Now that the wasps are dead I can get to reinstalling my timing belt. There are already a number of good videos on the subject, so I won’t bother to reexplain the procedure here, but a few notes from my experience.

  1. Don’t try to move the cam gear with your hand. Unlike the intermediate gear it’s very stiff. I ended up momentarily bending my thumb a weird way while trying to nudge it a bit, and while not damaged it’s now irritatingly sore.
  2. The crank gear is relatively easy to move once the pulley is on. Larger moves require a breaker bar with a 24mm socket on the bolt.
  3. Once all three are lined up properly getting the belt on might require some playing around with the tensioner. Mine needed to be compressed just a little but more than it was with the nail I was using to keep the spring compressed. I need to use one hand to lever the spring another 1/8 of an inch or so while pushing the belt onto the roller all while keeping it from slipping off the other gears.

To be honest, the whole affair was a bit more of a pain that I imagined it would be. I actually had to sort of back away at one point and take a break lest my frustration end in something breaking. Working while keyed up by frustration is a sure fire recipe for disaster. Anyway, everything is lined up and the new belt is on, so progress.

Natural Complications

I’ve been away for about a week on holiday with my family, but towards the end of the trip my Volvo began to creep back into my mind. now that the missing timing belt cover had come in, I was very eager to start putting the engine back together. When I finally got home I had an extra “recovery” day, and I had planned to spend at least part of it starting that process.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

While I was away a bunch of damned, dirty wasps had decided to make a house right above my car. That made working a little bit precarious. Looking up the correct method of wasp killing, I found that the best time to attack the nest was at dusk. So much for my planned day of work, I guess!

Come dusk I came out with my can of poison, blasted the nest, and ran like hell. I returned a few more times to make sure the job was done, and I’m happy to say that the next day on (today) there is little to no activity around the nest. I think I’ll get more poison to make sure the whole thing is inhospitable to wasp life as possible and then cut the branch out and dispose of the nest. Then I can get back to business.