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Belt tensioning

All right - time to do the cam / balance belts. . . I was going to take it in, but I'm thinking the price of labor & parts (about $600) seems kind of high when I can get the tensioning tool and a new set of belts for about the same. What is REALLY involved with doing this - is it a two-hour job, all-afternoon job, or a "you better hope you can get the engine back together afterwards" kind of job. The Haynes manual is not much help here, and I'd love to hear from some of you that have done it.

I do NOT feel comfortable doing it "by feel" - I really want to use a tensioner of some sort (there's too much at stake) and I've read that the Porsche tool is the only one out there that's accurate (there's a knock-off, but it isn't very accurate). How afraid of screwing it up should I be? I'm pretty good mechanically, but I don't have a lot of experience on these particular engines and don't have a garage (I'd be doing it outside on a weekend). Doable or just fuggeddabawdit and take it in?
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:20 PM
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With the tool, yes, you can do it in a day the first time around - with practice, you can do it in a shorter amount of time. The key here is to TAKE YOUR TIME and double check yourself.

People have used the kriket tool and have had good luck. However, the key is consistancy. Which is something the kriket has not showm me.

$600 for a belt job seems a bit steep, I normally charge around $300 or so - a little more if you need new tensioners or rollers.

Pelican sells the belt tool. You will also need the following tools:

P9201\2: Belt tensioning tool calibration bar
1.5mm allen wrench (to adjust P9201)
27mm Wrench (to adjust tensioner) If your rollers and tensioners are 24mm, they will all have to be updated.
torque wrench: tighten nuts that secure tensioners to 33 ftlbs.
1/2" breaker bar with 24mm socket (to rotate engine)
metric feeler gauges: .05 - 1.0mm

AFJuvat
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Old 02-22-2004, 05:51 PM
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OK, sounds good. I should re-tension in about 1000 miles too, right?

When you say if the tensioner & rollers are 24mm they'll have to be updated, do you mean I have to replace all the engine front internals? How much is that going to run - sounds awfully expensive to just have them a different size. . . What's the reason?
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Old 02-22-2004, 05:56 PM
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The 2 tensuoners, and the 2 idler rollers on the 944 were updated several years ago. THe idler rollers were changed from metal to plastic, the rollers were changed as well. The visual indication they were updated is the adjustment bolt was changed from 24 to 27mm

all 4 tensioners and rollers will set you back around $100.

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Old 02-22-2004, 06:06 PM
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OK thanks, I suspect they're 24s so I'll get the 27mm parts before I start - if I don't end up needing them, I'll have spares or I suppose I can return / resell 'em. . .

Why you suppose they went to plastic ones instead of metal? Less expansion? Are the plastic ones really strong enough?
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Old 02-22-2004, 06:11 PM
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Plastic ones are plenty strong. If I remember correctly, the plastic parts (It is more like a bakelite - real hard plastic) were easier on the belts than the metal ones - less apt to snap them.

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Old 02-23-2004, 05:09 PM
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