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Super Moderator
19,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #301 ·
The only word that I think describes your love for your car, the classy photos, is W-O-W! Amazing job on all accounts! I know my cars are jealous! Congrats!
Thank You so much! It's so nice to receive so many nice comments off so many people, it makes me so proud of the car and this thread, it took over a week of evening's to edit all the photbucket pics across to Flickr, well worth it though :cool:

Nice Rich, that steering wheel makes such a BIG difference - :cool:
Thank's Andy, i think the gearknob would finish it off nicely too looking at the pics so definitely going to have to break it out the wrapping :handsup::coolsm:

Super Moderator
19,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #302 · (Edited)
Well just come to update the thread and blow me - it was over two years ago when i last updated it! What the hell??!

I guess the biggest reason is the purchase of a new property - a 1976 bungalow which needed a full restoration. A full restoration that is still ongoing i may add. Oh, and the purchase last year of a new 'bike. So safe to say i've had my hands busy in other areas.

In that time the Mak hasn't really done anything other than sit in its dehumidified air chamber. Albiet a new one. We went from this.....

To this slightly bigger one...

Which incidentally used to home this 6.9 second quarter mile '57 Chevy called "Ugly Sister" .....

Now we have not one motor....

but two motors in there ...

Both sealed in with a dehumidifier to keep them nice and dry. Fifty-Five percent dry to be precise!

What a fine pair of machines!

Sadly the Mak hasnt seen much daylight, so little in fact that this year it ran out of MOT at the start of May .... and is still out of MOT now, the start of September. Last year i literally had her MOT'd and drove her straight back into the garage. Or thats what i thought. Clearly the fact there is 39 miles difference from last years MOT certificate to checking the ODO today shows i drove somewhere, beats me where though :lol:

So here we are now. September 2019 and the car has not been started in well over a year. I thought it prudent to change the cam belt before trying. Its around a year over due anyway, and these things can be a bit of an unknown, so best air on the side of caution. There was no need to worry, as it happens the old belt once removed turned out to be in fantastic condition but i wasnt to know. hey-ho.

Unfortunately the relatively simple job of changing the belt turned into a bit of a nightmare. First isssue was not being unable to undo the bolt on the end of the crank to release the balance belt. See This thread...


Turn the crank 180 degrees anti-clockwise and the belt slips out no problem as per Marks advice :coolsm::coolsm::coolsm:

But that wasnt the only thing to go wrong :rolleyes:

The first thing was the threaded rod that i used to take tension off the cambelt tensioner. Now this method i have used a few times now without issue. There is a proper tool you can buy but i never needed it up to now, at the end of the day its just an 8mm threaded rod right?! Unfortunately it turns out the tensioner arm where the rod pushes on to isnt totally fllat and as i screwed the rod in it was deflected off and bent. This meant i had to then strip the car down even further to remove the cast metal housing that the rod was now stuck in! Turns out that its the same housing that the air conditioning compressor is mounted to and the same one that half covers a timing belt pulley so it would have had to come off anyway. But even so - frustrating.

It was around this point i decided that i would replace the timing belt tensioner. I was not going to settle for anything other than OEM so i had a look at my options;

Mitsubishi £185
Rossport £140

I can get around 10% off both those prices so thats good, but the cheapest option was buying direct from Japan at around £100 all in - delivered, VAT added and the rip off Royal Mail admin fee. grrrr. Only issue everyone in Japan was on a weeks holiday it would seem, so that added a week on for starters. Then Royal Mail said they had it and were holding until receiving payment of customs charges and that a letter was on its way to me. One week later and no letter so i was on Twitter giving them an earful. The situation was resloved that day. Turns out once the tracking data shows that the parcel is awaiting customs fee's you can contact RM via Twitter and get the reference number there and then to pay the fee's owed online. Lesson learned!

Super Moderator
19,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #303 ·
A couple of days later i received the tensioner and was able to crack on...

... Crack on that it is until i found out that the balancer belt tensioner pulley that is supplied in the Gates timing belt kit is wrong. Intially upon comparing the old and new i was susprised to see how much grease had been thrown from the old seals....


... this was followed by the realisation half an hour later that the rebuild had stalled once again....

OEM v's Gates, the lip is significantly bigger as you can see....

So if you see this kit on ebay avoid. Or at least be prepared to be buying the correct pulley on top.

Apparently from Facebook sources on the Evolution site the Gates kit has always been wrong. Great. Though speaking to the local garage who MOT's all my stuff the owner says the Gates kits are generally fantastic. Just my luck. Means i now need to buy the correct one and until then things arent moving anywhere. A quick call to the local Mitsi dealer secured one next day as long as ordered before 4pm ...

So finally we were good to go. Corrrect tensioner fitted....... and in no time the timing belt was also fitted. Pic below taken before tensioning....

I followed the workshop manual's instructions and left the belt and tensioner to settle for 20 minutes, then turned the engine by hand 6 revolutions. The "grenade pin" was still easy to pull out and put back in so i was happy as Larry. I pushed the car back into the tent ready to move on in the coming days.

Several days later i pulled the car back out the garage, again turning the engine over by hand 6 times and again trying the grenade pin. Yep - still happy.
The rest of the rebuild went smoothly apart from fitment of the auxillary / alternator belt.
For starters when i tried to refit the water pump pulley i found that with the engine mount fitted there was no way to get in to put the bolts back in. Dam. So the engine mount had to come back off so i could access the pulley properly....

If you are attempting this job i highly recommend one of these - a rubber belted oil filter removal tool...

Makes holding the pulley a breeze...

Then the belt itself. Wow. Tight fit is all i can say. In fact it was that tight i was convinced they had sent me an RS belt by mistake. I took the belt back off after failing to get it on to compare it the the one that came off. Yes, defnitley the same length. Lets try again.

I finally managed it by sitting the belt on all the pulleys apart from the one between the air con pump and the crank pulley, and pushing the belt onto that one with a long straight screwdriver from below! Phew!
I guess an hour or so later i had the car fully assembled and runnig on the driveway. ( i may or may not have also gone for a sneaky drive down the road in her ;)) What a relief! You know i should have really done this earlier in the year. I dont know, bloody annoying but it is what it is what with work, the new motorbike and bungalow i am still trying to get renovated. Dissapointed in Myself. So much to do and so little time, same for us all these days though? Anyway, total cost in the end to change the belts and tensioner myself was £266.99.

I keep a Word document going for recording alll the work and maintenance i do on the car, latest update:

05.09.19 - 82,160 miles
Cam Belt & Tensioner, and Aux. Belt Replacement
Gates Cam belt Kit inc. bearings and Aux/balance belts - ASC Group - £119.93
Balancer Belt tensioner MD352473 - Mitsubishi - £49.78
Genuine Timing Belt Tensioner MD308086 - £97.28

I managed to get the car booked in for the MOT at the end of the week so that was lucky, the previous one had ran out in May of this year. Needless to say she passed. I've driven 41 miles in 16 months. Pathetic. I need to get out in this car next year as otherwise its pointless keeping it. Values have dropped over the last 18months or so which makes using it more attractive, so quite possibly not a bad thing unless you are looking to sell. I've had a new set of Eibach lowering springs in the back room sat waiting for the last couple of years so it would be nice to get those fitted and have the geometry setup properly as i havent touched it since buying the car. Same for the exhaust i also bought as well! Time will tell, either way it isnt happening this year as winter fast approaches and my diary is already full.

Once i got back home from the MOT i dropped the oil and changed the filter. The last change was August 2017 so two years ago now.

The mileage didnt warrant the change by a long shot but the cost isnt significant when using oil with 50% off from Eurocarparts. Buying a filter from the main dealer did however make my eyes water a little.

Thats the old filter b.t.w.. what a waste .... anyone want it. As new only a fiver :lol:

I've used Shell Oils a lot in all my cars and bikes. The Evo 9 ran Millers due to RC Developments (theres a blast from the past...) recommendation. I've also used Silkolene (now Fuchs) but the price compared to the Shell means things were only going Shell's way....

So all in all a good couple of jobs knocked off the list, happy days! As always on the way home i stopped off a the local docks, always a great back drop. Cheers.


Premium Member
10,686 Posts
Nice work Rich, great update!

Wow that belt change must’ve turned your hair grey! I’m taking my engine out this winter, looking at it I guess it will be loads easier doing the belt change on the bench!

Lovely Mak mate ;)

Premium Member
Regional Organiser
5,271 Posts
It's great to see the TME getting TLC even though you've not had time to enjoy it recently :smthumbup

Looking just as minty as always :coolsm:

The larger car **** looks cool :D
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