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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Changing the timing belt on my 96 16v and the new belt is tight when installed. The manual shows the spring pulls the idler to set tension but that will only work if there is some slack in the belt which there is none.
Is there any issue with running it this way? I just completed the crank nose fix and it runs fine. I used the Gates #TCK212 timing belt kit that included a new idler pulley.
 

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Have you loosened your valve lash adjusting screws? Otherwise there is tension on the camshaft and it cannot rotate, and the belt cannot be tensioned by the tensioner.
If you look over on Acks FAQS, the entire mechanical section of the FSM is online, free to download, which will give you instructions for doing the timing belt the factory way. Although the FSM is for the 1996 Tracker, the timing belt instructions are the same.
Ack's FAQ Site Map
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you loosened your valve lash adjusting screws? Otherwise there is tension on the camshaft and it cannot rotate, and the belt cannot be tensioned by the tensioner.
If you look over on Acks FAQS, the entire mechanical section of the FSM is online, free to download, which will give you instructions for doing the timing belt the factory way. Although the FSM is for the 1996 Tracker, the timing belt instructions are the same.
Ack's FAQ Site Map
When I removed the old belt I had the timing marks aligned and had no problem turning the cam by hand to get the marks lined up perfect on installation. I read the FSM but don't see how valve lash adjusting would affect timing belt tension. Maybe I'm missing something but the cam and crank gear are in fixed positions. I spun the the assembly 2 times after belt install as instructed but the belt was already at max tension when I did it.
 

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If the valve lash is not loosened, there is tension on the cam that will interfere with the tensioner for the belt. The FSM indicates to loosen the valve lash, as well.
 

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I just did a t-belt today on a 89 1.6. Just for the heck of it, I tried to install the belt without touching the adjusting nuts on the rockers. It was difficult to get on, I would have likely trashed the belt forcing it on. So I loosened the nuts and it slipped on much easier. The camshaft is spinning freely with the valves loose, it's much easier to install belt, just keep an eye on your marks. I guess some belts differ (?)so it may work for you either way but its really easy to set the valves and im glad I learned how to do it properly.
 

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An easy solution is to install the belt in the exact position of the old belt.

as long as nothing jumped, why not?
 

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Ed that's been my theory too. The marks need to line up after turning clockwise with the live side of the belt in real world valve tension, then the slack is taken up on the dead side of the belt by the tensioner. I don't have the FSM handy but that's the only way I see it to work. I also had no problems installing the belt this way (once for a new belt, once for a water pump about a year later). Just fine tune your line up of the marks, hold the live side taut, and fit it over both gears and loosened tensioner nice and squarely. It won't go if you put it fully on one gear then try to get it on the other.
 

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I think it boils down to this...

Installing a timing belt with cams in tension is not an impossible task. We do it all the time with hydraulically operated valves that do not have the luxury of being able to release said tension. One just has to be particularly cautious to the tendency for the cam sprockets to shift out of alignment with the release of the belt.

Capturing and holding the cam position with special tooling is something we do on multi-cam hydraulic lifter engines as routine practice, and is often recommended on single cam hydraulic lifter configured engines as well for that matter.

Bottom line: one should back off the SOLID lifter valve adjusters to facilitate ease, accuracy and safety of belt installation AND further perform the (periodically required) valve adjustment in parallel, on this engine design. ;)

Why one wouldn't accomplish BOTH tasks makes no sense IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Based on the responses, I should not have been able to get the belt on without damaging it but I did, and the engine runs fine.
So should I disassemble and reset the tension?
Will it cause any damage if I leave as is with the belt tight and tensioner not set to the spring setting?
 

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...crap just keeps getting made cheaper and cheaper.
And people keep buying "crap" selecting mostly on price!

My version of the old saying.. "You will not get what you do not pay for!"

OBTW: I have done many timing belts. (16 valve and J18) I have NEVER loosened the valve lash adjusters. I have always followed the procedures that came with my first timing belt kit. That had you turn the motor over a couple of times before locking down the tensioning device. I have never had a timing belt issue on these rigs.
 

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Mike that Goodyear Gatorback belt wasn't the cheapest one out there... ...
I actually normally state it this way: "You might not always get what DID you pay for, but you will not get what you do not pay for!"

But I cut it back a little as some here say I have been to "wordy" and ramble on... sometimes giving a LOT more information than is needed... confusing some (many?) readers. :eek:

---
I most likely ended up with the same brand belts as you did as the closest parts store is a NAPA. Just up the street about 0.7 miles... I often ride my bike or walk... in nice weather.

As long as the cam and crank end up lined up properly when everything is locked down and cranked a few times. How it got there doesn't really matter as long as the method used didn't stress the parts potentially causing premature failure.

-- your rig, your time, your money --
 
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