Originally Posted by Peter A
And don't forget to always carry a spare belt along with an injection pump manual. If you break in the middle of nowhere and you're not mechanically inclined or don't have your tools, you will need both for a good mechanic to get you back on the road.
Also I'd reinforce the idea that frequent maintenance is required here, a very good alfa mechanic that I know recently had the spring inside the pump break from corrosion on his car!
There is really very little stress on the injection pump drive belt and when installed has only moderate tension on it. They should last a very long time if installed properly and not abused.
Things that kill pump drive belts:
1. Improper installation. The belt does not stretch, nor is it mean to. Prying the belt onto the pump drive pulley is likely to break the internal reinforcing threads and cause a weak point in the belt.
Now you're relying only on the strength of the rubber. On pre-air pump models, the belt will slip ever-so-nicely onto the pulley. For the air-pump models with the retainer lip, you must remove the pulley from the shaft and slip it back on with the belt in-place.
2. Road grit, oil, etc. If you have an oil leak out the front crankshaft seal, FIX IT. The seal is about $5 and some of your time. Wes Ingram recommends that the drive belt cover be left off the engine and I think that makes good sense. Theoretically, it's a nice idea to protect the belt, but in the real world that cover will trap grit, grime, and rocks that can find their way onto the belt.
3. Keep other stuff (hoses, wires, etc) from inadvertently fouling the belt.
As far as the compensator link retaining spring goes, if you do suffer a spring failure, there's an easy and quick temporary get-you-home fix using a paperclip and a rubber band, a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. While not elegant, it works. It's outlined in the Roadside Diagnostics Guide available for free download at www.wesingram/hp.htm
. I'd recommend that Spica owners fold the guide up and put it in their emergency kit bag in the trunk.