the tab it untensions it and when I release it it springs back and tensions the belt. No allen key needed from what I can see even though it has the allen key socket.

    Everything else I have done properly I think. I've undone the camsprockets and rotated them clockwise to allow for them to rotate the other way and evenly tension the belt.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    Sounds like the front pulley is no longer a concentric adjuster. That makes setting the tension easier. The mounting bolt in the spring loaded tensioner isn't in the middle, so (with the belt attached) when you turn the outer via the allen key the pulley will move outwards & the tension from the belt on the roller will move the pointer.
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    If this is an NFU engine (1.6l twin cam fly by wire engine) then I have done one cambelt on these using the Haynes C3 book as a guide. The front idler is not adjustable. The rear tensioner uses a combination of eccentric rotation and a very limited spring range to maintain tension on the back of the belt run. I seem to remember that you move the eccentric until the spring preloads so that the pointers in the bearing line up, then the tensioner is locked in this location. We were lucky and this all happened without having to undo the camshaft sprockets and all the pins slid in and out nicely. When the engine is rotated a few turns to get the belt into its preferred position, you can see the pointer on the bearing moving around a bit but it should come back to pretty well line up on the pointers with all the sprockets back at the timing position.

    This seems to be a better solution to the fixed eccentrics as used on earlier motors as it sets the belt tension and allows a limited range of auto adjustment to compensate for wear or stretch without losing tension.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    A Xsara VTS is an XU10J4RS.

    Dave


  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    I'm basing this statement entirely from a random google image but it looks like the exhaust side tensioner is the only adjustment. Slack it off and the belt should go on.

    Dave


  15. #15
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    It is the only adjustment, but it sounds as though our man further has a springloaded tensioner that's not "pegged back".

  16. #16
    Member dbol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    It is the only adjustment, but it sounds as though our man further has a springloaded tensioner that's not "pegged back".
    Correct.

  17. #17
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    You must first retract and peg the tensioner, then fit it in the maximum looseness position, once the belt is on you unpeg it and rotate until the match-marks align (usually pointer and notch). Rotate the engine on your breaker bar, clockwise - never backwards - twice, and then re-check your tension pointer.

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