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Cambelt noise - I think I need Nick Fisher's Help!!


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I'm supposed to be heading to France this Friday for a month, so in preparation my local independent changed my cambelt and did a service [2.3 130hp X250] a few weeks ago. I'll add he has all the right locking tools, has done a few - and is well respected by his peers.


I thought I'd do the right thing as it's a 2011 reg - even though its barely reached 20k.


Anyway, I noticed a couple of unfamiliar noises since the job was done -


At idle everything seems fine, but if you increase the revs there is what I would describe as a 'meshing' sound, along with that a kind of deeper 'groaning' sound, both sounds seem more pronounced as you take your foot off the power. I appreciate my noise description is obviously subjective!


My local chap is a good guy, so it went back in Saturday and he stripped it back down in my presence.

The first thing we noticed is that the bottom pulley has scuffed the cover, so we thought that might be the culprit, logically the only thing that might have caused this is where the tensioner bolt protrudes - there is a little raised area in the plastic cover to facilitate this. So the bolt was changed to one that did leave a bit of space between that and the cover, in case the original was creating a hard spot and distorting the cover.

On re-assembly the cover is still very close to the bottom pulley, so I enquired if there was a shim/spacer that fitted between that and the crank - my guy is adamant there isn't.


I know some of you may have dozed off at this point - but stick with me....


So all reassembled and still the noise persist!

Sometimes they cut in at a particular point in the rev range, but not always. It's worth noting the noise decreases once the engine is warm.

He did consider that the new tensioner might be faulty - it was either a Dayco or Gates kit.


So do I go?

He thinks it will be fine, and has agreed to change the whole lot again if the symptoms persist when I return.


Is paranoia getting the better of me? I think a lot of people wouldn't have really noticed.

But the scuff marks on the cover can't be right.


It's always ironic when you try to do the right thing, and something like this happens.


Any input appreciated - I guess I could always drive to Leicester before I go!!!!






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I think it's fairly simple to conclude that if the noise was not there before, and neither was the pulley so close to the cover that it was scuffing it; there must be something wrong with the way that the cover has been fitted. I personally have not done any of these (always farm this job out to local (ex) dealer; Ford and Slater, Leicester) but remember that if the cover is slightly mis-aligned or a shim is put in the wrong way round; strange things can happen. I must also add that i know very experienced people that have made mistakes like this, so i would not hold it against him but the pulley will wear through the cover and molten bits of plastic will contaminate the belt, so he must get this right.
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Thanks for taking the time to reply Nick.


I can't say how the location of the cover was in relation to the pulley before he removed it originally, but we were very careful to ensure alignment on the second attempt.


Yes, he's a good conscientious chap, which is why I use him, but I hear what you're saying about possible contamination. I have to agree that you would imagine the two to be associated.


I've checked further, and the noise seems to cut in at certain revs and sometimes clears as you increase them, it's not consistent though, so it might be some other component resonating? The noise drops off the minute you take your foot of the pedal.


I'll try and find some info on the 'net, maybe an exploded 2.3 engine drawing to confirm there is no spacer/shim to place the bottom pulley further away from the cover.


I'm going to take another look before I go - and perhaps in future be less observant of strange noises!


Thanks for the input Nick.


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My former Transit experienced similar noises and it was due to rust on the pulleys due to the vehicle standing over the winter. The problem became far worse when I squirted WD40 on the belts. A new drive pulley was required. Although it's a long shot could one of the pulleys or belts become contaminated with oil or grease during the cambelt change?
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