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Thread: Astra G 1.6 16v Timing Guide

  
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    badj's Avatar
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    Astra G 1.6 16v Timing Guide

    This is basically how you renew the timing belt on an X16XEL engine.
    Inbetween most of this I rebuilt the head so I'll try my best to explain it without that stage...

    Step 1
    To improve access to the timing end of the engine, and to make the whole job easier, you'll need to jack the car up and remove the Offside wheel. Its best to support the car with an axle stand as not only will you need to support the car for a while, and an axle stand being much safer, but you'll need the jack later. I placed the jack under the subframe (I don't trust sills, had many a ford related crumbling incident!)


    Step 2
    Remove the auxillery drivebelt. This is a peice of cake, very usefull spring tensioner fitted on these. Basically just put a spanner (15mm if I remember correctly) on the tensioner....


    and lever backwards (towards the bulkhead) to slacken the belt. Hold it there and whip the belt off

    Step 3
    You'll now be able to see the Crank Pulley. You'll need a set of female star sockets for the job (although I used a 15mm socket...shhh!). In a typical Haynes fashion, slacken the bolt and remove the pulley (insert alot of strengh and hassle here). If you don't have someone to foot the brake, read on to see how I locked the crank.


    Step 4
    Remove the timing belt covers. Theres 3 bolts at the top, and then the lower section has one bolt and a few plastic clips around the perimeter.


    Step 5
    Next you'll be looking at the timing assembly. Its worth turning the crank to get the crank pulley lined up...

    Hopefully this should line up the cams. If the notches are at 9 o'clock on the inlet cam and 3 o'clock on the exhaust cam, then you're 180 degrees out and will need to turn the crank pulley one complete rotation. Either way your cams should line up like this


    Step 6
    You'll now need to remove the auxilliary drivebelt tensioner (just one female torx bolt). Next take a look at the timing belt tensioner...

    (ignore the position of the crank timing, the picture was taken at a different stage)

    Slacken the centre bolt (13mm) and turn the tensioner arm clockwise using an allen bolt..


    You should find there is now enough slack to remove the belt. You may need to unplug the cam sensor to slip the belt around it.

    Step 7
    This is where you'll need that jack! place a block of wood (or in my whateversnearest way, the head of a rubber mallet) under the sump and support the weight of the engine.
    Next undo the 3 engine mount bolts (16mm). This should give you enough splace to slip the old belt out, and the new belt back through.


    At this point, you will either be checking or replacing the water pump, tensioner and idler pulleys. removal of the idlers is simple, just an E12 female torx bit in the centre.

    Step 8
    Check the pulleys are now line up. I've put a bit of white touch up pen on the marks for clarity..



    The cam pulleys shouldn't budge anywhere, but keep an eye on the marks. I locked the crank by putting the car in 5th gear and placing a wheel brace through the caliper and disc. Some of you might not agree with techniques like this but they work for me.


    place the new belt over the pulleys. The direction is pretty straightforward, just make sure that it flows round the pulleys and tensioners, and doesnt foul any parts of the rear cover or sensors.

    Step 9
    Ensuring the timing marks are still where they should be, tighten the tensioner back up by moving the allen guide anti-clockwise. You should notice a guide mark above the tensioner. There is a metal pointer and a backplate with a cut out. The pointer will move against the backplate as you turn the guide. If you are using a new belt, the pointer needs to match up to the cutout in the back plate like this..


    The belt should now be at the recommended tension, but will still have some slack in places. Tighten up the tensioner bolt.

    Step 10
    Once the tensioner is tightened, take the car out of gear and unlock the cam (if you did the same as me).
    Turn the crank by hand by a few rotations. This should not only spread the slack, but will give you the opportunity to make sure the cams and crank are aligned correctly. If you hit any hard resistance or the crank stops and wont move, you've not timed the cams correctly.
    After a few rotations, check the tensioner guide again. If its out, you'll need to slacken the bolt and adjust the tensioner as neccessary. I had to repeat the procedure 3 or 4 times before I was happy that the belt was at the right tension. If you want to be sure, check the tension with a spring gauge or something similar.

    Step 11
    Basically slap everything back on, tightening anything you removed to the correct torque, put on your come face and turn the key

    Torque Settings
    Engine Mounting Bracket to Engine Bolts - 50Nm
    Upper and Lower Timing Belt Cover Bolts - 3Nm
    Timing Belt Idler pulley bolts - 25Nm
    Timing Belt Tensioner bolt - 20Nm
    Crankshaft Pulley Bolt - 95Nm, then a further 30 degrees, finally a further 15 degrees
    Wheelnut bolts - 110Nm



    I dont think I've left anything out (im doing it from memory and im tired!) but feel free to ask anything. I've made this as a guide, not as gospel so if you're unsure, consult a workshop manual or a professional.

    Remember that serious engine damage can occur if the engine isn't timed correctly, so if you're not up to it, don't do it!

    Hope this helps a few of you anyway!

  2. #2
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    johnjohnjohn's Avatar
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    cheers

    great post thanks alot for you time

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    Can someone tell me if the timeing belt brake in drive, does make a damage to engine? I'm asking for this engine X16XEL
    Thanks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by djdeko83 View Post
    Can someone tell me if the timeing belt brake in drive, does make a damage to engine? I'm asking for this engine X16XEL
    Thanks...
    Yes i believe these are interference engine's

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    Sorry to bump this thread up from the dark ages, but big thanks OP, Thanks to your guide I did my first cambelt change today!

    Was on a Meriva A Z16xe rather than an astra, but was almost an identical process apart from the engine mount getting right in the way of most things! She was on the original belt I think, was all GM branded, we bought the car at 52k with no history (so cheap!), and it's now on 82k. Old belt was a bit perished, but new belt, waterpump, tensioner, pulleys, thermostat and coolant has seen it much improved!

    Thanks again OP, great how to! Came up top in my google fu as well... Anyone looking at this, it's not too bad, just fiddly. Took me most of the day, but I did wait 4 hours for someone to come home (swmbo went shopping) to sit on the brakes to do the crankshaft bolt! Do-able in a short morning with no breaks!

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