Xantia timing belt gone - Engine damaged?

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

Le-Mans
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 Sep 2003, 07:13

Xantia timing belt gone - Engine damaged?

Post by Le-Mans » 25 Aug 2004, 00:02

My timing belt gave up at low revs just at the very moment that I and a mechanic were trying to identify the source of a ticking and knocking noise on my Xantia 1.8i petrol.
Anyone care to give any thoughts on whether there'd be serious engine damage or not? There was some pretty nasty knocking and rattling noise when the belt gave up.
I have to decide soon whether or not to try a new timing belt.

oilyspanner
Posts: 1246
Joined: 26 Oct 2003, 17:08

Post by oilyspanner » 25 Aug 2004, 00:19

I am not familiar with that engine but removing the rocker cover might reveal how lucky/unlucky you have been, chances are you will have to go that far to get at the belt, look for valves that dont come up as far as the others or even camshafts snapped,bearing caps split its often pretty obvious.
Stewart

bxbodger
Posts: 1455
Joined: 23 May 2003, 03:34
x 1

Post by bxbodger » 25 Aug 2004, 02:05

You may be lucky if it was only idling when it went and you didn't try to turn the engine over-what tends to cause most damage in these situations is when the belt goes, the driver thinks it's just stalled, and make an attempt to restart.
The thing to do now if there's no obvious damage of the type mentioned by oilyspanner, is to set the pistons to half way up the bores- try and see down a spark-plug hole, and then rotate the camshaft by hand-if all moves as it should, then reset the cam and crankshaft to their correct positions (see haynes or similar), fit a new belt, and start the engine.
If you rotate the cam and one or two valves don't appear to move as they should, then they are most likely bent and its head off time!
The ticking noise you heard was the valves making contact with the piston tops as the old belt waved about-you will probably need to fit a new tensioner as well.As I mentioned in a reply q couple of weeks ago about this sort of sound I have heard it before-it was nearly the death-knell of a firms escort I once had, but it was caught just in time before the belt went!!!

Le-Mans
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 Sep 2003, 07:13

Post by Le-Mans » 25 Aug 2004, 04:40

Thanks you two.
I'll get stuck in tomorrow and report back, to at least close the thread if nothing else.

Le-Mans
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 Sep 2003, 07:13

Post by Le-Mans » 25 Aug 2004, 15:53

Ok, confession time... Just after the belt failure the mechanic had to go talk to another customer. While he was gone I turned the key once, but all I got was the starter motor spinning. I am assuming this was because the engine had in fact seized, and I am also assuming that this is *not* a good sign.
Any comments?

oilyspanner
Posts: 1246
Joined: 26 Oct 2003, 17:08

Post by oilyspanner » 25 Aug 2004, 23:26

I think the camshaft is designed to snap to avoid valve damage it certainly appears that way in the diesels, turning the key in an engine with that damage results in things spinning over with little resistance, wait till the lids off to see.........
Stewart

Mosser
Posts: 448
Joined: 21 Jun 2004, 01:52

Post by Mosser » 26 Aug 2004, 02:08

the cam belt snapped on my pug 406td at idle and engine stalled immidiatly, it ended up snapping the cam shaft in 3 places AND bending 2 valve stems plus it dented the tops of 2 of the pistons

Le-Mans
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 Sep 2003, 07:13

Post by Le-Mans » 26 Aug 2004, 05:05

None of this sounds encouraging. Like, I wasn't expecting bad news? [:p]
"Snapped camshaft" somehow seems to fit the noise I heard just before I turned the engine off.
Didn't get to look at the car at all today. Maybe tomorrow. Fingers crossed...

Le-Mans
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 Sep 2003, 07:13

Post by Le-Mans » 24 Sep 2004, 02:50

Forgot to come back to this...
Turns out that it was the belt tensioner that failed... Popped its bearings, which would account for all the rattling noise.
Nice mechanic fitted a new one, and she ran like clockwork again. :)
A few weeks later and I manage to prang her straight into the side of a Corola (ugly bloody things) that came out of nowhere. I reckon I was doing 25, maybe 30. All the nice shiney bits at the front crumpled accordingly. All the more important bits escaped without damage. The Corola seemed to bounce off and sustained no more than a mashed wing. Poor guy is gonna cry when I give him the bill for my damage.