Which type of motor timing is best: chain or belt? This is a very old discussion, is that both systems have complementary advantages and disadvantages. Mechanical chain distribution, in theory, requires less maintenance, but the system is heavier and noisier. The belt system is more compact, lighter and less costly, however, it requires periodic replacement of components.
The timing of the motor by an oil-soaked belt (BIO, or “Belt In Oil”) seeks to unite the best of both worlds. This technology developed by Dayco already runs on Brazilian streets in engines such as the 2.0 liter TDI diesel in the VW Amarok pickup, the Puretech 1.2 from PSA (Citroën C3 and Peugeot 208 models) and the Ford EcoBoost (Fiesta) and 1.0 12v 3C Dual Command Flex (Ka) - the latter is the subject of this report, in which we changed the belt and its tensioner.
Every mechanic knows that the common toothed belt can never be contaminated by the engine lubricant because it damages the structure of the part. However, the oil-soaked belt is constructed with different materials just to work lubricated.
“This belt has a teflon layer on the teeth to give it more durability. And rubber has kevlar in its composition ”, explains Dayco's technical consultant, Nelson Morales.
All of this means that the belt can operate in the oil environment under less friction and achieve an extended service life. Consequently, the demand for maintenance is lower, as is the case with the chain system.
However, as the mechanism is simpler and the parts are lighter, the operation is less noisy and the inertia of the distribution set is less, which contributes to the efficiency of the engine. No wonder,
On Ford 1.0 3-cylinder engines, such as the Ford Ka, the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation is to replace the belt every 240,000 km, as long as the oil changes are made using the recommended lubricant and at certain times. However, the complexity of maintenance is much greater when compared to the common belt system.
Belts soaked in oil work sealed, like chains, and access is just as complicated. In addition, several components are attached to the belt cover, such as the water pump, alternator and air conditioning compressor. To know more, check out: crankshaft pulley removal
In case of changing the belt, some recommend even removing the engine from the vehicle and working on the easel. Here, we made the replacement on a Ford Ka 1.0 12v, on a demonstrative basis, without removing the engine from its safe.
It takes a lot of work: according to the Tempário Automotivo tool, the estimated workforce is almost seven hours. The procedure was performed by Nelson Morales at the High Tech workshop, in the West Zone of São Paulo / SP.