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Old 01-12-2021, 05:17 PM   #11
KivPanther
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Soooo...I had a local shop replace my timing belt for me since I didn't feel confident with the space and tools I had on hand. I've used this shop before for some other stuff and they've always done a fine job. However...




The owner of the shop (who was not the tech that did the work) told me that the tech suggested a tune up, to which I replied I'd already done one. The Falcon has all new wires, plugs, and distributor. We chatted for a bit about the harmonic balancer that I asked his guy to realign with top dead center while he was in there. I had a hard time trying to convince him that the way these harmonic balancers are made you absolutely CAN screw up the alignment if you take it apart but everyone I've talked to also refuses to believe it's possible. I'm guessing Nissan is the only car company that makes them like that.


Anyway, I pick up the Falcon and notice that she's running a bit rougher and louder than usual. I don't think too much of it since I figure my timing is off anyway and I'll just adjust it when I get the chance. A couple days later I get a chance to dig back into the engine and I notice right away that whoever that tech was shouldn't have been let anywhere near a car. The belts are loose and rubbing against the lower radiator hose, the return hose wasn't even clamped down, and a whole mess of other stuff. After poking around thoroughly I discovered all of the following things:


  • Power steering belt was slack. I could turn it by hand.
  • The AC compressor tension pulley wasn't secured. It was just flopping around loose and only held in place by the adjustment bolt. Naturally, the belt was slack and rubbing against the fan belt.
  • The return hose on the radiator didn't have its clamps put on.
  • The fan shroud was barely hanging on as the bolts hadn't even been screwed in all the way.
  • The timing cover bolts were not in the right places. One of the ones on the lower timing cover had its bushing cracked mostly off and the guy had put a couple split washers on it to replace it without even removing the remnants of the bushing.
  • The bottom bolt on the lower timing cover not only wasn't there, but the little jut on the block that it screws into was snapped off.
  • Last but definitely not least, the metal radiator pipe that connects the thermostat housing to the lower radiator hose was bolted not to the power steering bracket where it should've been, but to the lower timing cover! Needless to say, it wasn't clearing the belts.



After I fixed all of that nonsense as best I could, including lining my timing marks back up to TDC properly, the engine will crank but not turn over. I've checked the distributor alignment to confirm it's correct, made sure there was spark (there is), and the darn thing just won't start. I'm a firm believer in giving people a chance to make things right so I went back to the shop and talked to the owner again, telling him everything I've laid out here and some of the more minor stuff I didn't. I could see his face getting redder and redder with anger as I kept going and he told me in no uncertain terms that this sealed the coffin for that tech.


As of today, he had his wrecker driver come pick the Falcon back up and bring it back so he can fix everything properly. Hopefully that idiot tech didn't screw up my engine fatally. Also... I REALLY need a bigger garage.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:56 PM   #12
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Good to hear you got it straightened out.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:23 PM   #13
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Well... hold that thought until I get it back from him.
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