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V8 Cambelt Schedule

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Reading the LEW scheudle for V8 Esprit services it lists the cambelt as due for replacement at 24k or 4 years and tensioning every 12 months. I spoke to Steve at SJ Sportscars who reckons it should be changed every two years. What is the general concesus for low mileage Esprits (2k a year)?

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The belts on the V8 will last longer than 2 years. Lotus have done over 100,000 miles on one belt without problems.

The most important thing is getting those tensioners checked every 12 months

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I have an '04 that has not had its 1st belt change yet but has had the yearly tensioner check. At the end of the driving season this year it will be going in for the Cambelt change as the car was manufactured on October '03, sold in July '05 and will be well below the 24K miles but will be over the 4 years for the belt. Luckily Lotus picks up the 1st one except for some extras.

Better safe than sorry when it comes to the belts especially if the car has spent some of its life sitting which means the belts have not changed position. I stick my hand in there and check parts of the belt from time to time to see if it is still in one piece across all the runners, no vee's in the belt, grit or any other anomoly.

Hope that helps.

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I thought the 100k was on a 4 cylinder car?

So all V8 owners have stuck to the 4 year/24k schedule and annual tensioner maintenance rigorously?

Obviously failure of the item would be obvious, however is there any detriment to running without tension adjustments? Premature tensioner wear I imagine and risk of cambelt snapping?

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Hi you can do periodic checks yourself by accessing the cam cover bolts at the front, undo and take a peek on the condition of belt and pulley wheels. Ive had mine checked twice in <2yrs, bit anal and prob not necessary. There are a few good threads here for DIY tension checking via a microphone and software for your laptop if you decide to get into your own DIY maintenance. Has to be in a certain frequency when you tap/knock the belt etc.

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It is true that Lotus will cover the replacement cost of a one time belt change under their emissions warranty (8yr/80K). However, the warranty only covers the cost of the belts and labor, any extras needed such as tensioners, pulleys, etc are at the owners expense. This may only apply to the US however, so I'd suggest contacting a dealership for those of you outside of the US to see if it's covered in your area.

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So far I have insisted on the annual tension check and when the cambelts were replaced all the tensioners etc were changed as well. Doesnt cost much extra and gives a little more peace of mind.

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Brian Angus is very specific on this, running at incorrect belt tension is far and away the major cause of belt failure, hence the importance of checking belt tension regularly.

Also to avoid confusion to non experts reading this, the free first change was USA market only, i.e not UK or Europe. Its not a different belt, simply a way for Lotus to comply with specific USA legislation which required a longer running period out of the belts. Offering a free change neatly managed to keep the car within this before an owner actually had to fork out for their next change.

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Obviously failure of the item would be obvious, however is there any detriment to running without tension adjustments? Premature tensioner wear I imagine and risk of cambelt snapping?

Being an

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Those were my thoughts.

So as a precaution first thing to do is new cambelts and tensioners -

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I check mine religiously every 12 months. JAE parts in Santa Barbara have new belts 300% stronger (or something like that) for the V8.

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I check mine religiously every 12 months. JAE parts in Santa Barbara have new belts 300% stronger (or something like that) for the V8.

I do hope the folks at JAE are OK, seeing the SB fires this morning does make you wonder, especially after living in SoCal for over 12 years myself and seeing some horrendous fires in LA, OC and SB.

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Paul,

How much is the better timing belt from JAE ?

I am in the process of changing it now, after 4 years.

Raymond

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I'm curious about the JAE belts as well. Just dropped mine off for a replacement this afternoon. Should have it back in a couple weeks (or so they're saying). I'm thinking that by the next timing belt replacement, I should be comfortable enough working on it to tackle the job. Seeing as I've only done minor repairs so far, I'm not confident enough (or properly equipped with special tools) to tackle the timing belts just yet.

Also, does anyone have any experience with the JAE tensioners and idlers? I'm curious if they might be a better alternative to OEM based on price and quality.

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Being an

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I actually like to work on my 98 Esprit and my belts are due to be checked. They were replaced in 2007 at the 24K service mark. I am now at 35K and would like to check them myself. What types of things do I need to look for?

Does anyone know where to get the program and mic for testing the tension?

What is the typical cost for replacing the belt, including labor if I just have it done? Do you need to remove the motor to change the belts?

Scott

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I just had mine replaced under warranty in the SoCal area and the original quoted price (before warranty coverage) with new idlers and tensioners was $2300. This was at a Dealership, but have been told that it's less expensive at an independant specialist shop if you have one in your area that is familiar with the timing belt replacement proceedure.

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I've just been asked to help a V8 owner change his timing belts, mines a 4cyl so doing a V8 is a bit more daunting, are there any how to's experience based observations, things I need to know.

Tension gauges, dial gauges, what am I getting myself in to here?

Roger :)

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Hi Raymond,

I'll find out today and get back to you. If you need a set I'll be in HK in a few weeks.

Paul

**update - price for the new and improved belts are $142USD

Paul,

How much is the better timing belt from JAE ?

I am in the process of changing it now, after 4 years.

Raymond

Edited by fmxa

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I just found out the belts are priced individually, (although who'd want only one belt is beyond me!) so a set is $284.

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You will also need setting and tolerance pins for the camshafts if you don't have access to those, as well as cranskshaft indexing pin. Since there are no timing marks you will also need a timing wheel and clavis gauge or as some have used, a mic and instrument tuning program on a laptop to set the tension. There are several available on the internet with "Tune it" being one that I have downloaded specifically for this purpose.

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So you can't just line up the marks, slacken off the tension, slide the belts off slide the new ones on, retention and off you go? (oh turn it by hand 2 full revolutions)

Roger :yes:

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no 'marks' -as you have holes in the camshafts. with fully variable intermediate drive for the belt on outside.. .

And mention that 'tension' means only on on right position -as you have two separate 4-pot banks it means there are different positions around the crank circle for each cylinder bank !

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