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Discussion Starter #1
It's coming up to the time where I need to get my timing belt replaced but I'm not sure whether to take it to an independent Alfa specialist who are good (but a bit expensive and a bit of a pain to get to) or just a local competent garage, is there a big advantage getting someone who knows Alfa's inside and out doing it or is it something a decent garage would have no problems with?
 

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A non specialist will probably not have the camlocks that are essential for the job. Timing marks are NOT sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A non specialist will probably not have the camlocks that are essential for the job. Timing marks are NOT sufficient.
Would that have an effect on the cars performance then, if your average garage didn't have those things?
 

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Take it to a decent Alfa indy and not a normal garage because you can be sure you will end up back at the Alfa specialist because they have fecked the job up. I know because it happened to me and quite a few people.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's been 32000 miles since the last timing belt change (about 3 years ago). I didn't own the car when it was last done, have receipt which lists what was changed:

variator
new timing belt
balance shaft
belt and pulley kit
cover gasket

When I get this changed does everyone think I'm best getting all that done again?
 
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The varaitor should be changed every second cambelt change unless you are getting that diesel noise on start up but you will defo need a new water pump on top of the above list as looks like its never been changed.
 
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It's been 32000 miles since the last timing belt change (about 3 years ago). I didn't own the car when it was last done, have receipt which lists what was changed:

variator
new timing belt
balance shaft
belt and pulley kit
cover gasket

When I get this changed does everyone think I'm best getting all that done again?

Yes, waterpump as well only as you have no record of it being done, £35ish for part and minimal labour involved. Also check aux belt and pulley as it wasn't done last time.

And as everyone has said camlocks are essential to set the timing correctly, a "normal" garage won't have these, contact Gus @ Alfatune motorsport http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/members/alfa+tuner.html and get the job done right first time :thumbs:



The varaitor should be changed every second cambelt change unless you are getting that diesel noise on start up but you will defo need a new water pump on top of the above list as looks like its never been changed.
Waterpump every second belt change is ok, but is it worth it for the cost, Variator although more expensive, sods law says it starts rattling and either you live with it for up to 3 years or get the belts done again :(
 

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It's been 32000 miles since the last timing belt change (about 3 years ago). I didn't own the car when it was last done, have receipt which lists what was changed:

variator
new timing belt
balance shaft
belt and pulley kit
cover gasket

When I get this changed does everyone think I'm best getting all that done again?
I don't see a cambelt tensioner and idler in that list?

Quick list of what needs replacing at the second belts change:

1) Cambelt.
2) Cambelt tensioner.
3) Cambelt idler.
4) Balance belt.
5) Balance belt tensioner.
6) Rocker cover gaskets x2 (inner and outer gaskets).
6) Auxilliary belt.
7) Auxiliary belt tensioner.
8) Spark plugs x8 (if they haven't been changed before, they must be changed now).

The variator and waterpump are 'optional' but I would change them now as belts need to be off to do the job so now is ideal time to do it. Waterpumps are quite robust but they do go wrong with age - they've been known to seize with age, stripping the cambelt. Variator - well you changed that before so I'd just do it again - if it rattles later then off come the belts again. Good tip on variators is to keep the oil clean - change oil/filter every 6,000 miles which keep them going longer.

Finally as indicated DO NOT take it to any old garage. Camlocks are needed, also care is needed to remove the plugs and coils when dismantling rocker cover. Also rocker cover gaskets must be renewed and replaced carefully othewise oil leaks down the plugholes and fouls the plugs. You DO NOT want this to happen.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice folks, I have decided to take it to the specialist Alfa guy. I noticed on looking through old receipts the previous owner had taken it to what looks like any old garage for the timing belt although he'd taken it to an Alfa specialist for everything else. Compared to my previous car, a 145 2.0TS I have always felt it didn't seem as lively, but that was only 3 doors, not 5 and generally a lighter car but potentially could I see an improvement in performance with taking it to the specialist?
 
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