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hi
i am about to replace the cam belt on my 51 reg 2.0 hdi rapier but reading haynes manual it say that the belt tension is to be set with a electronic timing belt tensioner meter obviously i do not have one but was wondering if this was really essential or if there are other reliable methods of doing it?
 

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I've always checked the tightness of the belt coming off and fit the new one the same . Personally I'd say no you don't need one
 

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I changed a good few belts on a mixture of cars. If they dont have an auto tensioner i have allways used the twist test.

On the longest run of the belt in the middle of the run you should be able to turn the belt 90 degrees using thumb and first finger with moderate pressure if the tension is correct.

Never had a failure in 15 + Years (Touches wood:))
 
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