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Dilemma Time - Your Thoughts


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It's that time when I have to think about replacing the timing belt on my 200 TDI defender. I'm quite happy to attempt most things on the CSW but this is an area where I get extremely nervous and my palms become sweaty!

As a consequence I have been searching through my local French garages for someone to undertake the replacement of this vital piece of elastic band technology and more importantly someone who appears to have done this or that were previously on a Land Rover. I have obtained all the parts by post from the UK and I have now had four quotes for labour only to replace the belt and they are as follows in ascending order:

€125: A local garage run by a couple who looked like contenders for the 'duelling banjo' award for inbreeding but who did have a range Rover TDI up on the ramps when I arrived so clearly have some knowledge of the vehicle.

€185: Another local garage, a very high-tech outfit who service and repair all the main French vehicle types but who struggled to find the technical data on the cam belt replacement for a Land Rover.

€355: Garage located about 30 km away independent that specialise in British vehicles including MG, Land Rover, Mini and Jags.

€570: Land Rover main dealer who will not fit my parts so their figure includes supplying parts themselves.

I am in a total quandary now of which of these garages to go to and wonder what the general opinion is about this kind of thing. I feel such an idiot because at the end of the day it's just a car but because I spend such a lot of time in it and working on it myself, I feel very protective about it and want to make sure that whoever starts tinkering about under the bonnet has some idea of what they're actually doing.

I expect there will be those of you who probably think I ought to do the timing belt change myself and in all seriousness I probably should. It's just that I once had a rather bad experience doing one of these on a naturally aspirated diesel which went horribly wrong and I just can't bear the thought of that happening again.

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It isn't too difficult but you do need a dial type torque wrench don't even think about doing it with a clicky one. No doubt somebody will come along who has done but it isn't a good idea, a bit too slack and it lets the timing wobble, a bit too tight and you are pushing your luck!

I seem to remember Les Henson did a post on replacing cam belts on here, worth a search may be in the Tech Archive... failing that somebody will be able to post the procedure I think, my RAVE isn't installed at the moment.

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From what you say, I'd think option 3, but anyone who has fitted a timing belt should have little difficulty with a 200tdi. I wouldn't be too concerned about a garage not being able to find the tech data on fitting a 200tdi belt either, 200tdi's are getting on now and maybe they just don't see many old defenders? From my experience of working on french motors is that if you can find the timing belt then your doing well :blink:

Theres a write up on here and one on my site, if you join them both together and look at the manual (haynes) then to be honest, I would be suprised if you cocked it up. Just take your time, have a coffee and work in a cleanish uncluttered area. Having the correct tools makes it much easier......but how much is a puller, the locking pins, torque wrench, dial wrench etc.... if you haven't already got them? If you just can't be bothered then theres no shame in getting someone else to do it. I won't generally fit exhausts myself. Just not worth the hassle when a garage have a ramp and the price fitted isn't much different.

Incidentally, those prices in euro don't seem to bad.

Good luck

Jas

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If you've got plenty of time and a digicam, do it over a weekend and posts pics on here if you get stuck.

The way I look at it, even if you mess it up and it snaps subsequently, the worst that will happen is you'll bend a few pushrods or snap a rocker. If you don't mess it up, you've saved a pot of money. It is daunting but after my first swap (old one snapped) I'd be happy to do another.

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If you've got plenty of time and a digicam, do it over a weekend and posts pics on here if you get stuck.

The way I look at it, even if you mess it up and it snaps subsequently, the worst that will happen is you'll bend a few pushrods or snap a rocker. If you don't mess it up, you've saved a pot of money. It is daunting but after my first swap (old one snapped) I'd be happy to do another.

I'd agree with TC.

Take your time, read the manual and the guide/s on here.

I've got to the stage now where I can do a timing belt on a 200 Tdi in about an hour - hour and a half, having now done multiple Discoverys and my own Defender three times. It's a straightforward nuts and bolts job - and you'll have the satisfaction of chalking up another "I can do it" job....!

Cheers,

Matt

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the hardest part out of the whole job on a 200 (I think) is/can be the damper and getting it off the end of the crank...

I know my damper will fall off once the bolts undone, I think because it must have come loose on another owner, the time case cover was a right mess :o

iam lucky and can get access to the corect locking pins and pullers etc.. which makes the job very easy...

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Thanks guys for all the comments that you've made and I feel thoroughly ashamed of myself that I am so nervous about carrying out this particular job. It's entirely irrational because I have stripped and rebuilt engines, taken out and refitted gearboxes, converted my old V8 from manual to automatic transmission without even a second thought.

If I were to go down the route of fitting the belt myself, what is the best kind of puller that I could get off the shelf (bear in mind that most of these types of tools I tend to buy mail-order from the UK) to get the crank pulley off? Also with regard to the torque wrench, where can I get a decent dial type from?

Thanks again for all the advice-I feel almost ready to go out and do the job now! (At least I would if it wasn't minus three centigrade)

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You dont need the proper expensive timing tools, i used a selection of drill bits to lock the pulleys, screwdrivers also work, or failing that just use tipex

I wouldnt necessarily trust a garage to use the correct tools - in a former life i worked at a ford main dealership - they didnt have a torque wrench that went over 200lbs/ft so just used a windy-gun :blink:

I vote with doing it yourself - you learn from it and you know what was done and when

Lewis :)

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