Saturday, April 5, 2014

Not Something You Hear Every Day

If you stopped by yesterday, you are aware that my wife's car took a shit the other night and that I was bitching about the whole thing.

Well, I got lucky, it was still parked where she left it.

Not only was I surprised but the tow truck driver was too.
Right around the corner from a major thoroughfare and straddling a bike lane.
The cops in that area have a well deserved reputation for being dicks about broke down cars in that area to begin with.

When I talked to her about it the other night, she said she thought it was the timing belt.

Here is the announcement;

My wife was right.

Not exactly the first time in history that a guy has said this in public but still pretty damn rare.

When I tried to start it, I could tell right away that was it without even opening the hood.

Four cylinder engines have a distinctive sound when the belt is broken and I have heard it many times.

$200 plus a $20 dollar tip later, it was nosed into the driveway right in front of the garage.

The tip was because the guy was nice enough to drop it out front and then pull in behind it, rehook it and back it into the driveway nose first for me.

That saved me at least an hour of fucking around.

Nice guy.

Another $200 for a timing belt kit, water pump and a gallon of anti freeze.

Just as an aside, regular full strength anti freeze was $12.

Pre diluted 50/50 anti freeze was $11.

For $12 dollars, I can make two gallons of diluted anti freeze.

Please don't be an idiot, pay the extra buck.

Anyways, I still have to put the inner fender back in and put the front passenger tire back on the damn thing but it runs again.

I have been working on it all day pretty much but the nice thing is that I'm not in any hurry.

I worked on cars for a living for ten years.

When my lower back and my shoulders started hurting today, I said Fuck You and came in the house for a while.

That's why I quit working on the miserable little fuckers all those years ago, they got so damn low to the ground it was killing my back bending over the sonsabitches all day.

I had my lower back fused 27 years ago and now I don't play that game anymore.

I'll finish it up here in a bit and put it in the WIN column for Bustednuckles.

Now that I have half of the garage cleaned out to get hers in, I may just start pulling shit off the little car some tomorrow so I can yank the engine back out of that bitch.

That was what I was going to do this weekend before this came about.

There is a serious difference between fixing my wife's daily driver and some toy I haven't driven in five years.

I could give a shit how much I get done on the toy, the wife on the other hand, needs her vehicle.


  1. "My wife was right.", that will look nice on your headstone. LOL

    Oh and damn right about this 50/50 anti-freeze ripoff! I always keep one empty anti-freeze jug and mix my own.

  2. It could have been worse, much worse. Good job. My wife's car is still locked in ice.

  3. glad to hear ya got it fixed
    sure wish my fiat spyder was sold got a few toys i want to fix up and play with
    i lost all interest in the car when my dad died

    livin to ride

  4. It didn't eat the valves? That's... novel.

    1. I got lucky, it's what they call a Non Interference Engine.

      Even if you lose the belt the valves won't hit the pistons.
      Although while researching this engine, I ran into horror story, after horror story, after horror story about the damn valve seats dropping out of the head without warning and hand grenading the piston.

      This thing has 230,000 miles on it and runs like a champ still. No leaks and doesn't use a drop of oil.

      I have my fingers crossed.

  5. I simply cannot stand OHC engines. The only application I see for these are for high rpm racing engines.

  6. Hope you had an "Open" sign under Busted Knuckle Garage plaque. Otherwise, she might have had to wait til business hours....

  7. Had that happen to me on my 1975 VW Dasher, but it didn't break, it just jumped a couple of teeth.

    And it happened while I was at a job site, 30 miles from the office, in February, back in Chicago.

    Had one of the other guys come and get me, and then I rented a tow bar, and used the company truck to drag it back to the company shop.

    Just glad it happened on a Friday, as I had all weekend to fix it.

  8. Anon, the problem isn't OHC engines, the problem is timing belts. There are OHC engines with timing chains. They work the same for overhead cams as they do for cam-in-block. But they cost more than belts. So cheap-ass manufacturers use the belts instead.

    The Pentastar engine in my Jeep is OHC, but uses timing chains and hydraulic valve lash adjusters so there's nothing to change out every 90,000 miles and nothing to adjust. That's how you do it right. If Chiseler can do it, I have no idea why assholes still insist on doing it the half-ass way, other than that the half-ass way saves them a few dollars over doing it right.

  9. There's nothing wrong with using a properly designed and sized reinforced rubber belt for driving camshafts.

    They're quieter, don't need an oil bath to run in, and are capable of lasting 100,000 miles.

    The belt in my Supra has 165,000 miles on it, and while it still looks OK, I'll be replacing it as it's on the maintenance schedule.

    If you don't like OHC or DOHC engines that use belt drives, don't buy one.

  10. Drive belts are also bulkier, don't last as long as chains, and can be destroyed by various chemicals used around an engine compartment. They are completely incompatible with Cretinus Americanus, the common American cretin, a.k.a. typical American car owner, who is only barely capable of taking the car in to the Goofy Loob once every couple of years to have the sludge changed, and knows nothing about a belt (what, you expect he has read the owner's manual?). I have encountered way too many engines destroyed by drive belts and interference valves.

    And in case you didn't get the picture, I *didn't* buy a car with an engine that used a belt drive. And won't. A chain will last the life of the engine, typically. You replace it when you rebuild the engine, just to do it. A drive belt... not so much.

  11. Why did you replace the water pump?

    1. a) On some cars you have to take off the water pump to get to the timing belt, and if you're going to do that, might as well replace it since it's not going to last more than another 30-40k miles longer than a belt anyhow and when they go they usually take out the accessory drive belt,
      b) On some cars the water pump is *behind* the timing belt, and if you don't replace it at the same time you replace the timing belt, you're going to have to take the timing belt off *again* in 30-40K miles, so might as well replace it while you got the car apart, and finally,
      c) water pumps are usually pretty cheap, so why not?

      The only car I've ever owned with a timing belt was a Ford Aspire, and the water pump is buried *BEHIND* the timing belt on that POS. Damn straight that I changed the water pump at that time, because it was a PITA to get in there (transverse engine, front of engine about 1" from wheel well) and doing that job *twice* to change a water pump that was bound to go out within the next 40,000 miles (they only last around 120,000 miles in my experience) was something I wasn't interested in doing.

    2. Agreed, but glancing at the motor I thought the water pump would have been behind.

    3. Hard to tell. With my Aspire it was easy, the water pump looked like, well, a water pump, except it had a longer shaft than usual coming out the front so it could be driven by the accessory belt despite being buried behind the timing belt. I don't see that longer shaft on this thing but what the fuck, it's a photo from a lousy angle on a blog, I'm sure Busted will tell us what's what soon :).

    4. From the top of the picture down,
      Camshaft pulley

      Timing belt tensioner

      Water pump pulley.

      Water pump is behind belt and the tensioner bolts to it.

      This thing had a timing belt put on it several years ago, not long after my wife bought it and before we hooked back up.
      I have known her for thirty years.


      The thing has 230,000 miles on it and as far as I know, that was the original water pump.

      She wanted to argue with me about changing it when I did the belt and I put my foot down.

      I ain't doing this twice, end of conversation, I don't care how much more it costs.

      Sure as I live and breathe, that thing would have went out in the next couple of months and I would have blown a gasket.

    5. Agreed. I once had a customer who came in for a routine tuneup and the belt jumped while we were in the midst of it. Fortunately she believed us, I guess, but wasn't exactly a happy camper.


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