1992 – 1997 Volvo 850 2.5L
Vehicle In This Guide:
1994 Volvo 850 / 2.5L engine / 238,000 miles
The 850 has proven to be one of Volvo’s most safest and reliable cars. There are many 850’s still on the road today that have well over 200 thousand miles on the odometer. Of course maintenance is the key to a car’s long life and changing the timing belt is one task that you eventually will have to perform. This guide will go through the timing belt removal and installation procedure. Because of the high mileage on this car, I will also replace the idler roller, tensioner pulley roller, and the water pump. If, during an inspection, the water pump does not make any unusual noises when rotated and does not have any coolant seeping out of the weep hole then a replacement is not necessary.
Removing Accessories And Setting Correct Timing
1. Start off by setting the car on jack stands and removing the passenger side wheel.
2. Lift up the coolant reservoir by depressing the center clip, remove the sensor connector, and with the hose still attached, move the reservoir to the side.
3. Next step is to remove the serpentine belt. If you have something that can release the tension on the belt then go ahead and use that. I find it easier to just unbolt the tensioner and remove it all together. It is held on by two bolts.
4. Once you have the belt off, put the tensioner back in and slightly screw in the top bolt. This will allow you to swing the tensioner out and insert a 1″ inch drive ratchet. Use the ratchet to rotate the tensioner so that you can lock it by placing something through the lock hole. Once you have it locked, remove the tensioner.
5. Remove the front timing cover that is held in with one 12mm bolt.
6. Next step is to line up all of the timing marks. There is an access cover in the wheel well. Use that to gain access to the crank bolt. Use a ratchet to rotate the crank clockwise until all of the marks align.
Rotate the engine until you line up the the groove in the crank sprocket with the mark in the block. This groove is very hard to see so you will more than likely have to do several rotations until you can line it up.
Here is a close up of the groove.
When you line up the crankshaft, the camshaft marks will line up with the cut outs in the timing cover. However, this 850 did not have any marks on the camshafts from the factory. If you run into this, double check that you have lined up the crankshaft correctly and mark the camshafts as I have done here.
Removing Timing Belt And Related Components
7. After you have everything lined up, remove the top timing cover. You will have to move the fuel line out of the way. Start by removing the 10 mm bolt that holds the first bracket.
Continue by removing the spark plug cover (#1). Remove the other fuel line bracket (#3). Finally remove the two bolts that hold the top timing cover in place (#2). Slide the cover out of the way.
8. Remove the timing belt tensioner. Two bolts hold it in place.
Make a mental note of how the plastic bushing is oriented. Throw it away and replace with a new one.
9. Remove the crank sprocket cover that is held on by 10mm bolts.
10. At this point I usually just cut the belt and slide it out from the bottom. You can try and maneuver the belt out but with the limited room that there is, I find it it easier to cut the belt.
11. Now that the belt is out of the way you can go ahead and remove the additional components. I am going to replace the idler pulley (#1), the tensioner puller roller (#2), and the water pump (#3).
12. In order to remove the tensioner pulley roller you have to remove the whole tensioner pulley assembly. There is very little room and a regular T45 socket will not fit in there. I had to buy a T45 torx bit and cut off a piece with an angle grinder. Then I used a 1/4 in. socket to hold the bit in place. Look at the pic to see the final result.
13. Before removing the water pump, make sure to drain the coolant. There is a drain plug on the driver side of the radiator.
Installing the Water Pump and Timing Belt Components
1. Remove all the old gasket material. I *carefully* used a razor blade to do the job. Use new bolts to secure the water pump. Tighten to 14.8 lb-ft.
2. Install the timing tensioner pulley, if it was removed.
3. Install the idler pulley, if it was removed. Torque to 18 lb-ft.
4. In order to install the timing belt tensioner you have to compress the rod back inside the tensioner. Use a 6″ c-clamp or a vise if you have it. Slowly compress the rod back into the tensioner, this can easily take 5 – 8 minutes. Insert a pin to hold the rod in place.
5. Install the timing belt tensioner. Do not forget to install the plastic bushing. Torque to 18 lb-ft.
6. Here comes the fun part. Install the timing belt by feeding it through the bottom opening. There is very little room so you will have to bend the belt to get it through the opening. After the belt is through, reinstall the crank sprocket cover.
7. Feed the belt over the idler pulley (make sure there is zero slack here) then over the right camshaft sprocket and then the left. Continue down to the water pump and finally slide it over the tensioner pulley. It’s going to be tight so don’t be afraid to use some force.
8. Once the belt is on and you verified that everything is in place and torqued correctly you can remove the pin from the tensioner. Rotate the engine a couple of times to make sure that all the timing marks are aligned correctly.
9. Install the top timing cover. Install the main cover. Secure the fuel line by installing the two brackets.
10. Install the serpentine belt tensioner. Torque the bolts to 18 lb-ft.
11. Put the serpentine belt back in.
12. If you changed the water pump, then fill up the reservoir with coolant. With the reservoir cap still removed start the car and let it get up to operating temperature by keeping the rpms around 2,000. Shut it off when coolant is close to pouring out. The air bubbles will begin to escape and you will have to fill the reservoir again. Repeat until the coolant level stabilizes.