Typically when you think Imagine Auto, you think of performance induced vertigo (hmmmm I like the sound of that…Imagine Auto: Performance Induced Vertigo), but that isn’t the only thing we do around here. Not only do we casually throw 100’s of horsepower at cars (kind of like throwing candy to a trick or treater), but we also do the maintenance to keep them on the road. I’ve been busy with some street 944’s this week, and thought I would share one with you.
This 944 S2 came in for a preventative timing belt and waterpump job. If you know 944’s, you know that they like to munch on timing belts on occasion, which in turn causes a not so casual meeting of valves and pistons (Think of the Athens vs. Sparta, England vs. France, the Chiefs vs. the Broncos, etc) . It can get ugly and expensive in a hurry, and a broken timing belt is probably the #1 reason a 944 gets torn to pieces and sold off as parts. Why do they do this? Well with an all aluminum block, you have different expansion rates of the block and the head as it gets hot, which stretches the timing belt. This happens every time you start the car, and after 60k miles on a belt, the rubber gives way.
With the car in the air, there were some oil leaks that caught my attention. One of these is easy access with the timing belt and water pump removed, but once everything was torn down, the ugly beast reared it’s head.
Once I removed the engine belly pan, I noticed that something was amiss. I like to call the belly pans……oil catch pans instead. They sop up oil leaks without dripping on the floor, and you think nothing is wrong with your engine……
Oh a few front engine seals leaking, it can’t be that bad…..
The hip bone is connected to the…..leg bone…….the leg bone is connected to the…….Timing belt, balance shaft belt and associated hardware removed.
With the water pump, power steering pump, and lower balance shaft housing removed, the oil leaking culprit rears it’s head…….the oil cooler housing has sprung a leak.
Everything cleaned up, new seals in place, and going back together.
With the front end back together, this S2 is ready for another 45k miles before the next timing belt service, which will be a simple belt change.
Remember a clean, leak free car is a happy car…..and a happy owner’s wife (You know you have heard it before…..”that stupid car of yours is leaking all over my driveway! Why don’t you just sell that damn thing and buy a honda……and put down that beer and mow the lawn too!”)