At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Well that was a bit of a job!

And it's not quite done yet.

Yesterday, I changed the timing belt in the little blue car. It's supposed to be done as a regular maintenance item...every 100,000 kms (60,000 miles).

The little blue car is at 203,000 kms, so I figured I had better get at it.

When it hit 100,000 kms, we were in Kingston, Ontario the fall of 2009. At the time, I had nowhere to do the job myself so I paid a mechanic to change the timing belt. I think it was between $400-$500.

This time, I figured I had enough tools up at the workshop here that I could tackle the job on a rainy day. I had to purchase a couple of specialty tools ($40), and the parts. And I wasn't only changing the timing belt because they recommend that you change the water pump and the tensioners at the same time.

I had read various accounts online from backyard mechanics, and although the "book time" charged by a licensed mechanic is about a 4.0 hour job, some people said it took them between 8 and 12 hours!

I got a bit of a late start...it was after 11:30am by the time I got to it. It was going pretty smoothly until I got to the water pump. Not an easy water pump to change! And this one had been on there for 9 years and 200,000 kms because it was not changed last time they did the belt. Very little access, and the water pump is actually part of the tensioning system for the timing belt itself. Took me an extra hour and a half or so to mess with it.

A lot of parts removal just to get access to the belt!

With a lunch break and a couple of other breaks to look after park business, I figure I spent almost six hours on it yesterday. Not bad considering I've never done one and I'm not really a mechanic! And, I was taking my time and not rushing. But by dinner time I had had enough so I've still got a few parts to put back together today. Plus, I want to replace the valve cover gasket as well, so I'll have another couple of hours into it today.

Definitely a finicky job, but worthwhile to me to do it myself and not have to pay a mechanic.

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12 comments:

  1. And especially where you're presently located. Finding a decent mechanic, dropping off the vehicle etc. There's a day right there. It's been a long time since I've changed out a water pump. Back in about '81 I think it was. My brother's Volvo station wagon. We were at the side of a garage that was "too busy" to work on it, but said we were welcome to hang out there and do it ourselves. Now just a dim and distant memory.

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    1. You got that right Bob and don't forget to add in the price of the fuel to get to that location, plus the fact that we only have the one vehicle so we would have to hang around until the job is done. Kevin is so much happier when he can do the job himself and then he knows that it is done right and if it isn't then he has no one to complain to but himself. It is so much better when you have a great place to do the work in and have all the right tools.

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  2. Oh, and this was somewhere in the interior of B.C. Thought I'd mention that....

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    1. Well at least you had somewhere where you could get the work done, even though it wasn't ideal. Glad that it worked out and being a distant memory, you at least haven't had to deal with an issue like that since.

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  3. You are brave to tackle that. Whenever I tackle these kind of things I always end up with left over parts:(

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    1. Kevin had his fingers crossed that he wouldn't have any leftover parts! ;-) He even took pictures as he went along so that he could make sure that everything went back together correctly afterward.

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  4. Only later in life did I discover how frugal and fun---well, at least satisfying---it is to do one's own vehicle repairs! Must be nice having a shop to do it in. That's the one thing I miss the most---not having a garage.

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    1. Glad you figured it all out even if it was a little later in life. Kevin has always been interested in cars, even as a very young boy.

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  5. Your post brought back nightmares of the "fun" I had in the past doing timing belt replacements. They sure are not easy to work on. Thankfully, my Honda Element has a timing chain. :c)

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    1. Yep, luckily it isn't something that has to be changed often like having to change the oil every so many months or miles. With the amount of miles that we put on the car now, it will be a very long time before it will have to be changed again. :-)

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  6. Good job, had the water pump replaced on our 2002 saturn last february here in Ontario. Ain't no way I would attempt it in the weather here. But was and easy one only took the mechanic 45 minutes so only $50.00 labor.

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    1. Sounds like you got a great job/price done on your water pump, especially if it had to be changed in winter.

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