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Excel cam belt change - lower guard removal?

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I'm attempting my first cam belt change on my Excel and I've come up against a problem. My car has the lower timing belt guard fitted and I can't see how to remove it. It's located  near the power steering pump & has 2 bolts. The lower bolt is easy to undo but the upper one is a real pain,- it sits up above the PAS pump & I can't even see it, just touch it with fingertips. No way can I undo it.

Has anyone else managed to undo it - and if so, how did you manage it?

Alternatively I might be able to feed the cam belt around/under the guard if I undo just the lower bolt - anyone tried this option?


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Yes I get the impression that over the years most Excel's have had the lower guard removed and can't say I'm surprised. In the end it was too painful to remove completely so I just removed the lower bolt & squeezed the belt past it. Seemed to work OK. The upper bolt is inaccessible.

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The first thing a stone will hit going through the mesh will be the radiator, so the cam belt is safe anyway. The large plastic undertray will stop stones from the road being kicked up to the cambelt. The cam belt guards are mainly there to stop 1980's  mechanics with excessively long neckerchiefs loosing them. 

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There are two mesh guards - one you see infront of the radiator to which the number plate is fastened, and one - usually missing - is parallel to the road underneath the car, behind the front spoiler. It's this one I was referring to.

I agree that the upper cam belt guard is a safety device to stop not only loose clothing catching, but also to keep fingers out. All moving parts should have guards which should  not be removed until the engine is stopped and key removed.

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