How to Replace the Timing Belt on a 1987 Buick Skyhawk

The 1987 Buick Skyhawk came with three different engines: the 1.8L, 1.8L Turbo and the 2.0L. All three engines use the same instructions for replacing the timing belt. All three engines are freewheeling engines, which means that if the timing belt stretches past the scope of the tensioner, it is unlikely that serious engine damage will occur. Buick has not recommended a specific interval for replacing the timing belt, but previous use and service history dictates that it should be changed every 60,000 miles. The procedure requires special tools, both of which are available at any Buick dealership.

Tools Used : Set of wrenches, Floor jack, 6-inch block of wood, 2-by-4-inch, Set of sockets, Adjustment tool No. J-33039, Tension gauge No. U-26486-A, Torque wrench

Replace Timing Belt

Disconnect the battery ground cable and lay it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Loosen the accessory drive belt tensioners. If the tensioner is a slider, loosen the bolt, then push the accessory toward the engine. If the tensioner has a pulley, use a socket or a wrench to push the tensioner away from the belt, thus loosening tension on the belt. Lift the belts off the pulleys.

Remove the lower splash guard, coolant reservoir and timing probe holder using the appropriate sockets. Unbolt the power steering pump, but leave the lines attached. Move the power steering pump out of the way.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise until the timing mark on the pulley lines up with the 10-degree-below-top-dead-center mark on the timing belt cover. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolts and the pulley. Remove the timing belt cover using the appropriate sockets. Check the camshaft timing marks. The dot on the camshaft should line up with the notch at the 12 o'clock position. If not, replace the timing belt cover, the crankshaft pulley and bolt, then turn the crankshaft clockwise one full turn until the timing mark on the pulley lines up with the 10-degree-below-top-dead-center mark again. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolts, the pulley and the timing cover. The camshaft mark should line up this time.

Loosen the water pump bolts. Turn the water pump counterclockwise using the adjustment tool, thus loosening tension on the timing belt. Lift the timing belts off the sprockets and pulleys. Check that the timing marks are still lined up.

Install the timing belt in a counterclockwise direction, starting on the crankshaft sprocket. Keep tension on the belt between the crankshaft and the camshaft. Route the belt over the camshaft sprocket, then around the water pump pulley.

Install the tension gauge halfway between the water pump sprocket and the camshaft sprocket. Turn the water pump clockwise using the adjustment tool, to put tension on the belt, until the tension gauge reads 32 to 40 pounds. Tighten the water pump bolts to 18 foot-pounds of torque. Remove the tension gauge. Install the rest of the parts in reverse order of removal.

Tighten the crankshaft pulley bolts to 20 foot-pounds of torque. If you are working on the model with a 1.8L engine, start and run the engine to normal operating temperature, then turn the vehicle off. If you are working on the model with the 2.0L engine, crank the engine for 10 turns, but do not start it (pull the coil wire to keep it from starting).

Remove the timing belt cover. Install the tension gauge in the same place that you installed it in Step 6. If the tension gauge does not indicate 32 to 40 pounds, repeat the process from Step 6.

Tips & Warnings

Because the timing belt must be removed to change the water pump, changing the water pump when you change the timing belt, though not a requirement, is advisable.

Post a Comment