Ford Figo Duratech – Timing Belt & Tensioner

Ford Figo Duratech – Timing Belt & Tensioner

Ford Figo 1.4 Duratech - Timing Belt and Tensioner


A typical Timing Belt

The Timing Belt

The function of a Timing Belt is to keep the engine’s crankshaft timed with the camshaft when this timing is disturbed it could have dire consequences with consequential damage occurring to the engine, namely bent valves. Timing Belts are constructed of rubber and high tensile fibres, incorporating teeth to mesh with the crank and cam gears.

The Timing Belt Tensioner

a typical timing belt tensioner

Is a component that keeps a predetermined tension on the cam belt to prevent it from jumping a tooth on either the crank or cam toothed gears while the engine is running allowing for acceleration and deceleration. The essential component is a smooth hardened polished surface made of metal or plastic with a centre bearing to allow for rotation.

As time passes and mileage is clocked up the timing belt and tensioner wears it is recommended by the manufacturers to replace every 100 000 kilometres or 5 years whichever occurs 1st.

Some manufacturers recommend longer and higher mileage intervals, so it is advisable to consult the manufacturers of your vehicle or the owners manual.

Replacing Timing Belt & Tensioner – Ford Figo 1.4

I will show you now by means of photo illustrations on how to replace a timing belt and tensioner on a Ford Figo 1.4 fitted with a Duratec engine.

Jack The Front Of The Vehicle.

Set the parking brake, jack the front of the vehicle, secure the vehicle with axle stands.

Auxiliary Cover & Belts

Remove the driver side front wheel and the plastic auxiliary drive belt cover.

auxiliary belt cover being removed

Now the pulley and belts are exposed making it possible to remove.


These belts are of the stretch variety meaning there are no adjustments to fit and remove. It can only be removed with a long screwdriver by derailing the belts while the engine is rotated, a special tool is available, but I never had the need for it.

auxiliary belts and pulley exposed

Air Filter Housing

Remove the Air filter housing by loosening the 2 sized 10 head bolts holding it onto the intake manifold, loosen the 2 large air pipes and the small breather pipe attached to the filter housing, then take a firm grip of the housing and pull up to release the 2 back gromets, store the housing safely aside.

air filter housing

Coolant Reservoir

Remove the coolant reservoir by loosening the size 10mm head bolt holding it down to the body in the engine bay. 

coolant reservoir tank

Remove the moulded overflow plastic pipe by depressing the release tab (caution, these pipes become brittle with age).

unplugging the overflow pipe

Use a vice grip and blank off the 16mm rubber pipe at the bottom of the reservoir to prevent water leaking from the engine.

loosen the tank pipe clamp

Use pliers to loosen the clip and bottom pipe of the coolant reservoir, now remove the coolant reservoir and store in a safe place.

remove the tank’s bottom pipe

Power Steering Reservoir

Loosen the power steering reservoir by pulling the unit up releasing it from its hold down grommets. 

power steering reservoir
power steering reservoir moved aside

Move it to one side but do not remove completely as it can get messy with power steering fluid leaking all over.

Plug Wires

Remove the plug wires (ht leads) by simply pulling at the top of the wires to loosen it.

loosening the plug wires (ht leads)

Ignition Coil

The coil is held down by 4 x Torx bolts remove to loosen the coil and set the coil one side out of the way, no need to unplug the wire connection.

ignition coil situated behind the cylinder head
loosen the ignition coil and lay it safely aside

The engine lift bracket is held on by 2 x 10mm head bolts, simply remove these 2 bolts and detach the lift bracket.

engine lift bracket
engine lift bracket removed

Also, remove the spark plugs enabling the engine to be rotated much easier.

Tappet Cover

Loosen all the size 8mm head bolts on the tappet cover and lift it completely off the cylinder head to expose the cams.

removing the tappet cover
lifting the tappet cover
tappet cover completely removed

Engine Mounting

Remove the engine mounting as illustrated, by removing 3 nuts and 3 bolts, size 15mm tube socket required.

loosening the 15mm head nuts on the engine mounting
loosening the 15mm head bolts on the engine mounting
with 3 nuts and 3 bolts loosened the mounting can now be removed
removing the engine mounting
engine mounting completely removed

Top Timing Cover & Alternator Bracket

top timing cover to be removed

Remove the 7 x 8mm head bolts from the top front cover and the 2 x 10mm bolts from the front cover bracket attached to the front of the engine.

removing the bolts from the top front timing cover
an example of the 2 x 10mm top front cover bolts

Remove the 3 bolts holding the alternator bracket to the engine, noting the long bolt with the Torx head must be removed completely from the bracket as illustrated.

removing the Torx bolt from the alternator bracket
Torx bolt completely removed

The 2nd bolt with a 15mm head must be removed too.

removing the 2nd 10mm alternator bracket bolt
2nd alternator bolt loosened and being removed

the 3rd bolt is a 13mm head short bolt on the side needs to be removed too.

loosening the 3rd and shortest bolt from the alternator bracket

Now pry the alternator away from the engine it will pivot on the bottom bolt that holds it. 

prying the alternator back to release the top front timing cover

Remove the top front cover with the bracket and store out of the way safely, here is where you will realise how convenient it is to move the power steering reservoir around.

top front cover loose and ready to be removed

The complete top front cover removed.

top front timing cover completely removed

With the top front cover and bracket removed one now has access to the timing belt and tensioner.

easy access to the timing belt and tensioner

Front Pulley & Bottom Timing Cover

Turn the engine to top dead centre by turning the front pulley with a size 18mm socket and ratchet, always turn the engine clockwise. A simple method to find the top dead centre is to use a thin screwdriver and place it in no.1 cylinder’s plug hole and allowing it to reach the uppermost position while turning the engine clockwise.

Look down the cv joint shaft onto the gearbox, you will find a section of the gearbox where the flywheel teeth are exposed, place a strong screwdriver here jamming the engine to allow it to lock up. 

flywheel teeth exposed
screwdriver used to lock the engine

Loosen the front pulley bolt by using an 18mm socket and breaker bar, the longer the better because this bolt is very tight.

breaker bar loosening crank pulley bolt

Remove the water pump pulley.

water pump pulley

Remove the front pulley with pry bars

crank pulley removed

Remove the bottom timing cover, 3 x 8mm head bolts holding it in place.

Cam & Crank Locking Tool Kit

cam & crank locking tool kit

A crank and cam locking tool kit is needed to perform the timing belt replacement on the Ford Figo, the kit I used is part no.DEE5515 and is a Euro-lift brand. I needed 2 of the units in the kit namely the black crank locking tool and the metal cam locking bar it seems to be a universal kit for Ford.

Crankshaft Lock Tool

crankshaft locking tool used in this procedure

At the driver side inner cv joint you will find a blanking plug on the engine which has to be removed so the crankshaft TDC locking tool can be inserted, remove the blanking plug and insert the locking tool.

blanking plug must be removed
10mm spanner required
removing the crank blanking plug

Fitting The Crankshaft TDC Locking Tool

Fit the locking tool by simply screwing in the locking tool it does not have to be tightened with a spanner hand tight will suffice but it has to be turned in all the way.

turn the crankshaft TDC locking tool in by hand
lock tool turned in completely

Ensure the crank is at TDC, the importance of setting TDC before you lock the crank to loosen the crank pulley bolt cannot be stated enough, so look out for that little detail

I do this by using a rag and a water pump pliers and turning the crank clockwise up against the crank TDC lock tool. (remember to remove the spark plugs to allow the engine to turn easily).

using a rag as not to damage the crank surface

When the crank stops against the locking tool while turning clockwise there is no doubt it is at TDC.

Fitting The Cam Locking Bar

With the crank at TDC, we will now check the position of the cams, there are slots cut in the back of the cams, use the cam locking bar and ensure it fits into both cam slots without too much force.

cam locking bar
cam locking bar in place, fitting into the slots in the back of the cams

Removing Timing Belt & Tensioner

With the cam locking bar in place, the engine is now timed and the timing belt and tensioner can now be removed. A size 13mm spanner is required to loosen the hold-down bolt for the tensioner, turning anti-clockwise will loosen, turn the bolt out completely and remove the tensioner.

removing the timing belt tensioner
timing belt tensioner removed

With the tensioner completely removed the timing belt can simply be removed from the crank and cam toothed gears.

Fitting The New Tensioner

Fit the new timing belt tensioner with the lock pin still in place.

timing belt tensioner with the lock pin in place

A very important point to note here is the tensioner has a protrusion marked with a blue dot.

timing belt tensioner protrusion marked with a blue dot

It is important that this protrusion fits into the indent as indicated for the tensioner to function correctly.

a square indent on the engine for the tensioner’s protrusion to fit in.
protrusion fitting into the square indent

When the tensioner is fitted correctly ensure it is tightened sufficiently at the 13mm head bolt.

tightening the timing belt tensioner hold down bolt

Fitting The New Timing Belt

Start at the crankshaft gear and route the belt onto the cam gears from the right ensuring the slack is on the side of the tensioner (left).

fitting the timing belt, starting at the crank gear
cambelt fitted with the slack on the tensioner’s side (note the lock pin still in place)

When the belt is fitted ensure the crank and cam locking tools are still in place.

cam locking tool still in place
crank locking tool still in place

Activate The Tensioner

Now activate the tensioner by removing the lock pin the slack will be taken up and the proper preset tension applied to the timing belt. 

timing belt tensioner with the lock pin removed

Re-Fit Front Covers & Mounting

Now refit the front top and bottom covers, fit the front crank pulley with a new crank pulley bolt (it is important to replace the bolt with a new one), lock the crank by the flywheel with a screwdriver and tighten the crank pulley bolt to 115-newton meters.

front crank pulley with new bolt

Remove the crank and cam locking tools.

Checking The Engine Timing.

Mark the crank pulley and engine cover with a white marker as illustrated below.

crank and engine marked with white paint( to use as a reference to TDC top dead centre)

Turn the crank clockwise 2 revolutions and let it come to rest back on the reference marks made.

Re-Fit the cam and crank locking tools, it should go in easily, with this achieved the engine is now timed perfectly.

cam tool should fit easily
the crank tool should turn in easily

Remove Lock Tools For The Last Time.

Remove the cam and crank locking tools for the last time, refit the blanking plug for the crank, refit the tappet cover and coil, plugs and plug wires. Refit the reservoir bottle and the power steering reservoir. fit the auxiliary belts and cover. Fill the coolant, refit the air filter housing and all other parts removed during this procedure, reconnect the battery and start the engine.


Not one of the easiest or simplest timing belts to replace but with patience and a cool head, it is achievable. I hope you found this helpful, I thank you for visiting my website and hope to see you back here again.


Until Next Time “Safe Motoring”

Gary De La Cruz

I have been 30+ years in the motor industry, still hands on, and have great passion for my chosen profession, I learn new things each day and believe that "if you enjoy your work, you never have to work a day in your life"I believe in honesty, integrity and helping where help is needed.

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