More bodgery has just been inflicted on this poor old heap of shite. It's actually managed about 4000 reasonably trouble free miles since the alternator fix, though it required a replacement thermostat, which sorted the cold running but didn't sort the heater.
Anyway it did that 600 mile round trip to Newcastle OK, except that having forgotten to turn the lights off immediately upon parking up, it wouldn't start when I decided to straighten up about 5 minutes later. The battery was obviously kippered. I've been lugging around my jump leads and a spare (wrong sized) battery since the alternator debacle, so it was no problem to start it up to get home, and it did manage to start itself in the car park at Man City where we'd been spawny enough to blag a free parking ticket right outside the ground, but anyway I was eventually forced to concede that the game was up and ordered a new one from Tayna for 75 quid (which strikes me as reasonable, it's a big battery). While fitting it I noticed that there was water pooled in the bulkhead compartment, a common fault. It turns out there are two drain holes- I already knew that the bung had been removed from the central one, but it turns out that the one under the brake servo was both present and bunged up. So I poked it out and the water drained off, hopefully without having done any mischief to the servo as is wont to happen. I also found a big pool of water in the passenger footwell; I suspect that this has leaked in round the pollen filter housing and gone via the passenger footwell air vents, as the front footwell was dry and there was nothing to suggest the door seal was at fault. It had absolutely pissed down for days that week, so I've just parked it facing the other way on the road camber since, and at some point might try putting some silicone sealant round the bottom of the pollen filter box.
Anyway, the new battery went in OK and obviously started the car no bother, but the idle seemed a bit lumpy. I thought no more of it though, and used the car to run us all out for a Chinese meal. When I got home again the aux belt was slipping like a bastard when trying to park up. A quick google revealed, surprisingly to me as it would never have occurred to me as the problem, that this is usually caused by the clutch bearing on the alternator pulley failing and seizing. There followed lots of dire warnings about how it would kill the tensioner in very short order if not sorted. So I poked a screwdriver into the internal fan blades in the alt and established that there didn't seem to be any slip in either direction, measured the pulley to make sure I got the right one, then ordered a replacement for 23 quid from ebay, along with the £7 splined tool required to get them on and off.
So today was the day to try and fit it. I didn't even get started until 3pm, having stayed up to watch the Superbowl after an evening of delivering Uber Eats, and was fully expecting to have to give up when it got dark with the job not even half done, but surprisingly it went a bit differently. Now of course Mr Haynes starts his instructions on how to do anything in the engine bay, including this, with "first remove the entire front of the car", but I've not had to do that so far and was determined to maintain that record. The only impediment to removing the alternator with the radiator in situ is apparently the viscous fan getting in the way of the lower bolt; but you can apparently undo the pulley and drop the whole fan and viscous section down into its housing to get it out of the way. You're meant to lock the pulley by putting a 5mm bolt through it, but I didn't have one of those, so used a 4mm allen key. That on its own looked likely to bend when I started heaving on the pulley bolt, but putting the belt back on to provide a bit of additional hold while I cracked it off worked like a charm. I removed the belt, undid the bolt, and then whacked the pulley off with a lump hammer.
So then it was just a case of getting the alternator off, after removing the positive battery terminal of course. The bolts came out easily but the alternator was stuck fast. Still, the lump hammer did the business again, and after a bit of cursing I'd wrestled the alternator out past the radiator top hose. At that point I fetched the removal tool and my rattle gun. A load of whacking from the gun seemed to be doing little, but when I gave up as holding the pulley was hurting my other hand and went for the torx bit down the middle to hold it, it came off easily. And sure enough, it was seized. The new part appeared to be correct, so I screwed it in by hand. I was able to nip it up pretty tight with the spanners, but then thought I'd probably better read the instructions, which claimed that it should be torqued up to 85nm, which seemed a lot. So I fetched my torque wrench, and put it on the end of the torx bit while I held the spline tool with a spanner. That of course resulted in me undoing it again, as I'd forgotten that the torx bit needs to go anticlockwise. I reversed the drive direction on the torque wrench, assuming that it works in both directions, and then honked on it as hard as I could. The torque wrench never clicked off, but I did succeed in rounding off the splines off the torx cutout inside the alternator shaft. Oh well, that would have to do. It'll have to be a new alternator next time.
Of course having struggled to get the alternator off, I struggled to get it back on. I should really have run a dremel brush over the mating surfaces to clean off all the corrosion, but what I actually did was start twatting it with the lump hammer, and a drift as necessary. That was working alright until I smashed one of the vent fins off the alt, and could only find half of it afterwards; I assume that the other bit fell inside. Still, the alt turned fine with no rattling. After a lot of bashing and swearing I had the alternator bolts in and done up, so then it was just a case of putting the viscous fan back on, nipping it hand tight, replacing the belt, and doing it up with the wrench. Reattached the alt cables and the battery terminal, ran inside with my tools as it had started to rain, and then started the car. And...it seems to have worked, no warning lights came up and I was able to turn the steering lock to lock with no judder. I will have to find an excuse to take it for a spin just to see that it doesn't fall to bits before I take it on a 450 mile round trip to Everton on Saturday, with four passengers who won't be happy if they miss the game...
When I started the car, the viscous fan was merrily spinning away, even though I gather that the idea is that it's not supposed to turn until the car warms up? That might explain the extended warm up times. To replace it really will involve pulling the whole front of the car off I think, so that's probably never going to happen.