###TIMING BELT CONSPIRACY THEORY###

899 views
Skip to first unread message

Owen Lee

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 5:15:51 PM7/20/94
to

I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

I had a 1983 Honda Civic, with a 5 sp. It went ~170k miles without
ever breaking the timing belt. My Uncle's 1986 Buick Park Avenue has
over 100k miles (Automatic), without breaking the timing belt. None
of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt. In
fact, the only sources of broken timing belt stories are: auto-shops,
dealerships, and friend of a friend of a friend who has a broken one
once.

Harley Davidson uses a similar belt to drive its 800 pound motorcycles
in place of a chain. Now if a rubber belt is stong enough to drive a
800 pound bike for usually 10's of thousands of miles, wouldn't you think
it's strong enough to last for a life time when used to drive a couple
of cam shaft, which probably offer resistance equivalent to about 20 pounds?

My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
more item while the valve cover is off.

I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
effect the life of a timing belt.

It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken
timing belt, especially if your car has gone over the magical 60k mile
mark without replacing the timing belt. Also, please include all cars
in your family so that I can have a big database. Otherwise I will
get only broken timing belt stories.


And please be honest.

Darvell Hunt

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 6:16:39 PM7/20/94
to

>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles,

My timimg belt went out.

My dad's timimg belt went out.

There.

Mine was a 1982 Ford Escort with manual transmission. It went out
at about 100,000 miles.

My dad's was a 1985 Subarooo Wagon with manual tranny. It went out
sometime under 100,000 miles.

We both bought them past the 60,000 mark so we don't know for sure
if it was ever changed.

I also own a 1991 Plymouth Colt currently at 60,000 miles. It hasn't gone
out. It's currently for sale. (Send me email if you're interested! ;-) )

I also own a 1991 Suzuki Sidekick. I bought it at 50,000 (and assume
it wasn't replaced before) and it currently has about 80,000 miles.
I haven't replaced it. I'll probably be changing it.

I just bought a 1993 Saturn SC2. It has 18,000 and is _still_ on the
original timing belt! Wahoo! I won't be changing it soon...

The "Timing Belt Myth" is no myth. It's kind of like that "wear clean
underwear in case in you get in an accident" thing. Only when you don't
change your underwear will you actually end up in an ambulance. :-)

Change it.

Darvell

david s. broudy

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 6:48:20 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k7o7$e...@cnn.sim.ES.COM>
dvh...@cessna.sim.es.com (Darvell Hunt) writes:

> I just bought a 1993 Saturn SC2. It has 18,000 and is _still_ on the
> original timing belt! Wahoo! I won't be changing it soon...

Uh, don't Saturns use a *chain*?

Mr Conspiracy, your uncle's 86 Buick Park avenue uses a chain, and a
short one at that (OHV).

My Audi's timing belt broke at 90K miles.

My Camry's belt was changed at 60K, but only because of the car's age
(+9 years) at the time. It was very dried out and cracked.

---------- \=\
bro...@mizar.usc.edu /=/
Warning! Severe Tire Damage! \=\ /=/
Bakla ako, may angal ka? \=\ \=\

John Broderick

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 6:47:02 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>,

Owen Lee <ol...@cad629.intel.com> wrote:
>
>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
>I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
>which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
>affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
>speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
>engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
>deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
>effect the life of a timing belt.
>

I bought a 1983 Nissan Pulsar that had broken the timing belt.
It bent all the exhaust valves, and cost about $100 to get
fixed... I can't remember the exact mileage, but it was
something like 110,000 to 130,000 miles or so. The way I see
it, it's cheap insurance to replace the timing belt at the
required intervals. Kinda like gear oil in differential housings,
you can go hundreds of thousands of miles without replacing it but
if you do keep it replaced, the seals and bearings stay in good
condition for a longer time. This can make a big difference in
something like a transfer case or large truck manual transmission.

I've also heard that if the timing belt breaks on the Porsche
944, ALL THE VALVES GET BENT. I doubt that $100 would get a
Porsche head fixed, especially with all valves needing replacement.

Also, belt drive motorcycles have belts that are MUCH larger than
a timing belt. I sure as hell wouldn't put a timing belt on a
Kawasaki 440 let alone a big twin H-D.


--
|~~~\|~| |~|~~~\|~~~\ /~~~\ |~~~~~~| bub...@umcc.umcc.umich.edu
| ~_/| | | | ~_/| ~_/| ^ | ~~/ / 1992 G00F2-Gone soon *sniff*
| _ ~\ \_/ | _ ~\ _ ~\ |~| | / /__ 1987 XT600-Urban curb crawler
|____/\_____/|____/____/_| |_| |______|

Tim Nye

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 7:12:06 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:

>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:

'79 Mustang 2.3L, broke the timing belt at about 78K miles.

'91 Ranger 2.3L, replaced the belt at about 66K miles. Took most of a
Saturday morning and cost $CAN 17.00 (about $US 12.25).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Nye "Remember: Keep your stick on the ice."
University of Waterloo

Xiaoxian Zeng

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 7:40:18 PM7/20/94
to
John Broderick (bub...@umcc.umcc.umich.edu) wrote:

: I bought a 1983 Nissan Pulsar that had broken the timing belt.


: It bent all the exhaust valves, and cost about $100 to get
: fixed... I can't remember the exact mileage, but it was
: something like 110,000 to 130,000 miles or so. The way I see
: it, it's cheap insurance to replace the timing belt at the
: required intervals. Kinda like gear oil in differential housings,

If you only spent $100 to fix the valve problem, changing timing
belt is not a cheap insurance since many garages ask for $100+
to change a timing belt. You mentioned $100 twice so that cannot
be a typo for $1000 :-)

Why don't we just inspect it and decide if it needs to be changed?
Just 5 mintues' work to remove the timing belt top cover on many
cars.

: you can go hundreds of thousands of miles without replacing it but

Dave Darling

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 7:29:01 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> Owen Lee, ol...@cad629.intel.com
writes:

>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
>service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After
all,
>the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add
one
>more item while the valve cover is off.

1: Survey size for my family = 3 Accords, 1 Civic, 1 CRX. VW/Porsche
914's (VW Bugs) are pushrod engines, so they don't count. Don't know
about
RX-7s.
2: 1 belt broke. At about 110K on 1 Accord. No bent valves (by some
miracle!!) but it turned out (shortly thereafter) that the head had
cracked.
The car's been sitting since, and will probably be junked soon.

Also: In many (most??) cars, changing the timing belt is just a *little*
more involved than popping off the valve cover, and yanking the belt...
On
the Hondas (early-80s Accords, late-80s-early-90s Civics) you have to
remove
one of the engine mounts to take the belt off. Not exactly a "while
you're
in there" job.
There are a lot of cars out there that *will* bend valves when the timing
belt goes. Many more that *may* bend valves, unless you're phenomenally
lucky.
Bent valves are expensive. The aforementioned 944 valve job is, I think,
in
the neighborhood of $3000. So another $100 or so every 60K miles
(sometimes
less!) is pretty cheap insurance.

Dave Darling, | HELP! I'm in TQM training,
Cockpit Graphics Programmer | and I can't get up!
GU d--@ -p+(p-) c+ !l(l--) u++(u--) e- m---@ s+/+ n+@
h+ f? g-(g+) w++ t++ r+@ y*

Sandi Rollins

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 8:19:03 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>,
Owen Lee <ol...@cad629.intel.com> wrote:

[Conspiracy theory deleted]



>I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
>which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which

Yes. 1982 Chevette, 4 speed manual.

>affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
>speed),

The car had 80K on the odometer. Bought the car at 49K. Good mixture
of city and highway driving (since the car was from FL and I got it in CA).

>whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
>engine before shifting,

Not throttle happy -- you can't be in a Chevette! :^) No tach in
the car, but I'm estimating shifts at 4K rpm or so.

>climate (hot air presumably makes plastic deteriorate faster),

Florida and central CA.

>It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken
>timing belt, especially if your car has gone over the magical 60k mile
>mark without replacing the timing belt. Also, please include all cars
>in your family so that I can have a big database. Otherwise I will
>get only broken timing belt stories.

Other car: 1983 Nissan Stanza. It blew a head gasket before the timing
belt could go. :^) And yes, I had flushed the radiator, replaced the
thermostat, and checked fluid levels -- apparently not an unusual occurence on
that model. I traded it in on a Saturn at 60K -- the water pump/
timing belt job was estimated at $350, and played a part in the decision
to get rid of it.
--
Sandi Rollins, srol...@econ.berkeley.edu
* These are not the opinions of my employer. *

rsel...@lexmark.com

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 7:58:22 PM7/20/94
to
In article <30k7o7$e...@cnn.sim.ES.COM>
dvh...@cessna.sim.es.com (Darvell Hunt) writes:

>
>
>
>>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles,
>
>My timimg belt went out.
>
>My dad's timimg belt went out.
>
>There.
>
>
>Change it.
>

My 86 Celica (mentioned in _86 Celica ST_) broke its belt at 70k miles.
Is this the same conspiracy that killed JFK?

-Ron

Jizhong Wang

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 9:41:02 PM7/20/94
to

I have a good friend who has only two used car in his life. Both cars had
broken timing belts, only a mile driving for his first and three hundred
miles for the second. Here are the details:

The First
78 Horzon, 5 sp standard, 100K.
The car was delieved and sat in the backyard for a day. He started the car
and drove about 200 meters (!). The belt broke, and the valves was bent.
This accident costed him 450 bucks.

The Second
87 Hyundai Excel, 3 sp automatic, 62.5K.
This time he was luckier. He used the car for about 1 week or so. He was
planning a long trip so that I suggested he should take the car for a test
highway-speed driving. Two days later I had a phone call from him in
the evening saying he was on the shoulder of a freeway with a broken timing
belt. Yes, he was luckier this time. The valves were intact so only costed
him 160 bucks (two hrs labor + parts).

You may argue that both cars were used so that no definitive conclusion
can be drawn. Only God knows how many miles on the timing belts. However,
I should say that if the same event happened twice, the probability can
NOT be small. Believe me, I am a mathematician.

BTW, we are living in Winnipeg, Canada. A nice city with real winters (-40
C) and real summers (+40 C).


jizhong

Mark Brindle

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 10:19:08 PM7/20/94
to

o '70 Saab 99 timing *CHAIN* slipped at ~45k miles
(Saab-from-hell) (totally destroyed engine @ < 5 mph!)

o '82 Civic (4-dr) died of rust at 10 yrs, ~130k miles,
T.B. changed at 60k, no failures

o '85 Accord (4-dr) traded-in at 9 yrs, ~150k miles,
T.B. changed at 60k, no failures

o '89 MX-6 (turbo) still going strong at 118k
T.B. changed at 60k, no failures

Numerous other cars omitted due to push-rod engines (no T.B.)
or no recollection of replacement history (but no failures).


belts: 0/3, chains: 1/1

Mark

Brett Hunter

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 11:14:12 PM7/20/94
to
Dave Darling (graphic...@qmgate.arc.nasa.gov) wrote:

-snip-
: 1: Survey size for my family = 3 Accords, 1 Civic, 1 CRX. VW/Porsche


: 914's (VW Bugs) are pushrod engines, so they don't count. Don't know
: about
: RX-7s.

-snip-

Rotaries (RX-7's) have no valves and therefore require no timing belts or
chains.

L8er,

Brett
bm...@crl.com

Steve Elliott

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 2:18:26 AM7/21/94
to
I recall, awhile ago, whilst servicing my car I overheard the owner of a
944 Turbo complaining of the repair cost.

I talked to the mechanic when the owner took off. The owner of the 944
Turbo explicitly refused to have the Timing Belt serviced at the
appropriate interval.

The 944 Turbo's valves met the cylinder heads and all were bent. The
estimate cost of repair was around $2500 - $3000!!!!!!

I guess the answer to whether you should service the timing belt depends
more on your own risk aversity/propensity than the individual car. If
you feel safe then do not service the belt, I am not risky. Considering
the cost of repairing damage caused by a timing belt malfunction and the
cost of servicing a timing belt, I will always choose the service.

Realistically, you need only replace the belt 2-3 times considering an
average life of a car.

I have insurance on my house, I service my timing belt, I do not like the
potential consequences if I neglect either one.

_________________________________________________________________________
"Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines" - Enzo Ferrari

Steve Elliot ---- s5el...@sms.business.uwo.ca
_________________________________________________________________________

Melinda L. Gierisch

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 7:26:57 AM7/21/94
to
1981 Mustang 2.3L automatic, timing belt broke at 80K.

Conditions: The car had been used for mostly highway driving, but
when the belt broke I was doing 35 and slowing down for a traffic
light.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
,--/ | equ...@eng.umd.edu ( Melinda Gierisch )
_ ___/ /\| | Horse: Danny ( Thoroughbred )
,;`( )__, ) ~ | Other: Tanner ( Black Labrador )
// // '--; |
' \ | | #include <dsclaimr.h>
| Search and Rescue: That Others May Live!


Roberto L. Landrau

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 7:58:22 AM7/21/94
to
In rec.autos.driving ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) wrote:
>
>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
>I had a 1983 Honda Civic, with a 5 sp. It went ~170k miles without
>ever breaking the timing belt. My Uncle's 1986 Buick Park Avenue has
>over 100k miles (Automatic), without breaking the timing belt.

The Park Avenue does not use a timing belt, I don't think. It uses a
timing chain.

>None of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt.
>In fact, the only sources of broken timing belt stories are:
>auto-shops, dealerships, and friend of a friend of a friend who has a
>broken one once.

See below.

>Harley Davidson uses a similar belt to drive its 800 pound motorcycles
>in place of a chain. Now if a rubber belt is stong enough to drive a
>800 pound bike for usually 10's of thousands of miles, wouldn't you think
>it's strong enough to last for a life time when used to drive a couple
>of cam shaft, which probably offer resistance equivalent to about 20
>pounds?

Well... it is more than 20 lbs. It has to move the camshaft(s) and
push all the valves. Otherwise, I agree with you. The belts should
be strong enough. In practice, they are breaking.

>I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
>which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
>affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
>speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
>engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
>deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
>effect the life of a timing belt.

1990 Eclipse 52000 miles. Perfect maintenance record. Completely
stock, never raced. Still under (extended) warranty. Broken
timing belt resulted in $2500 repair bill. 4v/cyl design has
valves close to pistons that actually touch if they are not in
synch.

1982 Rabbit Diesel. 152000 miles (I bought it at 120k, who knows if
it was the original belt). Car wasn't worth putting another
$200-$300 in preventive maintenance, so I just drove it. One
day ... CLUNK! and the engine shut off. 5 bent valves: repair
was worth more than the car. Diesel engines (23:1 compression
engine) have no clearance between the valves and the piston.

no problems with:

1988 Honda Civic. Drove it for 90k without a problem. Changed it
then ($225 for timing belt and water pump) as preventive
maintenance and it has been OK since then (140k). I will
chage it again somewhere around 150k. This 4v/cyl engine will
also self-destruct in case of a broken belt.

1986 Nissan 200SX, 2.0l. Drove for 90k without a problem, then sold
the car. Notice that 2.0l engine was 2v/cyl and it would not
suffer bent valves from a broken timing belt. In that case, I
wouldn't throw money away by replacing it. Just wait until it
breaks.

>And please be honest.

Isn't everybody in this newsgroup honest? :)


--
---------------------------------------------------------------
Roberto L. Landrau KC1YP r...@linus.mitre.org
The MITRE Corporation Bedford, MA 01730 r...@linus.UUCP

Allan Kintigh

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 8:05:42 AM7/21/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:


: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

: [ Stuff Deleted ]

: And please be honest.

1981 Plymouth Horizon 1.7L (VW) Engine. Stick Timing belt broke at 110K No
damage

1985 Honda Accord Auto Timing Belt Broke at 80K No Damage Lucky I guess

1988 Nissan Maxima Stick Changed timing belt at 80K because things break on
this motor if you don't.


1972 Plymouth Satalite Custom 318 Timing Chain 3 times 2 stretch 1 break.
1st stretch @ 150K, 1st break @ 220K, 2nd stretch @ God only knows, odo
quit at 250K in 1986. This car still runs.
But this story belongs with the beater thread.
--

"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining | Allan Kintigh
your code will be a violent psychopath | all...@apertus.com
who knows where you live." | Apertus Technologies
John F. Woods | Eden Praire, Minnesota
My Opinions are my own and not to be taken seriously | 612.828.0294

Robert M. Martel

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 9:08:51 AM7/21/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:


: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)


Lets see,

Had a friend loose a belt on her Escort at about 63,000 miles
lost mine on my Chevette (82) at 88,000 and again at 145,000 miles.
Neither car had any "collateral damage".

--
********************************************************************************
* Bob Martel - System Administrator | I met someone who looks a lot like you *
* Levin College of Urban Affairs | She does the things you do *
* Cleveland State University | But she is an IBM *
* bo...@cua2.csuohio.edu (216) 687-2214| Jeff Lynne *
********************************************************************************

Rich Zidonis

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 9:36:24 AM7/21/94
to

In a previous article, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) says:

>
>It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken
>timing belt, especially if your car has gone over the magical 60k mile
>mark without replacing the timing belt. Also, please include all cars
>in your family so that I can have a big database. Otherwise I will
>get only broken timing belt stories.

Renault Encore - 1985 +/- a few years. More than 60k, less than 100k.
Yep, broke the belt. A bigger problem, though, was the valves that then got
bent.

Chevy something or other with a conventional V8 engine. Did not break the
belt (in this case a chain), but the fiber drive gear was worn to the point
that it jumped a few teeth.


My comment, quit your bitchin. Sell the car two weeks before the belt breaks.
;^)

--
RAZ ai...@cleveland.freenet.edu

Wolfgang Zweygart

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 9:35:41 AM7/21/94
to
ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:

>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:

Here is my comment.. wait I have to calm down a bit after reading your post..

>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
>service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
>the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
>more item while the valve cover is off.

Great, do you want to send me some money for my huge engine repair bill I had
in 1993 (3000 DM labour is expensive in Germany!)

>All the variables that you think may
>effect the life of a timing belt.

here it is: VW Golf GTI 16V 1987
Timing belt broke at 143000 km in Feb.1993. One side of the belt looked
well the other was a little odd...
Curious is that VW has ordered an inspection of the timing belt (no change)
until Jan.1993. Then they changed their mind and said the timing belt has
to be replaced at 120000 km.
In fact my car was at the 120000 km inspection in Nov 1992 and the mechanic
said the timing belt was in a good shape. SH*T...
After that expensive experience I did some investigation on timing belts:
There is no relationship between reving or temperature and the life of a
timing belt. The major problem is oil.. A few drops of oil leaking onto the
timing belt will ruin this important piece.


BTW the intervall for inspection and oil change are very different for the
same car in US and Germany: oil change: every year or 15000km,
inspection: every 30000 km or every year (or means what ever is first)...

>And please be honest.
I tried to...

Bye Wolfgang

Jim McDonald

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 10:37:11 AM7/21/94
to

I sincerely hope your car isn't one of these which lunches the engine
when the belt breaks. Oops, I looked again at your article; It is.

Jim

V...@vm.temple.edu

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 9:57:58 AM7/21/94
to

Cousin's Integra -- '87, stick, 1.6l 4cyl/16valve/DOHC -- timing
belt broke at approx 75,000 miles, while we were driving. No noise
at all -- the engine just stalled. We even tried to push-start it,
hoping that it's just a battery problem. All 16 valves were bent --
$2,500 quote from an Acura dealer, he fixed it for $1,200 at a local
shop.

Mine Subaru Justy -- '89, 1.2l 3cyl/9valve/SOHC, stick. Currently
have 50,000 miles. *Will* replace the timing belt at 60,000.

My dad's 1981 Olds Regency-98 -- had 280,000 miles on it when
he totalled it. Timing chain was just fine.

My dad's 1984 Buick Century T-Type -- had 75,000 miles on it
when it was stolen. The chain was just fine.

My dad's Mitsu Galant -- '85, 2.4l 4cyl/8valves/SOHC, automatic.
We bought it at 53,000 miles -- both timing belts were replaced
prior to that at about 50,000 (it has two of them !?).

My dad's friend's Olds Regency -- '81, 5.0l V-8/16 valves/OHV? --
currently has about 150,000 -- timing chain broke at about
90,000 miles -- no valve damage -- $250 at local shop.

Vlad.

todd haverkos

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 10:12:31 AM7/21/94
to
1986 Honda Civic 1500, manual trans. Normal acceleration.

Timing belt went in the neighborhood of 60k engine miles. The belt
was very dry and cracked. The engine was about 7 years old.
The belt didn't really break...enough belt teeth were sheared
off to stop turning the valves any.... Actually happened during
deceleration.

Had to replace all 4 exhaust valves. Painful painful $900 experience.

Todd Haverkos
my views only

Michael Jacobsen

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 11:39:59 AM7/21/94
to
In rec.autos.tech, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
>I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
>which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
>affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
>speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
>engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
>deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
>effect the life of a timing belt.
>
My girlfriend has a 1986 Subaru XT coupe. The engine is a
horizontaly opposed 4-cylinder 1.8 liter with MPFI. Most of the
miles on the vehicle are highway miles (60-65 mph) back and forth


The Subaru manuals recommend changing both timing belts at
60 thousand miles. The belt broke at 63 thousand miles. That
made a beliver out of me. However not paying close enough
attention as the milage built up the second time, she again
was stranded on the side of the road at about 128 thousand miles.

You can bet I won't get caught with another towing charge, at
least not for a timing belt failure.

Just to note, the diver side belt was the failure in both cases.
This belt is slightly longer than the other side and also drives
the distributor via the cam shaft.

Just another data point.

Mike Jacobsen jaco...@oasys.dt.navy.mil (410)293-3825
--

Robert B. Smith

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 5:58:57 AM7/21/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:

I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

[snip]

My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
more item while the valve cover is off.

Your theory is bogus. My timing belt broke at 37K miles (mixed
highway, city) and I'm a moderate driver and maintained the car
meticulously. It was an acknowledged flaw of the belts used
(Mitsubishi DOHC 2.0L engines) - it should have lasted much longer.
But they do wear out, and the consequences can be catastrophic to the
engine!

Bob
--
=============================================================================
Bob Smith Hewlett Packard (303)-229-3595
Engineering Systems Labs
3404 East Harmony Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525 r...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com
All opinions expressed are those of the author only.
=============================================================================

Chris Gee

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:06:19 PM7/21/94
to
NO FAILURES:
1981 VW rabbit
mileage: @190k
location: NY(Long Island)
comments: still flies despite rusting floor

1979 VW dasher deisel
mileage: @120k
location: NY(Long Island)
comments: the 'clam boat' is still being used
for daily commuting by my dad

1986 Jeep Cherokee(2dr)
mileage: @90k
location: NY(Long Island)
comments: runs fine, was used used for frequent trips
from Long Island, NY to Mid-Vermont

1987 audi 5000s quattro
mileage: @68k
location: NY(Long Island) and then Los Angeles, CA
comments: before getting killed by a Caddy, it was
running fine; i've taken it up to 120mph
twice once in NY and once in CA, no problems.

1986 subaru hatchback
mileage: @75k
location: Los Angeles, CA
comments: needs a new carburetor, otherwise runs ok.

summary: no timing problems for my families' cars. yet.
i have a brand new '94 passat, with other 'build'
problems but nothing timing belt related.
============================================================================
Christopher W Gee (ch...@fa.disney.com) | "...this program WORKS, it just
Walt Disney Feature Animation | doesn't compile..."
Glendale, CA 91221 | "...that's as white as it gets,
voice (818)544-2505 fax (818)544-4579 | all the bits are on..."
============================================================================

Gary Jablonski [ASPC](2268)W1E089

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:11:54 PM7/21/94
to
I found a use for used timing belts. Turn them inside out and
put them over oil filter you want to remove. Then take vice-grips
th clamp down on the belt. The cogs of the belt make it easy to
grip with V-G. Handle of the V-G makes a great lever arm
to apply torque.

Adjusts to the largest filter. I suppose this make-shift tool
has other applications too. Any suggestions out there?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are that of the author alone and
may not represent the policy of my employer its management and
staff.
===========================================================================
Gary Jablonski | Another programmer cruising the information (not yet
g...@abiss.att.com | super) highway swerving to avoid roadkill before I
Somerset, NJ | kick in the turbo and jump to the passing lane.
===========================================================================

Eric Porter

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:45:21 PM7/21/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:


: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

**** stuff deleted ****

: I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,


: which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
: affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
: speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
: engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
: deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
: effect the life of a timing belt.

I broke a timing belt in my first Mazda B2000 at about 70000 miles. No
engine damage.. just real inconvient.. 100 miles from home and the only
garage around did not know anything about "them foriegn trucks but it looks
like you broke the gumband" (yes that is a quote...).

My curruent truck is at 60000, I intend to have the belt replace within
the next 2000 or so miles.

Eric Porter --- e...@lcark.net

Evan Hawrysh

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:28:15 PM7/21/94
to
In article a...@inews.intel.com, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
>
>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
>service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
>the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
>more item while the valve cover is off.
>

I just replaced the timing belt on an '87 Sentra at 96k kms (approx 60 k mi).
I inspected the belt closely - it is usually the cogs that will shear off,
causing the belt to slip, rather than catastrophic belt destruction. It was in
near perfect condition. But the only cost to me was $25 and a sunburnt back.
The local dealer wanted $400+, but I probably could have gotten them to throw
in the suntan lotion for free :=)

Evan
ehaw...@bnr.ca

Larry E. Snyder

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:56:18 PM7/21/94
to
In Article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) wrote:
>
>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

Do you look for Commies under the bed at night, too?

>
>I had a 1983 Honda Civic, with a 5 sp. It went ~170k miles without
>ever breaking the timing belt. My Uncle's 1986 Buick Park Avenue has
>over 100k miles (Automatic), without breaking the timing belt. None
>of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt. In
>fact, the only sources of broken timing belt stories are: auto-shops,
>dealerships, and friend of a friend of a friend who has a broken one
>once.

I've broken two timing belts, both on Volkswagen Rabbits. I think both had
more than 100k miles on them. Fortunately, on gas rabbits there is sufficient
clearance between the pistons and the valves to prevent any valve damage.

>
>Harley Davidson uses a similar belt to drive its 800 pound motorcycles
>in place of a chain. Now if a rubber belt is stong enough to drive a
>800 pound bike for usually 10's of thousands of miles, wouldn't you think
>it's strong enough to last for a life time when used to drive a couple
>of cam shaft, which probably offer resistance equivalent to about 20 pounds?

Lot more than 20 pounds!

>
>My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
>people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
>service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
>the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
>more item while the valve cover is off.
>

>I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,
>which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
>affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
>speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
>engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
>deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
>effect the life of a timing belt.

See above

>
>It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken
>timing belt, especially if your car has gone over the magical 60k mile
>mark without replacing the timing belt. Also, please include all cars
>in your family so that I can have a big database. Otherwise I will
>get only broken timing belt stories.
>
>
>And please be honest.

If this is the biggest problem you face in life, you're very lucky!

I always gripe about timing belts. I own some old cars, and they all have
chains on them. It seems to me the chain is a more solid, longer-lasting
solution.

I believe that one reason for the failure of the timing belt is the leakage
of oil from the valve cover onto the belt. The petroleum products in the
oil actually eat away the rubber in the belt, and it fails. I'll bet these
belts would last a lot longer if drivers would so more to prevent oil
leakage from the valve cover and the head gasket itself.


***********************************************************************
* Larry E. Snyder * *
* Monsanto Company * CLEVER QUOTE OR PHRASE GOES HERE *
* St. Louis, MO * les...@monsanto.com *
***********************************************************************

cmont...@cc.memphis.edu

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 1:05:05 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
> I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
> (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
> I have had some experience with a timing belt on a 1988 buick century wagon.
It is not a hard thing to get to. This car had 90,000 miles on it. I feel you
should check the belt every few years. It is a very inexpensive job, and takes
little intelligence. The gasket only costs a few dollars. If you find wear on
the belt, it would be wise to change it out. This way you do not have to worry
about having bent valves. If there are any arguements please answer me.

-R.KENY

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:56:31 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30m16n$r...@nntp2.Stanford.EDU>,

Jim McDonald <mcdo...@slacvm.stanford.edu> wrote:
>In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) says:
>>
>>
>>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>>
>>I had a 1983 Honda Civic, with a 5 sp. It went ~170k miles without
>>ever breaking the timing belt. My Uncle's 1986 Buick Park Avenue has
>>over 100k miles (Automatic), without breaking the timing belt. None
>>of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt. In
>>fact, the only sources of broken timing belt stories are: auto-shops,
>>dealerships, and friend of a friend of a friend who has a broken one
>>once.
>>
1986 Toyota Celica GT. The timing belt became noisy at 53K miles
and was replaced.

Keny

David Zatz

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 1:21:49 PM7/21/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:


: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

[ edited]
: My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by


: people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
: service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
: the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
: more item while the valve cover is off.

Timing belt broken on friend's Eclipse, 62,000 miles.
Also on friend's Volvo, 58,000 miles.
Original timing belt on friends' Reliant (130,000) and Shadow (get this
-- 140,000 miles on a 1987!). Both were 2.2, I think.

Eclipse, Volvo, Shadow in NJ. Reliant in RI. Eclipse driven very hard,
Volvo cuddled, Reliant pushed hard and took strong load (wagon with lots
of crap in the back; five-speed). All sticks.

/dave

Gary Sarff

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 1:17:44 PM7/21/94
to
1987 Buick Riviera, 129,000 miles. Timing chain gear ruined, teeth
ground off, metal shavings everywhere. The same thing happened to
my dad's Lincoln
1984 Lincoln Continental 93,000 miles, gear teeth worn off.

In both cases the car would not even start, but up until that moment
I had no idea anything was wrong. Engine seemed to be running fine
I was getting about 27mpg in my riviera. It was strange because the
night before my car left me stranded in town, I was talking to my
dad on the phone and he told me about his car and this problem. Then
the next morning my car won't start and it turns out to be this.

I was told that the engine control computer just keeps compensating
for the timing problems to keep the engine running well until it
dies with catastrophic failure. Luckily no bent valves or engine
damage for me.

--
[] (the null signature)

Craig Huffnagle

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 3:52:02 PM7/21/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

: I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,


: which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
: affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
: speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
: engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
: deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
: effect the life of a timing belt.

My roommate has a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX Turbo. His timing belt
broke at about 67,000 miles. It bent most of the valves (if not all)
and cost him about $1,000 (yes, thousand) to get fixed. He has a five-
speed manual transmission and was in Mobile, AL returning to Pensacola, FL
when it happened. I don't know of his particular driving habits before
the breakage. I also believe that his father's timing belt (same year
car and everything) also broke about the same mileage. So, I plan on
doing the preventative maintainence of replacing my timing belt. It
has to be cheaper than $1,000 to repair!

Craig

--
Craig Huffnagle
To fly is human, to hover is divine! '91 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo

chuf...@dmso.dtic.dla.mil I don't think it up, I just type it.

h...@hsan.loc.gov

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 5:15:21 PM7/21/94
to
In <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
>
>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
> None
>of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt.

My Mercury Lynx (Merc version of Ford Escort) said to replace
the belt at 60K miles. A so-called mechanic supposedly did this
at ca. 33K. However, at 61K the belt snapped on the way home from
work one evening (ironically, the day I left early to get a head
start on the front brakes). Took out all the valves.

Whoever thought up using a timing belt instead of a chain
deserves a special circle in Hell, near the center, but I don't
think the warnings are a conspiracy.

These opinions are my own, not those of the Library of
Congress.

Howard Sanner
h...@hsan.loc.gov
san...@mail.loc.gov

Mark G. Pipkorn

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 5:12:33 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:


>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

[snip]

>It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken
>timing belt, especially if your car has gone over the magical 60k mile
>mark without replacing the timing belt. Also, please include all cars
>in your family so that I can have a big database. Otherwise I will
>get only broken timing belt stories.


>And please be honest.

I've replaced two broken belts for my brother-in-law:

74(?) Pinto ~90,000 miles

78 VW Scirocco ~75,000 miles

No other damage caused by the broken belt(s) and I don't recall the engine/
transmission details. I've never owned a car with a timing belt. They have
all been either chains or gears.

M. Pipkorn
AT&T GIS, St. Paul, MN

Steve Elliott

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 7:45:48 PM7/21/94
to
You must also not forget the Balance Shaft Belt for those engines that
have them.

In some cars, if these belts blow not only does the engine run as bumpy
as a Quad-4, the fragments of the balance belt may cause timing belt
failures.

Ideally, while you change the timing belt, change the balance shaft belt
as well. Also do not forget to adjust the tension of the timing belt (if
there is not auto adjustment, loose belts can cause timing belt failures)
after a break-in period

Donna A. Lilly

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 10:14:02 PM7/21/94
to
You know the make and mileage of my car already and the fact that it has a
double timing chain design, so I'll just mention that I think a really
excellent design for an automobile engine includes not using any rubber,
plastic or cardboard engine components which are load bearing.

P.S. My X model car still runs better than new after Y (lots) miles. Am
all set for another HARD DRIVING Y miles (make and model deleted cause I
don't want to make that one guy edgy again). Could use some paint though,
any body care to volunteer?

Once again thanking thee,
--
Donna Lilly
Cleveland, OH

Dwayne Clipperton

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 7:26:48 PM7/21/94
to
In article <TNYE.364...@MANSCI.watstar.uwaterloo.ca>, TN...@MANSCI.watstar.uwaterloo.ca (Tim Nye) writes:
|> In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
|>
|> >I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
|>
|> '79 Mustang 2.3L, broke the timing belt at about 78K miles.
|>
|> '91 Ranger 2.3L, replaced the belt at about 66K miles. Took most of a
|> Saturday morning and cost $CAN 17.00 (about $US 12.25).

I recommend that you find out if your car if your valves
and pistons will meet if the belt breaks.

My girlfriend has an '88 Corolla with 110K's (about 65K miles).
I've been told by the Toy. dealer that the valves won't meet
the pistons. If the belt breaks, tow it in and get a new one.

Several years ago, my house-mate's Mazda 626 self-destructed
when it's belt broke--bent valves, broken pistons, warpped
head, etc.

I have a 2.5L K-car with ~265K's (about 165K miles) and
is on it's second belt. Does anyone know if this engine
will self-destruct if the belt breaks? The first belt
was removed due to excessive noise.


Thanks,

Dwayne Clipperton.

--
Disclaimer: due to the possibility that my opinions may get
me into trouble and BNR doesn't want trouble, then BNR won't
claim responsibility for my opinions unless they want trouble.

PAUL M. NORD

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 6:13:00 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30k7o7$e...@cnn.sim.ES.COM>, dvh...@cessna.sim.es.com (Darvell Hunt) writes...
>I just bought a 1993 Saturn SC2. It has 18,000 and is _still_ on the
>original timing belt! Wahoo! I won't be changing it soon...

Well, ah.. that's probably because the Saturns use a timing chain instead of
a belt. They don't break. But, they do make the engine a little noiser and,
they are more expensive than belts. That's probably why many cars use belts
instead of chains. Though, it's best if the valve will clear the pistion when
the belt breaks.

Our Mustang, now at 100K miles has had the timing belt replaced twice.

Paul

JEFF

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 8:56:00 PM7/21/94
to
In article <RBS.94Ju...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com>, r...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com (Robert B. Smith) writes...>
> I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
> (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
>[snip]
>
> My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
> people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
> service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
> the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
> more item while the valve cover is off.
>

1985 Celica: bought at 103k miles. Timing chain broke at 112,000 miles while
doing 15mph. Dealer estimated $1200. Local shop did it for $500 (with water
pump). Dealer said this type of engine doesn't bend valves.

1986 Acura Integra (boss' car): Broke at around 100k. Bent 12 valves. Was in
shop for couple of weeks. Machined engine. $1500.

1986 Acura Integra (friend's car): Broke at 93k. Broke 3 days after she bought
the car. Bent 2 valves. $750.

1987 Acura Integra (my car!): Bought at 89k miles. Replaced at 93k. So far
so good. Currently 130k.


Moral: change before it breaks. Much cheaper.

Mark Brindle

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 12:58:19 AM7/22/94
to
Donna A. Lilly (bx...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu) wrote:
: You know the make and mileage of my car already and the fact that it has a

: double timing chain design, so I'll just mention that I think a really
: excellent design for an automobile engine includes not using any rubber,
: plastic or cardboard engine components which are load bearing.

Don't mean to cast asparagus on your toy, but it's been my (sad)
experience that T-chains are NOT bullet-proof. My Saab-from-hell
slipped its chain at about 45k and totally blitzed the engine.
So, if you hear *any* strange noises in that vicinity, check-out
the chain/tensioner/sprockets/whatever -- pronto.

redline or bust,

Mark

Dr. Who

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 8:46:44 PM7/21/94
to
92 Nissan Sentra SE-R Timing Chain, no replacement needed

There was a recall for Infinity G20's due to chain slippage, causing bent
valves, have seen the results from 2 such motors

Nick Primavesi

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 5:26:27 AM7/22/94
to

>Well, ah.. that's probably because the Saturns use a timing chain instead of
>a belt. They don't break. But, they do make the engine a little noiser and,
>they are more expensive than belts. That's probably why many cars use belts
>instead of chains. Though, it's best if the valve will clear the pistion when
>the belt breaks.

They certainly do break! At least on British cars.

In my experience:
Rover 2000 chain broke at around 70k miles (2 bent valves, smashed tensioners)
Rover 3500 chain slipped at " " (no damage)
BMW 3 series belt broke at 80k miles (new engine required)

I don't know if its because European vehicles have smaller and higher revving
engines and therefore the parts wear faster, but I wouldn't take a chance on
such a cheap item doing so much damage to my engine by not replacing every 60k
or so.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Primavesi, Schlumberger Gas UK, Stretford, Manchester M32 0XX, UK
Telephone +44(0)61 865 1181, Fax +44(0)61 864 3374
Internet: prim...@mnc440.sinet.slb.com, prim...@norcross.mcs.slb.com (Eudora)

Marcus Bonse

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 5:57:34 AM7/22/94
to
In <30na1b$4...@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>, bx...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Donna A. Lilly) writes:
>You know the make and mileage of my car already and the fact that it has a
>double timing chain design, so I'll just mention that I think a really
>excellent design for an automobile engine includes not using any rubber,
>plastic or cardboard engine components which are load bearing.

What's the problems with belts? Timing chains have to be replaced too during
normal maintenance. At least on a high-performance engine like a Alfa Romeo
or a Maserati. Chains are more expensive than belts, heavier (increased
inertia!!), noisierand some other things. If a car is well designed, changing
a belt is a matter of minutes. So what's the big deal? Chains can break too
('73 Caddy, I can still hear my father cursing :)

Marcus Bonse email: m.h.w...@wbmt.tudelft.nl
Delft University of Technology
Lab. for Micro Engineering

Joe Weissmann

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 5:28:17 AM7/22/94
to
In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
>Subject: ###TIMING BELT CONSPIRACY THEORY###
>From: ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee)
>Date: 20 Jul 1994 21:15:51 GMT

>I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
>(I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)


85 Daytona Turbo. 65K miles mostly around town, broke in 92,
no valve damage, cost $300 to fix at dealer.


Joe Weissmann, CITS/CCS weis...@ucbeh.san.uc.edu
University of Cincinnati (513) 558-3234
Cincinnati, Ohio 45267

Greg Begay

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 10:03:23 AM7/22/94
to
JEFF (v125...@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu) wrote:
: In article <RBS.94Ju...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com>, r...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com (Robert B. Smith) writes...>

YIKES!!! I'm gonna get my 90 Toyota Camry (2.0l 16 valve 4cyl, 63K miles)
in the shop ASAP!


--
Greg Begay
Email: be...@fc.hp.com

Stephen D'Amelio

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 10:35:46 AM7/22/94
to
Robert B. Smith (r...@hpesrbs.fc.hp.com) wrote:

: Your theory is bogus. My timing belt broke at 37K miles (mixed


: highway, city) and I'm a moderate driver and maintained the car
: meticulously. It was an acknowledged flaw of the belts used
: (Mitsubishi DOHC 2.0L engines) - it should have lasted much longer.
: But they do wear out, and the consequences can be catastrophic to the
: engine!

Hmmm. My father had a Mitsu 2.0 PU.Belt broke at 45K. He sold the truck
to me at 80K miles. The belt broke again at 90K miles. I knew this was
an early failure rate, but never knew about the belt problem. (anyway,
I sold the truck, who can afford $600 for a carburator!)

--

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Steve D'Amelio
dam...@bedford.progress.com

2.05 intake, 1.71 exhaust, 292 duration, 560 lift, 351ci, 10:1 comp. Arr,arr...
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

John Broderick

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:12:09 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30kcl2$m...@news.utdallas.edu>,
Xiaoxian Zeng <ze...@utdallas.edu> wrote:
>
>If you only spent $100 to fix the valve problem, changing timing
>belt is not a cheap insurance since many garages ask for $100+
>to change a timing belt. You mentioned $100 twice so that cannot
>be a typo for $1000 :-)

Well I took the head off and took it to the machine shop myself,
so that saved me quite a bit. I'm sure it would have cost
close to 1000 to have the shop do it... Maybe not, maybe around
500-600, but you get my drift...


>
>Why don't we just inspect it and decide if it needs to be changed?
>Just 5 mintues' work to remove the timing belt top cover on many
>cars.

The problem is that people don't even bother to do that...
It seems like a lot of Americans don't realize that
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" CAN lead to hassles, and
"if it ain't broke, make sure it ain't broke or gonna break"
might be a better mindset.


--
bub...@umcc.umich.edu

Natura granite series from Florida Tile:
At last, a tile you can Poupon for years without leaving a stain...

Lin Yue

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:21:49 PM7/22/94
to

In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com>, ol...@cad629.intel.com (Owen Lee) writes:
|>
|> I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
|> (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

I know of a friend who replaced the timing belt on his Camry('85 automatic)
for about $200. The old timing belt was not broken. He replaced it just
as maintainance.


BTW, after hearing soooooo many scary stories about broken timing belt, I wonder
if anyone can tell me ------- Is there *any* sign when the timing belt is going
to fail? Or, *only* mechanics can tell the condition of the belt?

--Linda Electrical & Computer Engineering
lin...@rice.edu Rice University

Dennis J. Holt

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 2:14:15 PM7/22/94
to
>BTW, after hearing soooo many scary stories about broken timing belt, I wonder
>if anyone can tell me ----- Is there *any* sign when the timing belt is going

>to fail? Or, *only* mechanics can tell the condition of the belt?
>
>--Linda Electrical & Computer Engineering

There's no 100% reliable method to tell when a rubber band will break but
most cars include an easily removed top cover so you can gain access to
the indentation marks on the camshaft pulley that is pushed by the timing
belt. You can examine te belt for obvious frays, looseness, as well as
any wear on the underside rubber teeth. If there is no sign of wear, it
doesn't mean it won't break tomorrow but it probably will not. You
really shouldn't have to replace a timing belt before the suggested
replacement interval as most of them will last much longer than that.
If you're totally risk adverse to belt failure, buy something with a chain.

David Simunov

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:56:46 PM7/22/94
to
I've had the same "conspiracy" theory for years until:

- Honda sent my brother a letter warning of timing belt problems on
they're early 4 valve/cylinder engines. Seems Honda used the same belt
for 12 & 16 valve motors. Consequently, you will hear of MANY Honda
& Acura timing belt failures. I know of about 6 Acura Integra incidents
myself...bent valves and all.

- My cousin & his girlfriend both lost timing belts on their "his 'n'
her" 1985 Camrys. Both around 70,000 miles. No valve damage.

- I did a 'belt on a 1980? Ford Courier after it broke....no valve damage.

- I abandoned my theory partially & replaced my '88 MR2 belt at 55,000
miles.

I still feel that bullshit flows at the local mechanic shop & ESPECIALLY
at the dealerships when it comes to maintenance recommendations.


x

o10...@a81.corp.mot.com

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 3:23:58 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30m8n1$d...@clarknet.clark.net> e...@clark.net (Eric
Porter) writes:

deletions
>
> I broke a timing belt in my first Mazda B2000 at about 70000 miles.
No
> engine damage.. just real inconvient.. 100 miles from home and the
only
> garage around did not know anything about "them foriegn trucks but
it looks
> like you broke the gumband" (yes that is a quote...).
>

My Mazda B2600i uses a timing chain, not belts. Though the
chain/gears are detectable (some noise) I'd much rather have them
than timing belts. True, it is possible for chains to break,
particularly if the engine is abused, but they generally can be
relied on (in my experience) to last at least as long as the engine.

I also prefer vehicles without "struts", which (like timing belts)
are less costly for the manufacturer but more costly to maintain
(replace) and less satisfactory to me.

Tony

Skip Winitsky

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 2:40:44 PM7/22/94
to
Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:

: I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:


: (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)

: I had a 1983 Honda Civic, with a 5 sp. It went ~170k miles without


: ever breaking the timing belt. My Uncle's 1986 Buick Park Avenue has
: over 100k miles (Automatic), without breaking the timing belt. None

: of my friends (work and social) has every broken a timing belt. In


: fact, the only sources of broken timing belt stories are: auto-shops,
: dealerships, and friend of a friend of a friend who has a broken one
: once.

: Harley Davidson uses a similar belt to drive its 800 pound motorcycles


: in place of a chain. Now if a rubber belt is stong enough to drive a
: 800 pound bike for usually 10's of thousands of miles, wouldn't you think
: it's strong enough to last for a life time when used to drive a couple
: of cam shaft, which probably offer resistance equivalent to about 20 pounds?

: My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by


: people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
: service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
: the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
: more item while the valve cover is off.

: I want to know if you have had a timing belt broken before, if so,


: which car was it (make, model, year, etc), transmission type (which
: affects engine rpm), mileage (highway miles, local miles, average
: speed), whether you are throttle happy, how high do you rev your
: engine before shifting, climate (hot air presumably makes plastic
: deteriorate faster), etc. All the variables that you think may
: effect the life of a timing belt.

: It's important that that you respond even if you have not had a broken

Patrick F Kennedy

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:22:55 PM7/22/94
to
> Owen Lee (ol...@cad629.intel.com) wrote:
>
> : I have a timing-belt-conspiracy-theory, please read and comment:
> : (I'd like to compile some data and will post the results later)
>
> : [ Stuff Deleted ]
>
> : And please be honest.
>
>

1987 Merkur XR4Ti (don't laugh): belt broke when starting, no damage.
Repaired for $250 at Ford dealer (don't laugh) in Beverly Hills
(don't laugh).But luckily the extended warranty I purchased when I bought it used (don't laugh), saved me $90.

Mark Shaw

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 7:09:14 PM7/22/94
to
In article, (Owen Lee) writes:
|> My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
|> people who want you to spend $2-300 every 60k miles, so that the auto-
|> service industry can have a few billion dollars more business. After all,
|> the timing and valves were supposed to be adjusted anyway, why not add one
|> more item while the valve cover is off.

Obviously you are of the school of thought that says, "never replace anything
until it actually breaks." My father-in-law subscribes to this and has spent
tons of money repairing extremely expensive final failures that halt the car
dead in it's tracks.

The problem with timing belts (or chains for that matter) is not just that they
may break. I have had two experiences with 81K and 120K VW water-cooled engines
where the belt wore enough to skip one or more teeth in the timing setup. In
one case the engine could crank without damage, but not run continuously. In
the other case the engine was running at less than normal power output, wasting
gas and slowly burning its valves.

Take your pick, slow destruction or catastrophic failure.

When you consider that replacement of the timing belt every 60,000 miles is
less than 0.5 cent per mile in overall costs; versus rebuilding an engine
every 150,000 miles is about 1 cent mile -- what's the point in waiting for
the failure? Besides, you CANNOT predict the failure point, all you can do
is predict the minimum service life.

I personally would rather schedule when my car is out of service for maintenance
than wait for the unknow day it will die in the worst possible situation.

Why is it that people who spend $9-22K for a car will get all bent out of shape
when they are asked to spend $200-300 every 4-5 years?

Mark

paulhicks

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 8:54:49 PM7/22/94
to
I broke the timing belt on my 1883 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon (SR5).

It was on one of the coldest days of the year here in Indiana,
I think it was about -10F without the wind chill! I was lucky,
the natives here are very friendly and I was able to get a ride
to the nearest plubic phone.
I generally drive the car between 2K and 3K rpm, its a manual transmission.
I took it to a local mechanic (who I don't use any more because of
subsequent problems) and it cost about $200, there was no damage to
the valves.

Oh, the car had about 120K miles on it, but I bought it with 100K,
so I don't know about the previous history, although the belt
has Japanese writting on it so it was probably origional.

Paul
--
+------------------------------------------------------------------+
| "...and on the eigth day god created the Sauter Mean Diameter." |
| - D.W.Senser |
+-Paul G. Hick...@mace.cc.purdue.edu-or-phicks@mn.ecn.purdue.edu-+

George Goble

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 9:49:17 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30p18u...@oasys.dt.navy.mil> sim...@oasys.dt.navy.mil (David Simunov) writes:
>I've had the same "conspiracy" theory for years until:

1990 Pontiac Transsport (1st one sold in IN) 3.1L automatic.
I just had the timing chain & 2 gears replaced @ 60,000 miles @ the
dealer.. about $300 for parts and labor.. The dealer tried to talk
me out of it.. said they almost never change timing chains..
Orig chain was running fine, and looked visually ok.. I kept the
chain & gears.. might have some lab here analyze it for metal fatigue
for kicks?

If somebody has one break, who will take it to the dealer :) ?

Does anybody know if the pistons hit the valves in this engine?
thanks in advance
--ghg

Bob Stone

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 5:33:50 PM7/22/94
to
1977 Mustang, stick: Timing belt failed at 87K, but car was 10 years old at
the time. No engine damage (body damage from the redneck tow truck driver).

1984 Honda Prelude, stick: No failures, as belt was changed at around 85K
miles (car currently has about 125K).

Paul Land

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 12:03:57 PM7/22/94
to
hmm.. You may be right! I've owned seven OHC cars in the last 20 years,
put at least 60K on each of them (and bought none new), and I've yet to
break a belt. I've heard the horror stories, and I know now how to
diagnose the problem if it happens (have your friend turn the key over
while you look down the oil filler tube at the cams and see if they turn).

My friendly Volvo mechanic insists I should have it done "soon" (Ingrid
has 107000 miles). I'm not so sure.

This may be a distant relative of the Long Term Financing Conspiracy
Theory, which holds that if you limited auto financing to realistic terms
of 4 years or less, Detroit would go out of business.

PL/EugeneOR

Richers, Nikolaj

unread,
Jul 23, 1994, 12:56:00 PM7/23/94
to
In article <1994Jul21....@bcarh54a.bnr.ca>, cli...@bcarh3ae.bnr.ca
(Dwayne Clipperton) writes...

>I have a 2.5L K-car with ~265K's (about 165K miles) and
>is on it's second belt. Does anyone know if this engine
>will self-destruct if the belt breaks? The first belt
>was removed due to excessive noise.

I just replaced the timing belt on my 2.5 K-Car yesterday. I can't give you
a conclusive answer, but the Hanyes manual I used does _not_ mention that
a broken timing belt can give you 'headaches.'

One thing I haven't read in this thread yet is that maladjusted or old and
stretched timing belts can wreak havoc with your timing. I replaced my
belt because I kept loosing power, despite having the timing reset. Not
to mention a rough idle, poorer mileage, etc. And go figure, every tooth
on the belt had cracks at the base, which you could see only if the belt
was turned inside out--this on a car with 85k kilometres or 53 kmiles.

Considering the timing belt is what keeps the engine's top and bottom
working in unison, a replacement at regular intervals certainly is
cheap insurance.


Nikolaj

__________

Nikolaj Peddie-Richers, Peterborough, Canada, pi...@blaze.trentu.ca

Kennis

unread,
Jul 23, 1994, 1:59:46 AM7/23/94
to
In article <30ov7d$6...@larry.rice.edu>, Lin Yue <lin...@rice.edu> wrote:
>
>if anyone can tell me ------- Is there *any* sign when the timing belt is going
>to fail? Or, *only* mechanics can tell the condition of the belt?
>
If your car is about 4, 5 years old or about 60k miles on it. Don't wait
until there is sign.

You (if you're willing to do) should be able to check the belt by
removing the belt cover. Just take a look to see if there is crack
or even breakage.


--
-----------------------------------
Kennis '58 '62 '70, and ...
kmc...@descartes.uwaterloo.ca '94, BRAZIL!!!
-----------------------------------

Thomas V. Myers

unread,
Jul 24, 1994, 3:32:32 AM7/24/94
to
Dave Darling (graphic...@qmgate.arc.nasa.gov) wrote:
> In article <30k467$a...@inews.intel.com> Owen Lee, ol...@cad629.intel.com

> writes:
> >My theory is that timing belt breaking is a scare story cooked up by
> >people w