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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old April 16th, 2018, 09:33   #1
FlexYJeeper
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Default "STOP Replacing TIMING BELTS!" (My Thoughts)

One of the local TDI owners sent me this as he was nearing a belt replacement.


Video:
https://youtu.be/yY6dduFcRvI


Having detailed for several years in the marine industry I will admit 303 aerospace protectant is incredible stuff. However i am skeptical especially when it comes to high wear items, Specifically ones that can cause catastrophic failure to my ALH. when you change your timing belt at your 80k interval you also replace items like your water pump, tensioner, and pulleys. Which if failed can also cause pistons to touch valves resulting in catastrophic failure.

The way i see it, you have to remove the timing belt to replace all the accessories. An OEM belts alone is $44 from Cascade German and even less if you buy the complete timing belt kit (standard kit runs $240 from Cascade).

Worse case you destroy your engine and have to replace it. Around here a used ALH runs $800-1300. I got lucky and found one for $575 USD but had to drive to Canada to get it. For the piece of mind I'll replace my timing belt.

Im really interested to hear all of your thoughts on this!


the same guy has a video about using 303 on the treads of a tire claiming tit will make them last 200k but that's a whole nother can of worms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD8WFiDGx4Q
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Old April 16th, 2018, 09:47   #2
oilhammer
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That's funny... LOL.

So, here is the deal: in most cases, the timing belt can and often does outlast the other components. And, there is obviously some margin of error and that is a big range depending on lots of factors.

I have seen the long life (late 2001+) timing belt go 186k miles on a manual 2002 NB, and it failed... but its failure was probably made critical due to the water pump that had been leaking coolant all over for quite some time.

And just a couple weeks ago, I replaced the original, untouched, early style belt on a 2000 NB... and it was an automatic... at 187k miles! The belt looked awful, the water pump had some stainage, all the roller bearings had a tiny bit of wear, but the car did come in still intact.

I've seen LOTS of ALH belts, both early and late, go to ~150k or so. I'd certainly never recommend that, and in many cases they were nearing failure "at any minute". Some don't last as long. Rarely can they not make 100k miles, at least around here, which is pretty good.

I think if penny pinching pushes you to scrimp out on something like a timing belt, you really have purchased the wrong car in the first place. Unfortunately, the George Costanza wallet squeezing types often do find their way into the driver's seat of a TDI. And it is sad, because it never ends well.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 10:17   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
I think if penny pinching pushes you to scrimp out on something like a timing belt, you really have purchased the wrong car in the first place. Unfortunately, the George Costanza wallet squeezing types often do find their way into the driver's seat of a TDI. And it is sad, because it never ends well

thats the crazy thing, i used a ALH for example because that what i have and the guy who sent me the video has. in the video the guy says the timing belt was for a honda
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Old April 16th, 2018, 11:28   #4
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Well, most later Hondas have a 120k mile interval for the belt. If that isn't long enough, I am not sure what is. Some are up to 150k.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 18:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlexYJeeper View Post
thats the crazy thing, i used a ALH for example because that what i have and the guy who sent me the video has. in the video the guy says the timing belt was for a honda
In the video description, the guy also says "for non-interference engines."

You know... because who wants to get sued for bad advice causing major engine damage?
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Old April 16th, 2018, 18:24   #6
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“Stop replacing timing belts, and start replacing engines (especially all these ones I have here for sell”

That’s what I first thought was gonna follow when I went to view the video. lol.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 19:38   #7
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So this guy actually bakes his timing belts in an oven- interesting. Seems like a yahoo.
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Old April 16th, 2018, 19:52   #8
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He also mentioned serpentine belt. He may be looking at how long they used to last but now, with the magic 303, they last so much longer without cracking. Aren't most belts these days using EPDM which IS a magic compound that makes belts last a long time without cracking? I have a belt wear gauge free from Gates because they wear out with no signs of cracking so the only way to tell if belt replacement is needed is by checking the wear, not looking for cracking.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 04:10   #9
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Excellent point about the poly rib accessory belts not cracking up like they used to.

I have customers with the 2.5L A5 cars that I eventually replaced those belts at 200k miles "just because", but they still "looked" fine.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 06:19   #10
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Quote:
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Excellent point about the poly rib accessory belts not cracking up like they used to.
I have customers with the 2.5L A5 cars that I eventually replaced those belts at 200k miles "just because", but they still "looked" fine.
On a new poly rib belt, the peaks are flat. As they wear, that peak will get sharper.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 08:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benIV View Post
“Stop replacing timing belts, and start replacing engines (especially all these ones I have here for sell”

That’s what I first thought was gonna follow when I went to view the video. lol.
Lol. Well, for some automakers we're not far off that!

When Ford first came out with the 1.0L Ecoboost in the Fiesta and Focus, I was looking over a cutaway they had of the engine at the Detroit auto show while I was there with some fellow TDI nerds. It has an oil-bathed timing belt, which means it has to be behind a completely oil-sealed front engine cover.

I inquired as to what the change interval on that belt was to the Ford representatives there, they said it's a "lifetime" component, it was not intended to be serviced.

So, being the smart ass I am, I had to ask, "OK, so how many miles are considered a "lifetime" in the industry?"

They flatly told me "150,000 miles approximately." Which in the grand scheme of things with the advancements in materials and construction of timing belts, I have no doubt it can in fact go that long. But to some of us, 150,000 miles is just broken in... The latest TDIs are approaching that 150,000 mile change interval as a recommendation now.

Anyway, EPDM accessory belts are like magic. So many of those Conti accessory belts I remove at 100,000 miles during a timing belt job still look great. Very impressive stuff.

Some customers like to ask for "the green stripe" belt because it will indicate when it's worn. That and they have a great marketing gimmick about how long-lived the belt is. Continental has quietly been producing great accessory belts that last just as long if not longer, they just don't have a built in color-change to indicate when it's due for replacement.

Cascade German recently sent me an accessory belt for an ALH by "opti-belt." The material appears to be fairly similar to the Continental belt, but it has a red layer embedded into it. When it wears down far enough, the red will be exposed to let you know it's worn enough for replacement. Sent it to me as a trial. I installed it on a customer's car last week.

For most people, I have high faith in the Conti EPDM belts and just advise them to change it with every timing belt, and that's generally sufficient unless you get a significant amount of oil or diesel leaking on it consistently or something in that system isn't rolling smoothly.
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