Replacement of crankshaft timing and crankcase seal – Opel Astra G 1998 X16XEL 1.6 16V

You want to change the timing, but you do not know how? Read the detailed exchange instructions and see the detailed guide on how to replace the timing belt kit yourself and the simering crankshaft sealant in the Opel Astra G with the 1.6 16V x16xel 1998 engine, but the guide will be useful for Zafira A, Vectra, Corsa and other car owners.

Video tutorial short version with a comment about 40 minutes (the entire exchange), perfect for the impatient ;)

Video tutorial full version without comment with music about 100 minutes (the entire exchange), ideal for people who will exchange the timing in their car for the first time and want to see each step calmly, accurately:

Working conditions:

Cool or cold engine, roofed workplace, good lighting

Parts and liquids:

New Timing belt kit Continental ContiTech CT975WP3: belt tensioner, 2 new guide rollers (two different sizes), water pump with a new rubber seal (we do not use sealing compound!), Elring crankshaft sealant (optional), 5L cooler fluid compatible with the system cooling (pink or other manufacturer).


YATO YT-0750 torque wrench or other, YATO YT-06011 universal camshaft timing lock or other, Socket wrench set and several 1/2 „extensions, extra torx, allen wrench, ring wrenches, oil and dirt dissolving agent (cleaning spray brake discs, other), protective gloves, chalk or white permanent marker to mark points, transparent plastic cup (patent for inserting the sealer on the crankshaft without damaging the seal – simering).

Work time:

If the work will be performed by a complete layperson, it is necessary to take a working time of approx. 8 hours – 16 hours. An experienced mechanic will do the work in 3 hours. If you do not feel strong and you do not have the tools shown in the movie, it is worth buying them or giving the car to the workshop. We do everything accurately and reliably, nothing to repel!

Good advice for car users Opel Astra G 1.6 16V x16xel from my support group on Facebook – :

„It’s worth to make candles – it’s much easier to turn the crankshaft without compressing it” (Piotr S.)

„If we do not replace the multi-grooved belt, it is worth to mark the direction of movement with a permanent marker or chalk (arrow) in order to set up the same after assembling the timing belt” (Piotr S.)

Opel Astra G 1.6 16V x16xel 1998 – author: Bogdan Ligęza

1. Disconnect battery cables, starting from minus, ending with a positive one (we effectively isolate the clamps from the poles of the battery, so that they do not connect by accident)
2. Dismantle the air intake pipe from the air filter housing to the damper (disconnect the EVAP solenoid valve cable from the air intake pipe and the plug from the IAT air temperature sensor)
3. Disassemble the air filter housing
4. Mark the direction of work of the multi-groove tool belt with a marker pen or chalk (if you do not replace the belt with a new one, then indicate the direction of its work before disassembly, to keep the direction when re-assembly)
5. Disassemble the multi-groove accessories belt, releasing the tension of the tensioner using a ring wrench on the bolt securing the tensioner and pushing towards the car interior
6. Disassemble the upper part of the toothed belt guard (3 screws and plastic hooks)
7. Disassemble the camshaft sensor (unscrew the 2 screws from the cylinder head and unhook the sensor, make sure that the bolt does not fall into the timing case)
8. Loosen the right wheel bolts
9. Raise the car and put it on a stable ground (attention to safety, use efficient lifts and set the car on trestles or use a workshop lift, the car can not be only replaced on the hoist during the exchange, must be set on trestles or wooden blocks, block the wheels, we start the handbrake)
10. Disassemble the right front wheel (mark with a chalk or a marker on the rim and hub to keep the wheel balanced by mounting exactly the way it was)
11. We dismantle the plastic cover of the wheel (several screws and one plastic dowel black)
12. Set the 5th gear and the second person presses the brake to the stop
13. Unscrew the crankshaft (CA – Crankshaft Angle) counterclockwise, which is firmly bolted (you can use a special crankshaft lock that I do not have)
14. Pull out the belt pulley of the multi-groove belt from the crankshaft (the wedge on the crankshaft prevents the pulley from moving to the right / left)
15. Unscrew the multi-ribbed belt tensioner
16. Disassemble the lower part of the toothed belt guard (1 central screw and several plastic catches)
17. Screw the bolt back into the crankshaft and turn the shaft clockwise so that the mark on the gear and housing is covered exactly (on the gear is an arrow on one of the teeth, there is a plastic tab inside the housing at the bottom)
18. Check the arrangement of the 2 camshaft sprockets in relation to the characters on the wheels (there are notches on the wheels that are to be directed towards each other in a straight line, markers can be marked with a marker pen to make them more visible).
19. We assume a universal camshaft sprocket lock or a slip-lock fitted to a given car model between the camshaft gears
20. Unscrew the tensioning screw of the timing belt tensioning pulley and remove the tensioner (the tensioner itself will loosen and the belt will be loose). If the screw head is damaged, use a hammer and a hammer, because often you can not unscrew the screw, it was in my case.
21. We leave the car gently on a trestle or wooden block so that it does not stick to the motor cushion
22. We dismantle the engine cushion (6 screws) to replace the old belt with a new one
23. We dismantle the old timing belt
24. Disassemble 2 timing belt guide rollers (remember where it was! – they are different)
25. We install 2 new timing belt guide rollers with a torque wrench, torque 25Nm
26. We pre-lay the new timing belt through the engine bracket
27. Mount the engine cushion (6 bolts) back in place and lift the engine to remove the treadmill from under the engine
28. Drain the cooling system by unscrewing the equalizing tank cap and unscrewing the red valve under the radiator. When the liquid stops, we close the red valve as far as it will go.
29. Dismantle the water pump (mark with a marker or chalk setting the old pump in the socket and unscrew the 3 screws holding the water pump and pull out the water pump slowly (note about a liter of liquid spills out).
30. We clean the water pump socket very precisely, remove all deposits and dirt, the surface must be perfectly clean and even, so that the new pump and its seal ideally settle down.
31. We install a new water pump with a lubricated gasket with a new coolant fluid (it will facilitate slipping and nesting, without gasketing – DO NOT USE THE SEALANT), tightening 3 screws (it will probably be necessary to loosen the tensioner when adjusting the tensioner) turn the pump casing clockwise to tension the belt after inserting, otherwise the tensioner at the maximum voltage will not reach the appropriate tension of the belt or vice versa, when the belt can not be put on the tensioner. The pump is on the eccentric, hence affects the tension of the belt outside the tensioner.
32. If we replace the crankshaft simering seal, we extend the gear wheel from the shaft to each other, then use a precision flat screwdriver to undermine the sealant and pull out. You can also screw in the sealer or knock in a screwdriver and pull out, but there is no need. Installation of the sealer should be done using a roller cut from a thin plastic and a smooth cup for beverages or from a PET bottle moistened with motor oil. We put the roller into the new seal, put it on the crankshaft and move the sealant onto the shaft on the cut plastic shaft, when the sealant slips onto the shaft, gently pull out the plastic shaft and push the sealant to the end of the seat. The crankshaft and plastic roller should be moistened with oil to allow the sealant to move without resistance (friction). Slide the crankshaft gear back into place onto the shaft key.
33. We install the timing belt tensioner – the tensioner protrusion must be in a special hole and the voltage indicator must be under the water pump wheel, please observe the tensioner when tightening the bolt (gently tighten it to tension the tensioner with the Allen key in the special hole) tensioner on the tensioner arm). The tightening of the fastening screw will make it impossible to tension the tensioner!
34. We mount a new timing belt in a counter-clockwise direction (with the hands we tighten the belt between the camshaft gears), starting from overlaying the crankshaft gear, then the right-hand wheel, right-hand timing gear, left-hand timing gearwheel, left-hand roller, pump water, tensioner.
The water pump is an eccentric, i.e. depending on how we mount it, it will be a tight belt, so please remember my two remarks to deal with possible belt tension problems without any problems:
NOTE 1: If you can not apply the belt to the tensioner with your hands, loosen the 3 screws of the water pump and turn the pump casing gently, counterclockwise, resulting in a lower belt tension, literally 1 cm on the perimeter of the housing pumps to the left, tighten the 3 pump bolts and try to replace the belt again.
NOTE 2: If the belt is superimposed, but the maximum tension with the tensioner’s Allen key will not allow the tensioner pointer to be positioned just behind the scale (right corner of the indicator, farther than NEW), the tensioner should be loosened back and the water pump’s 3 bolts loosened and the pump housing rotated clockwise as far as it can go (you can use a long flat screwdriver and a hammer to help turn the water pump housing by gently hitting it – the pump will rotate). Then tighten the three screws of the water pump and set the tensioner tension again to the maximum, that is, just behind the entire scale (the right edge of the protruding element behind the moving pointer).
35. The Allen key is pre-tensioned with a tensioning roller (Left bottom corner 8 o’clock – minimum tensioner tension, Top right corner 2 o’clock – maximum tensioner tension) – by turning counter-clockwise (left), the indicator will move to the right until it is right at the right edge of the scale and tighten the screw fastening the belt tensioning pulley in this position (with two hands set the tensioner, one holding the Allen key with voltage and scale adjustment, and the other hand tightening the tensioner screw, otherwise the voltage will come down – BELT PRELIMINARY TENSION)
WARNING! at the first tension, we do not set the indicator to the NEW position, and further, at the end of the scale (minimum on the scale, literally 2 millimeters, as in the movie you can see)
36. We verify visually that the crankshaft gear and camshaft sprockets are perfectly positioned for signs, everything must be perfect!
37. We remove the universal lock of the camshafts from the camshafts (loose timing belt between the camshaft sprockets – normal phenomenon)
38. 2x rotate the crankshaft gear in a clockwise direction until it reaches the GMP position of the first cylinder. The marks on the timing and crankshaft must match. WARNING! WE DO NOT CROSS REWARD TO CLOCK TIPS !!!
After 2 turns of the crankshaft, the indicator on the tensioner will go back to the left, which means that the belt will loosen up on its length in the system – NORMAL PHENOMENON, it’s supposed to be!
39. The Allen key tightens the tensioning pulley of the timing belt – loosen the screw fastening the belt tensioning roller with your left hand and with the right hand, tension the tensioning roller counterclockwise until the tensioner indicator is on the line indicating NEW – FRONT FINAL TENSION belt. (If the maximum voltage at 2 o’clock will not allow the indicator to come to the NEW sign, loosen the strap on the tensioner roller (8 o’clock with the tension arm) and additionally tighten the strap on the water pump by unscrewing 3 screws and using a long flat screwdriver and hammer for the water pump housing to turn clockwise approximately 1 cm on the perimeter of the housing and tighten the 3 pump bolts back, then re-tension the belt with the tensioner on the NEW indicator and tighten the tensioning roller tensioning bolt with the other hand.
40. Tighten the bolt fixing the timing belt tensioning pulley to 20Nm using a torque wrench
41. 2x rotate the crankshaft gear in a clockwise direction until it is set to the GMP position of the first cylinder. The marks on the timing and crankshaft must match. NOW WE ARE SAFE THAT EVERYTHING IS OK.
Should the tensioner pointer move to the left below the value NEW, slightly adjust the tension on the tensioner, gently unscrewing the main tensioner bolt and the Allen key, slightly tension the arm with the counterclockwise arm, turning it anti-clockwise. Rather, there will be no need for correction, because the first 2 revolutions were enough, but if necessary, it is worth to even minimize and correct, and then re-tighten the fastening screw with a torque of 20 Nm. There was no need for me, but you should pay attention to every detail!
42. Installation of the lower timing cover (1 bolt and plastic hooks)
43. Install the multi-ribbed belt tensioner
44. Set the 5th gear and the second person presses the brake to the stop
45. Mount the pulley to the crankshaft (enter the wedge) and tighten the new crankshaft bolt to 95Nm torque wrench + 30 degrees + 15 degrees by the protractor, using extensions, because this is a big force, and the screw must be properly tightened.
46. ​​Mounting the wheel cover (several screws and dowel black)
47. Mounting the wheel (according to previously made marking with a marker pen, to make the wheel balanced on the hub), tighten with the required torque 110Nm using a torque wrench
48. Mounting the camshaft sensor (protect against falling into the lower timing cover when screwing in, for example put a rag or crepe paper while screwing in)
49. Fitting the upper timing belt cover (3 bolts and plastic hooks)
50. Installation of a new or used multi-ribbed belt (as marked on the old belt to maintain the direction of work), loosening the tension of the multi-ribbed belt tensioner towards the cab with a ring wrench
51. Installation of the air filter housing
52. Installation of the air intake pipe from the air filter housing to the throttle (we connect the cable from the EVAP solenoid valve to the throttle, to the air intake pipe on the back with the pipe catches)
53. Connection of the air intake temperature sensor plug to the IAT engine
54. Refill the radiator fluid, pour 5 liters of new liquid – pink and tighten the cap
55. Mounting the battery clamp to the battery starting from plus, ending at the minus.
56. We clean the plastic engine cover and stick it to the date, mileage, replacement range, sticker, which is located in the timing belt box.
57. We start the engine and wait until the radiator fan is started for the first time and set the heating in the car to the maximum without running the fan.
58. Turn off the engine and verify the fluid level in the equalizing tank. When the engine has cooled down, we check the level and top up if necessary.


Author: Bogdan Ligęza –

The author does not bear any responsibility for the problems with the engine after incorrect installation of any part by persons using my guide. Carry out all activities always in accordance with the instructions of the car manufacturer and spare parts manufacturer. The above is a set of practical information, step by step for the x16xel 1.6 16V engine in the Opel Astra G 1998 car.

I recommend to buy car parts from our partner, the discount code in the purchase summary is AUTOFAN or FORUMWIEDZY

Here you can buy such a timing belt kit with a water pump.–zestaw-paska-rozrzadu,11-CT975WP3-0031-03096–CT975WP3.aspx

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Posted by Bogdan Ligęza

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