BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Timing Belt


Timing belts are designed to last 60,000 miles (96,618 km). If the vehicle has been stored for an extended period (2 or more years), the timing belt should be changed before returning the vehicle to service.


See Figure 1

Do not turn the engine with the timing belt removed. Because these engines are interference type engines, the pistons will contact the valves and cause internal engine damage.

Remove the timing belt cover from the engine and inspect the condition of the timing belt. The belt should have no excessive cracks tears or worn edges. Minor cracks on the face of the belt is normal and no reason for concern. If the belt shows any excessive wear, replace as soon as possible.

Carefully inspect the underside of the timing belt paying particular attention to any missing teeth from the belt. If for any reason one or more belt teeth are missing, the timing belt should be replaced immediately.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Checking timing belt wear

Finally, grasp the timing belt with the first two fingers of your hand at at the position between the camshaft and crankshaft pulleys and slowly twist the belt. The belt should be able to rotate 75-90°.