How to Replace the Timing Belt on a 2002 Focusby Chris Moore
The timing belt on your Ford Focus works with the sprockets for the camshaft and crankshaft. Replacing a timing belt is much more difficult than the accessory drive belt, as the camshaft and crankshaft must be set at the Top Down Center (TDC) position. Check with your mechanic before you do this, especially because the procedure may vary depending on your engine type.
Accessing the Timing Belt
Unplug the car's negative battery cable.
Raise the car's front end, support it on jack stands and remove the wheel on the right side. Block the rear wheels and remove the passenger's side splash shield.
Remove the accessory drive belt. Unbolt and remove the belt's lower cover and turn the tensioner bolt clockwise to release the tension. Unbolt and remove the drive belt tensioner at the center bolt.
Remove and set aside the power steering pump reservoir from the pump, letting the fluid drain into a suitable container. Un-bolt the coolant expansion tank and set it aside; don't disconnect its hoses.
Take off the timing belt cover by removing the upper nuts and bolts followed by the lower ones.
Removing the Timing Belt
Rotate the engine clockwise using a breaker bar and socket on the crankshaft damper bolt. Rotate it until the timing mark on the camshaft pulley aligns with the cylinder head's timing mark and the crankshaft pulley mark aligns with the TDC mark on the oil pump housing.
Loosen the belt tensioner's bolt and pry it to the left with an 8mm Allen wrench. Lock the tensioner in place with a 1/8-inch drill bit in the hole and re-tighten the bolt.
Remove the spark plugs by pulling out the spark plug wire at the boot and removing the plugs with a wrench and spark plug socket; turn the wrench counterclockwise.
Hold onto the crankshaft damper with a strap wrench and then remove the damper bolt, the damper and then the timing belt.
Check to see that all the timing marks on the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets are still properly aligned.
Install the new timing belt in a couterclockwise direction over the pulleys starting at the crankshaft. Keep the belt tight between the camshaft and crankshaft and you install it over the other pulleys.
Loosen the attaching bolt on the belt tensioner so the tensioner will snap into place against the timing belt.
Re-install the crankshaft damper, tightening the bolt to 88 foot pounds.
Rotate the crankshaft by two full clockwise revolutions. Stop on the second turn when the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets are both at the TDC position.
Tighten the tensioner's attaching bolt to 18 foot pounds.
Re-connect and install the remaining parts and components in the reverse order of removal.
- "Chilton Ford Focus 2000-2005 Repair Manual"; Jay Storer; Haynes North America; 2005
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket wrench
- Spark plug socket
- Breaker bar and socket
- Allen wrench
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- Strap wrench
- Timing belt
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.