[200q20v] On the road again-long BTDT

Forhan, Thomas Thomas.Forhan at mail.house.gov
Thu Feb 22 12:10:18 EST 2001

The car: 91 200q20V Avant, Panther Black, with an unknown chip installed by
a previous owner. No maintenance records between 100 and 120K miles. Bought
last year at 120K, now at 129930.

This  started out with two immediate problems- bad throttle potentiometer at
the back of the engine, and a little chirp sound coming from the front-I
suspected the water pump. 

I decided to put the car in the garage and take care of all the things I
could around the engine: Change oil and filter, flush and refill coolant,
change air and fuel filters, replace throttle potentiometer/idle switch,
water pump, idle pulley, timing belt, replace suspected leaking crankshaft
seal, plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap, rotor,  O2 sensor, and the
crankcase breather hose.

Additional tasks added along the way: cleaned throttle body, reinstall and
reseal oil pan and oil pump, replace alternator, steering and a/c belts, and
the upper and lower timing belt covers.

I got the Blau timing belt kit and rented his tools. (This does not include
a crankshaft seal puller, as per advice from the listmembers, drill a tiny
hole into the face of the seal, put in a drywall screw just deep enough to
get a bite, and pull on the screw- the seal will follow. In the course of
things, I also ordered parts from Mac at Clair and  Linda at Carlsen, Clair
was easier to deal with and shipped much more promptly.

Lots of things learned, but the highlights are: 

Crankcase breather hose. I followed list advice and pulled the old one out
with a lot of the associated connecters and reassembled them onto the new
one. Also, pull the pressure tube (between the Michelin Man hose and the
throttle body) the throttle body itself (perfect opportunity to clean it),
and the distributor cap and plug wires to make room for replacement. With
this all out of the way, you can reach behind the engine with your left hand
to grab the hose while the right hand holds the hose and pushes it toward
the back. Overall, this job, which I had dreaded, was pretty easy. 

The timing belt/waterpump/idle pulley job was routine until I snapped the
idle pulley retaining bolt off in the block, behind the oil pump. (The idle
pulley is kind of a press fit into the face of the oil pump, with a bolt
running through from the front of the pulley into the block. I fumbled
around with this for a while, and then Peter Schultz, who unfortunately had
been there, done that, came to my rescue. You drop the front two bolts on
the subframe, drop the oil pan, drop the front two bolts from the oil
pickup, and then remove the oil pump. In Peter's case, there was a small
stub sticking out, but mine was broken off in the block. I used an easy out
and ran a tap down into the opening to clean out the mess I created by first
trying to drill it out without removing the oil pump. Then it went back
together, new gaskets, about 30 bolts to torque. Since it was clear that my
crank seal was NOT leaking, my oil leak was was either the pan or the pump,
and they both got new gaskets, so that was good.

To avid 

The second time it all went together just fine. Once the engine was
together, I pulled the "motor" fuses to clear the fault memory, pulled the
primary wire from the coil and cranked it over a few times, to get oil
circulating, and checked for leaks. None found.

Hooked the primary up, and it coughed a couple a times, but would not start.
Rechecked the spark plug wires, and sure enough, even though I had labled
and thought I was very careful, 1 and 2 were mixed up. After that it started
on the first hit, let it run for 10 minutes, and checked for leaks, none
found. Front end of the engine was notably quieter, must of been the
waterpump or the idle pulley. Took it out on the street, got it warmed up,
and my idle hesitation is gone, gone gone, and once I had it warmed up,
tried full boost -indicates 2.4 bar, its probably more like 2.1, but it was
very smooth and came on fast! Whooboy. Checked for leaks, none found. 

Biggest problem- I can't get the bumper back on right. Anyone BTDT?

Friends, if it weren't for the listmembers, especially Chris and Brett, I
would have never attempted this, but I did it. Can't imagine how much money
I saved, but more important I really  know my way around the engine so much

Next? Either begin suspension - dropping the subframe I started to look
around, and the rubber is really in rough shape, and I know the shocks are
shot. Another project not far away is replacement of the heater core, has a
tiny leak that one can smell every once in a while. 

(Brett, Chris, anything you want me to write up as a seperate piece, with
more details, let me know).

Thanks to all,

Tom F.

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