Thanks for your replies and advice, guys!
I do want to interject with a perspective check on all this: Understand that whatever has failed, did so in 2 months and approximately 2000 miles of daily driving. I picked up the Red Witch in early May 2016, drove it every day until early July 2016. I took her off the road to do what I thought was some simple transmission and battery cable work. It spiralled badly out of control. She is still on liftbars, and has not driven since.
Kiwi'79: Not a problem, I appreciate you looking at my thread anyway. You are quite welcome! I try to document these things so that others looking can understand what I am trying to say. Also, so it can be a reference in the future when someone else gets in this predicament.
Guy: I have been reading your thread with interest. Sounds like you are having a tough time of it. Like you, I could not see any bend in the pivot bolt. Like you, I am going to replace it anyway. Probably the bushings as well.
FredR: I agree, there should be NO play in a water pump shaft. This burns me because the water pump was new. My intent with the dial indicator was to try to put numbers to what I was feeling. That is my point, I was feeling definite play that I didn't think should be there. I'll be buying a new water pump and gasket.
Though, I don't necessarily think it was a failure on the part of the water pump itself. I am inclined to believe the water pump failure was caused by whatever is going wrong in the belt tensioning system.
I am definitely glad to have seen the oil start coming out of the tensioner. I will chalk that up to my own inexperience. I had assumed that the tensioner would be full of oil, and I would see oil at the ports. Worf928 has explained otherwise.
I am replacing the clamp, though the boot is still new, pliable, and undamaged. In the photos, I believe it looked grotty as a result of belt dust, and anti-seize slung off rotating components. I will clean it up. However, any sign of damage, and I order a new one.
worf928: Thank you for clarifying about the oil level in the tensioner! As I told FredR, I am chalking that up to my own inexperience with the 928. I would assume this information is in the WSM, and I missed it.
I understand what you are saying about the tensioner bolt. Last night, when I was spinning it by hand in the lever body, I thought about putting a die on the threads as a better visual indicator, as you had done in your thread. But, I didn't see any obvious movement, then got side tracked. I will do so tonight.
Regardless, I am replacing the bolt. And possibly the bushings.
Once I get the next load of parts in, I will put it all back together for a test look-see. I will reassemble the belt tensioning system and run it through several revolutions. I am assuming by hand will suffice? Or should I use the starter? I will post those results.
soontobered84: That's what confuses me. According to the invoice, the bushings were to have been replaced. Same thing with all the rollers and such. All of that was to have been new. According to the invoice, I spent a pretty penny on parts and labor for the WP change out and overhaul of the timing belt system.
As it is now, I am ordering a new water pump, new tensioner pivot bolt, and probably new bushings. I may replace the crank sprocket thrust washers just because. This hurts...
SeanR: I don't know if that circlip is there. I looked all over the lever and roller, but don't recall what I saw on the back side of the roller.
All these parts are bagged, tagged, boxed up, and in my Explorer, to go to work with me tonight. I am about to hit the bed, so I will look and get pictures tonight.
Thanks for all your help and advice!
Seth K. Pyle