OK, this happened a few weeks ago but I've only just been arsed gotten around to writing it up. DId this at the start of June, bad times all around for the little Mazda as it simulatenously developed a coolant leak AND a power steering fluid leak. Starting it up led to fairly substantial puddles.
The PAS pipe was a fairly simple repair, but the water leak meant a new pump and timing belt. A job many of you would see as a matter of routine, but I'd never done it before! So, bits were purchased - a cambelt/pump kit, and some genuine Mazda waterpump gaskets (the rubber-coated metal type, since the paper gaskets that come with the pump kits are apparently utter bobbins). I read up on the procedure, watched some YouTube tutorials, and realising I still didn't really know what I was doing, proceeded to tear bits off the car anyway.
With everything out of the way, the belt was soon visible. Actually wasn't as torturous as I'd expected, the only major headache was getting the crankshaft bolt off. I got that to yield by using the scientific principle of torque increasing with distance, and the pseudoscience of persuasive verbal aggression.
Or in practical terms, I used a fucking big pole on the end of my ratchet and swore at it a lot. Seemed to work well enough.
Rotating the engine to TDC on #1 piston, I noticed that the factory timing marks on the cams didn't line up. Not even slightly. Given that the engine runs incredibly sweetly when it's not pissing its vital fluids, I concluded that the cam gears had probably been off at some point and not put back in the same position, but the cam timing was fine. This seemed to be supported by various other faded timing marks that had been added to the gears using tipp-ex over the years. So of course, I added my own set on the innermost teeth level with the top of the engine. I could have tried to reposition the gears to get the factory marks to line up again. but if it ain't broke don't fix it!
So with that done, off came the belt...
And out came the water pump. I didn't take any pics of the water pump replacement process, because it was an absolute pain in the arse, particularly the side inlet. The fact I've got power steering on this makes the job 10x harder, as the power steering pump is right in the way of the inlet bolts for the water pump. Ended up awkwardly getting a spanner in there and undoing them about a quarter turn at a time. But, eventually it went in, and on went the new belt. My timing marks still lined up...
Reassembled it all, topped up the coolant, started it up and... success! Still runs and revs sweetly, so my cam timing definitely isn't off. And it doesn't drop any of its fluids! Ran it for a bit with the rad cap off to burp the cooling system, and then it was off to the petrol station for a celebratory jet wash. Because I'd frankly had enough of manual labour at this point and wasn't about to get the bucket and sponge out.
And there we go, it lives again! And I proved to myself I CAN do cambelts/water pumps if I really apply myself to it. Which is just as well, because I still need to do the Rover's at some point. Also although it doesn't leak, the Mazda's radiator looks a bit tired. I'll probably upgrade to an aluminium one during the winter when it's hibernating. Yes, it took several days (evenings and weekends), yes I managed to slice my arms to ribbons on all the sharp edges I didn't realise an engine bay had, and it would have been far easier to have a garage do it.
But, a month and a bit on from doing this and I'm STILL basking in the glow of having done it myself. Every time I start the car and go for a spin, I feel that little bit happier knowing that it's running well despite because of me!