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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice new Gates blue belt from JAE for my '88 Esprit which is waiting to be installed.

I searched, but could not find a step-by-step on this drill anywhere on the forum. Any tips or tricks worth knowing up front?

I'll have the car up on my four post lift, and I have every conceivable tool a gear head can want/imagine. What I don't have is any experience replacing an esprit belt. Have replaced timing belts on my ferraris and some other sports cars I have, new to Lotus for this drill. Looks like a tight fit with the engine in, but doable.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Tim Engel (EspritS2) posted a complete procedure in the FILES section of the TurboEsprit mail-list on Yahoo Groups. :cool:

Unless someone beats me to the punch, I'll provide a link tonight.


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Any other work that needs to be done? It's a good time to replace the front seal. Also, you may want to pick up a new tensioner bearing if you don't know when it was last replaced.

What color are the dots on your cam wheels? A green-dot set (104 MOP) provides a noticeable increase in low end torque.
 

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Cal H
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How many miles do you have on the engine and has the water pump been rebuilt? Many do the water pump, idler and tensioner at the same time. Since all the belts have to come off now is the time to change them if they are old. Here is a front of the engine picture that I forgot who's engine it was. But all stuff that is hard to see. Tim is in the middle of an engine install so he might not be around much at this moment. I saw Tim on Sat when I was present during the top and bottom engine assembly tech session. It is another miserable day in MN with rain for forecast for several days straight.

Just make sure the pulley dots line up when removing and replacing the belt to keep the engine in time. And if you replace the pulley with the 104 don't put it on backwards
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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The Tim E timing belt doc that Atwell referenced. From the Yahoo group Turbo Esprit.
Thanks Eddie.


It's a drag being at work without any of my important <links>. :(





PS Yes Cal, there are a LOT of "while you are in there" things that can be done. Beerman seems competent, so hopefully he will look things over before disassembly.:bow:


Eg, Water pump has a green coolant drop underneath? REPLACE! :popcorn:
 

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Reading Tim's 'how to' is the best place to start. There are a few items that I do differently but that's just personal preference. As you have an 88 remove the air filter /intake box completely (2x10mm bolts and a hose clamp on the air metering assembly and breather) as well as totally remove the alternator. It frees up a lot more room, some also totally remove the plastic fuel lines to avoid damaging them (I don't, but that's just me) When you remove the alternator and eventually the 'A' brace there are certain washers that must go back in the same order so take note what comes from where. As you have to remove them all anyway its prudent to replace all 3 'V' belts but make sure you get the correct one for the A/C compressor. Its a bitch to fit but it must be the correct length as the longer version them moves the alternator adjustment so far to the intake side that the bolt rubs on the belt and the belt wears into the nylon adjuster. I always find it easier to totally remove the A/C adjuster as it makes it way easier getting the new belt on (1x10mm nut and 1x10mm nut & bolt) then I put the belt on the Crank pulley before I install it on the crank. Its tight but not as tight as trying to get it on with the pulley already installed. Also as you have to drain the coolant and remove the T stat housing I also replace the Thermostat and coolant. Just to clarify an earlier post there is no 'Idler' only a 'tensioner' bearing for the timing belt, and if you don't replace it you will wish you had, so for $60 fit a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you gents, that's really helpful information.

I see a slow drip from the WP so I'll replace that as well.

The tensioner bearing will be replaced too. Does anyone happen to know the SKF bearing number so I can order it in advance?

Thanks again fellas, much appreciated.
 

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Cal H
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Just to clarify an earlier post there is no 'Idler' only a 'tensioner' bearing for the timing belt, and if you don't replace it you will wish you had, so for $60 fit a new one.
Sorry should have clarified. They refer to A/C adjuster as the idler/tensioner.
Everything is pretty straight forward just set to TDC and make sure the dots line up.
 

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Next time I get a blue Gates belt, I'll take it to NIST and have it weighed and tension it via the atomic clock. I used to work with some of those guys in the atomic physics lab that proved the Bose Einstein Condensate around '95-'98.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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...tension it via the atomic clock.
See, I KNEW that setting a time deadline for any task induces tension and stress! -eek-

Add atoms to the mix and :panic: :panic: :panic:

rotfl
 

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Cal H
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Belt feels a lot stiffer. Not pliable like a rubber belt. Almost like I can kink it if I bend it too far. I can tap on the blue coating with my fingernail and it makes a tap sound like I'm hitting something hard and the teeth side is coated with some sort of fabric reinforcement bonded to belt.
 

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AWESOME guide by Tim! I didn't have it when I did mine but it wasn't too bad.

I still have yet to see a definitive frequency spec for the blue belt.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I still have yet to see a definitive frequency spec for the blue belt.
I set my blue belt @ 103 HZ (low end of black TB Lotus spec) and it whines, just a little. (But, it never used to whine at all)

So my next adjustment will be to 98 -100 HZ.

My engine mentor (who had rebuilt more than 5 Esprit engines) thought my blue belt was too loose when we pulled the engine (he went by the twist method), but I guess it had to be looser because, it IS stiff.
 

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Yeah, that's my problem with the blue belt. I've done a couple and seen several others and they all whine when set to what I would consider the proper tension.

I spent a long time playing with mine and when I got it adjusted to where there was no whine, it felt very loose and would flutter between the pulleys when you rev the engine and then let off the throttle. Too loose for me. I set it to 100hz and lived with the whine.

I don't think 98hz will do it for you Atwell but I'd love to be wrong on that...
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I spent a long time playing with mine and when I got it adjusted to where there was no whine, it felt very loose and would flutter between the pulleys when you rev the engine and then let off the throttle. Too loose for me. I set it to 100hz and lived with the whine.

I don't think 98hz will do it for you Atwell but I'd love to be wrong on that...
Hi Jim,

The blue belt I'm using had been installed 1500 miles prior to pulling my engine so I re-used it. Never noticed any audible fluttering noises from the drivers seat. You think 95 - 98 HZ is a better target using the frequency method? :facepalm

Otherwise I'll dig out my old mechanical Kriket tension gauge...but as stated, no one seems to know what tension to aim for with a blue belt (was 55 on the Kriket with the black belt).
 

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Atwell,

The flutter I mentioned is not audible but visual. You can see the belt flutter when you rev the engine and let off the throttle. On a normal belt, that would signal being too loose so I didn't like seeing it on the blue belt.

To be honest, I have no idea what a good setting for the blue belt would be...
 

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Cal H
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Holding the belt in my hand it feels like it does not have the give or flex of the belt we have known in the past. I suppose belts made by Gates racing division does not follow the usual rules. I think we have to go with gut feel of what belt tension should be.
 
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