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Timing Belt Covers - Yay or Nay?


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89 replies to this topic

#26 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:09 PM

I do Preffer to Leave them on, because I know a guy who was driving it`s EA82 without covers for a couple of years, untill he runs on a road that was under reconstruction... there where too many li`l rocks, so one of them did get between one belt and it`s pulley... It did broke the belt, but not just it... Also it broke the pulley, the bearing of the pulley and due to the High Revs. it Cracks the pulley base... And it is a major Job...

So It won`t be Happen if the covers where on...

I preffer the Looks of the engine without them, but it is a High Risk...

so i say: Yay! :)



#27 msteel

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 09:21 AM

I just did my belts and thought I'd add my recent experience to this thread.:horse:

Years ago I had a cam seal leaking badly and the dust seals got soaked with oil. That apparently made their length expand somewhat. When I put the belts and covers back on I made the dust seals fit by cutting small sections out of a few of them.

This time doing the belts I considered leaving the covers off, but I also was considering doing some beach driving soon and decided to put the covers back on for sand protection. I put the dust seals back for that same reason.

Well, I closed everything up and cranked it over, but it turned over really rough and wouldn't start. It turns out, a piece of the dust seals fell off the cover while putting the cover back on (it was the piece next to the water pump where you can't see a thing). So when I cranked it over the piece of rubber must have traveled around the cam sprocket and put it off by two teeth before falling into the bottom of the covers. The belts were fine but it took at least an extra hour to take it apart and redo the belts and covers.

Conclusion that supports covers off:
If I had left the covers off I wouldn't have had this problem.

Conclusion that supports covers-on:
Getting something as soft as a piece of rubber in your belt can make the car not run, without breaking the belts.


P.S. I triple checked the timing marks before I put everything back together to make sure I had it right. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!;)

#28 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 09:33 AM

...

Conclusion that supports covers off:
If I had left the covers off I wouldn't have had this problem.

Conclusion that supports covers-on:
Getting something as soft as a piece of rubber in your belt can make the car not run, without breaking the belts.

...


I Absolutely Agree with You!



#29 grossgary

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 11:14 AM

untill he runs on a road that was under reconstruction... there where too many li`l rocks, so one of them did get between one belt and it`s pulley

it would be tough to prove that a rock got in between and damaged the pulley. if the belt fails it is difficult to sift through the shredded pieces and torn bits and determine exactly what happened. the pulleys shear off due to age, vibration, stripped bolts, bearings seized, belts shredding and grabbing on to something, etc. it's happened numerous times to people here, at www.xt6.net and on the yahoo XT6 groups over the years. i've had it happen once (before i ever thought of removing timing covers). pulleys fail, bolts strip, bearings fail and they can shear off and take parts of the block with them (mine did, jeffs did, uncle ike in the midwest did...there's three off the top of my head...and all had their covers on..i think jeff did). i think age, bearings, belt shreds and stripped (or partially stripped) bolts are more likely to happen than a rock wedging in between.

It turns out, a piece of the dust seals fell off the cover while putting the cover back on (it was the piece next to the water pump where you can't see a thing). So when I cranked it over the piece of rubber must have traveled around the cam sprocket and put it off by two teeth before falling into the bottom of the covers.

how do you know this piece of rubber caused it to jump two teeth? did you see it rip off, spin around with the belt and then jump? i'm just being logical and trying to avoid assumptions. also, had you not had covers this would have never happened.

if non covered belts could easily get fouled by debris then serpentine belts would fail all the time, they are quite exposed...particularly on other model vehicles. but i've never seen that or heard of that happening.

granted...if you got covers in great condition and don't do the work yourself, you are definitely better off having them in place. each person has different desires out of their vehicle. most probably don't like keeping an extra set of belts and pulleys in the trunk as back ups. i don't mind, i can throw them on in a matter of minutes if need be. and the cam sprockets and bolts rust easy, so there are down sides i admit. but i've got extra sprockets and bolts and can paint them so no matter to me.

this isn't a one size fits all deal that's for sure.

#30 970subaru

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 02:56 PM

just run the damn covers. its quite easy for a piece of gravel to get bounced up there, even on road.
only on an airplane would I go without covers.

#31 kingbobdole

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 03:10 PM

I run with the covers on my 6 because I looked at it with out and didn't like how it looked... but my car is also VERY low. On the wagon I do it simply because I have never touched the belts... car was VERY well maintained.But are actually and dont leak near the belts....so its on for me... if it comes time to do something about the wagon or RX... I'll think about it:horse:

#32 SOOBOUTLAW

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 09:18 PM

My dad used to work at a european car shop, and he replaced all 16 valves on a Lotus cuz the guy thought exposed cam gears looked cool, cost him like $1800 to get it fixed.

#33 subarubuddy

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:09 AM

i think you don't need the covers. if the accessory belts don't need covers then why do the timing belts?? its WAY easier to change the belts without the covers and if you are worried about them, then change 'em at 50,000 miles instead of 60,000. they'll be fine.

#34 jeffast

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:38 AM

it would be tough to prove that a rock got in between and damaged the pulley. if the belt fails it is difficult to sift through the shredded pieces and torn bits and determine exactly what happened. the pulleys shear off due to age, vibration, stripped bolts, bearings seized, belts shredding and grabbing on to something, etc. it's happened numerous times to people here, at www.xt6.net and on the yahoo XT6 groups over the years. i've had it happen once (before i ever thought of removing timing covers). pulleys fail, bolts strip, bearings fail and they can shear off and take parts of the block with them (mine did, jeffs did, uncle ike in the midwest did...there's three off the top of my head...and all had their covers on..i think jeff did). i think age, bearings, belt shreds and stripped (or partially stripped) bolts are more likely to happen than a rock wedging in between.

nay i run no covers and all it did was make diagnosing the problem a 30 second job

#35 Milemaker13

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:21 PM

The book says to use the rear cover to aid in timing. What about this if we leave the covers off? I want to leave mine off, they are a pain in the butt.

#36 WoodsWagon

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:41 PM

I made little brackets out of sheetmetal that bolt on behind the cam pully and have a pointer. I made them using the plastic cover as a guide. Works well and looks nice too.

#37 grossgary

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 02:13 PM

time it off the flywheel (manual trans) or flexplate (auto). under the intake manifold is a rubber plug in the bellhousing where you can see the FW or FP and they have the timing marking on them as well. before you go ripping the covers off though, might want to make sure the markings are clearly visible, rust and scuffing can make them unreadable. on the XT6 the middle cover is the least problematic and there is no rear center cover so it's easy to leave that one (i just use 2 or 3 of the bolts in it, not all). then you can still remove the rigth and left front and rear covers. can't recall the EA82 set up...

#38 Gloyale

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 03:13 PM

I've had so much snow pack up in the front of my engine that it stopped my clutch fan and the alternator, PS pump with it. I hate to think what it would have done to my timing belts. Also, I can remove the covers, replace belts and reinstall covers in less than an hour. I've done it on the side of the freeway. I don't know why everybody hates this job so much.

But obviosly the uncovered belts work fine for the most part. Preferencce thing

#39 Prospeeder

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 03:34 PM

yea my covers are gone, no problems yet, the skid plate keeps unwanted things liek snow packs out of the engine bay. It took me like 20 minutes with no covers to re tension my belts. With covers it took me like an entire weekend to do the timing belts

#40 keltik

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 04:00 PM

On my EJ20, the passenger side cam gear shattered - all the chunks got dragged around the inside of the belt covers and messed a lot of other things up.

Now on my EJ18 theres a funny whining noise coming from somewhere in those covers, so when they come off - theyre staying off! The t-belt job will be SO much easier without them. Huzzah for non-interference motors.

#41 azsubaru

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:15 PM

The book says to use the rear cover to aid in timing. What about this if we leave the covers off? I want to leave mine off, they are a pain in the butt.


Just leave the rear covers on. They don't interfere with changing the belts.

#42 calebz

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:32 PM

The book says to use the rear cover to aid in timing. What about this if we leave the covers off? I want to leave mine off, they are a pain in the butt.


I just use the seam between the head and the cam case to line up on. Haven't missed yet.

#43 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:45 PM

I just use the seam between the head and the cam case to line up on. Haven't missed yet.


Yep - point the little dot skyward and you can't miss. One tooth off is pretty wonky looking really. The cover marks are superfluous unless you are cross-eyed or something :lol:

GD

#44 grossgary

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:45 PM

I don't know why everybody hates this job so much.

we don't, we hate the covers! it's nice that yours are friendly and easy to deal with. once you've owned over a dozen you'll realize that often the inserts in the covers strip, or get rusted and seize to the bolt...then they start cracking and falling apart and becoming a complete annoyance. without them the timing belts become a 15 minute job and not "under an hour".

and as for the snow...i'm just guessing and have no proof, but i'm guessing most of us are not packing snow up under the front of the car! i drive through alot of snow and off road and have packed it to the point of being stuck but never had any in the front of the engine bay like that. that would suck.

#45 Gloyale

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:52 PM

we don't, we hate the covers! it's nice that yours are friendly and easy to deal with. once you've owned over a dozen you'll realize that often the inserts in the covers strip, or get rusted and seize to the bolt...then they start cracking and falling apart and becoming a complete annoyance. without them the timing belts become a 15 minute job and not "under an hour".


I have owned 9 and worked on dozens more belonging to friends and customers. I know they can be difficult in some manners but I personaly don't see risking it just to "save time". I work on cars for clients so I can't take shortcuts. perhaps on my own car, but then again why risk it?

#46 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:13 PM

but then again why risk it?


What risk? If you are careful, their's really not much. I dropped a shop rag into the running belts and both snapped, but that was my fualt. I would rather lose a set of belts and only be on the side of the freeway for 10 minutes that to have to be there for 45+ minutes - or more likely get it towed cause it simply would suck to be in the side of the roads around here for that long.

Now if you were going to off-road it, then by all means put the covers on. But why you would off-road with an EA82 engine in the first place is beyond me. I sure as hell wouldn't. All mine are street daily's, and if the snow is high enough that it's getting in my engine bay then I'm staying home, or taking my lifted EA81 out to play (still taking the day off).

GD

#47 Gloyale

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:35 PM

What risk? If you are careful, their's really not much. I dropped a shop rag into the running belts and both snapped, but that was my fualt. I would rather lose a set of belts and only be on the side of the freeway for 10 minutes that to have to be there for 45+ minutes - or more likely get it towed cause it simply would suck to be in the side of the roads around here for that long.

GD


That shop rag thing is the risk right there. Could be anything gettin stuck in there. And the time I changed my T-belts on the side of the highway was in Oregon, just north of that pilot station on I-5. I used to live in Corvallis:) go Beavers!!!

#48 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:55 PM

That's the point tho - I feel it's a fair trade off. Sure they *might* break (mine haven't in 35,000 miles, except due to my shop rag incident), but I will gladly trade the small chance of having them break for making them simple and quick to replace. I carry a spare set, and the single socket I need to change them, and if they break because of age, or because of other damage I'm still ahead because I'm only 10 to 15 minutes late at the most. Plus it makes adjusting the tension, and checking them out for cracks, etc really simple. Routine maintenance becomes a lot easier all around.

Probably not too bad down there by Pilot, but up here IN town - forget it. Probably get hit by a truck and wiped out while I'm under the hood. Plus the cops will give you a hard time for working on your beater 20 year old car in commuter traffic. Down south aint so bad since there's simply less congestion.

GD

#49 DaveT

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 07:48 PM

that often the inserts in the covers strip, or get rusted and seize to the bolt...then they start cracking and falling apart and becoming a complete annoyance.


Her's how I deal with that - Take covers off - clean rust off bolts -reasemble with anti-seize. Don't over tourque on assembly. No problem next time in.

I have been running my 90 beater car without covers since about mid -06 with no trouble. Street only.

#50 Davalos

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 07:57 PM

Does this mean I should take BACK the $84 gasket set I bought? :banana: ... I have never spent so much money on such a small bag of teeenie weenie little gaskets in my life! That would make my day, and I'd use the money to buy a PS Pump ... :headbang:

Q? ... What if you're like me kinda anal like me and you like to power-wash the motor on occasion? ... I assume simply wet is not a problem?




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