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Old 01-09-2018, 12:23 PM
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Default Timing belt tensioning for new style tensioner: Procedure change?

I looked at the information on alldata and for some reason they have the same picture of where to set the indicator on the new vs the old style tensioner and the same exact procedure word for word. I searched for hours last night to see if I could find the correct image for tensioning the belt with the new style tensioner and I watched videos.

It's amazing how many people in the videos don't do the timing belt procedure correct as in they don't go a quarter turn past the alignment position then counter clockwise to align the marks, plus they don't tension the belt between the intake cam, idler and crank as stated in the manual? Even the professional repair shop video I watched and the one from a big online parts dealer.
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Last edited by free4meS60; 01-09-2018 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:36 AM
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What's the difference if the engine is timed properly?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:46 AM
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Im talking about tensioning the belt not timing it. Thanks for your input.

The pictures are the same tensioner in both pics.

Ive never seen a tensioning procedure thats relative to temperature.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:31 PM
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For most situations, I simply make sure that both VVT sprockets are lined up with the timing marks AND turned clockwise against their stop. Then, slip the timing belt on and put the pointer in the middle.

I've been doing it that way since the cars became equipped with manual tensioners back in the late 90s.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:56 PM
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I recently learned a little about how the VVT cams work and what you said. I also learned the damn cams aren't keyed to the pulleys that's why you have to lock them when you do the seals. I guess that's why they use adjustable cam gears from the factory

I'd bet the chances are tensioning is not as critical as volvo made it because the last retard didn't tension the belt enough and it lasted sixty thousand miles. I'll take a pic of the tensioner when I do the job to show how bad you can screw this up and have it last sixty thousand miles. I'm also amazed the original pump, tensioner and idler can last 185k. The retard just changed the belt, there is play you can feel in the idler so I stopped driving the car.

One other odd thing about the procedure is that volvo says go a quarter turn past the alignment setting and then go counter clockwise to get the marks to line back up? No one in the videos does this. I've never watched a video of timing belt jobs, unfortunately youtube wasn't a thing when I did my first timing belt, but the manual tensioning aspect with numerous positions had me worried. Normally they aren't this complex.

Last edited by free4meS60; 01-10-2018 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:04 AM
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I have no idea why the video shows to turn the cams 1/4 turn past then back. It makes more sense to me to have the cams right against the stops.

To each their own...
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:19 PM
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It was the directions right from the volvo manual it made no sense to me either.

One thing a lot of the people in the videos forgot to do or mention was the fact you're supposed to turn the crank clockwise slightly to take the slack out. You just touch it and it tensions up right away then you can get rid of the slack on the tensioner side.

I bought a cheap plastic cam look tool kit and never used it until yesterday. It was great for peace of mind and they worked. I used the small individual locks in the picture, they were great.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:01 AM
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I'm not sure exactly why, but the T-belt tensioner seems to "set" better when you turn the tension arm indicator clockwise (past the alignment marks) then back down to the correct spot.
Setting the tensioner took a bit of fidgeting and trial and error for me to figure out.
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