How to Replace the Timing Belt on a 1987 Mercury Tracer

A cam belt, or timing belt, is an interior combustion engine part that is the successor to older model timing chains. Replace a failing timing belt to ensure a flexible and quiet connection between the crankshaft and camshaft. By having a timing belt in top condition, the closing and opening of the valves are in sync with the pistons' movement.

Tools Used: Torque wrench, Socket set, Combination wrenches, Three-jaw gear puller, Harmonic balancer puller, Timing light screwdrivers, Timing belt cover, Gasket set, Jack, Antifreeze, Jack stands, New timing belt

Replace Timing Belt

Buy your timing belt for your 1987 Tracer. Ask for referrals to car accessories stores closest to your location. The Internet is the fastest way to buy old car model accessories for your 1987 Tracer timing belt. Visit Auto Parts Warehouse and Mercury Auto Body Parts Store (see Resources) and compare store and online prices.

Read and analyze the instructions. It's important that you have all the needed tools and aren't in a hurry, because your safety and the vehicle's resulting performance are priorities in working on automobile equipment. Support your Tracer with a jack and work on a level and solid surface.

Let your automobile engine to cool off. Wait overnight or several hours to avoid skin burn, as you will need to replace the water pump as part of this process.

Ensure that you car won't roll. Steady the wheels and disconnect your automobile's battery.

Remove the hindrances of the timing belt's cover. It might take some time because several things are involved, such as the air intake assembly. If needed, slacken the pulley that operates the water pump. Use a big wrench so the crankshaft pulley's mark will be aligned. When finished, remove the cover bolts of the timing belt and pull off the cover.

Check the bearings of the timing belt tensioner. Replace the bearings if they are noisy or loose.

Analyze the seals of the crankshaft and camshaft. If there's a leak, your vehicle's new timing belt might not work. Keep the crankshaft or camshaft still while the timing belt is off.

Put on the new timing belt. Correct the tension if needed. Ensure that the belt fits over the timing sprockets' teeth. Don't tighten the belt much.

Reinstall all accessory pumps. Most mechanics suggest that the new water pump be installed while the engine is off. After installation, inspect if the timing marks are aligned properly and reinstall the air intake assembly and battery.

Start your car's engine and listen to its sound. There won't be any noisy knocks if the timing belt is properly connected. If you doubt your skills or you're too busy, hire a professional car repair person to do the job.

Tips & Warnings

Carmakers recommend replacing timing belts at certain mileage intervals, usually 50,000 to 70,000 miles. Remember that a faulty timing belt might result in severe engine damage, which can be expensive.

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