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untenops 10-02-2008 02:13 PM

SPI Timing Belt Change How to
Recently changed my timing belt so I thought I would try writing a little how to.

1. You may need to raise your car some to get a little better access, but it's not a requirement unless your car is really low.

2. Under the car you will need to remove the belt shield. It is held by 2 bolts. Sorry no pictures but very easy to find and remove.

3. I found it helpful to also remove the wheel well skirt on the passenger side of the car as well. Simply remove the plastic screws on the skirt and pull out the locks. There may also be one torques screw.

4. You will need to remove your water tank.

5. Use a jack and a block of wood to hold your engine under the oil pan. This will keep it from falling and putting undue stress on the other mounts.

6. Next you are going to have to remove the passenger side engine mount.

7. Once this is out you will have more room to remove the accessory belt.

8. Once this is out you will also need to remove the timing belt covers. There is the metal one on top that has 4 bolt and a plastic lower one, that is hard to get to. The plastic one has 3 or 4 small bolt.

9. Once these are out you will need to remove your harmonic balancer (the pulley on the crank shaft). This one is hard to get out. There are a few not to safe ways to get it out that I wont mention here. Be safe.

10. Now that this is off, you will want to line up the timing marks before you remove the belt. Look for the mark on the crank and one on the cam pulley. You will want to line these up so that they are pointing up. To turn them, do so by turning the crank clock wise only. It would be easier if the spark plugs are pulled, and make sure you put the car in neutral if you have a MTX.

11. Once your lines are lined up, remove your timing belt. You will need a 8mm allien wrench to pull back the timing belt tensioner.

12. Check your tensioner for wear, I needed to replace mine.

13. Double check your timing marks, and install the new belt, by starting at the crank and going counter clockwise.

14. After you have it in double check your timing marks again.

15. There good, triple check it by turning you crank clockwise 2 turns and the marks should be in line still. If not U will need to remove the belt and try again.

16. Put it all back together. Make sure you put the accessory belt on before you reinstall the engine mount, as this is a lot easier.

Warning, this all sound very easy, but can be very difficult if you are not experienced. This can also be dangerous, as you will be working with tools and heavy parts. I take no responsibility for any out come good or bad if you try this. This is meant for informational purposes only. I recommend that you have someone to help you, preferably someone experienced. Sorry there are not more picture, but my hands were dirty and I was trying to finish. Project took about 4 hours, including a run to the parts store to get new tentioner.

Hope this helps.
Also if there is anything missing or if you have any suggestions please post it.

loudfocus01 10-03-2008 04:46 PM

Great how-to! I'll be doing this soon, so this will help out a lot.
How many miles were on your car when you did this?

untenops 10-03-2008 06:09 PM

Thank you, I had a little over 114,000 miles. I was starting to get a little nervous. I still need to add to this, torque specs and so. Hope to get it updated soon.

norcalfocus01 10-03-2008 06:24 PM

nice i should do this soon, prob after i get my company car in a few weeks.

death_bomber 10-03-2008 06:30 PM

i did a post of torque specs

S2 06-02-2009 09:04 AM

Added to the 'HOW TO ARCHIVE'......

Broncoboy80 09-27-2009 01:30 PM

ok so i finally got around to changing my timing belt yesterday. Wow it was rediculousely easy. Literally only took me 30 to 45 minutes. And most the time seemed like it was just jackin up my car. LOL. But really, its easy and if you need it done then give it a try

Captain Planet 11-18-2009 12:22 PM

I'm getting ready to do this in the next month or so. Are there any special tools I will need to do my SPI 2.0L? I remember on my 1986 Escort there was a special wrench that my girlfriends Dad let me borrow from his job at the Ford dealership to do the timing belt on that car.

Captain Planet 03-17-2010 01:06 PM

Can anyone elaborate on the harmonic balancer removal? Is it just the pulley on the crankshaft for the accessories? How do you get this off?


Focusnewb 03-17-2010 01:19 PM

Yes, it's the pulley on the crankshaft.

You need to find a way to keep the pulley from turning while you try to wrestle the bolt loose. On slotted pulleys I have braced metal bars (screwdriver shafts) through the pulley and caught them on something solid on the backside. A good strap/chain wrench may grab with enough grip to do it, I used a strap wrench when I put the pulley back on (100k miles ago so it's held) but haven't tried it for removal.

On the Focus, I used the starter to turn the motor with a breaker bar/socket on the pulley and braced on the garage floor.....this is the not-so-safe-way I think he is mentioning. VERY IMPORTANT, you must have the plug wires or coil unplugged or the motor will fire.....this is bad with a loose pulley bolt ! Also the breaker bar will probably go flying across the garage (mine did) so it's important not to have any body standing around or anything breakable nearby. If I would have thought about it more, I would have draped a towel over the breaker bar handle or something.

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