Thursday, 8 May 2008

Talk about a nice supprise

I was cleaning the block on my 200di in preparation for painting last Saturday, and got bored. I had cleaned off most of the passenger side, was running out of clean rags.

I occurred me that while the starter motor was off, it was worth jamming the flywheel, and trying to remove the front pulley to fit a new cam-belt. Changing the cam belt is reputed to be a killer job, but not on this engine. I just couldn't believe my luck.

The pulley bolt cracked off with a moderate heave, the pulley that should need a puller came off with nothing more than a tickling from a crowbar behind it. (Incidentally, should you feel the need to try doing this, remember that you are levering against a fragile timing case cover - do not get a scaffolding pole in there and heave, or its highly probable a new timing case cover is going to be on your shopping list) All the timing cover bolts came out as well. Its a while since a job has gone quite this well. Next mission is to get a new timing belt, as I'd not been planning on doing the job when I left home that morning. Then I can put it all back together.

I suspect that the reason it was all so easy is that the P/O has been a good bloke and looked after the engine, including changing the belt at the required intervals. Probably the belt that is on there is actually a recent one. But, safety first, and a new one will go on anyway...

In other news, I collect a Reliant Rialto Estate from Oxford tomorrow. Its going to be a bit of a culture shock, having been used to driving nearer 2 tons than half a ton. But with the price of fuel, a cheep commute mobile is in order. And while people may call me mad, they cannot deny that (like just about every car I'd had) its "interesting".

Hopefully it will be well behaved, or it may find that its back on eBay where it came from... I'm not going be becoming a Reliant restorer (if I can help it anyway).

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