The Factory put the timing belt on wrong? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 07-06-2011
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The Factory put the timing belt on wrong?

Has anyone else seen this? I have a 1996 2.3L that I purchased new in CA. I just changed the timing belt for the first time (preventive maintenance at 135k mi). At TDC the camshaft was 4 belt notches retarded from lining up the indicating markers. I installed the new belt with the camshaft markers lined up. The engine ran OK at highway speed but had less torque and was hard to start. I set the camshaft back to the way it came from the factory and it runs fine. Has anyone seen this? Could it have something to do with being a California truck? This truck has always had low fuel milage (21mpg) compared to my other 2.3L Rangers (25mpg). Any ideas?
Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2011
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when I replaced mine on my old 99 ranger it was also off by 4 teeth.
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Old 07-19-2011
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I guess that makes me feel better. Did you put the new one on the same way? Any ideas why?

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2011
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Good thing our engines are non interference ones. In other words there is no way the valves can hit a piston even if the timing belt broke or slipped.
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Old 07-20-2011
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Amen to non interface motors! When something happens, it's ugly. I've seen it first hand in my buddy's old golf. It's also costly. I split the repairs w/ him. $4600 installed.
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Old 07-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morris View Post
Amen to non interface motors! When something happens, it's ugly. I've seen it first hand in my buddy's old golf. It's also costly. I split the repairs w/ him. $4600 installed.
Haha I was just think about MY buddies golf that slipped like 3 teeth and totally F-up his engine. V-Dub in da Haus and stays there.

I think the 2.3/2.5 is about the last Ford non interference engine. Hell its been pretty much the same design for 30 years.
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Old 07-20-2011
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Why?

Thanks guys! So this has been seen before. Does anyone know why some 2.3/2.5L engines come from the factory with the camshaft timing belt offset by about 4 teeth? Initially I assumed it was a factory mistake, but my truck runs poorly when the timing belt is installed "correctly". So, there must be some reason.
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Old 07-21-2011
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I would suggest (probably not possible now) to post some pics of your cam and crank. I just wanna see the marks your going by. I haven't changed mine out yet (180k miles, I just gonna wait till it breaks......then cuss). My buddy said the marks where kinda confusing on his 83 Turbo mustang (pretty much same engine).
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Old 07-21-2011
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I would have to assume that is was not a "mistake" and that it was done on purpose. Obviously if it's running like crap now, something is off. Take off the belt, retard it 4 teeth and reinstall. Post back with the results.
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Old 07-21-2011
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the california trucks have a different cam and/or cam timing for emissions...i remember seeing two different procedures in my 88 and in the 97 workshop manual
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Old 07-21-2011
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more info

I don't have any pictures to post but I will try to get something up that shows how things looked.

I initially installed the belt with everything lined up and it ran but it idled poorly. I then put it on the way it came from the factory (I had marked it before removing the old belt) and it rums like it always had.

The most interesting thing is that this might be related to it being a California truck. Does anyone know more about this possibility.
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