Timing belt checking gadget.
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  1. #1
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Timing belt checking gadget.

    Have asked this question on other forums with varying degrees of success always seems to end with a promise that more info will be forthcoming & never is.
    On the PSA 16 valve engine, constant reference is made to the fact that the timing belt tension MUST be checked with a special machine to be sure that it is 100% correct & everyone refuses to accept any responsibility unless this is done. The machine is called a "Seemtronic 87" & I have even had an instruction booklet scanned which shows how it operates. The point is that when I have asked if anyone has ever seen one, and the only guy who has is in the UK. When I asked who in Australia had one the response was that they must have or they wouldn't be doing timing belts.
    The reason it is so important to me & probably others in the same circumstances is that I live around 350klms from any dealer who *may* have one, hence I am wondering how I will get my timing belt changed as I have a 4 hour drive each way for starters & if at the end they aren't going to use this gadget anyway, mainly because they haven't got one, what's the point?
    Someone who works for a UK parts supplier told me he had one but gave it away to a customer so they can't be all that expensive, and he was going to give me the name of a similar one which he said was cheaper but as yet he hasn't done so.
    I have asked mechanics in Town including a Welsh guy who is pretty conversant with European cars & all have said they hadn't heard of this thing. Can anybody here shed some light? or is it as has been suggested that perhaps they don't use these things here in Oz? "Close enough mate - she'll be right"

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    What is a PSA 16 valve ?

    Ive always worked on the measure 1/4 of a turn on the longest travel between tensioners or pulleys.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Andreas's Avatar
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    PSA as in the corporation/company Peugeot and Citroen belong to.
    meaning both pug and citroen 16V motors.

    Andreas

  4. #4
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    This machine doesn't acually adjust the belt does it? It just checks it, so it doesn't do anything a good mechanic does anyway.
    David Cavanagh

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  5. #5
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    David,
    From what I can understand of it, the idea is that the timing belt is set to a tension of 30 Seems ( a measurement obviously thought up by the manufacturers) & this measurment is checked after the belt is fitted & thereby adjusted accordingly. I know most of you guys are Pug enthusiasts & they (Mi16) have the same donk as the 16V Citroen, which I drive, but it seems that Cit mechanics & service manuals overseas & to an extent here in Oz go ballistic about this gadget & claim it a necessity, whereas over here very few Peugeot people seem to feel it is so important.
    What prompted me to ask was a guy I was talking to a couple of days ago was given a quote to replace his timing belt but told by the mechanic that he would not be responsible & would give no guarantee because he did not have this belt tension checker.

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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Andreas:
    PSA as in the corporation/company Peugeot and Citroen belong to.
    meaning both pug and citroen 16V motors.

    Andreas
    Oh... you are so clever !


  7. #7
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Alan,
    I've never actually changed a belt myself but I know plenty of people how have and they don't use the tool, my brother has a BX 16Valve and now done over 320,000 ultra reliable kilometers and Steve does all his own work and never sen a special tool any discription, his Citroen is so reliable it made me decide on one, a BX 16Valve or an MI16, I didn't care which, we got the Pug because one came along and not by choice, I know lots of repairers down here and although they will tell you they use the correct tools I know for a fact that they don't.
    David.



    David Cavanagh

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  8. #8
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Thanks for that David,
    I have had this hunch for a long time that this was the case, mainly based on how long it has taken me to change cam belts on other vehicles & I reckoned the giveaway was the unreal prices all these guys both here & in the UK were quoting along with the sombre warning "don't even consider doing it yourself if you haven't got the right tensioning gear, it's not worth the risk" & then going on to quote prices from $400 to one over in the UK of over (equivalent) A$1,200.
    I still believe they are in a different set of circumstances regarding belt life expectancy over there, based on their weather, salted roads & what appears to be some pretty ordinary maintenance at times.

    Alan S

    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I have a standard BX19tri (8valve gti motor), I've changed the cam belt myself. Not difficult at all, though it is long winded so I could understand a slightly higher quote than on other cars. I took a few photo's of it.

    http://member.austasia.net/~jlevisto

    Dave has just done a guys in Ballarat recently as well. It's a BX19tri 122. So it should have the updated timing belt that requires the tensioning tool. The earlier one would be much earlier basicly relying on a spring loaded tensioner.

    seeya,

    Shane Leviston
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  10. #10
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    "Requires" the tensioning tool.
    That's the point! - Does it??
    All it does is tells you what the tension is in a non identifiable measurement. It doesn't fit the belt or adjust it, so what if the repairer is a bit thick & doesn't know how to work it properly which is possible as I have seen the instruction manual on how to use it. As far as later models belts go, the gadget is known as a "Seemtronic" 87 Most people believe that is when it came out, just after the release of the BX 16 Valve. The point is, is it a necessity or was someone simply taking advantage of the mysteries of twin cam motors when they started to appear in production cars in numbers back in '87 ??
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  11. #11
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    Just to keep the pot boiling, I had a mechanic friend from Brisbane visit today driving his "Pajero" (I know that's Spanish for ******) A point I never forget to make. Haven't seen him for years ( that may be why) & of course the conversation turned to motor cars. He mentioned what a mongrel his Pajero was to work on as in $300 for a dealer to fit new spark plugs as the intake manifold has to come off & that he would soon have to replace the cam belt again. This bucket of bolts is a V6 QUAD CAM !! I promptly asked if he would be using a cam belt tension checker. "What's one of them" came the reply. Answers a lot of questions about the importance of these things & backs up David's story that nobody uses them.
    Also makes a mockery of the peasants who preach the story about how hard French cars are to work on in comparison to Jap stuff.

    Alan S

    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    the SEEMTRONIC is part of the minimum requirements as a dealer in Australia
    all dealers were issued with one but some may have been broken or damaged over time
    it is not needed if you have some experience working on cars as mentioned above 1/4 of a turn between the longest points/pulleys
    Grant

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