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Ok, helping a friend put a timing belt on an 89' 2.3L. The problem we are having is when we put tension on the belt the crank moves off the mark. We are following the Haynes manual procedure. We tried clocking both of the pulleys so after we put the tension on it it would move into place but it's not working. The mark on the crank is always either ahead or behind. We even tried holding the crank and tightening it down, the marks stayed right so we spun it over by hand 2x and it was still lined up right. So we started it, it ran but not well or right so we stopped. Any thoughts?
 

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did the timing belt break?im not sure if its an interference motor or not but maybe a vavle got bent.also did you check the distibutor timing?with a new belt maybe the timing is just a hair different and can be adjusted with the distributor.

---------- Post added at 07:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:03 PM ----------

One time I did a timing belt we had the timing off and tried to start it.I checked over everything I did and found the problem.anyways from trying to start it with the timing off I fouled a spark plug.took a minute to figure that one out.
 

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dreamstang said:
did the timing belt break?im not sure if its an interference motor or not but maybe a vavle got bent.also did you check the distibutor timing?with a new belt maybe the timing is just a hair different and can be adjusted with the distributor.

---------- Post added at 07:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:03 PM ----------

One time I did a timing belt we had the timing off and tried to start it.I checked over everything I did and found the problem.anyways from trying to start it with the timing off I fouled a spark plug.took a minute to figure that one out.
Yes it broke, and the distributor appears to be spot on(as described in the Haynes manual). While it was running it did make some noise, but I can not say for sure what was making the racquet but we cut it off pretty quick.
 

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i dont know if that motor is interference or not,but alot of 4cylinders are. and alot of times when the belt break a valve can be bent.if you know you got the timing marks right then compression test for bent valves should definately be next step.

---------- Post added at 08:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:58 PM ----------

i dont know of its accuracy but according to this its not interference.http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_tell_an_interference_engine_on_a_Ford
so if thats correct no bent valve.

---------- Post added at 08:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:05 PM ----------

also found this to verify non interference.soory to scare ya! : )http://philweb.us/sparkplug/timing.htm
 

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i know u used the book but when set tdc did u look in the distributer to make sure it was pointing at #1?just a thought lots of people accidently set tdc 180 off.also when the belt is on there and its a little off it help to mark the belt and gear for making adjustments.Good luck though,ive been there before and sometimes timing belts can be a pain in the neck.
 

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He checked the piston at some point I know because he had to put it back in to start it. Would it start 180 degrees out??
Late getting here, sorry, had issues with pain & meds.

It's possible that the 2.3 might start with the distributor 180 degrees out.
Remember it only has 1/2 of the timing events a V8 does, so it's more likely that it could.

Double check your distributor timing and verify that the distributor rotor is pointing at number 1 spark plug terminal and that your cam/crank timing marks are still aligned properly.

I read through my Chilton books and I didn't see any additional info I can forward that would help. I also researched about the interference fit issue, but everything I found says the Mustang 2.3 is not subject to those issues.

Well, while I was writing my response I see you got it fixed.
 

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The #1 wire was on the wrong terminal on the cap, so the rotor had been correct but the wire was off one terminal over. It runs pretty good now but not perfectly. Told him we needed to time the motor w/ a timing light otherwise we know the rest is spot on.
He asked me to be sure to thank you guys for your help!
 
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