Ford Escort
Timing Belts and Chains
Ford Escort LX
Ford Escort ZX2

Is it hard to change a timing belt on a 95 Ford Escort and how do you do it?


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2011-09-13 02:38:26
2011-09-13 02:38:26

yes it is but it can be done with the aid of a chiltons guide book and you will need a special tool that can be bought from most auto part stores

AnswerNot particularly hard. There are just a few "tricks", not in the Haynes manuals is all. Read on. I've done it twice as I believe in preventative maintenance. (180,000 miles)

Special care must be taken not to throw-off timing. *Before* disassembling, align both the mark on the cam & crank-sprokets with the marks on head & block. If you attempt alignment after disassembly, you may set the lower and upper parts of the engine out of sync, having the engine fire on the exhaust cycle and pushing air out through the intake. Serious damage can result.

It is a little tricky, but the plastic timing belt cover can be removed and reinstalled without disassembling the engine mount. Plastic is flexible and check progress from wheelwell.

To release the damper bolt, have someone *briefly* crank the starter-motor while resting the long handle for the breaker-bar against a hard surface and holding the tool against the bolt. (pull the wire-harness for the coil out to prevent starting // you can also prevent a start by holding the accelerator pedal completely to the floor before and while turning the key). However, this method sounds a bit dangerous - you can use a strap wrench (sold at autoparts stores and Sears for example)to tighten around the crank pully, then allow the handle of the wrench to wedge against some part of the car to hold the pulley still while you break the bolt loos with a breaker bar. It will be very tight though, so be prepared to really pull on it.

To move the spring-loaded tensioner pulley back, place a long-socket against the engine-block, the end of it resting on the base that supports the pulley. Use a crowbar as a wedge against the socket and the solid-metal "guide" that protrudes from the engine block. Using the crowbar, you can force the socket up under the tensioner mount, pushing the base & the pulley into it's release position. Once there, simply retighten the locking-screw until you CAREFULLY install the new belt. Be sure to eliminate ALL slack on the firewall side of the belt before releasing that tensioner back into holding position. It may take a few attempts before you can get it installed properly so that BOTH timing-marks align "perfectly" for crank & cam. Once the tensioner is back in place and the retaining bolt tightened to torque-specs, manually rotate the crank using your breaker-bar a few times and check the timing marks again. Just keep rotating until both marks align on their marks simultaneously. If this never occurs after four complete revolutions, then there is a problem. If at any time you become unsure of what you're doing... don't guess. Guessing can mean replacing a head, head-gasket or engine. Guessing may be *very* expensive. Put the accelerator pedal to the floor, and use the starter to crank the engine then check the timing again. (pull the wire-harness for the coil out to prevent starting // you can also prevent a start by holding the accelerator pedal completely to the floor before and while turning the key)

If you have an air-hammer or can have an assistant wedge a crowbar in the teeth of the damper, you can use your torque-wrench to make sure that the damper bolt is tightened to proper spec. Be sure to use a dab of loctite adhesive in the threads.

((while you have the belt off, check the water pump pulley by attempting to wiggle it in place. If there is excessive wear, the top-end of the pulley will move around in circles... basically the pulley is allowed to wobble on it's axis because the bearings are worn. If it has a lot of play then it may be good to go ahead and replace it while you're already in there. The only additional tool that is required, are scraperSSS as removing the old gasket remains from the engine can be a chore and you may break one. Stamina, an open schedule and more items from the parts store are required for that job))


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