Cambelt replacement 3.2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 18 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Cambelt replacement 3.2

Hi,thinking of replacing Cambelt and water pump on my 3.2 Spider and was wondering what the cost is these days.It was last done about 4 years ago and has done approx 4500 miles since.I know it's not much milage but understand they should be replaced every 5 years or am I being over cautious.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 18 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Cambelt replacement 3.2

Mine (a 3.0) was around £1200, that also included new plugs, all the gaskets, new inlet rubbers as old ones were knackered and an oil change at my local specialist.


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(Post Link) post #3 of 18 Old 1 Week Ago
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£600.00 ish
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No chance of getting it done for £600 with parts. To do it properly, with a water pump, tensioners and auxiliary belts etc, etc the parts will be close to that amount. The book says it's about 5.5 hrs, that's impossible its probably 9 - 10 hrs labour depending on what breaks or is seized.
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Thanks for the replies,will give my local Indie a ring for a quote.Will probably get it done and catch a few Sunday mornings to take her for a little spin before winter sets in.Probably put her up for sale in the spring as I feel she needs to be enjoyed by an enthusiast with more knowledge than me.
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(Post Link) post #6 of 18 Old 5 Days Ago
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I will go against the grain with my view.... I would leave it for 7/8 years with that low mileage on it if it was me. I had belts removed from a TS which had done 500 miles since its cambelt was done 12 years before. The cam belt and balance belts were like new when they came off. I believe wear is mainly mileage related on the belts. I have a TS which had its cam belt done 6 years ago and 15k miles ago, I just take it steady. I know an Alfa specialist with a 3.2 who has done 10k miles in 6 years and is still running his.... One thing I definately wouldn't do if you do change the belt at 5 years is to change the rollers, spring tensioner and water pump unless you have an unlikely obvious fault....
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I had my 3.2 done in 2017 which included the belt, both idlers, the tensioner, both rocker cover gaskets and all 6 spark plug seals at a cost of £595 inc. labour. It would have been £795 if I'd included the water pump (those pump bolts can be a sod). With regards mileage / age, opinions differ but I would change mine every 3 years even though the car does no more than 5-6k a year, saying that I wouldn't be massively concerned about stretching to 4 years. It's probably more of an issue if the car is sat for long periods.

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I had my 3.2 done in 2017 which included the belt, both idlers, the tensioner, both rocker cover gaskets and all 6 spark plug seals at a cost of £595 inc. labour. It would have been £795 if I'd included the water pump (those pump bolts can be a sod). With regards mileage / age, opinions differ but I would change mine every 3 years even though the car does no more than 5-6k a year, saying that I wouldn't be massively concerned about stretching to 4 years. It's probably more of an issue if the car is sat for long periods.
The Alfa Romeo service spec has always been 72,000 miles/5 years for the V6 24V. So if the car is started and run until warm every two months surely a cam belt could be pushed to 8 years if the annual mileage is so minimal?
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The Alfa Romeo service spec has always been 72,000 miles/5 years for the V6 24V. So if the car is started and run until warm every two months surely a cam belt could be pushed to 8 years if the annual mileage is so minimal?
When I bought the belts from Alfa for my TS they were several years old but Alfa said once fitted to the car they should be changed after 5 years. However their answer on the age of the belt issue was largely incoherent which is why I say that wear is really mileage related on these belt. A belt could be 5 or 10 years of age when removed by Alfa after 5 years' operational service, I reckon 8 years is reasonable to expect on such low mileage with regular running, maintenance and dry storage.
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When I bought the belts from Alfa for my TS they were several years old but Alfa said once fitted to the car they should be changed after 5 years. However their answer on the age of the belt issue was largely incoherent which is why I say that wear is really mileage related on these belt. A belt could be 5 or 10 years of age when removed by Alfa after 5 years' operational service, I reckon 8 years is reasonable to expect on such low mileage with regular running, maintenance and dry storage.
On the V6 24V that is, Alfa revised the spec for the TS to 3 years or 36k miles due to too many belts snapping, but the V6 is a different engine.
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Quote:
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The Alfa Romeo service spec has always been 72,000 miles/5 years for the V6 24V. So if the car is started and run until warm every two months surely a cam belt could be pushed to 8 years if the annual mileage is so minimal?
It's a good point, you hear cases of cars still running on belts that are years old and some which have snapped after 4 years or so. I might be a bit mad but I'd rather change the belt a couple of extra times over my ownership than risk the potential loss of an engine, especially when I can't do the work myself. But I think you're right, Alfa still say 72,000 miles or 5 years for the 3.2.
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Thanks for the replies.Will have a chat with my local Indie and see what he would recommend.
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The belt isn't supposed to be on it's last legs when you remove it. Its meant to be just fine, you replace it before it gets worn out. If a hypothetical cambelt was significantly worn/degraded at 5 years, then the stated interval would most likely be something like 3 years.

I don't think pushing an extra year or two over the recommended interval stacks up from a risk:reward perspective, for me. If you only change the belt once in your ownership, then all you are doing is delaying the expense. If you plan on keeping the car for a long period of time, you might only do 3 belt changes instead of 4 so you're going to save £600-700, but for 3 x 2 year periods you are going to be at a higher risk of failure, the consequence of which is going to be either a £3k repair bill, or if you're unlucky an engine which is beyond repair.

My concern with extended time periods is the spring in the tensioner. Once the tension on a belt is incorrect, its lifespan is drastically reduced and the chances of it jumping a tooth on start up or if you hit the limiter is massively increased. Unless you are regularly checking the pointer is still indicating correct tension, you are at risk and as the years go by, this is more and more likely.
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Maybe a religeous changing of the cam and balance belts every 3 years or 36k miles, at 12k miles per year, with belts that are gauranteed to have been manufactured in the immediate last 3 months (and not from sitting on a warehouse shelf for 5 years) is a good idea for those driving everywhere with the rev counter needle on the red line......

But if you don't then I wouldn't. My Volvo t5 cam belt change is something like 10 years or 105k miles. Different engines create different stress loads upon belts. I wouldn't recommend doing 105k miles on a TS belt, but they are largely made of the same stuff, hence why I wouldn't lose sleep on stretching to 8 years on a v6 belt with little use.....
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Well took her for a MOT last week and she sailed through with the only advisory was a little corrosion on a brake pipe.Garage owner said she was very good underneath which was nice to hear.Will give the local Indie a ring in the near future.
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Originally Posted by GTVblackandred View Post
Maybe a religeous changing of the cam and balance belts every 3 years or 36k miles, at 12k miles per year, with belts that are gauranteed to have been manufactured in the immediate last 3 months (and not from sitting on a warehouse shelf for 5 years) is a good idea for those driving everywhere with the rev counter needle on the red line......

But if you don't then I wouldn't. My Volvo t5 cam belt change is something like 10 years or 105k miles. Different engines create different stress loads upon belts. I wouldn't recommend doing 105k miles on a TS belt, but they are largely made of the same stuff, hence why I wouldn't lose sleep on stretching to 8 years on a v6 belt with little use.....
Not all cambelts are made equal, and not all do the same amount of work. Your T5 for example, I imagine that the engine will do a lot less revolutions per mile being turbocharged than a normally aspirated engine with a fairly high-revving gearbox will do.

I've seen and rebuilt plenty of V6s over the years which have snapped belts, I was just getting into the Alfa business as the very first GTAs were approaching their first timing belt change, some never made it and failed in the 4-5 years / 40-50k bracket. A belt is only as good as the bearings in the tensioner and idlers, and bearings can be hit and miss in any application. As soon as a bearing develops a bit of play the belt will move around and wear faster, when the bearing gets really bad the belt will track outwards from the pulleys and into the timing covers. I've probably seen more V6s fail in this way than I have seen simple snaps. Feel free to run your timing belts as long as you like but I don't think it's a good idea to advise others to do the same, you are playing with fire. I changed a cambelt on a 2.5 earlier in the year which had done 30k in 8 years on the same belt, and it all looked fine, that doesn't mean its safe or a good idea to not change it, its just good luck. It's a numbers game pure and simple.
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(Post Link) post #17 of 18 Old 15 Hours Ago
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Sensible advice offered from Dan. Busso ownership comes with it's own challenges
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Sensible advice offered from Dan. Busso ownership comes with it's own challenges
Yes, 8 years and 30K miles, as I say it is mainly mileage related. Which is why I question why at very little mileage it is worth the effort and expense of doing the full cam belt change works.

I take the point on the spring tensioners and roller bearings, likewise for a water pump bearing, but again at no more than 30K miles the risk has to be absolutely minute, even at 5-8 years.

Unless the car is a mint low mileage Lusso then a cam belt change is potentially between half and the entire value of the car.

I hardly ever rev over 3K.........
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