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308 Timing Belts / Tensioners - How difficult to do with the engine out?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Mike328, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie

    Oct 19, 2002
    2,655
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Mike
    The engine is coming out this winter for a massive hose replacement, valve adjust, and some syncro work in the gearbox.

    How difficult is it to do the timing belts and tensioners with the engine out?

    In general, is this job made as difficult and time intensive as it is, because it's usually done engine-in through the wheel well? Or is it pretty much the actual job of timing alignment and tensioner replacement itself that poses the biggest challenge?

    --Mike
     
  2. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    14,612
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    Hi Mike,
    In my own experience, after working on cars for 30+ years, engine work is almost ALWAYS easier when the engine is bolted to a stout and stable engine stand or cradle, ESPECIALLY when it comes to a valve adjust on a 308 which I feel should be done with every belt job along with the tensioner bearings..

    Access is the key..........................................


    DJ
     
  3. peajay

    peajay Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2002
    454
    near Paris, France
    Full Name:
    Paul
    I recently did my 328 with engine in place, having the engine out will definitely make it much easier, so long as you remove all the spark plugs there is not much load when you crank the engine, so it should be pretty easy to hold the engine steady.
     
  4. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    9,067
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Let's see :

    Choice 1, engine in place: Crawl over the top of the carbs for 5-8 valve adjustment, sitting on the floor in the wheel well to fudge with the belts, tensioners, having no helper here because only one person can fit in the wheel well at a time, having to get out to look over the engine camshafts for alingment marks, and running around the back to see where TDC 1-4 really is.

    Choice 2: engine out, on a stand: Work comfortably on your feet, a helper can stand next to you for lending a hand, you're one step from the flywheel view, you're looking over the camshafts all the time, and your elbows are not hitting the gas tank.

    Yes, I would say choice 2, engine out is easier.
     
  5. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,951
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Easier than w/Engine in for reasons everyone's so well stated.
    My $0.02.
     
  6. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior

    Nov 27, 2003
    407
    Yes, but don't you have to consider the difficulty and special tools (engine lift crane) involved with removing the engine?

    -Wayne

    101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series Coming 2004...
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  7. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie

    Oct 19, 2002
    2,655
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Absolutely.

    As it turns out, I'll be pulling the engine anyway to replace the syncros in the gearbox.

    Understanding that the valve adjust and timing belts / tensioner service jobs are much easier with the engine out helps to justify the engine pull and also alleviate my frustration at having to DO IT in the first place for some worn syncros!
     
  8. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    9,067
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le

    $149 for the engine crane at Kragen. If you are going to consider engine work, you're going to need one.

    And, if I were doing just the belt change, I personally would not remove the engine. But, that was not the original question asked here.
     

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