Classics Monthly - - Q & As -

I re­cently ac­quired a 1988 Lan­cia Delta 1.5. The ve­hi­cle has not been used for some years but has been garaged and is in a very good con­di­tion. I in­tend to get the en­gine up to scratch and start us­ing the ve­hi­cle on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

My first ques­tion is will the cam­belt need chang­ing even though the en­gine has done less than 55,000 miles and what kind of job is it to do?

Sec­ondly, as I will be chang­ing the oil and fil­ter what oil do you rec­om­mend and what else should be done as a mat­ter of course be­fore be­gin­ning to use the car to en­sure it is as re­li­able as pos­si­ble?

Kevin Dun­bar

The rec­om­mended in­ter­val for re­plac­ing the tim­ing belt on your car is given on a time ba­sis as well as mileage. This is be­cause the fab­ric of the belt will de­te­ri­o­rate over time, even if no lat­eral stress is placed on the belt. For this rea­son, I would cer­tainly make re­plac­ing the belt a first pri­or­ity.

The job is not too dif­fi­cult and other than a ten­sion gauge no other spe­cial­ist tools are re­quired. Af­ter sup­port­ing the ve­hi­cle and re­mov­ing the off­side road wheel, the al­ter­na­tor drive belt should be re­moved. Dou­ble check the crank­shaft tim­ing mark is at the 11:00 o’clock po­si­tion and once this is aligned the crank­shaft pul­ley and the tim­ing belt cover can be re­moved. This will ex­pose the camshaft tim­ing mark, which will be at the 12:00 o’clock po­si­tion.

When re­assem­bling, the belt ten­sion should be set to 2.5 kg on the gauge and the crank­shaft nut should be tight­ened to 137Nm. The book time given for the job is 1.2 hours, so the job should be able to be com­pleted in a morn­ing. The rec­om­mended oil for your car is 15W- 40 and the ca­pac­ity should be 4.3 litres.

As the ve­hi­cle has been stand­ing for some time, it may be worth us­ing a car­bu­ret­tor cleaner to re­move any residue that may have ac­cu­mu­lated and I would cer­tainly rec­om­mend check­ing the brakes to en­sure the cylin­ders and

pis­tons move freely.

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