Run. Drive. Legal. My first goals with the coupe – get the car running, get the car driving, get the car legal.
The first goal I’ll achieve first by conducting all maintenance I can imagine on the engine and necessary peripherals before attempting to start. If it does not start after performing all this work, I’ll start troubleshooting. The work this past weekend was based around the timing belt and all the parts that are convenient to replace with the front of the engine apart.
The day started with a pull from a field to a driveway, still not ideal working conditions but certainly better.
Car in place, tools and parts out, ready for a long day ahead.
The first job: pull the battery. Of course, on the way out, the battery clipped a brittle connector on the back of the engine.
As I started to disassemble various components, I found that the hose clamps would be putting up quite a fight.
Plastic and sheet metal covers aside – mostly – the front of the engine was exposed, and rather dirty. Yes, those are cobwebs on the timing belt.
Removal of the harmonic balancer was nerve racking. The first SHCS holding it on almost stripped, so the torch came out and very carefully they were all extracted without issue. New bolts on order. Then there was the crank pulley bolt which only gave with a couple Gs of my weight produced by jumping up and down on the breaker bar. I took to the front of the motor with brake cleaner and a brush and cleaned things up pretty quick.
With the digging mostly done, the crank seal was first to go. Special tools here made this job really easy! Thank you Blauparts.
Cam seal was next, again, nice and easy removal and install.
Next up was the water pump and thermostat. I tried to clean everything up that I touched along the way. The thought being, I’m sure this won’t be the last time I’m in here…
With the water pump and thermostat installed, it was time to start putting everything back together.
Actually starting to look pretty decent now. I tried to clean the timing back cover but all I got was a lighter shade of rust… no time to paint, so it will stay. As you can see well in this picture, the bottom timing belt cover is bent to place because the left-hand bolt holding it in place stripped while trying to remove. The job went snap free nonetheless.
With so much access to the front end, I took out the old alternator – which, with so much rust inside, sounded more like a small grain mill when trying to spin it.
The previous owner warned me about a stripped mounting bolt and some mechanic’s attempt to remedy it. Perhaps this is it? I’m not sure what this whole set up is supposed to look like but that rusty strip bolted into the engine, with no purpose doesn’t look quite right. More researching needed here before the new alternator goes in.
The covers went back on rather easily, and the job cleaned up pretty quick. It was not a short job or without trials but overall the car gave no more fight than expected. Needless to say, the hero’s of the workday were:
The next trip up to VT I’ll be looking into: Fuel tank drop, clean and inspection – including fuel lines. fuel and air filter replacements, oil change, coolant flush and fill, power steering fluid flush and fill, spark plug change, among other things! Hopefully, first start attempts will happen in within 6 weeks!