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Engine Timing

Timing Belt Troubleshooting Guide

When a timing belt fails prematurely, it is important to determine why it failed, so that corrective action can be taken. In most cases, the cause of the failure can be found in a problem with one of the drive components.

 

If the belt has to be removed for any reason, a new belt should be installed. Never refit a used belt. The following guide, developed by Gates engineers, assists in spotting problems and correcting them.

 

1. Tensile Failure

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Foreign body in drive - Ensure cover is correctly fitted
  • Excessive installation tension - Install at correct tension
  • Belt crimped due to improper handling - Observe handling instructions

2. Tooth Shear

 

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Low tension - Install at correct tension
  • Seizure of driven part - Eliminate cause
  • Misalignment - Correct alignment

      

 

 

 

3. Tooth Wear    

 

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Incorrect tension - Install at correct tension
  • Worn pulleys - Replace pulleys                                    

 

  

4. Hollowed Teeth

 

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Extremely low tension - Install at correct tension
  • Loss of tension during running - Ensure tensioner screws are tight

 

5. Back Cracks

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • High temperature - Eliminate cause
  • Low temperature - Eliminate cause
  • Back idler is worn out - Replace back idler

 

 

 

6. Land Wear

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Excessive tension - Install at correct tension
  • Low temperature - Eliminate cause
  • Rough pulleys - Replace pulleys

 

7. Oil Contamination

 

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Oil leak - Replace faulty seals

 

 

 

8. Edge Wear

 

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • Flanges damaged - Replace pulleys
  • Misalignment - Correct alignment

 

 

9. Noise

Probable Causes and Solutions:

  • High tension - Install at correct tension
  • Low tension - Install at correct tension
  • Misalignment - Correct alignment
  • Flanges damaged - Replace pulleys

 

Summary

A quality timing belt will provide you with a long service life if it is properly installed and maintained. Following the above guidelines and fitting in accordance with the car manufacturer’s instructions will ensure that belt tension and engine timing are correct, optimising the life and functioning of the belt drive system.

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