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V8 Cam belt change - special tools


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I am building up courage to do the belts on my V8 - in situ.  I just got a shock when I costed the crank locking tool, the cam locking pins and the camshaft tolerance pins - non standard kit from SJ is £315.

Even the crank tool on it's own is £77.

They are such basic bits of metal and I feel ripped off if I have to buy them at that cost. My son who works for an engineering company reckons they are 1st year appprentice skill level jobs on a lathe (I reckon I could make them easily myself if  had a lathe) so I will see if I can get some made up myself - for free maybe - or at a small cost. Does anyone know (or can you provide) the dimensions I need? I know the important bit of the setting pins is 4.7mm diameter and the tolerance pins are 4.2mm diameter. Do I need the setting pins? I thought they are more for checking the cam timing?

I could probably manage with just metal rods of the correct diameter for the cam setting /tolerance pins.  What about the crank tool - looking at the manual I might be able to measure the dimensions myself although access looks tight (I havent looked in the car itself yet). 

Or does this club have tool lending/hire that could help?


timing pins.jpg

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Hi Graham, I've not done this job yet, but it seems to be common knowledge among the forumists to use drill bits of the correct size to lock the cams and a simple wood or metal dowel with a slotted end fitted in the crankshaft sensor mount to engage the correct reluctor wheel lobe to lock the crankshaft.

I've read somewhere that a slotted broom handle will do the job.

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thanks for replies - confirms my view - can't believe the prices for basic bits of metal!!

Not too sure if I'd trust the crank positioning to a piece of wood - knowing my luck it would split and I'd end up havonig to re-time the cams as well as replace the timing belts!

I'll work something out I'm sure - it's not a job to make a mess of.


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  • 3 months later...

5-6 hours is reasonable - but who is the "local garage"?

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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2 hours ago, cweeden said:

Bell and Colvill quoted 8 hours! 😲

Some will air on the side of caution on older cars for reasons such as seized parts etc.  Plenty of good things said about Bell and Colvill. :)



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