Timing belt advice
My girlfriend has just acquired a 2008 Ford Focus 1.8 TDCI with 105,000 miles on the clock and no history of having had a timing belt change. I’m not sure if it is significant, but it is a model with air-conditioning.
Can you tell me how tricky it is to change the timing belt on this model? My plan is to change the tensioner pulley, water pump and auxiliary belt and coolant at the same time. I am also thinking about taking out and cleaning the EGR valve as a precautionary measure to prolong its life. Can you advise of the procedures I need to follow to carry out these jobs and, more importantly, whether I need a locking tool? Also, where can I find the EGR valve on this engine and how do I detach it? Last, do you think I should change the pulleys/ tensioners for the auxiliary belt as well? Bartosz Kijanski The procedure for changing the timing belt as listed in the Ford workshop manual is a very long and complex procedure. It involves stripping the cam cover to access the camshaft and fit a locking plate, as well as removing the starter motor to fit the flywheel locking plate. Special tools are required to lock the camshaft and crankshaft, as well as a tool to remove the camshaft pulley. There is also a tool to support the engine while the mounting is removed. I cannot confirm if this is the official procedure carried out at a main dealer workshop, but I do know that most independent workshops follow a much quicker route. The timing belt is a short belt which runs between the camshaft and fuel pump and it has only one tensioner pulley. The fuel pump is driven from the crankshaft with a timing chain, which should require no maintenance.
After supporting the engine on a jack, the engine mount can be removed from the front of the timing belt cover. The studs onto which the mounting is bolted can be removed using a star socket, after which there is ample access to remove the timing belt cover. With the cover out of the way, the camshaft and fuel pump pulleys can be marked to retain the timing. The tensioner pulley can then be detached, along with the timing belt.
When fitting the new belt and tensioner, ensure that the marks you have made still line up and tension the belt by adjusting the tensioner pulley anticlockwise until the marks align. Do not turn or move the engine while the belt is off. Once the new belt is fitted and tensioned up, turn the engine two full turns by hand and ensure the marks once again line up. The only problem you might come across using this method is if the marks do not line up again after rotating the engine, as you would then need to follow the full Ford procedure to reset the engine timing.
As the auxiliary belt is not touched or disturbed during this process, its replacement is optional, but may be carried out as a part of routine maintenance. The auxiliary belt idle