The definitive 2 litre twin spark cambelt replacement thread - I hope! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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The definitive 2 litre twin spark cambelt replacement thread - I hope!

Hi all

I've been looking through all the existing threads on cambelt replacement for the 2 litre twin spark engine. I've found a lot of great advice - thanks all!! - but I'm trying to get a handle on the definitive requirements. I'm not just asking for a decent garage to do the job as the car is joint owned by myself and my brother in law, a professional mechanic. He'll be doing all the work and taking his time to get it right. Hopefully the thread will be useful for others too.

I guess "definitive" will be dependent on the age of the car and service history as there appear to be some differences between earlier and later engines... So below is a description of my specific car and what I understand from other threads needs doing. If anyone finds any mistakes in what I've written, please correct it.

Car: 51 plate 147 with 2.0 ts engine, covered 63,000 miles. As the engine is pre-2004, I guess tensioners are plastic not metal. Majority service history but no mention of any belt, pump, tensioner or bearing replacement.

So this is what I think needs to be replaced:
cambelt tensioner
cam cover gasket
idler pulley - is this the same as the "idle bearing"?
balance shaft belt
balance shaft belt tensioner
cam variator
alternator belt
alternator belt tensioner

A few questions about the above:
1) Some posts refer to "tensioners", others to "pulleys" and others to "bearings", are these the all same?
2) Which of the above tensioners/pulleys should be replaced with metal versions if the existing ones are plastic?

Other work which should be done at the same time:
change coolant
cleaning the variator solenoid housing

OK, all corrections please! I'll duck for cover as you laugh at my lack of knowledge
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Do you know how many variants of the 2.0TS there are?
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(Post Link) post #3 of 7 Old 30-09-10 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smaky View Post
Do you know how many variants of the 2.0TS there are?
Hi Smaky

I refer you to my original post: OK, all corrections please! I'll duck for cover as you laugh at my lack of knowledge

Should I duck now?
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tensioners are steel now, the plastic ones almost bankrupted Alfa (i.e. Fiat)
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Alfa 147

I had the same issue too, not knowing what parts to purchase before diving into the task.
I live in Sydney, but got the parts from the UK - Alfa Romeo Parts and Alfa Romeo Spares from EB Spares - Specialist Alfa Parts Dealers
I purchased the following for the Alfa 147 2 litre TS:-

Cambelt - 17pounds
Cambelt Tensioner - 48pounds
Idler - 24pounds
Balance Belt - 20pounds
Balance Belt Tensioner 32pounds
Camshaft locking tool 28pounds (Glad I purchased this)
(Cam cover gasket - I purchased locally in Sydney)

My keyboard does not have the pound symbol only the $ dollars.

I decided not to purchase a water pump at the time.

I also needed a guage to ensure Top dead centre, I had a guage but I got it modified by making use of an old spark plug and drilling the centre out.

Just take your time doing it.

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@rarebear - thanks for the advice.

@chrisfromsydney - thanks too. Looks like you know where I'm coming from - there are so many posts with good info about what parts to change along with the cambelt but I couldn't find anywhere that listed them all. And when you're trying to piece together info from different posts, there's always the chance you've missed something. Good info about the top dead centre and yes, we will be taking all the time we need...
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Hello mpjx, you've basically got most of what you need in the list you provided. I presume the belts have not been changed since 2004 then? If so you are living on borrowed time. The stipulated belt change now for the TS/JTS engine is 36,000 miles or three years, whichever occurs first.

So here is my 'definitive' list:

1) Cambelt.
2) Cambelt tensioner (this one will be metal when you buy it. When you change yours you should find a white plastic composite tensioner).
3) Idle bearing (idler pulley). Don't miss this as these do break as well, ruining the belt etc.
4) Balance belt.
5) Balance belt tensioner.
6) Camcover gasket.
7) Alternator belt.
8) Alternator tensioner.
9) Alternator idle bearing (pulley). Sorry, but these are known to be troublesome on the TS/JTS engines, best to get this done at the same time - no extra labour.
10) Variator.
11) Waterpump. Definitely a good idea, they are robust, but they do go wrong, especially with a new re-tensioned belt (puts more strain on the old pump).
12) Agree about the coolant, go for a 50/50 mix, use de-ionised water.
13) Spark plugs x8??? Have they been changed before? If not do now (the old ones come out anyway when doing the cambelt), must be changed every 60,000 miles, but people change earlier due to excessive wear on the platinum electrodes and the shell casings on the smaller plugs are not robust (they have been known to shear with age, especially if oil has leaked from the gaskets into the plug holes, leaving the shell casing behind in the plug port - not nice).

Obviously you need the correct cam locking tools to do the job. Don't do the job without these - don't use tippex markings!!!! Achieving TDC is crucial with these engines.

The cambelt tensioner is the one that's changed in spec over the years. Some history:

1) Black plastic composite 1995-99. The disaster of the century. About as reliable as a volcano in full swing. Totally destroyed the reputation of the TS engine. Changed for:
2) White plastic composite 1999-2004. Much better, easy on the belt, but still prone to going AWOL. Chnaged for:
3) Metal mid-2004 on. Much more reliable. But takes it out on the belt more than the plastic ones. Hence main reason why belt changes altered to 3 years/36,000 miles.

Sorry about the long list. The TS engine is 'labour' intensive and 'parts' intensive to maintain. Hope it all goes ok.

Last edited by Spider95; 03-10-10 at 11:52.
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