What do you guys include in a timing belt job?

Hey guys, I’m about to get to work on changing the timing belt on my 1996 Mercury Mystique 2.0L Zetec automatic, as I’m a few thousand miles over the scheduled replacement. I’ve never changed a timing belt before, but I feel up to the task and have all the tools, garage space, and literature I need. I was just wanting to ask what else you’d include in the job. So far, I’m going to change the belt, idler pulleys and tensioner. Also the serpentine belt, water pump, and of course valve cover gasket. Anything else that I should replace while I’m in there? I’m not averse to spending a little extra on parts now to save me some labor in the future.

Thanks for your advice, which I’m sure will be excellent as always.


While you’re in there, might as well replace the cam/crank seals.


May as well do the plugs, thermostat and cap, while you’re at it

Agree with Tester, replace the cam/crank seals as when not if they fail you will be doing some of this over again, we learned that a few years ago when we discovered the car was dripping a trail of oil everywhere we went. Several hundred dollars later (including the tune-up the car was due for and a brake job that the car was due for anyway) the car had a new cam seal as well as replacing the timing belt again!

If you do replace the cam seals be sure you have the right tools to keep the cams lined up. There is no indexing the cam sprockets to the cam, they go on any which way.

Awesome, thanks for the input, guys. It looks like the camshaft seals will be quick, but the crankshaft seal requires removing the oil pump which looks like a whole fiaso without removing the engine. I’ll get a spare seal to have on hand in case I notice it leaking, but otherwise I think I’ll leave the crankshaft seal intact. @asemaster I do have the tool to lock the cams (a piece of .20-inch thick steel), which I need for the timing belt job anyway.

Thanks again!