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Author Topic: 2.2 dCi timing issue after belt change  (Read 1059 times)
Martin Tyas
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Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« on: September 03, 2019, 01:00:18 pm »

Its been a long time since I last posted... but I still have my 2002 Grand Espace.

I was going to change the timing belt myself but the vehicle hoist I could have the use of is only a 2-post with 4 positionable arms that support a vehicle on it jacking points... so not practical to support the engine whilst removing the upper engine mount which is necessary to change the timing belt.
So I used a small independent auto engineer, that came highly recommended, to do the job for me.
I supplied the parts and locking tools.

All done in less than 2 hours and I then drove 45 miles / 72 Km without any problem... BUT... when I started it again it seemed to lack power and got worse before dying.
Cranking the engine over on the starter motor air could be heard coming up through the air filter and so the valve timing had obviously gone out.
So I had it recovered to the garage that did the timing belt to expect that the tensioner had moved or the bearing failed on the new tensioner or idler and then the timing belt had jumped a tooth or two.
The valve timing wasn't far enough out for any of the pistons to strike any valves.

They stripped it and found nothing at all wrong with the timing using the locking tools and no issues with the idler or tensioner. So having refitted the timing belt with the locking tools in place they decided to attempt to start it before refitting the cover and auxiliary belt. It started and ran perfectly.
So they refitted the auxiliaries belt and put everything back in place only for it not to start again and the valve timing having gone out yet again.

The mechanic knew another mechanic who worked on Renault , Vauxhall / Opel & Nissan vans equipped with the 2.5dCi which is fundamentally the same engine and he'd had a few issues over the years with the timing gear train that sits behind the timing belt. So they removed the auxiliary and timing belt again and took off the timing cover to access the gear train expecting to possibly find a gear with a tooth broken and which may explain why it will time up and run perfectly but then try again and it won't run... the possible explanation for that being that if the gears are in mesh when it starts then it keeps running skipping the broken tooth but if the broken tooth is in the wrong position at restart then the timing jumps out by a tooth and it won't run.

But upon examination of the gear train, whilst there is some wear as could be expected from an engine that's covered 150,000 miles / 241,000 km, there was no sign of any damaged or missing teeth.

So it has us baffled and wondering if anyone had experienced similar issues or had any idea what may be the cause of the valve timing been right one time the engine is started and then out the next time you try to fire it up.

thanks,

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
roy4matra
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Posts: 959



« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 02:46:40 pm »

Its been a long time since I last posted... but I still have my 2002 Grand Espace.

I was going to change the timing belt myself but the vehicle hoist I could have the use of is only a 2-post with 4 positionable arms that support a vehicle on it jacking points... so not practical to support the engine whilst removing the upper engine mount which is necessary to change the timing belt.
So I used a small independent auto engineer, that came highly recommended, to do the job for me.
I supplied the parts and locking tools.

All done in less than 2 hours and I then drove 45 miles / 72 Km without any problem... BUT... when I started it again it seemed to lack power and got worse before dying.
Cranking the engine over on the starter motor air could be heard coming up through the air filter and so the valve timing had obviously gone out.
So I had it recovered to the garage that did the timing belt to expect that the tensioner had moved or the bearing failed on the new tensioner or idler and then the timing belt had jumped a tooth or two.
The valve timing wasn't far enough out for any of the pistons to strike any valves.

They stripped it and found nothing at all wrong with the timing using the locking tools and no issues with the idler or tensioner...

This is the first thing that has me puzzled, Martin.  If the timing had slipped one tooth somehow, and then you had it recovered to the garage, then when they stripped it, how could they find 'nothing at all wrong with the timing using the locking tools' as that to me does not make sense.  If the timing has slipped one tooth, since it is the crank doing the driving and the valve train resisting, then the valve timing should be one tooth advanced (hence air coming back through the filter as the exhaust stroke is pushing the gases out through an inlet valve which is open too early).

If the inlet valves at least are advanced one tooth (and I assume the exhaust valves also but you have not clarified that) then when you strip and check it, the timing tools should NOT fit.  If you have the crank in the right place then the cam cannot be if it is one tooth out; and if it was the cam in the right place then the crank would be out such its TDC tool would not fit.  So something does not add up here.

Quote
So having refitted the timing belt with the locking tools in place they decided to attempt to start it before refitting the cover and auxiliary belt. It started and ran perfectly.
So they refitted the auxiliaries belt and put everything back in place only for it not to start again and the valve timing having gone out yet again.

First mistake.  When they ran it before fitting the auxiliaries belt (and it ran perfectly) they should have stopped it, and then examined it closely, because it must have gone out at that stage or upon the next start up.  So if after examination it was still timed up correctly at that stage, then they should have attempted another start up still without the auxiliaries, as the deduction is that it must be at that point when it gets out of timing.  So stopping it a second time they would then see it was out.  In fact, if it was filmed closely (which most digital cameras can now do) they may have been able to capture and see the slippage.

Since nothing is apparently broken, the only other way for timing slippage is for some gear to be loose enough for slippage to take place, and since Renault no longer use a Woodruff key to lock the crank gear to the crank, that is the most likely gear to slip.

There is something else in the back of my mind too but I need to recheck that particular engine and procedure as it has been a while since I did one of those, so I'll come back a little later after I have checked.

Roy
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 10:37:54 pm by roy4matra » Logged

Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
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Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 03:36:53 pm »

Thanks Roy... I knew that if you picked up on this post that you would have the best insight into what the potential issue may be.

Just picking up on your comment regarding Renault no longer using woodruff keys because there may well be something in that. Having had a failure of the crank pulley rubber vibration damper at about 75,000 miles I had them fit a new pulley and bolt at the same time as the timing belt. If they haven't tightened that bolt enough then maybe the crankshaft gear within the timing gear train is slipping.

However... and I know that we cannot always necessarily rely on the accuracy service manuals... but 3736A page 10A-83 shows in the illustrations a key, and a keyway groove for that particular gear.
I've extracted the page and attached it for reference.

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
roy4matra
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 959



« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 10:30:13 pm »

Thanks Roy... I knew that if you picked up on this post that you would have the best insight into what the potential issue may be.

Just picking up on your comment regarding Renault no longer using woodruff keys because there may well be something in that. Having had a failure of the crank pulley rubber vibration damper at about 75,000 miles I had them fit a new pulley and bolt at the same time as the timing belt. If they haven't tightened that bolt enough then maybe the crankshaft gear within the timing gear train is slipping.

However... and I know that we cannot always necessarily rely on the accuracy service manuals... but 3736A page 10A-83 shows in the illustrations a key, and a keyway groove for that particular gear.
I've extracted the page and attached it for reference.

Martin

Actually Ian alerted me to your posting otherwise I might not have picked it up for a while as I'm away tomorrow until next week.  This is why it is always better to email me directly.

Yes I know they show a key slot, Martin, and in fact there is still one in the crank as they never bothered to alter the machining process straight away, but it is no longer used and there will be no key in that slot (all to do with saving money as usual in my opinion, but they gave us a load of BS about why they don't use it any longer, which in my opinion is untrue!).  So I would be extremely surprised if there was a Woodruff key fitted and the greatest likelihood of the fault seems to me to be the gear is slipping.  The fact that they tell you to use some Loctite before the crank pulley is replaced also shows that the gear is not locked by a key and you are relying purely on the Loctitie plus the tightening of the pulley bolt.  Now since this tightening sequence consists of a torque first and then two additional torque angles, similar to modern cylinder head bolt tightening, that means you are taking the bolt to its stretch point and I would advise that the bolt is replaced just as they recommend you replace head bolts once they have been stretched more than once.  (thinking about this my new timing belt kit had a new crank bolt in the kit, so they obviously agree it should be changed!)

So I think you should remove the crank bolt and pulley, clean the gear and area to get rid of the old Loctite, then using some new Loctite and a new pulley bolt re-tighten the bolt to specification.  I would even make a tiny alignment mark first on the crank and gear, so if it does slip again you can see it when you next strip it down.

Note they also changed the torque and angles at least once (!) so you need the latest figures which should be in that 3736A update, and I believe it is 50 Nm plus one angle then wait a certain time, then another angle. (also note they give a torque figure in daNm but I simply multiply by 10 and use Nm, so 5 daNm become 50 Nm etc.)

One further point Martin, since I have just done a timing belt replacement myself on an old Renault and it is fresh in my mind; after you first fit a new timing belt and before you assemble any further you must remove the locking/alignment tools and rotate the engine by hand two or the times and then carefully bring it back to TDC and refit the alignment tools, to make sure they are still aligned correctly.  At no point must the engine ever be rotated backwards.  If you go past the mark even slightly you must go around again.

In my case I had not tightened the crank pulley sufficiently and mine started to slip (no key again!) so I had to set it all up again. Sad  But once it was correct, it fired straight away and has done since thankfully.

Roy
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 12:07:24 pm by roy4matra » Logged

Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
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Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2019, 03:12:44 pm »

Just by way of an update Roy and so that you don't think that your valued input has been wasted or ignored... but there is nothing at this point to report because the garage haven't yet got around to looking at it again.
I have a feeling that they are simply afraid of delving into it again and still not resolving the problem despite that fact that it almost certainly has to be some issue within that gear train and most likely the lower crank gear that is slipping.
It may get to the point where I have to go and do it myself.
Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 10:27:17 am »

It just gets more baffling.

The crankshaft gear does have a key Roy. Its a square section, not a woodruff key, and it protrudes beyond the timing gear to also engage with the keyway in the outer vibration damped crankshaft pulley for the ancillaries belt. There is minimal wear or movement of either the inner timing gear or the outer crankshaft pulley on the key.
So it isn't the crankshaft gear that is slipping to cause the timing to go out.

There are no damaged or broken teeth on any of the gears in the timing gear train and minimal wear and so nothing visible to indicate why the valve timing should be going out.

After removing the ancillary belt, engine mount and new timing belt etc. again and removing the timing cover they discovered the injection pump timing was out by one tooth. But fueling was not the sole reason why it hadn't started again because turning over the engine there was again blow-back out through the air intake indicating that the valve timing was out.
So they repositioned the pump timing, refitted the timing gear cover and timing belt and set up the belt tension.
Before refitting the engine mount and ancillaries belt they started the engine whilst it was still supported and it fired first time. Then after refitting the mount and ancillaries belt... the same issue... it wouldn't start again and back to having blowback through the air intake.

The valve timing only goes out enough to prevent it starting but not enough for the pistons to strike the valves.
So it seems to be going out just one tooth within the timing gear train and which is possibly supported by the fact that they discovered the fuel pump timing to be one tooth out.   

They have called the local Renault dealer who was of no help at all and said they had never stripped either a 2.2dCi... or a 2.5dCi used in the Renault and Vauxhall/ GM vans whilst he had been there.

They have also called several van engineers they know who specialise in the Renault engined vans and all asked them the same questions...
~ is the key still in the crankshaft pulley ~ Answer is YES
~ are there any damaged or missing teeth on any of the gears in the timing train ~ Answer is NO
~ is there excessive wear in any of the gears in the timing train ~ Answer is NO
~ after installing the new timing belt did you rotate the engine two full turns manually in the direction engine rotation and then reset the belt tension ~ Answer is YES

And so the end result from all of them was "Haven't got a clue then mate"

So then you start to think of really off the wall reasons such as wondering if the hole in the crankshaft where you locate the locking pin for TDC has been machined slightly out of position... but then mass produced crankshafts aren't manually machined any longer.

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 12:26:54 pm »

Has anyone ever stripped the play compensator gears in the timing gear train by any chance?
In the GT9 engine workshop manual there is a section on setting them (10A-126) but I have been unable to find anything showing the component parts of those sprockets.

It would seem that the valve timing goes out by one tooth, so enough to get blow back of compression through the air intake and for it not to start but not enough for any interference between the piston crowns and the valves.
To my way of thinking it seems to point towards there being an issue with the timing gear train a but as mentioned in the previous post there is no sign of significant wear in the gear train, no missing teeth and the crankshaft pulley does have a key in the keyway that appears to have been subsequently omitted as part of manufacturing cost saving measures.
So I am wondering if there is an issue with one, or both, of the play compensation sprockets but I'd like to see the component parts to get my head around them further before dismantling them... especially when special tooling is required to reset them.
Martin
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 09:47:47 am by Martin Tyas » Logged

1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
roy4matra
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 959



« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2019, 05:20:32 pm »

It just gets more baffling.

The crankshaft gear does have a key Roy. Its a square section, not a woodruff key, and it protrudes beyond the timing gear to also engage with the keyway in the outer vibration damped crankshaft pulley for the ancillaries belt.

OK Martin, then that eliminates one possible cause.  It does surprise me that this engine has a key, but since it has then I accept that they were still fitting them up to a certain point.

To my mind that only leaves one more possibility.  I can't remember now but does this engine have variable valve timing?  If it does, then it would appear the gear is not staying in its correct position when the engine is stripped to fit the new belt, and so the timing whilst is appears correct initially, is actually incorrect, and once the engine is run it moves the timing.

These variable valve gears on the end of the camshaft are spring loaded and operated with oil from the engine oil supply under control of the engine computer.  We used to have trouble with those gears back when I was at Renault as they were always failing.

If yours has fixed gears on the cams and is not a variable valve set up, then I really don't have any further ideas, without seeing or being able to work on it myself, sorry.

Quote
So then you start to think of really off the wall reasons such as wondering if the hole in the crankshaft where you locate the locking pin for TDC has been machined slightly out of position... but then mass produced crankshafts aren't manually machined any longer.

Martin

No but there is one thing here you have to be careful of, although I wouldn't think it applies in this case.

There are small holes in the crankshaft webs, drilled when balancing the crankshaft.  It was possible sometimes to get the pin mistakenly into one of these holes instead of it butting up against the flat surface.  That would lead to the timing being incorrect if you weren't careful.  However, with the number of times this has now been done, and the care being taken, I very much doubt  this is the cause.

Roy
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Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
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Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2019, 05:01:03 pm »

A good thought Roy but unfortunately the 2.2dCi does not have VVT.
The ĎGí series / family of engines was developed back in the late 80ís and entered production in 1993. There was apparently originally intended to be petrol versions but with the proposed tie-up with Volvo at that time they went only for diesel variants because Volvo was already developing a similar family of petrol engines.
So the G family of Renault diesels evolved from the early 2.2dt (G8T with indirect injection) through to the 2.2dCi (G9T) and 2.5dCi (G9U) that were both common rail.
The 2.2dCiís powered Laguna, Espace and Avantime and the 2.5 the vans.

As I understand it Renaultís first foray into VVT was with the ĎFí series / family which were the V6 petrols that were launched 2001 and obviously also available in the Espace and Avantime.

The crank balance drillingís is another good thought and I had wondered if there was an issue with the locking pin, inserted above the oil filter housing, not setting the engine at TDC.
That could possibly have been an issue if after changing the timing belt the engine didnít run at all. But after changing the belt it ran perfectly for 72km and the timing went out after it was restarted 2 hours later.
Similarly the motor engineer had the belt back off, removed the timing cover to discover that the high pressure pump was one tooth out, reset its timing and the engine fired straight away. But then after reinstalling the ancillaries belt, upper engine mount, lower engine stabiliser and inner wing plastic panel the engine refused to start again and the timing was out sufficiently to get compression back through the air intake.

So for whatever strange reason that has me beat, as well as both guys at the garage who are proper long term motor engineers, the valve timing can be spot on, the engine runs perfectly but then upon restart the valve timing is back out.

Martin
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 11:48:25 pm by Martin Tyas » Logged

1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
Martin Tyas
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 278


Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2019, 07:01:15 pm »

Maybe in hindsight Roy I should have said that the 2.2dCi isnít supposed to have variable valve timing... but it has now!!

The way I am now thinking this through is to go back to basics...
Changing the timing belt, idler and tensioner, plus the dampened outer crankshaft pulley that drives the ancillaries, if done properly and with quality replacement parts, should not have resulted in the issue we are experiencing. In that the valve timing can be perfect, the engine runs just fine, then stop the engine and upon trying to restart the valve timing is out but only by a small margin because there is no interference between the piston crowns and valves.

SO... if there is another issue causing this to happen then it should, in theory, have come about purely by coincidence following the timing belt change.

BUT... the engine exhibits none of the following that may have been a contributory factor
- TDC is being achieved with the pin from the timing lock tool set.
- both camshafts are positioning perfectly aligned with the flats and so that the camshaft locking tooling drops straight into place on both.
- the camshaft sprockets are each retained with 3 bolts in slotted holes but there is no sign of any movement in those sprockets and the bolts are all still perfectly tight... so no slippage from either of those.
- Having removed the timing gear drive train cover all is in order...
   * minimal backlash in the gear train
   * no missing or damaged teeth on any of the gears
   * and although deleted from some Renault engines in favour of using Loctite and
      interference fit this particular engine has a square section key locking in position the
      inner timing train gear to the crankshaft and this key protrudes to similarly lock in
      place the outer dampened ancillaries pulley
   * all of the timing train gears are properly secured and so there is no slippage from
      any of the gears

And so my simple mind turns the whole issue back to the timing belt, idler and tensioner.

The parts used were not from some cheap aftermarket kit of potentially suspect quality but a Continental kit. The belt checked out the same length and teeth as the belt removed and by purchasing a Conti kit you expect to have no issues with the parts.
But maybe that is part of the problem and because you fit quality parts you donít look to them as being the cause of such a problem.

However, taking the thinking process back to basics, and having eliminated all the other potentially coincidental problems, I am now wondering if the new Conti tensioner that was installed is actually faulty.

What if the tensioner is sticking?
So when the belt tension is set and the engine is first started, and whilst ever itís running, the timing stays as it should but once the engine is stopped the tensioner hangs / sticks leaving the belt just slack enough to jump one tooth upon trying to restart the engine.

Anyway we are getting a new kit to install to try it and to see if that resolves this problem because otherwise nothing else seems to make sense.

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
roy4matra
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 959



« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 11:54:20 am »

Maybe in hindsight Roy I should have said that the 2.2dCi isnít supposed to have variable valve timing... but it has now!!

I like your sense of humour Martin!

Quote
The way I am now thinking this through is to go back to basics...

I would agree, as there has to be a fault and after eliminating all the obvious, the only way is to suspect the thing that caused it - i.e. replacing the timing belt originally.

Quote
The parts used were not from some cheap aftermarket kit of potentially suspect quality but a Continental kit. The belt checked out the same length and teeth as the belt removed and by purchasing a Conti kit you expect to have no issues with the parts.

It is ironic you should say this, as the parts I chose to replace my Modus K4J timing & accessory belts and tensioners recently were also Continental.  It was slightly more expensive but I thought 'good brand, should be worth the extra'.  Unfortunately the kit provided which was correct according to age, engine type, and fittings had a poly-vee accessory belt with six ribs, when it should have been five (but their listing did not mention how many it had).  When I checked the cheaper brands afterwards they all list a five ribbed belt!  The seller would not replace the unused belt with the right one, so I had to buy another (locally)!  Now I have a perfectly good Continental six-ribbed accessory belt spare!

So in this case Continental were wrong, and it cost me extra.

Quote
Anyway we are getting a new kit to install to try it and to see if that resolves this problem because otherwise nothing else seems to make sense.

I wish you luck on this and hope it really does solve this once and for all.

Roy
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