Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reason # 4,678,942 Why Automotive Design Engineers Should Be Beaten Until Their Tongues Turn Blue

Did the water pump on the Wifely Unit's 2004 Ford Focus yesterday.
It turned into the usual complete fucking fiasco.
Front wheel drive of course, those are always a pain in the ass but some are even worse than you can imagine.
It's like someone purposely designed them for maximum difficulty at every step of the way.
Here's your first clue that you are in for it, when you get the best angle you can and look down to the inside of the frame rail and see an indentation pressed into it right in front of your target to remove.
That absolutely guarantees that there are clearance issues and they put that there to give you a microscopic bit of help.

Just for fun and what I have run into hundreds of times when working on Ford products, depending on the build date, there is more than one option as to what water pump and serpentine belt they stuck on the front of this 2.0 liter Twin Overhead Cam engine.
Because, you know, it's all about the money and who had the cheapest parts that would fit.

This worked fine for the water pump, not so much for the belt.
I called up to get what is known as P&A before I even opened my tool box.
Price and Availability.
The local parts house then informed me of the build date difference but assured me that either way, they had the parts in stock.

So I ran up there and got the parts but had to guess on the belt. Of course all the numbers on it were long gone.
The difference on the belt was determined by the diameter of the clutch pulley on the A/C compressor, which is nigh unto impossible to determine accurately because the fucking thing sits right directly behind the frame rail.
This picture shows you just how much room there is to do all this happy shit with the motor mount removed already.


Go ahead and try to measure anything down there, I would love to see it done.
Here is a shot from underneath, the A/C compressor is not quite in this shot.


Basically, you have to stick a floor jack under the oil pan, take the motor mount off and then work from the top and the bottom to get to everything. The water pump actually comes out the bottom. Getting the pulley off the water pump is a major accomplishment in it's own right.

As I was fighting that , it appeared that I could just take the power steering pump loose and snake it right out the top.
This is where I discovered that the engineer who designed this particular piece of equipment was a sadistic fucking asshole.
Notice that this picture was taken from below after I discovered by braille that I couldn't get a socket on the bottom left bolt from up top.


That hard line tube is DIRECTLY in front of the bolt.
Only a real fucking cunt would purposely design such a ridiculous fucking thing.
You ain't getting to that fitting without pulling the radiator.
This is why I will go to my grave believing that every mother fucking design engineer on the planet should have to spend six weeks straight, eight hours a day, taking apart and reassembling every fucking thing they think is such a neat idea on paper to get a healthy dose of reality and a better appreciation of a long lost concept called Serviceability.

It took me 4 1/2 hours to get that water pump changed after three trips to the parts house and there are only four little bolts holding it in.
The belt I guessed on turned out to be too short after an hour of fighting to get it on and I had to take it back and get the other one.


All this was done in between down pours, out in the driveway.
I had a moving blanket that I threw down to lay on whilst I fought this little battle.
Basically they want you to drop the engine out the bottom to get to anything on this bitch because that's how they put the car together from the factory.

Once again I am vividly reminded why I quit working on cars for a living well over ten years ago.
My lower back is fucking fried again from having to bend over almost double to get to everything. The only saving grace I can point to is the thousands of dollars in tools I still haven't given away yet that saved my ass yesterday.


The belt had jumped off the water pump pulley and the tensioner is way in the back on the bottom towards the firewall and right in front of the frame rail. I had to replace the belt anyway but it is a real bitch to get any kind of tool on to grab it and swing it.
I have four different types of special belt tensioner tools and they are worth their weight in gold.

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