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timing belt tension

2307 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  r_sjavier
Great site!!! I recently purchased a 1980 308 gtsi with a questionable history on the car. The speedometer stopped at 75k. He owns the car for 4 yrs. The previous owner did not replaced the belt. No written history when the belt was changed. Anyway, The owner's manual says inspect at 15k, 30k and replaced at 52k miles. There is a site that I visited says, replace the belt if it's 5yrs old even you're using the car or not. I'm not using the car right now, I'm trying to get a lot of information on belt replacement. My concern is the right belt tension. One guy said, The spring tension on the tensioner is enough, you turn it twice, make sure that everything lines up. Another says, you have to pry the tensioner because if you just use the spring tension_ it will be LOOSE.... Is there a way to tell the tension (checking the flex between the two pulleys) pushing it so many pounds, at least I'm not guessing. If I finished this project, the next inspection time ( If you find out that they are loose) you are not suppose to re-tightened the belt because they will fail_ True or false?
Anyway, I'm very happy to find this site_GREAT!!!

Thanks again,
Rudy Javier
Stockton, California USA
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Hi Rudy, welcome to Ferrari Forum.

There is a lot of debate here and elsewhere over when to replace the belts. I see it as an insurance policy, Graypaul Ferrari here in the UK recently had a 348 where the belt had broken and the engine work was costing £16k GBP (about $25k USD).

Therefore I am changing the belts on my 348 every 3 years which is what they recommend.

If I owned a 308 I would change them at least every 5 years.

The owners manual may say you should inspect at 15k, 30k and change at 52k but that dos not allow for the extremely low annual mileage that most of these cars do.

I understand its important to replace the belt tensioner too as this is the most likely cause of failure. I was also told that you should not adjust the tension once set. If the belt is loose then that means it has stretched slightly and adjusting the tension will only make it stretch more. Better to replace them both if this is the case.

Kind regards,

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