Perfect installation is essential for optimum performance and reliability of timing belt drives. As timing belt replacements in modern vehicles have become a specialist task, many replacement jobs would require engine-specific tools and training to complete the job correctly.
Recognising this, Gates has developed complementary initiatives to ensure safe and professional replacements in accordance with manufacturer recommendations by:
- Conducting technical workshops to help raise installer awareness
- Expanding the Gates Professional Tools range
- Encouraging specialist tool hire programmes for motor factors
- Providing incentives to garages who commit to training and the use of appropriate tools by offering improved warranty protection via the TechPartner scheme
The Gates Professional Tool Range
The Gates Professional Tools range also includes problem-solving solutions for Accessory Belt Drive Systems (ABDS). For example, the Gates Micro-V® Stretch Fit® belts are designed for cars equipped with stretch-type belts without tensioner. Whilst such designs allow belts to stretch and fit each application, they cannot be stretched by hand. This is one of the many cases where it is essential to use appropriate tools for the job.
While disposable tools are available from certain belt manufacturers, attempts to re-use such tools have been known to damage belts.
Gates offers a range of re-usable fitting tools for these drive systems. Tools like the SFT001, SFT002 and SFT006 can be used to service over 90% of current applications.
Confidence in Compatibility and Quality
As well as delivering the solutions to common problems faced by technicians, the Gates Professional Tools range offers some other distinct advantages:
- Gates belt kits specify the precise Gates tools required for the job
- Belt kits are linked to appropriate tool kits via the online catalogue (GatesAutocat.com)
As a result, technicians are sure they know the correct tool to use for each application via Gates’ online catalogue.
Motor factors are provided better sales opportunities by being able to supply their customers with reliable tools for drive systems. As more technicians adopt the use of the proper tools for the job, the less likely it is that a motor factor has to deal with premature warranty claims.
Subaru Solutions – A Case Study
The latest innovation in Gates timing belt tools was developed to resolve issues in the Synchronous Belt Drive Systems (SBDS) of certain Subaru applications. The affected models are typically fitted with a timing belt guide plate which is directly above the crankshaft pulley, positioning it very close to the timing belt.
In all cases where premature timing belt failures were recorded, Gates engineers observed that installers had not appreciated the importance of the clearance between the belt and guide plate. The GAT0001 Gates Spacer Tool was developed to resolve this issue. Once inserted between the belt and plate, it sets the precise clearance.
After tightening the bolts, the re-usable tool can be removed thanks to a convenient ‘extension tab’. Each PowerGrip® kit for Subaru applications now comes with a GAT001 tool.