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Discussion Starter #1
Even though I have two T3 cars, and have told other people to tension the timing belt with a tension gauge, I have never actually done mine this way.:eek:

Now that I've freshened up one of my motors, and done the idler pulley mod, I'm using the tension gauge and have noticed that I get different readings depending on how I check it and was wondering what you guys were doing.

Rockers loose of course, spin the motor over a few times, set the gauge between the cams, now here's where it changes....

I'll release the gauge and it'll say 100 ft. lbs., then it'll slowly drop down to around 90-95 ft. lbs. Then if I give the belt a little twist between the tensioner pulley and exhaust cam, it'll drop to around 85 ft. lbs. I've also gave the crank bolt a little wiggle back and forth and got it to drop also.

So the question is, do you go by the reading you get as soon as you release the gauge, do you wait a couple of minutes, or do you do little things like twisting the belt, to get it to read as low as it can.

Everybody's thoughts are greatly appreciated, of course Jackson's input would be very nice (hint hint)since he's done like a 1,000 of them!:p
 

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IIRC, I was told you are supposed to turn both cams towards each other to loosen the belt as much as possible where the gauge reads, so the tension is as uniform as possible.
 

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IIRC, I was told you are supposed to turn both cams towards each other to loosen the belt as much as possible where the gauge reads, so the tension is as uniform as possible.
Matt I've seen this too. It doesn't make sense to me -how can you ratate the cams with the pins in them? also if you could the cams will turn away from each other when you tighten the belt.Been there -done that.
 

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Even though I have two T3 cars, and have told other people to tension the timing belt with a tension gauge, I have never actually done mine this way.:eek:

Now that I've freshened up one of my motors, and done the idler pulley mod, I'm using the tension gauge and have noticed that I get different readings depending on how I check it and was wondering what you guys were doing.

Rockers loose of course, spin the motor over a few times, set the gauge between the cams, now here's where it changes....

I'll release the gauge and it'll say 100 ft. lbs., then it'll slowly drop down to around 90-95 ft. lbs. Then if I give the belt a little twist between the tensioner pulley and exhaust cam, it'll drop to around 85 ft. lbs. I've also gave the crank bolt a little wiggle back and forth and got it to drop also.

So the question is, do you go by the reading you get as soon as you release the gauge, do you wait a couple of minutes, or do you do little things like twisting the belt, to get it to read as low as it can.

Everybody's thoughts are greatly appreciated, of course Jackson's input would be very nice (hint hint)since he's done like a 1,000 of them!:p
I had the same problem when I did mine. My gauge was stiff and the reading would change like yours. I let mine sit overnight and it would still change . I finally set it to 95lbs and left it again overnite and said to heck with it. So far it's doing okay. have a couple of thousand miles on it and so far so good. When the weather got warmer my gauge now seems to work like I think it should, it snaps back as soon as you release the handle so I probably ought to re check mine. Sorry not much help.Jackson offered to check my gauge but I figured I'd wait till I break another belt.LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Matt I've seen this too. It doesn't make sense to me -how can you ratate the cams with the pins in them? also if you could the cams will turn away from each other when you tighten the belt.Been there -done that.
When you're checking belt tension, you've already timed it, so the pins are removed. Also, I thought Jackson says to rotate the cams toward each other when someone is trying to check tension with the rockers tight. Didn't think it was needed when the rocker shafts are loose.:shrug:
 

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of course Jackson's input would be very nice (hint hint)since he's done like a 1,000 of them!:p
You are probably right about doing this 1000 times lol.

Anyways,what Matt said is the way I have been doing it and telling everyone to do it. I say by not pulling the "belt slack" to where the gauge sits will get you the wrong reading everytime. Like when the rockers are still tight it will be the wrong reading for sure. What happens is you have at least one valve open at any given time. What that means the valvespring is compressed and what that does is tries to move the cam to close it causing enough pressure on the belt to give an incorrect reading. What I tell everone to is pull the cams toward each other with a pair of 19mm wrenches so all that "belt slack" is where the gauge reads. I dont mean gorrilla grip it and loosen up the bolt or anything like that. Just enought to get all the slack to where the gauge reads.

As for the pins they should be out for checking tension or you will really not get the right reading. They are only for getting the cams in time and after that they should be pulled.
 

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Ok then, when I get home tonight I'll pull the cams together and set the tension finally! I probably checked the tension 20 times last night!
 

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Got it to consistently read around 85 ftlbs with a used belt, so I'm going with that. Guess I'll find out this week, got the motor set back in the car last night. Guess if it runs more then 20 miles, I'll say it was a success! HAHA
 

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Someone needs to make a U-Tube video ( please ),showing the procedure from start to finish.There seems to be alot of gray areas for the first timers.

Broken timing belts is very expensive.
 
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