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Author Topic: Cam belt - age over mileage?  (Read 332 times)

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woolley11

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Cam belt - age over mileage?
« on: 23 February 2021, 13:18:14 »

Just checking on the cam belt on my car that I acquired back and put back on the road late last year.

Iíve an invoice from February 2009 for full kit replacement.

The mileage in that time has only gone from 52700 then to about 56650 now

Am I on borrowed time as the belt is 12 years old but hardly turned a wheel?

Appreciate they can degrade over time.

I guess the stock answer is if in any doubt to replace it 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Doctor Gollum

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #1 on: 23 February 2021, 13:20:55 »

That's 3 times the interval. Mileage is irrelevant.

Put another way, replacing the belt is cheaper than replacing the valves ::)
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deviator

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #2 on: 23 February 2021, 13:29:01 »

As above, the rubber degrades over time.

I would also question if you need a car, <5k in 12 years? Cars need to be driven or the maintenance cost will be a lot more. Brakes don't like to be stood, calipers seize, pads shadow onto the discs. Tyres mis-shape themselves when left on one spot for too long. It's a shame to do so little mileage in a car that isn't a garage queen/investment car.
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Nick W

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #3 on: 23 February 2021, 13:40:05 »

I would be pretty strict on mileage; within a couple of thousand miles.
I'd be a lot looser on time; a year over, especially if low mileage would be too much for me.


Yours is seriously overdue, and I wouldn't use the car until it's been done.
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Andy B

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #4 on: 23 February 2021, 13:46:18 »

As above, the rubber degrades over time.

I would also question if you need a car, <5k in 12 years? Cars need to be driven or the maintenance cost will be a lot more. Brakes don't like to be stood, calipers seize, pads shadow onto the discs. Tyres mis-shape themselves when left on one spot for too long. It's a shame to do so little mileage in a car that isn't a garage queen/investment car.

OP has only had the car a year .....  ;)
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deviator

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #5 on: 23 February 2021, 15:32:48 »

OP has only had the car a year .....  ;)

In which case, given the year we've all had, I fully understand. I'd still do the belt as a matter of urgency. I suspect finding replacement 3.0L heads wouldn't be fun.
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woolley11

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #6 on: 23 February 2021, 17:37:39 »

Mmm - Iíve only managed to dig the paperwork out today.

Well Iíll get onto the garage in morning - assume just belt will be fine as rollers/tensioners should be ok with small miles 🤔. But on the face of it itís only a 5 min job to replace those whilst in there.
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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #7 on: 23 February 2021, 18:04:39 »

That thinking is why VX halved the interval ::)

Some dealers were only changing the belt at 80k leaving the rollers to fail in fairly short order.

Given the potential age of the coolant, it might be prudent to go to town on it  :-\
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Nick W

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #8 on: 23 February 2021, 18:48:09 »

Mmm - Iíve only managed to dig the paperwork out today.

Well Iíll get onto the garage in morning - assume just belt will be fine as rollers/tensioners should be ok with small miles 🤔. But on the face of it itís only a 5 min job to replace those whilst in there.


You don't think that the bearings in the rollers won't have suffered from being under compression from the belt tension?
It's usually the rollers that fail and wreck the belt, unless the change is really overdue.
The same thing happens to the auxiliary drive belt.
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GastronomicKleptomaniac

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #9 on: 23 February 2021, 19:01:41 »

Even I would just change it, and I'm a tight northern monkey. For the money it's worth doing vs waiting for catastrophic failure.
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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #10 on: 23 February 2021, 19:10:04 »

Belts rarely, if ever snap. Its the rollers that let go first.  ;)
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Nick W

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #11 on: 23 February 2021, 19:29:16 »

Belts rarely, if ever snap. Its the rollers that let go first.  ;)


That's not the only way that the belts fail; the teeth can strip off them, and the reinforcing bands can shred.
Not that it matters, because the cure is to change the belt as part of the manufacturer's specification.
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deviator

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #12 on: 24 February 2021, 09:06:42 »

Belts rarely, if ever snap. Its the rollers that let go first.  ;)


That's not the only way that the belts fail; the teeth can strip off them, and the reinforcing bands can shred.
Not that it matters, because the cure is to change the belt as part of the manufacturer's specification.

My failure was the crankshaft pulley broke the woodruff key.
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Nick W

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #13 on: 24 February 2021, 09:16:03 »

Belts rarely, if ever snap. Its the rollers that let go first.  ;)


That's not the only way that the belts fail; the teeth can strip off them, and the reinforcing bands can shred.
Not that it matters, because the cure is to change the belt as part of the manufacturer's specification.

My failure was the crankshaft pulley broke the woodruff key.


That would suggest someone very heavy handed assembled it :o


The woodruff key is only there to align the pulley on assembly so the marks are reliable; you could leave it out and assuming that the bolt is tightened properly, the belt will still drive the cams. That's the modern way, as not having the key deletes both the part and another machining setup for both the shaft and the pulley. And if there's any doubt about the clamping power needed, then a shallow taper is used, like in machine spindles.
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Andy B

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Re: Cam belt - age over mileage?
« Reply #14 on: 24 February 2021, 19:52:38 »

.....
The woodruff key is only there to align the pulley on assembly so the marks are reliable; you could leave it out and assuming that the bolt is tightened properly, the belt will still drive the cams. That's the modern way, as not having the key deletes both the part and another machining setup for both the shaft and the pulley. And if there's any doubt about the clamping power needed, then a shallow taper is used, like in machine spindles.

I'd never come across this until a few years back when I had the belt off on my diseasal Astra G to fit AN Other fuel pump ... fortunately I consulted My Haynes just before I slackened off the nut holding the cam sprocket.  ::)
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