I have a laguna II 1.8 which I did a belt change on a few weeks ago , if your espace isn't a 2 ltr IDE then should be the same pricipals as mine as the engines are roughly the same and haynes covers both 1.8 and 2.0 in the same chapter.
First things first though, go out and get your self a haynes manual as this is a most invaluable sorce of info for this kid of job and if you have never done a belt change before a renault isn't the car to start on as it's a bit more complicated than most.
I don't have any photos but here are a few pointers to consider before setting out. This was posted in another thread I did called Laguna II cambelt change.
Took approx just over 5 hrs in total. A bit long but I've never done a belt change on a renault before so took my time.
As I said the job wasn't too bad, well worth keeping a haynes close by as it gives some good tips.
You do have to make 2 service tools to do the job, first is a cam lock, I made this from a strip of 6mm thick steel just long enough to reach the 2 cams, with 2 bits bloted onto each end to engage in the cams. had to grind it down a bit so it was the right thickness to sit in the cam lobes properly. This was origianly what I had made to do a belt change on a Ford 1.6 Zetec so I just modified for the Renault. Second was a crank lock, I used a piece of 6mm steel dowel for this, slightly tappered at the end so it would fit in the crack properly, seemed to work fine. I would imagine you could get away with a drill bit if you can find one long enough. Details of how to make these are in haynes.
The thing that makes this engine a bit more difficult that any others I've done it because it has the potential to go a bit wrong due to the design. This is because the crank sprocket doesn't use a woodruff key to locki t into place, it's only held in place by the cranck bolt so has the potential to slip if not tourqued up properly, and makes the use of timing marks on the sprocket itselt usless. I can understand why they've done this as it does make tensioning the belt a bit easier but can cause disaster if it ever does slip, just make sure you clean the crank and sprocket with plenty of brake cleaner. The are recesses in the sprocket and cranck for a woodruff key so I suppose you could use on if you wanted. All other cars I've worked on have them so I can't see anything wrong with it. It deatails all this in the haynes manual so well worth buying one if you ever do want to attempt it. Other than that the job is pretty straight forward if you've done a cambelt change before and shouldn't cause too much greif.
Hope all this helps if you have any further questions just let me know.
Although the principle is the same the Espace 2.0ltr petrol engines are either SOHC or DOHC units, and the tools, settings and method are quite different.
Wozza35, you should put the age and type of your Espace in your profile or in your post as you may end-up with incorrect info. Double check what you have before purchasing any parts as they are not interchangable.
Sorry mate I didn't realise you had an 8 valve 2 ltr, my post probably doesn't apply to you. An 8 valve should be a bit simpler though as you only have one cam to deal with. I'm new to Renaults myself so I am not familiar with your engine. Deffo get yourself a haynes though, well worth the money and should make the job alot simpler. Think i should charge Haynes commission as I mention them alot!!!
Anyways have fun doing the belt change and you can be pleased at the fact that you have saved yourself alot of money.