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GT3 Timing Belt Shredded !


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Had one VERY lucky experience today.

I have had my GT3 for 4 months now and I

Edited by GordonMasson
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Gordon,

Sorry to hear about your belt trouble. Was the belt you put on an original Lotus part? If yes then maybe you should contact Lotus and let them know that you have had a failure within 6 months. Was the belt fitted by a Lotus dealer? I would have thought that they should assist with any repair.

Regards,

Peter.

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Hi Gordon,

Glad you had luck on your side this time!

I would stick with a genuine belt.

As for it failing, I don't think what you describe is common, I would be looking for something rubbing on the belt such as a poorly placed jubilee clip rubbing on the back of the belt and wearing/cutting though it.

Phil

98GT3

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Its good you had the sense to investigate Gordon, Could the belt of been put back on too tight hence the whining/squealing noise??? Was it a Lotus Specialist that did the 'C' Service?

I agree with Phil, it is better to use Lotus genuine parts because they are tried and tested.

On closer inspection is there anything lying in the under tray, just on the off chance

Strange one right enough

Regards

Chris

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It is also possible that the power steering pump broke at it's bracket or came loose and hit the belt.

I've seen several SE's where the vacuum pump (same location as the power steering in the S4, S4s, and GT3) bracket broke and the water pump/PWS belt fell out or hit the timing belt causing damage.

There was also a case of suspected FOD (Foreign Object Damage) in a S4 in the US. they believe a rock or bolt flipped up from the road and got between the belt and pulley, ripping the belt and damaging valves.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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There was also a case of suspected FOD (Foreign Object Damage) in a S4 in the US. they believe a rock or bolt flipped up from the road and got between the belt and pulley, ripping the belt and damaging valves.

An excellent reason for retaining your undertray!

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Hi Gordon,

I had my timing belt replaced after about 3 months after a C service. On one side there were white tails of cotton like material coming out. I took it back to chris neils who ahd replaced it and they swapped it free and said it shouldnt look like that. They said they would send the non-normal one back to lotus. It may have been my paranoia, but it was Simon 350s who spooted it and wasnt happy with the tension or look of it. The tension had been set right but the cotton tails didnt look right.

Cheers

Alex

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Hi Gordon,

This whining noise - my 91-built SE has a secondary, conspicuous whining like a jet engine when running at high revs on low gear. It sounds in fact, pretty cool but this info is worrying. Since I have never seen or heard any other Esprit 4-pot other than my own, is the whining (I though it was the turbo) normal??

lo.jpg

This way to ship models! http://www.modelship...user-index.html

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Hi guys...

Latest update on the car.

It was Troy who did the C service on the car and yes it was a genuine Lotus belt.

Had a phone call from Troy yesterday and he offered to come up to Aberdeen and replace the belt for me.....Top Man :D

As it turned out the car was already up on a ramp being stripped down so there was no point in Troy coming up but thanks anyway Troy.

Looks to me like something may have hit the belt but then im no expert on what a belt looks like when it breaks??????

These are a few pics while it was still on the car.

CIMG9885.jpg

CIMG9883.jpg

CIMG9881.jpg

There are two white lines on the second pic that look as if the belt may have stretched on the rear side.... may just be an optical illusion tho?

So....

I ordered a new belt and a tensioner / bearing, however, i noticed in the how to do it guide that there is a sleve over the bearing for the GT3... i didnt get one of these but can anyone tell me if this is something that you should replace as a mater of course or can you re-use the one thats on the car???

As for the whining noise, it was very pronounced since i have had the car, to be honest it didnt sound good at all and i was a bit worried that something wasnt right before the belt went but i guess it could be the tensioner or the alternator or the AC unit?????

Any other sugestions to check while the belt is off?

As for the car in general ... well i will say say this, the GT3 is an awsome car in comparison to the S1... just feel much better bolted together but then there is 21 years between them but sound wise .... the S1 is glorious compared to the GT3... how did Lotus get that so wrong... it sounds more like a Fiesta.... shame the silencer is in such good nick! :P

Cheers

Gordon

Edited by GordonMasson
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I can't really tell but... that does look like de-lamination from physical damage. Again... I can't really see enough detail to be 100% sure, but it looks like part of the timing belt hooked a foreign object and tore a section off.

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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Very bad looking, definitely not normal.

And yes you replace the bearing, by pressing your old hub out of the old bearing, and then pressint the hub into the new bearing. Need a hydraulic press, and the new bearing should be pressed in by the inner race only, or you can break it.

Check everything in that area to make sure it can't scrape the belt again.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Very bad looking, definitely not normal.

And yes you replace the bearing, by pressing your old hub out of the old bearing, and then pressint the hub into the new bearing. Need a hydraulic press, and the new bearing should be pressed in by the inner race only, or you can break it.

Check everything in that area to make sure it can't scrape the belt again.

So should i change out the sleve that fits over the tensioner or is it ok to go with the one thats on ... assuming there is no wear / damage?

Edited by GordonMasson
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I would get a new bearing Gordon whilst this is being done. SJ do the bearing for about

Edited by rocket63

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130

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Wow....you don't even know how lucky you are. That belt breaking could have cost you a LOT of $$$$$. If it were determined that the belt itself was defective, I would definitely not go with another "Lotus" belt again.

I would not say for sure though that the residue you see on the cam covers is from the belt....looks to be just plain old oil residue from a cam cover leak.

I know a lot of people on here are cheerleaders :lol: for genuine Lotus parts, but there have been improvements in timing belt technology in the past 10 years. If the oem Lotus belt is the original spec, you're not really doing you car any better using the Lotus part. If Gates or Goodyear make a matching spec belt, it is probably as good or better than the original Lotus, and will withstand a longer service interval. Same is for most "serviceable" replacement parts like brake pads, coolant, oil, brake fluid, etc. Especially if the belt being installed is a 10 year plus old belt that has been sitting in a parts department warehouse. Just because it is "Lotus recommended" does not mean you're putting the best part on your car.

If Lotus has not done any research on newer replacement parts (like the strut/spring kits, susp. bushings), assuming the old spec is the best is a little naive.

Just my 2p. :)

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So should i change out the sleve that fits over the tensioner or is it ok to go with the one thats on ... assuming there is no wear / damage?

That "sleeve" is the outer race of the bearing for the tensioner. That is that part you replace. The inner hub you keep, the bearing you throw away.

Make sure you get an SKF bearing and not an LKG.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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The sleve i am talking about is the one that fits OVER the bearing NOT the bearing .... this is a GT3 only part......

see here ...http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EGuides/ETechnical/Cambelts.html

4-Cylinder Cam Belt Tensioner Removal/Replacement

Note: In order to utilise the common timing belt on both 2.2 and 2.- litre engines, the tensioner pulley on the 920 (2 litre) engine has a sleeve added to increase its diameter from 63 to 70mm. The sleeve is a press fit on the bearing and is retained by a shoulder and circlip.

So the question is, is this something i need to replace or should it be ok.

Not had a chance to look at the thing yet but trying to get a heads up if its a "must change" part

I have a new bearing, its just the sleve i dont have.

Cheers

Gordon

post-237-1207572223.jpg

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So the question is, is this something i need to replace or should it be ok.

Not had a chance to look at the thing yet but trying to get a heads up if its a "must change" part

I have a new bearing, its just the sleve i dont have.

Cheers

Gordon

Pretty dam sure you re-use the sleeve Gordon - after all it only rolls on the back of the belt and has itself no moving parts. It is only there to increase the size of the standard bearing to make tensioner work right for the GT3 engine.

Phil

98GT3

Edited by 98GT3
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  • 1 month later...

Hi Gordon,

I've got my SE booked in to the same garage for Wednesday next week for a belt change. That was a good call on your part, couldn't be any handier just being round the corner from work!

Yours couldn't have been too bad a job to for them, certainly didn't hear any sharp intakes of breath when they heard another Esprit cam belt job was coming! :D

I have already purchased a Lotus belt and tensioner bearing so here's hoping its a smooth job.

Cheers,

Keith

Calypso red '92 Esprit SE Hi-wing

Calypso red '87 Excel SE

Blue '07 BMW X3 2.0TD SE

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gordon

Looks like something got into or contacted the belt or maybe the tensioner back had an issue looking at the tracking lines around the belt. the damage does not appear to be belt structure related and looking at the back of the belt, it certainly looks like it hasn't done too many miles. There are plenty of suggestions elsewhere in this string I would go with them and would also make sure your tensioner is changed.

The Lotus belt is late 80's technology and is a sulphur cured HSN rubber based belt similar to many used in the cheaper vehicle ranges these days to keep costs down. they have reasonable durability but nothing spectacular and are not too keen on high engine bay temps. I have worked on much more progressive belt technology over the past 9 years and the modern materials not only last longer but are stronger, deal with engine bay temps better and in addition I have now used technology that will also reduce the power usage (friction losses) by 40 to 50%. Unfortunately Lotus are not up to date with this technology for the Esprit, but I currently have some on test and they are beginning to look very promising

Well spotted, saved your self a lot of money

Ralph

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Hi,

HTD - old black rubber A-prefix belt -- 37.5k miles/ 36 months

HTD - HSN black B-prefix belt - 50k miles (no time ref.)

HTD - HNBR blue belt...next generation belt using HNBR rubber (HNBR = Hydrogenated acryloNitrile-Butadiene Rubber and it could be good for 75k or more, but it's not available for the Esprit engine at the moment so the best belt you can have is the B912E6697F HTD HSN prefix, from Lotus, also 50K as a time reference it's not so bad, I think the bearing of the tensioner will fail before the belt..

Cheers

Edited by ghe67
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