Changing the Xantias cambelt...


Well this one certainly was interesting (if not fun)...

Remove the plastic guard from underneath. there is the two bolts below and two bolts in the wheel arch.

The auxiliary belt tensioner.  I couldn't see how the hell this worked so I ended up just removing it.  It's really just an exceptionally strong spring loaded tensioner.  To back the tensioner off, push a standard 3/8ths socket wrench into the square hole circled and turn anti-clockwise.

To remove the camshaft pulley nut I just used a rattle gun, saves all the effort of trying to lock the flywheel on an automatic car ( if it had a proper manual gearbox you could just put the car in gear and your foot on the brake).


Once the pulley is removed, you can undo the 2allen key bolts and single bolt above in order to remove the cambelt cover.  Note the woodruff key is in quite good condition.

Once you have removed the lower cover you can see the cambelt.  You can see the tensioner circled.

Remove the clips and release the lines from the upper camshaft cover.

The camshaft cover is simply held on by two bolts


Now you can see the whole cambelt.  Apparently it's easier if you remove the engine mounting, but I can't really see how it helps so I left it in place.


It's now  a simple matter of lining the marks up and putting the rods (an 8mm and 9.5mm drill bit) through the holes to ensure they pulleys can't move while your changing the belt.

After spending for ever rolling the motor over and over with this stinking bloody screwdriver as the car doesn't have a proper manual gearbox so I can roll it over in gear.  I just COULD NOT get the holes to line up so the rods could be passed through the pulleys.

There is rubber in the crank pulley.  Usually the reason the pins won't line up is the outside of the harmonic balancer rotates on it's rubber mounting.  Note the red circle above, this is rubber between two halves of the pulley.  Apparently the outer pulley rotates even though it doesn't seem to have.  This moves the pulley holes out of alignment. 

I posted the problem of the pulleys not lining up to several message boards on the internet and no one had ever heard of it.

As you can see, the camshaft can never line up, never will line up, and never did line up !!!!  The holes are at a different radius !!

So what I did was mark both crankshaft and camshaft pulley and belt with a whiteout pen so there was NO WAY the new belt could go on incorrectly.


It was then a matter of transferring the lines to the new belt.

I counted the teeth on those belts about 5times each to ensure the lines were correct, then fitted the new belt.

The motor ran like a dog ...   Obviously the cam timing was out ...  :-(

Back to the internet message groups, no-one had anything to suggest.  I suggested the old belt was incredibly loose (I mean enormously  loose, it's a wonder it didn't skip teeth and destroy the motor) so maybe with the correctly tensioned belt I need to rotate the camshaft 1 teeth one tooth anti-clockwise ??  No-one seem to buy that though.

In desperation I'd removed and refitted and counted the teeth on that belt another few times.  How the hell can the cam timing be out ????

The answer ??  I finally decided it wasn't the cambelt and started searching for something else...

This bloody hose was off and hanging down the back of the motor  (grrrr).  As soon as I found it and plugged it back on the motor ran perfectly.