Hello folks I hope this is helpful but before you start please buy and refer to the workshop manual in conjunction with this especially for torque settings etc. and please remember I have no mechanical training at all so I'm no expert, there is also a very helpful video showing replacing a k series belt that someone posted on you tube
that is worth looking at, although it makes it look too easy as the engine is sat on a bench, the engine in this case is a front wheel drive version but the principle is the same
First job was to get the car up in the air and because we were doing the underfloor pipes at the same time level as well , the alloy wheels have a habit of sticking on hard so it's worth slackening the nuts and rolling the car back and forwards a bit to try to help loosen them off before jacking the car up. we jacked up the front and put ramps under the wheels placing them to face in opposing directions so that the car is securely fixed and cannot roll you can never be too safe!!
the back wheels needed to come off once it is jacked up and you must use axle stands never leave a car just on hydraulic jacks if working on it you also need to disconnect the battery
the inspection hatch need to be taken off basically unzip the window and unclip the hood fold it upwards and tie it in the up position with a piece of rag or similar round the door aperture pull out the moulded carpet and underfelt then unbolt and remove the panel note that there are some bolts that hold the stiffening cross member that are a different size and fitting to the rest
this is the protective panel in the wheel arch, it needs to be removed to get to the belt side of the engine. It is held on by two plastic plugs and a plastic plug/cable retainer the two plastic plugs have push in centres with screwheads on them they can be screwed out and then you need to hook the plug out ideally using a interior panel removing tool that slides behind the plug and hooks it out, the same tool should be used to remove the third fixing prising out with a screwdriver will probably break the fittings and is not recommended if you don't have a tool a couple of sturdy knifes slid under the edges of the fixing may well do the job
engine revealed you can unbolt the plastic top cover and it's not a bad idea at this point to remove the plugs as the engine will turn much easier with them out. Each coil pack fires two cylinders and is fixed to the head with two bolts remove these and then remove the packs and plug leads put the bolts somewhere safe before you remove the plugs as you don't want them falling down the plug hole!!!
from the belt side undo and remove the top part of the cambelt cover this is self explanatory all the bolts are easily seen and should be easy to get out, then you need to use a socket on the crank pulley to turn the engine clockwise until it is in the correct position to change the belt this is achieved with the small marks on the cam pulleys facing each other
and the bottom pulley lined up with the mark on the bottom belt cover, you can see the mark on the bottom cover a few pictures down although this is with the crank pulley removed, you will note that the bottom belt pulley is marked with two dots either side of the groove that needs to be aligned to this mark
next job is to get the bottom pulley off, be under no illusions this is on very very tight and then some you could chance it just with someone on the brakes and in gear but why take any risks better to lock the flywheel as it is not difficult using the correct tool. The tool is available from various specialists check the net for best price and it is a one off purchase, to fit it you need to remove the starter motor it is held on by two bolts with nuts on the other end this is dead easy so no problem. you'll need a very long extension bar or bars to reach the bolts plus some 18mm (if I've remembered right!) ring spanners disconnect the electrical connections first and then unbolt the motor put it to one side and then carefully insert the locking tool into place securing it with the same nuts and bolts that held the starter. you also need to lock the cam pulleys the tool for this is very cheap I paid about £2 for mine again search the web and local stores as prices for this tool do vary a fair bit. It simply slides in between the two cam wheels if it will not go in you haven't got the cams quite aligned properly. at this point have a coffee break and then drain the coolant the underfloor pipes seems to be a good spot for this and with the car high up you can get a bucket underneath to catch the coolant
you can now undo the bottom pulley it will be very very tight you'll need a nice long bar and socket or a compressor and air impact that has plenty of torque it is a conventional thread. Once loose you can remove it by hand taking the alternator belt with it, in my case the alternator belt was well past it crazed and with one crack (see pictures) I have been a bit lax in doing the belts car has 28k and 5 years good job i decided to do it. Following this you can unbolt and remove the bottom part of the belt cover simple job nothing complicated
the MGR manual will tell you that you need to remove the full engine support to take the belt off, having scratched my head a little it was clear that this was a rather OTT task in fact by releasing the top fixings it is possible to make a slot big enough to slip the belt through, support the sump first with a jack (use a wooden block to support the engine) then undo the two bolts holding the support they are pretty tight you may also need to undo the bolt that is to one side of this we did but I kind of suspect we didn't need to. With a bit of juggling of the engine height there is ample space to slip the belt through
with the two locking tools in place you can now remove the belt, firstly you will need to release the belt tensioner which is a simple job of undoing the centre bolt then slip the belt off and remove picture below shows ratchet on the offending bolt!
you can then completely remove the tensioner and put on a new one picture below shows the tensioner removed and you can see the bolt onto which rests the spring of the auto type tensioner, you need to make sure that the spring is hooked over this but to aid fitting the new belt the tensioner can be slack at this time
it is a wise move to replace the water pump as well as the belt as it will save having to do the job again a few months later if you don't and the pumps only cost about thirty quid. It is a simple job, having already drained the coolant earlier, to unbolt the old pump and fit a new one it has a rubber seal that fits in a recess be careful to make sure it doesn't stray from it's position! I don't know why but the replacement pump I bought which is a x part supplied item has an impeller with 7 smaller fins instead of 6 larger ones it was marked made in Japan on the box
another coffee break and biscuits or bacon sarnie then fit the stainless underfloor pipes as per other how to's on .org before getting back to the serious work....
poundland to the rescue!!! The K series has quite a tight run for the cam belt I found it a bit awkward around the water pump and tensioner area using a plastic wedge from a cheap door stop set is an ideal way to keep the belt in place as you work your way around , I think another member mentioned this a while back on here. Ease the belt on by a few mm all round first then push on a bit further don't worry if it doesn't go on all the way at first as it will line up when you manually turn the pulleys a bit later
now you need to do the tensioner simple job after removing the cam pulley locking tool using an allen key simply turn back the tensioner anti clockwise to slacken then turn clockwise until the wire aligns with the cut out in the metal arm and tighten the tensioner bolt if you over run the alignment point back off back to remove all tension and then tension again
this will probably apply most of the tension to one side of the belt only so now you need to replace the lower belt cover and refit the crank pulley tightening to specified torque (very tight!), it's not a bad idea to fit the alternator belt at the same time as well, then remove the crankshaft lock (but don't replace the starter just yet) and make sure that you have already removed the little blue cam wheel locking tool. Turn the engine over using the crank pulley several times this will settle the belt into the right position on the pulleys and even out the tension across the whole belt bring the marks back into alignment and check that everything still lines up then check and readjust tension if required
you can now put the starter back reverse of removal make sure you get all connectors back on, good idea as it is very inaccessible to lightly tape the bolt to the socket with masking tape saves it falling off all the time as you try to locate it.
you can replace the engine mount bolts next you will need to move the engine up and down a bit with the jack and possibly lever it across a little to get the holes aligned, don't put the cam belt cover on yet as you'll want to run the engine and check everything is ok first. You may also wish to change oil and oil/air/fuel filters whilst everything is accessible there is already a very good 'how to' on this subject on .org. you'll need to fit the new spark plugs and bolt the coil packs etc. back now, i always run plugs into alloy heads with my fingers first and tighten with a torque wrench there's no point in risking a crossed thread. You can also reconnect the battery
above is the heater bleed screw you can see it without removing the cover in the front compartment but it is a lot easier with the cover removed. Removal of this cover is pretty much self explanatory
this is the bleed hole in the engine compartment here it is shown with the bolt removed, you may not need to use this bleed if all goes well, the third bleed point is the radiator there is a plastic bolt in the top of the rad, I would recommend that you buy the metal bolt with bleed nipple that Mike Satur (and maybe others) sells it makes life a lot easier. As already stated you may well not need to bleed under the bonnet get a couple of lengths of suitable plastic pipe and fit them to the two bleed nipples radiator and heater use two suitable clean containers to catch any overflow , fill the system from the reservoir and once coolant starts to come at the radiator start running the engine heater must be full on you'll see coolant starting to emerge from both bleed pipes keep going until both run without bubbles, no bubbles in the reservoir and the heater is warm you should then be OK to replace the reservoir cap the manual states that the engine fans should come on but I didn't find that necessary also check that coolant pipes under the bonnet are becoming hot to the touch and make sure that there are no visible leaks
having done this successfully you can refit the top cambelt cover, the protective wheel arch guard,put the wheels on, get it back on the ground, fold the hood rear section back down and then test drive briefly with the hood up check again for any leaks. If all is well replace the engine cover etc. properly and go for another drive with a big grin on your face. Check coolant and oil levels again for next few days you will probably find a very small drop in coolant at first, carry a supply in the front compartment and check regularly.
Overall despite what I've heard I'd have to say there is loads of room to work on the engine once the cover is off I did take it very slowly and tried to be thorough, I could do it again a good deal faster but I really don't know how Russell can do it so fast! It is best to have a friend to assist many thanks to my mate Steve who helped when the going got tough, Steve is a very brave bloke as he managed to do the Head gaskets on his KV6 825 virtually unaided now that's impressive!