DIY Cambelt Change



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Has anyone attempted to change the belts, pulleys etc themselves? Looks like a pain in the backside to me. I don’t mind a little DIY but am a little apprehensive. Anyone tried it?

I’ve had some quotes between £650 and £850 (with parts) so there’s money to be saved but is it worth doing it yourself?


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I have a contact for you in Cardiff Renault mate
Master tech technician if you need it
 

BenG

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Paul,

I changed the belts on mine around 18 months ago. I did a lot of research before making the decision to do it myself, there’s a lot of horror stories surrounding DIY cam belt changes on the F4R which put me off at first. Once you understand the procedure and what it is you’re trying to achieve it’s not actually that difficult. It can be quite difficult to get the timing perfect but it’s easy enough to reset the pulleys and timing once you get to that stage and try again.

You absolutely need all the Renault fitting tools, a good selection of socket accessories and the right size torque wrenches.

In total it cost me around £600, I didn’t do it for the cost saving, I felt like I could do a better job to be honest, without meaning to sound big headed. That included a new dephaser, water pump, good quality oils and the looking tools.

Cam Belt Kit
Dephaser Pulley
Water Pump Kit
Coolant Type D (5LTR)
Alternator Belt Kit
Spark Plugs
Cam Seals Kit
Cam End Plugs
Oil Filter
Crankshaft Pulley Bolt
Fuchs Pro R 5W 40
Millers TRX 75W 80 Gearbox Oil
Cam Belt Fitting Tools (MOT 1801, MOT 1509-01, MOT 1054, MOT 1496)

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Paul,

I changed the belts on mine around 18 months ago. I did a lot of research before making the decision to do it myself, there’s a lot of horror stories surrounding DIY cam belt changes on the F4R which put me off at first. Once you understand the procedure and what it is you’re trying to achieve it’s not actually that difficult. It can be quite difficult to get the timing perfect but it’s easy enough to reset the pulleys and timing once you get to that stage and try again.

You absolutely need all the Renault fitting tools, a good selection of socket accessories and the right size torque wrenches.

In total it cost me around £600, I didn’t do it for the cost saving, I felt like I could do a better job to be honest, without meaning to sound big headed. That included a new dephaser, water pump, good quality oils and the looking tools.

Cam Belt Kit
Dephaser Pulley
Water Pump Kit
Coolant Type D (5LTR)
Alternator Belt Kit
Spark Plugs
Cam Seals Kit
Cam End Plugs
Oil Filter
Crankshaft Pulley Bolt
Fuchs Pro R 5W 40
Millers TRX 75W 80 Gearbox Oil
Cam Belt Fitting Tools (MOT 1801, MOT 1509-01, MOT 1054, MOT 1496)

View attachment 23425
Thank you, I’m the same, I always feel I can do a better job but the more I look at it the more I think I’d regret starting it. How long did it take you?


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BenG

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I did it over 2 days. I was in no rush, just plodded on with it.

The people who make mistakes are the ones who go into it without preparing themselves beforehand and think they can do it without all the proper tools or by not following the correct procedure.

There are 2 procedures in the manual, one is done without slackening the camshaft pulleys. Do not follow that procedure, the pulleys have to be slackened off. After you tension the timing belt it has to be rotated 6 revolutions to even out any uneven areas of tension in the belt. The camshaft pulleys and the crank pully are slackened which allows them to rotate freely, meaning that they rotate on the shafts without rotating the actual shafts. The crankshaft and camshafts are locked in the correctly timed positions at this point and the belt and pullys rotate freely. Once rotated 6 times the pulleys are tightened up and everything should be timed correctly. Rotate the engine a couple of times and re-check the timing, if it’s out, you need to repeat the process.

The pulleys should always be slackened/removed anyways to change the seals behind them, they come as part of the kit.
 
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Where about;s are you located? If you are local, I don't mind giving a hand. I've got all the genuine tools to help also.
 

BenG

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Nice video and good explanation.

Good idea using the feeler gauge to compensate for the spring-back on the inlet cam. I think this is where the majority of people (including some 'specialists') go wrong. If you put the horse-shoe in position and proceed to lock the camshafts, there's a good chance the timing will be slightly out. That is because the valve springs are trying to turn the inlet cam, the horse-shoe is holding it in position but as you can imagine it's not a loose fit which is what you're trying to achieve. When you then tighten the pulley and remove the horse-shoe it is likely that it won't fit, or be very tight. The feeler gauge compensates for this. I used a different method but I got there in the end.

There's something missing from the video which I think is important, it may not be required and may not affect the end result so I'm not criticising the video, however, it is in the manual. After you have installed and set the tensioner, the belt and pulleys are rotated freely to even out any uneven tension in the belt. Potentially, the section of belt around the tensioner can be stretched more than the rest of the belt, when run over the inlet pulleys it can alter the timing slightly, if everything is locked in position at this point then you have to go back and loosen everything off again. Not the end of the world but for the sake of rotating the belt a few times whilst everything is 'floating' it can save some messing about and/or head scratching.
 


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