Allen's Car

June 20, 2016
By Allen Schmit

Ok, so I've been having troubles with my car. Over the past ten years I've had to put 7 timing belts on this engine. I have included a brief video. What I have done is enlisted the help of a roommate who is good with dremel tools and knows what bits to use and how.

He cut a new woodruff key slot in the crank shaft. The old one peeled the metal away when the bolt broke. That happened at about 130k miles. In the first repair, I added a very hard master lock key with the woodruff key and a lot of JB weld, red locktight and 200lbs of torque. Basically, I super glued it together and it held for 6 years. Now the car has 178k miles on it and the crank shaft pulley started wobbling. I could tell by the sound that the timing was very retarded ie: odd pitched sound and no power.

So, I pulled it apart. This time I couldn't do the same fix. It was just that bad. There was almost no edge to the leftover metal on the crankshaft for the woodruff key to grab. I had to grind a new slot. It took 1.5 hours to disassemble, 4.5 to 5 hours for my roommate to grind the crankshaft. Me, I was sweating bricks and pacing worriedly back and forth until... the key finally fit. Snug, without even the slightest wiggle room (witch it what you want for the key slot).

At this point I wasn't taking any chances, I put JB weld over the old slot area to take up space and help support the gear and used an impact tool on the gear at about 200lbs torque. The next day I hurriedly put the engine back together in about 1 hour. Oops! Bad Allen. The timing was off all over the place. Saturday, I took the belts and pulleys off and reset the timing properly. That took three hours. The car finally sounds right and has appropriate power. We will see about gas mileage and power with how she behaves over the next few days commuting back and forth to work.

Click here to see the video.