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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody changed their timing belt? I had read that it has a 100,000 mile interval so I'm guessing probably not but just decided to see...
 

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Change the belt, before the time comes, just for insurance. Its a BIG trouble if that brakes into the engine...Believe me...
 

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your timing belt has teeth on it that will probably break off before the belt snaps. Keep an eye out for those missing teeth and you should be ok.[thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah...I'm nearing 90k right now but I;m gonna wait till 100, unless i got that scpec wrong....lol Anyhow I heard that the ZETEC is a clearence engine so even if it snaps it merely wont run, rather than causing major damage
 

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I would think the damage could be depending on what rpm you're at when it snaps. You'll probably have to have the cams re-aligned, but the engine will turn off when the belt snaps. I don't see there being any great damage, but it could happen. Like say your cams keep spinning after the belt snaps and cause the lifters to push a valve into a piston, in which case you'll probably need a new valve and have your piston resurfaced...worst case scenario I think.[?]
 

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GonFishin said:
I would think the damage could be depending on what rpm you're at when it snaps. You'll probably have to have the cams re-aligned, but the engine will turn off when the belt snaps. I don't see there being any great damage, but it could happen. Like say your cams keep spinning after the belt snaps and cause the lifters to push a valve into a piston, in which case you'll probably need a new valve and have your piston resurfaced...worst case scenario I think.[?]
Not dependent on RPM. Either the valves (when open) extend to the same space occupied by the piston at TDC, or they do not. It is that simple.

According to the Timing Belt Replacement Guide published online by the Gates Rubber Company, neither the Zetec nor the SPI is an interference engine, and the recommended replacement interval is 120,000 miles.

Belts don't usually snap. Generally the failure mode is shearing of the teeth. It definitely throws the cams out of time.

http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochure=981&location_id=540

Incidentally, when the belt on an interference engine lets go, you usually end up with several bent valves and cracked or broken pistons with an occasional bent con-rod here or there. Repair normally includes replacement of all valves, guides, and seats in the head, plus replacement of all damaged pistons. It is a messy situation which your "worst case scenario" does not do justice. Again, according to Gates, Zetec and SPI are NOT intereference engines.
 

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yes non interference is the shiznit

tell me about it! I had an escort with a diesel in it, when the belt let go, it bend 5 valves. It cost $800 to get the head fixed. (that was just the head work, I do my own mechanical work) and I only paid $800 for the car!!
 

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FYI Focus Zetec Timing belt tips, for the Do it yourselfer, there is a metal bar that installs into a slot in the intake and exhaust cams locking them together for timing belt replacement (you have to remove the valve cover to install the cam locking bar), also there are two timing belt idler pulleys, and one timing belt tensioner, I would replace these on high mileage motors.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
good call, focusinct, but I think I may leave this one to the pros...I dont feel like taking half of my engine bay appart. But, that metal bar, is it some sort of proprietary tool from ford?
 

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focuszx3r said:
yeah...I'm nearing 90k right now but I;m gonna wait till 100, unless i got that scpec wrong....lol Anyhow I heard that the ZETEC is a clearence engine so even if it snaps it merely wont run, rather than causing major damage
All Ford belt driven engines are known as "free-wheeling" and all their chain driven engines are known as "non-free wheeling". A free wheeling engine is an engine that has a gap or clearance between the piston and valve when the valve is fully open and the piston is at top dead center. This is a safety precaution done so that if your timing belt does snap while the engine is operating it will not cause extreme damage to your engine. A non-free wheeling engine is one that if the valve is fully open and the piston is at TDC they will collide. Some belt driven engines are non-free wheeling. But no Ford belt driven engines are.
 

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my timing belt on my 2000zx3 just went yesterday at 113000 miles. engine just died at a traffic light after acting sluggish all day. no damage done to engine. repair cost at ford dealer about 600US.
 

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hey guys, my mother has a 98 contour with the 2.0 zetec and the timing belt went on it. we took it to our mechanic, in less than 2 hours of having the car, he calls and says that the engine is actually made by mazda and that it is an interference engine and he can either get us a re-man head for $900, or he can get us a used engine with 40k miles for $800, and it will cost $300 to put the new engine in. now my biggest problem is that i have read a bunch of places online that say the 2.0 zetec is not an interference engine... which i have read right here in this thread too. what is your opinion on this, do you think the mechanic is just blowin smoke? what suggestions do ya have?

thanks,
john
 

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THE MECHANIC IS FULL OF SHIT

I have changed the timing belt and water pump on a 1996 Contour 2.0L zetec myself. The engine is a FORD engine and it is free wheeling as are ALL belt driven Ford engines. I have fully rotated the cams and crank seperately on the motor so I do know that they will not collide. Your mechanic is a lying bastard...
 

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The 2.0 zetec does have valve clearence, so no damage should result if it breaks. Dont forget the water pump.
 
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