Still on the same timing chain intervention, my main goal is to remove this annoying water pump cover. After a few “soft” solutions, I then tried more “violent” ones. Here are some of them with pictures:
So what can I do? The tiny space I have behind the engine reduces the number of solutions I can try to remove the cover. To have more space, I have to remove the engine from the car. There is a way to remove the engine while leaving the gearbox inside, which is a lot easier than removing both, but guess what, to be able to remove the engine alone, the water pump cover has to be removed first, there is not enough space if it’s still on the engine!

After a pretty long discussion on the French SM Club forum, I finally decide to remove both engine and gearbox. From a “reasonable” intervention I now step up to a major one, with some bad surprises to come for sure, and that could lead me to have two SMs out of order for the coming summer season.