Spent an interesting afternoon/evening with Jim today, replacing Cassy's aux tensioner.
When the previous bolt sheered it also snapped off the bit that jutts out from the end that goes into the recess in the pump/alternator cradle.
I'd tightened the bolt up to lock it in place but with the cold mornings it was leaving the belt a bit slack and flapping between the the crank pulley and compressor when decelorating.
I'd bought the tensioner from ECP, so this time I went back to GSF, not only was the tensioner cheaper but also of a better design with proper o-rings to protect the needle bearings rather than just foam discs with the hole cut out.
The hardest part of the job is removing the allen bolt from the bottom of the tensioner spring.
With the earlier mechanical pump, the cold advance jutts out in the way seriously reducing access which isn't great even with the later semi-electronic pumps.
So the easiest way to do the job is remove the hydraulic pump.
Last time I tackled the allen bolt I used a 6mm allen screwdriver bit, with some tape on the end in an 8mm ratchet spanner.
This time, Jim used a 10mm to 6mm hex bit, with some tape on the larger end, in a 10mm ratchet spanner with a floppy head.
Removing the eccentric tensioner gives enough room to drop the auto tensioner down and out, then feed the new one up and back into place.
With it all back together, I took advantage of having the front up on axle stands and adjusted the handbrake.
Job done Jim and I had another cup of tea, I sent Danielle an email to say I'd be home soon, and we went to move the cars as Jim's V6 was behind Cassy and needed a run anyway.
As I manouvered Cassy out onto the road her steering was unbelievably heavy, no power at all.
Maybe it was just air in the system which hadn't bled through yet so I tried steering left and right and returned to Jim's drive to do some citrobics, all to no avail.
Jim returned to find me with the bonnet up checking out the pump.
The fear was that some swarf had gotten into the steering line.
We checked and it all looked clear, nothing was swelling or exploding, so the other option was air getting in, which I've experienced before as giving initially heavy steering when you first turn the wheel.
On closer inspection the inlet pipe on the pump's spiggot was cracked, so Jim went to get the stanley knife to chop off the cracked end while I removed the jubilee clip and found the pipe was actually split to about half way up the spiggot.
I trimmed off what was needed but the pipe was rock hard so I couldn't feed it any further down the spiggot.
I also noticed some LHM weeping from the feed pipe clamp at the front of the pump, which is not a good place to see LHM, I moved the pipe and it split there pouring out plenty of green blood.
Jim had no suitable garden hose, but did manage to find me the pipe from a V6, which combined with another piece of pipe was a suitable temporary replacement.
Plenty of citrobics and checking the resevoir showed no bubbles, so off home I tootled (via the train station as I'm in London tomorrow
The steering is now lighter than ever before, and rather than sinking when I got out, the back actually sprung up!
So, given our cars are 10-15 years old, and we know most of their o-rings have gone hard and are starting to let air in/fluid out and therefore need replacing, it's also a good idea to replace some of the piping as well.