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Joe Dirt

Explorer Addict
October 4, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
07 Camry
Why does it always seem like simple little 1 hour repair jobs suck the marrow out of your weekend?

I mean, I like Snowball- I don't floor her, I don't race her, heck- I even come to a crawl when I pull over the bump getting into my apartment complex. I would expect some sort of payback for thie dignity and respect!

I had come out of work last week to find a few drops of coolant under the blasted thing. Now the Rad, all hoses, thermostat, etc- had been replaced with new last fall. Maybe something I replaced was leaking?

So tonight I look around, looks like a leaky water pump gasket. Ok- water pump- easy. Time into the garage- 4:00 pm.

Easy? Not a chance.

Pulled the pump off, and the leaks didn't match up. But, the bearing on the water pump was loose, so might as well toss the new one on anyway, 200,000 miles of service is a good retirement age for the original Ford part.

Looking at the truck, I keep thinking, "I should just replace the timing cover gasket stuff, that'll guarantee it isn't leaking there..."

Ok. Let's do it. Drive to get the gasket kit. 3rd store had it.

The balancer bolt was buried- my puller wasn't long enough to get all the way in to pop the balancer off, so I had 1/4" socket extensions in there, and finally got it off after an hour, a burger, two handfulls of cubed Co-Jack cheese and 3 peanut butter eggs. I swear those things are as addictive as crack.


No, that isn't my dainty girl-hand, that's a flickrlink.

Pull the cover off. At least the chain and tensioner looked good.


Drive back to the parts store to get the balancer install kit. Not going through that mess again.

Clean everything off, reinstall timing cover, water pump, yada yada yada...

Everything back on, turn the key to admire my work, and of course, NOW the truck is scraping and squealing.


Idler pulley? Well, I replaced it with a junkyard one last summer, but it was dried out. Re greased the bearings, and stuck it back on to see if that's what it was.

Scraaaaaape! Dammit!

So I've got a screwdriver jammed in my ear trying to figure out what in the world was making noise. After a while, it gets a little quieter. Can't be the bearing on the Idler pulley.

I'm about to turn the screwdriver around and jam it into my head.

Well, brainstorm... Hood was up, light was on. Start truck, recharge battery? Hmmm... Alternator was working harder. Get in truck, start up, turn on lights, and A/C. Scraaaaaaaaaape! It's the alternator. F'n thing. Unplug alternator, it stops. Plug it in, scraaaaaaaape!

Ok- drive it home from the shop, and toss on the spare 60k mile alternator I pulled at the yard for occasions like this. Truck is now quiet.
Time done- 11:00pm

So, the leaky water pump gasket (I thought) ended up being:

New water pump
New water pump gasket
New Timing Chain Cover gasket set
New Idler pulley
New(ish) Alternator
2 trips to the parts store
Lunch AND dinner from the shop grill...

...and 7 hours of work

at least after repacing now the entire cooling system over the last 6 months, it runs here when warm...


...and at 144*F coming out of the vents with the heat at full blast when idling.

What the hell happened to my Saturday?!?! :D

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You're lucky that you got all of this done in one day. I once replaced the timing chain, and water pump on my 89, then 3 months later as I was driving on the highway in NJ, the transmission went. After sitting on the road for 15 minutes with the engine idling, the new water pump gasket went. It's very rare to have two major failures only a few minutes apart, but anything is possible.

you should read my thread on putting fog lights into a steel bumper! i just wanted to put the lights in there, and paint the bumper........3 months later the truck was done, but i had to paint the entire thing! that's why i call her evil!

Very true. I was lucky- I won't go stuff like that in my driveway, I always go into the shop so if... er... WHEN it goes to hell, I have stuff there to fix it. I'm lucky to have the space... I've also learned after working on cars for other people that sometimes "Hey, it has to break sometime..." Is a good, relevant answer.

Someone drive in for brakes. Go to leave, and the fuel pump is dead.
"How could that be bad now, I drove it here!"
"Hey, it has to break sometime..."

I did remember reading the foglight thread- That did eclipse my story... :D

Gotta love it, just when you're ready for a nice relaxing weekend.

Went to go grab some lunch yesterday and got about a block from the house and my Explorer started to scream bloody murder... I thought I hit a dog or something :eek:
First I thought the new alternator I installed on Wednesday just locked up or something, so I limp back home and pop the hood and nothing looks out of the ordinary - until I see the tensioner pulley.

It was completely gone and the belt was just running on bare metal.

Head to the parts store and figure I'll just replace the entire unit and belt while i'm there. Get back home get everything installed, fire up the X and "squeak squeak squeak grind etc" so I'm thinking great they sold me one with a bad bearing or I got a defective belt. I listen to it for a bit and realize it's my idler pulley. Pull it off and sure enough that bearing is gone. Back to the store. I get the new pulley on and everything is nice, quiet and running smooth.

Today while driving I noticed at idle I have a new vibration. At first it sounded like a license plate or something was vibrating, but I checked my new pulleys and sure enough it's the belt tensioner. At idle - about 800rpms - it vibrates. So i'm going to swap the pulley onto the original tensioner and see what happens.

Why mess with those paltry 1.2 ounce eggs, when you can chow down on this :thumbsup: S I X :thumbsup: o u n c e egg...?


Ok, I've never seen that piece of heaven before.

BUT in my defense, I did eat the entire bag, which equalled 11.4 oz of wholesome goodness featuring 1200 calories, 100 grams of fat, and 200 grams of carbs. I was OFF my diet this weekend.

Plus, I looked like this...


(Minus the dress, veil, and fat guy feeding me)
(well, no, I guess techically there was a somewhat portly guy feeding me...) :D

damn thats funny stuff right there.