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Timing Belt Covers?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 jacobs

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 08:37 PM

After reading about how many of you are running without their timing belt covers, I decided to do the same. However after I saw a serpentine belt that had been damaged by gravel on my son's car, I'm questioning the wisdom of leaving my timing belts exposed as I drive on non paved roads a lot. Is there anyone out there that has left their covers off and drive on gravel roads a lot and have checked their belts for damage?

#2 St Nickolas

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:04 PM

I wouldn't do it. Put those covers back on! I changed the t belt on a VW Rabbit years ago. I dropped a 10mm nut (small) and it ended up between the belt and a gear. Soon as I turned it over the belt snapped.

I've had times when the knurled nuts stripped out of the covers. Zip ties have kept them together when that happened.

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#3 Subaru_dude

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:07 PM

there's plenty of people that don't have them... and as long as you don't leave nuts in them, that won't happen.. lol. if your subie has the splash guards like the 4wd should have, there shouldn't be much of a chance of any gravel bouncing up around the timing belts.

#4 calebz

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:10 PM

I run with no timing belt covers.

However, I run on pavement only. If I were to spend a lot of time on gravel or dirt roads, I would definitely have the covers on there.

#5 Subaru_dude

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:38 PM

^
what he said

#6 MilesFox

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:00 PM

once again i should advocate open belts. go for it. no problems snow, water, mud, gravel. 6 foot reeds, cattails and grass. trips 'cross state and the like.

the ONLY reported FAILURE was due to a loose rag under the hood getting wrapped up in the crank pulley. on MY car. so leave the rags in the trunk and you will be ok.

i invented open belts. check the timing belt article in the usrm:clap:

#7 rallyruss

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:10 PM

once again i should advocate open belts. go for it. no problems snow, water, mud, gravel. 6 foot reeds, cattails and grass. trips 'cross state and the like.

the ONLY reported FAILURE was due to a loose rag under the hood getting wrapped up in the crank pulley. on MY car. so leave the rags in the trunk and you will be ok.

i invented open belts. check the timing belt article in the usrm:clap:


hmm "invented open belts"? thats a but presumptuous there now mr. fox.
I was running no covers on VW rabbits way back in the day because we thought it was "cool". it did however wear out the belts sooner than normal.

Caleb has the most logical idea.

I have no covers on my RallyX RX but thats because the crank pully would not come loose to fix a leaky waterpump the night before a race so out of desperation it broke the front cover off and fixed the leak.

all the others have covers.

so now here we go:horse: agaian :rolleyes:

#8 mikeshoup

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:14 PM

I run without covers on both my soobs. The XT, mostly because it came that way, and the wagon, well, that's because they broke in the midst of removal :lol:

Maybe I'll go to a junkyard and pull a good set of belt covers... maybe.

#9 DerFahrer

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:21 PM

Needless to say, yes your timing belts are subject to the elements when you do this, and will suffer in life expectancy as a result.

But the beauty is that without the covers, it takes you all of 15 minutes to change the belts! So, who cares? :banana:

The only reason I put them back on my XT is for the sake of originality.

#10 stephenw22

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:19 PM

I've been running without covers on 4 different subarus for almost 6 years now without problems. There have been 2 belt failures - 1 was from re-using an old belt that I didn't know how old it was, and the other one was from a seized tensioner that was 300,000km old.

My wife and I drive about 8 miles (13km) each day on gravel roads in our Subarus. We've been doing this every day for about 3 1/2 years now, through all kinds of weather. With new timing belts on the cars, I haven't had a failure in the last 2 years, with about 40,000km each set of belts.

I'm completely sold on going cover-free. I completely agree with Miles that no covers are the way to go, and I haven't seen any direct reduction in t-belt life from gravel, mud, sticks, and other miscellaneous crap under the hood. Last year, I even stopped carrying spare belts in the back of the cars.

#11 Loony

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 01:31 AM

not too far back i had a soob come into my shop with no covers and a alt belt snapped then wrapped up in the t belt, the covers take me a total of 10 min to remove and i'm to the belt of course in my time being a mechanic i've probably done around 40-50 t belts on soobs so a part of that time is expierience, i say keep the covers :)

#12 daeron

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:16 AM

question: didn't any of these cars come with a dust shield that bolted onto the chassis, below the engine? and, wouldn't having one of these help prevent any road debris possibly injuring the timing belts? I mean, my car has no covers, but i have removed them from other cars i have had in the past (a geo, a honda, and a few others i cant recall) and my car was old when i got it (87, 135K+) so i wasnt shocked NOT to see them..

but i have to agree that the idea of replacing the annoying bolts that strip themselves out with a few zip ties is a good compromise if youre concerned about it. the bolts are a royal PITA... but i am planning on putting my covers back on with zip ties tomorrow, or soon.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:55 AM

10 minutes to remove? I want video to prove that. On an EA82 you first have to remove the crank pulley, and the bolts for the belt covers are almost always stripped. With a die grinder maybe.

Besides that, it's still near impossible to change the belts on the side of the road with the covers in place. Without the covers you can slip them over the crank pulley without removing it, you can check the tension any time you like, repack the grease in the tensioners, and easily inspect the belts for wear or crack.

15k now for me on no covers, and old belts. I removed the covers just in case since the belts are old (209k when I got the car, so no telling) and I keep an extra set in the trunk if they break. I drive around to construction sites all day - I'm a drywall estimator right now. I see plenty of rocks, and other debris. Nary a scratch to be seen on my belts.

GD

#14 jacobs

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 11:37 AM

Thanks everyone for your input. I've decided to leave my covers off for now due to the fact I'm running Chinese timing belts. I've had premature failures with Chinese bearings but I thought it was just coincidence but after talking to a bearing supplier who admitted that the Chinese bearings weren't nearly as durable, I think I'd better keep a close watch on my timing belts. In the future, when it comes to parts that can leave you stranded, I'll stay with American or Japanese if given the choice.

#15 Tom63050

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 09:47 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. I've decided to leave my covers off for now due to the fact I'm running Chinese timing belts. I've had premature failures with Chinese bearings but I thought it was just coincidence but after talking to a bearing supplier who admitted that the Chinese bearings weren't nearly as durable, I think I'd better keep a close watch on my timing belts. In the future, when it comes to parts that can leave you stranded, I'll stay with American or Japanese if given the choice.


If you have the time and money, put some good belts on now and throw the Chinese belts in the trunk as emergency spares. Belts always break when it's inconvenient.

Better yet, toss the Chinese belts and put new spares in the trunk; why put on a crappy used spare? Also, adjust the belts every 10K miles, since as the driver's-side belt stretches, it retards the ignition timing.

#16 MilesFox

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 02:17 AM

10 minutes sounds too easy. i would like to introduce you to a thing called RUST on those little 10mm bolts and the molded in brass threadings. the 10 minutes it takes to remove the cover you would be done already.

gotta love removing crank pulleys and ac assemblies?

i prefer 10 minutes and 2 tools myself (12mm deep and 7/8 sockets, ratchet. makes that 3 tools i guess....)

spares in the trunk. i accumulate used or pull-off belts faster than i can break them.

not too far back i had a soob come into my shop with no covers and a alt belt snapped then wrapped up in the t belt, the covers take me a total of 10 min to remove and i'm to the belt of course in my time being a mechanic i've probably done around 40-50 t belts on soobs so a part of that time is expierience, i say keep the covers :)



#17 NorthWet

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 04:58 AM

For those who want to retain their covers, but don't want the hassels of stuck bolts and spun inserts, but also don't want to deal with zip-ties, a suggestion:

Get a set of longer bolts, thread them in from the backside of the insert so they stick forwards, put the outer covers on and secure with nuts (I use NyLoks). Never a worry about spun inserts again, because you can put a wrench on the bolt head if you need to.

#18 chazmataz

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 01:18 AM

thats the idea i have for when i put my 86 back together, if i decide to put covers back on that is.

For those who want to retain their covers, but don't want the hassels of stuck bolts and spun inserts, but also don't want to deal with zip-ties, a suggestion:

Get a set of longer bolts, thread them in from the backside of the insert so they stick forwards, put the outer covers on and secure with nuts (I use NyLoks). Never a worry about spun inserts again, because you can put a wrench on the bolt head if you need to.



#19 heartless

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 07:16 AM

i run with the covers on.

first time doing the belts had a heck of a time with the brass inserts - finally got them all off - removed the brass insert completely and used a longer bolt, flat washer, lock washer and nut...
never thought about using zipties....




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