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Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

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F250
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Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by F250 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:53 am

I've just completed the complete timing belt service (including water pump, tensioner, idler, cam seals, and both VVT cam hubs) on my daughter's '07 S60 2.5T, and am getting ready to start dialing in on the timing settings with the typical "trial and error" cam gear adjustment process.  

Here's my question, and please forgive my ignorance, but my being new to VVT hubs and my forgetfulness created quite a mess for me last night.  I forgot to reinstall the VVT hub plugs when I started the engine, and managed to puke about a quart of oil all over the brand new timing belt, brand new serp belt, and the entire front of the engine (and slung oil all over the hood, firewall, windshield, etc.).  Can I simply remove and clean the two belts, or are they toast since they've been soaked in oil?

Thanks ahead of time.
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by MadeInJapan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:41 am

Depends on how long they were soaked... I would remove, wipe and reinstall...these are robust belts that last for a long time, oil on them for over-night shouldn't ruin them. Although these are not expensive items either (for the most part), so if you want complete peace of mind, you could replace them.
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by F250 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:52 am

Thanks. I've had another guy suggest soaking them overnight in a warm soapy water solution and letting them dry and go from there. The more I think about it, the more confident I feel with this approach for the timing belt, but the seemingly absorbent nature of the serp belt has me feeling cautious, and it's only a $30 belt, anyway.
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by abscate » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:03 am

Wipe off oil with paper towels
No solvents
Agitate in three bowls of hot water and lots of soap or change out solution three times.

Rinse with clean water

Let dry - evaluate for oil residue - if none found, use and enjoy
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by F250 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:56 am

Thanks for the extra input, abscate.

I've been hitting this topic on several forums and doing some extra online reading as well. Seems like the soak with dish detergent approach is the most common forum response I'm getting, and the other online results often suggest using Brakeclean. I'm not totally comfortable with a strong solvent, but might use it as a final "wipe down" approach after soaking and washing in dish detergent.
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My Garage includes '02 F250 7.3L Diesel w/285K, '03 Excursion 7.3L Diesel w/196K, '06 Outback Limited 2.5L w/228K, '99 4Runner 3.4L 2WD w/220K

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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by MadeInJapan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:16 pm

Btw, some dish detergents are better than others- Dawn gets oil out! I don't know about others so much.
'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by F250 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:37 pm

Yep. I'm stopping by Walmart on the way home to collect a few more cleaning supplies., and Dawn is on the list.
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My Garage includes '02 F250 7.3L Diesel w/285K, '03 Excursion 7.3L Diesel w/196K, '06 Outback Limited 2.5L w/228K, '99 4Runner 3.4L 2WD w/220K

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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by abscate » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:31 pm

Dawn (TM) is actually widely recognized as the best degreaser for oily birds
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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by F250 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:53 am

Timing belt cleaned up really nicely. I'm keeping it and using it.

The serp belt, though, has a slightly tacky feel to it, and I'm almost afraid of it gunking up the grooves on the pulleys. I think I'll hit it with a little Brakleen this evening and see if it "dries up" a little more. Otherwise, I believe I'll feel better about replacing it.

Cleaning off the front end of the engine was much less nasty than I had expected. I bought a small $8 kiddie pool at Walmart with my cleaning chemicals on the way home, and it was a perfect fit under the front end of the engine. Using heavy towels to guard critical electrical connectors and the alternator, I used two cans of Brakleen to freshen up all the gears and pulleys and back timing cover. The fact that it had already drip-dried since the night before and the force of the Brakleen spray, it all came clean quickly and is now dry and very nice looking. I topped it all off by wiping down the top areas of the engine bay with another clean rag and Scrubbing Bubbles (spraying the rag with the cleaner, not the engine bay, and then just wiping with the wetted rag). The whole engine bay shines now.

For tonight... re-install the belts and get her fired up again to begin the timing adjustments.
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My Garage includes '02 F250 7.3L Diesel w/285K, '03 Excursion 7.3L Diesel w/196K, '06 Outback Limited 2.5L w/228K, '99 4Runner 3.4L 2WD w/220K

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Re: Timing Belt and Serp Belt Question

Post by zanzabar » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:44 pm

Re-tensioning those VVT hubs is a tricky job, isn't it? Do you have the proper procedure figured out and whatever special tools are needed?

When I did my timing belt I left the cam seals alone and didn't move or adjust the VVT hubs at all. But I've been wondering ever since how to check for their proper alignment. Can someone explain this for me?
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