Timing Belt Help, plz.

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Getting ready to do my first timing belt change this weekend.
I've got a 1L 3 cyl Geo Metro, 1992. I've read a few DIY articles, but If possible, could someone go through it one more time, as I've read articles on vehicles that are not really anything like a Geo Metro.

As I understand it, I'll need to disconnect the battery, remove the spark plugs, pull the alternator belt, then remove the timing belt cover.
Then I need to crank the engine over (by hand) until some marks on the cam and crank line up. Then release the tensioner and put the new belt on. Put everything else back together.

Is it really this simple? Sounds like it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours.

posted by  Sonreir

It's even simpler than that because you can completely skip the first two steps as they are non-value added. Just make sure after the new belt is installed and tensioned to turn the engine over a few times (in multiples of two ie. 2,4,6,8) and make sure your marks still line up. Also recheck the belt tension at that time. Even if you've never done the job before it shouldn't take more than three hours. Have fun and good luck.

posted by  vwhobo

Thanks a bunch!
Will it be apparent when the marks line up? What exacly should I be looking for?

posted by  Sonreir

The timing marks are extremely obvious if you know where to look. It almost sounds as though you intend to do this job without a manual by your side which I highly recommend against unless you do this type of work on a regular basis.

Take your time, follow the steps in the manual and it's quite a simple job.

posted by  vwhobo

You wrote: .....not really anything like a Geo Metro.

As I understand it, I'll need to disconnect the battery, remove the spark plugs, pull the alternator belt, then remove the timing belt cover.
Then I need to crank the engine over (by hand) until some marks on the cam and crank line up. Then release the tensioner and put the new belt on. Put everything else back together

End of what you wrote.

Well you are most of the way there...but.

The crank angle / timing mark is one element. But you ought to invest in a owners manual for this. Or if you can find a public library with these manuals. The Cam angle is the other element. Frankly I don't know what the indicators you need to find look like but the crank angle needs to be at a predictable point (TDC ) and the cam angle needs to be correct too.Logically this should be there inside the engine with a mark of some sort. If your Metro started to miss time with the valves ( prime symptom of timing belt slip) then it (the cam gear) isn't where it needs to be. So you'll have to adjust the cam gear or cogged pulley. Generally the electronic engine controls minimize the electrical timing issues but the valve train is set to the beat of the pistons. no electronic controls compensate for that.

If there aren't marks that you can align on both the cam & the crank you need direction from a manual to tell how to get these in beat.

Did I explain this clearly?

posted by  Booch

I think so. Isn't there also a way to check and see if everything is lined up by the position of the distributor?

posted by  Sonreir

No. Checking the distributor will only give you a ball park estimate. The only correct way to do it is with the timing marks crank and cam pulleys.

posted by  vwhobo

Ok then.

Project (hopefully) successfully completed. Took about two hours (took me a little while to realize that I needed to pull the crank pulley to get the timing belt cover off).
Purred like a kitten after I started her up.

I do have one question though. After I put the belt on, the instrcutions that came with the belt said to run the car for 5 minutes then re-tension the belt. After only a few seconds, the belt had moved to the outside of the pulleys and I aborted the "belt-stretching". I assumed this was only happenening because the cover was removed and it isn't the symptom of something more sinister.

In addition, I found my oil leak. Seems to be coming from the crank case. How bad is that? I know getting oil on the timing belt is a bad thing (old one was soaked, but seemed to be holding up ok), but how serious is this? Is this something that I don't need to worry about (other than keep oil in it)?

posted by  Sonreir

1. The timing belt can only walk if you don't have the crank pulley installed.

2. Of course the oil is coming from the crankcase, that's where it's stored. Without knowing WHERE it's leaking from it's impossible to tell you how good or bad it is, but an oil leak is never good.

3. No, you don't want oil on the timing belt, that is a very bad thing.

posted by  vwhobo

Thx again, hobo.

Next project might be an engine swap then. :D

I'm thinking my Metro could do with one of those 100 horse DOHC engines that used to go in the Suzuki Swifts. :hi:

posted by  Sonreir

Then maybe a turbo from a Pontiac Firefly! :thumbs:

posted by  Sonreir

i also have a 1997 geo metro of which we replaced the timing belt because it had slipped over on the pulley. the new one also will not stay put. what do you mean by not having the crank pulley installed.. mine is installed and the belt still slips over on the timing gear on top. any ideas? thanks

posted by  nannette

this is from 2004.

posted by  carls47807

Sweet mother of google, over 1000 views?!

posted by  giant016

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