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What have you guys paid for your cam belt service? What did they replace? Remove the engine or leave it in? Just looking for feedback.
 

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Sorry, no help here. I simply REFUSE to allow anyone else to do this work. Or most any work on my car. I have spent many hours correcting issues caused by shoddy work provided by shops and dealers with other people's cars.

I have no idea what the going rate is? At one point the "book time" was 16 hours. I find this a bit interesting as it takes me about 4 and I clean everything as I go... (I am not counting the time it takes me to run down to the machine shop and get the new tension bearing pressed on)... only actual work time.
 

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If you mean replacement of V8 cam belts and everything that goes with it (the full "C" service in the manual), you are looking at nearly $5k to have this done at the premier Esprit shop in the NorthEast (RS Motorsports).

And BTW, you can be assured that RS will "get it right".
 

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For just the full belt change you are looking at around $2,500 for parts and labor.
 

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For the first time the shop may wind up doing a lot more than "just" belts and tensioners. Depends on how well the car was serviced previously. I do not recommend doing the belts on a V-8 yourself. It takes more than a couple of special tools and some experience. For a job not done often, for most it isn't worth the investment in tools, the time, or the possibility of error. If you are just doing belts and tensioners the motor isn't usually removed. As for the nearest Lotus shop being 5 hours away, that is not as important as their reputation. If they are good then it is worth it. Messing up a belt job can cost more than $10K. Can happen even at a "good" shop.
David Teitelbaum
 

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As Atwell said, Ralph at RS Motorsports will lighten your pocket book $4k to $5k. That will include all new tensioners and a full C service. He's probably the higher end on cost, YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I pay a shop to do the work and they screw up the timing and mess my engine up, you better believe they are responsible for repairs in full.
 

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Yup, sorry, to be clear I was commenting from a 4 pot perspective. However, I have changed out the belts on a Ferrari 308 a number of time. Takes a bit more patients, but from what I can find to read it is a similar job. Ferrari wants a lot... a lot... to do this work.

I can usually get it done in the garage with a friend helping for about $4k less than Ferrari charges and in far less time.


But the V8 Esprit... sorry. No real help with that from direct experience.
 

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Yup, sorry, to be clear I was commenting from a 4 pot perspective. However, I have changed out the belts on a Ferrari 308 a number of time. Takes a bit more patients, but from what I can find to read it is a similar job. Ferrari wants a lot... a lot... to do this work.

I can usually get it done in the garage with a friend helping for about $4k less than Ferrari charges and in far less time.


But the V8 Esprit... sorry. No real help with that from direct experience.
My friend has an '84 308qv and his timing belt job is easier than on my '87 HCi. The simple reason? Access! On the 308, once you remove the inner fender lining and get the AC pump out of the way its all right there. Not saying its a 2 hour job or anything but there is WAY more access than the Esprit.

That being said, EVERY single part for his car is like 3x to 5x the cost of my cars parts so it does balance out.
 

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My friend has an '84 308qv and his timing belt job is easier than on my '87 HCi. The simple reason? Access! On the 308, once you remove the inner fender lining and get the AC pump out of the way its all right there. Not saying its a 2 hour job or anything but there is WAY more access than the Esprit.

That being said, EVERY single part for his car is like 3x to 5x the cost of my cars parts so it does balance out.
On most exotic cars (read expensive) like Porshe or Ferrari the motor comes out for just about any job. Even on a Lotus, if you have to do more than 2 things it usually means the motor is coming out.
David Teitelbaum
 

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On most exotic cars (read expensive) like Porshe or Ferrari the motor comes out for just about any job. Even on a Lotus, if you have to do more than 2 things it usually means the motor is coming out.
David Teitelbaum
Well - I dont see why, especially on the 308 since it really is right there once you get some stuff out of the way. I agree if theres more to do then yank the lump but for a standard major on most of these cars it can be done and has been done in situ.

Plus, pulling the motor brings a whole other set of possible screw ups that could happen. Not a trivial thing by any means. But, if you have the tools, garage, and time then hell yeah, pull it. Not for the meek though.
 

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What exactly are you doing on a Porsche that needs engine out?!
 

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Fair enough. My experience is just with 996/997.
Knew a guy many moons ago who had an early 930 turbo, dont recall the year though think it was a 1985? which he said required removing or dramatically lowering of it just to replace a couple spark plugs which couldnt be accessed otherwise. YIKES!
 

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Knew a guy many moons ago who had an early 930 turbo, dont recall the year though think it was a 1985? which he said required removing or dramatically lowering of it just to replace a couple spark plugs which couldnt be accessed otherwise. YIKES!
Wow. That is supremely stupid.
 

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On most exotic cars (read expensive) like Porshe or Ferrari the motor comes out for just about any job. Even on a Lotus, if you have to do more than 2 things it usually means the motor is coming out.
David Teitelbaum
Not so much. On a 308 ferrari for example the timing belts are done with the engine in the car, same for the clutch. On a 911 most things (other than a clutch) are done with the engine in the car. Valve jobs, for example, are often done with the engine in.

Having done all these things myself (me, not a paid mechanic) many, many times, I'm speaking from first hand experience.

I'm not saying it's nicer to work on the thing with the engine in....obviously, it's nicer to do it on the bench/stand with the engine out. But most ferrari/porsche owners don't want to pay for the extra time required to remove the engine first.

Incidentally, I just changed the timing belt and tensioner bearing on my '88 Esprit with the engine insitu and it takes about the same amount of time as doing the belts on my 308 or my Mondial 3.2. If I had to pay a professional mechanic to do the Lotus belt I wouldn't expect to pay more than about $1,200-1,500 including parts.
 
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