Replacing timing gear – step by step

It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

The valve train is a relatively simple mechanism, but it is subject to frequent damage. What is more, we should regularly replace certain components. We suggest how to take care of the valve train.

Timing functions – learn them before you act!

The valve train is a component of an internal combustion engine whose purpose is to control the delivery of the charge (fuel and oxidant, i.e. air) to the piston cylinder and the removal of the resulting gases. Even after this brief description, we can guess that this system has a key function in cars. This is not a uniform construction – we distinguish different groups of valve train: valve, sleeve, piston and mixed. In passenger cars, the first variant is most often used, and it is on him that we will focus in this article.

Attention – do not make hasty decisions

Before we start working on the engine, we must remember a very important issue. Although replacing the timing yourself is cheaper than the procedure in the service, we are still working with the engine – a mistake can end up with much higher costs. The valve train works with many other systems inside the engine. Improper repair of this element will affect the operation of other components, which may cause their damage or faster wear. Therefore, in spite of everything it is worth considering entrusting this to a mechanic, especially if you are not sure how to go about it or do not have the right tools.

We start the replacement!

If we decide to replace the timing gear ourselves, we must know that it is a long process. At the beginning we should determine what type of valve train is in our machine. The easiest way will be to simply search for the model of the vehicle on the Internet. This will help us to choose and buy the right product, as well as give us some tips on proper installation.

It may also be useful to have access to the documentation of the system, as the marking is not the same in all models. Having a manual for a particular vehicle, we should without much trouble cope with the entire procedure – inside you will find diagrams and other information that will facilitate the entire process. Details may vary significantly from one car to another. Therefore, we will only focus on the general procedure.

  1. Preparation of tools and purchase of parts

At first, you should prepare a set of wrenches, which will be used to loosen bolts. In addition, it is worth getting a timing wheel puller, as well as the appropriate timing belt. If we have made significant changes to the engine or we are not sure which part to buy, we can check the information in the car manual or find it on the Internet. In addition, we will also need new gaskets.

  1. Disconnecting the battery and removing the alternator belt

At the very beginning we proceed to disconnect the battery. We do not have to remove it from the engine – just get rid of the negative cable connection. The alternator belt is in turn located above the timing belt. Unscrew the caps and remove it.

  1. Removing other accessories

If something is blocking access to the timing belt, we must also temporarily get rid of this part. Make a note of which tabs were unscrewed and where the accessories were located before removal.

  1. Locking the flywheel

At this point it is worth dealing with the locking of the flywheel. It is often sufficient to place a sturdy object between the shaft and the block, such as a screwdriver.

  1. Removing the timing case

It is necessary to remove all the screws that hold the timing case. In addition, after removing the cover, we should check that the lines on the pulleys and shaft heads form a consistent shape. This will prove that the fault is the belt itself and not other timing components.

  1. Removing and installing the timing belt

Now it’s time to install the timing belt. To do this, we need to lock it with tools. The timing belt tensioner bolts should be loosened. When we notice any slack, we should gently slide the belt off. In its place we put a new one.

  1. Replacing the pump and tensioners

If you notice that the tensioners are in critical condition and do not fulfill their default function, and their work is very resistant and “heavy”, you should think about replacing them. Replacement is the cost of about a hundred zlotys in the case of popular cars. The procedure for replacing tensioners can be found in the vehicle manual. When we note leaks, it may also be necessary to replace the water pump – for this purpose, it is worth finding a manual for disassembly of the cooling system. However, this is a topic for another article.

  1. Reassembly of each part

Finally, we proceed with the assembly of all accessories. It is worth paying attention to any leaks and looseness. If there are none – the procedure was probably successful.

Replacing the timing gear is not easy

In summary, we are able to replace the timing belt and gaskets ourselves. This solution will certainly appeal to mechanics fans, as well as those wishing to save some money. However, we would like to remind you that you should be careful – if you make a mistake you may end up needing to replace a lot more engine parts, which will result in considerable charges at the mechanic’s.


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