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Hello all. First time poster and new to the Kia brand.
I've had my eye this '08 Spectra SX: 2008 Kia Spectra SX For Sale - CarGurus
With the mileage on it, I'm betting the timing belt has not been done but I will ask when i test drive it (if it is not sold yet). If it has not been done, I'm going try and negotiate the replacement into the purchase price. I was hoping the regulars here could give me a ball park figure on replacement cost before i inquire at the dealerships service dept.
Lots of good reading here so far.

Thanks
KB
 

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Hi KB..
Welcome to kia-forums.
That's a good looking car. Wish I had the 5 speed manual (got an automatic).
I just replaced the TB in my wife's 07 and it really wasn't hard to do. I used the 1/2" breaker bar and 22mm socket trick and bumped the starter. it broke loose in 1 sec.
The dealer will want to charge $300~400 to do it.
Get them to reduce the price and do it yourself if you are mechanically inclined.
I have the instructions for the belt change if you want it and some hints on getting the belt done correctly.
The belt can be gotten from rockauto.com (GATES) for under $20 with shipping and if you have standard metric sockets/wrenches and two floor jacks you can do it in around 3~4 hrs. Buy an AC belt while you are at it as they get pretty bad at that mileage.
Also replace the spark plugs (use NGKs as KIAs like them).
The engine is a updated Mazda design and can/will do 300k if maintained properly. Yours will be a "beta" revision..Very well built.

Good luck on getting the car
Dave
 

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Thanks Dave.
I did read your post on doing your wifes tb. Although it definitely sounds doable with shadetree skillz, I don't think i want purchase a nused (new to me) car and have to dig right into it. $300-400 doesn't sound to bad considering my last 3-4 tb changes were almost $1k each.
Thanks again and i hope i get to keep coming back and posting here as an owner.

KB
 

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KB..
If you get a discounted purchase and have the $300~400 in hand I'd suggest you do it yourself and then use the extra $$$ to put some add-ons on the car... I had very little problems doing the wife's other than the belt was "off" by one tooth and was throwing a code. (too much slack on right side of belt) and a bad "Champion" plug on #4 cylinder.
I have Bi-Xenon HID headlights (under $60) and have replaced most incandessant lamps inside the car with LEDs (dome/map/door/dash(gauges w/white LEDs)/rear license plate/backup) and radio LEDs. I also added under the dash lights on driver and passenger sides. The interior is quite dark and dismal from the factory (dark gray interior) and the LEDs really made a BIG difference. Quite pleasent to open the doors now. I modified the wiring going to the dome and map lights so when the doors open the dome, map, and under dash LEDs come on. The dome has a 48 LED white pc board and the maps have white 24 LED pc boards. The "mod" is pretty simple with just a couple of rectifiers and some wire. The map lights when turned on also light the floor LEDs for each side. The map lights also operate separate from the dome when pushed ON.
I see you have a PT Cruser...That must have been the $1000 timing belt job(s). They are also an "interference" type engine.. My wife wanted one before getting the 07 LX Spectra. It has a good engine "if" the belts are kept up.
Dave
 

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Dave...I would love to have your instructions on changing the timing belt. Our Kia is at 80,000 miles and I am trying to do quite a few things on it and can't afford for it all to be done by a mechanic. Thanks.
Kendra
 

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Hello Kendra...
Welcome to kia-forums!
This is my second attempt to reply to your post...
My little boy shih tzu decided to jump in my lap while I was
typing, hit some keys..... and sent my last post off into never never land...
What I have is a "cut-n-paste" from kiatechinfo.com that saves you from
the hassle of registering there with some suggestions here...
First you need two hydraulic floor jacks to replace the engine support bar
that is shown in the info... One to support the car when the right (passenger side in USA) side front wheel is removed and the other to hold up the engine (on the aluminum oil pan) when the passenger side motor mount is removed. The biggest "problem" you may find is removing the crank pulley bolt. It's a 22mm and it's on tight. If the spark plug coils are unplugged and a long 1/2" breaker bar and 22mm socket is put on the nut and the bar handle is allowed to rest on the ground...then all you need to do is to "bump" the starter for aprox 1/2~1 second. The engine turning WILL break the nut loose. Be sure to reconnect the spark plug coils after loosening the nut so it will later start.
Move the crank pully (by the nut) so that the timing marks are matched up on the crank and the cam pulleys before removing the TB... The markings ARE on the crank pulley and you will see them after aligning the cam (upper) pulley on it's mark...
It will make sense when you do this as the markings are not very visable.
I removed the spark plug closest to the pulleys (#1 cylinder) and used a wooden dowel rod inserted into the spark plug hole to also "see" when the piston was truely TDC (top dead center). The dowel rod will move up to a peak and then start to drop back down as the crank is turned. With both the crank and cam pulleys and the dowel rod in the right place...That's when you want to carefully remove and replace the TB... You want NO slack in the belt on the right side of the crank and cam pulleys... The tensioner is turned clockwise to add tension and a 8mm hex wrench is used to move it. You can set tension incorrectly by turning it counterclockwise but the engine WILL be noisy...I found this out the hard way.
I had the TB off by one tooth to the right of the cam belt and the engine ran but threw a CEL (check engine light) and it had minor mis-fires when it was driven. I painted a few teeth on the belt and also matching teeth on the cam pulley so I could "see" I moved the belt back (counterclockwise) one tooth... I did not have to dis-assemble the whole car again...just the top plastic cover and loosened the tensioner...moved the belt one tooth...and retensioned the belt...and replaced the cover...
Be careful to keep the same pulley alignments you had with the old belt as this engine is an "interference" type engine and "if" you get it wrong the engine WILL be damaged..
I say this not to scare you but to keep you aware of this possibility only.
If you (or whoever does this belt replacement) have done other mechanical repairs and have basic metric tools...you can do this with little worry..
It took me 3~4 hours working at a leasurely rate.. To do it again I'd take 2~3 hours.
Here's the link to my google drive and the info...
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JomNCBolk1tvzks731sm1orXXZtNkwJaL-1zK-oFLcc/edit
I don't know why KIA chose to include removing the valve covers and the cams BUT you DON'T need to go that far...
Dave
 

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I just did my timing belt yesterday. It took me about 4 hours, and wasn't terrible but man... There are some TIGHT clearances in there. I wanna punch the dude who routed the AC lines right in front of the tiny 3/4" space you have to work with right in the face.

My frame had a nice hole drilled in it which held my ratchet perfectly as I bumped the starter to break it loose. Putting it back on, I used an impact driver (a cheapie which was too weak to break it loose) the driver makes it sooo much easier as it hits so hard and fast it doesn't even spin the crank as it tightens it up. If youve got a good one, it will break the crank nut free easily too.

I also found the driver to be very useful for removing the motor mount assembly, which is torqued pretty doggone tight. The instructions don't say to remove th assembly, but yu pretty much have to in order to reach some of th fasteners.

The biggest PITA of the whole job is getting the water pump pulley and bolts back in. Man there is no room. And once you slide on the two pulleys, if you bump them the slightest bit they fall back off. I developed a good trick, I think....put a neodymium or very strong magnet on them and the shaft and it will help hold them in place while you install the 4 bolts. This way they don't fall off quite so easily.
 

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I also forgot to suggest removing the mounting/routing hangers for the AC lines (10mm bolts). That allows the AC lines to "move" a little out of the way making the job a little easier. I also used a ratcheting box wrench on the 4 water pump bolts that I got at Harbor Freight. Like I said It is "do-able" by a drive way mechanic. Also it looks like you got the timing right the first time...GOOD!
Thanks for posting your results as it will help others...
Dave
 

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I opted to have my done at a shop. Cost was $600. New belt, T-bearings and waterpump and replaced antifreeze. My belt had 121k on it. Mechanic said it looked almost like new. But I can tell you the car seems to have alot more power after having the job done. I'm guessing this was because of wear and slack on belt. Had to get loan for new roof on house so I just included the cost of this along with it. But next time I may give it a shot. Sounds like its not too bad of a job. Even the mechanic said the spectre was one of the easier ones to change out. He also mentioned it was possible to tweak (or move) the engine a bit after taking the mount out for a little more room.
 

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You MUST be lucky with 121k on the original belt...MOST break around 85k miles with no warning...(and lots of devastation in the engine).
Removing the bolts holding the AC and power steering lines to the frame also give you more room... Ratcheting box wrenches are great for removing the 4 water pump bolts from it's pulley (it's a very tight area to remove them)...
Replace the AC belt also as it IS ready to break..
I have replaced 3 Spectra TBs in the last year and they can be done by the average driveway mechanic in 3~4 hrs... Not in the least worth $600 of my money.
Dave
 

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You guys are Fast! (or I'm slow). In any case I am steadily moving along on my new old car. Happy to see there is no reason to remove the cam. Couldn't figure out why I would want to. 138 thousand miles on the car. The timing belt says Kia, with the "H" stmbol also powergrip and Made in Korea. I wouldn't be surprised if it is original. AC belt was in terrible shape, everybody else dried and cracky. Is that the waterpump up on the other end of the head? Not really any reason to preemptively change it is there? Oh yeah, is it good to just use the Windy Wrench instead of trying for a good torque wrench install?
thanks
 

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Hi Qroger..
You didn't say what year Spectra you have...
Sounds like you have an original "type" belt... The engine is used in both the KIA and the Hyundai ("H" symbol). Usually you will find a "Bando" or a "Gates" brand belt..
You may be on the second belt and it may have been replaced by a KIA dealer OR it could be the original and you and the last owner were extremely lucky as they usually break right around 75~85k miles.

Do yourself a favor and buy only a GATES brand belt...More expensive but your engine relies on it. I have mentioned that the AC belt is usually bad at the first TB replacement (at 60k)..I found "Bando" belts on the AC and every one was cracked and on it's last leg...If the water pump is quiet and is not leaking..I'd say leave it alone for now...but do drain and refill the antifreeze and the automatic transmission fluids (no flushing of the transmission at 138k miles)... What are you trying to "torque" ? To remove the crank pulley bolt you just need a 22mm socket and a breaker bar laying on the ground... Disconnect the coils and just bump the starter (1/2sec)...Just that simple and the bolt is loose...
Dave
 

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Thanks for reply. I screwed up my courage and got the nut off as you describe. Now I'm wondering about putting back correctly.
 

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You have a 2004.5 (new) Spectra.. The 2004 has a 1.8L and older body style..
The bolt for the crank.. you can tighten as tight as you can get it with the breaker bar...
I have done this on three Specs and they still are tight and no problems...
Read up on the tensioner also on the thread.. I believe that it is tensioned counter clockwise (i would have to check it myself). I found removing and oiling the AC tensioner threads made re-assembly easier also watch how it comes apart and what side of the pulley is towards you and where the washer goes... Easy "if" you take notes.. Like I've said before I wouldn't pay $600 to have the job done...I'd rather spend a small portion of that amount and buy some tools at Harbor Freight for the next time.. Put a set of NGK plugs in her also as they are probably worn out..
Keep us posted...
Dave
 

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That pulley with the four bolts is a pain for sure. Got one person under the car reaching up to hold the pulleys on while the 2nd person went in from the top and got the bolts threaded. The lower timing belt cover was another aggravation. wiggle wiggle Finally it went. I got to convince me wifey that a lift is necessary. And then of course a heated shop. Think of the money we'll save! I guess if I did another one, I'd be faster. Still I'm just grinding along. Not impossible, and now that I see what is involved, I really have no taste for donating $600 to $1000 to the shops.

As long as I'm at it, new plugs, and an oil change. I'll put replace the anti freeze on the list as well. Sometime tomorrow it should start. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Moving the power steering and AC lines bolted to the frame gives you more wiggle room also.. NC has to be warmer than Ohio today..
It will be worth the preventive maintenance when you really start driving the car. They are pretty durable and reliable... Just keep telling yourself "I'm almost done,,,I'm almost done,,,I'm almost done :)
Dave
 

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Dave,
Warmer in NC? It almost looks like this year we'll get a fall. On a good year, that's where we get paid back for the sweaty and buggy summer, the drizzly winter and the un reliable spring. One nice day after another. I'm almost done. I'm almost done.
roger
 

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How tight on the alt, power steering, AC compressor is tight enough? How tight is too tight? With the threaded adjuster on the AC and the Alt, you can make them as tight as a guitar string without much effort. I know that is too tight.

The power steering spit it's belt off, reminding me to check both mounting bolts for tightness. I hadn't threaded the bottom one in, all the way, allowing enough slop for the PS pump to get cocked and spit the belt off.

I think I'm done. I think I'm done. I think I'm done.
roger
 
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