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Check your timing belts early!

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  • Check your timing belts early!

    Figured I should share this - some may remember from the old forum I posted a while ago about a weird noise at an interval that sounded suspiciously like something going on with the serpentine belt. Well, a new tensioner and a couple belts later I still had some noise left (the tensioner did have a slight bit of play). After exhausting all of the possibilities with a stethoscope/chassis ears, I came to find that the noise was actually coming from the timing belt/tensioner. This noise started somewhere in the mid 80k miles range, now in the 90k range I finally discovered the tensioner was not doing its job so well any longer, and the timing belt itself had quite a bit of cracking. Just a warning to those who drive their car hard - the factory service intervals will not be sufficient! I wouldn't have trusted that belt another 5-10k. No harm in checking early, especially if you start to hear some belt/pulley noise from the passenger wheel well.

  • #2
    I guess if I’ll be checking that early I should upgrade the cam while I’m at it at that time.
    2017 FIAT 124 Spider Lusso | EC Euro+Drive Phase 2 | EC V4 intake | EC intercooler | Full GWR exhaust with SportCat | Forge wastegate actuator | GFB DV+ | PTP Lava turbo blanket | Speedhut boost and IAT gauges | Cravenspeed gauge vent pods

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sharkcohen View Post
      I guess if I’ll be checking that early I should upgrade the cam while I’m at it at that time.
      Well that's a lot more work than just checking it haha. You can just pull the cover and feel the play and visually look for cracking where the belt makes the tighter radius turn. But if you're down for a cam swap go for it! I think that and the multiair spring swap from one of the other vendors will take your mid/top end power to the next level.

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      • #4
        What did it sound like? My car has a small "chica chica" kind of squeak when it's cold outside, but it goes away after a minute or so. Never does it in warmer temps. Has a new belt but I haven't bothered to isolate it any further. I did look at my timing belt recently and it looked great.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ice445 View Post
          What did it sound like? My car has a small "chica chica" kind of squeak when it's cold outside, but it goes away after a minute or so. Never does it in warmer temps. Has a new belt but I haven't bothered to isolate it any further. I did look at my timing belt recently and it looked great.
          It was a relatively slow "tssss.... tsssss.... tsssss.." every time the timing belt was making a revolution. It would quiet up in warmer temps, but I also had serpentine belt tensioner that was going out, so I replaced that first (which could also be your sound). Once I knew the serpentine belt and everything on it were good, the remaining noise lead me to check the timing belt.

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          • #6
            How did you find the issue through a stethoscope?
            I bought a stethoscope last week using the EKO Health Coupons.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bsd103 View Post
              Figured I should share this - some may remember from the old forum I posted a while ago about a weird noise at an interval that sounded suspiciously like something going on with the serpentine belt. Well, a new tensioner and a couple belts later I still had some noise left (the tensioner did have a slight bit of play). After exhausting all of the possibilities with a stethoscope/chassis ears, I came to find that the noise was actually coming from the timing belt/tensioner. This noise started somewhere in the mid 80k miles range, now in the 90k range I finally discovered the tensioner was not doing its job so well any longer, and the timing belt itself had quite a bit of cracking. Just a warning to those who drive their car hard - the factory service intervals will not be sufficient! I wouldn't have trusted that belt another 5-10k. No harm in checking early, especially if you start to hear some belt/pulley noise from the passenger wheel well.
              Good info! Our 500L made it over 100,000 miles not too long ago and we just changed its timing belt. It was not too bad looking, but I bet our 500 Abarth is looking rough at 80,000 miles though due to how hard we have been on it. We will have to check it out! Thanks!

              Stay Driven,
              Brandon

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