Clattery when cold
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
I never put stuff back dirty or rusty, but signs of age are OK with me. Looking in the mirror, I've not much choice.
I wouldn't go buying a vacuum gauge unless/until there's reason to think you need it. Those Chinese ones work OK. I used one like it, but only because it was the only way to ensure my actuator wasn't contributing to the limited vane movement.
I only got an hour of daylight today to spend on this. Cleaned the block surface and then had a more thorough look at how to get the alternator off. I still couldn't figure out how the HP fuel pump bracket is held to the block, except possibly one or more bolts through the back. There's such a rats nest of brackets, bolts, pipes I couldn't figure out in a mirror+torch WTF was what. Quite likely there's a load more dismantling in the way, eg power steering pump. That quickly turned into 'why the hell am I thinking about doing this anyway?'. More checking of the alternator ensued. Yep, the alternator bearings are smooth as silk and the one-way clutch is smooth and one-way, with no fault that I can find.
Regular readers will know this all started with a nasty rattle, and I set out to fix the rattle, which eventually seemed to be from 'something' on the auxiliary belt - either the alternator pulley, or crank pulley, maybe a tensioner or idler.
I was expecting to change the alternator, or at least replace its pulley and bearings, and expecting it to come out easy through the top with the inlet manifold off. The plan was to fit a brand-new manifold before the swirl flaps fell off the existing one. It didn't quite work out like that.
I've found nothing wrong with any of the aux belt stuff, nor timing belt. Instead, missing swirl flaps and head damage with bent valves. Yet the engine seemed to run OK, aside from that low-rev rattle that came and went...
I've got this all wrong from the start. I now wonder if the rattle was the top end damage all along, either direct or indirect - perhaps the less than smooth running causing the aux belt bits to make a noise. Perhaps the noise was the top end all along.
Anyway, the alternator seems fine, and easy it isn't, so I think I'll let it be and just get the thing back together and run it without the aux belt to see whether the rattle has gone. If it has, I'll put the new aux belt stuff in and see where that gets me. If it is the alternator after all, then I'll have to deal with that later, from underneath.
Yes, I know, could be the aircon pump etc, the HP pump, but I've had a good listen to them, they sound healthy enough.
So unless a resident expert says "ah, but alternator pulleys can rattle horribly even though there's no sign of wear or the one-way failing" I am just going to start putting the engine back together next.
That's today's plan anyhow.