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How to Check and Replace a Timing Belt in a Mercury Cougar

by Contributor

The Mercury Cougar has had a variety of styles and designs. The one thing that has never changed about the Cougar is that it is a very high performing car. In order to keep the Cougar running well, change the timing belt between 60 and 80K miles.

Step 1

Take the old belt off the sprockets once you have disconnected the battery cables and removed the drive belt.

Step 2

Inspect the timing belt before you install it. Make sure the teeth are not cracked or torn off, look for thin spots and make sure the timing marks are readable.

Step 3

Find the bolts that hold the timing belt tensioner in place. Loosen the bolts to allow the belt to connect to the sprockets.

Step 4

Make sure you adjust the tension of the timing belt properly. You can find the exact amount of tension in the owner's manual.

Step 5

Adjust the timing belt so that the timing marks line up with the cam and the crank. It is important to align all sprockets with the timing belt teeth. When complete you want a TDC setting of 1.

Step 6

Use an open-end wrench to turn the engine over twice-make sure you rotate back to the zero degree mark.

Ease the timing covers back in place and tighten the bolts. Remember to reattach the battery cables before you try to start the engine.


  • Troubleshoot the cam and the crankshaft while you have the timing belt off for replacement.


  • Make sure the timing belt has the correct amount of tension-if the tension of the belt is too tight, the belt could heat up and break when you are driving.

Items you will need

  • New timing belt
  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver set

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