Monthly Archives: September 2011

Springing into fitness

Okay, well, it’s time to get started now. I’ve signed up at the gym close to where I work – V Club in Druitt St in Sydney. It’s a great gym and I’ve been a member there before.

This morning, though, it was such a nice day I thought I might start the ball rolling by getting back on the skateboard and going for a skate around Darling Harbour.

Lots of fun, great to be back and loving skating. However, it’s been a while so my muscles weren’t quite as happy as I was to be outside doing stuff.

My thigh is killing me and I’m walking like a cowboy, but it should pass soon. However, I am happy to be kicking the fitness stuff. Hopefully my muscles will join in the new regime.

But – it’s the beginning….

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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Fitness/Weight Loss, Skateboarding


Drawing 19/9/11

Okay, a bit of an off night, but below is a couple that turned out okay… I’m going to try to post up at least one or drawings after each Arthouse session. Hopefully it will show me getting better….

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Drawing



This weekend gone saw the next phase of getting the support ready for the deck.

As last I left it, the drainage had been placed in but needed to be concreted in place. I also have decided to put in the supports for the posts at the front of the deck at the same time, creating support for the drainage as well as ensuring the post supports are in the right spot.

To start the concreting, I decided to spend some time to save more. I wanted to cover the parts that weren’t going to be covered in concrete with plastic so that I didn’t end up with something really messy looking.

I ended up using painter dropsheets which were inexpensive, but not water permeable and therefore shouldn’t allow concrete to get through. To prepare, I wrapped each of the drainage grates in plastic and replaced them.

The next step was to work out where the post supports would go and set up a way to concrete them in. I ended up using rocks to contain the concrete that will support the posts and they end up being concreted into them later on.

The next two photos are how I’ve worked out where the posts will go, and how I’ve limited the space to be concreted.

Next I went through and made a plastic “skirt” for the pavers. The idea was that I didn’t want to get the concrete mess all over the pavers and have to try and clean it off later. The day started off clam, but got more windy, but I held the plastic in place with rocks.

Once all the plastic was in place, it was time to start the concreting. I started with the post supports as that would push the drainage into place and also be the difficult part to get square.

Once the supports were set up in place, the next part was the gap between the pavers and the drainage. This was going to be time consuming and back breaking, but was important. I would fill with concrete and then pull the plastic out, smoothing the concrete back down again as I went. The result was a pretty neat finish and no mess on the pavers.

And then below is the finished product for now. I ran out of time and energy, but happy with what’s in place. The next step is to fill the rest of the trench (between post supports). I have put a bunch of large rocks into that area and also will be putting but blue metal rocks in there as well. The integrity isn’t a huge issue for that part, but coverage is. I don’t need it to be too solid, but I do need it to be filled in to some extent to relive a little pressure of ground movement over time.

From here, the next step is to bolt support beams into the stirrups and then put a bearer across the top. Then I need to put a couple more supports in to to the bearers on the fence side and then I can start building the frame!

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Decking [COMPLETE]


Getz POWER! Part 2

Right. Now that we have a way through the firewall, we really need some sort of tool that will help get the power cable through. There is one – it’s called a grabber. You push it through and “grab” the cable and then pull it back through the hole.

I don’t have one. Neither do most people. So I made my own.

Three coat hangers cut and then straightened out with pliers, then taped together. Hey, it’ll work. Now, the theory is that you stick the coat hanger tool into the grommet the same way that you did the screw driver (same angle and everything), and in theory, it should come out the same.

Once the coat hanger tool sticks through into the cabin, it’s a matter of undoing the end piece of tape, sticking the cable in there with the three tines surrounding the cable, tape it all up and pull it back through – gently.

So, as you can see in the above picture, the sticking through bit went okay. Again the key is to be gentle but firm. In the photo you can also see how I’d coaxed some of the grommet out of the housing. We’ll put that back later when the cable is in there.

Excitedly running around to the cabin, I saw that it had indeed made it through. That’s exciting stuff right there. Now that it’s through, all we need to do is attach the cable as I described.

And there it is, all nicely taped up and ready for the journey. If you have two people available, it’s a good idea to have one person pushing/guiding and the other pulling the cable through. It was only me, so I just had to be careful.

Success!! You can see the cable poking out of the grommet now! Joy and happiness ensued! This means we have the cable through – the hard part is done, but there is still work to do.

Cut the tip off the power cord (close to the coat hanger wire as possible) to release my marvelous coat hanger machine. Pull through as much cable as you think you would need and then try to push the grommet back into place as much as you can. You’ll need to next run the cable around the engine bay to get it to the battery.

This is the path I chose (above) and it seems to work okay. The golden rule here is to keep it tidy. Tidy means cable ties. Tidy means not burning on the engine. Tidy means not in the way of other machinery.

Once you’ve established the path cable tie it in place so you don’t lose it.

Now, I haven’t yet spoken about fuses. All electrical devices in you car should have a fuse in place. The idea is that if there is a power surge, the fuse takes one for the team. However, if your car gets hit and the power cord gets severed, well… let’s just say it would be shocking. The fuse in that instance trips and your life is saved. Because of the last reason, “they” recommend that the fuse is within 30 cm of the connection to the battery. The closer the better, though.

This is a fuse holder stand that I kinda threw together very quickly. It’s a bit of scrap metal that is screwed near the battery. You may want to be more imaginative, but this is fine. Make sure you get the right holder and fuse that is right for the power going through your car. But, MOUNT the fuse holder – don’t just cable it somewhere to hang.

This is how it all looks when in place. Notice I haven’t connected to the power as yet, that will be the very last thing I do. But this has all worked out nicely and is now sitting in the engine bay.

Okay, the above photo shows where I’m up to right now. The power is connected (red wire), black is the grounding. They are both connected to the amp, but not the battery – I’m just getting it ready. Also I haven’t yet done the ground from the amp. It will connect under the handbrake, and you can just see it at the top of  photo above.

So, that’s it for the time being. I had to stop the install there. However, next time it’s all about the head unit. 🙂


Getz POWER! Part 1

Okay, this is the hardest part of the whole project so far and very necessary.

For an amp to work, it needs power. Power comes from the battery of the car. The battery sits in the engine bay, which is outside of the interior of the car where all the stereo equipment is. Therefore, I need to run a power cable from the battery to the inside of the car where the amp is.

Not easy.

I’ve done some research and got some weird answers, but after really putting my mind to it I have worked out a way! And I’m going to share it with you.

Before I get in to the power, something needs to be said. Your battery has a positive and negative terminal. The power cable itself is connected to the positive terminal, the negative just grounds the electricity. The ground is as important as the power. Otherwise terrible things happen.

Firstly, I have increased the amount of grounding from the battery since I have increased the amount of power I’m taking from it.

So on the right hand side you can see the extra ground I have connected. On the left, you can see the wire I’ve used, the connector and the sleeve. All you need is the wire, and two of these connectors and you can make a ground. However, remember that for the ground to work properly, you need to make sure that the grounding point (under the screw and connector) is bare metal. Scrape it back with wet and dry sandpaper, or a dremel if you have one.

Also, you can go the next step and put another cable like the one I put there from that bolt to another on the body. It really does help and you should always do this stuff properly.

Okay, on to the power.

Okay, this is the engine bay. The engine itself is on the left, the big thing behind the battery is the air box. The air box is connected to the rest of the engine by the big black tube coming out of it. While peeking around, I happened to notice something hiding behind all of that…

A sneaky little grommet leading through the firewall into the cabin! Sure, it’s hard to get to and jam packed with wires, but it’s an in that I can use! However, getting to it is going to be a problem.

I know! I’ll pull the engine apart!

Okay, it’s not that drastic, but looking at it, if we move that air box and pipe out of the way, I reckon I have a good shot at it.

Okay, to remove the top of the box, there are four clips (you can see the two on the right hand side in the photo above). One of the clips is upside down under the hose going to the engine.

WARNING!! The top part of the air box is where the air goes to the engine. That filter on the right stops dirt and dust getting into the engine. If you get dirt or dust on the exposed side of the air filter (that you can see in the photo), it will get sucked into the engine. And that is bad. Just be mindful of that.

To remove the hose is pretty easy. There is a hose clamp that is tightened with a screw. Unscrew the screw like you can see in the photo above and then the hose will pop right off when you pull it.

However, when you undo the screw, take it out of the hose clamp and put it to the side. Otherwise you have to crawl under the car to retrieve it when it falls out. Trust me on this.

With the hose off, as you can see in the above picture, you can now easily get access to the grommet. Okay, not EASILY, but it is now possible. In the photo above you can just see the edge of it. The grommet is held in by a plate that is black, but has two red screws sticking out of it. The red screw in the photo that is right next to the open metal tube where the air hose was, is part of the grommet.

Now, I experimented to see if the grommet would actually lead into the cabin, and it does, but I recommend you do the following anyway because it’s good to get a feel of the path of the cable.

What I did was get a flat head screwdriver and try to prize the grommet out of the housing. I did this fairly successfully, but not easily. It takes a little bit of perseverance, but you can get enough out to stick a screwdriver through it. I got the screwdriver and tried to find the path of least resistance.

It worked! The photo below shows the screw driver in from the engine side, the photo below that shows the tip of the screwdriver sticking out inside the cabin. Even though this is a very blurry photo, it gave me much joy to see it. 🙂

Proof that it can go through. But, that still presents a problem. The power cable is flexible and the screwdriver isn’t. How can I possibly push the power cable through !! Find out in the next exciting post!



Getz sub wiring

While we have the panels off doing the dynamat, let’s take the opportunity to lay some wiring as well.

Firstly, I have to say that the amp I’m using for this can be a 2, 3 or 4 channel amp. Firstly, a “channel” is one speaker, or splits because splits are really one speaker split into tweeter and woofer. This is an over simplified definition but it works for the moment. So, 2 channel means that the amp runs two speakers (usually the front two), 3 channel is 3 speakers (usually the fronts and a sub) and 4 channel is two sets of speakers – front and rears for example. In this set up, I’m using the 3 channel option.

Now, for this to work, I need to get the output from the headunit to go to the right place. For this project, I’m going to use the front speaker wire to send output to the front (duh) and the rear speakers to send output to the subwoofer. The trick here is knowing when to pass the high frequencies to the front and the sub-range or low frequencies to the sub. Luckily the amp has a switch which indicates low pass or high pass.

So all of that is a bit technical, but I wanted to explain why I’m going to steal the wires from the rear speakers to run to the sub.

Firstly, we need to steal the rear speaker wire. We can assume that the headunit sends it’s output to the rear speakers directly through wires. We want the headunit to send that signal to the amp and the amp to then pass that signal to the sub. Therefore, we want to send the wires from the headunit not to the rear speakers, but to the amp.

Conveniently, the rear speakers have the rear speaker wire attached to them. If we take those wires and plug them into the amp, that’s the rear inputs. To do this, we need to remove the wire from the rear speaker and then connect that with a wire to the amp.

Step one: Remove the plug connected to the rear speaker.

Step 2: Work out where the wire will go from the rear speaker to the amp so we can lay it under the carpet, out of sight. (In the photo below, I’ve laid the black speaker cable on top of the carpet to work out where it will go.)

Step 3: Prepare. Get all the stuff you’re going to need to join wires together. I have an old camping mat piece of foam thing that I lay near the car door to kneel on. I’ve lined up all that I’ll need so I don’t have to get up when I’m half way through something.

In the above picture, on the right hand side is the soldering iron, plugged in and hot, ready to use. On the left from top to bottom, I have: Speaker wire, heat shrink, a sharpie, a roll of red electrical tape and wire strippers. At the bottom, that’s my foot. I’ll probably need that, maybe even two of them.

Step 4: Be fastidious. By taking a couple of extra seconds to do stuff properly, things are a lot easier in the long run. Take the speaker wire, strip the ends. Then write on a piece of electrical tape which wire it’s connecting to and that it’s for the rear speakers. Every wire in your set up should have a label on it. If something goes wrong in future, this is the easiest way to know which wire does what. Then cut some heat shrink and slip it over the end ready for once it’s soldered.

Now, do the same with the wire that was connected to the speaker. Cut the connector off, join the wires, solder them to help the connection and then heat the heat shrink over the top. I haven’t shown this step here, but earlier in the tutorial, I went into a fair bit of detail….

Step 5: Run the wire under the carpet in the same way it was laid on top. Use strips of dynamat to hold the wire down if you have some left over. Stick the wire out near the amp (there’s a convenient hole where the wire to the seat goes) and label those ends too. You’ll need to know that stuff when it comes to connecting them to the amp.

In the photo above, you’ll see that I’ve done both rear speaker wires and labelled them with IN. Then I’ve also run the sub wire while I was there and had the trims off. I just ran a decent length of it to the boot following the other wiring paths. I’ve labelled it as well.

So now that’s all done, we can start to put things back together. All you need to do is pretty much everything but in reverse.

Two things I wanted to point out though. Firstly, as you’re putting the rear quarter panel on, think about how we’re going to get the wiring to the sub. I found a nice little cover inside the shelf area that I thought would be a nice neat way to run the wiring. I drilled two holes in it, stuck the wiring through and then replaced the cover. These wires will then be connected to the sub. I’ll show more about that later when we actually hook it up. For now at least the wires are there. (Note the below photo shows them, but prior to me labelling them).

Secondly, as you’re replacing the trims, but before you put the spare tyre back in, why not fix up the dynamat in the place where it needs it the most? The area where the spare tyre goes is usually pretty flimsy and resonant. Ideally, you would throw 4 or 5 sheets at this area to stop it vibrating, but if you can’t (or don’t want to) afford that, cut some strips and go for it. I used about three quarters of a sheet in the picture below…

This should be enough to go a long way to stopping vibrations coming out of there.

So, now everything is back together, we only have two things left to do. 1) Pull out the head unit and run the wiring to the amp, and 2) POWER!!!!!

The next post will be all about getting power!


Getz Dynamat up the rear

Since there will be a decent amount of bass coming out of the boot, there will also be a decent amount of vibration. This vibration will love to bounce around off large thin metal panels and distort the sound. The idea is that adding dynamat (or similar sound deadening product), the panels will vibrate less and provide a more punchier bass response.

The generally accepted theory is the 35% rule. That is you get the best value for money benefit from well placed dynamat with around 35% coverage. If you put more than this, the value for money decreases for smaller margin of gains. For example, let’s use an arbitrary sound deadening value. At 0% coverage (no dynamat) you have a deadening factor of 10. At 20% it raises to 20 (twice as much) and at 35% it raises to 30. Now if you go to 100% coverage, it will only raise to 35. Therefore, spending three times the money on an extra 5 points isn’t value for money.

However, if you have lots of money or care about the extra 5 points, do it! But I’m working on the 35% coverage rule and trying to save some money, but still make a difference to the sound. To do this, you need to try and find the parts that most need help (the more hollow sounding places) and not put any on the solid parts (that have a high sounding note when tapped). This is also a time versus money factor since it takes a lot longer to find the right spots, but it saves you money.

The following will show how to apply dynamat in this fashion. Others may put more or less in different spots, but this is how I did it. Firstly, cut the dynamat into strips – either with a stanley knife or scissors.

Then take the strips and cut it into the right little pieces to go in the places it needs to go….

For larger panels, you can get a lot more coverage as it will probably need it. For the large cavity (the inside of the outer panel) I think it’s better to give more coverage as this one is going to be the main surface to vibrate. Since we have to do the same on both sides, I just cut a sheet in half diagonally.

I’ll use one half to cover the passenger side and the other for the drivers side. I can then make up the gaps with strips from another sheet.

The following two photos show how I did it. There is no right or wrong in this process, just preference. When you think you’ve done enough then you’re finished.

Okay, when you’re done, reverse the previous instructions and put the top and rear panels back on, but leave the middle panel off because next comes the wiring.

In the mean time, turn around and have a look at the pile of interior stuff and chuckle a little….


Getz Interior Panels removed

Right, time for the next stage.

To start off where I finished last time, I had removed the seats, center console and the rear boot lining. I’m building an impressive pile of stuff from the car and the Getz is looking really roomy at the moment. If you’ve just tuned in, see previous posts for details on how to get to this point.

Next step is to remove the interior panels. I’m not touching the dash at this point, but will later. I’m not touching the doors either (it’s a 2 door car) as I’ve already done those previously. So pretty much the whole rear end has to come out so I can put Dynamat in there to deaden the sound.

Anyway, we start with the partially stripped car….

First things first, remove the spare tyre and all the junk on top of it. You’ll need to screw out the handle thing that holds the tyre in, but that shouldn’t be too hard. Just keep all the pieces together and put the wheel to the side.

Now that the wheel is out it gives you some where to perch while you start removing the trims. Let’s start with the rear trim.

Pretty easy going here. 3 steps – 1: 3 screws on the lower half of the trim, 2: 3 bolts in the mid section of the trim, 3: Once you’ve removed these, lift the whole section straight up (vertically) there are some clips underneath that you need to apply a little bit of pressure to. (note: don’t unscrew the hatch latch – no need) Once you’ve removed the panel, this is how it looks from the inside…

The order in which you do things here is pretty important.

It should be rear panel (above) first, then the part that would be the rear doors if this car had four doors. Then the rear quarter panel bit, then the part between that panel and the roof. I know these aren’t the technical terms, but if you know the technical names, you probably don’t need this guide. :p

So, to remove the next panel, you need to remove the seat belts. Not scary, the belts are still there and can be left hanging, but you need to remove the bolts that secure them at the bottom. Unless you really know what you’re doing, I’d recommend not messing with seat belts. You kind of need them to work if you have an accident. However, all we’re doing here is removing the bottom bolt, not a big deal.

Firstly, note that I’m starting on the passenger side. Then I’ll pack that side up and do the drivers side. No confusion then, and no need to have both parts out at the same time.

In previous posts I’ve shown you how to remove the belt adjuster as shown in the picture above. Do that again. Put the bolt into an ice cream container you wash up earlier and kept for such duties and just let the belt hang. It won’t get in the way, I promise.

As above, the rear passenger belt securing bolt is even easier. Just unbolt it and let it hang. It will be totally out of the way for this panel anyway. If you’re really worried about it scratching the trim, grab an off cut of carpet, foam or something, wrap it around the metal bit and cable tie it in place. Just cut the cable tie when you’re ready and you’re good to go.

After you’ve removed the two seat belt bits, it pretty much just a matter of undoing the screws. The trim is held in by a thousand clips, but just remove them gently but firmly and you’ll be fine. If you somehow manage to leave any of the plugs in the metal, just gently get two flathead screwdrivers and prise the sucker out. It will clip back into the trim pretty easily and then you’re okay to put the trim back on.

Below is a picture of the panel removed and sitting next to where it was removed from. Without me doing a terrible job in paint, you should be able to work out where the screws are and where the clips go.

That should be pretty straight forward. Just look at this photo before you remove the panel so you can get an idea of where the clips are. When you’re putting this back in later, it gets a little tricky where the panel meets the front door frame, but it will slip under – both the sill trill and the rubber seal. If not, just find a non metal thing (like a stick maybe?) and gently prize the rubber out from under the trim. Take you’re time and be gentle.

Next is the rear quarter panel. Not difficult, but from the picture below you’ll see why I said to do it in order. There are a couple of screws that can only be removed once the previous trim is removed.

The only two tricky things are the two clips on the sill of the rear hatch opening and the light. If you pull the trim out and the clips stay in the sill (like I did in the next photo), just prize them out with the two screw driver method as above.

The light I found to be a bit of a pain. I tried really hard to disconnect the clip and got scared I was going to break it. If you can diconnect it – perfect. If not, just pull the plastic part forward and then feed it back through the hole. It will still shine, but it’s better than breaking it. Once you’ve got that trim piece out, remove and add to the impressive pile of interior bits.

So now you have most of the panels removed. I need to reiterate that the idea behind this exercise to do the wiring and the dynamat for the stereo. The next couple of photos show me “removing” the upper panel. Problem is, in keeping with my seat belt theory, I won’t remove the panel entirely. For one, the seat belt thing scares me, but more importantly, I can’t work out how the hell to get around the front passenger seat belt housing bit. But, for what I need, I can just undo most of it and stick my hand up in there.

That said, I don’t think there were any screws for this panel. I’m pretty sure it was all just clips. So just give it a bit of a heave and it will come away fairly easily. If you’re doing the same as me, just pull it enough to get in there, you don’t need to get too gung-ho.

So that right there, in the picture above, is a naked Getz. Scary isn’t it? Anyway, when you’ve finished blushing, it’s time to move on to the reason why we stripped it in the first place – the dynamat….


Drainage work in prep for deck

It was a mistake. Take a few days off and work in the garden I thought. Mistake. 8am to 5pm with a few short breaks and a 1 hour lunch break – all hard work. I don’t know how landscapers do this all the time…

Anyway, I did it. I got the drainage in. Well, ready to be concreted at least – the weather was against me on that one. As soon as there are a couple of sunny days coming up, I’ll do the concreting.

To take you back a step, I have spent the last few months clearing the garden being ready for this day. I have cleared out overgrown sections in the garden about a square metre or two at a time, getting rid of the weeds and potting the plants. Then I would lay weed mat over it to stop it coming back. I had been just putting the pots on top of the weed mat, but I need to clear a space so I pulled all of the plants into the middle of the courtyard to do the following work.

The next step was to pull up the coppers logs that were framing the garden. They also held the pavers in place, so I needed to find a way to fill that void. The drainage is not only a sensible idea, but also a way to hold the pavers together. Here a picture of all the logs that I have removed and stored temporarily under the verandah.

Then it was an easy matter of digging a trench, filling it up to make the drainage sit level with the pavers (or just below) and get it ready to be concreted. The following is a pictorial reference of what I did over two days with a few comments thrown in… (each comment relates to the picture above it)

This pic is pre digging. The grooves in the ground are from where I have removed the treated pine logs. The drainage next to it is what’s going in once I’ve dug the trench. Note also that the ground is totally bare and has been covered by weed mat for a few months.

Here I’ve started digging the trench. I’ve also dug a hole through into an easement at the back of the yard. I had to jump over a 7 foot fence a couple of times and needed to dig half way to China, but got some storm water pipe through. I’ll concrete this in, once I’m sure it all works. The two following photos show the same thing in a bit more detail…

On to the trench…

To dig the above trench, I needed to remove a massive root (above the above pic) that was in the way. It was roughly the same size as storm water pipe. I eventually got it with the mattock, but it was not an easy job.

Here I just cleared the path of the trench and worked out how wide it needed to be. Too wide! Also, as you may see in previous pics, the ground is not level and therefore I had to ensure dirt wasn’t going to fall back in as I dug it out.

Rear drain now sitting nicely in the trench. The size worked out well.

10 o’clock on the second day and I realised I had a blister. I was wearing gloves, but the wedding ring I normally wear (you can see the dent) must have pressed up against that part of my hand. I took the ring off and kept working. 🙂

Finally got the trench done. The other side now fits in as well.

The trench is the right size now to hold all of the drainage. A full check as you can see above shows it will fit. Now I just need to raise the beds to the right level and then stake the drain in place until I can do the concrete.

Stakes on the Barby – pun intended. I got a 3m length of wood and cut it into stakes using the circular saw. I also did a quick angle cut to help belt them in. These are just to hold the drain until the concrete has been poured.

I am supposed to fill the bed with sand, but I wanted to do dirt first. I also wanted to avoid big rocks, so I used a spare 1m length of drain (as you can see in the pic) and filled it by pouring dirt onto the top of the grate. It filtered out the big rocks and I used that soil the level the bed. If the rain that happens before conreting makes the level drop, I can use sand before the proper laying.

Once the beds were in, I worked out exactly how high the storm water pipe needed to be. I then cut it and a hole in the end of the drainage (prescored). This meant that the water collects in the drains and runs through this pipe out into the easement.

And that’s pretty much where it’s been left for the moment. It will be fine to sit as it is until I get a sunny couple of days and I can get the concrete in there.

More to follow!

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Decking [COMPLETE]


Ghetto Idler Pulley Change

Okay, this is a quick tutorial on how to change the upper idler pulley – ghetto style.

Firstly, the reason this would need to be changed is due to the bearing inside the pulley getting worn and making noise. If it goes too far it can seize up and happily wreck your engine. I was alerted to the fact that it needed to be changed by the whining noise it made, which turned out to be the alternator bearing, but I’m pretty sure this one needed to be changed as well.

Anyway, the way I found out was to get a plastic flexible tube (that’s ghetto, right?) and stick one end to your ear, the other end to the idler pulley. You can then work out which bearing is the one giving you problems. Before I changed mine it was very noisy, afterwards it wasn’t. You can also use a rigid metal tube, but I think it’s just dangerous if you are the slightest bit clumsy.

On to the tutorial. Step one is to remove the air box. Not a big deal, there are three bolts holding it down, just take the nuts off and it should lift out with a little bit of effort. Once out, move it to one side (don’t need to disconnect it) and you’ll see the upper pulleys…

The next step is to loosen the belt and move it to the side so we can change the idler pulley (just visible in the above photo on the left hand side). To loosen the belt, there is a tension release thing just to the left (in my pic above) of the belt – behind the engine on the belt side. There is a square whole that you insert a socket extension bar into to lever it back and forth.

However, it wouldn’t be very ghetto if it was that easy, right? So I don’t have an extension bar (I went and bought one after this, by the way), so I had to improvise…

Yes, that a socket rachet handle thing with a big-ass spanner looped around it. Hey, it gave me the leverage to pull the tensioner toward me and loosen the belt. I know it’s literally putting a round peg in a square hole, but hey this IS supposed to be ghetto, right?

Anyway, when you’ve finished judging me (although notice where the spanner is made), pull that ghetto lever (or the extension bar if you’re sensible) towards you and the front of the car. This will loosen the belt and allow you to slip it off to the side.

Belt is on…

Belt is off…

(Notice the padding I put in so that the ghetto lever wouldn’t scratch the car too much? Pipe insulation.)

So, now that the belt is off, take the opportunity to move the other pulleys around a bit. If you hear a dry kind of grinding sound as you move them, you may need to replace those too.

Anyway, just grab a socket ratchet thing to undo the bolt….. oh. Small problem. We used that for the tensioner. Okay, now here is the bit of a drawback to my ghetto lever – when you take the belt off, the tensioner moves back a little. Fine with the extension bar, it fits in. However, the ghetto lever takes a fair bit to move it back into place again.

Moving on regardless, undo the bolt on the upper idler pulley…

Take it off…

Whack the new one on…

Tighten it up…

And put the belt back on.

Obviously, you’ll need to pull the tensioner back to refit the belt. I suggest that you put it on at the idler pulley. I found that the easiest. Check the belt is okay and properly in place. Give the belt a squirt with belt dressing if you have it and spray some wd-40 around as well – although you may not have this stuff or you wouldn’t be reading a “ghetto” thread, would you?

Replace the air box, write down when you replaced the pulley and pack up tools.


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