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Re: Service: Timing belt, water pump, other belts

EKellock@aol.com wrote:
> Just spoke with my mechanic on Friday about doing the timing belt, etc. on my
> '87 5KCSTQ.  He quoted about $230.  Here's part of the breakdown:
> belt: "Continental OEM"  ~$15
> pump: "GRAF"               ~$45
> labor:              3 hours @ $30/hr
> Just wanted to check the wisdom of the list on the belt and pump as far as
> brand names and quality.
> Is Continental the OEM mfr of the belt?  Is there another brand which is
> preferred?
> What about the pump?  He had one on hand that I looked at.  It was a new part
> and apparently mfr'd in Germany based on the markings, etc. and instructions
> in German & English.
> Are there any other parts to be concerned about?  The "tensioner" IS the
> water pump, right?
> Any help or suggestions are most appreciated.  :-)>
> Ed Kellock
> Lansing, IA
> 87 5KCSTQ
> 87 CGT

Well, the last time my guy did it, that's about what it cost.  I bought 
the belt and pump, however, not him.  He grumbled about the fact that I 
brought him a Goodyear belt and a TRW pump, though, scowling at me like I 
was a heel who'd just bought cheap perfume for his girlfriend and 
muttering something in Gerglish (German-accented English) about how they 
were inferior to the Europarts.  So far so good after 10,000 or so miles.

The tensioner is not the pump.  It is a separate pulley with an eccentric 
nut on it that is turned to set the final belt tension after all of the 
slack has been taken out of the other regions of the belt.  Usually it is 
pretty durable from what I understand.  My mechanic (crusty, but a 
straight-shooter) inspected mine at disassembly and said it was in good 
shape.  I can't imagine replacing it unless it is binding, has too much 
free play, or is making noise.  Three hours is a little long for my car 
('84 4KQ) but is probably pretty close for a 5KCSTQ.  It's not a 
technically difficult job, but I got lazy and wanted someone else to work 
on my car for a change.  

Best Wishes,

Alex Kowalski
'84 4KQ