Pardon my ignorance... V8 cam belt service - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Pardon my ignorance... V8 cam belt service

Although I have found many threads and articles about the procedure for changing the cam belts on the V8 engine, for some reason, none of them seem to address the issue of how you get access.

So, my question is this:
Do you have to pull / drop the engine, or is there a removable access panel behind the seats at the front of engine? Surely you can't change the cam belts with the engine in the car and with no access panel, right?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 01:02 PM
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Yep, change them with engine in the car, no access panel. That's why they charge $500-$1000 for labor...

Jim
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 02:31 AM
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There's a guide to checking and adjusting the tension here with lots of pics, might help

V8 cambelt tensioning - TLFWiki
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Unbelievable!!! Frankly, that seems absurd to make it that difficult on oneself --- not to mention how trying to do this procedure (with the engine in the car) is just begging for inaccuracy and mistakes to be made.

I'll be pulling the engine to do mine It's also a great opportunity to inspect everything else on the front side of the engine and address any other maintenance (leaking seals, worn out bearings, etc.)
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 08:59 AM
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Never a bad idea

Make sure you have the required timing disc and access to a Clavis gauge which is an expensive piece of kit.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 12:29 PM
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Pull it. You can do it with the engine in the car, but then you also could drop an anvil on your hand. It amounts to about the same level of pain.

With the engine out it's cake, and periodically removing it keeps fasteners and lines from welding together, etc.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 03:07 PM
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Unless you're an ace mechanic, I'd leave this one to an expert who knows how to do it correctly with the right gear (Clavis gauge for example). I've even seen a few cars messed up by Lotus dealers unfamiliar how to do the V8 belt change.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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No worries mate

I've done "more than a few" cam belt / valve time services on some fairly "sophisticated" engines and mechanisms.

I don't actually HAVE the car yet.....which is why I asked about the access issue. However, a few of the cars I'm looking at buying will need the service in the near term, so I'm just sizing everything up.

For sure once I get the car, and get the chance to look closely and first hand at the scope of the job, I will beg off to the shop if it looks too tedious a task

Trouble is --- the nearest Lotus mechanic is about 800 miles from my location! So, I have to at least consider having a go at it myself
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 04:58 PM
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If your that familiar with cam timing and can follow instructions you'll be fine. I agree pulling the engine is the way to go in your situation.

Jim
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