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Hi I am new to this forum and have a few questions. I just bought a 1990 325i, and took it to a mechanic to check it out. He said that he should look at the timimng belt and see if it should be replaced. I was wondering if anybody has ever changed a timing belt, and the skill level of the job. I realize that if i screw up the job my engine could be in jeopardy... so i am a little hesitant to take on the job, and might just have to fork over he money to have a real mechanic do the job. Thanks!!!!! :D
 

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depends on your mechanical ability. id say a 3 or 4 out of 5 for the average. you need to but the #1 piston at TDC theres a notch on the cam gear and harmonic balancer. remove the distributor,crank pulley& harmonic balance, also remove the timing cover. and slide the belt off. replace the tensioner.(it will automatically retension the belt when you install it.) go ahead and replace the waterpump while its all off. make sure what you take off you put back in the same order. also a good tip is to get ziploc baggies and label where the bolts go so you dont forget or end up with extra. (ive taken my car apart so much and can tell you where everybolt goes in and out of the car.seriously. i have my car memorized.no joke. if you have any questions PM me. i have my motor on a stand and can easily tell you what to do if you need help. plus i just changed mine a week ago.
 

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on the subject... how can i tell if i need to replace my timing belt? is there any way to tell without looking at the belt?

thanks.
 

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Replacing a timing belt is the biggest pain in the ass. It will take you at least 4 hours. It takes a damn awesome mechanic 3 hours by himself. You gotta take the hood off and take the radiator out... pain in the ass.
 
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