How to Replace timing belt on Alfa Romeo 156 1.6 TS 16V 2002-2005

Alfa Romeo Belts

Replacement Interval Guide

  • Alfa Romeo recommend:
  • 145/146/155:
  • Check every 48,000 miles or 4 years.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 6 years.
  • 147:
  • →07/07:
  • Replacement every 36,000 miles or 3 years.
  • 08/07→:
  • Replacement every 36,000 miles or 5 years under normal conditions.
  • Replacement every 36,000 miles or 4 years under adverse conditions.
  • 156/Spider/GTV:
  • Replacement every 36,000 miles or 3 years.
  • The previous use and service history of the vehicle must always be taken into account.

Check For Engine Damage

CAUTION: This engine has been identified as an INTERFERENCE engine in which the possibility of valve-to-piston damage in the event of a timing belt failure is MOST LIKELY to occur. A compression check of all cylinders should be performed before removing the cylinder head(s).

Repair Times – hrs

Remove & install:

Special Tools

  • 1,4: Camshaft locking tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.825.042.000
  • 1,6 (105 HP/77 kW): Camshaft locking tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.870.797.000.
  • 1,6 (120 HP/88 kW): Camshaft locking tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.870.734.000.
  • 1,8: Camshaft locking tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.825.041.000.
  • Crankshaft sprocket adaptor – Alfa Romeo No.1.820.618.000.
  • Except 147: Inlet camshaft holding tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.822.155.000.
  • 147/156: Inlet camshaft holding tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.822.156.000.
  • Exhaust camshaft holding tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.822.146.000.
  • Timing belt tensioning tool – Alfa Romeo No.1.822.149.000.

Special Precautions

  • Disconnect battery earth lead.
  • DO NOT turn crankshaft or camshaft when timing belt removed.
  • Remove spark plugs to ease turning engine.
  • Turn engine in normal direction of rotation (unless otherwise stated).
  • DO NOT turn engine via camshaft or other sprockets.
  • Observe all tightening torques.
    1. Remove:
        • RH front wheel.
        • Engine cover.
        • Auxiliary drive belt.
        • Auxiliary drive belt guide pulley [1] .
        • Crankshaft pulley [2] .
        • Timing belt upper cover [3] .
        • Ignition coils.
        • Cylinder head cover [4] .
        • Centre spark plug – cylinder No.1.
    2. Insert dial gauge in No.1 cylinder centre spark plug hole [5] . Turn crankshaft slowly to TDC on No.1 cylinder.
    3. Ensure marks on belt aligned with marks on sprockets [6] [7] .
    4. Slacken timing belt tensioner nut [8] .
    5. Remove timing belt.NOTE: Mark direction of rotation on belt with chalk if belt is to be reused.


    1. Ensure crankshaft at TDC on No.1 cylinder. Use dial gauge [5] .
    2. Hold camshaft sprockets. Except 147: Use tool Nos.1.822.155.000 & 1.822.146.000. 147: Use tool Nos.1.822.156.000 & 1.822.146.000 [9] [10] . Slacken bolt(s) of each camshaft sprocket.
    3. Except 147: Remove third bearing cap from each camshaft [11] [12] .
    4. 147: Remove second inlet camshaft bearing cap and third exhaust camshaft bearing cap [16] [17] .NOTE: Mark bearing caps before removal for identification.
    5. Fit locking tools in place of bearing caps [11] [12] or [16] [17] .
        • 1,4: Tool No.1.825.042.000.
        • 1,6: Tool No.1.870.797.000 or No.1.870.734.000.
        • 1,8: Tool No.1.825.041.000.

      NOTE: Ensure locking tools aligned with respective cam profiles to prevent damage. Before fitting belt ensure camshaft sprockets turned fully clockwise.

    6. Fit timing belt in anti-clockwise direction, starting at crankshaft sprocket. Ensure directional arrows point in direction of rotation.
    7. Ensure marks on belt aligned with marks on sprockets [6] [7] .
    8. Tension timing belt to maximum. Use tool No.1.822.149.000 [13] .
    9. Tighten tensioner nut [8] .
    10. Hold camshaft sprockets. Except 147: Use tool Nos.1.822.155.000 & 1.822.146.000. 147: Use tool Nos.1.822.156.000 & 1.822.146.000 [9] [10] .
    11. Tighten bolt(s) of each camshaft sprocket.
        • (A) Except 147: 100-124 Nm.
        • (B) 147: 108-132 Nm.
        • (A) M6 bolts – except 156: 10 Nm.
        • (B) M6 bolts – 156: 12 Nm.
    12. Remove:
        • Dial gauge [5] .
        • Locking tools [11] [12] or [16] [17] .
    13. Fit bearing caps in correct locations.
    14. Lubricate camshaft bearing cap bolts. Tighten bolts. Except 147: 13-16 Nm. 147: 14-17 Nm.
    15. Turn crankshaft two turns clockwise to TDC on No.1 cylinder [6] . 156: Use tool No.1.820.618.000.
    16. Ensure timing marks aligned [6] [7] .
    17. Fit tensioning tool [13] . Tool No.1.822.149.000.
    18. Slacken tensioner nut [8] . Turn tensioner anti-clockwise until pointer [14] aligned with hole [15] .
    19. Tighten tensioner nut [8] .
        • (A) Except 147: 21-26 Nm.
        • (B) 147: 23-28 Nm.
    20. Turn crankshaft two turns clockwise to TDC on No.1 cylinder [6] .
    21. Ensure timing marks aligned [6] [7] .
    22. Install components in reverse order of removal.
    23. Tighten crankshaft pulley bolts. Tightening torque: 24-29 Nm.
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Bent Valves
Timing Tools?
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Bent Valves

What happens when your chain or belt breaks. 

The timing of course becomes way off. Your crankshaft will always spin making the pistons move up and down. However the valves will remain in the position they were in when the belt or chain stopped working. 

Half of the valves will be stuck open and in the way of the pistons. Not all engines, but most. The piston out of valve time will smash right into the open valve and bend the, The only way to fix that is to remove the head and place those valves. 

If you think your valves might have been damaged.

Remove all the spark plugs, valve covers. With both valves in the closed position insert a compression tester hose in place of the spark plug and inject air into the hose and see if the cylinder can hold air. If both valve are closed and air can not be held, chances are you have bent valves.   


Timing Tools?

Do you need special tools to time your engine? Not always, on all my post I'll indicate that in each post if you do or not. 

But what are these special tools? Normally you would just line up some marks on the cam and crank gears and simply be done with it. However when these tools are needed they are very very important. 

The last one I did was a 2013 Range Rover 2.0 Turbo with dual cams. There were not timing marks at all. 

There is a small threaded plug on the back of the engine that I removed to insert a special threaded pin that would rest up against the weight of the crankshaft to prevent for DTC of the #1 piston. No further clockwise rotation would be possible. At that point I installed the supplied crankshaft lock by removing the starter. 

Then you line up the back of both camshafts to a notch in each camshafts to each other that a flat tool connects to each cam so they are in line with each other. But first you would make sure both intake and exhaust valves are closed DTC of the cams. 

And the last tool was to lineup the crankshaft position sensor. 



The most important thing in any major engine work is to rotate the engine by hand at least two complete rotations. And do it easy and slow and with the spark plugs removed. 

Why remove the spark plugs? you may ask. Simple, with the plugs in place you'll be creating compression, making the engine harder to turn by hand and perhaps giving you the misconception of valves hitting the pistons or is it compression.  

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