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Discussion Starter #1
Any tips for loosening the Camshaft gears for a timing belt Change?

The T-55 seems to be jammed on really well on both shafts. The T-55 and a 15/16th wrench is not cutting it. The T-55 Bit keeps slipping out.

I have the special tool on order, but don't think that will help. I'm kicking around removing the Cam Shaft and purchasing a T-55 impact bit and giving that a shot, drilling the bolts off, or removing the Cam shaft and dropping it at a shop to loosen. I have a torch I can heat the bolts with, but I've had some luck if I can get to the nut or threaded area, but here I can only get to the head.

If it comes to taking the Cam off, I'll most likely take the extra few parts left to get to the heads and send the heads to a machine shop.

Right now the timing belt is still on.
 

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You shouldn't need to remove/loosen the cam gears to replace the timing belt.

Also, it's not just a few extra parts to get the head off. You're looking at both manifolds, power steering bracket, cams, thermostat, distributor, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can certainly change the belt at this point and button it up and be done, but without loosening the cam gears, the timing can't be set. I gotta put the pin in with the tool locking the cams in place and set the timing, then tighten the camshafts back up. Did this 60,000 miles ago. Hoping the car may run a little smoother with the timing set.

As far as the heads, I do have a bit more than the head bolts. I recently did the heads in another vehicle and sent them off to a machine shop, and that vehicle is running so much smoother now, probably better than new. The gaskets were leaking on that vehicle, so it had to be done, but this focus does not have leaking heads. If this focus runs like new like the other vehicle did, it would be worth it.
 

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You people never get it. You loosen the cam sprockets simply because you are not competent enough to get the timing belt correctly tight without doing it. When you loosen the sprockets all effort after that is to get them back EXACTLY IN THE SAME SPOT THEY WERE BEFORE.

I change the belt and never loosen the sprockets at all. You can do it either way.

You hold the sprocket to loosen the center bolt, there is a long like forked crowbar looking thing to do it with, you can make one out of steel bar and a couple of hardened bolts, the bolts go inside the sprocket head slots to hold it in place.

You MUST use a HARDENED tip that goes all the way to the bottom of the bolt hole in center. Crap quality ones will round the corners when they bend the tips of the tines and then you are up the creek when the tip keeps twisting sideways to come out while doing nothing.

Belt changes at 120K miles unless it is an SVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You have some good info in the reply, so thanks.

I think I used a non-hardened T-55 last time, because like you mentioned the corners were slightly rounded. I will get the forked crowbar you talk about in the mail in a couple of days, and if the sprockets loosen, I'll set the timing belt IAW the workshop manual, and if the new hardened steel T-55 bolt continues to slip out, I will just set the timing as best as you can, like you put in the post. If I do get the bolt out of the sprocket, I will stop by the Ford dealer and order two new T-55 bolts for the sprocket.

I'm finding more and more that I need some better tools. A lot of the stuff I have comes from harbor freight, which I thought was good for one time use. Most of it is, but sometimes like you said you need a hardened but for some jobs.

Other thing I've had some trouble with lately is torque wrenches purchased at the parts store. The Click type ones seem to lose their cal after a couple of years. I store them at the lowest setting like you're supposed to, but these five year old wrenches in the 20 Ft Lbs range have stripped some bolts lately by not clicking. I'm looking at a quality digital torque wrench now.
 

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I never use click type wrenches at all. All are the old school beam type. You can't tell the runup number with a clicker, it sometimes being valuable to know how close you are to the number. You can re-zero a beam type by simply putting the point back at zero..........hard stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The only beam type old school wrench I used did not zero. I borrowed this wrench at an auto hobby shop. Was very annoying. Started at something like 10 LBS. Bought a clicker after that. I am looking at a digital wrench that gives a audible as you get close.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just to close things out, as @amc49 and @Stanley_Jones said, I was able to do the timing belt without loosening the cams. Runs good.

If anyone does read this, my lesson learned is to use the proper tool if loosening the cam sprockets or there's a good chance the T-55 bolt will strip. If you do decide to replace the cam sprocket bolts, ARP 251-1002 are Cam Sprocket Bolts for the 2.0. Although listed on the package as 2.0 Zetec, I could not verify the engine and year and DOHC. After doing this twice, I'm a firm believer that loosening the cam sprockets is more riskier in stripping the bolts than the little extra part of a degree of timing than just keeping them right. Also decided not to pull the cams to drill the cam bolts off.

My valve clearance was very tight, but within specks. I thought the valve clearance would have worn wider over time, but all the measurements were pretty close to the bare minimum. One valve clearance was to the thousandths of an inch. Had any failed, the cams would have come off to replace the tappets, but that is a different story.
 

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The exhausts can often get tighter rather than the looser we tend to expect, the exhaust recedes in the seat due to the unleaded fuel. The intakes often stay pretty close, a light lapping job can have valves sealing perfect on those as they really do not wear much due to the low spring pressure. The exhausts commonly must cut to get good sealing on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
At 120k on the odometer, I'm going to take he next 60k for the next timing belt and figure out what to do. My plan is to keep the car at least another three years, but honestly as long as it runs, I see myself keeping it. In sunny AZ, not much rust happens.

At the next timing belt change, probably take the heads off and find a machine shop that will do the measurements and replace the tappets. The other vehicle I brought to a machine shop runs so much better since the work was done on the heads, but I paid $160, which they only took cash. Not sure they would be the ones to take the time, measure what needs to be done and replace the tappets with the correct sized ones, etc.

My other vehicle is a diesel pick up and that is very unforgiving and requires a lot of work from a machine shop, and with a 15 years old head there's a good chance it would need to be condemned after magnafluxing. Not sure if that much attention to detail needs to go into a gas vehicle, daily driver.
 
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