Replacing a timing belt on a Ford 1992 Escort can be slightly simpler than on other vehicles. This is still, however, a very precise and difficult operation. The belt and the camshaft/crankshaft pulleys it works with must be aligned exactly when changing the belt or else you can severely damage the engine. This procedure can also vary, depending on the engine type (the following is for a 1.8-litre engine). You may wish to consult a professional before you begin the procedure.
Unscrew and remove the timing belt's upper cover and its gasket, using a screwdriver.
Loosen the water pump pulley's bolts with a wrench without removing them, then remove the pump's drive belt by loosening its mounting and adjusting bolts. Remove the water pump's bolts and then the pulley.
Raise the car's front end, support it on jack stands and remove the right-front wheel. Unbolt and remove the upper and lower splash shields on the car's passenger side.
Remove the air conditioner drive belt in the same manner as the previous belt, then unbolt and remove the crankshaft pulley with a wrench, along with the guide plates for the pulley and timing belt. Unbolt and remove the belt's middle and lower covers.
Turn the crankshaft pulley with a ratchet and socket on the crankshaft's front bolt, until the crankshaft pulley's mark lines up with the engine block's mark, and the camshaft pulley's marks line up with the seal plate marks.
Loosen the lock bolt on the timing belt tensioner with your wrench or ratchet and remove the belt from the pulleys.
Push the belt tensioner all the way to the left to extend its spring and then tighten the lock bolt with the wrench. Check to confirm that all the pulley alignment marks are still lined up.
Slip the replacement timing belt onto the pulleys. Loosen the tensioner's lock bolt, push the tensioner to tighten the belt and re-tighten the bolt.
Turn the crankshaft by two full turns clockwise and make sure all the pulley timing marks are still aligned. Turn it again by one and five-sixths (1 5/6) turns to line up the tension mark with the crankshaft pulley mark, then loosen, press and re-tighten the tensioner again to re-tighten the belt.
Turn the crankshaft again by two and one-sixth (2 1/6) turns, to line up the camshaft pulley marks with the seal plate blocks. Push down on the belt in between the pulleys with your thumb. If it deflects less than .35 inches or more than .45, adjust the belt with the tensioner and lock bolt.
Give the crankshaft two more full turns clockwise to align all the pulley marks.
Install and bolt the lower and middle timing belt covers, followed by the belt guide plates, the crankshaft pulley and its guide plate, the water pump pulley, the drive belts, the splash shields and the upper timing belt cover.
Reconnect the right-front wheel and lower the car off the jack stands.
If any of the alignment marks don't line up when turning the crankshaft, you must remove the belt and start again.
Tips and warnings
- If any of the alignment marks don't line up when turning the crankshaft, you must remove the belt and start again.