July 09, 2009

The OCotP: An Update

I must admit to thinking that I wasn't going to see the Official Car of the Pond, a '96 Camry, in drivable condition ever again when it rolled away on the back of the tow truck this morning.  The horrid sounds coming from the engine were just too horrid for me to think any other way. 

Within an hour of it getting into Tom the Miracle Worker's hands, however, he gave me hope.  The timing belt and its associated gizmos had gone south, he said.  He continued by saying that they're rated for around 90K miles, and the OCotP has 97K and change on its odometer.  So I had gotten good life out of it, but it needed to be replaced.  Fortunately, there's a kit for that that's actually cheaper than parting it out, so that's good. 

The horrid noise I had been hearing was the water pump, tearing itself to pieces.  Tom said that he hadn't seen one fail quite this spectacularly in a while.  Seems that the pump is driven off the timing assembly in my specific type of Camry, and when the timing belt slipped its gear and wound up being off-setting by about 10o, the water pump began to shed chunks of itself.  That also caused the big puddle, as it began squirting radiator fluid hither and yon. 

Repairs (well, replacing) both devices would be pretty straightforward, though not particularly easy considering the layout of the Camry's 4-cylinder engine in the compartment.  It's pretty well packed in there, with no real elbow room to work.  Still, The Miracle Worker said that he didn't expect any problems doing it... and I believed him.  The family has been going to his shop for 20-some-odd years; if he's talking about cars and he says something is so, it is so.

The bad news was that he couldn't actually run the OCotP's motor long enough to tell if the disintegration of the water pump and the terrible timing had caused serious damage to the internals, like driveshaft bearings and the like.  "Best not to think about it right now," he said, sending a shiver of fear up my feathers.  "It's at least a 50-50 chance you'll be fine, probably a lot better than that.  If the OCotP was my car, I'd go ahead and do the repairs."

Okay.  About seven hours later, he calls me at work.  "Want some good news?  There's no damage to the engine, she's purrin' like a catgirl."  (note: he didn't actually say "catgirl")

In fact, the car was almost ready to be picked up.  It would have been, except as they were refilling the radiator, they discovered that there was a crack in the plastic overflow reservoir, and they had applied a good squirt of industrial strength epoxy to it.  It'll be like new, except it'll take overnight for it to dry.

What with towing and taxes and such, it'll come to just over $1000, but that's a damsite better than what I had been fearing... and I get my car back!  My wonderful, happy, comfortable car... the OCotP is coming home!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:59 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 That's good to hear.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 09, 2009 10:33 PM (+rSRq)

2 Sounds like you got off without *too* much suffering, glad to hear it. 

Semi off-topic, I had a much longer response commiserating about timing belts that I tried to post this afternoon, but there was all kind of weirdness with your blog reverting to 2007 posts and format most of the day.  Any idea what that was about?

Posted by: David at July 11, 2009 12:48 AM (n/RK7)

3 David, there were some IP address hiccups server-side.  The All-Powerful Pixy explains it all here.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 11, 2009 01:15 AM (AnJdu)

4 Turns out that there was still a problem - I landed on your 2007 blog myself.

All cleaned up now.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 11, 2009 02:58 AM (PiXy!)

5 By the way, I'm still watching Hidamari Sketch.  Took a little getting used to, but now I'm really enjoying it.  Thanks for the recommendation!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 11, 2009 11:42 AM (PiXy!)

6 Pleasure's all mine, Pixy... any time I can convert someone to the cult of HidaSketch, I feel I've done my duty.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 11, 2009 11:58 AM (AnJdu)

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