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850 Turbo Timing Belt, Water Pump Replacement Marathon

Let’s talk 850 Turbo Timing Belt

In the MVS tradition of learning from others’ mistakes, here’s the equivalent of a 12-credit, 400-level university course 😉

So my father and I started at 11:30 today doing my timing belt and water pump. I bought the IPD timing kit with the idlers and tensioner. I had bought a water pump later after realizing I should do it at the same time.

We used Ozark Lee’s timing belt directions which were quite detailed and we were going along well removing stuff until we got to the accessory belt tensioner. Used a chop saw to cut off about 1.5″ of a square cold chisel that was slightly larger than the square hole in the tensioner, then trimmed it down to fit. I don’t have any real tidbits to share that weren’t outlined in the writeup but I will say that removing things from the “front” of the engine was absolute hell. The water pump was the worst because it had some kind of thread lock compound on long bolts with almost no room to swing the ratchet.

Most of our time was spent on getting the timing marks to line up. We kept getting one tooth off and had to reset the tensioner three times. You can do that fairly quickly if you turn the vise a few degrees till you get resistance, wait a moment, turn again, repeat until it’s back in. I suppose some sort of hydraulic goo is in there that needs to squish back in through a baffle or something.

Timing belt and water pump = MISERABLE SEVEN HOUR ORDEAL!

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