It's disturbing to hear Leon's not been around but then again who am I
to complain... I don't recognize anybody but Lanny. 'Guess I just
dated myself (and him.)
Bambi's coming up on 200k miles and I've got all the parts ordered for a
timing belt change... timing belt, tensioner spring, cam & crank seals,
water pump, CAS O-Ring, valve cover gasket, woodruff key and auxiliary
We've also had cooling problems in the past so I ordered I a lower
thermostat housing & o-ring, complete hose kit (radiator, heater &
bypass), thermostat, radiator cap and complete set of freeze plugs. I
don't plan on doing the freeze plugs on the sides or the radiator cap
until I get intake and exhaust manifold gaskets so those will be put
aside until later.
My questions are:
1 Can you suggest any other parts while I'm in there?
2 I plan on taking 3 days plus a weekend to do everything minus the
freeze plugs in case I have to order an idler or tensioner for the
timing belt. Does that sound reasonable? (Bambi's my only ride.)
3 What should I cover besides the alternator, ignition coil and fuse
block before pressure washing the engine compartment?
4 I've looked in the garage section of miata.net, have an enthusiasts
manual (and a Haynes in case I get stuck.) Any other tips or tricks?
5 Has anybody replaced or seen all the freeze plugs on an M1? If so,
where the heck are they? Should I replace any while I have the timing
belt covers off?
Thanks for any suggestions, comments or encouragement... Bambi's getting
old, but so am I. Hopefully we've still got a trip though The Gap
waiting for us.
Thanks & God Bless you all,
Ephar & Bambi
'92 A Classic Red
The Original Winkin' Miata
Getting old? Aren't we all!? At least we're all doing it at the same rate.
Hey, my only comments (aside from 'I'm impressed with your thoroughness) on
your maintenance plans would be that if you haven't previously changed the
idler pulley and the tensioner pulley, just do it! What the heck are you
waiting for, them to go up in smoke ;-( Also, I don't see any mention of
the water pump. You should probably be going on your third water pump (if
you've replaced at reasonable age rather than at failure). Lord, if the car
still has the original water pump then, now you know why you're having
cooling issues. The propellers probably don't have any blades left! You
know, there's always something else, isn't there ..... if you're still on
the original valve cover gasket and you keep cleaning it up, band-aiding it
and putting it back in there, you should probably replace that too. Ummmmm,
how old are your plugs and wires? Ok, I'll leave you alone before you accuse
me of being a nagging old (wo)man ;-)
Anyway, you've got a pretty good size job there in front of you but ya, you
should be good for awhile after that.
The water pump is listed in there if you look. Got the parts today. The
reason I left the idler & tensioner out is they're about $50 and $70
respectively and I've heard they make their status known vocally if there's
a problem. I'm taking the extra time in case I need either, and I hope
they can be replaced easier than the belt itself if needed in the next few
The last timing belt broke at 107407 miles, 2 blocks from the local Mazda
dealer. I even had a buddy in the car at the time to push and police
escort to stop traffic. The dealer did the replacement with water pump,
CAS o-ring, and valve cover gasket so I'm certain it was done right (this
was before the ford intrusion.)
The belts & hoses are getting replaced now but the plugs, wires & filters
will wait for regular scheduled maintenance at 210k.
I've got 102k miles myself on this car and still love it. I've looked at
the new hard-tops and could afford one but they don't have the same
attraction. You've got to love an auto maker's simplicity in only using
two oil filters for 20+ years and they're interchangeable!
Next up: At home top replacement with a hard dog roll bar.
Thanks for the reply, and don't forget to wink or wave... My last wave
came from a 2004 RX-7. I also saw one with a personalized plate that read
17KREVS. You gotta love it.
Ephar & Bambi
'92 Classic Red A
The original Winkin' Miata
The old man (45) who'll walk up to you and start a conversation with you
in a parking lot if you're driving the right car.
DO NOT fail to replace the tentioner and idler when you change the belt
and water pump !!!!! Yes, they make them selves known by sound but, it
is when they come out thru the front of the timing cover and into the
fan and a lot of other things that are in the way ! When you remove the
belt and try to spin the tentioner and ideler, if they spin, "they are
shot" . Don't go to all the work of changing all the other parts then
have those items fail. Never fail to replace them !!
Bruce Bing '03 LS
I can't confer with Bruce on this (although he may very well be correct, I
don't remember) but, check all of your parts prices at this place they are
the best (cheapest I've found) and the quality was the same as I've seen
You guys just need to beleve me on this one. I have seen 2 cars that
this has happened to. One car came to the shop with the belt off and a
big hole in the front of the cover. The other one happned right in the
shop when tha owner was trying to explain the noise that was coming from
the front of the engine.
IF, there is very low or no resistence when you try to spin them, they
ARE going to come apart on you.! Change them now that you have them
apart to change the belt.
Like the water pump, just do it while you have it apart.
Bruce Bing '03 LS
Another common symptom of incipient idler failure is a gritty feeling
when turning them by hand. Replacement at every other 60k mile belt
change is a good rule of thumb. Along with the water pump, even if it's
not already leaking.
The link in my previous post has those parts for about half what the OP
listed their cost at so, hopefully that will be of some help> It's amazing
how much money you can easily pay out just to do serious preventative
maintenance, even if you're doing the work your self. And this is on one of
the worlds most reliable cars!
(BRUCE HASKIN) wrote:
My rule of thumb is to wait until 90K miles, and then replace
everything. I have seen two Miatas have the water pump go out between
the 60k & 120K timing belt service periods, one at a nice 86K miles.
By contrast, the only Miata timing belt that I have ever seen fail
before 120,000 miles was a defective one that only made it about 25,000
From my experience with a number of early-model Miatas, the timing belt
tends to outlast the water pump.
I would certainly find the replacement of the water pump at 90K miles to
be far more important than replacing the belt at 60K miles as far as
Going with the replacement of everything at 90K miles works for me,
especially since I have never owned a vehicle for 180K miles and so am
unlikely to ever need to do the job twice to the same car.
Ohhhh Lanny, we have been grumbling around about this for quite a few
years now. ;-)
Just out of curiosity, has anyone on here ever had a timing belt go out
before 90,000 miles on any vehicle?
I have still never seen one go that quickly except for my defective one
that snapped way early.
The California replacement period of 100,000 miles seems to make more
sense to me, and doing the job "early" at 90K won't hurt anything,
though I would also not go far beyond 100,000.
This has been hashed around before, I've come away with the idea that
timing belt, idler pulleys, water pump, crank seal and camshaft seals
should be done at 100,000 miles or sooner.
From what I've read, it seems a fairly safe frequency and *probably*
the factory recommendation of 60,000 miles is overly cautious.
XS11E, Killing all posts from Google Groups
The Usenet Improvement Project:
This might be what Washington can't ever seem to find; 'consensus' ;-)
I agree completely that 90k makes the most sense with almost no chance of
failure but also the likelihood that the job just be done once in the likely
ownership period. This helps spread the cost out and you feel like
everything you're spending is important / needed. It's no small matter that
this is quite a serious job for us at home / shade tree mechanics.
We just had our 2002 Honda accord done at 105,000 . That is what Honda
shows on their chart. There were no leaks, noises or bad belt when they
gave me the used parts back. "I" think Mazda is just making sure that
the name does not get a bad rap. The old Chevy Vega had a 70,000 mile
change for it, but most of them never made it that far anyhow. I had a
Vega GT SW for a long time ( over 200,00 miles ) I kept for a long time
because I pulled the engine at 500 miles ( yes a new car ) and had it
"blue printed". It put out 17 hp at the rear wheels stock (dyno test)
and when I finished with headers, a "dual deck intake". reworked carb,
port and polished head plus making the head "flat", it put 56 HP at the
rear wheels. Chevy had a good thing going, they just screwed it up when
they built it. Anyhow, I went thru 3 belts during that time. One only
lasted about 30.000 miles. My wife finaly killed it on her way to work
one day. It was bent clear to the ground at the firewall. "crumpel zone"
I guess. She only had a bump on the head with no blood.
They make better belts now !
Bruce Bing '03 LS 75,000 on the first belt
You did drive the hell out of that thing.
My lifetime total miles driven is probably just over double what you put
on the Vega, and it is spread out over a good number of cars.
We had a Vega in the family but it was gone a few years before I started
On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 22:17:45 -0800, email@example.com (BRUCE HASKIN) wrote:
Wow, that kind of mileage on a Vega amazes me! And I didn't remember the GT
being available as a SW.
I had a '72 Vega GT (dark green with the white "racing" stripes), that, by the
time it had 40K on it, demanded a quart of oil every 100 miles. And that 40K was
mostly a daily commute of fifty miles each way, pretty easy miles.
That was my next-to-last American car ever -- couldn't resist the '89 Fiero GT,
which Pontiac finally got right, and then the marketing boys killed it. Sigh.
(Saw one in the parking lot of Ocean's Eleven casino in Oceanside, CA, last
week, just to ramp up the nostalgia.)
Save GM? *Why?* Even the Corvette's been an unrefined POS since 1968.
-- Larry (Though I did have the pleasure of blowing one Corvette engine on the
track at Summit Point -- spectacular picture, in turn 1 with the entire bottom
of the car engulfed in flames... 8;) )
Ouch! You're as hard on cars as you are on GM ;-)
I too owned a Vega GT. Didn't know much about cars at the time and I wrecked
it in an early training session learning about under-age drinking! While I
had it, it was a blast and was quite a runner. IIRC, it had been rebuilt
with cast iron cylinder sleeves. Does that sound correct? I seem to remember
getting a book with the car from a performance company Iveco? I can't
remember for sure, does that ring a bell to any of you old-timers (like me)?
I owned a '73 hatchback 4-speed (new). Although they were known to have
engine problems, I may have gotten one of the few good ones they ever made.
I installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge incorrectly, and late one
night on the freeway the line broke, emptying the crankcase quickly. My
first clues were an awful lot of engine clattering and a red light on the
dash. I did have the presence of mind to turn the key off, but almost put
it into the center guardrail when the steering wheel locked.
After being towed home and fixing the problem, I put 3-1/2 quarts of oil
into the 4-quart engine. It was always a bit noisy after that, but still ran
great. I put 104,000 highway miles on it over a four-year period, and
enjoyed driving it immensely, but after only four years the body was turning
to iron oxide powder at an alarming rate. The cowl in front of the
windshield for instance - you could push your fingers right through it. Sad.
Those were the days of the oil embargo. I paid $2450 out the door for that
Vega in the fall of '72. Two years later I saw one on a used car lot for $2450.
I miss that car to this day.
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