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Timing belt and alternator mount


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Yesterday, returning home after enjoying my Esprit to the fullest (new clutch and uprated turbo), the radio died and the charging tell tale came on. Quick inspection this morning showed a broken alternator belt.
altbelt.thumb.JPG.573936165aa8d14225a91a
It was in a really worn state and kept the bent shape, rigid and hard to bend. According to the dealer that sold me the car all belts were changed in July this year (C service). I find it hard to believe that 3 months and 3600 km (2250 miles) could age a belt in this way...
But I made another discovery as I was poking around the alternator, it would wiggle if pushed. Certain that this is not how it should behave I removed it (which was quite easy compared to other things you can do on an Esprit). Didn't even have to remove the airbox.
holealternator.thumb.JPG.7ae2d998694c111
Should this hole be shaped like this? It is round at the other end. This obviously caused the wiggling and maybe that's the reason the belt broke. 
Well, alternator out gave me a good opportunity to peer down at timing belt, pulleys etc. THEN I DISCOVERED THIS....
cambelt01.thumb.JPG.e42854a8228ef0e98456  and a close up... cambelt02.thumb.JPG.b421e08435a2281b5da5
Timing belt doesn't look that great!

This was changed in July and this I think is correct. Sparky had a look at it during the Belt Fest in Denmark and it looked new then and tension was OK.
I don't dare to drive another minute with this belt so maybe the snapping alternator belt was a really lucky incident, otherwise this might have gone undetected..... and then disaster

Well, now I've got to bite the bullet and change the timing belt but before I do, I would like to find out the cause of this damage to the belt. Anyone seen this before? Could it be the tensioner?
If something was in contact with the belt shouldn't there be traces all along the belt? It looks fine in large parts.

More things that is good to do when timing belt is off? Changing to green dot pulleys? Is the aux-pulley a green dotted one? Where is best to place it, intake or exhaust?
Check valve clearance?

Tips and trix when changing timing belt is also most welcome :)

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Torque times RPM equals horsepower!

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I saw a water pump/vacuum pump belt that had come loose (when the vacuum pump bracket broke), and that belt had gotten stuck in the timing belt, almost cutting it in half.

The damage looks like it was probably caused by the broken alternator belt.

 

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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The alternator plastic brace should go to a bolt on the air con mount, that explains why the alternator belt got so much damage. Timing belt could be lots of things but does yours have a belt snubber on a cam tower? If not you'll have to look for something having been fitted equally well as the alternator.

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My alternator developed a really squeaky bearing and when I removed it it was quite loose on the bolt allowing loads of movement. I machined mine and fitted a ally dia to suit then drilled to mach the bold size. Feels much more secure now.

 

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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The alternator plastic brace should go to a bolt on the air con mount, that explains why the alternator belt got so much damage.

This piece seem to be totally missing, can you post a pic of how this should look?

Thanks Buddsy: I'm thinking along those lines. Drill out the damaged material and fit a tube in the hole with the right inner diameter.

Travis, that was what I was hopping it to be. Still have to check for other causes just to be safe though.

The car is now on axle stands in my garage and front left wheel is off, awaiting draining of the coolant...

 

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Torque times RPM equals horsepower!

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Darn Travis, that is one nice looking engine, whish mine was that clean...
Before I removed alternator the nylon/plastic brace was like in the picture above. Good that I'm not missing a piece here, you scared me there for a bit Andy :o

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Torque times RPM equals horsepower!

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It's weird that your belt shows as if it was on the pulleys in reverse if you are saying it is rigid and hard to bend? It seems bent (around pulleys) the wrong way?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Darn Travis, that is one nice looking engine, whish mine was that clean...
Before I removed alternator the nylon/plastic brace was like in the picture above. Good that I'm not missing a piece here, you scared me there for a bit Andy :o

oh, that's not my engine...  this is my engine

IMG_2774.JPG

 

 

IMG_2770.JPG

 

It's weird that your belt shows as if it was on the pulleys in reverse if you are saying it is rigid and hard to bend? It seems bent (around pulleys) the wrong way?

I think that is the alternator belt doing the damage by getting stuck between the timing belt and a pulley!

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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I meant the alternator belt in the very first photo. The bends are back to front if it is inflexible as Henrik says.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Travis, your engine looks even better. Guess they'll have to come out of the car to get a good clean up.

The bends on the belt are kind of strange. It was on the right way before it broke. It is hard to bend it and it feels almost brittle. If it was fighting with the timing belt after it broke
maybe heat could do this to the belt. Good thing is I have all belts including timing belt and a tensioner bearing at home already :)

Sure is a tough break! It's back on axle stands again after doing the clutch... well, no rest for the wicked :huh:

But it's not all bad. Gives a sense of achievment to work on the Esprit, if you succed, you can't be such a lousy mechanic... and with the frequent belt changes they need, I might as well learn how to do it now.
I am thinking about swapping places for the inlet cam pulley and the aux, maybe check valve clearence too.

Is it enough to put her in forth gear, handbrake on, to release the nut holding tripple V-pulley? Don't want to rotate engine the wrong way whilst the belt is still on. I understand that, after setting crank and cams to the
timing position and removing belt, it is OK to turn the crank 90 degrees backwards to put pistons at the same level enabling the camshafts to rotate freely.

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Hi all, she's back on the road again and I'm no longer a timing belt virgin :)  It was not that dreadful as I had feared, not compared to changing the clutch. Handed my alternator over to a machine shop where they drilled out the old hole, fitted a pipe with an 8 mm inside (or so they thought and so did I, more about that later on). Since I planned to change the cam pulleys I removed the water pump "elbow", alternator was already out of the way and triangular brace. With all this gone there was actually "plenty of room" to work (speaking Lotus now (I'm soon fluent in Lotus :) )). Loosening the remaining belts was easy even though the AC belt didn't appear to need a tensioner, it was already at the lowest position and belt was tight, wrong belt or design flaw?
I put hear in 5th gear with handbrake engaged and loosened the bolt that holds the 3xV-pulley. Actually by searching the interwebs, I found out that rotating THIS engine backwards isn't a big NO NO. Not when you have installed an electric chargecooler pump and the timing belt tensioner is a static one. I have allway thought of this "rule" as strange but when all experts say this, who am I to disagree... now I know better :) 
This helped alot when it came to finding the TDC for cylinder 1 (it is really boring having to turn the engine 2 revolutions by hand if you overshoot the timing mark with a few degrees.

Taking things apart was OK and not too hard, I put a soft sheet of this PU-foam thingy over the chargecooler and I could rest on it quite comfy. I was surprised that most of the things were best reached from the top.

Well, I'll continue tomorrow. I'm totally knackered... she drives like a godess, took her for a spin this evening... more about green dot pulleys etc tomorrow...

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Torque times RPM equals horsepower!

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