HOW TO REPLACE TIMING BELT.
Just in case you guys want to try to replace your timing belt. This is a guide I used and followed in replacing my belt.
1) Park the car in the shaded area.
2) Disconnect the negative of the battery.
3) Jack up the car.
4) Take off passenger front wheel tire. Take out the lower wheel arch plastic cover. There are a few screws underneath and some plastic clips to be taken off. After you take this off, you should now see the crankshaft pulley underneath. (Please see attach Photo)
5) Take out the splash metal guard underneath the car. There are four screws at the bottom. You will need to take this out which I will explain later.
6) Now, drain the coolant of the car. There is a plastic screw type nut on the front right underneath the bumper. After you unscrew the nut, uncap the coolant tank on top of engine (yellow cap). You should now see the coolant coming out from behind the radiator. If you want to save the coolant, attach a rubber hose to a plastic tube where the coolant is coming out off.
7) Take out the air cleaner assembly from the car. Top bit of the air cleaner should come off by undoing the metal ring clip attach to the throttle body of the car and also undoing the 4 clips that attaches the top cover of the air cleaner to the bottom bit. Now take out the sensor that attaches to the air cleaner piping. Now, cover the throttle body because you donít want any foreign object going inside the throttle body whilst you are working on the car. (Please find photo of before and after the air cleaner is taken out) You Can clean the throttle body after taking out the air cleaner. (See attach photo of throttle body)
Now, take out the air cleaner and the bottom bit of the air cleaner. There should be one screw to undo there and the bottom bit of the air cleaner should come off. (Please see photo)
9) Now, its time to take out the top cover of the timing belt. There are three torx screws that needs to be taken out. After that, you should now see the inlet and exhaust cam and also the timing belt. You should also take out the cam sensor. There are two bolts to take out the cam sensor. Be careful not to drop the bolt inside the bottom cover of the timing belt when taking the bolt out. Its hard to turn the crankshaft knowing you dropped a bolt inside accidentally. Major damage might occur. (Please see attach photo of camshaft with sensor taken out)
10) Now you need to take out the auxiliary drive belt.. This is the one that drives the alternator and aircon of the car. I donít think it drives the power steering and the brake system of the car.
To take out this belt, you need to lacate the drive belt tensioner. This tensioner is spring loaded so when attached to the car, correctly tensions the auxiliary drive belt.
To take out the drive belt, you will need to use a 15Ē spanner and attach it to the bolt of the tensioner. You will see two bolts within the tensioner. The first one is the one that attaches the engine block of the car. The second one is the one that you will need to put your spanner on it. What you do is put the spanner on the second bolt and make sure that it is engage properly. Note: you do not undo the bolt. The bolt is there so you can attach the spanner and use it to lever the tensioner towards the back of the car. There should be enough slack there to take out the auxiliary drive belt from the airconditioning compressor pulley of the car. Once the drive belt is out of the way, note the direction of the drive belt if the old one is still going to be used. (See attached photo)
11) Now, take out the plastic engine cover(with Ecotec written on it) and take out the ignition coil. There are 4 screws to it. And Take out the spark plug.
12) Using a socket wrench, (6 corner size 14Ē) attach the socket to the crankshaft pulley. And turn the pulley to the clockwise direction. Have someone look at the timing mark of the inlet cam and the exhaust cam at the top timing cover. The timing mark of the inlet cam should line up at 3 oclock with the exhaust cam should line up at 9o clock. If you over shoot the mark go another turn. Do not turn the crankshaft pulley anti clockwise. Once you are happy with the timing mark. You can use a cam locking tool. I did use it (blue plastic in the photo) when I changed the timing belt. But I know that a lot of people do not need this as they are already an expert. Once you have it timed (3 o Clock at Inlet cam and 9 o clock exhaust cam) it means that you have it at TDC (top dead center).
13) You can now take out the crankshaft pulley. If you have an automatic car, this is a hassle to take out. Some mechanic uses a piece of metal rod that they put through the crankshaft pulley and to stop it from moving whilst they undo the bolt (6 corner 14Ē socket to be used) but I used an airgun. This makes the job much easier. If you have a manual car, I think you just need to put the car in 5th gear and have someone apply the brakes whilst someone undo the bolt of the crankshaft pulley. (Please see attach photo)
14) Once the crankshaft pulley bolt is off, the crankshaft pulley will come off and it should look like this. Notice the mark on this as well. You will see that the crankshaft lines up to the mark on the timing belt rear cover. If it does not, check the timing mark on the inlet and exhaust cam. You might have to move the crankshaft a little bit more to get all of them to align properly. This is why you do not take out the timing belt yet. So you have to time the inlet and exhaust cam (3 o Clock at Inlet cam and 9 o clock exhaust cam) and timing mark of the crankshaft. If you need to rotate the crankshaft again. Just put back the crankshaft pulley together with the bolt and turn it clockwise. And Take off the crankshaft pulley again. Please note that there is a cutout on the pulley which needs to line up with the crankshaft when fitting back the crankshaft pulley. Note there is also a dot on the crankshaft pulley that serves as a timing mark that lines up against the plastic cover but it is harder to see.
15) Once you are happy with the timing. Take out the bottom cover of the timing belt. You only need to take out one screw. The rest of the bits are just plastic that clips on to the rear cover.
16) Once off, you should now see this. The timing belt is attached to both inlet and exhaust cam, 2 idler pulley (one big and one smaller), 1 belt tensioner, water pump and the crankshaft. (See Photo)
17) You will now need to undo the three bolt of the engine support so you can take out the timing belt of the car. That is where the timing belt is slipped on and off. Before you undo the 3 bolt, you need to support the bottom part of the engine block. Use a piece of wood together with a jack and jack up the sump of the car. While you take out the three bolts so the jack will temporarily hold the engine while you take undo the engine support.
1 Next job is to take out the timing belt. To do this, you need a torx bit. Loosen the bolt in the middle of the belt tensioner and insert an allen key to the hole of the tensioner and turn it clockwise. (please see photos) The timing belt should now be loose and you should be able to take out the timing belt and slip it through the engine support gap.
19) Now, take out the 2 idler pulley. That is the easiest. To take out the water pump, you need to take off three screws with washers attach to them. Once off, you need to use a piece of wood and tap the water pump a little from the top and at the bottom. Since it will be tight due to rust and mineral deposits.
20) You can now put in your 2 new idler pulley. Torque setting for both pulley is 25 nm. Please note that the small one is on the right and the big one is on the left. Anyway, you wonít get it wrong since it wonít fit the other way around.
21) Now install your new water pump. I had to install a replacement water pump since the original gm water pump is slightly different from the original gm water pump that was taken off my car. Difference is that the available GM water pump had two cut out on the side of the pump. Which means that there is a bit of guess work involved in installing that waterpump. I was told by Thunder that GM stopped making the original GM Water pump I had. So I settled for a replacement water pump which hopefully is of good quality. But at least I know that the replacement water pump can be installed properly eliminating the guesswork of what position the pump should be in. I was told by Thunder that Opel Mechanics would know how to do it, but since it was our first time to replace the parts, I did not want to take a chance. Also, I noticed that the bolt had a thread lock applied so I applied threadlock when I put the screw back on.
22) Once the water pump is installed. You can now install your belt tensioner. Make sure that the tensionerís hook is correctly married with the cut out on the engine block. You can never get it wrong because there is only one cut out in the engine block (where the tensioner is screwed on) but do not tighten the tensioner yet.
23) Now put on the new timing belt. Put it through the engine mount (similar to how you took off your old timing belt). Start at the bottom crankshaft. Match it up with the teeth of the crankshaft and then through the inside portion of the right side idler pulley and put it through the exhaust cam. And donít put it yet through the inlet cam. Now from the crankshaft run the belt through the belt tensioner and the water pump and up to the idler pulley. This will be a bit tight. Just make sure you do not bend the belt too much. Now only the inlet cam do not have the belt attach to it yet. Now try to put it through the inlet cam. Its going to be a bit tight. What we did was loosen the bolt of the tensioner rotated the tensioner itself which provided some slack on the belt but at the same time did not risk bending the belt since the belt is already routed through the belt tensioner. You should now be able to put in the belt over the inlet cam. Tighten the belt tensioner once the belt is properly positioned. But donít over tighten as we will be loosening and tightening it when we tension the belt.
24) Once the belt is attached, check the timing of the inlet and exhaust cam and the crankshaft has not moved. Once you are still happy with the timing, its time to correctly tension the belt. Donít worry if the belt is not correctly seated on the sprockets. Either its way too inside the sprockets. This will sort itself out when you start the engine later. As long as the timing is still in place.
25) The belt tensioner itself has a belt indicator on it. You can see it in the picture. When you took off your old belt to be replaced, you should see that the pointer should be pointing to the old belt(this is assuming you took out the belt whilst the timing marks are correct). This is important to know so you can correctly tension the belt. Quite easy to do.
Now what you do is loosen the belt tensioner (but make sure that the hook of the timing belt is correctly seated with the cut out of the engine block) and then using the allen key move the adjuster anticlockwise until the poiner of the belt tensioner is to the right most of the plate (the plate where there is a marking of old and new belt. Put the pointer to the right way past the new belt marker). Now, once you have done that, hold the tensioner adjuster with the allen key and tighen the tensioner. If you do not hold the tensioner adjuster with the allen key, the marker will move so its important to hold the tensioner adjuster via the allen key whilst you tighten the tensioner to lock it in position.
26) Now attach the crankshaft pulley together with the bolt noting the cut out on the crankshaft pulley making sure it lines up with the cut out on the crankshaft. Using the 6 corner socket 14Ē rotate the crankshaft clockwise to 2 complete timing rotation ie stop after 2 complete turn. Making sure that the timing mark all lines up. If you have done it correctly, then there is no reason why it wonít be on the mark. Take off the crankshaft pulley again to check timing of the crank. Although there is also a marking on the pulley itself but its harder to see so I would recommend taking out the crankshaft pulley.
27) Now loosen the belt tensioner and using the allen key rotate anti clockwise the adjuster and point it to the new belt (one where there is a cut out) then tighten the belt tensioner. Now, rotate the crankshaft pulley to 2 complete turn and check the tensioner pointer. If its pointing to the right or to the left, adjust the tensioner again and point it to the new belt and make complete 2 turns again. Please note that the tensioner pointer moves from left to right whilst the crankshaft pulley is moved, but should settle in the new belt position once the inlet and exhaust cam and the crankshaft pulley line up with the timing mark. Once you have done that, then you have correctly tensioned the belt. Take out the crankshaft pulley again.
2 Now you can put back the bottom cover of the timing belt. Make sure that the bottom clips are properly attached. This is important because I did not with mine and when I started the engine, I could hear a ticking sound which scared me. I thought we messed up somewhere. As it turns out, it was just the cover.
29) Put back the crankshaft pulley. You are supposed to torque it at 95 nm and then another 30 degrees and another 15 degrees. Its very hard to do on a automatic car. So we just used the airgun again to tighten it. Hopefully that shouldnít be a problem. We just made sure that the bolt bolt is tight enough. Make sure you note the cutout before tightening the bolt.
30) Now put back the camshaft sensor (also apply thread lock).
31) You can bolt the engine support as well. Torque 55 Nm.
32) Now put back the auxiliary drive belt tensioner (while its off, have a look at the two stops I am talking about). The correct torque setting for the belt tensioner is 25 Nm.
33) Put back the auxiliary drive belt similar to how you took off the belt awhile ago. Note the direction of the belt when you took it off. As you need to put the same direction you took it off.
34) Put back the ignition coil and put back the spark plug. Spark Plug torque setting is 25 Nm.
35) Put back the air cleaner assembly. Donít forget to attach the sensor back to the air cleaner.
36) Put in the new coolant through the reservoir.
37) Pray hard that you didnít forget anything.
3 Start your engine
39) I undid the top timing belt cover to convince myself that the belt do line up after the engine was started. I have a picture after I started the engine showing that it has indeed lined up against the inlet and exhaust cam.