The camry was having problems. At almost 200k miles most people would retire a car but it just seemed too easy. Plus money is tight as hell right now with my wife only working one day a week so once again it was time to put on the man pants and fix stuff.
Except that stuff was a timing belt and a water pump which had long since puked out the gasket and bearings. The timing belt itself was driven by a pair of idlers, the new ones sound terrible but the old ones had wobble and had to go. I enlisted the help of my brother to be the second set of hands because there’s some things on the car you simply can’t do on your own.
Note that this is the first car I’ve truly wanted to stab. My knuckles are completely raw. I have no hair left on my hands. I managed to crush a fingertip and it’s still bleeding from under the nail. All in all things went pretty well.
The biggest lesson learned: Adjust the tension before putting it all back together. We had to retime the engine three times because I would go to close it up and the timing would wander enough to get the timing wrong. Once we figured out we were being stupid it was pretty trivial to find TDC and bolt it up.
Gasket juice: Always important.