1988 Chevy Nova timing belt for my 88 Nova

Tiny
SHUTTERBUG
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 CHEVROLET NOVA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 45,000 MILES
I just bought my 88 Nova a little over a month ago. It has it's original 45000, which is documented and I also checked carfax. My question has to do with the timing belt. I have heard most cars need them changed at 60,000 miles. I do not know if this has the original or not. I know this basically has a Toyota engine. By the way there were a few model engines in that year. I have the one with a carborator. I have heard this may have what is called a non interference engine. My understanding is if this is true that it means if the belt breaks nothing else will happen to the engine. I know with some engines if the belt breaks you can cause a lot of other damage to the engine when the belt goes. It is very expensive to replace this belt and I dob't have a lot of money and I definitely can't do it myself. So my questions are. Does this have a non interference engine? If it does am I correct in the fact that nothing else would happen to my engine if the belt did go? If not when is it recommended I get the belt changed as preventative maintenance?
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Sunday, July 27th, 2008 AT 11:11 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I don't know if it's an interference engine or not, but a 20 year old belt should be inspected for any cracks or toothe wear, remove the cover and turn the crank clockwise only to inspect it. Call chevy service and they can tell you if it's free wheeling or not. You need to know if it's 8 or 16 valves.
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Sunday, July 27th, 2008 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Yes it is a non-interference engine, as much as it can be. Stil have seen them get hurt if the engine rpm's are up when the belt lets go. Things happen. I would replace it regardless, due to age and underhood temps causing the deterioration of the belt. I believe the older cars they wanted it changed around 60k, but like was said before, the age and the fact that it sat will cause the belt to deteriorate
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Monday, July 28th, 2008 AT 4:11 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I gave you common sense and you don't want it. So be it. I could not give you my blessing to drive a car with a twenty year old timing belt! Your welcome Thanks Jack, it's been a long time since I've seen an 88 nova let alone work on one. Since you stated and I quote "I definitely can't do it myself' wHERE SHOULD I HAVE SENT YOU?
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Monday, July 28th, 2008 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
SHUTTERBUG
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the help. Just one quick followup. You said they could still cuase damage. What type of damage are you talking? Either way I will try to save the money to get it replaced.
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Monday, July 28th, 2008 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Bent valves and damaged pistons, possible cylinder head damage and possible crankshaft/connecting rod damage
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 AT 7:33 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
MANUFACTURER'S SUGGESTED SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE Although the manufacturer does not recommend a specific scheduled maintenance interval, belt manufacturers suggest the belt be replaced at 60,000 mile intervals.
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 AT 5:06 PM

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