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Old 03-20-2014, 09:59 PM   #21
Articwhite2008
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

84k. Belt looks ok, but the sides were worn to metal. You should just take the top cover off, and inspect your timing belt. Turn your car on and off then check again.

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Old 03-21-2014, 07:55 AM   #22
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Articwhite2008 View Post
I change my timing belt following this guide a week ago. Thanks! First time ever doing this

some notes on problems I ran into.

My Cams immediately shifted when removing the old belt. Make sure you mark the timing and try to use a thin brush (paint pen, possible a sharpy) so you can match it up as close as possible.

The cam lock tool i tried to make out of 3/16 steel would not fit since the cam slots didnt line up leveled on my car. Was slightly v shaped. Very slight tho, I took an angle grinder to it and used a cheap sparkplug gap tool to get it just right so my timing marks lined up.

Make sure to use a 6mm allen tool on the Timing Belt tensioner. I fumbled with getting the timing belt of for about 2 hrs (making the tool and fixing timing while slipping on the belt) cause i didn't realize I was using 1 size too small and it wasn't getting enough leverage to pull the tension back enough.
Did you change any seals at the same time - i.e camshaft, crankshaft seals ?

...
- 2008 Silver Astra 3dr ' XR ' 5 spd

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Old 03-22-2014, 02:10 AM   #23
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Nope, not required. No leak from those areas.

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Old 04-11-2014, 07:42 AM   #24
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Thanks for the write-up - I would never have figured out how to lock the flywheel on my own! I have 2 German manuals for the Astra, but neither shows how to do this.

My cams started shifting the second I took tension off the belt, so I made a cheesy "fixture" consisting of two 1" x .125" aluminum strips cut to just fit between teeth on the sprockets. They force the cam sprockets to move in the same direction, and apparently they didn't want to, so it held everything in place nicely.

I also had to replace the non-tensioning idler pulley - there was a load of grease spitting out from the bearing.

Getting the new cam belt back on sure was a PITA - I ended up trying several different sequences, with placing it around the crank pulley first eventually succeeding - but it took me a good 1/2 hour in aggregate. Anybody have a better method?
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:42 PM   #25
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by burgermeister View Post
Thanks for the write-up - I would never have figured out how to lock the flywheel on my own! I have 2 German manuals for the Astra, but neither shows how to do this.

My cams started shifting the second I took tension off the belt, so I made a cheesy "fixture" consisting of two 1" x .125" aluminum strips cut to just fit between teeth on the sprockets. They force the cam sprockets to move in the same direction, and apparently they didn't want to, so it held everything in place nicely.

I also had to replace the non-tensioning idler pulley - there was a load of grease spitting out from the bearing.

Getting the new cam belt back on sure was a PITA - I ended up trying several different sequences, with placing it around the crank pulley first eventually succeeding - but it took me a good 1/2 hour in aggregate. Anybody have a better method?
Agreed, a very thorough and excellent writeup!! Thanks to Astra La Vista! for taking the time and trouble to document this!!

Just a couple of "lessons learned" from this exercise:

- I installed the timing belt over the outer cam sprocket first, then the crank, and finally the inner sprocket. It seemed to go fairly easily using that method.

- Although I had a 12 point 19 mm socket, it was a deep, not shallow one, and I realized the clearance was insufficient to get it on the serpentine tensioner, so I used a 12 point 19 mm box wrench instead. This had the added advantage of being able to use a 1/2" extension thru the smaller end of the wrench to provide leverage of moving the tensioner back by positioning one end against the oil pan, cushioning with a rag (pic below).

-Anytime working with cams, cranks, distributors, etc, I always mark them in relation to the body or block (pic below) especially since the two camshaft marks don't really offset each other as expected.

- Oddly, the hardest part of the job for me was figuring out how to lock the flywheel, it's not inherently obvious from the provided photo that the rather small slot is there. After a few minutes of head scratching, figured it out, and used an 1/8" Allen key inserted longways and it worked like a charm. (pic below).

- The entire job took about 2.5 hours, and I probably could have done it in 2 as ALV mentioned. Even with 103K miles, the old belt was in good shape, no cracks or wear evident (pic below).

-I chose to take ALV's advice in the follow up post on this topic, and removed the valve cover to lock the cams. As mentioned, no issues reusing the neoprene gasket. I also managed to secure the OEM cam lock tool (pic below) Kent-Moore PN 6628 for $23 on eBay. If you're not prone to making one yourself, they do pop on eBay for sale.

Both the timing and serpentine belts were sourced from RockAuto for about $70, and the bolt from the dealer for about $6. Along with the price for the tool, the whole job cost about $100. I'm sure many will benefit with saving some serious $$ by doing it themselves. Really pretty straightforward, and again, thanks to Astra La Vista! for the great write up!!
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Last edited by Astra08; 04-29-2014 at 10:55 PM..

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Old 04-30-2014, 08:06 AM   #26
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra08 View Post
. Even with 103K miles, the old belt was in good shape, no cracks or wear evident (pic below).
How were your seals' condition - i.e camshaft, crankshaft ?

...
- 2008 Silver Astra 3dr ' XR ' 5 spd

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Old 04-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #27
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

No issues there as well.

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Old 08-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #28
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Happy Camshaft Sprockets Replacement


I want to add more to this thread with the difference that I did replaced my Camshaft Sprockets due to the annoying rattle noise and the code P0011. I did replaced my cam solenoids and cam actuators the rattle noise was still going on. So, in order to do that I purchased an special timing belt tool (eBay item number: 221431943475). 19mm Offset Box Wrench from Harbor Freight (item: 32042). Also, I treated myself with an brand new digital torque wrench by Eestwood (eastwood.com). Check picture001_01. I am not seasoned into this sometimes I got to the point of no place to go. So, here is my little input:
Among the important things to know:
(1) Have the right tools.
(2) To lock the crankshaft look the picture in this thread of member Astra08: IMG_0739.JPG. It was very helpful. I did use the serpentine tensioner locking pin from my special tools. It did work great.
(3) If you have the special tools make sure to lock the camshafts' both ends and the crankshaft: all together. The whole thing will not move whatsoever that simple. Of course at TDC. That guarantees you professional installation. See picture002_01.
(4) The timing belt installation become easy if you try to fit last the belt over the timing belt pulley (not with the tensioner) with a regular flat head screwdriver push gentle downward like it was an sleeve.
(5) Follow torque specifications.

After five weeks of commuting about 2000 miles on it. I don't see any issues whatsoever. The rattle noise is all gone: cero, nada. It did come from one of the sprockets.

Check this out I find out a very cool bulletin by Auto Service Tools from UK: just Google AST4995 and open the PDF file.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra La Vista! View Post
PS: This procedure may or may not be exactly the same for a car equipped with an automatic transmission -- especially the step involving how to "lock" the flywheel ring gear to prevent engine rotation. If you have an auto and are considering doing your own timing belt, I would advise jumping ahead to this step to see if it is even possible after jacking up the car but before taking the wheel off.
Has anyone changed the timing belt on an Astra with an automatic transmission? Any additional tips relating to the automatic?

Thanks!

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Old 09-19-2015, 04:59 AM   #30
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Excellent post.

I would add only a few points:

1. It is only the later Z18XER VVT DOHC engine which has an external water pump. Earlier Z18XE DOHC motors have the same configuration as the 1600cc DOHC motors - with the water pump driven by the cam belt. On these earlier engines it is only sensible to replace the water pump at the same time as the timing belt.

2. When I do this job I never remove the accessory belt tensioner. Simply attach a long spanner to the tensioner wheel and move the entire assembly against its internal spring pressure to slacken the belt. Hold in place while you pull the belt off. Reverse procedure on reassembly. This makes replacing the accessory belt a 10 minute job.

3. In most cases the crankshaft can be locked simply by inserting a suitable metal rod through one of the holes in the crank pulley. This will then lock against the block itself. Simple, but effective, and cheaper than buying the tool which locks the ring gear on the flywheel. It works on an auto, too.

4. I would never do this job without the special camshaft locking tool to hold the camshaft gears firmly in place. These tools are extremely cheap, freely available from places like Amazon, eBay UK, etc, and save a lot of heartache and guesswork. Get the valve timing wrong and you will wreck your motor. Always buy a metal tool - some of the very cheap (Chinese?) copies on sale are made by pouring resin into a mould made from the genuine article. Be warned.

5. I have four of these cars and change the timing belts every 60,000 miles or four years, whichever comes first. Note that the manufacturer's intervals assume the car is fitted with a genuine factory belt manufactured to the manufacturer's specification. If I use any aftermarket pattern part I am unable to tell its quality relative to the factory belt and therefore always err on the safe side by changing more frequently!

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Old 09-23-2015, 09:44 PM   #31
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

I'm using this tutorial to replace my timing belt and I'm stuck at the crank pulley bolt. I rotate the engine clockwise to TDC, put it in first gear, and have my assistant slam on the brake. The crank pulley bolt is then still free to move the motor?! Therefore, I cannot remove this bolt because when I apply torque to the bolt counter-clockwise I'm just spinning the engine backwards. Not sure if this is a dumb question or if someone else ran into this? Help is much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 09-29-2015, 09:45 AM   #32
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by skaplan16 View Post
I'm using this tutorial to replace my timing belt and I'm stuck at the crank pulley bolt. I rotate the engine clockwise to TDC, put it in first gear, and have my assistant slam on the brake. The crank pulley bolt is then still free to move the motor?! Therefore, I cannot remove this bolt because when I apply torque to the bolt counter-clockwise I'm just spinning the engine backwards. Not sure if this is a dumb question or if someone else ran into this? Help is much appreciated.

Thanks!
Try locking the flywheel with a small allen wrench. It mentions this in the tutorial and there are pictures in this thread where to place it.

...
08 Salsa Red Astra XR 5dr 5spd
Spt Pkg, Prem. Aud. and Sunroof

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Old 10-19-2015, 01:04 PM   #33
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

For an AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION car, being in park and stepping on the brake will not prevent the crank pulley bolt from rotating. Locking the flywheel via the access port mentioned in other posts will work.

There is a FLAT TOOL that may be provided with the camshaft locking tool kit. That may be more robust than other small-diameter tools; avoid random small-diameter tools.

Also, there are several cases of the TIMING BELT IDLER PULLEY spraying grease on relatively low mileage cars, so that may be a high failure-rate part. It is cheap so you might consider replacing that while doing the timing belt.

No issues noted with TIMING BELT TENSIONERS, but they are cheap and easy so may be worth changing for preventative maintenance purposes.

Finally, the ACCESSORY BELT TENSIONER was spraying grease and failing on my car at 40k miles. That caused a squealing noise when using AC.

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:04 PM   #34
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Happy Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

thanks for the detailed write-up

I did it !

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Old 11-16-2015, 01:22 PM   #35
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Thank you for the write up! This will help me greatly in a few weeks.

I was wondering if anyone that has a shop manual can tell me the torque specs for the timing belt tensioner pulley and idler pulley bolts? Additionally if they are reusable or torque to yield?

There is a high pitched whine that becomes audible between 40-50 mph and 60-70 mph. It seems to correspond to engine speed and load. I'm hoping it's related to the one of the parts under the timing cover and not the transmission.

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Old 12-01-2015, 06:18 PM   #36
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by @dmin View Post
Thank you for the write up! This will help me greatly in a few weeks.

I was wondering if anyone that has a shop manual can tell me the torque specs for the timing belt tensioner pulley and idler pulley bolts? Additionally if they are reusable or torque to yield?

There is a high pitched whine that becomes audible between 40-50 mph and 60-70 mph. It seems to correspond to engine speed and load. I'm hoping it's related to the one of the parts under the timing cover and not the transmission.
Here you go:

Cylinder Block Ribbed V-Belt Tensioner 50 Nm (37 ft. lbs.)
Cylinder Head Timing Belt Deflection Pulley 25 Nm (18 ft. lbs.)
Cylinder Head Timing Belt Tensioner 20 Nm (15 ft. lbs.)

These are not torque to yield, but for a couple of bucks each it's good to use new.

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Old 12-07-2015, 12:22 PM   #37
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra08 View Post
Here you go:

Cylinder Block Ribbed V-Belt Tensioner 50 Nm (37 ft. lbs.)
Cylinder Head Timing Belt Deflection Pulley 25 Nm (18 ft. lbs.)
Cylinder Head Timing Belt Tensioner 20 Nm (15 ft. lbs.)

These are not torque to yield, but for a couple of bucks each it's good to use new.
Thank you!

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Old 12-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #38
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

My timing belt tensioner was in a really bad shape at 120kkm and I had it replaced together with the belt.

...
09 Astra XR (manual, 3-door)

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Old 02-25-2016, 09:31 PM   #39
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

I'm changing my timing belt this weekend, will also be attempting to change the timing belt tensioner.
To anyone who has changed the tensioner, once bolting the new tensioner in and putting the belt on do you just release the pin and the tension automatically sets itself? Or is it necessary to manually adjust the tension somehow?
I have been playing with the new tensioner and it doesn't seem like there is any way to manually adjust the tension but I could be missing something.

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Old 02-26-2016, 12:39 AM   #40
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Default Re: How To - Timing Belt Replacement

As noted above it self adjusts, just be gentle when "releasing" tension.

I think you should change the idler at the same time; inexpensive Gates kits come with the belt, tensioner and idler. Above you will note at least one bolt is recommended to be replaced.

My accessory belt and tensioner were failing at 40k miles so you might change them whist doing this project.

edit - for more info, there are a few guides linked to saturnfans.com and you can always pick up the hayes manual

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