Getting ready to fix my car, prepared to die!

IF thier was ever a backyard mechanic, it’s me. I kept lots of piece of shit cars running when I was younger. The car I have to work on was actually my first new car. So now the water pump has gone out and is leeking severlly. Should be simple right (I have changed several water pumps in the past). WRONG
The mechanical part is just the start. Lets assume that after tearing the entire front the engine off, I get it back together and get the timing belt on right, right? WRONG!!! You cannot install it right and aparentlly the alagnment marks don’t mean shit becaues of the adjustable cam!!! The more I look at doing this job, the more scared I get. I have changed a timing belt before. That was easy compared to this!!! So I spend god knows how many hours researching online an now know the exact part number for the puller to rent from autozone to get the crank dampener off easy (with some mild torch heat), but I also know that I will probably break the very expensive cam cogg wheel and cannot find what puller to use?

So enough of that. I’ll let you know how it goes and maybe post pics!!!
Lets hear your horror stories about fixing your car. What what the worst job you have done. It should have been simple but it wasn’t? I knew it was going to be hell but now have a new idea of what hell is??? And what the worst car and the worst repair (that you have done yourself)??? I havent done it yet but I’m voting for a dodge neon water pump (well see how it goes). I have worked on lots of cars for basic stuff ( I would rater rebuild the head on an old v8 than this shit, it’s much easier!!!).

Whats your worst horror story?

the only thing that i can recall that was difficult fer me was a heater core fix that screwed me fer 4 hours.Took it to a mechanic friend and he got it off in 5 minutes.Turns out you need a special socket extension to get to it.The extension was about 50 bux.I was happy to pay him.

ripit > You got any war wounds? Knuckles alittle bloody? I know how that is :wink:

Ball joints on my old 69 Impala. Worked for 2 days hitting them with a hammer trying to get them loose. Of course they were original and it was 1996 when i was replacing them. Finally went and got a pitman tool puller that fit as regular ball joint remover tool didn’t fit. Several cans of WD-40 didn’t help either. Man i cursed that car up one side and down the other lol
Had it sitting in the backyard by the alley after i got the ball joints replaced unlocked and someone opened the door and through a cigarette inside and burnt the inside up. Smoldered all day before i noticed. Kids where doing it all over town and the police never caught them.

Tough luck for you rolling56.

I spent the whole evening working on it (and into the night a little). Got some of the water hoses, water neck off. Got the crank pulley off. Got the power sterring pump pulled. Left engine mount and bracket is off. Left wheel guard is off (had to cut all the plastic rivents off). Aparentlly they were much stronger than the paper thin sheet metal the fender was made of and the fender started bending severlly at the edge and they still wouldn’t come out so I just cut the heads off them all. All the drive belts and the timing cover are off. Thier is a giant pile of parts next to the car (just to get the dam water pump out and I’m not thier yet). I thought I was never going to get the engine mount bracket off (I finally got mad and just pulled with all my strength and it flew loose). I’m going to have to jack up the left side of the engine about 5 inches to get clearance to get that back in (hope I don’t break anything as I really don’t want to pull all the other engine muonts).
As if that wasn’t enough, the water pump has a hole so if the pump fails, the water can get out. Guess where the hole aparentlly is? Inside the damn timing cover!!! Thier is 4 bottles worth of stop leak and god knows what else caked all over the timing belt and the coggs and everything inside the timing cover!!! Just great!!!
So today I get to clean all that crap off, get it to top dead center, pull the timing belt, pull the cam pully/cogg wheel thingy, timing dampener etc. Pull the rear timing cover. Then I can start working on replacing the water pump!!!
Sound like fun, doesn’t it?

Go ripit go your 1/2 way there.

Thought I was having a bad day, thanks ripit, you put a smile on my face.

Never had any problems. :bigsmile:

Maybe because off my many years Technical background. :slight_smile:

You must not do a lot of work on your car (major work anyway). All it takes is seeing a porsche mechanic (friend of a friend) throw a wrench through the window of a customers car to know, it can even frustrate the professionals. It helps if you have all the specialty tools though. With the majority of hard things thier are to do, thier is often a specialty tool (often specific to that car and that particular bolt). It’s not really worth paying 50$ for a curved wrench that you are going to use once on one bolt though. It is of course worth it if you are a mechanic and it saves you 10 minutes every time you work on that kind of car.

Fyi, I got the car done (half ass, incomplete and making bad noises but done). The tentioner for the timing belt is getting worn out. It runs smothly but thier is a little to much play in the bearings. I think they decided to change the tentioner design every six months so thiers a bunch of them (and I wound up not being able to get the part). It should last for a while, its only half the work I just did to replace it, and the second time is always easier when I find the part. I didn’t have the right size bolts for the puller for the crank timing belt pully (the set I own has a dozen diffrent thread sizes for the bolts but wouldn’t you know it would be missing the one I needed). Because of that I couldn’t change the front oil seal (and just said, fuck the cam seal too). Neither is leeking so it’s cool for a while.
When I started the car of course, it lets out with this loud kind of squeel/rubbing noise (I about shit my pants, thought I got the timing belt on wrong and fragged all my valves). It turned out to be the alternator belt (worst case senerio, I put it on to tight and killed the bearings in my alternator). The alternator belt I got was the wrong one so I have to put the old on back on. It is a little bit old and cracked but the sound didn’t sound like a slipping belt. It could be the crank pully isn’t seated all the way (that was a tight bitch) so the belt is out of alignment.
The timing belt and water pump are fixed and working properlly so who gives a shit about the alternator. I’ll deal with it tomorrow. Tonight it’s time to get drunk (I’m so god damn sore from working on that car). I also spent half my time hunting down parts and tools which really sucked. My 40$ electric impact wrench was a total piece of shit but it did the job.
Fyi again, the understanding what to do thing isn’t usally a problem for me as I have a bit of a technical background too. I went part way through a degree in mechanical enginerring (grades were great but couldn’t continue to afford the university of utah any more). I have a degree in gunsmithing and worked in the field for a few years till I hurt my back. My father owned a garage for several years in new your and worked as a mechanic so all car repairs were always done by the family so I learned young (the basic stuff any way). The only thing that has limited me from doing lots of major work has been living in apartments a lot and not having a place to do it (did this at a friends house so the tools were all packed in the car with lots of trips home to get stuff I forgot).

I told you it ain’t difficult. :wink:

Congrats. :iagree:

My worst nightmare fix was getting a “bump” out of the steering rack of an N12 Pulsar. Not an essential fix, but it annoyed shit outta me whenever I turned left.

All was going well until I had the rack off and realised that it was the steering rack from something else, that had been rammed in there for a quick and cheap fix by the previous owner. It took 8 hours to get the blasted thing back in after disassembling the rack and blasting all its bits clean.

The only other major work I ever needed done on that car involved the gearbox and clutch… but in those particular cars you can’t get the cover off the box because there isn’t enough clearance on the LHS of the engine bay, so the engine had to come out, and I didn’t have the equipment to do that at home. So it went to a mechanic friend for that work.

I drive brand new cars now, so I don’t have to worry too much about stuff going wrong with them. :wink:

Yea, thats really funny, not dificuly (then again it turned out to be prety simple from an intelegence point). Most of it was text book and the other half was easy mentally. The insane part was findeing tools and parts!!! Fixing the car took maybe 16 hours of actull work (and some of that might be attributed to tools thrown in boxes). The wife got me tools (it took forever but I actually got up pissed and tried myself (again, working at a freindes place so had to pack tool and keep going back for tools.
Ok, ok, so your so smart, mabe you can help me…I used this impact wrench
So I’m totally fucked, right???

So hows this for stupid…After two days of working on the car, I’m going to work on it again… The plan was ignore the squelle till I can deal with it (anybody care to call 911 if I’m getting crushed???
I think I’ll jack up the car on one side and put it on a jack stand (left side). THen I’ll pull the alternator belt (not as easy as you think)… I’m not kidding. If I dont post again in an hour or two, I’m on kathy lane in irving, tx, and I’m being crushed (or already dead).

starting now

I really really hope you post within 2 hours. :iagree:

Ok so i’mm alive. Jacked the car up, pulled the wheel, had the best clearance I was going to get, and then…coulndn’t find the tools!!! I needed a 15mm combination wrench, a 15mm socket (any drive size). I 13mm and my thin head ratchet…
So after jacking up the car and geting ready, I couldn’t fined the tools. So now I’m fucked, shes going to take it to work (in fact she already did). You should have seen her face when whe went out to go to work and the car was on jack stands!!! So she’s got the car (an the woman takes control). She frieked out whe I dropped the jack really fast and the car just suddenlly dropped a foot (hope I tightened those lug nuts much less even put them on). So I guess I’ll find out later whats wrong with the car, women??

W00t, w00t, w00t, w00t, you’re still alive.

You can handle it, just be calm.

Yea, I can handle it, just drink a fifth of vodka after the job!!! I’ll tell you, after 16 hours of working on a car (not including the time to get parts and tools) over two days, my whole body is sore Particulary my arms, I felt like I had been lifting weights the whiole day.

I don’t work on my car anymore myself, I have a cheap enough mechanic that any engine work it needs it goes to him and he does a good job too. :bigsmile: Plus he’s a good Chevy man, he knows them inside and out. The last major repair I made to a car was when I had my first POS car (1978 Mustang II).

A friend was helping me with this. The car blew the water pump and when the water pump went out the fan broke on the water pump sending the fan straight into the radiator which took the radiator out completely. It was winter time of course so it was like 20 degrees outside and we had no garage to be able to work on it inside. We had plastic draped over the car with an emergency light on to try and stay warm in our Jackets.

You want to talk about a project. It wasn’t that hard to pull that water pump off but it had 16 bolts and they were about 4-5 different sizes each. Why Ford can’t make something all the same size on the same part is beyond me! Plus we had to pry the fan out of the radiator so we could get into the bolts for that and then pull the hoses off the radiator, pull the old radiator out, pull off the water pump and put all the new parts on.

We came back inside later, completely done, frozen over and it was about a 2-3 hour project we figure. What a pain in the ass. :bigsmile: And you know how hard it was to find a radiator for that Mustang II? Damn near impossible. I ended up using a radiator from a 1976 Pinto that the junkyard had. We had to make new mounting brackets for the radiator before beginning so everything would mount up right although the radiator at least was basically the same size as the old stock Mustang radiator so it did work well once it was all in.

I hate when they use a million diffrent sized bolts (especially when they use both metric and sae bolts. That can make it pretty hard as some metric and sae sizes are pretty close. This job was actually pretty easy in that reguard (13mm, 15mm, 18mm and 19mm were all I needed to tear the whole front of the engine apart. I found out for sure what the squelling was to (nothing major). The crank pully that drives the belts was not seated all the way down (thats the tightest damn pully I have ever seen). Even using a 240lb impact wrench wouldn’t seat it all the way. I think I’ll pull it back off and grease it. It’s not like it’s going to slip being that tight. I’ll tell you it was pretty nice having a car that was under waranty for 5 years (the waranty just went out the end of last year). I certainlly didn’t miss working on cars during that period.