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(Post Link) post #1 of 20 Old 18-11-04 Thread Starter
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Cam belt check

Hi people,
How easy is it to check the condition of the cambelt yourself?
My car is not under warranty (2:0 ts 147) and why wait until the next survice. If I find anything, I can book it in for the job at a "reputable" garage (are there any?).
Nothing wrong with a bit of "home mechanics", as long as you know your limitations!!
Thanks
Andy
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Re: Cam belt check

The visual cambelt check is a joke.
It is purely so that Alfa can pass the buck onto the dealer.
It is then up to the dealer if they change the belt or not.
But you can't look at a cambelt and say that it will last another 36000miles, especially without removing it.
If you do remove it to look at it you would put a new one on anyway!

Just change all the belts & tensioners @ 36000miles/3-years.
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Re: Cam belt check

...as above

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Re: Cam belt check

Suppose Dealer didn't change cam belt at 36,000 and you had the car for 3 years+ they just serviced it as per AR....and then it went kaput
whose at fault ; and whose sorry now
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Re: Cam belt check

If it fails you will have approx £2000 in damage.
You will be without a car for some time, especially if you try to get Alfa UK to pay for it.
They may pay up, but they may not.
There is a VERY high possibility that it will fail before 72000miles.
Just try to imagine the consequences of a sudden & total engine failure while hammering down the outside lane of the Motorway…
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Re: Cam belt check

David C -You're making me feel nervous I posted on another thread what should be done at 48k as that's the next due service on my soon to be acquired car. Looking at the advice from folks it would appear AR are quite happy to let matters go to 72k whilst we have a wallet wilting incident miles before .It doesn't seem logical
There may be owners of 147's who are still on original belts etc long after 72k? Can I see my dealer perform a cambelt change and stuff at I presume quite a cost or will they opt for the dedicated AR route?
Sadly I can't access autodelta service thread May be operator error
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Re: Cam belt check

Mine failed at 44k miles on a 2000 reg 156 2.0TS, Alfa thankfully fixed it, but the car never drove the way it did originally.
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Re: Cam belt check

Mine was done at the 36k/3year service (in fact only 32000 miles). The dealer said it would not last to 72k so did it under warranty complete with variator.
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Re: Cam belt check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grif
Mine failed at 44k miles on a 2000 reg 156 2.0TS, Alfa thankfully fixed it, but the car never drove the way it did originally.
Didn't put you off getting a new one though thankfully?!
This threads all doom and gloom Hasn't anybody ridden their luck or do we all need to drive with a lucky rabbit foot
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Re: Cam belt check

I bought my 156 with 48k on the clock. The previous owner looked at me as if I was stupid when I asked about the belts, because it hadn't got to the recommended service interval.

Funny that, as he always got the car serviced the Desira in Norwich who seem to be printing recommendations about changing every 36k on their invoices!!!

First job I had done was a complete belt, tensioner and pulley change on all three belts.

My 155 screwed up at 30k. Fortunately at tickover. Still cost £1350.
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Chilling Re: Cam belt check

Mine screwed up at 12239 miles. 6 days after 12,000 mile service.
Initially Alfa Dealer said foreign body had damaged belt. No FB seen however. Only doing 5mph when it happened. Compression test high normal and equal on all cylinders, but still removed head. No marls on pistons but 2 valves stiff. Both re-engineered by ALFa, not dealer. New belt, tensioners etc: AND Variator fitted.
Car now drives like it has been fitted with a supercharger.
Dealer won't admit it but I believe there was a fault from the start. I didn't really notice it as this was my first Alfa and I was careful running it in.
Not any more. Why did I wait so long!

PS: Dealer/Alfa never mentioned payment. There goes their original explanation of a FB causing the damage.
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Re: Cam belt check

My first 155 had a chain driven distribution.. oh if I could get that in my 156... I never ever heared about a broken chain, but belts !!! my 146 TI suffered a broken tensioner at 3000 miles whilst in a traffic jam.... engine complete knackered.... warranty saved my *ss !!
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Re: Cam belt check

Just to cheer you all up, the VW VR6 engine uses a chain, but after about 90k miles it has stretched so much that it generally snaps unless it is changed!! Oh, and to change it you need to remove the engine and gearbox because it is fitted at the wrong end of the engine, ie between the engine and gearbox!!! At least it lasts 90k though, but I wouldn't want to be paying to have one changed.
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Re: Cam belt check

Dave, does the VR6 use a single or a double chain?
I know some companies have tried to save money by using single chains, the result is stretching & snapping...
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Re: Cam belt check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Woodsford
Car now drives like it has been fitted with a supercharger.
Dealer won't admit it but I believe there was a fault from the start. .
so what was the verdict ? Bad belt timing ? Or faulty variator ?
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Re: Cam belt check

I'm not sure David, but it needs two chains, one for the bottom end and one for the top. There's an article in this months Car Mechanics mag about it because the editor bought a VR6 powered Galaxy which he sold on and then it snapped 100 miles later so he took it back and gave them their money back. He's showing the rebuild in this issue and the next one. Bottom cog only comes as part of the crank which is £375+vat!!!
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Re: Cam belt check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve20
Didn't put you off getting a new one though thankfully?!
This threads all doom and gloom Hasn't anybody ridden their luck or do we all need to drive with a lucky rabbit foot
My V6 has had two cahnges both after 72K ish miles. The belt from the second change was in a bit of a state so I wont be waiting as long next time, but on paper I suppose you could say it did at least last the full 72K. Maybe its because each 72K only takes me 2 years?
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Re: Cam belt check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve20
Didn't put you off getting a new one though thankfully?!
This threads all doom and gloom Hasn't anybody ridden their luck or do we all need to drive with a lucky rabbit foot
Belt on my 1.8 155 went the full 72k and looked BRAND NEW when it came off.....but I'd still advise getting them done a lot earlier than this.

I didn't know about the 36k advice when I let it go for the full 72k

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Re: Cam belt check

The Dealer will not say.

Personally as the belt had split along it's length and then the outer half across it's width and the inner half had 5 teeth scrubbed out, I think it was the Variator/Tight valves thet caused it to go.

Modern belts, ala Mercedes, are designed to split longitudinally, having a weakened section down the midline to stop a horizontal tear going across the belt.

Maybe an engineer or engine whizz kid can answer that question. All I know is I'm in love again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

psst:- Don't tell the wife.
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Re: Cam belt check

Just checked with the supplying dealer who did the 36k service...the Co-op in Derby said that it was visually checked according to AR
my seller an Independent did the 48k check and apart from saying change it earlier than 72k it seems it's very much up to us or an extremely benevolent Dealer (under Warranty) and talking of warranties mine ,although the top liability, doesn't cover timing belts
Lucky rabbit foot in top pocket.
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