2.3 L "Knocking" after timing belt install - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 01-04-2007
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2.3 L "Knocking" after timing belt install

Hello all,

I just installed a new timing belt on my 2.3 L Ranger and I was very careful to follow the instructions of the manual making sure that it was precicely at TDC of the power stroke and aligned with the cam indicator mark on the sproket. There were no unusual noises or undue resistance when I cranked it over by hand to check things out. However, when I started it, it makes a knocking noise in time with the idle speed which I almost think could be a loose timing belt. Anyonw know if this is possible? This rased another question: Should the spring loaded timing belt tensioner be left in the mobile position such that it can further increase tension on its own if the belt stretches? This would make sense because spring is very strong. But the manual indicated that I should tighten the bolts to secure it from moving, with about 30 lbs/ft tension on the belt, which is what I did. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks!
Craig
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Old 01-04-2007
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You are exactly right. If you inspect the timing belt from the REAR of the camshaft gear, you will be able to see a tiny portion of the belt. If you can't, remove the inspection plug from the front of the cover and start the truck.

The noise you're hearing is the outside of the timing belt slapping the inside of the rear timing belt cover. There is slack between the camshaft gear and the oil pump sproket.

If you remember, the instruction explained to put the timing belt on in a counter-clockwise manner. This means get everything lined up at TDC, then pull the slack from the lower gear to the oil pump sproket. Get the teeth set with good tension, then pull the slack from the oil pump to the camshaft gear. Set the teeth with good tension, leaving the slack on the LEFT side of the camshaft gear (between it and the tensioner).

Now you can pry the tensioner pulley between the spring stop pin and pulley, or between the pulley and water pump, to add tension to the belt. With the spring in place, and tension held, tighten the two bolts (13mm tensioner adjustment bolt and 15mm spring support bolt).

After snugging it down, check tension by hand by flexing the belt left and right. It should BARELY move, less than 1/2". If it has significant play, re-do the tensioning sequence.

The first time I did this I did not check the tension after tightening it down. Based on the amount of "pry" I put into it, I assumed it was tight. I replaced the timing belt cover, and re-attached all the other stuff, only to take it on a test drive to find out the belt was slapping the cover and I had to take it all apart again.

Please note that since you have a new belt, it will go through quite a period of stretching before it reaches a norm. Until then, you may have to keep adding tension if the slapping sound comes back.

If you need any pictures or additional help, let me know. I feel like an expert on this stuff now that I've had it apart so many times!
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Old 01-04-2007
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Thanks so much for you help! That was the answer I was hoping for because that is a relatively easy fix. I'd rather get in there twice and learn about it than pay someone multi-hundreds of dollars to do it for me.

Thanks again!
Craig
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Old 01-04-2007
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In thinking back, I remember pulling the slack from the oil pump to the cam sproket counter clockwise but I didn't check the slack between the crank and the oil pump which I should have done first. There was a little play in the belt (about 1/2") when I pressed on it with moderate pressure so I'll go back in tonight and re-align everything and report on it.

Craig
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Old 01-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccootsona
In thinking back, I remember pulling the slack from the oil pump to the cam sproket counter clockwise but I didn't check the slack between the crank and the oil pump which I should have done first. There was a little play in the belt (about 1/2") when I pressed on it with moderate pressure so I'll go back in tonight and re-align everything and report on it.

Craig

That's exactly what I did. I made sure all was tight, just in the WRONG places. After re-reading the instructions, I re-tightened it and it runs great now, with no slack what-so-ever!

Anxious to hear the results....
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2007
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Good news! Problem solved. I pulled the timing cover off and the belt was nice and tight between the crank, oil pump, and cam sprokets (in fact I could not get it to go even one more tooth), but the tensioner was not tight enough on the left side. It was just barely tighter than the spring tension which as I have read, is not enough to keep it from slapping. I achieved the proper tension by carefully prying it against the timing belt. It made a huge difference and now the belt has minimal deflection when I press on it. I'll keep an ear on it in case the belt stretches a little, but at least I know how to fix it in under 15 minutes. . . 280,000 miles and still going!

Thanks again for the good info!
Craig
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Old 01-05-2007
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Great to hear! Good job! Glad to help....
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Old 01-06-2007
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ccootsona...just curious what manual you used to change your timing belt? it looks like i will need to change mine...was it a chilton or haynes?
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Old 01-06-2007
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I know you didn't ask me, but I used my Haynes Manual...

Last edited by Needforspeed3685; 01-13-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 01-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needforspeed3685
I know you didn't ask me, but I used my Chiltons...
well thank you for the input...did you have any problems with chilton's directions or was it very straight forward?
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Old 01-13-2007
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This is a very helpful thread. Tomorrow or Monday I will attempt this same job on my '84 2.3. The Haynes manual states that the power steering pump mounting bracket must be removed, while leaving the pump still connected.

1) Is this difficult and does it require removing the PS pump pulley?

2) Does the oil pump sprocket (called the aux. shaft sprocket in Haynes) also drive the distributor?

Thanks for the good info,

Gordon
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Old 01-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonb1
This is a very helpful thread. Tomorrow or Monday I will attempt this same job on my '84 2.3. The Haynes manual states that the power steering pump mounting bracket must be removed, while leaving the pump still connected.

1) Is this difficult and does it require removing the PS pump pulley?

2) Does the oil pump sprocket (called the aux. shaft sprocket in Haynes) also drive the distributor?

Thanks for the good info,

Gordon
you dont have to remove the pulley and you may not even have to remove the bracket on yours. and yes the aux. sprocket drives the distributor on yours so try and keep it lined up.
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Old 01-13-2007
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You won't have to mess with the aux. shaft or oil pump. Once to release tension on the timing belt you can adjust them accordingly, but it won't be necessary if you line everything up before you remove the belt.
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Old 01-14-2007
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Thank you for the replies. I looked over the job today and it appears the PS pump & alternator block access to the distributor. As its running a little rough I bought cap, rotor & plugs, thinking I would have to open the cap to find TDC for the aux. shaft. True, one may be able to replace the belt by lining it all up carefully, without touching the distributor.

Since there is snow coming, I may defer this job for a day or two. Or find a garage space. I changed the oil today. Do other 2.3 engines take 5.7 litres of oil like mine? Thanks for the help,

Gordon
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Old 01-15-2007
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i dont know in litres but it should be a full 5 quarts if you do the filter too.

and if the belt isnt broken you should be able to set the engine to TDC and remove the belt and put the new belt on without the pulleys moving position at all. when you take the belt off they wont spin on their own, so just dont spin them by hand when you have the belt off.
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Old 01-15-2007
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Thanks Jason,

I was wondering about the pulley movement when the belt was removed.

GB
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Old 01-15-2007
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Just make sure you align everything after you pull the fan/clutch assembly and BEFORE removing the timing cover!

On my generation, the timing marks on the harmonic balancer align with a label on the timing cover. Once the timing cover is removed, it isn't possible to align the crankshaft without re-installing it.
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2007
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Thank you all for the helpful posts. Brought the truck to a friend's garage which made it easier than working in -25 C weather, plus he's changed many more timing belts than I have! Like a lot of neglected machines, this needed more than a new belt. New distributor, front crank oil seal, plugs, wires & timing. The truck has never run so smoothly. It was pinging badly before due to a defective vacuum advance diaphragm which could not be purchased without the entire distributor. The plugs were gray and 'hot'.

Thanks again,

Gordon
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Old 01-21-2007
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Glad you got it running so good! I bet replacing that front crank oil seal was a job! Did you help out with that one, or leave it for your friend to work on?
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Old 02-12-2007
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Hi Tim,

My friend did most of the hands on - faster, more experienced, only room for one at the oil seal. It was not difficult. Thought the crank gear would pose a problem according to the book & advice, etc. Good lesson here. After calling around for a puller and jawing over it for a while, it slipped right off with hand pressure. Drilled two holes in the seal - tapped in a couple of wood screws. Put a claw on the wood screws & with the help of a seal puller tool (sharp, pointed hook) it twisted out OK.

The truck no longer pings, but its not running as smooth as I first thought. In fact it runs a bit rougher than before, despite the absence of pinging. It was always smooth on the flats, but now it misses - less so when really warmed up. Too frosty here to deal with anything but emergencies, I'll check it out in warmer weather.

Flushed the brake fluid too which was the colour of used motor oil. Black with lots of grime & debris, like large foil & styrofoam parts from fluid bottles.Then next week had to change a wheel cylinder at minus cold - the drum interior was caked with big clumps of fluid & grime and the shoes were dragging.

Now I have a pressing electrical problem which I'll post as a new topic.

Thanks again for the help,

Gordon
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  #21  
Old 04-12-2007
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Just thought I'd emphasize the importance of changing the timing belt tensioner while changin the belt. Its easy to do even after the belt is on. I just did mine in the parking lot at work. The old one split right down the center and nearly stranded me so I replaced it and the replacement did the same thing! I finally went to NAPA and got a high quality part that is not the pressed steel halves that I got from Autozone. The NAPA one is a machined solid surface on the wheel that is a much better design. I also used slightly less tension so it's not over-stressing the bearings.

Cheers!
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Old 04-12-2007
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How is it running, overall? I'm glad to hear you patched her all up like that! Great work!
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2007
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My truck runs great right now. No complaints other than a whistling noise that appears to be related to the fan clutch. I ordered a replacement.
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