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Old 10-27-2008, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

Hey guys

I have been reading a lot more about people having problems with their timing belts as of late. I have noticed a lot of people saying their belt "jumped a tooth." I know what this means, however I am not sure what would cause this.

I assuming if the belt wasn't tensioned properly it would have the ability to do such a thing, but can it happen if the belt is at proper tension?

Is this something that maybe the tensioner just didnt do its job because it is getting old?

How can I prevent this from happening after I do my 120k maintenance this upcoming winter?

The reason I am asking is I am becoming increasingly paranoid about many things about my car. I have recently been doing a lot of maintenance (weekly couple hundred dollar purchases) and trying to just make the car like new again. I am just scared to death of something happening that is major, timing jump, spun bearing, etc.

Thanks in advance!
-Steven
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

I would attribute it, like you said, to an improperly tensioned belt or a failing tensioner that's just getting weak. It could also be someone didn't tighten down the tensioner bolt enough and it worked it's way loose a bit or something of that sort, aged belt, stretched belt, etc.

I'm in the same boat as you pretty much. I've been spending quite a bit a week trying to get my car back up to tip top shape and I'd really hate it if mine jumped a tooth or two or three and messed up my valves especially since I just had a motor put in it. I'm thinking I'm good for awhile, so most of what I'm doing now are just little minor things like weather stripping or missing plastic pieces, renewing black parts on the outside of the car (like the black around the bottom of the back of the back glass)
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

Mine jumped when a piece of the rubber gasket under the timing belt cover broke while putting the cover on. Over time it becomes brittle and will break easily. This small rubber piece found its way inbetween the belt and the gear. You can guess what happened next. Good thing was that nothing seriously bad happened. No bent valves or anything. Reset the timing, check compression, and she was on her way.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

My honest opinion? Poor timing belt tensioner design.

However, if you're doing your timing, make sure everything is torqued properly. I think it's like 7.2 ft/lbs on the belt, then 42 ft/lbs on the tensioner pulley bolt. That's quoted from memory, so could be off a bit.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

if you miss a gear or over rev your car you will jump the timing. The stock tensioner just cant keep up and your screwed. Another thing is just replacing that tensioner, and bolts, alot of ppl dont do it untill 120k but it wouldnt hurt to do it at 60k.


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Old 10-28-2008, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

i've always replaced the hydraulic tensioner on 60ks. spend a little over 100 or a couple grand? i'll spend the 200 for the peace of mind. and i've always used oem tensioners. some parts can be aftermarket, but i wouldn't cheap out on something that vital to the engine.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What causes the belt to jump a tooth?

I have found that many times the timing will jump when you use a light-weight flywheel and/or light-weight crank pulley.
Of course failing parts and improper installs will do it as well.
Best bet is to make sure you use new OEM parts and use a reliable shop that knows what they're doing.
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