How to Replace timing belt on Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD 2002-2005

Alfa Romeo

Replacement Interval Guide

  • Alfa Romeo recommend:
  • 156:
  • Check every 36,000 miles.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 5 years under normal conditions.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 3 years under adverse conditions.
  • 166:
  • →08/03:
  • Check every 36,000 miles.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 5 years.
  • 09/03-04/06:
  • Check every 36,000 miles.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 5 years under normal conditions.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 3 years under adverse conditions.
  • 05/06→:
  • Check every 36,000 miles.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 5 years under normal conditions.
  • Replacement every 72,000 miles or 4 years under adverse conditions.
  • 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.

Repair Times – hrs

Remove & install2,00

Special Tools

  • Auxiliary drive belt tensioner locking pin – No.1.870.645.000.
  • Crankshaft timing tool – No.1.860.905.000.
  • Crankshaft timing tool stud – No.1.860.905.010.
  • Flywheel locking tool – No.1.820.630.000.

Special Precautions

  • Disconnect battery earth lead.
  • DO NOT turn crankshaft or camshaft when timing belt removed.
  • Remove glow 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.
  • Removal

    NOTE: The high-pressure fuel pump fitted to this engine does not require timing.

    1. Raise and support front of vehicle.
    2. Remove:
        • Engine upper cover.
        • Engine undershield.
        • RH front wheel.
        • RH inner wing panel.
        • Auxiliary drive belt. Use tool No.1.870.645.000.
        • Flywheel housing lower cover.
    3. Fit flywheel locking tool [1] . Tool No.1.820.630.000.
    4. Remove:
        • Crankshaft pulley bolts [2] .
        • Crankshaft pulley [3] .
        • Timing belt lower cover [4] .
        • Timing belt upper cover [5] .
        • Engine steady bar bracket.
    5. Support engine.
    6. Remove:
        • RH engine mounting.
        • Flywheel locking tool [1] .
    7. Turn crankshaft clockwise to TDC on No.1 cylinder.
    8. Ensure pin on crankshaft sprocket at 6 o’clock position [6] .
    9. Ensure camshaft sprocket timing marks aligned [7] .
    10. If timing marks not aligned: Turn crankshaft one turn clockwise.
    11. Slacken tensioner sprocket nut [8] . Move tensioner sprocket away from belt. Lightly tighten nut.
    12. Remove timing belt.


    1. Ensure pin on crankshaft sprocket at 6 o’clock position [6] .
    2. Remove oil pump housing bolt. Insert stud of crankshaft timing tool [9] . Tool No.1.860.905.010.
    3. Fit timing belt to crankshaft sprocket.
    4. Fit timing tool to crankshaft sprocket [10] . Tool No.1.860.905.000.
    5. Ensure pin on crankshaft sprocket located correctly in tool [11] .
    6. Secure timing tool to crankshaft sprocket with bolt [12] .
    7. Ensure camshaft sprocket timing marks aligned [7] .
    8. Fit timing belt in following order:
        • Guide pulley.
        • Camshaft sprocket.
        • High-pressure fuel pump sprocket.
        • Tensioner sprocket.
        • Water pump pulley.

      NOTE: Ensure belt is taut between sprockets on non-tensioned side.

    9. Slacken tensioner sprocket nut [8] .
    10. Lever tensioner sprocket bracket at position [13] until pointer and mark aligned [14] .
    11. Tighten tensioner sprocket nut [8] . Tightening torque: 42-52 Nm.
    12. Remove timing tool [10] .
    13. Turn crankshaft two turns clockwise.
    14. Fit crankshaft timing tool [10] .
    15. Ensure camshaft sprocket timing marks aligned [7] .
    16. Remove crankshaft timing tool [10] .
    17. Fit oil pump housing bolt.
    18. Install components in reverse order of removal.
    19. Tighten crankshaft pulley bolts [2] . Tightening torque: 21-26 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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