221000 miles and broke the belt, now can run faster and jump higher; why?

:
2003 Protege 5
I have my beloved 2003 P5 automatic as a daily driver. On the way to work on Thursday, my timing belt broke. I have not experienced this before, but somehow I knew exactly what it was right when it happened. After the tow home, I remove the valve cover and the belt was sticking up into the air. I received two separate quotes for $500 to replace it at shops. So, I replaced it myself. With the correct tools, which I happen to have, It takes about 1-1/2 hours to do this job (2 hours max after clean-up). What gives with the shops quotes???

Also, I have noticed a marked difference (to the better) in performance. (yippy) Is this due to less slack than the old belt or the fact that the computer had to reconfigure after resetting the timing?

Because of the miles, I do not let it go over 4000 RPM. Are there other simple tricks to coaxing a little more performance out of this 220,000 mile motor?
 
:
2003 Protege 5
The parts were $70. It took me, an office worker, a little over 1.5 hours. $500 is ridiculous. I think I will start changing timing belts for a living. I can charge $300 and make plenty of money by doing one per day.
 
:
Protege5
Shops have a ton of overhead. The tech usually only pockets 30% or less of the hourly rate. The rest goes to rent, utilities, tools, insurance, etc. They aren't making near what you think. It's not uncommon for a shop to have 100,000+ dollars in scan tools, tire machines, lifts etc.

As for power, about all you can do is a header and MP3 PCM reflashed if you have a manual.
 
:
2003 Protege 5
Shops have a ton of overhead. The tech usually only pockets 30% or less of the hourly rate. The rest goes to rent, utilities, tools, insurance, etc. They aren't making near what you think. It's not uncommon for a shop to have 100,000+ dollars in scan tools, tire machines, lifts etc.

As for power, about all you can do is a header and MP3 PCM reflashed if you have a manual.
But it only took me 1-1/2 hours. There is something wrong with the quote.

I may try the header, but, as I said, I have the automatic. It was the only P5 that was not beat to crap when I was looking about 5 years ago. Thanks for the input!(thumb)
 

i12drivemyMP5

___ 323F ___
Contributor
I have 03 sportronic with header, hi flo catted midpipe, 2.25" catback with magnaflow muffler, grnd wire kit, lightened wp/alt/pwr st pulleys, underdrive lightened crank pulley, port/polished intake manifold with VTCS removed, 505zoom CAI, 1.8 coils, NGK ZFR long reach plugs, NGK plug wires, Hayden stacked plate ATF cooler, MSP PVC, oil catch can and altogether has made a definite noticeable difference. It has MSP lip and if I roll with my tin foot instead of my lead foot it will pull 31 mpg at 95k with original timing belt (next project) and running the AC. I have done no other lightening to the car. I do have an MPI NA piggyback tuner/innovate AFR gauge and wb02 sensor/flying Miata voltage clamp that could be installed and do fuel map tuning but haven't gotten around to trying that out yet. Even have a second harness so no splicing on oem ecu harness and a Perrin fuel rail with fluid filled pressure gauge. Short of stripping out weight or going turbo I know of nothing else I could do to the automatic for performance. Forging the bottom end would be for dependability but not add any power unless maybe bumping up compression and burning super unleaded I think. I would like to forge it for more dependability. Not sure if I want to go tuning and have to run more expensive gas or take chance of blowing motor with turbo and/or blowing up tranny with turbo which would be next weakest link. There was a valve body upgrade from Lentech for the tranny to beef up shifting but not sure those are still available. That's about all the info I got about juicing up the NA auto......
 
Last edited:
:
Protege5
But it only took me 1-1/2 hours. There is something wrong with the quote.

I may try the header, but, as I said, I have the automatic. It was the only P5 that was not beat to crap when I was looking about 5 years ago. Thanks for the input!(thumb)
You are billed for a predetermined amount of time that is deemed adequate for the job by a third party, or flat rate.

The shop gets paid the same whether it took them 1 or 6 hours. It can be feast or famine, but timing belt jobs are generally pretty generous provided the tech knows what he is doing. There is a lot that can go wrong, and many times it can destroy the engine if done improperly.
 
:
Mazda Protege5
Yes, $500 is about right in my area. They just don't change the belt. It is the timing belt, the idler, the tensioner, the cam shaft seals, the crank shaft seal and for good measure the water pump also! An it does take more then 1.5 hours.......if you can do it that fast and it is done right, I will hire you to work in my families auto repair shop! An yes there are times when I have work 8 or 10 hours on a car and the the rate book says it is a 2 to 4 hour job! So you know what I have to charge? The labor rate does not take into account the cost of the area you work in, if the car has been damaged in anyway, if it has been screwed up by other people working on it.....
 
Last edited:
:
2003 Protege 5
I only changed the belt, but I did remove the tensioner and idler just to check them out. Norther California would be one heck of a commute!
 
:
Mazda Protege5
But being that good and fast, I'd give you a place to stay also! With that many miles on the car it's just always safer to change all the parts while you are there. I am just saying to be helpful. I hate doing the same job twice!
 

Latest posts

Top