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vanboosh

Ford XLD418

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You change the idler tensioner pulley as well as the belt, especially if its the plastic one!

 

If you buy the kit, but a lot of aftermarket suppliers just sell the belt alone, I just thought it was worth mentioning.

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I have the same engine in my narrowboat. To change the cam belt I first have to remove the two alternators mounted on an aluminium plate, about 20/30 mins work. That gives more than enough room to change the cam belt. You will need to buy the idler pulley and the belts, there are two, one for the cam and one for the injection pump plus a set of timing lock studs. The lock studs set the engine in the correct position to put the new belts and idler pulley on. I have a Haynes manual for the Ford Zetec engine which tells you exactly how to do it. It is not at all difficult. The engine is an excellent piece of kit, It has run up and down the Trent on many occasions with no trouble. [Am I inviting the wrath of the gods now I have said that.] An internet search will find you a kit for doing the job, do not go to a ford agent they will want over a hundred pounds for just the belts. the timing lock studs will be used many times so once bought always available. My set came with the boat from the previous owner.

If I can be of more help get in touch.

Johnh

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4 minutes ago, John Hartley said:

I have the same engine in my narrowboat. To change the cam belt I first have to remove the two alternators mounted on an aluminium plate, about 20/30 mins work.

That sounds like something specific to your twin alternator installation. If you have just one, you only need to remove the belt

 

Richard

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A bit of background: I'll be solo, so single handed 90% of the time. I'll be travelling a lot! A brother and friends in London, business partner in Stroud, parents near Worcester (I'd like Droitwich to be home mooring if I can get a spot) and my best friend and his new young family in Nottingham. 

 

I'm handy with a spanner; restored some old VWs and MGs, built a beach buggy, and played about with various other cars before I realised 4 wheels bad, 2 wheels good (although it seems I'm onto no wheels best, now) so doing the work of changing the belt doesn't worry me too much (I've done a cam belt/water pump on an old Golf where all the bolts were so rusty they snapped off. Great fun drilling and tapping all of that under a car in 3 inches of space). It's more what sort of inconvenience will I be having? Don't get me wrong, I don't mind some inconvenience. I'm not buying a boat because I think its going to be plain sailing (sorry)! But if it means pulling an engine out every couple months at £150 a pop, that probably wont do for me. I could handle once a year though. 

Edited by vanboosh

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Not much. As long as you can get access along the left hand side and the front, a cam belt change on an XLD is pretty easy. Judging by the photo, it looks fine

 

Richard

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Just how many hours do those belts do and how many hours do you expect to do a year,  what im saying is if you are doing the hrs required to have to change a belt designed to do 60000 miles in a car, every few months then theres going to be more than a cam belt wearing out..

 

ive never changed a cam belt on miles ,  always on time. 60000miles at 30mph average is after all 2000 hrs 

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2 hours ago, roland elsdon said:

ive never changed a cam belt on miles ,  always on time. 60000miles at 30mph average is after all 2000 hr

But 50,000 miles (the recommended for the XLD) at 40mph is 1250 hours which is where I got my 'safe' 1000 hours from.

At 100 hours per month, (3 hours per day cruising, or 5 hours a day for 20 days and 10 days moored) up that is every 6 months.

 

I have subsequently found an old thread were it states that Ford revised the XLD 1.8 requirement downwards to 3 years or 36,000 miles, which at 40mph would equate to 900 hours.

 

Its not an engine I would choose.

 

As was said earlier, not everyone moves.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Us boaters are a conservative lot, Some of us have even got ancient engines that weigh about a ton and haven't even got electric start - imagine! If that engine ran ok I would be happy with it if it had a decent gearbox on it and not some flimsy thing. If you're worried then go to a breakers and get a spare engine, cheap and easy.

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4 hours ago, vanboosh said:

A bit of background: I'll be solo, so single handed 90% of the time. I'll be travelling a lot! A brother and friends in London, business partner in Stroud, parents near Worcester (I'd like Droitwich to be home mooring if I can get a spot) and my best friend and his new young family in Nottingham. 

 

I'm handy with a spanner; restored some old VWs and MGs, built a beach buggy, and played about with various other cars before I realised 4 wheels bad, 2 wheels good (although it seems I'm onto no wheels best, now) so doing the work of changing the belt doesn't worry me too much (I've done a cam belt/water pump on an old Golf where all the bolts were so rusty they snapped off. Great fun drilling and tapping all of that under a car in 3 inches of space). It's more what sort of inconvenience will I be having? Don't get me wrong, I don't mind some inconvenience. I'm not buying a boat because I think its going to be plain sailing (sorry)! But if it means pulling an engine out every couple months at £150 a pop, that probably wont do for me. I could handle once a year though. 

If you can restore classics you can change the belts. I do mine every couple of years at the same time I do the annual oil/filter change. The whole lot would be done in about 8 hrs depending on how often the tea lady arrives. please dont tell her I said that. Do not pull the engine out, do in situ. Once my alternators are removed I have about ten inches between the engine and the bulkhead and quite a bit of room down both sides making the job a little irksome but definitely not difficult.

Regards Johnh

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1 hour ago, Bee said:

Us boaters are a conservative lot, Some of us have even got ancient engines that weigh about a ton and haven't even got electric start - imagine! If that engine ran ok I would be happy with it if it had a decent gearbox on it and not some flimsy thing. If you're worried then go to a breakers and get a spare engine, cheap and easy.

Box is a PRM 160D3, which sounds like its 10 more betters than a PRM 150 I see fairly often in boats. 

 

1 hour ago, John Hartley said:

If you can restore classics you can change the belts. I do mine every couple of years at the same time I do the annual oil/filter change. The whole lot would be done in about 8 hrs depending on how often the tea lady arrives. please dont tell her I said that. Do not pull the engine out, do in situ. Once my alternators are removed I have about ten inches between the engine and the bulkhead and quite a bit of room down both sides making the job a little irksome but definitely not difficult.

Regards Johnh

Yeah, I'm not too worried about the work itself, it's more how often I'd have to do it. 

 

2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

But 50,000 miles (the recommended for the XLD) at 40mph is 1250 hours which is where I got my 'safe' 1000 hours from.

At 100 hours per month, (3 hours per day cruising, or 5 hours a day for 20 days and 10 days moored) up that is every 6 months.

 

I have subsequently found an old thread were it states that Ford revised the XLD 1.8 requirement downwards to 3 years or 36,000 miles, which at 40mph would equate to 900 hours.

 

Its not an engine I would choose.

 

As was said earlier, not everyone moves.

This is what I'm afraid of, really. And being on my own means I wouldn't really want to risk leaving it too long in case it snapped and it leaves me in some iffy situation. 

 

I think now that I know more of what I'd be getting into, due to the invaluable advice here, I'll go have another good look at it. Check out clearances, see how well its been looked after, etc. If there's any doubt at all, I can totally cross it off. If I'm still keen, I can put it up on the top of the maybe list, perhaps put in a cheeky low offer. I'll also see a few more boats on the weekend which might make it easier to walk away!

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Rather like these old Ford diesels,although I have never had one in a boat. Last time I had a belt snap on one, fitted a new belt and off I went. Never heard of one putting a rod through the side,but I guess it could happen. I rather liked the earlier 1.6 engine. The 1.8 could be  fitted with a turbo.That should give you a bit of power. Regarding availability of second hand units,they were everywhere. BUT,when did you last see an Escort van. We live in a throwaway society. Once a vehicle phases out,the breakers soon loose interest. Still about,but not for much longer.

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PRM 160 box is damn near indestructible providing the oil is changed and there is no water in it.

The base engine is good. I'd rather change a belt than a timing chain like on a BMC 1.8D, its a simple job, even garage mechanics mannage it!

We ran lots of vans with belts without any problems even when they were used long past the due replacement mileage. We used to inspect the belt, If the writing printed on the back was still visible and there was no tooth cracking, and tension was OK we left them alone. Its easy to check regularly if you cut a small part of the side of the cover off.

 

I would think that in a boat,  running this engine way below normal power and revs, the belt will last years and many hours. If the boat suits you, I would not be put off by the engine being a Ford rubber band.

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Update: I neeeearly went for it, as I did love the boat. I went for another look around it and the space in the engine bay was actually bigger than I thought so belt changes would have been fine in that regard.

However, I went to look at another boat the next day and it ticked all the boxes, plus came with a younger, well looked after Vetus engine which started on the button. It was a teeny bit more expensive, but there were a few extra things like a Pullman dinette and 3kw inverter that swayed me. So deposit paid and fingers crossed a healthy survey and I'll be on the water soon!

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1 minute ago, vanboosh said:

So deposit paid and fingers crossed a healthy survey and I'll be on the water soon!

Congratulations on being found by a boat :D

 

Pics please, possibly on a new thread.

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On 16/01/2019 at 23:08, bizzard said:

. Typical of many narrowboats though, engine stuffed in as far back as possible with a bulkhead slap bang close at the front of it, making many jobs a pain, instead of loosing a foot or two of cabin space to give a half decent space around the engine to work on.

Amen to that!  Preparing my boat for BSC and trying to check fuel line joints for leaks,and batteries etc,it is necessary to hang inverted in the (very  small) engine compartment with a torch in one hand steadying myself with the other.Can only endure it for a few minutes before the night before's ale runs to my head!

Used a head torch but it fell off into the engine tray,making it unusable.

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22 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Congratulations on being found by a boat :D

 

Pics please, possibly on a new thread.

I heard in so many places that no matter what you have in your head for the boat you want, the boat will pick you. I wanted things like reverse layout, possibly tug deck, painted something muted like grey or dark red, etc. Nope! Traditional layout, cruiser stern and a slightly horrible bright blue, but it just fit!*

 

Once I get on the boat (4-6 weeks) I'll get some photos up! 

 

*Possibly because it was the first boat I visited with the fire burning away. Good tip for people selling boats in the winter: make it warm. 

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When you come to servicing the engine, do remember that Vetus items are very expensive, so find out what the base engine is, and get pattern filters etc.

What gearbox does it have, and what sort of stern tube?

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29 minutes ago, vanboosh said:

*Possibly because it was the first boat I visited with the fire burning away. Good tip for people selling boats in the winter: make it warm.

You mean these boats are not cold in winter?!  Who knew!  :D

 

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On 25/01/2019 at 01:49, Boater Sam said:

PRM 160 box is damn near indestructible providing the oil is changed and there is no water in it.

The base engine is good. I'd rather change a belt than a timing chain like on a BMC 1.8D, its a simple job, even garage mechanics mannage it!

We ran lots of vans with belts without any problems even when they were used long past the due replacement mileage. We used to inspect the belt, If the writing printed on the back was still visible and there was no tooth cracking, and tension was OK we left them alone. Its easy to check regularly if you cut a small part of the side of the cover off.

 

I would think that in a boat,  running this engine way below normal power and revs, the belt will last years and many hours. If the boat suits you, I would not be put off by the engine being a Ford rubber band.

When the belts do snap it is more often than not when the engine is idling or when the vehicle is manouvering. More slower, unsmooth measured tugs on the belt.

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