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Timing Belt Change

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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MadeInJapan
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Volvo Repair Database Timing Belt Change

Post by MadeInJapan » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:57 am

You haven't seen me on here much in the last day or so because I've been busy w/ one of my own cars.

Thought I would start this thread because I'm in the midst of a timing belt change for my '96 850 and others might share their experiences. Another reason is because I see no real write-up in the repair database. For those interested, there is a huge thread (mostly bitchin') about this job over on V.S.
Anyway, I spent all day yesterday on just getting parts off of the timing area. The water pump, idler pulley and tensioner was easy- the hard one was the tensioner pulley...the 25T Torx (some claim it's actually a T27) is easy to strip and you need the right parts to get it out. On my sedan, at 190K+ miles it had never been changed so I needed it replaced. I have an "L" shaped torx tool from Autozone and an assortments of bits (you can try holding this on w/ an 8mm wrench) as well as a couple of Torx sockets. Most of the ones sold are too long and you can't get the socket w/ a ratchet in the small space. Harbor Freight sells a 3 set Torx socket set for changing out brake component on Fords...it's a bit shorter and will fit and is made of good quality steel so if you're going to go that route, I'd say this is a good way to do it, but you'll need to wedge something in between the end of your ratchet and the fender to get some torque on it. The factory fastened tensioner pulley is in very very tight- who knows how many pounds of pressure was applied. To replace it, VADIS shows only 30 ft. lbs, which is hardly anything. The problem with my situation was that the lower engine mount (under the crank) is not broken but is old and soft- therefore, any torque I would get on that torx screw would move the entire engine towards the driver's side. An 8 hour story and 3 trips to auto parts stores for new new torx parts, I ended up buggering up 1 torx socket, the "L" shaped torx tool and finally the Harbor Freight torx socket ate up the star pattern in the tensioner pulley screw itself. I was at a point of no return, so I finally had to take a cut off wheel and dremel and started chipping away at the washer on the pulley until it was off (had to use a chisel with it) and even when the entire pulley slipped off of the sleeved bolt, I couldn't turn the tightened screw to get it out. My solution to this was to grind out a notch on the entire sleeve and then use the chisel knock at the notch until it finally turned. It did come out but not without a serious battle of patience and endurance.

FCPgroton and others sell just the tensioner pulley roller...this means that you can leave the tensioner pulley in place, and just undo the bolt in the middle of the pulley and change this piece out. If I had it to do over again, that's what I would do.
Another piece of advice- It used to be that when you ordered the tensioner dampener, you would get the little plastic spacer disc to fit around and snap into place around the tensioner's pin, but more recently, these are not included...they only cost a buck a piece. After getting all of my timing components out, I noticed that I don't have one. It is really wise to use this disc. If the tensioner completely fails, it is possible that the spacer could add just enough tension to the belt to save your engine. Early on, Volvo didn't have this pacer for their tensioners and there were some belt failures when the tensioner failed and they added it...not that this is sure insurance, but it is better than nothing. I plan on going to the dealer today and buying this piece before intalling the tensioner. It is possible to snap it into place once the tensioner is in place but it is another battle in the war against the timing belt change that is best avoided if possible.

Today, I have on my agenda- reinstalling a new water pump, putting all of my timing components back (tensioner pulley, idler pulley, tensioner dampener, serpentine belt tensioner- yes I took it off for better access, both belts, a coolant flush while changing out coolant, a transmission drain and fill, oil change and spark plug change. Oh, and I should tell you that I made the serpentine belt tensioner tool out of parts from a plumbing supply place- I'll post a picture later when I get a chance.

Any comments on the timing belt process is welcome- let's keep this running and we can put it in the repair database. I'll add pictures later as I get time to take them (something you often don't think about during the process).

-MIJ

EDIT- Wouldn't you know- I called the dealer to make sure they had the plastic disc and they say it comes with the tensioner and they don't sell it separately. What a crock!
So, people beware- don't forget this part when you order your tensioner dampener. I guess I'll run without it for now and snap one into place later...another battle- one of many.


'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by JFO » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:15 am

Dave,

Too bad about the pulley...that is a nasty area to work in. How was your back after you finished :lol: A couple of comments...On mine, the tensioner pulley bolt is accessed from the back of the assembly, so it has to come off if you just want to just swap the pulley. It was also a T45 so the design may be different. On mine the tensioner disk snapped in easily after the pin has been pulled. In fact I don't think it would fit on with the pin still compressed...there was no room. Why don't you pop out the old one and use it?

Sounds like you will need a break when the week is over!

Jim

PS There are some pic's on the Bay 13 site.

http://volvospeed.com/Repair/timingbelt.php


'98 S70 Turbo GLT

280,000 km

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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by Ozark Lee » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:09 pm

On the last tensioner I changed I just re-used the old plastic spacer - the old one is easier to snap back in place anyway.

...Lee


'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
Previous:
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by Matty Moo » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:46 pm

I also ordered an oem tensioner from the dealer, and no disc was included. Luckily, the old one never really wears out, so I just reused it.

There is a lot to the timing belt change. It's one of those things that once you do it, you could probably do it again in half the time. I spent more time than I wanted to on that bolt, but mine wasn't that bad.

The write up that's out there on it is alright, but it leaves some things out. Mostly the tool options on the tensioner bolt and the fact that the new water pump goes on mostly by feel.


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MadeInJapan
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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by MadeInJapan » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:25 am

Hey guys, thanks for posting.
I would have reused the spacer disc but it came out of the old tensioner in two pieces (forgot to say this). I was able to get a new, used one from anther Volvo owner in town, so that problem was solved. There is room to put the disc in even with the tensioner pin still in...when you pull the grenade pin on the tensioner, the sping loaded pin shoots out through the hole of the plastic piece...worked fine for me.

About my back- more than that it's my bruised and cut up hands, but all is good now- everything is done and the car runs beautifully. Yes, I'll need a break from my week off from work once this week is over- LOL


'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by wheelsup » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:31 am

The plastic retainer came in my timing belt box that I bought at FCP, the Continental one.

Also I don't think you can access the roller bolt with it still on the car because you have to hold it on the backside with another socket. On mine I think one was a 12 mm and the other was a 14 mm.


1995 850 GLT Wagon w/ 185,000 miles

MadeInJapan
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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by MadeInJapan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:57 am

Interesting- no wonder I had not plastic spacer- I reused the timing belt as it was changed about 9 months ago- but unfortunately the guy didn't change any other parts.


'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

MadeInJapan
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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by MadeInJapan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:42 pm

Just thought I would share a few pictures:
1. Torx bolt that stripped and tensioner pulley that had to be cut off.
2. Serpentine belt removal tool I put together with common plumbing parts- worked very well, btw!
Torx Bolt Hell.jpg
Torx Bolt Hell.jpg (78.95 KiB) Viewed 4664 times
Serp Belt Removal Tool.jpg
Serp Belt Removal Tool.jpg (153.53 KiB) Viewed 4687 times


'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by Ozark Lee » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:49 pm

The serp belt tool is genius.

...Lee


'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
Previous:
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

MadeInJapan
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Re: Timing Belt Change

Post by MadeInJapan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:19 pm

Well thank you! Unfortunately, brass is ridiculously expensive now ($7.00 for that little piece at Ace Hardware)- but...they didn't have this in the cast iron, like the pipe pieces.

Now I need a new Serp Belt. When the guy replaced the timing belt last year, thought he also replaced this belt but he didn't. It has fine cracks all through it. On a whim I tried to buy and use a Gator Back belt from AutoZone but no matter how I tried it wouldn't go, so I gave up and put the old belt back on for now- I think the Gator Back belt is just a skosh too short for the 850. So, I'll either be picking one up at the dealer or just ordering from FCP- hate that this might be the only part I'm ordering though- I have everything else I need.


'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

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