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Ford Escort
Timing Belts and Chains
Ford Escort ZX2

How do you change a timing belt in a 1999 Ford Escort ZX2?

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2015-07-15 20:57:14
2015-07-15 20:57:14

Don't do it if the belt looks ok. Pull the timing belt cover and look at the belt. If you don't see significant cracks and none of the teeth are torn off, leave it alone. The ZX2 98 and above timing belts can go reliably up to 120,000 mi. These models are equipped with a non-interference engine so when your timing belt snaps, your engine/valves will not get damaged.

If you've never changed a timing belt before and you are an ameteur DIY mechanic, you are in for a world of pain if you try changing your timing belt.

When you change the belt, if you don't put it on exactly how it needs to go (this is a complex procedure) your timing will be jacked up. You're car will buck, kick. Your engine will misfire, you will have significantly reduced performance. You will hate yourself for ever thinking about changing the timing belt. It's not like changing your oil or your brakes. If you don't get the belt on precisely the way it needs to be put on, you will have to keep taking your car apart until you get it right or take it to a mechanic. Some mechanics don't even get this right. You may even have to take it to a dealer where you will be charged up the you know what.

If you decide you change your timing belt yourself (really think it over), get all the information you can. You must be confident in your ability and patient if you don't get the timing right. There's a good chance you won't get it right on the first try. The service manual will tell you generally what you need to do, but won't tell you about the VCT exhaust cam that needs special handling during this procedure. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you do anything.

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