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Cambelt, Romahome and Me

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    Cambelt, Romahome and Me

    It's surprising what you can get at a car boot sale these days. After spending some time at a place called Shellness my partner and I did some shopping at a car boot sale at a place called Leysdown. Anyway I bought 2 cambelts for £1. One box said it fitted a C15d so today I set about it.

    09:30 and the jack hoisted the front right wheel, in goes the stand out comes the jack and under the the sump. Using 8mm bolts as locking pins and taking off the alternater pulley and belt, the 3 plastic covers, top right engine mount I jack up the engine to get better access to the cambelt.

    If you don't use an engine hoist then it's unwise to try move the whole lump to the left cos it could fall to far over. I undid the tensioner pivot, loosened the lock bolt and kind of used 2 ratchets at the same time to wind off the tension in the belt and relock it again with another ratchet.

    I had already put 8mm bolts into the flywheel, fuel pump wheel and another one into the camshaft wheel but I always dab two spats of Tipex onto the fuel pump wheel and belt, one onto the cam wheel and belt and one onto the crank wheel. The 2 rollers were not worn and the water pump was still tight, ish.

    Off comes the belt then I just transfer the marks onto my new one and refit it. I used a clothes peg to hold the belt on the crank as I replaced the belt anti-clockwise. The tensioner is released then retightened. out come the bolts and I dont need to ratchet the engine over one turn cos I know the tipex marks cannot be wrong.

    On goes bottom cover then the back cover and then the top cover. alternater pulley goes on and belt replaced to correct tension ish.

    Had to lift engine up and down a few times with the jack cos access is tight.

    Anyway by 11:45 i was done.

    5pm Went for a drive to look out to sea and then a kocking sound had me baffled and with people walking by I didn't spend much time looking. I knew it could not be the cambelt cos it don't knock. nor the crank pulley wheel cos that would make a grinding sound if any when loose.

    I got back in and drove a mile home keeping my head down but over bumps it was worse. Once home I looked under and found the downpipe had worked loose from the exhaust and was knocking on the anti-roll bar so that I fixed.

    So for £1 I changed the belt in record time and it shouldn't need doing for another 40,000 miles or several years. The old one looked OK but this was the first change since 1999 and 20,000 miles.

    I think the Citroen dealer in Torquay would charge about £75 hr and still take as long as me.

    So as long as you understand a Haynes manual any competent DIY er can do it. However I did work as a commercial mechanic but on easier access lorry engines.

    Save youself a fortune and do it yourself. just one thing though, the locking bolt that goes into the flywheel needs to have a handle on it cos the crank breather gets in the way plus you can push the bolt into the locating hole when turning the wheel by hand in 5th gear.
    Last edited by RRH; 26-05-2010, 19:35.

    #2
    Originally posted by ecobezhig View Post
    So as long as you understand a Haynes manual any competent DIY er can do it.
    Well I can do neither, so for that reason I'm out.
    Graham
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      #3
      £1 for a cambelt! That's the best bargain I've heard about for years!

      That sounds very easy if you know what you're doing. I wouldn't know my flywheel from my tensioner pivot! It's an engine. I check the oil and water, tyre pressures and all that easy stuff - it goes to my local garage for the rest!

      I've just had a full service done on my Nissan Almera as it was drinking petrol. Apparantly my garage said that the garage I had bought it from who 'said' they had done a service, had only changed the oil. So four filters, oil change, gear oil top up, fuel cleaner - and loads of other stuff later, it's now doing 36mpg rather than the 22 it was doing before. Which is about right for the year. The Haynes manuals make it look very easy to do your own service, but I would probably spend all day just trying to get a single nut or bolt undone!

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        #4
        There is always a good feeling when you've had a bargain, also I like the rush of a risk every now and again, but I would not risk a boot sale timing belt for a bargain. You know no more about the age of the new belt than you do about the old one. Timing belts on most Romahomes are changed because of the age of them, very few if any are worn when you get them off, I changed about 60 belts last year and non of them were worn but most were showing signs of age and perishing in the rubber. The risk of one breaking and costing you your engine if you use an unknown quantity belt is a bit too high for me, in fact it would be cheaper for me to order belts in by the dozen but I don't have more than two at a time to ensure they are as young as possible when i fit them.
        Sorry to be a bit dull about it but when/if it breaks the repaired engine never runs as well as the original and costs you several timing belt fittings.
        Ant

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          #5
          I do worry when a vehicle is old like Romahome. I have loads of papers and receipts from the previous owners that have paid large amounts of money for work done.
          I dont like the idea of waiting a year for a service or for something to go rusty before it need welding. The fact that someone should be charged £300 for labour on jobs they could have done themselves if only they had the understanding of a Haynes book and the patience.

          I bought mine from Stowmarket caravans with a dodgy MOT, it should never have passed. However, I have been all over the vehicle replacing, welding and mantaining. In fact regular DIY maintenence rather than a yearly stamp in a book from a garage is better.

          Problem for me now is that there's an oil leak on the right side of the engine and I hope it isn't the head gasket cos that'll be another 4 hrs of my life gone.

          I think all of us on this site can thank Ant for guiding many and correcting us with our ideas of faults.

          Time to go to work now, need to make a double kayak bike trailer.

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