Old Timer's and Maintenance

Hi all, 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 belts. 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
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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.
Chris 99BBB

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Hi Chris,     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     years.     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.     Zoom-Zoom!         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.
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Epher,
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
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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 from elsewhere;
http://www.ajsautowhs.com/Catalog/CatalogResults.aspx
Good luck, Chris 99BBB

When you remove the

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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
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (BRUCE HASKIN) wrote:

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.
--
Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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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!
Chris 99BBB
(BRUCE HASKIN) wrote:

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Lanny Chambers 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 miles.
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 reliability goes.
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.
Pat
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I can't disagree with your experience, Pat.
--
Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

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.
Pat
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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:
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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.
Chris 99BBB
wrote:

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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
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BRUCE HASKIN wrote:

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 driving.
Pat
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 22:17:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (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;) )
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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)?
Chris 99BBB

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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

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.
--
Dale Beckett

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I too miss mine, as crazy as it sounds I think it was a great little car. Of course, it was my FIRST car, that couldn't have anything to do with it, could it? ;-)
Chris 99BBB

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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

That could well be. It was my first *new* car.
--
Dale Beckett

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