How do you replace a broken timing belt on a 96 Ford Aspire?

Disconnect the battery cables first. Then, You should start by removing the air cleaner and air cleaner housing. There is two wires with plugs on the right front of the top portion of the air cleaner housing. There is one nut almost hidden in the right front corner that must come out. Once the air cleaner assembly and the air cleaner tube is removed, there is a bracket just in front of the water pump pulled which is a mount for one of the screws that holds the air cleaner assembly in place. This has two 10 mm bolts in in and must also be removed. Here comes the hard part. Because the oil pan is of "soft metal" and will cave in easily, it is not recommend that a jack with a block be used to hold the engine up so you can remove the right top motor mount through bolt. I used a small shop engine crane with a single chain hooked into the eyelet attached to the right side of the engine and take off enough pressure to easily remove the right engine mount bolt. Then remove the 5 bolts holding the motor mount bracket to the right inside of the right fender. you should have a very clear shot at the timing belt covers. There are two of them, an upper half which has four bolts, and a bottom half with three bolts, (one just under the water pump pulley flange. Loosen the three bolts from the water pump pulley, then loosen the alternator and remove the alternator belt. If the care is air conditioned, remove the air conditioning belt. Jack up the right front corner of the vehicle and place a jack stand to keep the right corner raised. Remove the front wheel and tire, then remove the plastic panel at the bottom of the metal portion of the inner fender. This will expose the bottom crankshaft pulley. Now, lower your engine hoist that is holding your engine up slowly until you are able to remove the four 10 mm bolts holding the lower pulley on. Remove the pulley and using a 13/16 inch socket, remove the large bolt holding the crankshaft pulley on. Both timing belt covers should be off and you shoul be able to see the camshaft pulley at the top, a much smaller adjusting pulley just below it between the camshaft pulley and the crankshaft pulley and the crankshaft pulley. there is a large flat washer type flange right behind the crankshaft bolt which will slide off and allow you to remove the belt behind the flange wrapped around the crankshaft pulley. Take a pair of needle nosed pliers and remove the adjusting pulley spring from the little pin on the right and them unbolt the adjusting pulley from the front of the engine.

It is best to turn the crankshaft clockwise with the old belt until you align the two lines marked on the camshaft pulley at the 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock position. Check to see if there is a small triangle on the crankshaft pointing up at 12 o'clock on the crank gear notch. This is where this must align at. If you old belt is broken and you are unable to do this, simply align the marks as stated above and then check them after the new belt is replaced. You must start the new belt onto the crankshaft first, then work up the right side to the camshaft pulley and keep it tight between the gears along the right hand side. It will be loose on the left side. Now re-install the spring and adjusting pulley. When installed, slowly turn the crankshaft clockwise two complete turns which will turn the camshaft pulley only one turn and bring the camshaft gear marks back to the 12 and 3 o'clock position. The crankshaft gear should line up also again. Then reverse the entire process and put it all back together. This should get it fine. Just did this to my 1996 at 86k. It was so stretched out that the adjust spring was all the way over and the belt was very loose. Now runs great!!! Good Luck!