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Hi guys,

I'm only at 9K miles on my '02 V8 and don't expect I'm in need of a belt replacement yet, but since it's getting a bit old I'd like to get a peek at it to see what condition it's in.

Is this straightforward by just pulling the upper belt covers? The right hand side looks like it has plenty room to pull it off, but the left side looks pretty congested and it's not clear that top cover can readily be pulled without a cascade of other removals.

What advice does the team have for simplified belt inspection?

Incidentally, I didn't find in the service schedules that the cam belt should be replaced every X thousand miles OR Y years. Is this replaced on mileage only?

Knut
 

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The right cover comes off easily, the left one is a little more difficult. After wrestling with it for 20 minutes I was able to remove it, but I wasn't able to get it back on without removing the power steering pump pulley.

I've seen several different service intervals listed in various places ranging from 24K miles or 3 years to 102K or 8 years. I will be replacing mine every 24k or 3 years.

The cam timing and belt tension should be checked annually.
 

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Knut,

The original service spec for the V8 timing belt was 72K miles/8 years for non-USA markets and 102K/8 years for the US. IIRC, the longer mileage spec for the US was to comply with some federal regulations and evidently Lotus felt uncomfortable enough about it to offer a free belt replacement at 36,000 miles or 4 1/2 years whichever comes first until 8 years or 80,000 miles.

If it's 10 years on your belts, that's really pushing your luck. I'd skip the inspection and just get them changed asap. Even if the belts look fine, you're way past the service limit for just about any timing belt on the market that is 15 year old technology.

If you haven't already, you might try to get your dealer to check if your car ever had the free belt replacement. I've heard that they had extended the free replacement to 10 years so it's worth checking as you may still have some time left.

Jim
 

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Jim's correct, you're well overdue for a belt replacement. Get it sorted sooner than later as recommended.

From experience, you can safely run a set of cambelts for over 40K miles but you should re-tension them every 10K miles (I know the book says 12K). Every 40K miles you should replace the tensioners as well. The rollers... well, 84K is on them now, but I'll probably replace them with the belts/tensioners as I'm a bit overdue.
 

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Yeah...I`d get them done sooner rather than later. The cost of a rebuild on the V8 motor is horrific (from my experience).

Make sure the person doing the belts has the right lotus tools to do the timing....this is where my one went wrong.
 
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