Happy! Happy! Happy! - The Old Bad Belts Are Gone!

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by donaldh2o, May 28, 2004.

  1. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Just had new cam belts installed on my '76 308. These belts were last replaced in 1984! Phew, what an oversight on my part.

    Actually, the old belts don't look that bad, but notice the slight rounding of the cogs. Also replaced the tensioner bearings and thank god. The old one, shown here, makes a slight noise when rotated in my hand. Maybe this was about to heat up, melt and throw the belt, thus destroying my engine.

    Also had the gas line hoses going between the two gas tanks replaced. Look at the large crack going the full length of this hose. There are several other large cracks in this hose. Was a Ferrari "on fire" only moments away?

    Also notice that this hose, which was installed by my long term "trusted" local Ferrari shop, is a coolant hose!! No wonder it's cracked and curled!!

    Lesson learned, take charge of your own damn car. Don't trust anyone. Look at the work thats been done. Ask questions. And most of all, always ask for your old parts when picking up your car from a repair garage.

    Happy! Happy! Happy! That the two most destructive elements on old 308s are now brand spanking new on my car.
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  3. Dave330gtc

    Dave330gtc Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2002
    NW Indiana
    Full Name:
    David Smith
    Congratulations. I had a similar experience with the hose between my fuel tanks. Before taking the tanks out of the car I started to loosen the one hose clamp and the hose itself broke apart. Potentially a very scary situation.
  4. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Wow - 20 years without a belt change!

    Scary stuff on the fuel hose.
  5. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Wondering if there is a break-in period for new cam belts.
  6. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    You dodged a major bullet.

    More like an entire clip of AK47 bullets.
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  8. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    Met a TR owner that had 22 year old belts on his car last year. Amazing!
  9. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    Glad to see you followed up on it, Don - with confidence bolstered, bet you're having even more fun now, aye?
  10. Ed P.

    Ed P. Formula 3

    Dec 28, 2002
    Long Island
    Full Name:
    No Longer
    This raises a question in my mind: Has anyone here ever had or know someone who had a belt break as a result of old age or too many miles? If so, how many miles and years before that happened? I don't think these things are as "delicate" we are lead to believe. Although I'm not one to risk not doing the recommended maintenance on my car to find out. I would tend to think that a car driven regularly or used as a daily driver probably could go more mileage, substantially more, between belt changes than one that isn't.
  11. GaryReed

    GaryReed F1 Rookie

    Feb 9, 2002
    Full Name:
    There's an all black 1983 Boxer at my mechanics shop right now getting a major service done.

    The owner bought the car brand new in 1983 and the original timing belts have -NEVER- been replaced! The car has apx. 15K miles on it.

    CRAZY to wait 21 years to change them.
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  13. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    It's crazier to own a Boxer for 21 years and only drive it 15K miles ;)
  14. Trinacria

    Trinacria Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Baldassare Guzzo
    I hear a LOT of stories like this and agree with Ed. I think these belts are tougher than we think.
  15. Trinacria

    Trinacria Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Baldassare Guzzo
    Steve - GREAT point! LOL
  16. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    Berlin, Germany
    I asked my garage and they have actually seen the result of some cam belt brakes and also belts where some of the dents already were broken off. Seems the life span of a cam belt has quite a flat distribution (statistical speaking) and one wants to be sure to replace the belt before the early failures occur. This still means - as you assume - that the majority of the belts would last much longer. But you never know whether its YOUR cam belt that going to fail early ...
  17. thevirginiadude

    thevirginiadude Karting

    Apr 18, 2004
    Fairfax County, VA
    I just replaced belts on a 1978 308CTS that were factory originals a few weeks ago...but it only had a bit over 7,000 miles on it. And the owner was damn lucky.
  18. PCH

    PCH F1 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2004
    I do believe that actually driving driving our cars could in effect result in less maintenance in certain areas. However, when it comes to the timing belts, (reinforced rubber) I don't think this is true.
  19. Morrie

    Morrie Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    A mechanic who should know told me that you can go 50,000 miles on the belts if you dirve the car regularly, but I don't think I'd have the guts to do it.

    I don't think I'll change at 3 years as Ferrari now recommends. Five years seems to have been an effective measure so far.

    Unless I see something convincing to the contrary, I'll stick with 30,000 miles and 5 years.

    But wouldn't it be possible for belts to be made of some modern material, Kevlar perhaps, that would last much longer?
  20. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Just what do you think the belt's reinforcing cords are if not Kevlar?

    BTW, kevlar will break, just takes longer & has negligible stretch until it yields.

    BTW, search the old FChat Tech Q&A archives for Ed Galt's description of his alternative belt system using a modern high-density nitrile rubber with round teeth. There were 3 or 4 threads, and the posts include a lot of the technical history of timing belts.
  21. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    I think the opposite. Rubber when sitting gets a memory and this leads to the belt becoming brittle. Thus while your car is sitting sparkling clean in your garage the cam belts are forming a memory and will not be as flexible if they sit still for too long.

    Remember the Hondas and Toyotas one of the reasons (I believe) these cars belts last for such a long time is these cars are used all the time, every day for the work and back run, etc.

  22. Philjay50

    Philjay50 Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2003
    Chester, England
    Full Name:
    How these thread hits my heart strings, my Mondial has gone in today for a belt change, I have had the car for 2.5 years and not change them, the mileage since the last change is <> 8000 miles but it was done about 5years ago, strangely they were change before after only 2.5k miles, by a previous owner.
    I am looking forward to being able to rest easy while driving now.
    By the way I am using JMH @ Holmes Chapel, I have spoken to them a few times and they seem real good guy's, I will let you know the result of the job.
  23. davel

    davel Guest

    Just like tires get flat spotted. Dont want your belts to last? Dont drive the car! That plus the bearings can get infiltrated with moisture. Seems overall the real weakling outside of lack of use, is bad tensioner bearings.
  24. PSP

    PSP Formula Junior

    Mar 31, 2001
    Lake Forest, CA USA
    Full Name:
    Patrick S. Perry
    TR as in Testarossa? The one that went into production in 1984 - 20 years ago? I don't think the 50s era Testa Rossas had cam belts so it must be the more recent one.

    Either someone was stretching the truth or they put a used belt on their car from something else that was built 2 years before Testarossas were sold to the public.
  25. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Just my little experience...
    I bought my 1986 328 last December with 13000 miles on. Belts had never been replaced. I changed them first thing. When removed, external apparence was perfvect.

    As far as tension bearings were concerned, they seemed new and worked alike so I did not replace them.

    Just my .02 p...


  26. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Don't forget that there is more to a major service on a Ferrari than just changing the cam belts.

    Your owners manual is a great source of maintenance info on your car.

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