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Discussion Starter #1
HI all,

Well I just replaced the timing belt and water pump on my 2003 ZX3 and the new serpentine belt will not go on. I exchanged it for another brand and still no go? I wonder if there is something I might be missing here? The timing belt swap went pretty smooth I cant believe the serpentine belt is impossible??

Plz help a Focus brother out!!
 

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What's your problem exactly? Belt tensioner stuck? That's fine, it should be replaced anyway... aswell as the idler, it's a good idea to replace these when you replace the belt...

Remember, lap the belt on all the pulleys except the tensioner, pull the tensioner back with I think it's a 12mm on the pulley head, drop the belt on it, and ease off of the tension...

Did you really replace the timing belt without removing serpentine? That must have been a pain, lol...
 

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Probably 15mm. on tensioner center. Lying on back on ground under car, tire off, belt cover removed. Take say a 18 or 19mm. boxed end and hook the closed end over the open end of the 15 to make an extended wrench maybe 16" long. Belt threaded around everything except tensioner. Put 15mm. end of your makeshift wrench on tensioner at around 45 degree angle and turn clockwise to lift tensioner and slip belt under it. Once you have the hang of it you can put belt on in maybe 15 seconds provided it is the correct length.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Of course I took off the old serpentine to get to the timing belt, its the NEW serp that wont go on. I replaced the idler pulley but didnt replace the tensioner pulley. It is not stuck but maybe it doesn't move enough to get the new belt on?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably 15mm. on tensioner center. Lying on back on ground under car, tire off, belt cover removed. Take say a 18 or 19mm. boxed end and hook the closed end over the open end of the 15 to make an extended wrench maybe 16" long. Belt threaded around everything except tensioner. Put 15mm. end of your makeshift wrench on tensioner at around 45 degree angle and turn clockwise to lift tensioner and slip belt under it. Once you have the hang of it you can put belt on in maybe 15 seconds provided it is the correct length.
I was laying on my back, tire off, passenger motor mount off, wheel well liner out and used a 15mm wrench with a 18" length of pipe on the tensioner and could not get it to slip on. I tried the AC pulley, the idler pully, the alternator and tensioner pulley. Not even close to going on, I even had someone try and help. The new serpentine is just a tad smaller than the one I pulled off w/125k on it.
 

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Aur you guy sure on that size mine is a 14mm and it was on my other focus as well. Although I did use a 15mm the first time I did the belt, but the haynes manual says 14mm also.
 

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Did you get the serpentine for engines without A/C or for the SPI?
 

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It will be whatever size the tensioner maker deems necessary, I have seen 14 but mine are all 15. Without a/c should be immediately obvious.

Depends on what a tad is. To some on belts that can mean 6 inches but in this case 2 inches is a mile off. A tad would be 1/2 inch or less.

Tensioner only, all effort on other pulleys is wasted. BUT, I have seen the need occasionally to slip the belt out from fully around crank to just get it on tensioner, then slip it back over crank all while still holding tensioner roller up to loosen. That for a belt just slightly on the tight side. If you can hit the up limit on tensioner and belt still not go on then belt is too short. I look at tensioner relaxed and at full up for some idea of full travel, the belt when installed should end up using say 1/3 of the swing there. Leaving the rest for belt wear.
 

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Stayinfocus, I would guess that you are not routing the serp belt correctly, the routing is non-intuitive, meaning it doesen't make a lot of sense at first. Pull a diagram of the belt routing and look carefully I think you will figure out what your doing wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pretty sure I am routing it correctly, I have 2 Focuses (Foci) so I am able to look at how its been routed on my other ZTS, and I have a printed out diagram that NAPA said was correct. NAPA confirmed last night that the belt is the correct size (I took it to them with the old belt). I think maybe the old tensioner might not be swinging open all the way? I have tried slipping it on on all the pulleys and it doesn't even come close to slipping on.

I am heading out right now to pick up a new tensioner.

edit* both my cars have the same 2.0 Zetec DOHC w/AC motors in them, the ZX3 is an auto trans and the ZTS is a 5 speed manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I installed the new tensioner and nothing changed[?|][?|] I couldn't even get the belt "staged" to try and slip on at the tensioner. I am going to return this belt and try another brand I guess, this really sucks I am out of ideas at this point.

Anyone know if THIS would get it on?
 

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I used to rent that out all the time when I worked at the store, it does nothing you can't do at home with double wrenches.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok got er done! Turns out my problem was trying to use a 15mm box wrench with a 18" pipe over it wouldn't pull on the tensioner far enough. the pipe would hit the lower suspension arm. So I rented a serpintine belt install tool and the belt finally went on, still very tight though.

So the ZX3 got new plugs, new waterpump, new serpentine, new timing belt, replaced all 4 belt pulleys, new valve cover gasket, new coolant overflow tank & coolant. Didnt replace motor mount cause I think mine is fine. Also popped in a set of sway bar end links. Took her over to tire store and 4 new tires and 4 way alignment. I also did the "dreaded hatchback wiring harness fix" yesterday since my brakelights were stuck on and cruise quit working.

I am tired, taking a break for now then I get to do the timing belt on my other Focus weee lucky me!
 

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Should've known when you hit the suspension arm..................why I said the two wrenches to use, they make a shorter couple with more degree of swing available.

Not trying to insult at all, rather to show others too long a handle there is worse, not better.
 

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Hey Stay, your going to hate me for this but I thought your belt was too LOOSE. There's a trick with the focus to get the serp belt on and off. No cheater pipe is needed, just a plain old 15mm wrench.

What you do is raise the car, get positioned right under the belt, reach up with the wrench in your left hand and pull the tensioner down - then grab the bottom of the belt in between the crank pully and AC pully with your right hand and pull down on both the belt and the wrench on the tensioner at the same time.

You will figure out that you can use this trick to work the tensioner and the belt slack in tandem - pull a bit on the belt, get a little slack,then pull on the tensioner wrench, slack is taken up, pull on on the belt some more - work them back and forth - then once you get enough slack you can just push the serp belt right off the AC pully.

What everyone does the first time is try pulling down on the tensioner wrench only - you would have to be Godzilla to get that to work - but if your pulling down on the tensioner wrench AND the belt in between the crank and AS compressor pully, it is simple as can be to get enough slack to lift the belt off the AC pully.
 

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Waow 6 to 7 hours. How often should you replace the timing belt? I inspected mine a couple days ago but it looks ok. I have 120k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Waow 6 to 7 hours. How often should you replace the timing belt? I inspected mine a couple days ago but it looks ok. I have 120k miles.
I changed mine at 124k so your probably due. Its better to do it before it breaks on you and may cause you to grenade your motor! I don't know if the zetec is a non interference motor or not but I wouldn't chance it. My other Focus has 140k on it and I bought it used so I don't know if its been changed or not, it runs real smooth and quiet. I will pull the top cover off of it and see if its been changed I guess. You can get a new belt and water pump combo for less than 100 on ebay and then you'll need a serpentine and the 2 pulleys, a weekend and probably at least an 18 pack of beer and your all set. A shop quoted me 650 to do it and they said if there were any problems that amount would go up! I am not a mechanic but I am broke so I had to become one real quick.

When you start your engine cold does it make any odd noises from the timing belt area? Mine did and the noise would slowly go away after about 5-10 minutes. After the belt swap it no longer makes any strange noises so i guess that's a sign of the belt being at the wear limit.

If you decide to go for it you may as well change out your sway bar end links, get a set of new plugs (its easier to turn the crankshaft with a wrench if you remove your plugs) and maybe throw in a set of front brake pads. The end links are easy to do just 4 bolts, if they wont budge you can cut the bolts off. I used a dremel tool to cut a notch in the bolts and then soak em with wd40 then they came off pretty easy.
 
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