Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
General Alfa Discussion Strictly Alfa Romeo talk only!

 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 24 Old 07-02-08 Thread Starter
Status: saving for a 3200GT
AO Member
 
midlifecrisis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Swansea
Posts: 908
Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Right here goes

My 147 will be 3 years old in March so the cambelt issue is currently doing the rounds in my head. The thought of it failing fill me with horror!! Trouble is my 147 has only done 15000 miles and is very well cared for. (Its on its third oil and filter change!) Changed every 5000 miles. No variator noise at all when starting up etc. However, i might as well have a new variator put on for peace of mind.

As i live in Swansea the choice of who i trust to do this job are limited. First of all i rang Ashmoles the local dealer who quoted 550 just for the cambelt, when i asked about the variator the girl on the phone did'nt know what it was and could'nt tell me!! At that point i said thanks and put the phone down. Next i rang ***** & Yapps in Cardiff. The bloke i spoke to on the phone was very knowledgeable and knew all about Alfa Romeo cambelts but he was sceptical about changing a belt with only 15000 miles on it. He said he had never heard of a belt snapping with so few miles. He said that age does have a influence on the belt but only after about 5 years. He said mileage was more important!! He also said that alfa never said to change the belt at 36000 but it was a recommendation to change it?? By the way they wanted 600 for a belt change(no variator).

After doing more esearch on the net i then discovered that twinspark engines from 05 onwards have different cambelt tensioners. If the tensioner is white its a newer stronger one. Apparently the old black coloured tensioners are engine wreckers. Often its not the belt that snaps but the tensioner fails and throws the cambelt off the shaft pulleys!!

Finally i found a couple of independant Alfa specialists who will change belt and variator for almost half the price of a main dealer.

NJS in Worcestershire will do the work for 285 plus Vat. Alfa workshop will do the work for 320 inclusive of Vat. I also found a firm called ********* based in Rugby who will visit you and do the work on your drive for 349 inclusive of Vat.

Anybody heard of the last firm and any experience of them? Having someone come to me and do work would save me a lot of travelling and waiting for half a day in a workshop!

I dont want to sound tight because i dont hesitate to spend money on the Alfa but being quoted over 600 for 4-5 hours work on a four cylinder engine sounds excessive(Rip off)!!

Would you change a belt with only 15000 miles on it?
midlifecrisis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
the graduate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Sussex
Posts: 1,260
Garage

Member car:

Brera 2.4 jtd

Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Hi i just had mine done at 49,000 it was done 20 k before that (previous owner) but its been over 3 years so i decided that it was better to be safe than sorry and have to fork out for an engine rebuild 1200-1500?
The belt was changed and variator etc and a full service for 450 at an Alfa specialists who seemed to really know their stuff.
Hope this hopes ya
the graduate is offline  
Status: Loving the GT 3.2 V6 :-)
AO Silver Member
 
Chris M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 1,379

Member car:

Silver GT 3.2 V6

Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

My ex-boss did not get the cambelt done on her 147 at 3 years as it had not done 36K. The belt failed before the 48 month service when the car had done 34K - cost £1600+ to repair. Get it done now for peace of mind!!!!!
Chris M is offline  
AlfaLincs
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

I can't see the point of giving main dealers the work at 500+..unless you contact ARUK and get their 200 (or whatever) contribution to the cost of the change.

I'd be reluctant to use the man who comes to you unless he is Alfa trained..how do you find him if he gets it wrong?

I'd take it to the specialist, even though it means a day off. In general the specialists are enthusiasts who try and do a decent job at a price you can afford. Many are Alfa trained, and they take a real interest in you and the car.

And yes, you ought to get it done. Bearings on cambelt rollers/tensioner will have deteriorated due to muck and salt over three years. Peace of mind is everything IMHO.

AlfaLincs
 
Status: Wyrd is Life
AO Gold Member
 
Stori's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
County: -
Posts: 11,591
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

The choice is yours...replace the belts and the tensioners at 3 years or 36,000 miles, which ever comes first or play russian ruolette with the the 2000+ Quid repairing your engine if the belt fails.

As far as the variator goes, mine, in my 2002 TS has done 71,000 miles without changing and makes no noise.......

NB belts detriorate whether you use them or not and the life of the belt will also depend on engine running hours which does not relate very well to miles travelled. A car that does a lot of city driving and spends 'hours' going relatively going nowhere will have done more engine running hours than an engine that did the same distanc eon a freeway



Stori is offline  
Status: zzzzzzzz
AO Platinum Member
 
symon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 37,091
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

One of the reasons belts need changing at 3 years regardless of mileage is that a low mileage car has often been used for short journeys and will have been started more often than a higher mileage one.

Starting the engine is when the cam belt is under the most strain, especially when the engine is cold, and these do have an effect on the belt.

The rubber in the belt will also degrade over time which is also a factor.
symon is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Monty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 2,917
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM ALFA ROMEO
As of 13/11/2006 the official service interval on cambelts on 1.6l, 1.8l, 2.0l Twin Spark engines and 2.0l JTS engines in all models has been reduced to 36,000 miles or 3 years (whichever is the soonest).

Try the recommended garages sticky thread for a decent Indy near you.
Monty is offline  
Status: Busy busy busy!
Club Member
Membro Premio
 
Pud237's Avatar
 
Club Member Number: 71
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cumbria
Posts: 44,900
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Get the belts changed, it will make you feel good inside
Pud237 is offline  
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 7,179
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

My 147's belt was 3years old and 22,000 miles - it wasnt in a mess, but it was starting to crack.

Do it.
cj romeo is offline  
Status: DPF only blocking up space in my garage now!
AO Member
 
Alfiefreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Glos
Posts: 656

Member car:

3 series (sorry)

Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

absolute no brainer. Change it. Cant comment on the firms mentioned though.
Alfiefreak is offline  
Status: Waiting for the men in white coats.....
AO Member
 
GTA_Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Antrim
Posts: 926
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

You won't have peace of mind until you get the belts changed!A mate of my brothers had a brand new 147 2.0litre and the belt failed at 24,000 and less than two years!!Luckily still under warranty,but would have cost him £1700.I agree the dealer quotes are a rip-off.I paid £230 to a good independant ( ex alfa dealer employee)at 30,000 miles.
GTA_Dave is offline  
Status: -
Unregistered
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Wiltshire
Posts: 9,721
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Now I've been a naughty boy for 8 years, I took my 146TS in for it's first 3 free servicings (part of the package when I bought it) and since then it hasn't seen a garage apart from MOTs, thing is at 95K mine is still on the original belt and tensioner. I know the entire history of my car from new and when there's no noises to worry about then there is no need to change anything, It gets serviced every 8000 miles and I do my weeklys on it and if it hits 100K then that is when it gets a belt, tensioner and variator. Don't panic and rush into something you don't need, sometimes leaving well alone is better than replacing on spec. I had a belt go on a 2.0TS 155 and that was a scrapper but still that car had done 78K on the belt and what ****es me off is that it was on the way to get the thing replaced that it snapped. Ho hum, at least my next car was on the forecourt when I arrived with the 155 on the tow truck.
Smaky is offline  
Status: Busy busy busy!
Club Member
Membro Premio
 
Pud237's Avatar
 
Club Member Number: 71
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cumbria
Posts: 44,900
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaky View Post
thing is at 95K mine is still on the original belt and tensioner.


Have you checked the belt and tensioner to see what condition they're in?
Pud237 is offline  
jug
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
jug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Durham
Posts: 3,681
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaky View Post
Now I've been a naughty boy for 8 years, I took my 146TS in for it's first 3 free servicings (part of the package when I bought it) and since then it hasn't seen a garage apart from MOTs, thing is at 95K mine is still on the original belt and tensioner. I know the entire history of my car from new and when there's no noises to worry about then there is no need to change anything, It gets serviced every 8000 miles and I do my weeklys on it and if it hits 100K then that is when it gets a belt, tensioner and variator. Don't panic and rush into something you don't need, sometimes leaving well alone is better than replacing on spec. I had a belt go on a 2.0TS 155 and that was a scrapper but still that car had done 78K on the belt and what ****es me off is that it was on the way to get the thing replaced that it snapped. Ho hum, at least my next car was on the forecourt when I arrived with the 155 on the tow truck.
i can tell you're the kind of guy who has unprotected sex and then looks surprised when she misses a period.

its very irresponsible to suggest "sometimes leaving well alone is better than replacing on spec", just because you have been extrememly lucky it does not mean that will be the case for other people. the original belt has snapped at under 50k plenty of times, AR did not change the recommended service interval to 35k for a laugh, they did it because they were forced too by the number of premature failures.
jug is offline  
Status: Busy busy busy!
Club Member
Membro Premio
 
Pud237's Avatar
 
Club Member Number: 71
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cumbria
Posts: 44,900
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug View Post
i can tell you're the kind of guy who has unprotected sex and then looks surprised when she misses a period.

its very irresponsible to suggest "sometimes leaving well alone is better than replacing on spec", just because you have been extrememly lucky it does not mean that will be the case for other people. the original belt has snapped at under 50k plenty of times, AR did not change the recommended service interval to 35k for a laugh, they did it because they were forced too by the number of premature failures.
But even if his belt fails, he's probably saved enough money not doing all those belt changes to just stick a reconned engine in it..

I'd not be so irresponsible with my belts, even on the slightly less prone to breaking V6 engine I'll be changing mine at 3 years, although I'm not so fussed about how many miles I do in that time.
Pud237 is offline  
Status: Job hunting
AO Member
 
charlielowndes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Staffordshire
Posts: 269
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

My local garage has just rebuilt the head on a 22,000 mile 4 yr old 147. belt had not been changed. Just get it done, it isn't just the £1200 - £1500 repair if it all goes wrong, its the 2 weeks your car is off the road whilst it gets fixed.
charlielowndes is offline  
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
Ralf S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Posts: 13,124
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

My old v6 is having a new belt and tensioner.

The belt looks immaculate, despite having 60,000miles under it's pulleys.

I think you have to have a peek in there and try to judge it. If you have the new white tensioner and the belt looks good I'd run the beast a bit longer.

If it's the black tensioner and it all looks dry and dusty.. time for a change.

Ralf S.
Ralf S. is online now  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 24
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

its hard to believe why we own alfas, I'm doing my head at the minute big nasty job and no wonder 500+ is quoted. We should also tell the Italians to get this sorted, my sister could make a better system than this, I also have a 98 saab 900 turbo it has cahins and lots of very useful timing marks it took me 1/3 of the time to do it and was dead simple, we should start a petition to ask for chains and parts that are not made from old washing up bottles, great drive when it working though.
gazzaspider is offline  
mudhut
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

^^^

You do wonder don't you? I mean they could just as well have made it simple as made it difficult and fiddly (on the 24V engine anyway - not tried to do a twinnie).
 
Status: -
Unregistered
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Wiltshire
Posts: 9,721
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug View Post
i can tell you're the kind of guy who has unprotected sex and then looks surprised when she misses a period.

its very irresponsible to suggest "sometimes leaving well alone is better than replacing on spec", just because you have been extrememly lucky it does not mean that will be the case for other people. the original belt has snapped at under 50k plenty of times, AR did not change the recommended service interval to 35k for a laugh, they did it because they were forced too by the number of premature failures.
LOL, very good, but I am a supervising aircraft technician with many years of auto and aviation engineering behind me, the leave it alone theory is the way the aircraft industry is going at the moment and Ibet you'd be scared to know that airline companies have always believed in doing it this way as any time an aircraft is on the ground, it is not making them money. Where I work now, we would pull an aircraft off the line for a scheduled servicing which should last a week, invariably this would drag on to a month and while this was happening more would be queueing up, the servicings are now condition based as apposed to on spec, this has meant that the aircraft leave on time and has lowered costs down to 15% of the previouslevel. So with this experience behind me and the fact that I do examine the belt and tensioner every 5K as I perform my little servicings, I do it with the knowledge that when I need to change it, it will not be going to an overpriced, underskilled apprentice training center, but will be done by the person that knows the car best, me.
Smaky is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Alfahorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Leicestershire
Posts: 949
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

My car is nearly 10 years old, has only done 46,000 miles and has just had it's second Cambelt change, the first having been done 4 years ago at 24,000 miles.

I think the change should be done for peace of mind, however get a specialist to do it.
Alfahorn is offline  
Darren156
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

Get it changed mate, and get the variator done whilst you're at it just so you get the job lot done.

I'd use one of the specialists if I were you, don't use the bloke that comes round to your place.

You'll feel much better after getting it done and will be able to rant it properly,
 
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: United Kingdom
County: Bristol
Posts: 1,563

Member car:

Alfa GT

Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

100% change it.

I had an 05 plate and at the time had around 8000 miles on the clock, I heard a noise from the engine bay, turned out to be a dodgy tensioner.

Obviously no damage to the car, but the 3 years warning is there for a reason.

Go to a good specialist and get it done!
V6Alfisti is offline  
Status: -
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
County: -
Posts: 5
Re: Cam belt confusion!! (Again)!!

I would recommend that you have the belt changed.

Try Bridgend Motor Works (Waterfall Garage)
these guys really know Alfa's.
david_alfaq2 is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Misc Lounges > Community Discussions > General Alfa Discussion

Tags
belt , cam , confusion

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome