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Old 04-05-2012, 12:55 AM  
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Timing belt falling off, need permanent fix idea's

I've been dealing with this problem for too damn long and I'm finally sick and tired of it. I don't mind replacing belts, I hate it because I have to retime my cams every time and it takes me (on average) 4 tries to get them correct, and this is going by notes I take each time. I'm sick and tired of this crap; every ~10,000 I put a new belt on and have to dick with this timing crap. Car has 185,xxx (first new belt was @ ~90,000). so you get the idea of why I'm pissed at it.


I've had the GC idler on the car for the last little over year and for the most part it did what I bought it to do; help slow the eating of my belt. Unfortunately the pulley shit the bed. I had to replace the bearing the second week I had the thing. It was then I'd noticed the fit to be loose, but I went with it. Well that loose fit finally did the pulley in, galvanic corrosion and the loose has become measurable gap.

I don't want to hear anything about belt tension. It's perfect. And even if it wasn't I think I've tried adjusting things enough over the years that I should have found a sweet spot at least once. Nope. Also there is no difference I can tell in how fast or slow it eats away.

I don't want to hear anything about pulley alignment or ware. The last belt was installed with every pulley (minus the GC one) brand new,,, CFM cam gears, new Ford tensioner, new Ford drive pulley, new Ford lower idler. Alignment was checked with a laser and everything was true.


I'm pretty good at figuring most things out, but this one just has me utterly baffled. Nothing I've tried has stopped it or slowed it down, and nothing I can find explains why the belt is walking off. It's like the car just wants me to burn it down.


Only idea I have is to get custom pulleys made like the GC one. But add more of a lip to it. But I know that just 1 won't make much difference. I'll have to, or really should, have 3 of them,,, that means I'll have to have a custom tensioner made (awesome ).

Or, is there any way to swap it over to a chain?
I could rig up a oil spray for the chain pretty easily, just a oil jet in one of the plugs in the head outta work sorta. Bridge when there deal though.


*edit

k, so I'm sitting here thinking about this and I think I've come up with a reasonable and viable solution:
Have a 'shim' made to fit the drive gear. If it tapers up to the crank dampener and fits over the drive gear ~1/16" it should move the entire belt over enough so that it rides true again.
Near as I'm figuring I have to attack this from the bottom up. If I get and keep the bottom true then everything thereafter should follow suit.
Plus this should be the quickest and cheapest fix, being it's essentially a big tapered bushing.
I'll try and get it drawn up tomorrow and off to my neighbors shop to be CNC'd. It'll be steel simply because then I don't have to worry about the belt eating it if it does rub.

**edit

Well that idea died real fast.
Just went out and test fit a brand new belt to an old drive gear. There is no side play, or not enough for any type of 'shim' to fit.
So now I'm wondering if my drive gear is back far enough. Just did the belt a day ago and checked it and it sure looked like it fit back far enough, least it wouldn't go back any further than it did (crank dampener reads "front" on the back side, meaning it fits the drive gear nice and tight). Maybe the key isn't quite straight or something ... have to pull it apart and see I guess. Kinda doubting I find anything wrong though. Wasn't any play so i can't imagine anything's FUBAR.
And i guess long as I have to get back in there I may as well flip the DG so the washer fits the outside and see what happens. That outta push it in 1/16". Just hope to hell it doesn't dive in or shit's really gonna go wrong, buh-bye crank seal/oil pump.


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Last edited by iminhell; 04-05-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:58 AM  
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did you replace the crankshaft sprocket? Some of them were know to cause the belt to walk off.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:01 AM  
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Also check your crank for crank walk, check the end play. If you have excessive crank walk that will throw a timing belt and i had it once knock out my front oil pump seal. If there is excessive crank walk, you may need a thrust bearing at a minimum or a crank kit at a max. One way to check and see if the crank is walking, is pull the crank sensor and see if the flywheel has been rubbing it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:27 AM  
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Crank walk isnt going to do anything but move the crank pulley forward or backwards .060 to .100 wore slap out ( that bad would be eating the crank sensor) it isnt like the belt would be off the end of the gear , why do you feel otherwise ?

There is something wrong with your set up , no one else is having this issues , I have found a few with the idler and or tensioner to where they let the belt drift off this allows the belt to move to the block ot to the mount , I have only seen the bolt hole off in 2 blocks causing this , have you checked the pulleys to be square with the block ?

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:34 AM  
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I've checked and rechecked everything. It's as square as can be. It just doesn't make any sense.
Also used 2 different Ford belts (same PN but different MFG's), a Dayco belt, a Cloytes belt, a cheap O'Reilly's belt (can't recall the brand),,, all do the exact same thing. To rule out MFG error in a belt.

Drive gear = gear on the crank snout, btw.


I do have a new block being built but I'm not sure when it'll be done and I do need the car running up until I do the swap. Really hope I don't have the same issue with the new one; and just in case I want to solve this so I can quickly fix the new engine.


For reference,
I can set the belt to the very inside of the gears and on the 3rd full rotation it's to the outside already. From there it'll ride as much as the back of the crank gear allows, which is very little but just enough to rub and ware the belt down.
You don't even want to know how far it's dug into my Aluminum pulley.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:51 AM  
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I'm just going to ask it anyway..... has the head been milled at all?
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:55 AM  
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Wow, have your tried different brand tensioners? Some Zetec's I've done the t-belt on have walked but retensioning it usually fixes that problem. I'm surprised you keep having the same problem.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:00 AM  
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After changing out all of the replaceable parts (I assume that means new bolts to rule out a bent bolt) that leaves one part not replaced-the head.
You say you checked alignment with a laser but really a variance of only a few thousandths of an inch will cause belt walk. I don't think the laser has that kind of accuracy.
I am going out on a limb here but I would bet there is either dirt (not likely due to your diligence) or a mis-aligned mounting surface on the head, either at the tensioner or idler pulley mount point.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:34 AM  
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Only thing that can cause this is a gear/pulley tilted so the belt can move in the directing it is going
Head milled more at the cam end more then the coil end
idler or adj leaning where the belt can ride off

Thats about the only things that will cause this

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:58 PM  
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Head has been replaced ... remember I'm running a milled SVT head. But I had this same problem on the stock untouched head.
So IMO that rules out anything head related. But I guess it could have been milled at a slight angle, I never checked it,,, but I also have extreme confidence in the guy how milled the head to do accurate work (I've known him almost all my life and never heard a bad thing about his work).

I figure it has to be something in the bottom end. But the only thing it could be there is the crank, and that just doesn't make sense. I'd have to see the dampener move if the snout is bent at all, and it doesn't.

I'm gonna check endplay in a bit here and see what it is.



*edit

Endplay looks to be 0.003". Nowhere near enough to even worry about.
But that's assuming I measured the correct way,,, difference from clutch in to clutch out. I can see loading the clutch measuring slightly different than stationary, but even still, not enough to make any difference.
Crankwalk/endplay is not the problem.
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Last edited by iminhell; 04-06-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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