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Konrad C

Cambelt Change 1998 Avensis

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I just had my cambelt on my Avensis changed. I got the Gates kit which included the tensioner.

My local garage did the work and the gave me back my old parts to examine.

The belt looked good for 5 and half years, 48432 miles from the previous change. The car is on 125888 miles.

This is the first tensioner change and the fourth belt change.

The tensioner was not too bad, but there is a bit of play in the bearings.

Got the car home and did an Oil and filter change, so the car is ready for next weeks trip to Dorset.

Car is as smooth as ever. :thumbsup:

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I understand that it is rarely the belt that fails but the tensions or other things like water pump (but not on the Avensis) that seize and then snap the belt.

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I agree. This is what gives me confidence about the 7A-FE engine and the cambelt. The tensioner is a solid piece of kit made of metal, and apart from a slight play spun free and smoothly, with no roughness.

Not many other cars have such a good cambelt system.

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Absolutely; just changed the belt on my GS.

The only problem encountered was the AirCon tensioner. The central locking nut was seized solid and the surface of it was also corroded. That meant that although using liberal doses of WD and a correct sized ring spanner (14mm), the nut corners rounded off.

I removed the alt., and then the A/C compressor, (leaving it dangling on a cord to avoid gas loss) and then removed a bracket complete with the said offending tensioner pulley. Ground the old pulley off -new one (next day) from the stealers and hey-presto.

Oil and filter change whist I was waiting. Yep; good system, glad I went for the 7A-FE!

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On the note of cambelt changes on the 7A-FE, mine was last changed in 2006 and has done 22,000 miles since then - should I be thinking about changing it? I know the belt snapping on this engine isn't a disaster like most would be, but don't know how much longer I can put it off!

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If you pull off the 4 Spark plug leads; then pull off the 2 rubber pipes at the rear, undo and remove 4 domed nuts and their washers; then the camshaft cover can be lifted off.

Part of the cambelt is then visible,(all of it if the engine is slowly turned) and can be visually checked for fraying etc.

Having said that, I think the general consensus is that a cambelt should be changed after 5 years irrespective of mileage.

The belt removed from my car looked brand new; 69k miles, and I have no reason to think that it was not the original belt.

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On the note of cambelt changes on the 7A-FE, mine was last changed in 2006 and has done 22,000 miles since then - should I be thinking about changing it? I know the belt snapping on this engine isn't a disaster like most would be, but don't know how much longer I can put it off!

By going by the old cam belts from my car, they were in very good condition. I put this down to the following factors, the belt is well enclosed from the elements, the belt only goes around crankshaft, one camshaft and the tensioner - the water pump is driven by another belt.

I would be thinking about changing only for a piece of mind. When the belt was last changed, was the tensioner changed too? The tensioner is strong, but I had mine changed.

If you do a lot of short, stop - start journeys, then I would change the belt, but if you do constant speed journeys, then I would hold out a little bit. It all depends on how the car is driven.

As you have said, if the belt breaks, you will only have to replace it.

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