Tech Tip #149: Deutz 1011/2011 Timing Belt Damage: Three Considerations in Replacing a Deutz 1011/2011 Timing Belt

Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel


This Tech Tip, one in a series that we publish for the marine and industrial engine community, focuses on what will happen when a timing belt breaks on a Deutz Model 1011, 1011F, or 2011 engine. The careful reader will note that we said “when a timing belt breaks on a Deutz” not “if one should break on a Deutz”.

Deutz Timing BeltThis Tech Tip expands on earlier Tech Tips on the same subject. See for example

As we’ve noted in earlier Tech Tips (see for example Tech Tip #148, Deutz 1011 and 2011 Thermostats: A Precautionary Note) the Deutz Model 1011 and 2011 series engine followed the very rugged, strictly air cooled 912 Deutz series. The newer 1011 and 2011 series engine family while well designed is not as heavy duty nor as field-serviceable as the older Deutz 912 series. The 1011 and 2011 engines are also far more maintenance intensive. For example, rather than using timing gears (or at the very least a double row timing chain) the Deutz 1011’s and 2011’s use a timing belt. Like the belt on your wife’s Volvo. Unfortunately, this belt needs to be changed regularly. We recommend changing it every 700 hours on a 1011/2011 Deutz. If it isn’t changed on a timely basis it will break with serious results. The valves will float free and hit the pistons, bending the push rods and even damaging the cylinder head.


If the belt breaks on a Deutz 1011 or 2011, at a minimum the cylinder head needs to be removed and checked for damage. If you’re lucky and the Deutz head isn’t damaged, it will at least need to be resurfaced to hold a new head gasket. This will need to be done a late model resurfacer such as a Berco or a Comec to achieve the correct RA surface specification. Many local machinists with older equipment will have difficulty obtaining the required low digit RA finish. A shop using a machine such as a Storm Vulcan 85 Blockmaster or a rotary broach or grinder won’t be able to achieve this finish. In addition to resurfacing, if the head is damaged, it will need rebuilding with new valves, valve springs, etc. What does AAMCO say, “Pay us now or pay us later?” Unfortunately, that is often the case here.

When you are ready to put the head back on the 1011/2011 engine, you will need a new head gasket of the correct thickness. Deutz OEM gasket suppliers denote gasket thickness by the “notches” or protruding tabs in the gasket. As you install a new timing belt it is important that the engine be held in place from turning with a pair of timing pins.


Finally, the belt must be tightened to the correct amount as measured timing belt tensioner gauge. You could buy one from Deutz. But few people do. The Deutz tensioner gauge, which is Deutz Part Number 301 095, costs $844! Because of this few if any Deutz dealers even stock them. As a result a lot of timing belts are installed without checking for tension, the job gets bungled and the belt breaks. Again.

As an alternative, we have spec’d out an OTC timing belt tensioner gauge for the Deutz 1011/2011 engines. Your cost from Foley? Less than a third of the price Deutz charges for their gauge.

Call us toll free at 800.233.6539 to order a new belt, a set of timing pins, and a belt tension gauge to do the job right. We can get them right out to you.

We want to add one more suggestion to the above, one that costs pennies and will greatly extend the life of your Deutz 1011 or 2011. We’ve noticed that sometimes when people perform all of the above operations, no matter how well they installed a new belt, the timing belt may quickly fail again. They then blame their mechanic or the quality of the belt itself for the failure. But maybe it wasn’t either. Here is another idea, one that we discovered recently in our shop.


The rocker tower bolts that hold the rocker shaft assembly on a Deutz 1011 or 2011 are a torque to yield bolt. These small bolts, two per tower, get stretched when a timing belt breaks. If they are stretched and are re-used you will never be able to obtain the correct torque again. In other words, they will loosen no matter what you do! As a result they should not be re-used.

We now are stocking these bolts (Deutz part number 1181417) and highly recommend that you change them out after any timing belt failure. After all, it is cheap insurance against another failure. As of the fall of 2012, the rocker tower bolts for a 1011 or 2011 Deutz were roughly $3 each.


Dr. Diesel
Written by Dr. Diesel
Knowledge is power. Power to build ties to engine users. To build a relationship with our customers, we share with you our 105 years of knowledge in many ways. We have this special section called “Ask Dr. Diesel™” where you can pose questions about engines, transmissions, industrial hand clutches, exhaust scrubbers, etc.