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-   -   New T-Belt Tensioner Failure... :( (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=314469)

rent 04-16-2013 10:39 PM

New T-Belt Tensioner Failure... :(
 
So, did my T-Belt about a month ago. Using Ford timing tools, got everything lined up, motor was TDC. Got everything installed, everything stayed in time after parts installed, buthad some stumbling issues at first and found cracks in my plugs. After replacing those everything was fine.

Fast foward - Sunday I was driving the car and it died while I was coasting to a stop, doing roughly 10-15 mph. Wouldn't fire back up, so I pushed it to a parking spot and went about my business (school project). Came out a few hours later, still no fire, so I left it overnight and had it towed to a mechanic in the morning.

Mechanic got into it and found the timing was off. Belt looked fine, but there was obvious slack in it. He had another car he was working on, so I started poking around and found the tensioner had lost tension. WTF? It was tightened to torque spec, car ran flawlessly for a month, and then boom? The head is coming off tomorrow and I'll find out exactly which valves are mangled.

I'm simply too busy to do this right now (otherwise I would be doing it myself), but do I have any recourse with a bad part? I bought the Gates TCK294A kit and from everything I've read, its the same kit as TCK294B with an extra pulley for older Zetec motors. Anyone ever dealt with something like this besides just taking it up the rear?

tukaniSVT 04-17-2013 07:30 AM

Wow ... this is the second instance with the Gates kit Tensioner.

We have a local guy with the same issue that happened a few days ago. But we are going to help him re-time his SVT this weekend.

Did they try to re-time it just in case it's just the belt off?

I've been lucky once to have done that.

Good luck with that and wow. I am a fan of Gates as well, and have the Gates parts in my SVT for my timing belt also. This is frightening to here though.

Ray

rent 04-17-2013 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tukaniSVT (Post 4688668)
Wow ... this is the second instance with the Gates kit Tensioner.

We have a local guy with the same issue that happened a few days ago. But we are going to help him re-time his SVT this weekend.

Did they try to re-time it just in case it's just the belt off?

I've been lucky once to have done that.

Good luck with that and wow. I am a fan of Gates as well, and have the Gates parts in my SVT for my timing belt also. This is frightening to here though.

Ray

Yes, he re-timed the car just to check. Compression in cylinders 1 & 2 was 0, didn't bother checking 3 or 4 after that. He was a bit skeptical, as most Mechanics are, when I told him I did the timing. After talking with him for a bit and basically reciting torque spec and procedure, I cleared up most of his doubts.

I basically got an outlier of a belt tensioner, failing after only X amount of hours of use. The car ran fine, stronger than it was before the job and then poof!

He's going to pull the head this morning and get it off to the machine shop for inspection and clean up. Should have the car back next week some time, but this REALLY pisses me off. The mechanic is going to replace the entire kit which I agree with, so new belt, tensioner, and idler.

If I didn't like this car so much, I'd definitely part her out. I struggled with that for a few hours yesterday, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Hopefully when this is done, she'll be reliable until I get a DD and turn her into a track toy.

SvviftSVT 04-17-2013 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tukaniSVT (Post 4688668)
Wow ... this is the second instance with the Gates kit Tensioner.

We have a local guy with the same issue that happened a few days ago. But we are going to help him re-time his SVT this weekend.

Did they try to re-time it just in case it's just the belt off?

I've been lucky once to have done that.

Good luck with that and wow. I am a fan of Gates as well, and have the Gates parts in my SVT for my timing belt also. This is frightening to here though.

Ray

yeah i was reading this and thought of this very instance...
me and another local member did the timing belt procedure.
we noticed a slight big of slack on the belt when first installed. but when cranking it over by hand, we noticed that it became tight thru the revolution.

and like you, his car seemed to be pretty powerful after this was done.

he was 50 miles into the new belt when it happened..

good luck with it.

rent 04-17-2013 12:02 PM

http://i.imgur.com/Z3yIcT5.jpg

All exhaust valves bent. Sigh...

Still hoping to have her back next week. Depends on how busy the machine shop is and availability of valves.

Insaniac 04-17-2013 01:28 PM

Sorry to hear that! Glad to see you're keeping the car alive and not just parting it out. Are you going to contact Gates about this?

This thread has made me slightly nervous about the gates kit I just installed into mine a couple weeks ago!

Silver_SVT 04-17-2013 01:37 PM

I just ordered the Gates kit as well...
I'll definitely go over the tensioner before installation.

Would you be able to do a post-mortem on the tensioner to help us determine where to look for flaws with it?

hurtinfocus 04-17-2013 01:53 PM

this is really hard to read, I recently boought the gates kit from RockAuto.com and was planning to swap out my belt soon....now I feel like I should try to get a different tensioner just so I don't have to worry about this....

rent 04-17-2013 02:53 PM

I really think that I am a statistical outlier in terms of part failure, so take my post with a grain of salt. Everyone and their mother uses the gates kit, so I really ended up being the unlucky .01% that incurred failure.

I have sent Gates an email through their "contact an engineer" link on the website. They actually have an office locally, but I'm fairly certain its a office of accountants and not product engineers. I'll check it out regardless, I'd really like to know without any doubt that the tensioner has a flaw.

I can't say I will buy Gates parts or recommend them to anyone at this point. I'll be using OEM for rebuilding.

Sent from my HTC Sensation using FF Mobile

6SPD_soul 04-17-2013 03:07 PM

The way the tensioner is designed can be misleading. All the slack in the belt needs to be on the tensioner side, and then you rotate the cam in the tensioner so the arrow/line lines up with the slot, torque it down, and it's good.

But if you succesfully fire and run the engine, that arrow and slot will now be out of alignment. It's still actually holding the correct tension, it's just some design quirk about the tensioner I don't understand. I learned about this from an extremely knowledeable guy.

I can imagine a few very meticulous people re-checking belt tension after running the engine, thinking the tension is off, and then adding more tension to get it back in "spec" and ending up with way more belt tension than is appropriate.

If anybody does contact Gates about these tensioner failings, please bring up this point with them. I'm 99% sure but I'd love to hear it direct from the experts.


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