Escort 95 timing belt replacement

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I currently have a Ford Escort 95 4-door in great condition with about 63,000 miles on it. According to Ford's official maintenance guidelines, the timing
belt (which they call the camshaft drive belt) should be replaced at 60,000 miles. Does anyone else have any opinion on what mileage should this timing belt on this car be replaced? I'm always a bit wary about manfacturer's recommendations as they might be more conservative.
Thanks for any help.
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if it says 60,000 then thats the interval, i assume this is the zetec engine?? change it any later at your own peril, but these belts have been known to fail at excessive mileage, you will also need to change the tensioner and idler pulleys, make sure these are replaced if you are paying someone else to do the job, if your doing it yourself you can buy a kit which comes with all the necassary parts required.

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Well right now I'm only about 3000 miles beyond the recommended timing belt replacement mileage (60,000) but I'm thinking of getting it done by around 65,000 miles. I'm told that if I hear louder noises from the belt during idling I should get it replaced very soon, and I'm looking out for that. It seems there is a slightly louder noise lately though not severely.
I'm getting it done at a local Ford dealer. They say it's a big job as it takes about 2 hours to get to the belt and they have to take apart the car quite a bit to get to it. They also recommend having the radiator pump replaced at that mileage as it's also hard to get to and it's a good time to get it replaced when the timing belt is being replaced.
I don't know much about servicing these things so I have to get the dealer to do it. Just not my kind of stuff.
steve wrote:

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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 01:46:05 -0800, Ken wrote:

That sounds about right. I used to have a '91 Escort. At 100K the belt still looked fine. A friend of mine had an almost-identical Escort and his broke at 100K (or at least needed replacing). His telling me that is what prompted me to look at mine.

Yeah. The cover comes of easily, once you find the secret path along which it fits. My dad and I spent about 3 or 4 hours trying to get the cover off. (the Haynes manual wasn't helpful on that point)
Just so you know what they're talking about, to get the cover off you first take off the tensioner and the serpentine belt. That's easy. Then you undo the two nuts holding the timing belt cover on. That's easy too. The next step is where we spent the bulk of the 3 or 4 hours -- the cover comes off very nicely, if you angle it *just right*. This is as far as we got on mine. The belt looked ok (no cracking or anything) so we put the cover back on and that was that.
The next step is to lift the car, take the passenger wheel off and the plastic lining in the wheel well. This is necessary to get to the crankshaft. You would then need to take some pulleys off the crankshaft to get the timing belt off over the end of it and then to get the new one on. Then you need a torque wrench to put it back together properly.

I don't remember whether or not the water pump (could also be called the radiator pump) is actually driven by the timing belt or not, but it very well could be. At any rate, it is located in the engine block behind the timing belt. So, yes, I would recommend having them replace that while they're already in there. It will reduce labor charges for another time.

Based on my experience (noted above), I'd say that having the dealer replace the timing belt is a good decision. The belt itself is around $10 USD. The labor is, as you can see above, not quite trivial :-).
Oh, and some articles my dad showed me back when I was looking into replacing my belt indicate that after around '82 Ford stopped using an interference engine in the Escorts. If the engine was interference, then when the timing belt breaks the pistons will smash the valves at the top of the cylinders and you'll have scrap metal for the top of your engine. With a non-interference engine you'll just have towing fees. Better to replace the belt before it goes.
-D
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Don't listen to myths - belts break at startup and driving along.........most of the time you don't get chance to hear a noise.
Bill
Bill
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Hi
Ive heard new fords need their belts changing at 100:000miles so I would say for a 95 Escort 60:000 sounds right, remember leaving this belt any longer will give you an headache 'sooner' than later - get the job done as soon as possible this could cost you in the long ran.
Bill
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Hiya Ken,
Regardless of the cars mileage, the belt has now been twirling around your engine bay for 8 years with dust, dirt and oil getting trapped between it and the pulleys.
timing belt = not that much, especially if you fit it yourself head off and new valves = lots more
get the spanners out.
pottsy.

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Ya you have a point there. The belt has been there for quite a while come to think of it. I'm getting it done at a local Ford dealer. They say it's a big job as it takes about 2 hours to get to the belt and they have to take apart the car quite a bit to get to it. They also recommend having the radiator pump replaced at that mileage as it's also hard to get to and it's a good time to get it replaced when the timing belt is being replaced. Do you think they are trying to get me to have more work done than necessary?
I don't know much about servicing these things so I have to get the dealer to do it. Just not my kind of stuff.
pottsy wrote:

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It is a good idea to change the water pump (radiator pump as you call it) these in the past have caused belts to break.
Bill
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Ya you have a point there. The belt has been there for quite a while come to think of it. I'm getting it done at a local Ford dealer. They say it's a big job as it takes about 2 hours to get to the belt and they have to take apart the car quite a bit to get to it. They also recommend having the radiator pump replaced at that mileage as it's also hard to get to and it's a good time to get it replaced when the timing belt is being replaced. Do you think they are trying to get me to have more work done than necessary?
I don't know much about servicing these things so I have to get the dealer to do it. Just not my kind of stuff.
pottsy wrote: > Regardless of the cars mileage, the belt has now been twirling around your > engine bay for 8 years with dust, dirt and oil getting trapped between it > and the pulleys. > > timing belt = ?not that much, especially if you fit it yourself > head off and new valves = ?lots more > > get the spanners out.
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They have to cover their own backs - if they change the belt and the pumps locks up - you are likely to blame them.
Bill
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Ya you have a point there. The belt has been there for quite a while come to think of it. I'm getting it done at a local Ford dealer. They say it's a big job as it takes about 2 hours to get to the belt and they have to take apart the car quite a bit to get to it. They also recommend having the radiator pump replaced at that mileage as it's also hard to get to and it's a good time to get it replaced when the timing belt is being replaced. Do you think they are trying to get me to have more work done than necessary?
I don't know much about servicing these things so I have to get the dealer to do it. Just not my kind of stuff.
pottsy wrote: > Regardless of the cars mileage, the belt has now been twirling around your > engine bay for 8 years with dust, dirt and oil getting trapped between it > and the pulleys. > > timing belt = ?not that much, especially if you fit it yourself > head off and new valves = ?lots more > > get the spanners out.
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Ya you have a point there. The belt has been there for quite a while come to think of it. I'm getting it done at a local Ford dealer. They say it's a big job as it takes about 2 hours to get to the belt and they have to take apart the car quite a bit to get to it. They also recommend having the radiator pump replaced at that mileage as it's also hard to get to and it's a good time to get it replaced when the timing belt is being replaced. Do you think they are trying to get me to have more work done than necessary?
I don't know much about servicing these things so I have to get the dealer to do it. Just not my kind of stuff.
pottsy wrote: > Regardless of the cars mileage, the belt has now been twirling around your > engine bay for 8 years with dust, dirt and oil getting trapped between it > and the pulleys. > > timing belt = ?not that much, especially if you fit it yourself > head off and new valves = ?lots more > > get the spanners out.
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The water pump is driven by the timing belt, if the water pump seizes (they do), there goes your brand new belt. The dealership is trying to give you the best value for your money. It's been standard procedure to replace the water pump whenever the timing belt is changed on Escorts from the time the vehicle was introduced in the early 80s.

The dealer is being completely honest with you.
They could make twice as much labor by ignoring the water pump and then charging you all over again when the pump trashes the new belt.
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didnt realise it was an 8 year old car, (didnt read properly) that being the case the timing belt is well overdue for replacement, its 60,000 miles or 5 years whichever occurs first, i dont always replace the water pump, some people do, but generaly i can tell if its not going to last, its probably advisable if you can afford the extra few quid for one. you wont hear any noises warning you the belt is about to fail, i guarantee that, it will just fail and if it does, since you say you dont know a great deal about cars etc i shall briefly tell you whats involved if it does. firstly the camshafts will stop rotating since there is nothing there to drive them, (the cambelt) when this happens some of the valves will be open, the momentum of the engine means the crankshaft will continue to turn and the pistons will hit the open valves. the valves bend since they are set at an angle to the pistons, the cylinder head needs to be removed to replace the bent valves, (you have 16 of these) depending on the speed of the engine when the belt failed you may or may not have damaged the pistons, either way its gonna cost you, dont leave it to chance.
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Excuse me:
I thought that the escort was a non-interference engine. SO that when the belt goes, nothing is damaged. Anyone know for sure?
Drew
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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 18:48:18 -0500, Mr Mrs Bailey wrote:

Prior to '82 or '83 it was interference. After that Ford didn't want the engines to keep being wrecked. Or so an old "Click 'n Clack" article that my dad found on the web a couple years ago said.
Hmm, yeah, here it is: http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Archive/1993/August/05.html and here's another one, and this one mentions the water pump too : http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Archive/1992/October/08.html
-D
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the zetec is an interference engine, the smaller CVH engines (1.3) wernt. we have a mondeo in the garage right this minute with 8 bent valves due to the same thing. (1.8 zetec)
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:16:07 -0000, steve wrote:

How do you know whether you have the zetec or not? In 1991 there was no 1.3L engine -- the owners and Haynes manuals both mention 1.8 and 1.9 only. I had the 1.9 (now a friend has it).
-D

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Hiya all,
Whether it breaks the valves/cam/pistons/head or not, you stop, and you just know that it'll happen when you've got your best suit on, you're late, on an urgent date, in a crappy part of town, at midnight and it's raining.
you'd hate the car then.
pottsy
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